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  • 2013 Sucked Cocks In Hell

    30 Dic 2013, 20:11



    I'm just gonna come out and say it: 2013 saw a lot of "good" releases, but hardly any classics that will stand the test of time. For that reason, I won't number my top 10, instead, I'll list it alphabetically. Sorry, 2013, better luck next year.

    Anyway, here we go:

    TOP 10 LPs:

    BONE SICKNESS - Alone In The Grave

    Now these fellas here make themselves known like a kick in the gut. Within the album's short play time (under 20 minutes), Bone Sickness rock your liver with a grinding, no-frills punk-ish death metal assault that harkens back to Repulsion, Nihilist and Napalm Death while managing to feel as fresh as the first time the casket cracked open back in the '80s. Don't listen to this album while driving or breast-feeding.

    GRAVE MIASMA - Odori Sepulcrorum

    Grave Miasma need no further introduction. They've been peddling their particular brand of sulfur-worshiping death metal since 2009, becoming underground sweethearts in the meanwhile. A lot of hype surrounded the release of their first full-length, and I'm glad to report that they've managed to live up to it: caustic riffs play over oppressive drumming to provide an album that's equal parts obscure and diverse - yup, they've managed to expand on their demo/EP sound with new songwriting ideas that proves they have something to say in the genre instead of recycling riffs every third song.

    GRAVE UPHEAVAL - Untitled

    "The songwriting and performance on the album is primal and severe, while the exquisitely disorienting haze in which the songs are drenched produces a hallucinatory effect. Forms emerge and retreat into the sonic miasma producing a textural richness rarely achieved in Death Metal." - from the label's Bandcamp site.
    I love going the easy route, and NWN just provided it for me. Ever since their inception Grave Upheaval have been on the atavistic, feces-throwing primal Metal-Of-Death side of things, but not by bashing your skull in with blazing riffs and d-beat drums. No, they've tried to conjure up the grimy bang-a-seashell-against-the-cave-wall noise atmosphere - they're almost a death metal answer to Throbbing Gristle or Nurse With Wound.

    IRON DOGS - Free And Wild

    Last year's "Cold Bitch" was a cool surprise, and news of a follow-up had me giggling like an innocent Tokyo schoolgirl-like giggle. I'm glad to report that these Canadians haven't changed their style in a radical manner, but rather fine-tuned it. Yes, this is their most Brocas-Helm-meets-Cirith-Ungol work yet, with fretboard acrobatics meeting soaring vocals barking catchy choruses over mostly mid-paced beats; it's metal as fuck, but I kinda miss the balls to the wall insanity and speed of their first album.

    LANTERN - Below

    What's that? Finnish Death Metal that sounds original? In 2013? It's not that the formula is being completely re-written, it's just that's it's so excellently executed, you cannot turn a blind eye to it. "Virgin Taste Of Damnation" put Lantern on this blasphemous path, yet now they've come forth with a full-length that acknowledges US screeching guitars circa "Screams of Anguish" alongside Finnish eerie atmospherics such as Disgrace or Depravity which is sure to make you hide under your bed from the Demons In Your Room.

    MION'S HILL - Black Death

    Probably the most unique choice of this top 10. Mion's Hill throw forth such a simplistic cocktail, you'd wonder why no other bands follow suit. Having a Hellhammer bass line with an early Dream Death riff style, some Mefisto riffs and occasional doom-death part (early demo-era Autopsy comes to mind during the slower parts), these guys really don't give a shit about blast beating you to death. Catching the Black Plague was never this fun!

    NEKROFILTH - Devil’s Breath

    This. This fucking album right here. This is probably the most vicious shit to come out this year, and it's catchy as fuck, to boot! If you're familiar with Nekrofilth, it's no departure from their usual sound, but if you're not, I hope you like Abscess. Punk-ish death metal with catchy choruses galore, this is the type of shit to make you crack your windows open and scream "I'M A DEGENERATE!" Best lyrics by far. Needs to be played around family gatherings and church baptisms.

    SHITFUCKER - Suck Cocks In Hell

    A band with little pretense, it does exactly what it says on the tin. To quote their bandcamp page, "Bow before apocalyptic witching metal of the highest order/odor : this is SHITFUCKER's Suck Cocks in Hell! Recommended for diehards of GISM, early SODOM, ABIGAIL, and early BATHORY.".
    It literally is GISM as a combination of US punk rhytms and European over-the-top vocals and riffing. Fun as fuck, to be played over and over in your Sex Dungeon.

    TRIBULATION - The Formulas of Death

    Yeah, yeah, Sweden's a gay swamp, hurr dee durr. It's a bit too long for its own good, and it draws on a lot of hate from death metal purists, but it's just so fucking good, I couldn't ignore it. For me, 2009's "The Horror" was album of the year, and I seriously expected a "Part II" with this album - I've never been so glad to be wrong. It may be The-Doors-meets-Swedish-death-metal, but it's also a music enthusiast's buffet, with long build-ups, tasty leads and more vicious riffs than you can shake a stick at. They've moved away from the formula that made them famous (was The Horror famous? I liked it), but they've evolved *cough* into something quite extraordinary. Listen while sipping fine brandy and ignoring minority crimes in your region.

    VILLAINS - Never Abandon The Slut Train

    Motherfucking Villains fucking street fucking metal night knifing lunatic drinking motherfucking yeah! I may be repeating myself by quoting Bandcamp pages, but, y'know, if it ain't broke, don't fix it:"Every riff on this album is drenched in disdain for the sobriety of day and a reverence for the Dionysian decadence and unbridled destruction heralded by night’s call. Villains’ music dwells in that span of hours devoid of memory during which ambition manifests itself in the handing out of unrestrained chin-checks and the indiscriminate hunt for feminine submission until the haze of morning reveals the broken remnants of the night’s revelry."
    This is the scumfuck's metal album. Sleaze drips out the walls while you're trying to pour yourself another double whiskey and hit on your highschool sweetheart in grimy hallways during your 20-year reunion. It ain't pretty, but, mate, life ain't pretty. All you can do is down another shot, headbutt a paper towel dispenser and pledge allegiance to the Slut Train.

    TOP 10 DEMOS/EPs:

    BLACK MAGICK SS - Symbols of Great Power/Panzerwitch

    Yeah, I can't choose between these two releases, so fuck it, they're both in. It's a tough sound to describe, almost as if they're a giallo psych rock band (think "Four Flies On Grey Velvet"), combined with a no-budget Abysmal Grief, but with a seriously uplifting feeling that will kick you out of your chair and make you jump around the room praising Sat-- aw shit, they're a black metal version of a gospel group, aren't they?

    BÖLZER - Aura

    Furious and chunky blackened death metal provides the canvas on which lavish, almost symphonic riffs are laid out in what is one of the year's most original releases. It's hard to believe that only two guys manage to hit this hard, but go see them live if you ever get the chance, they're even more rabid.

    BONES - Demo 2013

    These Belgians waste no time in getting down to business. Scandinavian death metal riffs give way to American mid-paced morbidity with just a hint of fellow countrymen Chemical Breath in the vocal department to create a Cyclopean demo that's sure to inflict maddening visions and fever dreams.

    MABUSE - Nekromagic

    I've featured Mabuse last year too, but they're just so fucking good. Get this if you're into early Deceased.

    MOLD - Cremated Alive

    Filthy as fuck death metal from Denmark with an excellent low-end "our-rehearsal-space-is-near-an-active-volcano" production. Could have easily been some early '90s Pestigore side-project.

    OCCULT BURIAL - Demo MMXIII

    I love old-school Bathory, they love old-school Bathory, why don't we hang out? Seriously, if Quorthon would have amped up his rock'n'roll factor slightly and released "Bathory" again and again, this is what it would probably sound like eventually.

    PLAGUESTORM - Bestial Exekution

    Old school death metal demo production, vicious vocals and some speed metal riffs make this a very enjoyable experience that channels a Treblinka or Morbid feeling at times.

    POSSESSION - His Best Deceit

    Most savage demo of the year, that's for sure. Over-the-top black/death that hints towards South American greats such as Holocausto or Sepultura (they even covered "Necromancer"!) and has enough energy to level an entire city block. Stop reading, start thrashing!

    RANGER - Knights of Darkness

    Doc Brown was wrong, you don't need a DeLorean to travel back in time. From what I'm hearing here, all you need is a guitar. Fast and deadly speed metal that sounds like they've opened for Agent Steel back in the day.

    ZOM - Multiversal Holocaust

    Two more songs from these Horrors From Beyond, just enough to whet our appetite until they finally hit us with a full-length next year. Death Metal from the coldest, most abject regions of the Multiverse.

    HONORABLE MENTIONS:

    Abysmal Grief - Feretri

    Their darkest and most mature album yet.

    Act of Impalement - Hyperborean Altar

    Doom metal with liberal doses of crust, but not quite into stenchcore territory.

    Autopsy - The Headless Ritual

    Say what you will about nu-Autopsy, but they can still crank out the occasional killer tune, and this album has probably the best guitar work yet.

    Enforcer - Death By Fire

    Flamboyant speed metal. Catchy riffs, blazing solos and a singer that just oozes charisma. You can't not have a good time with this.

    Machetazo - Ruin

    They've toned down the grind aspect a bit in favor of a dark and cavernous death metal assault. A grimy, harrowing, plodding masterpiece that is "the real fucking deal".

    Manifesting - Descension Through The Seven Forbidden Seals

    Macabre death metal that brings label-mates ZOM to mind, but with an added crusty influence.

    Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Away

    Way better than the last full-length, this one seems a bit more intimate and low-key. It's not a classic Nick Cave album by any stretch, but it's the best in quite a while.

    Obliteration - Black Death Horizon

    Death Metal from Norway with quite a hard-on for Autopsy. This one has a more laid-back and atmospheric feeling than Nekropsalms, but don't be fooled into thinking they went soft: from atop the throne of bones, the view is bleaker than ever.

    Rotten - Cryptic Catacombs

    Solo death metal side-project of Dave Rotten from Avulsed. Cavernous and grimy, really good stuff, he should focus on this more instead of Avulsed.

    Slutvomit - Swarming Darkness

    Blazing-fast black/thrash that evokes early Sodom, Nifelheim and Possessed in an insane over-the-top concoction. Also has some of the best song titles this year, with tracks like "Poservore" or "Incendiary Rape".

    SPECIAL AWARDS:

    "Comeback of the year" award: SATAN - Life Sentence

    "Coffins album of the year" award: NIGHTSLUG - Dismal Fucker

    "These guys really love Venom" award: BAT - Primitive Age

    "Are you sure these leads aren't from a Mercyful Fate record?" award: SATAN'S WRATH - Aeons of Satan's Reign

    "Someone finally fucking used the Sovereign speech from Mass Effect 1 as a sample in a death metal record" award: ZEALOTRY - The Charnel Expanse

    "Most haunting vocal performance" award: CAUCHEMAR - Tenebrario

    "Greek metal that isn't from Greece album of the year" award: SACRIPHYX - The Western Front

    "I can't wait for 2013 to be over so I won't have to hear about this shit ever again in my life" award: DEAFHEAVEN - Sunbather

    NON-METAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: BEASTMILK - Climax

    Expectations were high following their demo/EP, but they've managed to deliver in spades. Finnish post-punk with excellent drumming, catchy choruses and a somewhat bleak atmosphere, you'll want to hit "Play" again and again once "Strange Attractors" hits its last haunting note.

    STUFF I DIDN'T LIKE VERY MUCH:

    Necrowretch - Putrid Death Sorcery

    Excellent guitar work here, but can't they go back to the demo production? This one's a bit too shiny.

    Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Mind Control

    Has some good songs here and there, but overall it just felt too soft and forgettable. The video for Mind Crawler is the best thing to come out of it.

    Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance

    I really like the new Darkthrone direction, but this album had like two good songs at best. Come on, guys, you're not touring, you're not pressured into putting out an album a year, get your shit together and try harder for the next one.

    Torture Chain - Mutilating Astral Entities

    I've been keeping an eye on Torture Chain for quite some time now, but their debut full-length just feels... bloated? I guess they're better in bite-sized chunks.

    Necrocurse - Grip Of The Dead

    Not particularly bad, but not memorable either. Crank out a new Nifelheim album already.

    Witchgrave - Witchgrave

    "Occult" Swedish heavy metal from the members of Antichrist. Compared to their EP, the album's a bit flat and light on catchy riffs. Still worth a listen, though.

    MOVIES OF THE YEAR:

    ONLY GOD FORGIVES (Nicolas Winding Refn)

    The plot is simplistic, but the soundtrack and the cinematography are hair-raising. Yeah, it draws a bit from Santa Sangre, but it's an entirely different beast. Wanna fight?

    UPSTREAM COLOR (Shane Carruth)

    A movie that flows unlike any others this year. Even if you were to disregard the plot (which is, admittedly, a bit of a mind-bender), you could enjoy it as an exercise in pure cinema; make sure you turn up your speakers when viewing.

    A FIELD IN ENGLAND (Ben Wheatley)

    A shroomed-out, beautifully shot, fantastically scored fever-dream quest through purgatory.

    LA GRANDE BELLEZZA (Paolo Sorrentino)

    Sorrentino sure loves Fellini, huh? Despite its title, the movie had more than a healthy dose of ugliness - ugly people constantly attend ugly parties with ugly music, but when all is said and done, La Grande Bellezza is quite an interesting character piece.

    FUCKING DONE!

    So there you have it. 2013 was simply good. Not bad, and definitely not excellent, it's merely a transitional year. See you in 12 months where we rave about Dead Congregation, ZOM, Deceased and whatever other surprises pop up.

    Bone SicknessGrave MiasmaGrave UpheavalIron DogsLanternMion's HillNekrofilthShitfuckerTribulationVillainsBlack Magick SSBölzerBonesMabuseMoldOccult BurialPlaguestormPossessionRangerZomAbysmal GriefAct of ImpalementAutopsyEnforcerMachetazoManifestingNick Cave & The Bad SeedsObliterationRottenSlutvomitSatanNightslugBatSatan's WrathZealotryCauchemarSacriphyxBeastmilkNecrowretchDeafheavenUncle Acid and the DeadbeatsDarkthroneTorture ChainNecrocurseWitchgrave
  • TO THE DEPTHS OF 2012, IN DEGRADATION

    30 Dic 2012, 16:27



    I don't know where you guys like to hang out online, but I've come across quite a few meatheads complaining this year was terrible for music. Sorry if Experimental US Black Metal Act #4123 failed to release anything, or if Metal Supergroup Reunion #524 didn't live up to your expectations, but 2012 saw some fucking excellent releases, quite a few of them being from first-timers! Tune in, drink up and read on!

    10. Revenge - Scum.Collapse.Eradication

    No way you can just say "Oh, Revenge have released a new album, guess they're going through the motions" about this one. What we have here is one of the most violent, pummeling albums of 2012 - they didn't change their direction or anything, they've merely fine-tuned it. Everything has improved, from the production, to the bass, to the out-of-control leads, this album shows these sickos at the top of their game. Also, they put on quite a devastating live set!

    9. Swans - The Seer

    I remember reading an interview with Michael Gira back when they released their previous album, and he was a bit disappointed with himself. He said he should have had the guts to make longer songs, to carry across the intended emotional load or something. Well, this magnificent bastard managed to outdo himself on this one! Clocking in at about two hours, "The Seers" is nothing short of a droning, multi-layered, abrasive masterpiece - pack a lunch and grab some drinking water, because by the time the tribal drumming of the last track "The Apostate" grinds to a halt, you'll be positively drained.

    8. Vassafor - Obsidian Codex

    Next up on the list, we've got another long offering, this time from New Zealand! After a few excellent demos and EPs, Vassafor have unleashed their beastly cave-dwelling atavic black metal debut LP upon us in two-disc form, with a play time of about an hour and a half! To lump this in the same category with bands such as Diocletian or Witchrist would be idiotic, as Vassafor concoct a ghastly brew that is truly their own, throwing in liberal amounts of doom filth and death grime. If cave men had access to studio equipment, this is a pretty close approximation of what they would summon out of the aether for their rituals!

    7. Om - Advaitic Songs

    YES YES YES! This is what they've been hinting at with their past couple of albums! They were timidly trying to weave new musical threads into their original droning doom formula, but now the oriental music flourishes take center-stage. To the stoners that want to hear "Conference of the Birds" over and over again, fuck off!

    6. Horrendous - The Chills

    When I've first heard The Chills in January or February, I thought to myself "Hm, this is album of the year material!" - almost a year later and I'm still sticking by it! A US death metal album with riffs galore and liberal amounts of Swedish melody, once the 9-minute epic album closer "The Eye of Madness" spills it final blasphemous riff, you'll be wanting to press "Play" again!

    5. Vomitor - The Escalation

    "Done bleeding the priest, after drinking the devil's poison, VOMITOR increase the nuclear heat with The Escalation! Legends in the diehard metal underground, these Aussie hooligans return with their barbaric, ancient Metal of Death: thermonuclear riffing, divebombing solos, vocal vomit, and chaotic crunch that's quintessentially and uniquely VOMITOR!" - from the bandcamp page. I honestly don't think anyone can add anything to this, all that I can say is DEATH METAL OR DIE BY POWER!

    4. Desecresy - The Doom Skeptron

    I have no idea what a Skeptron is, but if this is any indication, I will consent that it is, indeed, doom. Look at the album cover. LOOK AT IT! I love judging books by their covers, and you can just feel the ominous energies oozing out from this one. These Finns hit us with a slab of Yog-Sothoth worshiping doom-death that is equal parts hypnotizing and horrifying. As squirming riffs slither out of your speakers, you have but moments to say your prayers before being cast into a life of servitude for the pleasure of the Beyond-One! AAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGHH!!

    3. Iron Dogs - Cold Bitch

    Oh, while we're on the topic of album covers, feast your eyes on THIS! Hailing from Canada, I was expecting to hear some sort of Inepsy-like nuklear metal-punk, but Iron Dogs managed to melt my face off with something else than radioactive fallout! Iron Dogs serve us with a slab of high-energy NWOBHM worship on a fucking silver platter! I dare you to go through this album without fist pumping! You've got speed, excellent solos, more riffs than you can shake a stick at, and best of all, you can tell there are some times where the singer is attempting something out of his range - but who fucking cares?? We're here to bang our fucking heads! One of the most genuine works of passion this year!

    2. Anatomia - Decaying in Obscurity

    Anatomia have never shied away from displaying their love for Autopsy and all things death/doom, but on "Decaying in Obscurity" they've considerably upped their game. You've still got plenty of downtuned, disgusting, churning and grinding Metal-of-Death, but where this album truly shines is the keyboards department. Creepy keyboard intros or passages have always gone hand in hand with old school death metal, but Anatomia have managed to, at times, give them equal air-time in a song with the rest of the instruments. This gives the album that extra nudge it requires to make it truly disturbing, horrific, and downright vile. Once this beast of an LP is over, you'll feel the need to take a shower!

    1. Satan's Satyrs - Wild Beyond Belief!

    "Hey Satan! HEEEY LUCIFER! WE'RE HERE BABY!"

    YES YOU FUCKING ARE! I've been clamoring for a Satan's Satyrs full-length ever since hearing their 2009 demo, and they do not fucking disappoint one bit! With the production values of a '69 psychedelic rock demo and the attitude of a coked-out werewolf biker gang, Satan's Satyrs spew forth fuzzed-out ROCK AND FUCKING ROLL classic after classic! An album with a recognizable sound which you can put on and crush beer cans with your forehead to whenever you want, "Wild Beyond Belief!" is the numero fucking uno release of 2012! Now, ON YOUR KNEES FOR THE ELECTRIC WITHCWHIPPER!

    TOP Demos/Splits/EPs:

    Monomakh - MMXII (Demo)

    Absolutely massive-sounding horrific Metal-ov-Death with a Grave Miasma influence from Australia.

    Into Darkness - s/t (Demo)

    The name alone should tip you off that these guys are really into Winter, but they're more than capable of standing on their own two feet. Hailing out of Italy, of all places, they've put out one of the best death/doom materials this year. Not bad for a bunch of newcomers!

    Grave Upheaval/Manticore(Split)

    Ignore the Manticore side, Grave Upheaval is where it's at! Feces-throwing satanic caveman ritual death metal!

    Chthe'ilist - Amechth'ntaas'm'rriachth (Demo)

    Noodly, otherworldly riffs galore in this Timeghoul/Demilich worship band. Looking forward to a full-length!

    Innsmouth/Mongrel's Cross (Split)

    Yeah, don't really care about Mongrel's Cross, even though their side isn't bad, but every time INNSMOUTH put out some new material saliva starts running down my chin as I'm drawn into their Lovecraftian summoning ritual. Yeah, it's just one song, but it's better than that "She-Goat" EP they put out a couple of years ago and I'm beginning to get really impatient with them! FULL LENGTH PLEASE!

    Mabuse - Stench of Death (Demo)

    Norwegian Death/Thrash that sounds like a lost early Deceased tape.

    Gouge - Doomed to Death (EP)

    Norway strikes again with this scorching thrashy death excellence! Short and blistering!

    Torture Chain - Time is But a Doorway to the Incinerator (Demo)

    USBM's best kept secret.

    Muknal - s/t (Demo)

    Cavernous&horrendous death metal made by members of the Black Twilight Circle.

    Crypticus - Insieme Verso Terrore (EP)

    Dammit, Patrick, stop teasing, it's time for another full-length!

    Morbid Wizard - Necrosis of the Eyeball (EP)

    Sickening doom metal with a great repulsive atmosphere.

    OTHER MENTIONS/AWARDS

    "The Quiet Earth(1985) ending scene" award:

    Ectovoid – Fractured In The Timeless Abyss

    "I can't believe it wasn't on tour with Pestilence, Death and Hellwitch around '91" award:

    Skeletal Remains - Beyond the Flesh

    "Asphyx album of the year" award:

    Grand Supreme Blood Court - Bow Down Before the Blood Court

    "Fuck off, you cunts!" award:

    Blizzard - Fuck the Universe

    "Most misspelled album title" award:

    Pseudogod - Deathwomb Catfish

    HONORABLE MENTIONS (IF IT WERE A TOP 28, THESE BANDS WOULD BE THERE):

    ATARAXY - Revelations of the Ethereal
    Necroven - Worship of Humiliation
    Incantation - Vanquish in Vengeance
    Derkéta - In Death We Meet
    Degial - Death's Striking Wings
    Indesinence - Vessels of Light and Decay
    Necrovation - Necrovation
    Faustcoven - Hellfire and Funeral Bells
    Saint Vitus - Lillie: F-65
    Natur - Head of Death
    Christian Mistress - Possession
    Lunar Aurora - Hoagascht
    Wrathprayer - The Sun of Moloch
    Denial of God - Death and the Beyond
    Bunker 66 - Infernö Interceptörs
    Occultation - Three and Seven
    Chromatics - Kill for Love
    The Soft Moon - Zeros
  • THE GREAT METAL INQUISITION OF 2011

    1 Ene 2012, 15:02

    Late to the party, as always. This year was excellent, worthy of a place in the Metal Hall of Fame, and I'm saying that without having listened to some big names like Manilla Road, Blut Aus Nord or Sabbat. So let's take a few minutes, read what I had to say about my limited sampling of the year's delights and then completely agree with me:



    10. The Wounded Kings - In The Chapel of the Black Hand

    Last year's "The Shadow over Atlantis" was probably the doom metal album of the year, and now they've returned with a new singer, one with teats! The album feels way too short, but for the duration, you've got the works: heavy riffs, haunting vocals, occult atmosphere... as Patrick Bruss from Crypticus said, they're "the band who unseated ELECTRIC WIZARD from the Dopethrone". Remember to light up the candles in 13 before pressing "Play".



    9. Ride For Revenge - Under the Eye

    Now, this is how you pull off atavistic caveman fucking darkness, folks! Finnish dementia ain't nothin' to fuck with, and these cro-mags throw some extremely filthy, rudimentary and downtuned blackened doom with the occasional fast part and blazing solo. It's not quite Necro Schizma levels, but you'd be hard pressed to find something else so raw and unpolished to have come out this year. Put on your helmet, it's feces-throwing time.



    8. Circle of Ouroborus - Eleven Fingers

    To me, their first album still rules supreme. The production (or lack thereof) is perfect, the sinewy guitars manage to weave rich tapestries, the drumming is crisp clear and the vocals puke black vomit everywhere. I can understand not wanting to re-tread old ground as an artist, always searching for new ways to express yourself, but pretty much every album since has been somewhat disappointing to me. "Unituli" picked things up a bit, but "Eleven Fingers" is more of a step in an enjoyable direction. Nope, they're never going to return to the sound of the first album, but at least they're starting to polish and refine their current aesthetic.



    7. Midnight - Satanic Royalty

    These maniacs have finally managed to put out a full-length! The improved production values kind of strip away from the blackened feel, but pull my nostrils up and fuck me like a pig if these aren't some quality SPEED FUCKING METAL riffs right here! Not really a lot to say here, it's the perfect record for you and your friends to break bottles over each others' heads, so let the alkoholik rituals begin!



    6. Necros Christos - Doom of the Occult

    These Germans are known for being quite anal about the organization of their rituals, and "Doom of the Occult" is no exception. Necros Christos invite us once again to pass through their Temples and their Gates to reach their sites of ancient blasphemy, and you wouldn't want to pass up on this invitation! I dare say they've perfected their recipe; the musicianship is top-notch, the production is crystal clear, the songwriting manages to enthrall you and conjure up visions of biblical plagues... if the Apocalypse would indeed take place in 2012, well, we're fucked for not listening, since Necros Christos have already heralded this disaster!



    5. In Solitude - The World. The Flesh. The Devil

    Know what I love? Mercyful Fate. Know who else loves them? The swedes from In Solitude. Channeling the same occult atmosphere as King & co. this album here is the heavy metal riff bonanza of the year. It has more hooks than a pirate convention. It shreds more than a wolverine in an orphanage. If there's one album this year that'll make you put on leather pants and power slide in your living room while air guitaring and screaming "SERPENTS ARE RIIISIIIIIIING!!!" then this is it.



    4. Negative Plane - Stained Glass Revelations

    It took them 5 years to release a new album since the bestial abomination that was "Et In Saecula Saeculorum", but with this one, they've turned a new page in their book of sermons. If their debut album cracked open their crypt of horrors to find an eerie, echoing Void, "Stained Glass Revelations" dedicates its time to filling said Void, decorating the cavern, setting up the candles for the coming satanik magik ritual. These guys are some of the best musicians in black metal at the moment, psychedelic leads weaving in and out of songs like spectral tendrils, echoing drums providing the distant thunder and skeletal basswork plucking away into the ether, invoking entities from beyond the Gate of the Silver Key. A truly spectacular work of art, but it leaves me anxious to see what unholy ground they will tread with the next album.



    3. Autopsy - Macabre Eternal

    "The Tomb Within" saw Autopsy return in full force with a slightly more polished sound for the new generation, but losing nothing of their sickening skill or voracious vigor. They promised a full-length to follow, and booooy did they deliver! Starting off in full force with "Hand of Darkness", Autopsy take you on an hour-long journey of death and decay that will have you screaming "DELIVER MEEE FROM SANITAAAAAAAAAY! MY EYES HAVE SEEN TOO FUCKING MUUUUCH!" before long. They thrash, maul, shred and even doom throughout the entire record like it's nobody's business, showing off that they still do it better than most bands in the genre and are still a force to be reckoned with in today's world. The icing on the cake here is the epic "Sadistic Gratification", clocking in at an impressive 11:33, the longest Autopsy song yet. It veers off into straight-up doom territory, we're talking about some Count Raven-ish shit right here, and they manage to pull it off masterfully. Can't wait to hear more like this!



    2. Morbus Chron - Sleepers in the Rift

    I fucking love judging books by their covers, or in this case, albums by their covers. Just one look at the (vividly colored) shoggothian abomination on display here and you know what you're going to get. Old school slimy, writhing, revolting Lovecraftian death metal, and you're going to love every second of it! This is probably the best death metal album of the year, Morbus Chron managing to inject a slight dose of their own personality into this macabre offering, making it feel different that just a re-hash of old bands. Make no mistake, you still get ear-piercing screams, twisting riffs and thrashy breaks, but this album here is one for the books, folks. It's the type of thing we'll talk about even 10 years from now.



    ***



    **



    *



    AND THE ALBUM OF THE YEAR AWARD GOES TO...



    ***



    **



    *



    Morbid Angel - ILLUD DIVINUM SOMETHING SOMETHING

    Worldwide, 2011 has been a year of riots. Something happened in Libya and Egypt and some other place, I think, but the biggest riot took place in the metal world when death metal legends Morbid Angel decided they could drop their pants and unleash a steaming turd on their fanbase. Debating further on it is kind of pointless, but we will always look back on 2011 with tears of laughter in our eyes. After all, the album at least spawned hilarious clips such as this one or this one.

    Oh, you wanted to see a real, worthwhile metal album on the #1 spot? Well, read on.













    ***



    **



    *



    *



    **



    ***













    1. Deceased - Surreal Overdose

    Coming on the heels of "As The Weird Travel On", the new Deceased album is a bit more of a return to the "Fearless Undead Machines" sound (my favorite album of theirs). And what a sonic boot to the face this is! Deceased are a metal band for Metal Enthusiasts - you couldn't really pigeonhole them anymore in a "strictly thrash/death/speed/etc" category, they just bring everything awesome about Metal to the table. Powerful vocals, energetic drumming, great solos and, best of all, ass-kicking riffs; and this album delivers in spades! There is not one weak song here, there are some excellent riffs that only get used two or three times in a song, as an afterthought, that some bands would have based albums off of, every song stands on its own, and when the guys start chaining up the riffs (as in the album closer "Dying in Analog"), you're in for a treat! If the "best album of the year" is the one which you can put on at any time and have a blast, without it getting boring after a few spins, then this is it, ladies and gentlemen. Deceased should get a Nobel Prize for Metalology!



    Top EPs/Demos:



    1. Venenum - Venenum

    Shared members with the now-defunct Excoriate? Excoriate, that managed to produce one of the best metal albums of 2008? What's that, this demo rips extreme amounts of shit, just like Excoriate did, but manages to infuse everything with an even bigger occult atmosphere, complete with mellow, creepy interludes just like on Tribulation's "The Horror" aka "The best metal album of 2009"? This demo is almost 30 minutes long, and if I had pitted it against this year's LPs, this would have been top 3 material. Absolutely essential.



    2. Ruminations - Rehearsal demo

    Ever thought about how death metal played by shoggoths would sound like? This extra-planar offering of swampy, down-tuned and twisted metal of death is the closest thing you're gonna get. Perfect production, killer riffs and one of the best death metal drum performances of the year make me really anticipate a full-length from these bad boys (and girl).



    3. Cruciamentum - Engulfed in Desolation

    Their "Convocation of Crawling Chaos" demo set the bar pretty high for them to follow up on, but this EP has no trouble in summoning okkult nekromansy forward from the filthy netherworld, just so you can gorge yourself on a beefy platter of death metal with the occasion doom sections. Bon apetit, filth hounds.



    4. Masada - Suffer Mental Decay

    Ex-Immolation, Incantation, Grand Belial's Key, Hearse members group up to deliver a granite-like slab of dark death metal with some really impressive technical chops. My only complaint is that it lasts 6 minutes :(



    5. Circle of Ouroborus - Armon keitaalla

    Kinda more of the same in the vein of "Eleven Fingers", excellent stuff here and a must-have for any CoO fan.



    "Through the Cracks of Death" awards:

    Vanhelgd - Church of Death

    Disma - Towards the Megalith

    Cianide - Gods of Death

    Bestial Raids - Prime Evil Damnation

    Maim - Deceased to Exist

    Necrovorous - Funeral for the Sane

    Mitochondrion - Parasignosis

    Acephalix - Interminable Night



    "Oath of Nuclear Armageddon" award:

    Blasphemophagher - The III Command of the Absolute Chaos



    "Doomsowers" awards:

    Pentagram - Last Rites

    Ramesses - Possessed by the Rise of Magik

    Saturnalia Temple - Aion of Drakon

    Corrupted - Garten der Unbewusstheit



    "GG Allin's corpse date raping the Swedish Death Metal scene" award:

    Repuked - Pervertopia



    "Vaudevillian metal/best vocal performance" award:

    Hell - Human Remains



    "Time machine" award:

    Graveyard - Hisingen Blues



    Other special mentions:

    Villains - Road to Ruin

    Demented piece of sleaze, as always, but not quite as good as "Lifecode of Decadence"

    Speedwolf - Ride with Death

    Damn fine speed metal, with the vocalist trying to pull off quite a decent Lemmy-ish impersonation.

    Virus - The Agent That Shapes the Desert

    These guys are in a league of their own, producing top-notch avant-garde angular jazzy weirdness. It's a great album, but not quite as catchy or memorable as "The Black Flux"

    Portrait - Crimen Laesae Majestatis Divinae

    They went head to head with In Solitude for the Swedish metal crown of the year, but lost by just a hair.

    Hot Graves - Knights in White Phosphorus

    New logo, same old abrasive punk-ish speed-ish metal-ish bastards thrashing the night away. Good times!



    Non-metal:

    La Fete Triste - 7 Hits In Grau

    Let me get it out of the way right now and say that this is not even proper original material. The album's bandcamp page writes: "La Fete Triste covers classic German Punk masterpieces in Cold Wave style." and follow it with a list of the Punk bands they've covered. Now, I'm not big on German Punk and I'm not ashamed to admit I've never listened to any of said bands, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the fuck out of this material here. The echoed vocals were probably the biggest draw for me. If Urfaust decided to do a cold wave EP, this is probably how it would sound like - barren, cavernous, beautiful.



    Stuff I really wanted to like:

    Antediluvian - Through the Cervix of Hawaah

    Gee, thanks Profound Lore! I really liked the "Watchers Reign" compilation, it showed some really murky and atavistic metal of death, but now something's changed. I don't know if it's the production, the songwriting, the new members or what, but I'm not getting the same feeling of archaic subconscious terror, I just feel like they're supposed to be Portal 2.0 or something. As I said, I really don't know who to blame, so I'm going to blame Profound Lore records. Because fuck you, that's why!



    Sonne Adam - Transformation

    Their "Armed with Hammers" EP was excellent, but the full-length just feels tedious and repetitive. Such a shame.



    So, that was it. Could have spent my Saturday afternoon playing RAGE or Postal 3, but I took the time to share this with the world. Any comments?
  • "Feedbacker" - sau Agalloch live în Brașov

    22 Mar 2010, 15:30

  • An extremely poor top 10 of 2008

    2 Ene 2009, 15:55

    Obviously, I haven't listened to all that '08 has to offer, so don't act all butthurt if you don't see ColdWorld or Dismember or something.
    Well, let's get to it:

    10. Fight Amp - Hungry For Nothing

    Imagine you're a wasted, stoned, redneck highschool drop-out (seriously, you rip bongs on your mom's couch all day, you fucking leech) and you're at a crust show, having a stompin' good time. That's probably a good description of the atmosphere present here. The guitar tone and attitude bring
    Eyehategod to mind, there's some fast d-beat going on at times, and the last two tracks are like a pissed-off bong-missing Sleep. It's quite an energetic album, in a passive-agressive way, at times, and it won't let you go untill you acquaint a Green Day fan with a lead pipe. Oh, and Get High And Fuck is probably the best piece of advice a band can give, be it punk or metal.

    9. Hooded Menace - Fulfill the Curse

    Razorback Records seem to be diversifying their catalogue, for this Winter/Candlemass/Asphyx loving freaks are death/doom, and use the Tombs of the Blind Dead as thematic. At times, it's slower than the zombie templars themselves, but it's got plenty of tempo shifts, melodic solos and heavy as fuck ass-kickery to maintain your attention. However, if you have ADD and/or eagerly await the latest SAW movie, don't bother.

    8. Dead Congregation - Graves Of The Archangels

    I haven't heard of this band up untill a couple of weeks ago, when someone pointed it our to me. I took one look at the cover, and my nipples got harder than an arab's "hammer" before detonating his stylish C4 belt. Having picked up this vibe, I finally gave the album a spin, and, maaan, was it rewarding as hell. These Greeks play blasphemous american/swedish old school-tinged death metal, with obvious nods to Incantation or Immolation. However, even though the religious incantations sprinkled across the album suggest an antichristian theme, the cyclopean artwork brings Lovecraft to mind. Which is good. Lovecraft should be the worthiest reason for any band to start playing death metal.

    7. Coffins - Buried Death

    Do you like Autopsy? Do you like Celtic Frost? Apparently, these Japs sacrifice orphans on the altar of The Gods on a weekly basis. It's simplistic, mid-paced, aggressive, distorted, and more infectios than your mother-in-law's corpse found floating on the toxic waste dump outside of town. There's not a lot to be said about this album, it's the kind of bulldozing, sludgy-as-that-infection-between-your-toes death metal that makes you headbang or dig up graves. Or both, which is even more WIN.

    6. Acid Witch - Witchtanic Hellucinations

    Imagine the horror movies and pulp comics of the '50s-'70s through the eyes of three guys that have tried pretty much every hallucinogenic substance ever invented. This psychedelic death/doom metal album shines through diversity and good, fluent songwriting. A sample here, a Halloween-ish organ solo there, a great Quorthon-ish guitar solo, and it's on to the next track, without you even noticing. It could just as well be a 44 minute song. Recommended for fans of Master of Reality, Winter and anything that's vintage horror.

    5. A Forest of Stars - The Corpse of Rebirth

    Victorian Occult Psychedelic Black Metal, even though it sounds more pompous than some transsexual's stage name, might be an accurate enough description for this band. Only the Brits (or maybe the Japs, too) could come up with such a concept, such a band name, such a kick-ass logo! Using a violin as the main actant (but also as a counterpoint to the guitar), a piano, moments of silence, schizoid voices, and some good ol' fashioned British know-how, A Forest of Stars have crafted a very...classy journey. It's an album with good taste, it's very gentlemanly, yet very psychedelic. Extreme, yet soothing. Calculated, yet psychotic. It's definately one of the most original things to arrive on the black metal scene in quite a while.

    4. Fullmoon Bongzai - Noisense: a Voodoo Beach Party Celebrating the Unholy

    Look at the cover motherfucker it's a bunch of motherfucking goats and a pink motherfucking black metal logo. Fuck.
    I gave it a spin, and, maaan, was my habit of downloading bands with weird names rewarded! I guess I could say it's idm/ebm/power electronics/psychedelic trance/any other electronica subcategory I've never heard of, but, in essence and structure, it's black metal with quite a sense of humor, played with atypic instruments for black metal. Shitting at the end of the rainbow is an "interpretation" of Ved Buens Ende..., the guy from Varathron provides vocals for three tracks, and various samples from artists such as Diamanda Galas and Screamin' Jay Hawkins are deformed for your entertainment. I feel somehow guilty for liking this a lot, I feel like I should wear tight, Armani t-shirts, memorise the initial cast of "Cats" on Broadway, and try cocaine at rave parties. It's not a true album, but it's a very, very entertaining listen.

    3. Darkspace - Dark Space III

    There's not a lot to be said about the interstellar vacuum. Darkspace are back, doing what they do best: they shut the hatch, depressurize, and eject your ass into space, only to be saved by aliens who want to test their new anal probes on you. It's pretty much the same raw atmospheric black metal, with blunt riffs and hypnotic leads that project your consciousness beyond the Gates of the Silver Key.

    2. Darkthrone - Dark Thrones and Black Flags

    The last Darkthrone album I've listened to was The Cult Is Alive. The lack of great riffs and songwriting left a bitter taste in my mouth, so I've skipped F.O.A.D.. Still, when this came out, I said "what the heck" and got it. Wise move, apparently, for this might be the catchiest and most memorable album this year. It's pretty damn old school, and I can let go of the fact that it's not entirely original. So what if some riffs were lifted from here and there? The songwriting's great. From the brilliant solo in Hiking Metal Punks, to the rock'n'roll atmosphere of Hanging out in Haiger or the instrumental doom track that gives the album it's name, this has more variety than an International Day for Tolerance meeting. So what if you worship Transilvanian Hunger? Yeah, they've got a new thing going on now, but to scoff and simply say "Meh, punk" is completely idiotic. Get that A Blaze In The Northern Sky CD out of your pants, wipe off that make-up, and give this tremendously entertaining album a try.

    1. Crypticus - They Called Me Mad!

    "Lovecraft should be the worthiest reason for any band to start playing death metal." -Me.
    If that's the case, Crypticus is the worthiest death metal band this year. The instrumental track that opens the album sets the path for the rest. Spacial sounding keys, samples, and a chaining of riffs so tasty, you'd die of colon cancer (you can't restrain yourself from eating, huh, pig?). That is, if riffs were edible. More vicious than an attack conducted by the cats of Ulthar, it doesn't let you breathe one bit. There are no mellow acoustic breaks or long build-ups. It's just lovecraftian death metal with sinuous riffing (which nods to finnish and swedish death metal) that makes you headbang your...uhm, head, clean off. But no worries, the good doctor Herbert West can help you, if that happens. It's catchy, it's fast, it's fun, it's well-written and well played, it's lovecraftian, it's, in my sometimes-humble opinion, the best album of 2008. Bravo, Razorback Records, bravo, Patrick.

    Honorable mentions (in no particular order):
    Caïna - Temporary Antennae
    Wrath of the Weak - Alogon

    Helheim - Kaoskult

    Cardiac Arrest - Cadaverous Presence

    Gruesome Stuff Relish - Horror Rises From the Tomb

    Gravehill - Metal of Death/Advocation of Murder and Suicide

    Lifelover - Konkurs

    Circle of Ouroborus - Veneration

    Mgła - Groza

    Thyrfing - Hels Vite

    Aarni - Tohcoth

    Arghoslent - Hornets of the Pogrom

    Leviathan - Massive Conspiracy Against All Life

    Birdflesh - The Farmer’s Wrath

    So, I guess it's been a good, psychedelic year. Can't wait to see what '09 brings. Can't wait to see what Razorback Records bring in '09.

    (Romanian version here.)