Part 3: 5 – 1
And this is it folks – the final furlong, the light at the end of the musical tunnel, la grande finale!
LET’S DO THIS!
Number 5: Sahg – “Delusions of Grandeur” (October)
From the opening atmospheric intro of “Slipping off the Edge of the Universe”, right the way through to the masterful ending bars of “Sleeper’s Gate to the Galaxy”, “Delusions…” is genuine pleasure from start to finish and an album you’ll have no hesitation on putting on repeat. Epic sounding riffs, air-guitar inducing solos and stomping rhythms. Superb stuff that just has to put Sahg on the metal map. For further reading, make sure you check out our full review here: http://wp.me/p3TUwU-i0
“Slip off the edge of the Universe”
“Sleeper’s Gate to the Galaxy”
Joint 3rd: Hecate Enthroned – “Virulent Rapture” (November)
Its taken some time for this release to see the (dark) light of day, but that cant really be held against the band at this point, as they’ve clearly not been resting on past glories, and they’ve used the time wisely to hone their craft and bounce back with an absolute stormer of an album. While the last couple of releases were essentially rooted in the blackened-death metal genre, the guys have rediscovered themselves and scaled back those death-like elements to enhance their original symphonic black metal sound. The album is expertly layered with nuance that exposes itself on repeated listens. A fantastic extreme metal album, and a very welcome return to form. Watch out of our Black Christmas feature, which includes a full review, coming soon!
Joint 3rd: Code – “Augur Nox” (November)
It was simply just too difficult for me to separate Hecate’s & Code’s two albums as both are not only outstanding examples of extreme metal, but considering they both share the same genre, they are still very different offerings. While Hecate’s strongest trait lies in their brutality, Code excel in mesmerizing subtlety that’s highlighted with spitefully barked interludes. There is so much to love about this album that its difficult to put in to words in this short space, but rest assured that if you are a fan of experimental/progressive/black/metal (select as appropriate!), you simply must check this out. As with above, be sure to keep an eye out for our Black Christmas feature which will have a full review.
Number 2: CARCASS – “Surgical Steel” (September)
This was the album i thought would never get made. Some 17 years after the band had originally split up, they then unleash this towering statement of intent and show all pretenders as to why they were always well ahead of the death metal scene, and in many ways, still are! The thunderous riffs blended expertly with outstanding melody and changes of pace keep the listener entranced right from the second you push “play”. Some have accused the band on playing to what the crowd want, but so what? This is about as perfect a death metal album as your likely to hear… This year or next. Blistering!
AUDREY HORNE – “YOUNGBLOOD” (March)
“Good GOD, It Must Have Been the Poison” indeed – well its certainly something this 5-peice from Bergen, Norway had been drinking that’s for sure! I’ve followed Audrey Horne since a chance encounter with their debut album (“No Hey Banda”) back in 2005, and the only reason i picked it up was due to the (then) members connections to other bands. I liked the sounds and enjoyed all the subsequent releases but there is simply no doubt in my mind that “Youngblood” stands out as not only the best thing I’ve heard this year, but the best album I’ve heard in MANY years…
… Every song on the album has been crafted to tell a little story, a little story you can sing along to while still banging your head! It has everything you could ask for in a hard rock album: Classic guitar harmonies, beats that’ll make you stomp your feet, leads that make you wish you could play guitar and vocal hooks that drip with passion. There isnt a single track on here that that could be classed as a filler – they all have their own identity while highlighting the band’s skill of crafting a catchy song!
This is the sort of album that reminds you as to why you started to listen to rock and metal in first place. Its chockablock full of attitude, swagger and makes you wish you did this for living! I honestly cant recommend this enough. If there is only one more album you buy this year, or, if Santa is kind and you have some vouchers you need to dispose of after the festivities: PLEASE do yourself a favour, and pick up “Youngblood”. You wont regret it!
Well, that’s it – that is my top 15 albums this year. I hope you’ve enjoyed it, but more importantly, i hope you’ve checked out the videos and at least found something you didnt know existed or perhaps even found you’re new favourite band!
As always, i’d love to hear what you think and i’d love to know what your top albums have been. Start the conversation here or over on Facebook at the BurningFist! page.
Wishing you all a fantastic festive period – Riotus!
Top 15 Part 1: http://wp.me/p3TUwU-mz
Top 15 Part 2: http://wp.me/p3TUwU-mG