Ok doing videos for all of these is a pain in the ass. Here’s just my stupid thoughts about the next twenty.
21) Lycus – Chasms
Asunder is one of my favorite bands. They’re irreplaceable. Funeral Doom hasn’t been the same since they’ve left. Lycus is as close as it gets. Lycus may actually one day be better if they keep this up, but I’ll never admit that.
22) Cthe’ilst– Le Dernier Crepuscle
Admittedly, I’m not into much death metal. I don’t really know what to compare these guys to other than Demilich, but holy shit I like what they’re doing. Heavy as hell, with proggy flourishes including some of the most interesting use of clean vocals I’ve ever heard in death metal. Blew me away first time I heard it.
23) Wode– Wode
A crossbreeding of Emperor, Dissection, and I’m not sure what else that produces some of the most proficient and interesting melodic black metal this year.
24) Dust Moth– Scale
Half way between the Melvins and my bloody valentine. I feel like these guys touring with Helms Alee would make a lot of sense.
25) Gevurah – Hallelujah
So Deathspell Omega started a genre? Ok. Cool. Sign me up. It’s not straight up plagiarism by any means, but intentionally or not, this album sounds like a lot of things I love about Deathspell Omega. But, it’s definitely saying something when Deathspell Omega put an album out this year, and I still found myself wanting to listen to this as well. Gevurah‘s vocalist also does not sound like Mikko, and there are more, uh, less bastshit crazy moments on this than most Deathspell Omega albums. I wonder how many times I can say Deathspell Omega when talking about Gevurah.
26) Subrosa– For This We Fought the Battle of Ages
Another killer album in a solid run of 3 in a row. Subrosa is heavy doom with female vocals and a dual violin attack (yes, attack is actually the right word here) that gives them a signature sound. The riffs are heavy, the singing almost choral, and the pacing is head noddingly perfect.
27) Death Fetishist – Clandestine Sacrament
This is another record, part of that whole Gorgutcerate OmegaPortal school of murk, dissonance, and technicality that I seem to eat up lately. However, this distinguishes itself with melody and atmosphere unlike any of the similar bands I’ve heard. Very interesting but overwhelming stuff.
28) Neurosis– Fires Within Fires
I adore Neurosis. They were the band that got me into a lot of heavy music, thanks to Ozzfest’s first sampler and serendipity. In my opinion, they’ve never made a bad album. This is one of their better ones, in fact. I really like how this album has no filler ambient tracks or intros, or interludes. It’s heavy as hell in ways they haven’t been since Times of Grace. BUUUUUUUT, while I do subscribe to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” school of songwriting, I sure wouldn’t mind some new tricks.
29) Urfaust – Empty Space Meditation
Urfaust is a band that was always tough for me. I’d go on kicks, then get very sick of them for some stupid reason. However, on Empty Space Meditation, they explore a new ground that has me 100 percent sold and convinced for the first time.
30) Schammasch– Triangle
A triple album that starts off black metal as fuck, and gets progressively more laid back until it’s ambient on the final disc? Sounds dumb. Unless you execute it perfectly like Schammasch. This is true progressive metal, done without a hint of cliché or irony.
31) Marissa Nadler– Strangers
I fell in love with a stream of this album, upon first listening. I fell in love with the songs more seeing them played live. I bought all of her stuff. Lo fi, acoustic based, but still atmospheric and filled with creative instrumentation, Ms. Nadler’s work is perfect for relaxed, quiet days.
32) Muscle and Marrow – Love
Dark, folky rock with some of the most perfect melodic vocals I’ve heard in a very long time. Great live, and a huge step up from their previous material.
Yeah, leave out records I worked on. Right. This nightmarish by product of a collaboration with members of Caina and Aevangelist perfects the “blackened” sound, without being possible to pigeonhole. There’s bits of industrial, post metal, and all sorts of noise
34) Oathbreaker- Rheia
I was never impressed by Oathbreaker before. They reminded me of a million other Converge derivative bands, except Oathbreaker also failed at incorporating black metal. Rheia sounds nothing like other Oathbreaker albums. The increased usage of clean vocals and more creative riff writing made this a unique and addictive listen. Way to go with changing my mind on you, guys.
35) Caina– Christ Clad in White Phospourus
Rare is it a metal record that covers so much ground. One moment, I’m being crushed to death by heavy black metal, the next I feel as if I am in a goth club drinking absinthe.
36) Deftones- Gore
I’ve bought every Deftones album since Adrenaline. If they continue to mature in sound in line with my tastes, I’ll probably buy every album they ever put out. The shoegaze influence is strong with this one. The Nu Metal is not even close to present.
37) Spotlights– Tidals
These guys and Dust Moth scratch the same kind of fuzz, Hum influenced shoegaze itch. I was lucky enough to be introduced to these guys thanks to a friend playing drums for them,
38) Dalek– Asphalt to Eden
When a band changes a critical member, normally one of a few things happens:
1. their replacement strengthens the group and either changes their direction in a positive way, or keeps the momentum going perfectly.
Or 2.they fucking blow it.
I was really concerned how Dalek would sound without Oktopus. Yes, it’s different, but it’s unmistakably Dalek, and thank god for that.
39) Pity Sex– White Hot Moon
Sappy, droney indie rock that makes for perfect summer night listening. It’s really cold in PA right now so I don’t have much to say about that.
40) Dead Register– Fiber
Awesome, spacey gothy rock. I don’t know where I heard of these guys, but I would love to see their record on LP.
HUSH. – Nihil Unbound
Mint Juelp – Broken Devotion
Throane- Derriere-nous la lumiere
Zeal and Ardor- Devil is Fine
Perturbator- The Uncanny Valley
Wildernessking – Mystic Future
Oranssi Pazuzu- Varahtelija
Entropia – Ufonaut
David Bowie- Blackstar
Winterfylleth – The Dark Hereafter
Fuath – I
Gadget – The Great Destroyer
Gorguts- Pledies Dust
Seputus – Man Does Not Give
Woman is the Earth – Torch of Our Final Night
Inverloch- Distance | Collapse
Nothing- Tired of Tomorrow
Almyrkvi – Pupil of the Searing Maelstrom
Nadra- Allir Vegir til glotunar
Morrow- Covenant of Teeth
Mesarthim (everything they did)
Miserable – Uncontrollable
Astronoid – Air
Blut Aus Nord/Aevangelist split (this would have been top 5-10 if it was longer. I FEEL RIPPED OFF)
Withered – Grief Relic
Fange – Purge
Emma Ruth Rundle- Marked for Death
Helms Alee- Stillicide
Imperium Dekadenz- Dis Manibvs
Wovenhand- Star Treatment
Mouth of the Architect – Path of Eight
Martoo- Transmutation of Wounds
True Widow – Avvolgere
Wrekmesiter Harmonies- Light Falls
Darkthrone- Arctic Thunder
Esben and the Witch – Older Terrors
Owen- The King of Whys
A special category of stuff that I absolutely love but will definitely not be able to give enough fair listens to and reasonably rank as I got into them late November:
Both Mystik releases
Cultes Des Ghoules-Coven
Void Meditation Cult- Utter The Tongue of the Dead
Aureole- Aurora Borealis
Battle Dagorath-I Dark Dragons of the Cosmos
Gnaw Their Tongues-Hymms for the Broken, Swollen, and Silent
King Dude- Sex
All of these releases are absolutely outstanding and given more time could be top 10.
DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR:
NOTHING! For once I was not disappointed by anything I was excited about. How rare. How bizarre, how bizarre.
NEED MORE TIME WITH:
Earth and Pillars
BEST BANDS I SAW THIS YEAR:
Dragged into Sunlight
Graves at Sea
MOST EAGERLY ANTICIPATING NEXT YEAR:
The Great Old Ones