Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top Albums 2011

2011 has really been a good year for new music. A handful of new releases (Doomtree, Panopticon, Ash Borer) completely blew me away and made the list without competition. But as I struggled to pare the list down to 20 I realized that this has been an exceptional year across the board. I'm still not entirely happy with some of the albums I had to leave off, but that's what top # lists are all about: sadness and regret. Anyway, like I said everything here comes highly recommended. There's obviously a lot of black metal here; that's just the style I keep up with the most now days.

Doomtree - No Kings
  • Minnesota hip-hop crew
Panopticon - Social Disservices
  • anarchist black metal
Ash Borer - Ash Borer
  • cascadian black metal
La Plebe - Brazo en Brazo
  • San Francisco-based mexican american punk
Primordial - Redemption at the Puritan's Hand
  • Irish folk metal
Welkin Dusk - Born Into a Dying World
  • blackened crust punk
Sims - Bad Time Zoo
  • rapper from Doomtree
Panopticon & When Bitter Spring Sleeps - split, Panopticon & Wheels Within Wheels - split 2
  • 2 more great splits
Homestuck - Vol. 8
  • electronica (it's the, uh, soundtrack to a web-comic...)
Blood Ceremony - Living With the Ancients
  • psychedelic rock with satanic lyrics for some reason
Deafest - Through Wood and Fog
  • depressive black metal
Falls of Rauros - The Light That Dwells In Rotten Wood
  • folk black metal
Dornenreich - Flammentriebe
  • German black metal
Cloud Rat - Cloud Rat
  • thrashcore
Star Fucking Hipsters - From the Dumpster to the Grave
  • trashy, pop-y punk (also features Boots Riley on a track)
Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestial Lineage
  • cascadian black metal
Space Arcadium - Personal Universe
  • psychedelic trance
Tombs - Path of Totality
  • atmospheric sludge
Trap Them - Darker Handcraft
  • grindcore
Team Teamwork - Super Nintendo Sega Genesis
  • hip-hop video-game-sountrack mashups

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Vestiges - The Descent of Man

Artist: Vestiges
Album: The Descent of Man
Genre: Black Metal
Origin: USA
Year: 2010

There seems to be some disagreement on the intertubes as to whether Vestiges is a black metal band or a crust punk band or whatever. I'm not sure myself, but they are definitely a good band. This is a dense, full-force album with thoughtful atmosphere, not unlike Fall of Efrafa. And they're touring! Go give 'em some money!

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UPDATE: Vestiges contacted me with a link to their new split with Ghaust. Receive it here!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gamma Ray - No World Order

Artist: Gamma Ray
Album: No World Order
Genre: Power Metal
Origin: Germany
Year: 2001

If your heart isn't already beating faster 30 seconds into "Introduction" you might have stone heart disease, because this is one of the greatest intros to any album ever made. Gamma Ray then proceeds to belt out 9 tracks of the best German power metal, finishing off with a ballad that I don't hate (a challenging task indeed). I don't listen to power metal as much as I used to, but Gamma Ray remains one of my favorites. Cry for freeeedom!

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Monday, January 24, 2011

The Glitch Mob - Drink The Sea

Artist: The Glitch Mob
Album: Drink The Sea
Genre: Electronica
Origin: USA
Year: 2010

I'm not usually into glitch electronica, but The Glitch Mob blends the beats so naturally that I'm probably mislabeling them based on their name. It's smooth, energetic and exciting. This album would probably have made my best o' '10 list, except that I only heard it for the first time a few days ago. But this is quality music - enough to wake me from my long blogging slumber.

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