Psychedelic Rock, Space Rock, Doom, and Stoner: What’s

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Psychedelic rock, space rock, doom, and stoner are all terms used to describe a certain type of music. But what exactly is this type of music? And what are its defining characteristics?

Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also known as acid rock, is a music genre that emerged in the mid-1960s. The style is characterized by a distorted and often feedback-laden sound, extended guitar solos, and lyrics that often dealt with issues of mind control, drug abuse, and the links between music and politics.

The Beatles

Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that originated in the mid-1960s and reached its peak popularity in the late 1960s. The style is characterized by distorted guitars, feedback, and experimental sound effects, and is often associated with the use of psychedelic drugs such as LSD.

Psychedelic rock began to fall out of favor in the early 1970s as the popularity of punk rock and disco grew, but it experienced a resurgence in the 1990s with the advent of shoegaze and neo-psychedelia.

The Beatles are often credited as being one of the most influential bands in psychedelic rock, with their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band being considered a landmark achievement in the genre. Other important bands in psychedelic rock include Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and The Velvet Underground.

Pink Floyd

Originating from London, England, Pink Floyd is considered one of the first and most influential psychedelic rock bands. Although they initially gained notoriety for their avant-garde and experimental compositions, they later became known for their lengthy arrangements and live performances. In addition to Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, and Richard Wright, the band has had numerous lineup changes throughout its history.

The Doors

Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that is inspired or influenced by psychedelic culture and attempts to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs. It often uses new recording techniques and effects and draws on non-Western sources such as the ragas and drones of Indian music. Psychedelic rock first emerged in the mid-1960s with British and American bands such as the Beatles, the Byrds, Cream, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, and Sly & the Family Stone experimenting with LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline, and other hallucinogenic drugs. This led to a more overtly psychedelic subgenre called acid rock.

Space Rock

Space Rock is a genre of rock music that typically features lengthy and atmospheric instrumental sections and is strongly influenced by psychedelic and progressive rock.

David Bowie

David Bowie’s experimental style and use of theatricality and make-up helped make him a pop icon. He is considered by many to be one of the most influential musicians of his time. One critic wrote, “Few artists have had as profound an impact on rock music as Bowie.”

Space Rock is a subgenre of Psychedelic Rock that was popular in the 1970s. It typically features lengthy, noodling instrumentals and heavily effects-laden guitars.


One of the earliest and most influential bands of the space rock genre, Hawkwind was formed in London in 1969 by guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Dave Brock. His vision for the band was to create “a cross between The Grateful Dead and Chuck Berry,” and over the years, the band has gone through many lineup changes while maintaining Brock’s musical direction. With their inventive mix of psychedelia, electronic music, and hard rock, Hawkwind has influence generations of musicians.

Spacemen 3

Spacemen 3 were an English rock band, active 1987–1991, led by Peter Kember, also known as Sonic Boom (later of E.A.R., Spacemen 4 and Spectrum). The group’s music combined elements of garage rock, third eye blind, blues rock, and Indian music.spacemen 3 were formed in Kettering, Northamptonshire in May 1986 by Pete Kember and Jason Pierce. The pair had met at Brookland Junior School when they were eleven years old and knew each other from secondary school, when they played together in various bands. Pierce was a guitarist in a band called Gandhi’s Gun (later Felt), while Kember was studying mathematics at the University of North London.

Doom Metal

Psychedelic rock, space rock, and stoner metal are all genres of metal music that have gained popularity in recent years. Doom metal is a subgenre of metal that is characterized by slow, heavy, and often dark music. It is often inspired by horror movies, and the lyrics often deal with dark subject matter.

Black Sabbath

Doom metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music that began in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is characterized by slow tempos, drones, and down-tuned guitars. Doom metal is an offshoot of psychedelic rock, space rock, and blues-rock.

Doom metal lyrics often deal with darkness, despair, death, and other occult or metaphysical themes. These themes are often explored through the use of horror movie and gothic imagery. Doom metal is often considered to be a precursor to thedeath metal and black metal genres.

The first band to clearly fit the doom metal mold was Black Sabbath, whose self-titled debut album was released in 1970. Other important early doom metal bands include Pentagram, Saint Vitus, Trouble, andCandlemass. In the 1990s and 2000s, doom metal experienced a resurgence in popularity with bands such as Electric Wizard, Acid Witch, Sabbath Assembly, and Ghost coming to prominence.


Candlemass is a Swedish doom metal band founded in Stockholm in 1984 by bassist, songwriter and bandleader Leif Edling and drummer Matz Ekström. The group had a brief stint of mainstream popularity in the 1980s before breaking up in 1994.

Eleven years later, the band reformed with a new lineup featuring singer Robert Lowe and released the album King of the Grey Islands (2007), which was followed by Death Magic Doom (2009). In 2012, they released Psalms for the Dead, their first album with singer Joakim Brodén, followed by 2014’s release of Lucifer Rising.

Candlemass’s musical style has been influential both within traditional doom metal and its subgenres.While their early work was close to traditional heavy metal andNWOBHM, Candlemass’ debut album Epicus Doomicus Metallicus (1986) is often considered to be the first true doom metal album.The group has also been creditedwith creating the “Epic Doom” subgenre with this album.

Saint Vitus

Saint Vitus is an American doom metal band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1979. The band is credited as one of the pioneers of the doom metal genre and their style has influenced a number of other bands. Saint Vitus’ first album, Saint Vitus (1984), is considered a classic of the genre. The band has released eight studio albums and several EPs and splits.

Saint Vitus’ current lineup consists of vocalist Scott Reagers, guitarists Dave Chandler and Bret Campbell, bassist Mark Adams, and drummer Henry Vasquez. Original bassist Armando Acosta died in 1996 and was replaced by Reagers. Original drummer Chuck Biscuits died in 1999 and was replaced by Henry Vasquez.

Stoner Metal

Psychedelic rock, also called space rock, is a style of music that emerged in the late 1960s. It is characterized by its use of electronic effects, extended instrumentation, and unusual sounds. Psychedelic rock is often based on the use of drugs, particularly LSD. The genre is often associated with the counterculture of the 1960s.


Kyuss was an American rock band, active from 1987 to 1995, that established the influential stoner rock sound. They have been credited as one of the most important bands in the development of stoner rock and desert rock. Kyuss evolved from the desert punk band Sons of Kyuss (named after a creature from the H.P. Lovecraft story The Dunwich Horror), which formed in Palm Desert, California, in 1987. The band’s original lineup consisted of vocalist John Garcia, guitarist Brant Bjork, bassist Nick Oliveri and drummer Alfredo Hijar.


Sleep is an American stoner metal band from San Jose, California. The band was formed in 1991 by Matt Pike, Al Cisneros, and Chris Haikus. Sleep’s music is characterized by slow and heavy riffs, and lyrical themes of weed, space, and dragons. The band’s style is often compared to that of Black Sabbath, Kyuss, and Electric Wizard.

Sleep released their debut album Volume One in 1991. The album was met with positive reviews, and the band toured Europe and the United States in support of it. Sleep’s second album, Holy Mountain, was released in 1992 to critical acclaim. The album was voted one of the best metal albums of all time by readers of Kerrang! magazine. After the release of Holy Mountain, Sleep toured North America and Europe extensively.

In 1995, Sleep released their third album Dopesmoker. The album was a sonic departure from the band’s previous two albums, consisting of a single 63-minute-long song. Dopesmoker was not well-received upon its initial release, but has since been hailed as a classic of stoner metal. After the release of Dopesmoker, Sleep broke up due to creative differences.

Pike and Cisneros went on to form the influential doom metal band Om, while Haikus joined the post-metal band Neurosis. In 2009, Sleep reunited for a series of live shows. In 2018, the band announced that they would be releasing a new album in 2019.

Electric Wizard

Electric Wizard is an English doom metal band from Dorset, England. The band formed in 1993, and have released eight studio albums. They are widely considered as one of the most influential bands in contemporary doom metal, and one of the most prominent Masters of Reality, Sabbath jams, and consistent riff worship”

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