Prepare for some mind blowing picks
Well…Fuck me. How swiftly this year has passed. It hasn’t been without incident though, a myriad of events have interrupted the normalcy of life for me throughout this very year. But, I won’t bore you with them. Instead, I’ll mention but a few things which have transpired that have helped make 17′ a year to remember be it for great or horrid reasons.
First off, I’ve started to compose again. No deplorably themed fiction as of yet but I’ll make my way back in that direction soon enough. Fingers crossed that reviews and my thoughts on celluloid affairs will keep the urges satisfied until they become rabidly ferocious and demand something more. For this I must thank Drunkinagraveyard and its editorial staff for allowing me an outlet, in which to vent, an area in which to toss my thoughts and for treating me considerably better than a scribblin’ ‘meat husk’ truly deserves.
Years end brings with it a new segment, an exciting avenue for two minds to merge, find disagreement and leave often very different thoughts on a plethora of releases in the metal arena. So I guess it’s only fair to thank my co conspirator in this regard and his patience for putting up with my inane BS and oddball inquizitions at all hours of the day.
This strangely brings me to all the PR peeps who continue to toss fresh material in my direction. Thanks guys, you make insufferable every day existence that much more tolerable. Last but not least my wife and youngest who continue to inspire me, tickle me at the most annoying of instances (damn you stop that! Now I’ve lost my train of thought…fuck!) and make my visage contort into the weirdest of flesh stretching expressions. My face was not meant to convey joy. Dammit, that’s not in my nature I’m English, we aren’t, as a rule, happy people.
Back to the meat of things (yumm…meat) and onwards. Naturally as I’m a busy fellow I’ve been unable to subject my senses to all that I wish I could have, but from what I have delved into here are my picks for ‘best of’ 17′.
Please bear in mind these are my choices – I haven’t been coerced or bribed into them. Each has his or her own personal tastes and these are mine alone. And as per usual comments/ thoughts and suggestions are always welcome, I would normally say otherwise but seems as decent butt wipe is beyond my present financial reach I’m somewhat desperate.
Admittedly this has been a stellar year for metal. This statement must be true it says so on the internet. Each and every new day brings with it fresh recommendations from all corners and for all manner of tastes. Nevertheless I have my own views and levels of excitement regarding genres others ‘lose their shit’ for. With that being said however, this year saw me spreading open my cranium (Ahh – the visuals!) for brand new experiences in the audio realm. For example, this year saw my appreciation for synth works and Darkwave skyrocket. Be sure to check out Werewolves in Siberia and FaceXHugger if you havent already. Now how was that for a segway?
Anyhows… In no particular order.
Each mention is for a release from this year (unless otherwise noted.)
Perkulatory – Chronic Caffiene Dependence
An album on the delights of an overendulgence of caffeine consumption. Old school death rhythms and groove make this an album I will recommend to whoever listens.
Headcrusher – Death Comes With Silence
Unignorable. This album puche’s you in the gut, laughs, helps you up then does it all again. A fantastic meld of styles to keep the listener on thir toes from start to finish.
Subservience – Forest of the Impaled
Originally reviewed without the albums art therefore I’ve added it, found above.
A stunning example of death metal. Period. Great vox snd melodies you can break shit too, what else can u ask for, seriously.
Psygnosis – Neptune
Epic in scope and mind blowingly diverse in makeup this is an album you can lose yourself in. This deserves at least a listen or two to truly appreciate.
Obscure Devotion – Ubi Certa Pax Est
Blackened death par excellence. Break neck speeds, grim vocals and atmosphere combine for an unforgettable metal listening experience.
Gatecreeper – Sonoran Depravation
Excellent old school groove laden death metal from whence I hail – Tucson. My only regret is that I’ve never seen them live. Every death fans collection deserves this masterpiece!
Bear Mace – Butchering the Collossus
Add this to that same collection which bears old school death and up and coming acts who bear the same unignorable influences. Excellently crafted metal that will make those limbs twitch.
(I’m still up for interview if you’re reading this guys)
Mist of Misery – Shackles of Life
Beauty and melancholy collide under a sky tainted black metal (see what I did there?).
These guys are churning out quality eye-opening metal at an alarming rate. Two EPs and a full length all in one year. All ‘are’ must own masterworks.
Excommunion – Thronosis
Short, straight to the point and chaotic. Not normally the type of death I enjoy but this was stellar in every conceivable way.
Zornheym – Where Hatred Dwells and Darkness Reigns
The perfect combination of symphonic atmosphere, classical interludes and blackened death metal. Nuff said!
Benighted – Necrobreed
These guys are inhuman! On point riffage, octopus coca in addled drum pummeling and perhaps the most talented vocalist in the arena of death metal. An outstanding diverse mixture of extreme metal in an ultra pallettable concoction.
Crafteon – Cosmic Reawakening
An amazing debut slathered in Lovecraftian themes and crafted with style. Keep an eye on these folks. They’ll put Colorado on the Black Metal map.
Hellripper – Coagulating Darkness
Break out those studded bracelets and denim jackets this album will toss u back a few years. Limber up before you toss this one on folks. Blackened death with punk/crust/NWOBHM influence detuned to propel the mind behind it to Metals hall of fame.
Dying Fetus – Wrong One to Fuck With
Legends of the scene are back! This release proves why they’ve been around for as long as they have. Audio like this proves they’ve still got a few tricks up their sleeve and they aren’t getting knocked off their throne anytime soon.
Virvum – Illuminance
Expertly crafted tech-death mastery with just the right amount of progressive elements to please those that demand both brutality and audio overy lowing with genius like talent.
Break out the streamers and party hats it’s my best of…
In no particular order…
A Flourishing Scourge – s/t
The artwork didn’t do much for me, I get it ying and yang, good and evil, etc. Don’t get me wrong it’s impressive, it’s just not my thing. The music contained therein, on the other hsnd…fuck! I think I even called my ailing Granma and told her about the album. This is an amazing tech death/proggressive album which doesn’t scrimp on melody or brutality but offers all then so much more in equal measures. This deserves praise from the highest peaks!
Wolf Brigade – Run With the Hunted
From the very first second I was utterly possessed by this. Crust/punk with so much rhythm you might want to call your next of kin before hitting the play button.
Damn infectious and dangerously addictive. I’d swear Lemmy was pulling vox duties if I didn’t know any better.
Akercocke – Renaissance In Extremis
Complex and intricate this is, in my opinion, Akercocke at their most devestatingly effective. They’ve been absent for some time but with an album like this it was well worth the wait.
Words cannot express my appreciation for the genius within this album, although I will try.
Prometheus – Consumed in Flames
In my opinion this exemplifies the perfect mixture of black metal and death. Complex rhythms, great vocals and a unexpectedly ever changing pace and riff structure make this an album I will return to frequently.
A must own!!
Evadne – A Mother Named Death
To be brief this is everything I hope a doom album to be in a perfect world. Slow to mid tempo melodies, dualling growls, Gothic atmosphere and gloomy passages abound. Where November’s Doom and October Tide excel (in instances) is where this album from Evadne resides, it flows exceedingly well throughout making for an overall pleasurabe listening experience that isn’t forgotten but rather savoured like an intriguingly complex vintage fermented liquid.
Legacy of Emptiness – Over the Past
Like an epic soundscape this album whirls the listener away to another realm entirely. Symphonic atmosphere blends seamlessly with black metal sensabilities creating a truly unique listen that’s tragically beautiful yet layered in delicate darkness. An exquisite experience for the senses that’s crafted with passion and delivered with flair.
Inanimate Existence – Underneath a Melting Sky
Recently I’ve found myself enthralled by numerous releases residing in the tech death/progressive genre. Some tend to go overboard when it comes to experimentation and guitar wankery, others sound ‘forced’ whilst others concentrate too hard on being different that they lose sight altogether on what’s important. Then there’s the vocal style. I’m rather picky when it comes to this. I can appreciate an album based on its merit but if I don’t like the vocals then it’s neither here nor there. Inanimate Existence on the other hand have everything going for them. The talent is there in aces, rhythms are intricate and unprefictable, the vocals ‘fit’ and all the ingredients mixed make for a damn great listen. And to think this is somewhat a concept album too. The defining element for me though was that the mind behind Inanimate Existence (Cameron Porras) actually took the time to explain and delve into his thought processes on creating/ conjuring the album. Track by track, and all free on The Artisan Era Youtube channel. All that’s left to say is support the band, buy theit music and merch, that they might be able to keep this up this level of generosity.
Well folks that’s about it.
Aha! – I hear, what no mention of Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Swallow the Sun, Archspire, Ne Obliviscaris or Septic Flesh? (Or numerous others also unleashed in the past twelve months.) Well to be honest, I’ve either heard the release, not thought much of it or have yet to hear it and/or comment on it. There’s the short of it. I’d apologize if your favorite isn’t mentioned but to be blunt this is my opinion, and much like an arse hole everyone has one and I want to neither see or hear yours. *insert sarcastic smiley face here you would love to punch repeatedly.*
It’s been a great year, stay safe over the holidays.
Your slave to audio indecent, deviant, obscene and often so far removed from the radar that you might have to dig to China to even come close to its whereabouts.
You can find Cult on twitter.