I created this list on Rate Your Music since RYM is allowed to use the album art for the various records in question and Last.fm is not, and lists like this look more appealing when there's some photos to sexy 'em up a little. Feel free to comment either on RYM or here.
18 Jul 2015, 1:27 de MisterJuniorMy Ranking of King Crimson's Studio Albums
I created this list on Rate Your Music since RYM is allowed to use the album art for the various records in question and Last.fm is not, and lists like this look more appealing when there's some photos to sexy 'em up a little. Feel free to comment either on RYM or here.
15 May 2015, 23:38 de SakumThe terms "walking" and "talking" in this article are not completely literal. Think about it in terms of the expression "If you're going to talk the talk, you'd best walk the walk".
There are two types of people in this world, walkers and talkers. Walkers are the ones who get things done and save the talking for later, like a treat to be savored. Talkers are not exactly the opposite, but many of them enjoy illustrating grand schemes and designs without ever going forth with these plans, or at least not following through with them. The following paragraphs enumerate the differences between both actions, as well as offer my own perspective on the matter.
I don't like to talk. I usually only talk when talked to, or when asked about where I've walked. Sometimes I feel like I am posturing or posing when I've talked too much. I feel a strong need to walk when this happens, at least four times as much as I've talked, sometimes even exponentially more than I have talked, when it is concerning something I plan to do or have not done yet. I dislike talking about trips that have not happened yet. I wish to walk, to prepare myself for them, rather than waste more time talking.
Lots of people enjoy talking more than walking. They like to flaunt their (un)attractive bodies/faces on Facebook or show off their new gadgets. They enjoy impressing their menial accomplishments on others, no matter how small. They find it important to share every happening with their "friends", no matter how mundane.
This is why I dislike social media. It highly emphasizes talking over walking. It encourages people to continue mostly useless discourse, share idiotic memes or create new ones. It develops groups that are cyclic, choirs of talkers feeding off each other to perpetuate time-wasting forevermore. Sites like Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook are definitely the worst. I am only associated with the latter to maintain easy contact with those I deem important.
Talking isn't always bad though. When talking to facilitate walking, such as mentoring or teaching someone, talking can be very constructive. It can help others who are less athletic walk more, and even inspire healthier walking habits in them. Nevertheless, it is up to the individual whether they want to walk.
Talking is also important in communicating to other parties how much you have walked, and what other journeys you can take, whether those excursions would be reasonable for you or not, and whether you would enjoy them. Companies and Universities (when you're applying to become a professor) strongly require this talking.
I have developed a strong distaste for those who talk about their walk who have, in fact, walked little. I find these people highly annoying. These people are the useless group members, the people who are "all bark and no bite", the copy & paste coders and Wikipedia quoters. The people who, when scheduled for a rather arduous hike, are unable to embark or tough it out because of their unwillingness or incompetence.
This is the main reason why I dislike talking about my own journey. I feel like, despite all I have done, I have far more to go. That I've only accomplished a negligible fraction of what I really want to achieve. My own hunger for long, lofty walks will probably never be satisfied, even after several. And I am completely fine with that, as long as I am allowed to walk more than talk.
This is also why I dislike formal parties. I tell people of my accomplishments, of where I have walked, and they nod and say "That's nice" if they are unlearned in my field (which is highly likely) and move on to other family or friends. It is a waste of time, but it in some ways a ritual, something necessary for others to smile about and update themselves upon people's accomplishments, for whatever reasons they deem necessary.
Walking is fantastic. When I walk, there is more to talk about. More importantly, there are many more exciting hikes and paths open to me than if I had spent that walking time talking. I would say there are only things truly worth talking about when I have done a great deal of walking, usually to an important landmark or destination. This is why my status updates on Facebook are sparse, yet important. When I have done a good deal of walking, I don't mind a small chat.
Walking is what powers the world. The greatest inventors of our time walked far more than they have talked. If not, they walked their talk: some would make incredible claims and go on to back them with good research and impressive work. In a way, "walking the talk" is a good strategy, as it compels one to fulfill a promise or pledge they have made to another party so their talk wasn't simply a lie. It is all too often that the walk is forgone in favor of more talking, however, so it is a strategy best reserved for practiced walkers.
Essentially, talking is useful in choice circumstances, but it is usually far more beneficial to simply walk. When a great walker speaks, his words will carry more weight, despite there being less of them. His knowledge and experience allow him to impart more information in fewer sentences than a fraudulent or commercial talker who fattens his sentences with empty terminology and buzzwords.
I was inspired to write this after I graduated from University. I was at the tail end of a tough trek, and I told several people of my journey. However I felt like I was getting dragged into too many talks of this adventure, which led to this being written.
It isn't only the recent graduation though, but a culmination of events and talks that have occurred throughout my academic career. I've met people, big talkers, who turned out to be small walkers, for instance. More talks await me soon, especially at the formal party, but I am just glad that I can spend most of my time walking now.
18 Ago 2014, 10:45 de althefknamsrtknThere are two stages of rebellion a person can go through before growing up.
The first stage is the only one most people go through at some point: embracing "the other," the unconventional, the deconstructive, anything antipathetic to the status quo. This is relative to your time and place, but to put it simply in our time and place, this is how you get "drone music," "noise music," white people calling their neighborhood "too white," leftists sympathizing with Islamic fascists, etc.
The second stage is like puberty coming way too late. It's when you follow the ethos of subversion-as-its-own-end to its logical conclusion and realize that on the little orb you're traveling, the only way to stave off stagnation and conformity to new orthodoxies is to loop right around to where you began in the first place--just with more neuroses and complexes now than your average boring conservative has. So you're back at square one making rock music or hip-hop or techno or something, but constantly referring to your "radical" vocabulary (Crowley quotes, dada, watered down genderqueer imagery, naff-marxism, tape collages, whatever) to broadcast to everyone that--wink wink--you know better. This is how you get people whose favorite album used to be William Basinski's Disintegration Loops suddenly listening to gangsta rap and Nicki Minaj. People in this stage are usually more concerned about their image than whether or not they actually enjoy the music they make or listen to.
(The Death in June song is shit, but one of the perverse things I appreciate about them is they've ALWAYS been like this--they did a pretty good synthpop/disco album in 1985.)
As an aside, this process can result in some good music from time to time, but in spite of the process, not because of it.
All in all, that's why these are good lyrics:
more a hard core metal night start
let me torture you with my growls
making you burst your head on the stage
playing the symphony of atomic war
if you are a false don't entry
because you'll be burned and died
the nuclear drums will crush your brain
slaughtering all with intensive pain
... and these more literate, ambiguous, "clever" lyrics suck:
We can insist on having robots
Bugs and insects
Leave me for dead
How can you love?
Program the head
We get so demonstrated
Nuts and bolts for granted
Lie like a dog
Now it's just wires
Full of promise
I'm programmed to rust
AIDS robot is clad in iron bolts
At least one of the two is honest.
17 Abr 2014, 11:17 de soullessmateMetal, one of the loudest, dirtiest, aggressive forms of music, a genre which exceeds the boundaries of comprehension for a vast number of people. Not many people understand why anyone would listen to such a cacophonic sound for pleasure. While I understand the sentiment, I must disagree. Those people who don’t understand metal can’t see the beauty in brutality. While this may sound like an oxymoron, It really isn’t, metal is a culture fueled by alcohol, hatred and satanic fire. It has a no bullshit, balls to the walls, in your face attitude which is somewhat of an acquired taste and is less harmful then stereotypes will have you believe. Most people believe that metal is “nothing but noise” and here comes the comparison to society’s knight and shining armor. Alcohol (look at how our society worships that). Every Teenager who takes a swig of alcohol will always contort his face to deal with the fucked up taste of alcohol but after the first couple of drinks, it begins to taste almost euphoric and combined with a swirl of cigarette smoke becomes an experience reserved for the devil himself.
Now why is it that the beautiful feelings in the world such as getting drunk or getting used to the beautiful intake of nicotine takes time? That’s because the most honest things in life are the most painful, Am I misanthrope? No. I’m just a guy looking for some honesty. And there’s only one place I seem to find it in spades, and that’s in metal.
How do I describe a feeling so great, it’s worth can’t be calculated, quantified or brought down to a humane understanding of nature, a complete euphoria plagued by fumes of whisky and smoke, a feeling so great, you would take a free punch at the head to reignite, a rush of blood to the head. Complete mayhem and destruction, a lamb of god, Accept the brutality in the beauty of a slayer who owns the hatchet that you swing at the devoid misfit, the corrosion of conformity, the lovely disconcerting feeling of freedom no one understands but everyone years for, this is metal. An honest to Satan outlet of the inner mind that controls us all. Call it the devils music, call it noise, call it disgusting filth but this very brutality is what brings millions of people together, this “noise” is what takes people through the day and gives them a reason to soldier on in this senseless array of event s people have the audacity to call life. Fuck the world and embrace the warped nature of reality, give it a name, call it the present for all I give a fuck, but accept it for what it is, don’t ignore the ugly nature if it all. Make it a part of you. You can’t understand life till you understand its dark nooks and crannies. It’s a holistic approach you got to take. Call it out for what it is. That’s what metal does for me. It calls out the bullshit, accepts the unacceptable, confronts what we rather ignore, celebrates what we often deny, it indulges in what we fear most and applauds it in the face of evil, it’s a feeling that I will refuse to compromise, it’s something I yearn for, it’s in my DNA, and if you can’t see it, maybe you never will, but that’s the brilliance of it, you don’t have to see it. It’s just there. And regardless of your acceptance towards it, it will always be there. That’s fucking metal!
P.S: I wrote this while I was drunk out of my arse, sorry for any grammatical mistakes. Don't expect it to make sense to you. I Enjoyed writing this rant, hope you enjoy reading it.
2 Abr 2014, 11:53 de Coffinwood_Mill
The years have come and gone, and yet for some odd reason I still receive requests for my 'Best Of' journal entries in Heavy Metal, as well as several other genres. Why I still receive these requests I have no idea, but I've relented on being an e-seclusionist curmudgeon and eternally lazy long enough to post my Best in Heavy Metal of 2012 list. I hope whatever poor soul or bored last.fm troll that reads this dated meandering of metal finds something that they haven't otherwise heard or thought to listen to since '12. Unlike the previous journal entry, many if not most of the reviews here are sourced from other writers, webzines, and various publications as noted at the bottom of the review. Also, I encourage any suggestions for albums released in 2012 that I've omitted as it's painfully obvious from my list that I can't possibly listen to everything out there.
Please check out my other Journals for Heavy Metal:
Best In Heavy Metal 2011
Best In Heavy Metal 2010
Journal entry for 2013 is forthcoming. No, for real this time.
† Please support the artists listed here and purchase their music or merchandise †
Upon the first few listens of Atra Mors, my impression towards this record gives off a very large amount of improvement and musical experimentation to leave listeners astounded and spellbinded into a state of sorrow and personal empowerment. Evoken have created a record that almost puts me beyond words, as it reminds me of the crushing, funeral doom endeavors of Mournful Congregation and also the somber, solo echoing guitar riffs stand out and tell stories of their own. Atra Mors, has successfully embedded a vivid distinction of human emotion into music, a very powerful doom metal record which immediately stands out and flows in a rhythmic pattern from one song unto another.
It starts off with the first track which is titled same as the album and prepares you for a journey towards a personal apocalyptic dreamland. It is a somber starting point which guides listeners into various chambers of one’s own haven of dreams and nightmares alike. From this onward, song after song John Paradiso’s harsh vocals and somber guitar solos embark through various personal visions of times past those to be foretold, expressively as a personal ultimatum as well as the end of all things. All previous pessimistic parables channeled into these recordings and embedded into every structure of what Atra Mors, stands for.
“Requies Aeterna” is an interlude track which appropriately separates the story of which is being told through waves and musical frequencies of melancholy and carries on with the next track “The Unechoing Dread” and falls into a powerful ending track “Into Aphotic Devastation”. This album is also remarkable being that it is the 100th release from Profound Lore and most definitely a memorable one from beginning to end. Death to false utopian entities and birth of a new musical accomplishment.
For fans of: Skepticism, Mournful Congregation, Shape of Despair, Thergothon, Dolorian, The Howling Void.
Oppression has never felt so satisfying
Crushing. That’s the one word that keeps springing to mind when I try to come up with an adjective to describe Seattle’s Anhedonist and their debut release, Netherwards. Theirs is a sound that merges the bleak and unrelentingly heavy death/doom of Disembowelment with the plodding, death metal sound of Incantation (though much more doom-oriented) and adds in yet another layer of sonic oppression though an occasional Evoken influence. In fact, I almost feel as though ‘crushing’ doesn’t do the album justice, but it’s the best I seem to be able to muster. In any event, the four tracks and 41 minutes of material the band has assembled on this disc is some of the best death/doom I have heard in quite a while.
There are a number of factors that contribute to Netherwards’ success but the one that stands out for me the most is the way the band seamlessly shifts between tempos and styles while still maintaining the oppressive and all-encompassing atmosphere that pervades every waking moment of the album. The transition between opening cut, “Saturine”, with its lumbering crust-infused blasts, and second track, “Estrangement”, with its vast and sorrowful rung-out notes is demonstrative of the consistency of vision the band has and that they can channel and harness this vision seemingly irrespective of the approach they choose to take with their songs.
Netherwards isn’t so much an album to revere for its overt originality as it is its masterful adherence to the assemblage of death/doom building blocks into the kind of strong structures that the blueprints of the original pioneers of the style designed. This isn’t to suggest in any way that there is any plagiarism on display but, rather, that Anhedonist have clearly taken their cues from bands like diSEMBOWELMENT and used that template as the basis from which to build something excellent.
For fans of: Lycus, Vastum, Swallowed, Ilsa, Encoffination, Atriarch.
Når Sirkelen Brytes is the debut full-length from northern Norwegian quintet Taakeferd. The name translates as ‘a journey through fog’ or something along those lines and this is probably an apt description for the no-holds-barred, blazing black metal offered forth on this record.
Both melodic and raw, the songs on this 53-minute album rip through the speakers with devilish intent, never compromising, delivering nine straight-to-the-point work-outs of shrill and shrieking Black Metal with little or no let-up. The music blasts along fiercely and ferociously and there is barely time to breathe. It’s somehow claustrophobic and suffocating as it pounds along and at times all too familiar but, for all it lacks in originality, Når Sirkelen Brytes deserves respect for the manner in which it sticks to the core principles of what made black metal great in the first place.
Proficient and evil as fuck in saluting the scene’s brethren well - an album for those who appreciate black metal in the vein of the purveyors of the genre.
For fans of: Svikt, Framferd, Stridsmenn, Neetzach, Svartskogg, Vuohivasara.
Three & Seven is the debut release from enigmatic New York entity Occultation, and a fantastic example of the forward-thinking retro-tinged metal that has seen a surge of renewed interest in recent months. Placing a strong emphasis on crafting a palpably thick witching environment than other releases in the same eclectic category, the band skillfully crafts a black cathedral of sound that drips with Black Sabbath and Mercyful Fate flare. With near every track on the album, Occultation manages to capture perfectly that distinctive sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach upon realizing you’ve stumbled upon something you shouldn’t have – and the subsequently sudden dizzying flash of panic that stems from being unable to find a way out. A grotesque and withered hand greets you from beyond the void, bearing a cryptic invitation into a rich sonic catacomb of horror. You are beckoned.
For fans of: Sabbath Assembly, Year of the Goat, Uzala, Pallbearer, Essenz, Inverloch.
Trespass is an album drenched in the bleak and sorrow, resonating an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. The record still moves at an earth shattering pace for the most part but it’s in the atmosphere that it conjures where Trespass truly writhes in the austere.
Opener “Usurpation” holds as merciless proof, with a sickening barrage of bile fuelled riffs and a remorseless hail of drums that are simply punishing. Most of the songs are succinct lessons in bestial death metal, like the ghastly assault of “Compress” but conversely, “Identical” is a seven minute dirge of rot. First starting with unabashedly doom passages until the halfway mark, Knelt Rote then fearlessly plunge us back into familiar breakneck punishing territory. This is an album that isn’t afraid to dip its toe into a few different sonic waters but the end result, that of ruin and wreckage, is always the same.
Knelt Rote strike a near perfect balance between devastation and atmosphere. Usually one is sacrificed for the benefit of the other but this is not the case with Trespass. The cold hopeless vibe that runs through the album is altogether affecting but meanwhile, the vocals are utterly caustic and corrosive alongside the scorched earth riffing.
This is a deeply layered album, with so much density to wrap your ears around. It, in fact, makes it difficult at times to comprehend just how heavy and vicious this record is until you’ve submerged yourself in it for several listens.
For fans of: Antediluvian, Weregoat, Ritual Necromancy, Grave Upheaval, Temple Nightside, Muknal.
It really did not take much time for me to choose Chapel’s debut album for my next presentation so let me explain why by simply mentioning a couple of key points; the band comes from Canada and the album’s title implies mixing Rock ‘N Roll and Satan. That was it; I was sold since I know that a Canadian band cannot fail and the satanic/Rock ‘N Roll blend is destined to succeed. So, let’s see what happened after the play button had been pressed.
“Rock N Roll From Hell” opens the album with church organ sound creating the required satanic and evil atmosphere and then the song explodes with Motörhead-esque rhythm section with driving drum work and dominating bass action. There is no fancy singing just in-your-face lyrics spitting paying the proper respect to the early Punk scene that blended so well during the early days of Black Metal. This description might sound funny or strange to some but to the Metal connoisseurs this should raise the Venom flag. I guess this presentation could stop right here since whenever a band sounds like Venom should get high rates just for trying… Seriously now, Chapel have managed to get that awesome sound added more Motörhead references and to top things off introduced underlying Sodom structures from their Better Off Dead days. Don’t rush to characterize Chapel as a copycat since the guitar work really makes a difference here presenting really Rock ‘N Roll chord progressions and driving riffs.
Following the lineup trademark and old-school recipe the band features three members with upgraded bass role as the main ingredient of the rhythm section on the side of the simple yet driving drums. The sound production feels raw and almost sloppy (in a good sense) enhancing the loose atmosphere and supporting the most enjoyable lyrics under cult songtitles like “Alcoholocaust”, “Motorcult” and my personal pick “Satanist”. Especially the latter one has an awesome headbanging guitar groove that no one can resist hitting your ears hard with explosive drum work just for two minutes than are more than enough to wear you down until the next one!
So, if you like the influences I mentioned above (shame if you don’t) and fancy bands like Midnight putting out ideal music to mosh, headbang and drink a couple of cold ones then Chapel is the perfect choice for you. This is why I trust whatever comes out from the Canadian Metal! Horns UP!
For fans of: Speedwolf, Hellbringer, Hot Graves, Bunker 66, Sacriphyx, Deathhammer.
The following questions were excerpted from a black metal math test. Please choose the -best- response for each item.
1. A dodecahedron is a geometric solid consisting of how many faces?
a) a lot
b) BLACK FUCKING METAL!!!
d) sometimes a good burrito makes me feel like dropping a geometric solid
2. Fill in the blank: The number of black metal records brimming with personality is ___ the number of black metal records you can describe without ever listening to them.
a) greater than (>)
b) BLACK FUCKING METAL!!!
c) less than (<)
d) first let me fill in this commode with my geometric solid
The correct answers are both C. (Isn't it always?) If you answered A, thanks for at least trying. If you answered B or D, you will be removed from class and strangled with your own intestines shortly.
Those of you who are left, listen up. The non-believers might have drawn the lines for 21st century black metal between the unrelenting lo-fi antics of facepaint enthusiasts’ hellspawned too late to be authentic second wave retirees and the progged-all-out-of-proportion black-inspired artgaze, but all of us who know better get to listen to idiosyncratic nasty-liciousness like Dodecahedron's Season of Mist debut. The Dutch quintet wallow in the same dreary, melted chords as Sweden's Bergraven and draw from the same poisoned well of electronic space as Snorre Ruch's unfuckwithable Thorns project. But far beyond easy comparisons, this recording spits fiery passion and soaks the audience in its own perfect eccentricities.
"Allfather" broadcasts the band's intentions with a blitzkrieg of curdled arpeggios and bloodthirsty blasts, but hardly ninety seconds pass before the song cracks the serpents' den wide open and releases a stream of slithery percussion, bass lines, and vocal moaning. Follow-up "I, Chronocrator" uses modern advances in death tech to splice some jazz-prog base pairs into the album's rotted out DNA, then gives up a significant portion of its middle section to a dense feedback drone that devours itself before the black metal combat boot heel drops more mid-paced mindfuckery back onto your skull. "Vanitas" and "Descending Jacob's Ladder" deploy robo-vox from the underbelly of the known universe, the latter sounding as if Lustmord was performed by a dozen damaged T-1000s instead of one sound-sculpting Brit. The extraordinary three-part "View From Hverfell" traces a thematic path I don't understand and don't need to. The songs are long, but never the interminable blur that characterizes half of all extreme "epics" out there, nor the unconscionable bore that plagues the other half.
Whatever. Ignore all of the bullshit above. All that matters is this:
We metalheads have sacrificed our time, sanity, and cochlear integrity for a reason. Dodecahedron are that reason.
For fans of: Waning, Hail Spirit Noir, Krallice, Sektemtum, Smohalla.
Mutilation Rites’ discography is a bit confounding, traversing multiple line-ups, demos, splits, and EPs. The band’s rapid gestation has been very public, but every minute of their music to-date is worthwhile. Empyrean is the band’s first full-length, and the album’s breakneck plummet through black metal, thrash, death, and doom hits the spot with a vengeance. Mutilation Rites have arrived at their own birth fully grown and bristling with hatred.
Empyrean is a breathless barrage of ideas. The album’s expeditious, organic metamorphoses will entrap your ears without presenting a single moment of tedium. Mutilation Rites appropriate the droning tonal tropes of atmospheric black metal but turn its churn towards kinetic violence. With little notice, you’ll be dropped into a monstrous groove of thrashing oblivion, recalling the primal essences of both early Exodus and Slayer. These sudden, explosive interludes connect directly to a listener’s headbanging neurotransmitters; Empyrean is a dangerous album.
Mutilation Rites wield the sinister with swagger. Torrential, tremolo picked riffs often transmit enough melody to invoke Dissection, but this is not a constant. Some tracks take off with locomotive intensity, reminding me of [artistBlack Anvil’s jackhammer majesty. Doomy decelerations present entrancing melancholic detours but are always wrapped in thunderous cacophony. This band thrives on aural impact.
Much of Empyrean’s immediacy is owed to the band’s preposterous rhythm section and the righteous manner in which it was recorded. Justin Ennis’ drumming is monstrously manic, throwing around swing with impunity and pumping punk life into every corner of this recording. Ryan Jones’ bass is high in the mix, displaying keen interstitial skills and reminding me repeatedly of Frank Bello on Persistence of Time. These sonic landscapes are filled with abject hatred, disgust and sorrow. George Paul’s stone cold crazy, unintelligible screams are your guide on this tour of acrimony. His deranged voice is an important cog in Empyrean’s success, tying it together with an air of utter loathing. We have no idea what the man is saying (there are no printed lyrics), but the intent is blindingly clear; Mutilation Rites are not pleased with existence.
Empyrean will catch you off guard, luring you in with howling riffs, windswept ferocity and an immersive rhythmic enfilade. Prepare for the unexpected.
For fans of: Bosse-de-Nage, Ash Borer, Barghest, Obolus, Vattnet Viskar.
There’s a certain irony to how Revenge can possess such a royal lineage yet still produce some of the rawest blackened death metal to be released in recent years; formed in 2000, the blood of Revenge is thick with remnants of great bands past, an intermingling of Canada’s great blackened death hierarchy that includes the likes of Angelcorpse and Conqueror amongst others. Debuting with the utterly savage Triumph.Genocide.Antichrist in 2003, there was no mistaking Revenge’s Blasphemy inspired racket, a style which borrowed the seminal war metal acts brutality but blasted it all the way to eleven. Scum.Collapse.Eradication much like its predecessors shows no variation upon this style but does offer a bit of insight; with just an ever so slight improvement in the production department Revenge’s newest album reveals just why this Canadian act has become one of the most renowned bands of its kind.
Untamed as ever, Revenge’s newfound clarity in no way affects their burgeoning war metal mayhem but does make it a bit more listenable; where previous albums were cloaked in a cloud of excess noise and distortion Scum.Collapse.Eradication offers a smog-free view of the bands truly bestial nature, one that is carried out with in crude simplicity. Vermin’s guitar playing is muddy as ever, a juxtaposition of downtuned riffs that take the shape of black metal in their fastest moments and groove heavy death metal during the slower sections. Though some of the faster moments can blend together each of the slower paced segments on the album are excellent, a summoning of bestial thrashing that have you breaking neck in its indomitable groove.
Aside from annihilating his kit in a hurricane of blast-beats and ridiculous fills, James Read’s horrid squawk also deserves mention; just as raw and primal as the music, his shriek as well as disgustingly low gutturals adds excellently to the albums raw nature. Though not hooks in the traditional sense, his delivery on tracks like the beginning of “Scorned Detractor (Trust No One)” perfectly accents the music, showcasing its deadly flow amongst waves of intelligible growls and grunts.
From chaotic and spur of the moment shred solos to slow, doomy riffing, it’s in their nature to create the rawest music possible that Revenge excel; now well into their career the band is rightfully held as one of the best blackened death metal bands around and an overall classic within the genre. Scum.Collapse.Eradication sheds just enough light on Revenge’s sound to draw in newcomers while simultaneously keeping the same pitch black approach that has earned them such a cult status. In 2012 Revenge continue their reign as frostbitten warrior kings; the long-running conquerors of blasphemous and bestial blackened death metal.
For fans of: Proclamation, Conquerer, Diocletian, Black Witchery, Teitanblood.
Enslaved’s last few albums have been very well received by both fans and critics. The Norwegian black metal pioneers have become more and more progressive over the years, and their latest effort RIITIIR is no exception. The line between experimental and self-indulgent can be a fine one, but a band with Enslaved’s pedigree has earned the benefit of the doubt. The songs on RIITIIR are their longest collection ever, with five of the eight tracks clocking in at more than 8 minutes, the shortest being just over five minutes.
“Thoughts Like Hammers” kicks off the proceedings, with solemn black metal guitars giving way to acoustic interludes. Harsh vocals from Grutle Kjellson give the song bite and edge, with the smooth melodic tones of Herbrand Larsen a stark contrast. Spoken word vocals are also incorporated into this song.
RIITIIR is a very dynamic and dense album. The lengthy songs are constructed with layers of guitars and atmospheric keyboards that meander at times, but upon repeated listens burrow their way into the subconscious. It’s a daunting album, but ultimately a rewarding one. The ebbs and flows between progression and aggression keep things interesting, although the scale tilts toward the progressive side of the coin. There are still plenty of good old fashioned riffs, like on “Veilburner” along with more experimental sections.
“Roots Of The Mountain” is a standout, with a frantic beginning laden with blast-beats and harsh vocals that transitions into a melodic section that is extremely catchy. The song intensifies and mellows several times, and there’s a nice guitar solo as well. The second half of RIITIIR is also strong, with “Storm Of Memories’ probably the best track on album’s latter half. Album closer “Forsaken” is also the longest on the record, at over 11 minutes long. It's an appropriately epic song to finish a very epic album.
Axioma Ethica Odini was among my top metal albums of 2010, so RIITIIR had a lot of live up to. Upon first listen, it wasn’t even close. But after spending more time with RIITIIR, its strengths became more and more evident. It could definitely be shorter and more focused, but even with a little bloat and meandering, it’s still far superior to what almost anyone else is doing. RIITIIR is an ambitious and skilled effort that while not perfect, is still a really good and highly recommended release.
For fans of: Emperor, Borknagar, Ihsahn, Arcturus, Primordial.
If you are looking for a release that features the best of all realms of the extreme, Hellvetron’s Death Scroll of Seven Hells and It's Infernal is it. The flow of this album is amazing and the depths of despair reached by the Hell Paso underground act are as horrifying as they are satisfying. The unholy atmosphere is glaring to say the least, as Hellvetron continues this great year in the extreme underground.
Hellvetron is effectively two-thirds of extreme black metallers Nyogthaeblisz. Between the two extreme acts, they have solidified a strong underground presence in El Paso, paving the way for many other acts to follow. Hellvetron has been around since 2005, and despite a lack of released material, remain popular among the underground faithful. I would encourage any fan of the unconventional extreme to check out both bands – you won’t be disappointed. Death Scroll of Seven Hells and It's Infernal is really a gift to those craving a Hellvetron release, and I can only hope there is more to come.
Death Scroll of Seven Hells and It's Infernal is an atypical extreme metal release. There is much more of a doom tempo throughout the offering, which is laden with crawling rhythm. The guitars move seamlessly between harsh riffs to blackened bridges, almost as if conveying an inner struggle. Vocally, the deathly growls weave in and out of the crawling barrage of hellish instrumentation. I liken the sound that Hellvetron creates on ‘Death Scroll of Seven Hells and Its Infernal Majesties’ to that of Anhedonist on their newest release, Netherwards. This offering has a bit more black metal influence, especially in the guitar work, but the two bands pair up nicely. The grim brutality that Hellvetron brings is delivered in a very deliberate manner, and is definitely not overdone or lacking in depth.
For fans of: Lurker of Chalice, Xasthur, Crebain, Blut aus Nord, Krieg, Deathspell Omega, Craft, Krieg, Sapthuran.
Rape your face.
For fans of: Aderlating, De Magia Veterum, Menace Ruine, The Axis of Perdition, Cloak of Altering, NDE, Khanate, Grunt.
Easily among the more obscure releases a listener will come across this year, Revulsion of Seraphic Grace is nonetheless an admirable piece of work. Sharing more than a few traits in common with Incantation (especially 1992’s Onward to Golgotha), there’s a very old school vibe sense here, only a decidedly American take on old school as opposed to the Swedish sounds so many are playing nowadays.
Throughout the seven tracks on hand there’s a consistent theme throughout, the marriage of claustrophobic blasting sections and absolutely crushing funeral doom sections. If nothing else sets Father Befouled apart, it may be that – the absolutely cavernous sounding guitar and vocals during the doomier excursions that fill many of the songs (and make up the entirety of album closer “Triumvirate of Liturgical Desecration”). At times the mixing of tempos and the general ‘weirdness’ inherent within much of the music brought to mind Mitochondrion and even last year’s Sonne Adam release Transformation. The doomy moments absolutely seething with similarities to everything Evoken has done since 2001’s Quietus and going back further, Winter’s sole testament Into Darkness.
At a brisk 36 minutes Revulsion of Seraphic Grace does not overstay its welcome or cause the burnout that can come with music of this style. The mood across the album is particularly suffocating, resonating with increasing intensity after multiple listens – a nigh requirement with how dense the music is. “Irreverent Ascendancy” offers a foremost tour on the oppositions inherent in the album bouncing from a snail-paced opening to an absolutely ravenous set of blast sections before an abrupt end. “Desacrament” absolutely grooves, a blackhole steamroller consuming everything in its path. Production is a bit murky but it’s understandable with the musical intentions and execution, it serves its purpose.
A release from this deep in the abyss is going to be an acquired taste for whoever happens to come across it. That being said it has a lot going for outright and over time. A nice mix of old school death metal and modern funeral doom, there surely has to be some number of fans out there for this kind of sound (myself certainly among them). Pick it up, soak it in, and embrace the oppressive black that follows.
For fans of: Doombringer, Sadomator, Antediluvian, Nuclear Desecration, Deiphago, Kerasphorus.
French avant-garde (post) black metal formation Blut aus Nord are truly in a league of their own.The driving force behind this outfit is a man called Vindsval and the current cycle of albums under the 777 moniker is his most ambitious work to date. Last year saw the release of 777: Sect(s) and 777: The Desanctification, which are both stunning works in their own right. 777: Cosmosophy is the proverbial grand finale of the 777 sequence.
This third installment of the 777 trilogy is the most ethereal and evocative one. The bleak Godflesh-styled industrial tones are still ominously present but they are pushed in the background by endless layers of dissonant guitar parts, vast keyboard driven themes and other effects that give the album an almost post core/metal feel. Musically it has more in common with the pioneering works of Isis and Jesu than anything remotely resembling black metal. The devil is in details on 777: Cosmosophy. Little elements like the spoken word parts in “Epitome XV,” the relentless plodding in “Epitome XVIII” and the clean vocal parts in “Epitome XVI” are all examples of what makes this album such an evocative listening experience.
You can’t help being sucked into an endless vortex of musical layers and different moods and transcend to a higher form of consciousness. Only true visionaries can create such stunning and thought provoking art. Sound-wise the emphasis lays on the industrial and electronic effects, which gives 777: Cosmosophy almost a droning doom metal type feel to it. It also enhances the rather cold and eerie atmosphere that creeps through the entire album.
It’s hard to tell if 777: Cosmosophy is better than 777: Sect(s) or 777: The Desanctification, because all three albums have their own distinct personality and place within the greater musical concept behind the trilogy. What I can say that this record is a worthy closer of Vindsval’s most ambitious work to date. I’m wondering where he and Blut aus Nord will go next...
For fans of: Deathspell Omega, The Eye, Reverence, Darkspace, The Axis of Perdition.
It’s taken them eight years, but in 2012 Pseudogod have finally released a much-anticipated package of bestial hate and sonic rampage. A culmination of everything expected after many splits and demos from the Russians, Deathwomb Catechesis is a blackened death metal album comfortable with callback after callback to monsters of yesteryear like Incantation and Immolation. Their debut is all the better for it, too. It’s clear that Pseudogod have not inserted overwhelming amounts of creativity or innovation on their own, but their brand of death metal is particularly inspired and reverential.
Simplicity can be satisfying, and with this in mind there’s not much to a record like Deathwomb Catechesis. Much of its appeal is strictly in the focus of attitude and direction, as the album rarely deviates from the path of the aforementioned behemoths of death metal and bolstered by constant prayers to almighty Satan. With utter devastation in mind, Pseudogod mold a landscape of rumbling bass and little flair that works as a perfect complement to the vocals, which are absolutely insipid. The growls broil over the old-school-inspired riffs with an unrelenting vehemency, and are the centerpiece of Deathwomb Catechesis.
The band’s debut is a familiar album that almost falls off the cliff into strictly “derivative” territory but with their precision and technicality -aspects that transcend the sheer scope of the album- do not succumb to this brand of failure. What does manage to set this apart is the modern production that augments the clarity to the maelstrom of riffs, adding another dimension to the already-fertile concoction of hatred. So while Deathwomb Catechesis does not usher in any new waves of innovation to the scene, Pseudogod’s solid album adds, along with labelmates Antediluvian, a much-needed dose of death metal to 2012.
For fans of: TeitanFyre, Void Meditation Cult, Vasaeleth, Temple Nightside, Heresiarch.
Despite the fact that Satan Alpha Omega is only the band's third full-length, this group has been playing together since 1989. Style-wise Deiphago could best be described as blackened death metal/grind, with a distinct emphasis on the blackened end of things.
The album's 11 odes to Satan are a non-stop pummeling of the senses. Songs blur by with a ferocity that at times is simply insane - vocals are spewed forth like vomit and the guitars sound like fiery flames. Make no mistake, this album is not for the faint of heart.
Casual metal-heads will probably find this album to be nothing but noise; however, those into the heavier end of the spectrum will love the release's "take you by the throat" approach. Highly recommended.
For fans of: Sadomator, Nuclear Desecration, Abhorer, Weregoat, Weapon.
Ash Borer formed several years ago and in just a short time was recognized as one of the most prominent black metal bands from California. With a style of raw black metal that is bleak and atmospheric as well as harsh and searing, the group is aligned with such elite artists as the (now defunct) Weakling, Xasthur and Leviathan, along with the Black Twlight Circle (Volhan, Arizmenda, Dolovotre, etc.) and the Rhinocervs cult (Odz Manouk and Tukaaria). Their first demo, released in 2009, was just a mere glimpse of the coming sonic storm unleashed over the following years: a split EP with Santa Cruz’s Fell Voices, an acclaimed self-titled debut album, and a series of decimating live shows. The band’s new album Cold of Ages finds Ash Borer at the height of their powers, one of the most important acts hailing from the American scene alongside the likes of Negative Plane, Avichi, Inquisition, and the aforementioned Black Twilight Circle and Rhinocervs horde. A darker and much more devastating work than the debut, Cold of Ages is a surging, twisted, primal and sprawling epic and will find its place among the most prominent black metal releases of the year.
For fans of: Fell Voices, Skagos, Bosse-de-Nage, Panopticon, Altar of Plagues.
Genre mashing two opposing ends of music is where extreme metal really shines, providing everything from instrumental and symphonic heaviness to chorus-chanting pop metal. Another foray into the collision of two worlds, Blacklodge’s MachinatioN is an explosion of dark an unholy black metal delivered through an industrial filter of strobe lights and robotic overlords.
The album lets the audience know what to expect right off the bat with immediate machine gun drumming mixed into an electronic beat. The result is something along the lines of Marduk or Gorgoroth taking an industrial/techno trip, without letting go of the Satanic themes, and with a hint of the utter darkness you’d expect from Deathspell Omega or Dodecahedron. Even the song titles play with the mash up of styles, with names like “Antichrist Ex Machina” and “Neutron Shiva.”
MachinatioN is a definitely a different take on this burgeoning sub-genre than what can be heard from other entries in the field. Blacklodge offers a new metal experience, even for those who have already heard the electronic or techno focused material from Nachtmystium, Illidiance, or Nachtblut. The ending of each track tends to work into the beginning of the next song, creating a spectacular flow amidst all the chaos. Despite the introduction of “non-kvlt” elements, MachinatioN isn’t light on the black metal at all, as it’s still completely extreme. The vocals are as harsh and hateful as anything from a USBM band, and the tracks are based around the guitars as much as the industrial aspects.
The album blends the two opposing worlds together well by effectively utilizing strong drum beats, which bridge the gap between the arms-crossed metal and the head bobbing electronica. Every song has a recognizable hook, but it’s always taken to a heavy (and evil!) place. As far as sub-genres go, industrial black metal doesn’t have a whole lot of flag bearers, and Blacklodge is a welcome and necessary addition to the roster. If black metal purists can get over their elitism long enough to give it a listen, and industrial or techno fans can learn to deal with harsh vocals and heavier songs, both camps could find a new favorite in MachinatioN.
For fans of: Neo Inferno 262, Aborym, Gorgonea Prima, Diapsiquir, Mysticum, Hell Militia.
Prepare for a grotesque and bestial assault from the darkest bowels of Chile. The Sun of Moloch has risen to cast its searing rays upon us all. Wrathprayer engulfs listeners in the scorching fumes of ripping, gritty riffs and an ominous, archaic atmosphere. Beginning with a to-be-expected dark occult intro to set the atmosphere (paired with a similar outro) the cruel nature of this album is slowly revealed. It becomes sluggish and dissonant before tumbling into chaotic swelling riffs with distant, cavernous vocals and storming percussive barrages.
It’s a smooth balance between death and black metal that revels in the old path, maintaining a depraved and sour tone one would expect and at the same time satisfyingly revitalizing it. And this is generally how The Sun of Moloch feels throughout the 40 minutes you'll be enduring. Baneful, filthy and swirling in it's blasphemous tone. The record is spilling over with a ritualistic heat which incorporates the Incantation structure well with touches of Portal-esque writhing. Eerie sampling of discordant strings, screams, chants and moans with ambient rumbling accents some tracks like "The Darkest Fyre" and "From the Depths of the Phlegethon" sliding up the cult factor a few notches.
Vocal duties (more varied than expected) feel a little subdued by all other elements — there are some great echoing howls and screes that snake their way through. It does sound as if the vocals are emanating from a lightless tomb and considering the nature of the subject and style here matter this distant, ancient quality is a positive.
The bulk of the experience here surrounds the guitar work which doesn't meander from the traditional bestial template too much — not that I'm really complaining. It's all ugly, abrasive and tasty. The guitar tone is muddy in the most pleasurable way. A choice few spellbinding death grooves and pinched harmonics between the onslaught of blackened, labyrinthine tremolo sections but when these slabs enter it's a fucking blast as they carve out deep ridges in the darkened, ashy landscape. Good examples of these completely monstrous and punishing moments are found in "Devourers of Light", "Ritualization (Rev XIII)" and "In Visceribus Bestiæ".
The Sun of Moloch does its job exceedingly well, paced so as to not overextend its welcome with some thick production. It's certainly not innovative but fucking terrific regardless. Definitely a record that slays. Highly recommended especially for fans of Witchrist, Mitochondrion, Antediluvian, Teitanblood, etc. For now this is only available on vinyl through Nuclear War Now! Productions but in the coming weeks they will be putting it up for a digital download on the label's bandcamp page.
For fans of: Antediluvian, Diocletian, Proclamation, Pseudogod, Witchrist, Teitanblood.
Great full-length debut!
That release is Flesh Cathedral by Svartidauði, who hail from the far-flung frozen rock in the North Atlantic better known as Iceland. They’ve been contemplating their craft in obscurity for a while, spawning three demos between 2006 and 2010, but now this full-length monstrosity is set to propel them through the ranks. Like LURKER favourites Blut aus Nord,Deathspell Omega or Nightbringer, Svartidauði wield the ability to bend the will of black metal to their own horrific ends, giving rise to a thrillingly unique take on the genre.
An unshakeable sense of narrative unfolds to the drones of opener ‘Sterile Seeds’. It’s as though the listener has entered the titular Flesh Cathedral itself, blood trickling down carrion walls, preparing to imbibe the psychoactive sacrament to Satan as a demonic choir goads them on. It’s terrifying – and that’s before the riffs take hold. Indeed, a persistent psychedelic nausea binds the record together, enforced by the abstract squealing of guitars and biomechanical lurch of the rhythms. Across four tracks, all well over ten minutes long, Flesh Cathedral becomes the soundtrack of one wretched soul completely losing their mind as the secrets of the universe are torn asunder.
It’s the band’s stunning versatility that allows for these vivid hallucinations. Avoiding typical all-or-nothing aggression tactics, Svartidauði is a dynamic, shifting entity with a clear vision of how to project its particular grim atmospheres. In fact, everything on display is a small step away from the norm. Vocals lean towards a deep deranged death-rasp, as opposed to the regular eunuch shrieking. Then dense, down-tuned guitars seem to breathe and groan in the slower, more brooding sections, while groove-laden drums intricately build up the tension phrase by phrase before flying off into adept and flexible pummeling at whim. This is definitely HEAVY black metal – immense walls of power chords and a loud grumbling bass tone threaten to swallow the chaotic leads that often try to break free of the writhing mass around them.
Each composition defies its length, traversing so many different emotions, textures and melodies (yes, they’re present too!) that it feels like Flesh Cathedral should be showcasing even more new material. Without a doubt this is up there among Mgła’s With Hearts Toward None and Dødsengel’s Imperator vying for “best orthodox black metal album of the year”. LURKER is incredibly anxious and excited for its release, although no firm date has been set due to the band being “slow as hell with the layout”. When Flesh Cathedral does finally arrive, if it isn’t one of the true breakthrough hits of the year, I will have lost all faith in the metal underground.
For fans of: Vemod, Cultes des Ghoules, Hetroetzen, Acrimonious, One Tail, One Head.
Abominable Putridity - The Anomalies of Artificial Origin
Aborted - Global Flatline
Acephalix - Deathless Master
Aeon - Aeon's Black
Ævangelist – De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis (I, Voidhanger)
Agalloch - Faustian Echoes
Alcest - Les Voyages de l'Âme
Aldaaron - Suprême Silence
Alkerdeel - Morinde
All Pigs Must Die - Curse of Humanity EP
Aluk Todolo - Occult Rock
Anaal Nathrakh - Vanitas
Angel Witch - As Above, So Below
Antimatter - Fear of a Unique Identity
Aptorian Demon - Libertus
Aosoth - Our Crown Of Sins EP
ARCANUM INFERI - Ars Hermetica
Antediluvian & Adversarial - Initiated in Impiety as Mysteries - Split
Antediluvian & Temple Nightside - Cogitating Vacuous
Aphrenous - Ravaged By The Incessant Scourge Of Deception
Aptorian Demon - Libertus (Demo)
Árstíðir Lífsins - Vápna Lækjar Eldr
Ash Pool - Cremation Is Irreversible EP
Asphyx - Deathhammer
Autopsy - All Tomorrow’s Funerals EP
Aven - The Last Thought Of Judas
Azaghal - Nemesis
Azoic - Gateways
Barghest / False - Split
Beheaded - Never To Dawn
Begrime Exemious - Visions of the Scourge
Behexen - Nightside Emanations
Bell Witch - Longing
Bereft - Leichenhaus
Bestial Holocaust - Into The Goat Vulva
Birth of Depravity - The Coming Of The Ineffable
Black Breath - Sentenced To Life
Black Sheep Wall - No Matter Where it Ends
Blood of the Black Owl - Light The Fires!
Blood Mortized - The Key to a Black Heart
Bologna Violenta - Utopie E Piccole Soddisfazioni
Bonded By Blood - The Aftermath
Bone Dance - Bone Dance
Borgne - Royaume Des Ombres
Borgne - Titania
Borknagar – Urd
Bosse-de-Nage - III
Blut aus Nord - What Once Was... Liber II
Candlemass - Psalms for the Dead
Cannibal Corpse - Torture
Cape of Bats - Transylvania
Cattle Decapitation - Monolith of Inhumanity
Cerebrate- Cerebrate (Demo)
Chaos Inception - The Abrogation
Chthe'ilist - Amechth'ntaas'm'rriachth EP
Church Whip - Church Whip EP
Coffin Texts - The Tomb Of Infinite Ritual
Coldworker - The Doomsayer's Call
Converge & Napalm Death - Split
Cytotoxin - Radiophobia
Dantalion - Return To Deep Lethargy
Daylight Dies - Frail Becoming
Deathspell Omega - Drought EP
Demoncy - Enthroned Is the Night
Denial of God - Death and Beyond
Der Weg einer Freiheit - Unstille
Desaster - The Arts of Destruction
Dephosphorus - Night Sky Transform
Dephosphorus & Wake – Split
Desolate Shrine - The Sanctum Of Human Darkness
Destruction - Spiritual Genocide
Dødsengel - Imperator
Dopethrone - III
Dordeduh - Dar De Duh
Down - Down IV, Part 1: The Purple EP
Draumar - Gebirge
Drawn and Quartered - Feeding Hell's Furnace
Drudkh - Eternal Turn Of The Wheel
Dynfari - Sem Skugginn
Early Graves - Red Horse
Elizabeth - Where Vultures Land
Embrace of Thorns - Praying for Absolution
Enabler - All Hail the Void
Encoffination - Elegant Funerals for the Unknown Dead EP
Eschaton - Isolated Intelligence
Exumer - Fire & Damnation
Farsot - Insects
Faustcoven - Hellfire and Funeral Bells
Fhoi Myore - Fhoi Myore
Fiends At Feast - Towards the Baphomet’s Throne
Fvck Mountain - Fvck Mountain EP
Gnaw Their Tongues & Corephallism - Split
Goatwhore - Blood For The Master
Genocide Shrines - Devanation Monumentemples
Grand Magus - The Hunt
Grave Endless Procession Of Souls
Grave Upheaval & Manticore - Split
Habitual Defilement - The Redemption of Past Supremacy
Hades Archer - The Curse Over Mankind
Hail Spirit Noir - Pneuma
Hammers - Vardøgr
Hel - Das Atmen Der Erde
Hell – III
HeXeN - Being and Nothingness
Hideous Divinity - Obeisance Rising
High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis
Hooded Menace - Effigies Of Evil
Hooded Menace - Necrotic Monuments EP
Horrendous – The Chills
Hour of Penance - Sedition
Hypnosia - Horror Infernal
JK Flesh - Posthuman
I Compagni Di Baal - I Compagni di Baal
Ihsahn - Eremita
Impiety - Ravage & Conquer
Impious Baptism - Path of the Inverted Trinity EP
Impious Baptism - V.A.N.V.D.A. EP
Incantation - Vanquish In Vengeance
Intestinal - The Rottening
Inverloch - Dusk… Subside
Israthoum - Black Poison and Shared Wounds
Kaevum - Natur
Karg - Apathie
Katatonia - Dead End Kings
Kommandant - The Draconian Archetype
Kreator - Phantom Antichrist
Kuxan Suum - Kuxan Suum
Les Discrets - Ariettes Oubliées...
Les Fleurs du Mal - Brunnen
Little Sister - Little Sister
Lunar Aurora – Hoagascht
Lustration - Psymbolik
Malignancy - Eugenics
Manetheren - Time
Manowar - Lord of Steel
Maranatha - Incarnate
Marduk - Serpent Sermon
Martyrdöd - Paranoia
Mass Burial - Of Carrion And Pestilence
Master - The New Elite
Master's Hammer - Vracejte Konve Na Místo
Melvins - Freak Puke
Menace Ruine - Alight In Ashes
Menegroth - Das Rote Werk
Merrimack - The Acausal Mass
Mgla - With Hearts Toward None
Mondstille - Seelenwund
Mongrel's Cross - The Sins Of Aquarius
Moss of Moonlight - Seed
Municipal Waste - The Fatal Feast
Municipal Waste & Toxic Holocaust - Toxic Waste (Split)
Mutant Supremacy - Rotting Season EP
My Dying Bride - A Map of All Our Failures
Nachtmystium - Silencing Machine
Nachtruf - Geistwerdung
Napalm Death - Utilitarian
Natassievila - Impermanence
Nawaharjan - Into the Void
Negative Standards – VI.VII.VIII.IX.X.XI
Nekromantheon - Rise, Vulcan Spectre
Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay
Nigh - Nigh EP
Nihill - Verdonkermaan
Nile - At the Gate of Sethu
Nine Covens - On the Dawning of Light
Nordvrede - Legion Nordvrede
Nox Illunis - Metepsychosis
Obulus - Lament
Odz Manouk - Odz Manouk
Ofermod - Thaumiel
Onirophagus - Defiler Of Hope
Ophidian I - Selvot Saeclum
Orange Goblin - A Eulogy For The Damned
Ormgård - Ormblot
Overkill - The Electric Age
Pact - The Dragon Lineage of Satan
Paradox - Tales of the Weird
Pendulum - Les Fragments du Chaos
P.H.O.B.O.S. - Atonal Hypermnesia
Plague Widow - Plague Widow
Proclamation - Nether Tombs of Armageddon
Profezia - The Truth of Ages
Prognan - Jama
Psycroptic - The Inherited Repression
Puteraeon - Cult Cthulhu
Putrevore - Macabre Kindgom
Putrified - Neurotic Necrotic
Ram - Death
Resurgency - False Enlightenment
Revel In Flesh - Deathevokation
Reverence - The Asthenic Ascension
Revolting - Hymns Of Ghastly Horror
Rhinocervs - RH 12
Rituals - Rituals
Royal Talons - Royal Talons
Ruined Families - Ruined Families
Saccage - Death Crust Satanique
Saint Vitus - LILLIE: F-65
Satanic Warmaster - In Eternal Fire - Ghost Wolves EP
Savage Messiah - Plague of Conscience
Severe - Severe
shEver - Rituals
Secrets of the Moon - Seven Bells
Sektemtum Aut Caesar, Aut Nihil
Septicopyemia - Supreme Art of Genital Carnage
Serpent Noir - Seeing Through The Shadow Consciousness - Open Up The Shells
Serpentine Path - Cerebus + Depravity
Serpentine Path - Serpentine Path
Shining - Redefining Darkness
Sinister - The Carnage Ending
Spawn of Possession - Incurso
Struck by Lightning - True Predation
Sutekh Hexen with Andrew Liles - Breed In Me The Darkness
Sutekh Hexen - Behind The Throne
Sutekh Hexen – Larvae
Sutekh Hexen - Empyraisch
Swallow the Sun - Emerald Forest And The Blackbird
Szron - Death Camp Earth
Tank - War Nation
Tankard - A Girl Called Cerveza
Terrorizer - Hordes of Zombies
Testament - Dark Roots of Earth
The Howling Wind - Of Babalon
The End of Six Thousand Years - Perpetuum
The Moon Mistress - Silent Voice Inside
The Royal Arch Blaspheme - II
The Secret - Agnus Dei
Thy Darkened Shade - Eternvs Mos, Nex Ritvs
Torch Runner - Committed To The Ground
Ufomammut - Oro - Opus Alter
Ufomammut - Oro - Opus Primum
Umbra Noctis - Il Primo Volo
Unholy Crucifix - Black Mass Metal
Unsacred - Where the Light Dims
Vassafor - The Obsidian Codex
Velnias - RuneEater
Vindicator - United We Fall
Vorkreist - Sigil Whore Christ
Weapon - Embers and Revelations
Witch In Her Tomb - Witch In Her Tomb
Witch Mountain - South Of Salem
Witchrist - The Grand Tormentor
Witchcraft - Legend
Wodensthrone - Curse
Woman is the Earth - This Place That Contains My Spirit
Wreck and Reference - No Youth
Year of the Goat - Angels' Necropolis
2 Abr 2014, 7:08 de Coffinwood_Mill
The years have come and gone, and yet for some odd reason I still receive requests for my 'Best Of' journal entries in Heavy Metal, as well as several other genres. Why I still receive these requests I have no idea, but I've relented on being an e-seclusionist curmudgeon and eternally lazy long enough to post my Best in Heavy Metal of 2011 list. I hope whatever poor soul or bored last.fm troll that reads this dated meandering of metal finds something that they haven't otherwise heard or thought to listen to since '11. Also, I encourage any suggestions for albums released in 2011 that I've omitted as it's painfully obvious from my list that I can't possibly listen to everything out there.
Journal entries for 2012 and 2013 are forthcoming. No, for real this time.
† Please support the artists listed here and purchase their music or merchandise †
Absu, after eight long years of recording silence have released their second album in three years, the chaotic and speed driven Abzu. The second hellish force in a malevolent planned trilogy dealing with the abyss, this is an album that could’ve placed higher on my list, but even so it shreds as hard as any of the aforementioned records. The record, as per the norm for Absu, is rife with thrashing blackened insanity, with “Circles of the Oath” and “Skyring in the Spirit Vision” delivering my favorite tracks on Abzu. Highly Recommended!
For fans of: Melechesh, Deströyer 666, Desaster, Inquisition, Weapon, Nifelheim.
Initially, I lacked the initiative and interest in hearing Beyond the Fall of Time due to a series of – what I now understand as – absolutely unfair and ultimately erroneous reviews on the release, pegging it as being nothing more than the masturbatory effort of technical proficiency and nothing more, basically reserved for those who want to merely wish to hear endless noodling. This couldn’t be further from the truth. With their sophomore effort, Exmortus’ brand of technical death meets thrash metal is dynamic success that showcases not only the amount of skill the provide in their lead guitar work, but how much face-melting riffs shred throughout Beyond the Fall of Time, especially on tracks like “Kneel Before the Steel” and “Destroy”. This is a killer release, and one that I return to often. If you’re into any of the below artists, you’d be doing yourself a disservice to not give it a listen.
For fans of: Hellwitch, Warbringer, Horrendous, Excruciator, Deathhammer, Timeghoul.
As the opening bars of “Hand of Darkness” release their putrid grasp on the grave and immediately reach for listeners throat, you quickly realize that the legendary gore-obsessed death metal cult Autopsy have lost none of their ghoulish proclivity for sadism, violence, and abject brutality. Macabre Eternal is precisely the true return that many fans thought not possible – a vicious foray into the uncompromisingly gore-obsessed death metal sound that they themselves helped to twist into the cruel and sick sepulchral form so revered many years ago. The morbid perfection of the record is that the entirety of the release is unquestionably within the confines of Autopsy’s distinctive sound, but freshly exhumed; tormented and sick vocals, frenzied solos, and the unrelentingly punk-infused percussive canters rot forth from each perverted track. Dare I say that with Macabre Eternal, Autopsy may have exceeded all of their previous material. Highly Recommended!
For fans of: Abscess, Asphyx, Repulsion, Grave, Cianide, Cancer.
Without question, one of the best death metal records of 2011, Towards The Megalith is an exceptionally destructive foray into the realm of evil as fuck down-tuned and absolutely uncompromising death metal. Towards The Megalith storms out of the hellgate with tracks like the opener “Chaos Apparition” and “Chasm of Oceanus” only to ultimately drag you into the abyss of monolithic death metal sludge at the midpoint with “Vault of Membros”, my personal favorite on the record. With a stylistic approach that invokes the death doom of New York legends Winter before shifting suddenly to early-90’s Florida tech death, Disma have created a masterpiece of the genre that feels both tremendously familiar yet utterly new. Strongly recommended!
For fans of: Funebrarum, Cruciamentum, Dead Congregation, Hooded Menace, Krypts, Convulse.
For the uninitiated, Midnight play face-rapingly addictive beer soaked blackened heavy metal – imagine an unholy coalescing of Venom, Judas Priest, and Bathory snorting massive lines of punk rock energy off of Satan’s cock, and that basically sums up the sound on their latest release Satanic Royalty. Tracks like “Lust, Filth and Sleaze” and “Holocaustic Deafening” showcase the blackened heavy metal meets pure stomping punk wall of putrid albeit breakneck sound as the band pulls no punches and leaves no unmelted faces in their wake, courtesy of shredding solo’s and scathing heavy metal showmanship. An uncompromising, hedonistic, and ultraviolent release, there are carnal delights that any self-respecting metalhead could delight in on Satanic Royalty. Killer album!
For fans of: Abigail, Nifelheim, Nunslaughter, Trench Hell, Gospel of the Horns, Bastard Priest.
As part of the renowned French underground scene, the horde known as Haemoth have been summoning forth an abundance of orthodox black metal for the better part of a decade. While their malicious and aggressive musical approach is not something that is going to ever be deemed “progressive” within the genre, a record with a nostalgic familiarity like In Nomine Odium is exactly what I require from time to time. The seething onslaught of cavernous crescendos and dissonant motifs saturated in a raw hellish onslaught of blackened hate make this a positively addicting listen. For fans of the orthodox and classic black metal sounds of the past, this is an invigorating listen that I would strongly recommend.
For fans of: Aosoth, Antaeus, Ondskapt, Krohm, Insane Vesper, Hell Militia.
This is not black metal. There really is no viable genre distinction that can successfully describe the disharmonic orchestra of tortured noise that Gnaw Their Tongues have achieved on Per Flagellum Sanguemque, Tenebras Veneramus. While artistically they may produce albums at a respectable albeit predictable yearly rate, I am rarely disappointed in what they have to offer, and this 2011 release may be their finest offering yet. This turbulent cauldron of cacaphonious noise is brimming over with the barbarous sounds of blackened flagellation, a hopeless aura of lo-fi horror/snuff film atmospherics, and moreover the shrieking cries of the most tortured and tormented of doomed victims. Each track is littered with a horrifying abundance of instruments ranging from what you would normally expect from the band, but also including keyboards, live string and horn arrangements, and the eerily uncomfortable samples of death and realized despair. Give me more.
For fans of: Aderlating, De Magia Veterum, Menace Ruine, The Axis of Perdition, Cloak of Altering, NDE, Khanate, Grunt.
This 2-piece from Finland specializing in a bass-oriented dirge of blackened cacophony, the likes of which haven’t been heard since the glory days of Beherit and Archgoat are certainly an acquired taste – even for the most seasoned of contemporaries and fans of the legendary Finnish black metal scene. The songs that comprise Under The Eye are utterly bizarre, absolutely outlandish, and possibly as batshit crazy as you’d expect from a group that habitually features members on stage in the nude. Several of the instruments on the release are completely unidentifiable, yet retain the thick trudge of darkness and punishingly scathing textures throughout the release. As if the caustic inundation into Ride For Revenge’s malevolent tempest of noise isn’t mind-melting enough, the only temporary reprieve from the onslaught are the occasional spacey ambient passages spattered throughout Under The Eye. Not a release for everyone, but a positively killer album nonetheless.
For fans of: Dead Reptile Shrine, Kadotus, Pseudogod, Antediluvian, Torturium, Saturnian Mist.
Sincerely evocative in the most disseminated and repetitively bleak way, Ash Borer was a mammoth release from the wilds of the Pacific Northwest eco-friendly and naturalistic cabin-dwelling “Cascadian black metal scene,” which is habitually hit-or-miss at best. However, as convoluted and pretentious as many of their more “post” or “ambient” blackened peers sound, Ash Borer have seemingly steered clear of those Pitchfork-reading vegan pitfalls and after only two demos and a split release have become one of the region’s most preeminent and promising black metal acts. Existing fans will undoubtedly take note of a decidedly more balanced and effective prowess in the song-writing than on previous efforts. Yet, it’s quite clear that Ash Borer are yearning to capture a desolation and emptiness in their echoing dissonance that they will realize in time as they mature as a band, but for the moment their 2011 release is still in regular rotation per my listening habits.
For fans of: Fell Voices, Bosse-de-Nage, Skagos, Alda, Panopticon.
Revolting vocalist and guitarist Rogga Johansson is a busy guy, balancing time between Paganizer, Ribspreader, Bone Gnawer, The Grotesquery, and finally Bloodgut. Revolting is, as you’ve probably guessed, my favorite of the bunch and In Grisly Rapture is clearly his best work to date in any of the aforementioned bands. Death metal in the Swedish vein, the entire album a monstrous foray into the blood-drenched and limb-cutting world of horror, with fierce hyper-speed riffs, hook-laden melodies, mauling drums and Rogga’s gore-spewing vocals leading the way. Suffice to say, In Grisly Rapture was one of the most ghoulishly fun releases of 2011.
For fans of: Demonical, Miasmal, Bone Gnawer, Bastard Priest, Undead Creep.
Recall that in January of 2011, Wrest (real name Jef Whitehead) had been arrested and was being held on $350,000 bail for sexually assaulting his then-girlfriend. Whether or not the details of those specific charges are true, it did nothing to prevent Profound Lore from releasing True Traitor, True Whore – one of the most embittered and acrimonious heavy metal releases of last year. While the album title leaves little room for interpretation, the scathing, sickened, and entirely haunting content on the album was one of the more enthralling and shocking listens of 2011. There are arguably more layers on this release than any previous Leviathan record as Wrest delves into an unconventional black metal approach that coalesces dark ambient, industrial, and even rock nuances into the caustic maelstrom of True Traitor, True Whore – a release encapsulating the artists own personal Hell. This is a must hear release.
For fans of: Lurker of Chalice, Xasthur, Crebain, Blut aus Nord, Krieg, Deathspell Omega, Craft, Krieg, Sapthuran.
Putrefied fingers and tortured primeval moans grip the listener by the throat and violently drag them deeper into the sarcophagi pandemonium that entombs the true malevolent essence of O' Hell, Shine In Thy Whited Sepulchres. Perhaps I’m a bit biased due to my love of lo-fi death metal similar to the legendary Incantation and newer projects like Impetuous Ritual, but with their sophomore release, Encoffination achieved a pestilential and reverberating death metal churn that is as barbarous as it is enigmatic. Each instrument on the release is implicit in its plodding menace, formulating the grim mucilage that provides the foundation for this Hellish and audible tomb of primitive despair. The subterranean percussion drives this crawling morass of a release along, while the muddy guitars pummel the listener until they are left to rot with the memory of having been grave-fucked by one of the best newcomers in the death metal scene. Highly Recommended!
For fans of: Grave Upheaval, Grave Ritual, Venenum, Swallowed, Decrepitaph.
Well worth the four-year wait, Prime Evil Damnation rewards the patient blasphemer with a filthy Archgoat-worship cacophony of relentless chainsaw-buzz riffs and punishingly heavy drums for a raw, straight-forward and positively brutal listen. While the majority of the record is a scathing barrage to the senses, Bestial Raids does succeed in imbuing a destructive and militant mood on tracks like “Ceremonial Bloodshed” by including martial samples of troops confidently marching to war. The only negative, however, is perhaps that the black/death desecration bellowing from the putrid bowels of Hell doesn’t last very long and Prime Evil Damnation blasts by very quickly – which only leads to repeat listens.
For fans of: Doombringer, Sadomator, Antediluvian, Nuclear Desecration, Deiphago, Kerasphorus.
Great full-length debut!
The Australian black metal scene continues to impress by birthing forth the yet another nefarious doctrine into the unholy annals and psalms of obscure down-under darkness. Predominately influenced by the crepuscule purveyors of the Scandinavian scene, Ill Omen’s Divinity Through Un-Creation invokes an audible portal to the desolate and unhallowed foundations of the true black metal sound, honoring the Norwegian roots of the genre while permeating their ritualistic psalmody with a contemporary distinction of haunting depth and cimmerian ambiance. While Ill Omen’s homage to the old gods may not be a paradigm for the unorthodox or innovative, they truly make up for it by delivering one of the best black metal releases of 2011. Get it.
For fans of: Temple Nightside, Impious Baptism, Atra, Hellvetron, Hic Iacet, Erebus Enthroned.
Clearly another victory for the French black metal scene, Aosoth are without a doubt one of my most listened-to black metal bands at the moment. Their pitch-black aesthetic of crushing rotten blackness, all while capturing an esoteric and theological penchant for eerie, droning ambiance all imbues their motif of malevolence with what can only be described as an unspeakably evil sound. With III, Aosoth truly upped the ante, infusing blackened sludge as a nuance to their already impenetrable sound of vicious hook-laden riffs and pummeling barrage of percussion, mercilessly forging the swirling hate-filled compositions of ungodly grime found on III. Excellent release.
For fans of: Antaeus, Hell Militia, Ascension, Katharsis, Ondskapt.
Great full-length debut!
I eventually heard Nocturne of Eyes and Teeth early in 2012, because when it was released in March of 2011 by High Roller Records the limited-edition LP was sold out within only a few days. That said, the wait was definitely worth it. ReVeaL’s sound is a diabolic coalescing of blackened thrash that is injected with a myriad of rollicking rock influences providing for an almost malevolently psychedelic and violent audible vibe. While the band isn’t going to collect accolades for being the most original or progressive in the genre, the collective nuances on Nocturne of Eyes and Teeth are the kind of furious and unforgiving offensive on the listeners senses that will keep you favorably occupied until their next eagerly awaited release.
For fans of: In Solitude, Necrovation, Teitanblood, Nifelheim.
Great full-length debut!
Alongside Mitochondrion’s Parasignosis, this may have been the most impressive death metal release of 2011. With their full-length debut in Through The Cervix Of Hawwah, Antediluvian created a cacophonic and twisted dissonance of excruciatingly violent music that is positively bestial in the impassioned darkness that it delivers. The album is a heinous collection of face-melting riffs, primal drum blasts, audible bass riffs (that will destroy your stereo @ 11), and some of the most throat-rippingly pestilential vocal assaults you’ll hear in the genre. Essentially, this and the rest of their discography is a must-hear for fans of extreme metal.
For fans of: Cruciamentum, Vasaeleth, Heresiarch, Encoffination, Impetuous Ritual.
Some things never seem to change. A. A. Nemtheanga & co. are undisputedly the most consistent band in the entire heavy metal genre. Since their seminal debut in 1995 with Imrama, Primordial have thoughtfully refrained from releasing anything even remotely sub-par throughout the duration of their admirable recording history. Redemption At The Puritans Hand is yet another landmark album (a predictable outcome at this point), replete with the epic grandeur and desolate bitterness that embodies the inherent spirit of the band and their dynamic archetypal sound. Yet another victory for the Irish, and if you haven’t heard Redemption At The Puritans Hand yet, waste no time in doing so.
For fans of: Mael Mórdha, Negură Bunget, Sólstafir, Moonsorrow, Enslaved, Helrunar.
Great full-length debut!
Unrelenting and uncompromisingly harsh, Luciform confronts bold listeners with an unholy and scathing coalescing of raw orthodox black metal complete with layer upon layer of desolate razor-thin walls of ubiquitous cruel noise. Virtually every aspect of this brilliant release is rife with shrill and unhinged demonic wails, salacious riffs and hypersonic drumming ferociously intertwined with a maelstrom of blackened noise. If that wasn’t enough, Sutekh Hexen’s debut is also replete with a disquieting and caustic static ambience that rivals virtually all of their irreverential contemporaries. Luciform was truly the most concentrated and chaotic onslaught of unnerving noise that the metal genre had to offer in 2011, and a release that I’ve perpetually returned to for the last year and half. Highly recommended!
For fans of: NDE, Odz Manouk, Obolus, Katharsis, Tukaaria, Grunt, Clinic Of Torture.
Already a definitive classic in the death metal genre, Mitochondrion's Parasignosis was truly one of the most challenging, intricately formulated multitude of dark and sinister layers of sonic turmoil that has ever been vomited forth from the death metal genre. The inexorable and cyclical séance of brutal textures and thick almost overbearing metallic chaos provide for a unique and all-encompassing listening experience that few albums from 2011 or any other year can equally match. While their debut Archaeaeon was an absolute success, Parasignosis is a quintessential and genre-defining epic that demands repeat listens. While I suspect that most discerning death metal fans have heard this tumultuous masterpiece by now, if somehow it has slipped through the cracks waste no time in inundating yourself in the complex dissonance and occult ambiance that Parasignosis has to offer.
For fans of: Impetuous Ritual, Adversarial, Antediluvian, Vasaeleth, Ulcerate.
Ad Hominem - Dictator - A Monument of Glory
Aluk Todolo - Finsternis
Amorphis - "Skyforger"
Aosoth - Ashes Of Angels
Archgoat - The Light Devouring Darkness
Arckanum - ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ
Ashen Light - Кровь Апокалипсиса
Aves - Aves
Avulsed - Nullo (The Pleasure of Self-Mutilation)
Behemoth - Evangelion
Bloodline - Hate Procession
Blut aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue With the Stars
Candlemass - Death Magic Doom
Cannibal Corpse - Evisceration Plague
Den Saakaldte - All Hail Pessimism
Deströyer 666 - Defiance
Devourment - Unleash The Carnivore
Diocletian - Doom Cult
Doomraiser - Erasing the Remembrance
Drudkh - Microcosmos
Ea - Ea II
Echoes of Yul - Echoes of Yul
Evile - Infected Nations
Foscor - Groans To The Guilty
Fukpig - Spewings from a Selfish Nation
Funeral Mist – Maranatha
Furia - Grudzien za Grudniem
Furia - Płoń
Glorior Belli - Meet Us At The Southern Sign
Goatwhore - Carving Out The Eyes Of God
God Dethroned - Passiondale
Gorgoroth - Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt
Havohej - Kembatinan Premaster
Havok - Time Is Up
Hellveto - Kry
Hjarnidaudi - Psyko:Stare:Void
Horna - Musta Kaipuu
Huata - Atavist Of Mann
Hypocrisy - A Taste Of Extreme Divinity
Immortal - All Shall Fall
Impiety - Terroreign (Apocalyptic Armageddon Command)
Isis - Wavering Radiant
Kreator - Hordes of Chaos
Kylesa – Static Tensions
LAHO - Escape From the Dying Star
Les Discrets / Alcest - Les Discrets / Alcest
Lvpvs Infestvs - Post Fata Resurgo
Malfeitor (Ita) - Incubus
Månegarm - Nattväsen
Marduk - Wormwood
Metalucifer - Heavy Metal Bulldozer
My Dying Bride - For Lies I Sire
Necrodeath - Phylogenesis
Nile - Those Whom The Gods Detest
Onslaught - Killing Peace
Oranssi Pazuzu - Muukalainen puhuu
Paroxysmal Descent - Paradigm of Decay
Process Of Guilt - Erosion
Psoriasis - Lethal Treatment
Reaktor 4 - Reaktor 4
Rev 16:8 - Grand Tidal Rave
Sacrifice - The Ones I Condemn
Samael - Above
Siena Root - Different Realities
Sjenovik - Zephaniah
Skeletonwitch - Breathing the Fire
Slayer - World Painted Blood
Solar Wisdom - The Temple of Honour
Speedwolf - Ride With Death
Spiritus Mortis - "The God Behind The God"
Suffocation - Blood Oath
Sui Caedere - Thrène
Sun of the Blind - Skullreader
Svart - Vanara, Vanmakt Och Avsmak
Svarte Greiner - Kappe
Teitanblood - Seven Chalices
The Black League - Ghost Brothel
Thrall - Vermin to The Earth
1349 - Revelations of the Black Flame
Trist - Willenskraft
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Blood Lust
Urgehal - Ikonoklast
Vader - Necropolis
Vektor - Black Future
Vorkreist - Sickness Sovereign
W.A.S.P. - Babylon
Witchrist - Curses of Annihilation
Wodensthrone - Loss
Wolves in the Throne Room - Black Cascade
Wolvserpent - Gathering Strengths
Wyrd - Kalivägi
Xasthur - All Reflections Drained
YOB - The Great Cessation
11 Ene 2014, 22:35 de althefknamsrtknPeople who refer to any music's aesthetics as geeky/ridiculous in a way that's intended as substantial criticism take themselves too seriously and are probably pretty insecure about their own image.
Listen to The Stooges' "Search and Destroy" and tell me anything about it is "real." Of course not, but it's still fucking awesome, and your taste sucks if you don't like it. Rock music was all about exaggerated phallic pseudo-messianic posturing until punk came along and, for the most part, robbed the genre of its theatricality, and then modern indie came along and took what punk mercifully left untouched: rock music's soul and gender.
Somehow this has done anything but make the pop world (which assimilates popular subultures) seem more "real"; the calculated appearance of "not trying" has become its own limiting, stuck-up pose.
Showmanship is cool and should be brought back.
8 Ene 2014, 23:23 de Toementor
30 Dic 2012, 15:00 de AbroxasIn this journal entry I will quickly comment on all 2012-released albums I've listened to. There will be no particular order. I find it very hard to rank a lot of albums I more or less relish equally; people ranking ther favourite albums strictly always baffle me. For the sake of clarity I will order the albums in alphabetical order (artist - album title). There won't be ratings as well because numerical ratings without proper context explaining the numbers (like music magazines tend to have) plainly suck. There won't be pictures either because I don't feel like it.
Time to mention what WILL actually be there: Quick, subjective comments. I'm no music expert and I don't expect readers to be excited about my opinion anyway, so I won't even try to discuss the albums or to write screeds. If people would feel inspired to check something out, I'd be more than glad and I think quick comments are enough to provoke such reactions. I'd be also rather grateful for recommendations based on my personal 2012.
alyosha's dream - dream sequence & machine dreams
This is something neat found on bandcamp. Alyosha's Dream creates an ambient soundscape with hip hop-like downtempo beats. Though Dream Sequence, which is a lot longer than Machine Dreams, tends to be a bit drawn out, this music does serve well in creating a hypnotizing, soothig atmosphere. I do like to play it when I'm studying.
Both albums are available as a digital download for free on the artist's bandcamp site: http://alyoshasdream.bandcamp.com/album/machine-dreams
Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax II: Future Sequence
This one is a very great one. Basically, it's what you could have expected from BTBAM after their last two full length albums and the preceding EP The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues: „Epic“ songs full of hairebrained and almost wanky metal. BTBAM manages it to walk on the thin line between astonishing technical, sometimes wanky virtuosity and somewhat remarkable, to some extent even catchy song writing. After some extensive listening, I started to favour The Great Misdirect over Colors. I'm still not sure how well The Parallax II will stand the time test, but I'm pretty sure that it will come close to Colors and The Great Misdirect. At least.
Borknagar – Urd
This album title calls for a trilogy. However, it wouldn't be a shame. Though I'm still in favour of the two first albums (the ones with Rygg), this album is still very good on it's own and in my opinion far more accessible than the other Borknagar prog albums. More importantly, Frostrite goes easily for the rank „favourite song 2012“. Damn it, is this song catchy.
Kantelian - Avoid & Wrong Half
I'm putting these two albums together because they're mostly the same. Kantelian is one of my „They're-on-bandcamp-and-for-free“ finds of this year and I'm pretty impressed by it. What we can hear is glitchy breakcore/drill'n'bass with some minimal ambient pieces thrown in. As generic as the description does sound, as much does this artist leave me in awe. This is high quality breakcore with teeth breaking bass lines and ludicrous power. Someone wrote in the Kantelian's last.fm shoutbox: „As much as it pains me to admit, I think this guy is putting out way stronger material than Venetian Snares at this point.“ This pretty much sums it up.
Stuff is alongside with Kantelian's 2011 debut Obelisks available as a digital download for free on the artist's bandcamp site: http://kantelian.bandcamp.com/
Loscil - Sketches from New Brighton
Okay, I promised no rankings, but this case is a bit different: This is easily my most favourite album this year, hands down. This does surprise me as well. Though I've gotten quite addicted to ambient/ambient-like soundscapes recently, I didn't expect an ambient album to astonish me that much. This album isn't extraordinarily outstanding in any sense, it's greatness appears to be neat, a very subtle and inconspicuous form of quality. Yet I simply fell in love with the overall sound and the images they suggest to me. This is also my favourite work by Loscil so far.
Accompanying this album is the EP New Brighton Field Study, which is available as a free digital download via Loscil's bandcamp site: http://loscil.bandcamp.com/album/new-brighton-field-study. It contains miscellaneous field recordings taken in New Brighton. Not as exciting as the actual album, but still smoothing. I still need to try to combine those with the Sketches from New Brighton.
Neurosis - Honor Found in Decay
Well, this is a let down for me. :( First I want to make clear that this is a rather good album; it's solid modern sludge and it sounds pretty much like Given to the Rising, which I digged a lot. And there are some fine songs on it, like At the Well or Raise the Dawn. But overall it just didn't stuck with me and I don't think that this will change significantly in the future. Might be that I will get surprised, but I can't see it coming. On the other hand, I can't really say that this is a bad album, technically speaking.
Oh, and I think that Neurosis should have done more in the manner of the last 30 seconds. A Neurosis-solid sludge album with some asian folkloristic instruments? Sounds exciting. I think it would have been worth a try.
Párvulos - Multum In Parvo
Another bandcamp find. This does not excite me as much as most of the other bandcamp finds, but it does have it's appeal. I can't really say, what it actually is, some experimental IDM stuff with occasional glitch sounds. I think it serves better to everyone to listen to this in order to grasp the direction of this album's music.
Multum in Parvo is available as a digital download for free on the artist's bandcamp site: http://parvulos.bandcamp.com/
Saltillo - Monocyte
Oh how much did I anticipate this. There is a little story behind this. Saltillo is the solo project of Menton J. Matthews III (Sunday Munich), which was only known for the 2006 album Ganglion, an extraordinaire mixture of partial classical instrumentation, fresh trip hop song writing and spoken samples of poetry and Shakespeare plays. This album, though only marginally distributed, constituted a relative high amount of fame for only one release. For years there was nothing heard form Saltillo, except the rumor that there would be no second album. But in 2011 it was announced that Ganglion would be re-relased and Monocyte was going to follow Ganglion's footsteps. A hype was born and I eagerly participated in it. But surprisingly, the album pretty much lived up to the hype. In my humble opinion it even surpasses the formidable Ganglion since I think it to be more consistent. In any way everyone who digged Ganglion surely should give Monocyte a try, as well as everyone who is interested in unorthodox trip hop.
In other good news, it has been already confirmed that a third Saltillo album is under work. Source: http://playdead-nation.blogspot.de/2012/03/interview-menton-j-matthews-iii.html
Sigh - In Somniphobia
As a comitted listener of Sigh I was kinda struggeling with the last two releases of this band. Both of them grew a lot on me, but they took their time, that's for sure. I was expecting a similar experience with their new album and I was right. Kinda. It grew a lot faster on me, in fact I think to be pretty good compared to the last two albums. It has a slight hint of a feeling reminiscent of Imaginary Sonicscape, but maintaining the sound of Sigh 2012. Only the lyrics are... well, nevermind. As if I would care about Sigh's lyrics. Oh, and The Transfiguration Fear is an excellent song which stands out on this album. It's incredibly catchy and could have appeared on Gallows Gallery as well. It's one of my favourites of this year.
T.G. Olson - Various
Okay, this is something unusual. I had not the opportunity to give proper attention to this, but for the sake of completeness I'm listing it here. T.G. Olson is member of the stoner rock band Across Tundras and 2012 has been a very productive year for him. He released a lot of miscellaneous solo stuff and as far as I can see, most of it seems to be some bluesy alt-country with a lot of wild west aesthetic, but I'm not absolutely sure about it. Exception to this are his „Blood Meridan for Electric Drone Guitar“ EPs which follow the simple rule of „nomen est omen“. It's all for free on the bandcamp site of Across Tundras, along with some older stuff, Across Tundras albums (very fine stoner rock I recommend as well), another project with T.G. Olson called BrightStar and some albums of funeral electrical. I have no idea how Funeral Electrical is related to Olson or Across Tundras and I haven't listenend to Brightstar or Funeral Electrical yet, but you might give a try to it. You can order most of their stuff (if not all) via bandcamp as well.
The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation – Egor
Haunting beauty; This is a live recording of a live show in Moscow, offering a live impro of TMDC more or less in the fashion of Succubus. Walking on a thin line between free jazz and dark-mooded ambient, this album easily satisfies the demands of the older album's fans. For anyone unfamiliar with TMDC I'd still recommend Succubus for beginning, though.
Undergang - Til døden os skiller
Haven't had the chance to give much attention to this album, but from what I've heard: It slays. It's good, solid death metal, combining old school vibes with some fresh ideas. Surprisingly, this is another bandcamp find with free digital downloads accessible via the bandcamp site: http://undergang.bandcamp.com/
World's End Girlfriend – Story Telling Again And Again
For the sake of completeness. This is a short EP containing a new song and two miscellaneous remixes. This release on it's own is nothing outstanding, but all tracks are nice and everyone interested in WEG might be delighted by the fact that Maeda released this EP for free as well. The download links for the mp3s (stored at Virgin Babylon records) can be found in the video info of the youtube videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-dzywc7m6E&feature=channel&list=UL
Wreck and Reference - No Youth
Another hidden diamond found on bandcamp. This band is playing a mesmerizing style of somewhat drony/noisy doom metal accompanied by bloodcurdling vocals and an overall depressive attitude. It's definitely an insider to look out for.
No Youth, together with the 2011 debut Black Cassette, is available as a digital download for free on the band's bandcamp site: http://wreckandreference.bandcamp.com/. There is a also a link directing to the website of Flenser Records, where you can order Wreck and Reference LPs.
Boris / Asobi Seksu Split
Enslaved - Riitiir
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
Magma - Félicité Thösz
Nile - At the Gate of Sethu
Ufomammut - Oro: Opus Primum
Yakuza – Beyul
I was under the impression that I was looking for more albums, but I can't think of any and I've lost my „released in 2012“-list. Oh my...
18 Nov 2012, 22:19 de BensGotSlacksTracks of oppression to purvey the sorrow of the masses. Don't check this shit out
1. Cara Neir - Family Dirge 02:33
2. Cara Neir - Cradled by Apathy 05:22
3. Cara Neir - Wilted Blue 05:07
4. Ramlord - Affliction of Clairvoyance (Part I) 10:01
Total Run Time: 23:03
Download / Buy below
Released and pressed by Broken Limbs
Ramlord Cara Neir