Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Annual Airing of Grievances 2013

Overall I really thought 2013 was a good year for the metal music...not quite as good as last year, but you had these amazing comeback albums by the likes of Voivod and Carcass and Satan and the almighty Mindly Rotten which wasn't a comeback but a reassertion to their throne of champions. I just can't get over that band. Anyway, where there are winners there are losers, so here's the bottom of the sludge pile.

Satyricon - s/t  By far the biggest dissapointment of the year, if you've got a superb drummer like Frost let him cut loose and go nuts godammit! Its sad when the best song on your album is a trite, romantic-styled ballad featuring that bald Midnight Oil looking mutherfucker whose day job is crooning in an AOR band.
Summoning - Old Morning's Dawn  not that Summoning aren't great but this is a pale imitation of their best works (Stronghold, Minas Morgul, Nightshade Forests)
Sannhet - Known Flood  more hipster bs
Rotting Christ - Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy  I usually love some Rotting Christ and the past few albums have been awesome, but ad naseum already...this is just a weaker replica of the last album, Sakis needs to recharge some of those creative juices.
Queens of the Stone Age - Like Cockwork  truly one of my favorite bands delivered a giant steaming turd in 2013.
Portal - Vexovoid  the grandfather clocks of this fucking cavern-core genre...Swarth was cool, Outre was cool...this is just more of the same, I dunno I guess I've reached my limit of this kind of nonsense.
Melvins - Everybody Loves Sausages  seriously who gives a fuck about this band anymore?
Inter Arma - Sky Burial  fuck this and anything even remotely associated with the "sludge" genre
Haxan Cloak - Excavation  The Emperor wears no cloak, uninteresting sound collage for boring milquetoasts in wood-rimmed glasses.
Gehenna - Unravel  rivals Satyricon for most boring album of the year but I will give these guys a little credit, at least it sounds like they were making an attempt to try.
Extol - s/t  Extol makes a comeback and no one gives a shit and with the mediocre quality of this album its easy to see why.
The Dillinger Escape Plan - One of Us is the Killer  this kind of music used to be mildly popular 10 years ago.
Ghost B.C. - Infestissumam  that pope schtick is about as threatening as the real pope, this goes for the music as well.
Crest of Darkness - In the Prescence of Death  Like a ripe cheese these fuckers just get fouler with age.
Ephel Duath - Hemmed By Light, Shaped By Darkness  This band used to be tits I just loved that concept album about the dog, but now that Italian married Karyn Crisis and the vocal cords that come with her...what a shame.
Circle - Incarnation...Why this fine psychedelic kraut-rock influenced band decided to do a straight up death metal, black metal, extreme metal album is beyond me, it sounds fucking awful. Take every cliche of the shitty cavern-core genre and neuvo-trash and mix it in a giant enema bag...the musical Incarnation of a big pile of llama shit
Botanist - IV:Mandragora  here's another one that completely mystifies me as to why people go apeshit over this lame-ass limp-dick attempt at "interesting" metal.
Aborym - Dirty...About as entertaining as the Christina Aguilera song its named after.

I could go into detail on the Gorguts and Deafhaven records which I thought had a good chance of making this shame parade, but after a few more listens both are decent enough albums....just highly overrated. It pains me to say that about Gorguts cuz I have mad respect for Luc Lemay fanny-pack and all but Obscura and to a lesser extent Wisdom were filled with strange-hooks and a bizarre charm which Coloured Sands is not...I do LOVE the classical track Battle of Chamdo though.

A big fuck off to all sludge and cavern-core bands...come on guys that shit is plaaaaayyyyeeed out.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Holiday Tradition

Have a cool yule fuckers!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Beast of 2013

Another year and another beast of list and while my blog writing has tapered off as of late, I still feel compelled to give my .02 to the year that was. What surprised, what shocked and what titillated. Probably my favorite find of this year was getting to know spotify which is possibly the greatest thing since sliced bread. I have been finding such good underground and obscure bands on that site that it boggles my mind. So, onto the beasts...

10. Duobetic HomunkulusAni Já Ani Ty Robit Něbudzeme, šedněme Do Koča, Vozit še Budzeme

I'm lovin' me some Duobetic Homunkulus. Wokis and Freedom broke loose from the !T.O.O.H! camp after Rad a Trest and have really spread their wings continuing on in an expanded vein from that amazing album. This is RIO mets tech meets prog meets folk meets death meets gettin down and funky with it, and despite having an album and song titles that give Fiona Apple a run for her grapes, the boys' keep everything concise and memorable...the question is which !T.O.O.H! duo made the crazier album this year--Wokis and Freedom or Humanoid and Schizoid--and the answer is Humanoid and Schizoid but I find Ani Ja to be a slightly more digestible experience. 

9. Euphoric DefilementAscending To The Worms

There has been a glut of terrific brutal death metal releases this year...Wormed, Deeds of Flesh, Necrambulant, Afflictive Emasculation...but only one rose to the top, only one had that indefinable X-Factor that makes it transcend and that is this beautiful beast known as Euphoric Defilement. Meat'n'Potato bludgeon riffs with enough calculating technical slice'n'dicing is what makes it bang, but then the creepy atmoshperic tremelo'd bits make it soar. Its rare that an album like this warrants repeated listens for me, but I've been listening to this at least once a week since it came out...and enjoying it more each time.

8. Blackdeath - Phobos

Blackdeath will for ever be among my favs when jonesing for Russian black metal supreme...These spiraling riffs those histrionically cackled vocals always provide a surreal and alien listening experience that gets me into the right kind of mood.  Until Old Wainds/Nav get their shit together for a new one, Phobos will more than suffice as the harbingers of Mother Russia (Musn't forget Rossomahaar either, refer to the 2010 list for that one).

7. Humanfly - Awesome Science

You want chops? Humanfly's got chops and then some. Awesome Science is straight up awesome. Soaring emo vocals are combined with abolutley phenomenal musical workouts that sound like something out of Crimson's Discipline. An absolutely stunning piece of work!

6. Beastmilk - Climax

An album chock full of hot anthems with Kvhost from DHG, Code and other great bands. Sounding a little bit like the Babylon Whores by way of Danzig, Climax is a  perfect choice for midnight escapades during these long winter nights.

5. Voices - From the Human Forest Create a Fugue of Imaginary Rain

Powerful black metal featuring former Akercocke members, this one was a number 1 sleeper hit for me over the summer. Eyes Become Black is a fuckin anthem and David Grey is owning just about all drummers out there. The man can play straight as an arrow and blast like a demon, tasteful and astute as always.

4. InquisitionObscure Verses for the Multiverse

Inquisition just keeps getting better with each passing album...honing that enviable sound, true master's of their craft.

3. Carcass - Surgical Steel

Carcass 2013 is > Carcass 1991-1993, or if not greater than then at least equal to, and that is more than enough for me! Surgical Steel is as deadly as its name implies, and Bill Steer absolutely steals the show with a riffgasmic performance par excellence! Carcass is and was (and more than likely will carry right on being) everything I love about metal.

2. Todtgelichter - Apnoe

I could shower this band with superlatives till I'm blue in the face and nothing but a dry foam of spittle sprays from my mouth and it still wouldn't be enough. This isn't the album I was expecting after the masterpiece that was Angst,  but damn if Apnoe hasn't grown on me. Alt-metal that manages to restore some respectability to a genre that ain't always grand.

1. Mindly RottenEffacing The Origin

A no-brainer to top this year's beast of, cuz this band is the coolest walking the earth at this moment, like if Sarcofago transmutated Yngwie Malmsteen's inglorious dexterity in a flurry of swwep picks and whammy abuse but kept it dirty...not just dirty, but dripping in filth and ire. Doing Colombia proud and keeping me happy into 2014 and beyond.

Pestilence - Obsidio, a mean fucking album, I'd call it a return to form but Pestilence have never really ever sounded this pissed off! A rebirth perhaps.
the new Soilwork Speed and crew's magnum opus, easily their best by a country mile.

Honorable Mentions
Kaviar Kavalier - Musik aus Ordinationen
Code - Augur Nox
True - Symptoms
Luctus - Stotis
Cult of Fire - something sanskrit
Zemial - Nykta
Tera Melos - X'ed Out

WTF's of the Year
...that new !T.O.O.H!, that new Timeless Necrotears, that new Vom Fetisch Der Unheirrtheit...good goddamn on all of those.

I enjoyed alot of great electropop this year, so heres my pick of that litter.
NoNoNo - Pumpin' Blood EP
Austra - Olympic
Gatekeeper - Young Chronos
Forest Swords - Engravings
Om Unit - Threads
Oh Land - Wishbone
Son Lux - Lanterns
Laurel Halo - Chance of Rain
Emancipator  - Dusk to Dawn
Oneirogen - Kiasma  (more drone than anything else...a haunting listen)

Prized hawgs of the year
Porky Vagina - Chlew Machina

Fright Pig - out of the Barnyard

Bassokah - Drum'N'Bass Grindcore Commando

Boargazm - The Aporkaplypse

and anything being made by mean Gene Hog-land

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bootlegs - W.C. Monster

White Castle Monster I think.  Listening to this album is like stuffing your gullet full of belly bombers till burst.  It's amazing that this band is from Iceland, I didn't think they had WC up there...only Krystal's.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Omnitron - Masterpeace

A grrroovy hot mess of an album from former Krixhjalters members. Ukeleles, big brass, 8bit, trip-hop, a woplopadobop, treat yourself to a grab-bag of plunderphonix and meaty riffs. Things really start stomping in tunes like "I Am He"where technojabbers roll into an accordian dirge that would make Sammy Sousa proud. "Eroticon's" Nordic-Boy take on Acid Bath may just bring down the house, but then here comes a sweet Maiden lead section to send gooseskin up your arm. A ripping cover of Ace of Spades wraps things up, proving that yes these guys do have taste. At least as much fun as GuineaPig Assasinator and right up there with Fable Frolic as well, in fact this is one of the greatest Swedish metal releases ever...believe it!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bulldozer - Dance Got Sick!

Italian thrashers getting down and funky. A much loved/loathed release, but good for busting up your next skate party. Is this the same band that did The Final Separation?? I guess Dr. Dope (the genius behind International Hypertechno) finally got his due, and they made do indeed. AC WIld man is chiming in and hell, you can't really ask for anything better, especially when this puts pretty much anything Anthrax has ever done to shame.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Candiru - Unloved

Feeling Unloved, feeling uncared for? Candiru feel your pain....and will add to it. GRIND YOURMIND!!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Obscure Dungeons

If you're anything like me, you just can't get enough of medieval occult ambient dungeon-synth. If this is the case you cannot afford to pass up the selection over at Obscure Dungeon Records. Some damn fine wares this French label is peddling, and make sure to throw em a bone or two to help keep that dungeon up to code.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Exit-13 - Don't Spare the Green Love

The true originators of Hydrogrind. Cephalic Carnage eat your hearts out! Grind or Die and then Fuck off!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Forest Swords - Engravings

Drone-step, Glorious Drone-step. Forest Swords aka Matthew Barnes scrapes it down to the bare necessities and is all the better for doing so. F'ing masterpiece. As comfortable at a ravedown or with any and all the forest people...or perhaps here? Minus that rubbish music of course.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Njiqahdda - Grain III

The ever prolific (and ever unpronounceable) Njiqahdda have released something of a revelation here with this little ep. Somewhere between atmospheric death metal and mathrock with droning Morrissey as troll-style vocals. But with the feel of climaxing black metal just there but slipping through your reach. I'm loving it big time and am a little bit surprised at the effect it's having over me. Hypnotic, laid back...powerful. This is just about a perfect sound, do go over to their bandcamp where nearly all eee Recordings are available for your perusal.
Oppose the mainstream dammit!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Profane Creation - Nema

Another old school delight. Brazilian blaasphemy at its finest here folks!

Baxaxaxa - Hellfire

Here you fuckers go, some excellent ooold school German black metal from the depths of the underground...pure dungeon musick.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Morlok - The End Times

Recent excursions into soft grunge and so called pastel goth have left me clamboring for some blazing raw experimental Czech black metal, and hot damn do Morlok deliver! Distraught melodies, sizzlingly off-kilter drum programming and an overall alien industrial vibe that never forgoes the outright thrashiness that defines the awesomeness that IS Czech black metal!! Fuck, they even throw in a bit of unclean "When Johnny comes Stomping Home" folk jazz on some of these cuts. More fun than an extraterrestrial nocturnal snipe hunt and definitely for fans of Blacklodge, Mysticum, Meatballs and dat Sabbatic Goat.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Urge - Master of Styles

Thrash, ska, reggae dub and cool melodic vocals. Basically the soundtrack to my high school experience. I always likened the Urge to a more metal, anthemic Fishbone almost like a power metal take on The Harder They Come. All their albums are pretty great but this one has the hits. Perfect summertime smok'ndrink music!
P.S. Voxalist Steve Ewing has a sweet hot dog joint in the STL, that is delish, especially that Gorilla Mac'n'Cheese dawg...talk about Receiving the Gift of Flavor!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

!T.O.O.H! - Democratic Solution

This new !T.O.O.H! is really good and strange. I'm glad the brothers Schizoid and Humanoid decided to go out on a swansong. I can honestly say there ain't another band playing music that sounds like this. Go over to their  fb page and dl the thing already + all the Gemini Gem offerings and rare !T.O.O.H! recordings...its a veritable treasure trove!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summoning - Lugburz

Summoning’s first album and my personal favorite. Before they totally disappeared up Tolkein’s rectum. I totally love their later albums as well, I eat that keyboard slop up, it’s just on Lugburz they had that little something extra, that little extra “sting”…a drummer named Trifixion! As y’all may have gleaned from the Pervertum post from awhile back (waaay awhile back), I have quite the crush of Mr. Horned Godz percussionary skillz. Underneath that pasty white corpsepainted exterior beats a heavy funky soul. It’s hard to put a pin in just how awesome his performance is, but I’ll give it a go: Billy Cobham mixed with a drunk Flo Mournier…Nicko McBrain trying to out paradiddle Abath circa Battles In The North…or maybe even Atheist's Steve Flyn gone a LARP-ing….the only thing he’s missing is a vibraslap. So just try and wrap your head around all of that!! Hey this is even better than Lost Tales Upon A Viking Stallion, those riffs are crazy. It may have been a uniquely Austrian black metal thing, but these major-key medieval melodies are just killer and bands like Summoning and Abigor had them in spades. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Alien Crucifixion - Relics of a Dark Star

Raped by Xenu, Enslaved by Reptoids...no not the latest Gloria Estefan album, just some maniacal grindcore from where else but Roswell, NM. And you know it's pretty good too. Good for those late night X-Files marathons where you just want to mute the sound and revel in some Agent Scully. You might be able to get a little Wizard of Oz/DSoftheM type of thing going on tooo.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beast so Far

About a half way through this year and already there are some standout releases that you should certainly be aware of. Some of the tops...and don't forget that new one buy some Canadian death metal band I'm sure no one's ever heard of.

Black Crucifixion - Coronation of King Darkness
These old-school Finns resurfaced in the mid-aughts to unleash more of their Celtic Frost/Darkthrone inspired sludgy blackness...I'm digging this big time because the bass tone reminds me of Magma. Making sure the old-school remains cool.

Cynthesis - ReEvolution
Featuring members of Zero Hour, pretty much the best progressive metal album I've heard since Arch/Matheos jam.

Euphoric Defilement - Ascending to the Worms
Sophisticated brutality, I'm replaying this one waaay more than I should probably. X Factor galore, especially for a band's debut!!

Deeds of Fleisch - Portals To Canaan
Haven't listened to the whole thing yet but sounding damn good, definitely not a step down from the excellent ...Of What's To Come and sure to give the Euphoric Defilement boys a run for their money come awards season.

Humanfly - Awesome Science
Psychedelic Space Jam Time...reminds me of Iceburn in all the right ways

Aosoth - IV: An Arrow in Heart
Like Deathspell minus the meandering (read: boring) parts

Okular - Sexforce
Progressive death metal euphoria from these Norsemen. Second only to Diskord in the Norwegian death metal sweepstakes.

Satan - Life Sentence
Ripping, shredding ballz-out NWOBHM just like olden-times, the boys' still got it!

Head of the Demon - s/t
Featuring members of old Swedish melo-death band A Mind Confused and this sounds nothing like that, not that I'm complaining mind you! HOD is like a Forgotten Woods/Furze clusterfuck gone off the chain. Grimier than you like but sit down and take a bite.

Soror Dolorosa - No More Heroes
Hands down the best goth going...maybe not better than Blind Scenes but when you've perfected a sound I say just go with it. Plus whenever I think that the band's singer is Andy Julia I think that he might be Raul Julia's son which makes me think of his portrayal of Gomez Adams which puts me in an ideal mindset to listen to Soror Dolorosa. Positive feedback loop perfection.

Pat Metheny - Tap: Book of Angels Volume 20
The frizzy-fro'd guitar god gets his freak on to some John Zorn hitz.

The Crescent - Risti
A continuation of Enochian Crescent, which was probably the most unsung Finnish black metal band ever. This album is deserving of way more acclaim than it has been getting (which has been just about zilch so far).

Lumrerians - The High Fronteir
High as an f'n kite indeed! Jungle-lovin prog demons get down and tribal with afrobeats and psychedelic freakouts.

Procession - To Reap Heavens Apart
Powerful Chilean trad doom goodness

Tengger Cavalry - Black Steed and The Expedition
The Mongolian Skyclad...nuff said

Kaviar Kavalier - Music aus Ordinationen
Haven't heard all of this new one from Necrocock, but what I have sounds very promising

Duobetic Homunkulus - Ani já ani
Same with these Czech Stalling-Grind nutzos

Judicator - Sleepy Plessow
Best power metal you'll hear all year guaranteed

Todtgelichter - Apnoe
This is and probably will remain my favorite album of the year...just unbelievaby good - expanding, improving and then totally disregarding their sound from previous albums. Black metal, alt-rock, goth, rhythmic, melodic and emotional Apnoe has got it all!

Voivod - Target Earth
What a glorious return...can proudly stand beside Nothingface and Outer Limits, and I don't think Snake has ever sounded better.

Soilwork - The Living Infinite
Big big surprise this one, Speed and the boys haven't sounded this good since....well, ever.

Tera Melos - X'ed Out
A pure pleasure to listen to. Just a perfect summertime jam especially if you don't mind some twee infiltrating your noise rawk.

Way to End - Various Shades of Black
Twisted Neoclassical shreddy French black metal. Gruesome and beautimous.

Good things on the Whorizon

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Countess - Sermons Of The Infidel

Goddamn this is sounding superb, Orlok back up to his old tricks and I for one could not be happier!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Subject - Wild Horses from the Clouds

Giddyup fuckers. Wild horses couldn't drag me away from this melancholy Swano influenced death metal from Hungary...I'm probably most reminded of some of those old Finnish death metal bands that took the long dusty trail ontowards the everflowing rivers of doom. Amorphis, hell even Xysma and Decoryah fans take note.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Butcher - Astral Karma

Probably the best metal review site is autothrall. The guy is just prodigious and almost always on point, so when he writes up an album with a name like this and a cover like this and a sound that is described as "what might occur if Yngwie Malmsteen had guested on a Voivod record and made Piggy's eyes roll up in consternation" then HOT DAMN! Sign me up and quick...every bit as good as that description would have you believe!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pirokinesis - Fuera De La Realidad

Well well it was around this time last year that I was posting about all the great crazy metal bands Columbia had or has possessed...paast and present. Right in that unhealthy glut of late 80's proto-black evil fuked up thrash is Pirokinesis. Sounding quite a bit like Parabellum and those nutterz from Reencarnacion -a lot of the more avant-garde shenanigans. Outside of Reality indeed.