Doom metal encompasses several eras and regional styles, but many would consider its inception to have occurred in England during the late 1960s. In the industrial city of Birmingham, the dark, blues-infused riffs of Black Sabbath marked a new beginning for guitar-driven music. From those initial chords, a wave of like-minded individuals across miles and decades would attempt to put their own spin on this iconic sound such as Candlemass in Sweden, Crowbar in Louisiana, and Yob in Oregon. Musicians armed with down-tuned guitars and tube amplifiers continue to push the boundaries of this sound in the most unlikely of places. John Hoffman, a musician based in Chicago’s western suburbs, is doing just that.
Stomach, a doom metal project started by Hoffman in 2021, taps directly into the mentality of the genre. Hoffman’s 2022 demo, a pummeling four-track introduction, is reminiscent of bands like Earth, Electric Wizard, and Grief. These bands are merely used as reference points for Hoffman’s very realized vision of what aggressive, outlier music should be. This serves as a long evolution of Hoffman’s discography and contributions to Chicagoland’s metal and hardcore scene. As a Naperville native, Hoffman has been a member of local acts such as Weekend Nachos, Harm’s Way, and Ledge, some of which have toured the United States extensively, as well as abroad in Asia, Europe, Australia, and more.
While Stomach is mainly focused on studio recordings, Hoffman debuted a live version last year at Beat Kitchen alongside Chicago’s High Priest and has an upcoming show scheduled for July 1st at the Archer Ballroom’s Summer Showdown. April will also see the release of Stomach’s sophomore demo through Hoffman’s label, Last Shred of Hope Records, and a highly anticipated full-length to be announced at a later date.
FM89 was fundamental in Hoffman’s beginnings in music, having recorded a demo for his first band Proceed With Caution during an appearance on the show “All Ages Radio.” He has since been a frequent guest of FM89’s Vocal Distortion and will return as our featured local artist for April. Stay tuned for details!
Follow John Hoffman on Instagram for updates on future Stomach releases and live shows.