Thursday, December 19, 2013
Year's Best 2013
1. CURSE THE SON – ‘Psychache’ *Damn, this album grabbed me by the throat at the beginning of the year and it never let go. Great tunes complemented by some great sequencing.
2. TENTACLE – ‘Ingot Eye’ *The follow-up to ‘Void Abyss’ was everything I hoped for…and more. Trippy, menacing, and utterly evil sounding.
3. UZALA – ‘Tales of Blood & Fire’ *I still maintain that Uzala is one of the most unique doom bands going today. Super cool people and they destroy live.
4. SUBROSA – ‘More Constant Than the Gods’ *The depth to this album is simply mind-blowing. Dark, often surreal atmospheres dominate every tune.
5. THE FLIGHT OF SLEIPNIR – ‘Saga’ *This band just gets better with every release. ‘Saga’ is the band’s trippiest and most varied release to date.
6. LUMBAR – ‘The First and Last Days of Unwelcome’ *I had high hopes for this release and I wasn’t disappointed. Pure rage is off-set by obscured moments of hope. My only complaint is that it’s too short.
7. IN THE COMPANY OF SERPENTS – ‘Of the Flock’ *Similar to Uzala, In the Company of Serpents have released an album that does an amazing job of capturing their live sound. The duo has progressed and the results are amazing.
8. ICE DRAGON – ‘Born a Heavy Morning’ *Seemingly content to move even further from their doom roots, Ice Dragon is still churning out amazing tunes. Is it weird that my favorite track is “(I Will) Watch My Hair Grow”?
9. WINDHAND – ‘Soma’ *Not quite as magical as their debut…nonetheless ‘Soma’ is a narcotizing wave of doom.
10. WOLVSERPENT – ‘Perigaea Antahkarana’ * ‘Perigaea Antahkarana’ is a sprawling trip that is as dark as it is invigorating. Not for everyday listening, but it fills a niche that few other bands can come close to touching.
HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no particular order): GOATESS - ‘Goatess’, SUMMONER - ‘Atlantian’, GRAVECODE NEBULA - ‘Sempiternal Void’, TORTUGA - ‘Tortuga’, SHALLOW GRAVE - ‘Shallow Grave’, ROTE MARE – ‘The Invocation’ & ‘The Kingdom’, BEELZEFUZZ – ‘Beelzefuzz’
1. BÖLZER – ‘Aura’ *I have to thank Chad Remains for turning me on to these guys. Blackened death metal isn’t usually my thing, but this EP is otherworldly and it flat-out slays. Looking forward to the follow-up, ‘Soma’.
2. COUGH/WINDHAND – ‘Reflection of the Negative’ *Despite the differences in tone and style, this team-up totally works. Two killer tunes from Windhand nicely complements the dark and twisted direction that Cough has taken with “Athame”, their strongest tune to date.
3. DIRE FATE/ROTE MARE split *I’ll admit that I initially bought this split for the Rote Mare tunes and I ended up being blown away by Dire Fate. Both bands deliver some excellent slabs of traditional doom.
4. THE GATES OF SLUMBER – ‘Stormcrow’ *Probably the most disappointing story of 2013…the demise of venerable doomlords—The Gates of Slumber. But the band couldn’t have gone out with a stronger recording. Here’s looking forward to new creative endeavors from Simon and McCash…
5. ICE DRAGON – ‘Steel Veins b/w Queen of the Black Harvest’ *Ice Dragon still has it—a killer way to close out the year.
BEST LIVE PERFORMANCES
1. DENVER DOOM FEST III
2. SNOWBOARD ON THE BLOCK highlights: PENTAGRAM, KADAVAR, IN THE COMPANY OF SERPENTS, BLACK ACID DEVIL, DEAD TEMPLE
3. UZALA w/ MIKE SCHEIDT, SPACE IN TIME, & MUNIMULA
BEST ALBUM COVERS:
1. LUMBAR – ‘The First & Last Days of Unwelcome’
2. TENTACLE – ‘Void Abyss’
3. BEELZEFUZZ – ‘Beelzefuzz’
OVERLOOKED ALBUM OF 2012
1. BEHOLD! THE MONOLITH – ‘Defender, Redeemist’ *I was a huge fan of the band’s self-titled debut, but somehow ‘Defender, Redeemist’ escaped me. The band was scheduled to play in Denver with support from In the Company of Serpents and I was stoked for this killer lineup. I began spinning ‘Defender, Redeemist’ and I was blown away. Unfortunately the band never made it to Denver as it was announced that Kevin McDade had passed away. The sky was the limit for this unique band and though things won’t be the same I’m glad that the other members have decided to press on…
MOST ANTICIPATED ALBUMS OF 2014
1. YOB – Untitled 7th full-length
2. THE WOUNDED KINGS – ‘Consolamentum’
3. NORTHWINDS – ‘Eternal Winter’
Other highly anticipated albums: SERPENT VENOM - 'Of Things Seen and Unseen', SLOMATICS – ‘Estron’, TRIPTYKON – ‘Melana Chasmata’, BÖLZER – ‘Soma’, STOIC DISSENTION, BURNING SAVIOURS, and hopefully a demo from Karl Simon’s WRETCH…
1. YOB – ‘Catharsis’
2. SAINT VITUS – ‘C.O.D.’
3. INTERNAL VOID – ‘Standing on the Sun’
4. DARK – ‘Dark Round the Edges’
*Originally published at Temple of Perdition