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