Saturday, January 12, 2013

Top Albums 2012

Top 12:
  • Lunar Aurora - Hoagascht
  • Testament - Dark Roots of the Earth
  • P.O.S. - We Don't Even Live Here
  • Panopticon - Kentucky
  • Sorry - White Lung
  • Keny Arkana - Tout Tourne Autour du Soleil
  • Sigh - In Somniphobia
  • Obolus - Lament
  • Anti-Venöm - Planet of the Apes
  • The Great Old Ones - Al Azif
  • Ash Borer - Cold of Ages
  • Little Sister - Little Sister

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Moon Hooch - Moon Hooch

Artist: Moon Hooch
Album: Moon Hooch
Genre: Dance Jazz
Origin: USA (NYC)
Year: 2011

Moon Hooch is essentially club dance music played by a (very talented) jazz trio. The dual tenor saxophones (interweaving, but usually with a 'rhythm sax' and a 'lead sax') have a great raw, live feel; I don't know what the recording for this album was like, but the production and the improvisation fit the band's reputation of live public shows in parks and subways around New York city. It's dance music, so you'll need to bear with the repetition, though the lead sax and the drums progress very nicely through each track.

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Unrelated recommendation: You should definitely check out the new Lunar Aurora: Hoagascht. It's already going to be a tough release to unseat from my album of the year position. I'd post it up here, but I'm sure it's already all over the intertubes by now.

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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Friday, December 24, 2010

Top Albums 2010

This year I'm cutting my list down to 10 instead of 20. It felt more appropriate, though I'm not sure if that's because I haven't been putting as much effort into finding new music recently, or if there just really weren't as many awesome releases this year, or maybe I'm just feeling picky and leaving off a bunch of albums that I still like a lot and/or forgot about. Both Megadeth and Iron Maiden made new cds this year! Neither made my list - they weren't terrible or anything, just not top-10 material in my opinion.

(I'll try to use this as an excuse to actually post some new music soon too!)

Sigh - Scenes From Hell
  • This album takes everything that I liked about their previous full-length and gets rid of all the garbage, leaving a truly excellent avant-garde black metal album with a very strong brass section that I like even more than Imaginary Sonicscapes.
Menace Ruine - Union of Irreconcilables
  • The shockingly good Canadian duo return with an album that blends the psychedelic drone of The Die Is Cast with the black noise of Cult of Ruins, bringing the amazing vocals a little forward in the mix (which might be good or bad, I still go back and forth :) ).
Ludicra - The Tenant
  • San Francisco black metal with a bit of a post-rock feel. Shame on me for not listening to this band years ago.
Dessa - A Badly Broken Code
  • This actually includes a few songs I don't like, so it's a little surprising I'd find it solid enough to go this high on my list. But the songs that hit me hit hard, and the awesome Doomtree group concert probably influenced me as well. Dessa is America's best female rapper by far.
Nachtmystium - Addicts: Black Meddle Pt. II
  • I like this follow-up quite a bit more than Assassins. And I still think the title is a clever pun several layers deep, though I really wish the Pink Floyd reference wasn't the only thing anyone ever says about the band anymore. There are other psychedelic/progressive rock bands to compare to guys!
Kylesa - Spiral Shadow
  • Kylesa seems to be the most popular crust-rooted sludge metal band, and with this release I think I'd agree they deserve it.
Paper Tiger - Made Like Us
  • Doomtree producer Paper Tiger's first solo album; it's about what I'd expect, which is to say really great electronic music except for one or two only-OK vocal-centered pop songs.
Electric Wizard - Black Masses
  • Stoner doom metal heroes Electric Wizard still rock. So heavy, so fun.
Lazerbeak - Legend Recognize Legend
  • Doomtree's other producer also made an album this year, it is actually not at all what you might expect (unless you saw the Doomtree tour, which once again was amazing). He sings, he plays simple guitar riffs, it's all rather catchy.
Preface to the Dead Sea - Preface to the Dead Sea
  • Another crust-based, sludgy, post-metaly band; this one you probably haven't heard of if you aren't from Russia. But it's high quality, and wins the best new band name award!