Ditto what I said a year back. I basically haven't touched this blog in a year....or the year before that. Will things change this year? I have no fucking clue, maybe? So without further ado, here is what blew my mind this past 365.
10. The Squirm - Unspoken
Alesh AD, alum of Czech metal heroes Root, makes a bold move releasing an alt-rock album. Bold but brilliant cuz this is the stuff of top down, pedal down chant alongs. If I were hard pressed I'd have to say that Alesh has been listening to a lot of bro Blackosh's still phenomenal Uncommon Excursions.
9. Cradle of Filth - Hammer of the Witches
Another Root alum does good. I have to admit that I was a bit perplexed as to Ashok's decision to leave Root for COF. Certainly the paycheck has to be better but I really thought it was a shame that his unique riff-writing and superb leads would be buried under everything Filthy. I shouldn't a been worried about a goddamn thing cuz Ashok and short-armed drummer Marthus have upped Cradle's game, with extremely Root-esque riffs, effortlessly splendid leads and tasty drumming. I even enjoy Dani Filth's vocals on an album for maybe the first time ever. Probably the nicest surprise on this list, and definitely Cradle's best since 2000's excellent Midian.
8. Grimes - Art Angels
A small confession to make here, I am a Grimes fanboy through and through. No surprise then that I was awaiting Art Angels with bated breathing ever since Ms. Boucher released the demo of Realiti earlier this year. Also not surprising that I think Art Angels is an absolute slam dunk, a fiercer more aggro version of Grimes than Visions and I'm digging that fire.
7. Arnold Veeman - Klaai
Veeman is a Demon, an absolute beast. A master of production, subtle textures and intricate vocals. Jazz, big band, handclaps...the whole kitchen sink pulled off with aplomb and appeal. Keep it up Veeman, you are fast becoming one of my favorite artists out there.
6. Dødheimsgard - A Umbra Omega
DHG may not be the most prolific of groups but I've always been one for quality over quantity anyway, and sweet lord is this quality. A perfect mix of 666 International's avant-garde storytelling and Supervillian Outcast's catchy as fuck take on modern black metal...not to mention the twisting creative riffwork of Satanic Art ep schmiered over 5 expansive cinematic tracks. Weird and exhilarating, I just hope we the fans don't have to wait 8 years for the next one.
5. Mandroïd Of Krypton - Hyperkaossmarket
Well this is another real nice surprise. Swiss techno-thrashers Mandroïd of Krypton manage to bridge the ungodly chasm between Killing Technology Voivod and fellow swatchmasters Calhoun Conquer and I've been lappin' it up like Swiss Miss.
4. Liturgy - The Ark Work
Not everyone's cup of tea (to put it mildly). But this ritualistic weirdo type of metallish choral-chant/rap music puts me in one righteous mood...what more can I say?
3. Arcturus - Arcturian
Is there a more charismatic, more chance-taking metal frontman working today than ICY Vortex? That's not really a question, but more of a request, cuz if there is I'd really love to meet him or her. When Icy heats up just get the hell out of his way and enjoy the show, foghorns and all.
2. Killing Joke - Pylon
A return to form, but have KJ ever really been out of form? I sincerely doubt it. Hell I personally favor Outside the Gates for fucks sake, but Pylon is pushing all of my right buttons. The riff structure of Big Buzz is absolutely sublime.
1. Aktor - Paranoia
A most excellent collab between Finland's fav guerre auteurs Circle & the USA's own Professor Admiron Black of classic metal resurgence renown. This group has crafted possibly the catchiest most out there but not quite all the way "out-there" album of recent memory. Licks of Dharma, kraut drumming ala Circle natch, fucking anthemic keyboards and Black's pitch perfect earnest vocals. Yes my friends, this is some ass shaking space boogie and it doesn't get any finer. For fans of Basement Metal, Club Ninja & for fans of Grimmer Than Thou blog....you know who you be.
Lugubrum - Herval, Kaeck - Stormkult, Mamaleek - Via Dolorosa, The Fall - Sub-Lingual Tablet, Sapthuran - Hildegicel, Krallice - Ygg Huur, Solefald - World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud, Bosse de Nage - All Fours, Necrocock - Hudba z psychiatrických pavilonů, Grave Pleasures - Dreamcrash, J.C. Satan - J.C. Satan, Mgla - Exercises In Futility, Sadist - Hyeana, Doug Hream Blunt - My Name is Doug Hream Blunt, Holy Forest - Holy Forest, Lychgate - An Antidote For the Glass Pill, Borgne - Regne des Morts, Alkaloid - The Malkuth Grimoire, Drudkh - A Furrow Cut Short, Peste Noire - La Chaise-Dyable, Imperial Triumphant - Abyssal Gods
Phenomenal Tech eps
Theory In Practice - Evolving Transhumanism, Watchtower - Technology Inaction, Droid - Disconnected, Wild Hunt - Scroll and Urn
Ugandan street rap
Nuwaubian spiritual rap