PART 1: 15 – 11…
I’ve been looking forward to sharing this list with you guys for some time now. Its testament to a good year of music when your initial idea was to do a “top 10”, and when i put together my initial list, there was 24 releases that i could have happily included.
It took some doing to whittle the list down to just 10 entries, and it simply didnt feel right… I couldn’t settle, and so 15 is my compromise! The amazing thing is though, the number one spot was never in doubt. It was a dead-cert right from the second i finished listening to it for the first time way back in March, and it’s still the case to this day…
So first of all, how about a couple of honorable mentions?
- Our recent review of I Am The Trireme’s “Unholy” reminded us of how good the underground metal scene is at the moment.
- Jason Newstead (yup, of Metallica and Voivod fame) released his solo album “Heavy Metal Music”.
- Black Sabbath came back from the grave with “13”, and it rocked big time!
- Sacred Mother Tongue unleashed the belting “Out of the Darkness”, then promptly slopped off in to it and called it a day 😦
- Amon Amarth sent forth a “Deceiver of the Gods” to a rapturous reception.
And now lets start the proceedings proper, and start at the beginning shall we?
Oh. and don’t worry, its not all Death Metal, and expect a couple of surprises 🙂
Number 15: Today the Sun Dies – “Torment” EP
OK, so this is Death Metal of course, but don’t hold it against me! Ive been a massive fan of Death Metal for a good 20 years, and this EP from the Newcastle based Today The Sun Dies just ticked the boxes of everything i love about the genre. Brutality, power, groove and above all: Songs, not just technicality for the sake of it. If that sounds like your thing, make sure to download their free EP from here: http://todaythesundies.bandcamp.com/music
Number 14: Ævangelist – “Omen Ex Simulacra” (Nov)
I don’t really know where to start with this one. Its not an album i could honestly recommend to most readers of this blog due to the absolutely unrelenting nature of the music. One question though; when was the last time you listened to an album and genuinely felt unsettled? For most, its likely to be “never”. But anyone thats braved the chaos and nightmarish cacophony of “Omen Ex Simulacra”, i expect the answer to be somewhat more recently! Not for the faint-hearted.
Number 13: Ulver – “Messe I.X-VI.X” (Oct)
Unlucky for some, but not these guys. Ulver have always been one step ahead with their releases and always keeping their fans guessing at what will be on the disk! Here though, we have an extension of Ulver’s last couple of releases, but its been refined, and honed to the point of near perfection. If you’ve never experienced Ulver before, check out the video below, in a darkened room and an open mind. Be prepared to be transported to a different world… A mention HAS to go to Garm from Ulver who still holds my title of “greatest vocalist ever!”
Number 12: Bruce Soord & Jonas Renske – “Wisdom of Crowds” (June)
Continuing on with the slightly electronic tinged theme, Bruce Soord is best known for his work with The Pineapple Thief, but when he got together with Jonas Renske of Katatonia to create “Wisdom of Crowds”, i actually fell off my chair. Here we have a soulful journey, full of contrasting acoustic passages, pounding rhythms and some of the most passionate and soothing vocals you’ll hear this year. Fantastic stuff and well worth your time.
Number 11: Eye of Solitude – “Canto III” (Nov)
This one blindsided me. Anyone that knows me, knows that i love my death-tinged Doom, and i’ll be honest, this spot on the list was pretty much reserved for Mourning Beloveth’s “Formless”. As good as that album was, it was knocked clean out of the park by Eye of Solitude. A stunning concept album based around Dante’s Inferno poem, that has all the best elements of death metal combined with painfully slow doom elements, incredible, bowel-loosening vocals, yet highlighted with passages of melody and emotion.
…Hows that for a starter? There are another 10 entries to come over the next few days of course, but i’d love to hear what you think so far, so be sure to leave a comment 🙂
See you soon…!
Top 15 Part 2: http://wp.me/p3TUwU-mG
Top 15 Part 3: http://wp.me/p3TUwU-mJ