As a long time stoner/doom/sludge fan, this year (especially this summer) is going to be one to remember...and hopefully for not the wrong reasons. The perfect storm of things are occurring and it has me being skeptical about things.
1) Sleep is finishing up a tour. They hadn't been to Atlanta in 21 years prior to this, so it was kind of a Great White Buffalo experience. They may never be back, but I was there.
2) Acid King released their first album in 9 years. I haven't ever been a huge fan of bands fronted by women, but Lori S. is a total badass and albums like Busse Woods are the kind that you can play from start finish and not feel like you stopped bobbing your head.
3) High On Fire came out (just this past Tuesday) what can be debated as their best album to date. I love High On Fire and have listened to them for a long time. If I can avoid missing one of their shows, I go to it. I'm a BIG fan, so to say that it's arguably their BEST album is saying something. Not only that though...they'll be here on August 22nd.
4) Neurosis is doing their most extensive US tour in 15 years. They're playing here in Atlanta the week before High On Fire (and both weekend shows to boot). Much like Sleep, I've never gotten to see Neurosis live and may never again, so I'll be at that one as well.
Now I know that's all Bay Area bands (but I mean come one, we are talking stoner metal) and there is plenty of other stuff that has happened in the genre, but these alone make this summer kind of a big deal to those who are fans...and that's the reason I'm skeptical. I'm hoping that it's just some sort of cosmic alignment where the Universe gave an assist to a genre that has some long overdue recognition coming its way. With most things though, you don't want throngs of people ruining it, so I hope it's not the bands realizing that they need to capitalize on the surge of hesher kids who are into it for this year, because that only means it's a moment in time and will be over when people find the next trend to be "different" with.
I know all of that sounds ridiculous, but let's be honest, everyone is a bit stingy and I'm being selfish about what is turning out to be one of the best summers of music I've experienced.