I really like the dark moody tone of charcoal. In the past I have used a range of techniques. Using willow/vine, compressed and condensed charcoal on different types of paper. I do have to be careful though using charcoal as I have a lot of problems with the dust.
One way of overcoming this is to use pencil and then charcoal pencil.
Inspiration for improving technique
Pencil and charcoal pencil for hyperrealism