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slapguitarer
12-15-2012, 02:06 PM
Howdy ho, fellas. It's that time of the year where everybody shares their favorite musical moments of the past year. This year was a little different for me. Due to having a busier/more mature schedule (last semester of high school, job over the summer, first semester of college), I didn't take in as much music from 2012 as I did in 2011. I also didn't go to as many shows. But that aside, it was still a good year for both albums and shows. This year I expanded even more musically, as you'll see in my list. So, what should expect to come from this thread? Here's the plan:

My Top 25 albums of 2012
My Top 5 EPs/singles
Top 10 live performances
Most disappointing album over year (gotta stir up some shit some how ;))

I'll be doing albums in increments of 5, like last year.

And like I said, I was busier than ever before this year, so there may be some albums that could of been shoe-ins for this list that I may have not gotten around to. There are also a lot of albums that I thought would be making the top cut, but didn't due to it disappointing me. So if you're expecting to see some albums here and don't find 'em, you know why. Also, to the disappointment/disapproval of many, I didn't listen to like, any post-rock from this year (with the exception of one record). You're welcome to throw some at me, but it's too late for it to appear on this list. I dun goofed there.

First set of 5 to come some time today!

moobys37
12-15-2012, 03:00 PM
A VERY SLAPPY CRIMBUS!!!!

You're welcome.

slapguitarer
12-15-2012, 03:08 PM
http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/images/covers/christian-mistress-possession-20120113173248.jpg
25. Christian Mistress Ė Possession
Hailing from Olympia, Christian Mistress stared the year early with their sophomore release, Possession, dropping it back in February. These guys make blistering traditional/NWOBHM style heavy metal equipped with sinister riffs, harmonized guitar leads, a tight rhythm section and a hell of a front woman. Along with the obvious NWOBHM influence, itís kind of impossible not to point out the obvious resemblances to 70ís female front hard rock like Heart and Pat Benatar. Front woman Christine Davis has the strong, retro voice that made guys around the world turn the heads when they first heard the like of Pat and Ann Wilson. Musically speaking, Christian Mistress usually keep the songs up beat and filled to the brim with awesome guitar licks that have a evil tone that resemble guys like Brian Tatler. Even the slower songs like There is Nowhere and The Way Beyond are filled to the brim with these sinister riffs. This album is chock full of Ďem! And the rhythm section is extremely tight on the record. Neither drums nor bass are doing anything revolutionary here, but they compliment the music extremely well and the bass tone is delicious. This album is excellently crafted old-school metal that has a evil side to it. Check it out if youíre old, like old things, or like things that are badass. Or all of the above.
The Way Beyond (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6khvP-TWxsM)

http://exclaim.ca/images/everytime.jpg
24. Every Time I Die Ė Ex-Lives
Iím sure this album being on my list may come as surprise to some of you, since I make my disdain for metalcore pretty well known on any message board I frequent. And while ETID doesnít fall strictly into that genre of music, they definitely borrow from it quite a bit. My interest for this band started when looking for band I might enjoy at the 2012 Warped Tour. A few people with music tastes I trust like them, so I checked it out and I really enjoy the raw aggression and hostility that comes from these guys. So I checked out their new album, Ex-Lives, and was very impressed. The album show cases a good variety of tunes, from quick sonic blasts of mayhem like Holy Book of Dilemma, speedy songs with a twang like I Suck (Blood), and heavy hitters like Indian Giver. The band uses a wide array of sound spanning from southern rock, mathcore, hardcore punk, and as mentioned earlier, metalcore. The band does such a good job of crafting short pieces of music that show cases tons of musical prowess that Iím surprised none of them are doing anything a little more ambitious. The guitar players definitely have chops for fast speedy music with technical licks and singer/screamer Keith Buckley has a bark that bites and voice that could fit anywhere from a hardcore band like Every Time I Die to any form of radio friendly rock. But what theyíre doing with this band is fine by me. Well-crafted pieces of hardcore music executed with technical precision and taste.
Holy Book of Dilemma (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SmHZocjphg)

http://www.metalsucks.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Meshuggah-Koloss.jpg
23. Meshuggah Ė Koloss
Thanks to Periphery and the djent movement happening since 2010, itís not often youíll find many reputable artists with 8-string guitars in their hands, but Meshuggah come into 2012 to reassure us that at least somebody can do the 8-string one. Koloss demonstrates Meshuggah expanding and revisiting many styles theyíve used through out their career that werenít present on the critically acclaimed album, Obzen. While Obzen was mainly about aggressiveness and technicality, Koloss takes a break and focuses more on groove and complex rhythmic patterns. But even though the music is more relaxed tempo wise, itís not any less primal. The heavy chug Meshuggah have perfected and are known for is still every present on this record, but the styles from song to song vary more this time. You have groovy songs that build into intense pieces like Swarm, I am Colossus, and Do Not Look Down, and songs that are still fast and angry, The Demonís Name Is Surveillance. The variety in sounds is definitely the most refreshing thing about Koloss, because for the most part, most everything is Meshuggah by the numbers. Thatís all I can really say. If you like Meshuggah, youíll like this record
Swarm (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkjK82f7zIg)

http://www.roadburn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Hooded-Menace-Effigies-Of-Evil.jpg
22. Hooded Menace Ė Effigies of Evil
Hailing from Finland, Hooded Menace are a death/doom duo that write really heavy, dark, ugly metal that has a sense of melody and catchiness at times. The band is made up of Lasse PyykkŲ on guitar, bass, and vocals while Pekka Koskelo covers drums. The songs range from slow churning riffs to sludgy death riffs and the also throw in some melodic leads in the mix that are often harmonized as well. They even write some cool, catchy riffs like, what you hear during the second half of Evoken Vulgarity. Using all these tools, they craft decently long (6-8 minutes) that are very eerie and creepy, often throwing in samples from old horror movies to make things a little spooky. This album is full of heavy, dark music, but also has moments that are actually quite catchy and has a sense of melody at times. Interesting death/doom to say the least.
Vortex Macabre (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPFHuPclLXo)

http://i.imgur.com/hlvSE.jpg
21. Code Orange Kids Ė Love Is Love // Return to Dust
Code Orange Kids quite a unique young band. While Iím not expert on the genre, there arenít many other hardcore bands Iíve heard that are quite like these kids. On their debut album, Code Orange Kids release an album of chaotic, heavy, and experimental hardcore punk/sludge. There are quite a few sounds on this record, and they all come suddenly and hit you in the face with a fierce fist. You have elements of hardcore, sludge, shoegaze, doom, and more. They remind me of a a younger more hardcore Kylesa circa To Walk a Middle Course. These guys often go from fast a furious blast beats to slow and heavy sludge riffs in a matter of 10 seconds. On the album opener, Flower Mouth, there are about 4 different changes in the song, and itís only 2 minutes long. I donít mean change in riff, I mean the song takes a 180 and goes somewhere completely different than it where it was going 2 seconds ago. These guys are excellent songwriters considering their age, and really know how to pull the rug from under your feet and grasp your attention. If youíre looking for imaginative hardcore that is fast, heavy and smart, this is your album.
Flower Mouth (The Leech) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpVa-x7YndY)

BloodoftheKings
12-15-2012, 03:27 PM
That Christian Mistress record is pretty good. I listened to it a few times early in the year but haven't really touched it in a while. Maybe i'll throw it an honorable mention when I get around to doing my list.

illuminatus917
12-16-2012, 11:18 AM
I never did listen to that Christian Mistress. :eyes:

slapguitarer
12-16-2012, 06:14 PM
Ya'll gone get mad

MOST DISAPPOINTING ALBUM OF THE YEAR

http://www.angrymetalguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Parallax-II-Future-Sequence-500x500.jpg

Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax II: Future Sequence


The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues was up there with my favorite BTBAM releases and progressive releases of the new last 10 years. It seemed like BTBAM had really secured their sound, combining progressive rock, death metal, technical prowess and tons else to make some of the most interesting metal in a while. It also showed vast improvement in the song-writing department. Not once on the album did it feel like they were thinking ďokay, heavy part, soft part, proggy part, heavy part, solos, break, soft part, crescendo, and ba boomĒ. That of course is hyberbole, but it did feel that way at moments on their 2009 LP, The Great Misdirect. On Hypersleep Dialogues, everything felt cohesive and blended well together to make an awesome progressive metal smoothie. And on top of all of that, they introduced a story for a two-part concept album. So with all these exciting things, I was extremely excited for the follow up, The Parallax II: Future Sequence. But after repeated listens, I was pretty disappointed with what they had come up with.

Let me start this off with saying that Future Sequence isnít a terrible record. It definitely has its good moments. At first, I loved it, because I was blinded by a bad case of fanboy. When I heard Telos, I was pumped to hear them getting brutally heavy again, but it also felt chopped and pasted like some of the material on TGM. They start the song heavy, die down into a calm part, then heavy part ending with prog stuff. It wasnít the end of the world, but it wasnít nearly as strong as anything on Hypersleep. Then I got the album, and I went through initial fanboy reaction to everything good about the record. Astral Body sounded really bright and hopeful while still having the screamed vocals. They had a throw back to Specular Refection on Extremophile Elite. There were a lot of cool new sounds like what we hear on Goodbye to Everything, The Black Box, and Bloom. And on top of that, this is the record Tommy Rogers sounds most confident with his clean vocals, and really makes Ďem shine. His keyboard playing too. And the rest of the band is in tiptop shape. But there are quite a few things I canít get behind.

It seems BTBAM have taken into account all the recent progcore bands theyíve influenced and borrowed from themÖ You have way more chugga-chugga crap since this line-up has been established on the record. Itís not everywhere, but itís there. Not to mention that it feels as if theyíre trying a little hard to remind that theyíre a progressive band, with all the wank on the album, like the intro to Astral Body, the end of the album, and other moments. As I mentioned I earlier, it also seems that theyíve lost their touch with combining all elements of BTBAM into one passage. You either have a heavy section, soft section, or circus prog time. There are also a lot of stupid, short quirky moments, like the two seconds of surf rock on Lay Your Ghost To Rests, the stupid tuba/marimba/violin thing on Extreophile Elite. And a lot of it seems kind of half-assed, like many of the recent progcore bands. It seems that most of these songs are made of single passages they wrote and then put together like a puzzle to see what best complimented what, as opposed to writing songs that feel like one cohesive piece. There are many times a song feels like it could end, but it doesnít, and that makes it drag. And it doesn't help that the record is already 72 minutes long. :hecho:

While there were a few other albums I thought were fairly disappointing due to lack of innovation, I found this to be a disappointment because I feel itís a step down from their previous work. I understand this isnít the popular opinion, but thatís my take on this album.

powerslave_85
12-16-2012, 06:24 PM
I haven't been terribly impressed with anything they've done since Colors.

And I never really got the hype for the Christian Mistress album. When it comes to 2012 traditional metal albums, I think the Witchcraft one is better.

slapguitarer
12-20-2012, 06:40 PM
Illuminatus, give that Christian Mistress album a spin, it's good. Powerslave, I think everything BTBAM has released has been solid, especially everything from Alaska and on. But the new one... well I already gave my case

I was expecting a bit more of a response, but whatever. I'll post the next chunk of the list in a few minutes.

slapguitarer
12-20-2012, 07:00 PM
http://metalriot.com/wp-content/uploads/Ne-Obliviscaris-Portal-of-I-Code666-e1340037659931.jpg
20. Ne Obliviscaris Ė Portal of I
Almost 10 years in the making, Australian prog band Ne Oblivicaris finally release their debut album Portal of I, and it definitely sound like the product of a decade of work. While three of the tracks showed up on a demo they released that was released in 2007, the majority of the album is finally seeing the light of day on peopleís computers and mp3 players just now. Ne Obliviscaris are a 76-piece, featuring, a harsh vocalist, two guitarists, bassist, drummer, and clean vocalist/violinist. These guys write really intricate, layered, long-winded progressive metal that has tons of sounds thrown in. The three bands that I think sum up their sound are Opeth, Between the Buried and Me, and Unexpect. Now, thatís sounds like a winning combination, so why isnít this top 10 for me? Well, while these guys are definitely writing some of the most ambitious metal Iíve heard all year, with tons of technical precision, beautiful melodic passages, blistering riffs, and really just tons of more sounds, it does come as slightly try-hard and there seems to be formulas happening. Like how every song needs an acoustic guitar passage that last a minute or two too long. And the clean vocals seem too forced and whiny at times. Plus when most every song goes over ten minutes and thereís 7 on the album, itís a long listen. This is definitely one of the best recent efforts in progressive metal. Tons better than every djent/progcore/technical deathcore/pseudo-prog record released this year by far. This is definitely a great start for what can be a truly amazing band, there just needs to be some polishing in some areas.
Xenoflux (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wa4zqBwPVE)

http://www.metalinjection.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Anhedonist-Netherwards.jpg
19. Anhedonist Ė Netherwards
Anhedonist create some of the heaviest, eeriest and tortured death/doom of the year with their debut record, Netherwards. The album comprimses of four tracks, most extending to about ten minutes, with exception of one 5 minutes long, and all tracks are straight, heavy-as -could-be death/doom that is scary, evil and hellish. These guys have riffs that sit for minutes at a time and slowly evolve as the song progresses. Thereís sounds vary on the album, going from slow doom riffs with low growls to double bass driven passages with higher growls and such. Each passage they write is done tastefully and sounds great. Thereís not much else I can really say. This is album is straight evil, heavy-as-hell death/doom that you should check out now!
Estrangement (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvVFnj2MB3I)

http://www.profoundlorerecords.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/AB_COA_cover_500.jpg
18. Ash Borer Ė Cold of Ages
The new sons of northern (California) darkness, Ash Borer, return to 2012 with their sophomore album, Cold of Ages, representing actual northern California with their own, unique strain of black metal. Of course there are bound to be comparison to other American black metal bands like Wolves in the Throne Room, since they do incorporate atmosphere and slower, droning moments in pieces, the album shows a lot of influence from 2nd wave black metal, with a lot of the albums being fast, tremolo picked guitar leads and blasting drums. But whether theyíre adhering to older or modern styles of black metal, theyíre creating really dark, grim, chilling music. The album only has 4 songs but each span over 10 minutes, the longest stretching a little past 18. Each song sits on certain themes for larger chunks of time, but when things change theyíre sudden and unexpected which makes them quite engaging. Each section is thickly layered and expertly crafted, some ever featuring guest vocals from Worm Ouroboroís Jessica Way that add a really eerie feeling. Cold of Ages is a breath of fresh air in the American black metal scene, using both old school and modern styles and sounds to make some chilling new black metal.
Convict of All Flesh (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RAFwiRAY5A)

http://cstrecords.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/gybenews2.jpg
17. Godspeed You! Black Emperor Ė Allelujah! Donít Bend! Ascend!
Like Most people, I was taken completely by surprise when I found out GY!BE were releasing a new record, ten years since the previes. In fact I first found out on 4chan, before there was an official announcement from the band, when somebody posted that they were selling a new record on vinyl at their live shows. A few days after seeing that post, the news was all over the Internet, on every music news website and the album was on most every file sharing site. The album is made up of two songs that have been part of their live repertoire and two knew drone tracks. Iím not really big into the whole drone thing, so I look past those and look at the two songs. Both songs are just seconds short of 20 minutes a piece, so you definitely get a lot of material. Both tracks are full of every thing you know and love about these guys. Awesome melodies that get fleshed out like no other and turn into huge bombastic crescendos and multi-part tracks. The first track, Mladic, is definitely more on the rock side of post-rock, with the really groovey middle-eastern theme present through out most of the track and really loud and energetic drum tracks. The second track, We Drift Like Worried Fire, goes threw more sounds and emotions, from the cheery first section, to the really dark and eerie section in the middle that evolves into an uplifting crescendo that then falls back into a movement that feels unsure, but slightly optimistic, driven by violin and drums. Of course my brief overviews of the two tracks are just that, brief overviews. A few sentences canít begin to describe how good these songs are. Only reason this album is a little low on the list is because itís just that, two songs. And listening to new Godspeed makes me think about how Iíve had 8 opportunities to see them and I MISSED. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU. Either way, great stuff coming from truly wonderful band.
We Drift Life Worried Fire (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wP6-wlhviKw)

http://www.musicfearsatan.com/DSK/wormo_come_(big).jpg
16. Worm Ouroboros Ė Come The Thaw
The Bay Area makes its first appearance on the list with Worm Ouroborosí sophomore record, Come the Thaw. For those unfamiliar with this band, theyíre a doom/neofolk/shoegaze/dark ambient trio consisting of two female vocalists that also take care of guitar and bass. Aesop Dekker of Ludicra and recently, Agalloch handles what little drums are being played on the record. The bandís signature sound is a very-slow building wave of sound that is very dark and distant while maintaining a sense of serenity and innocence that builds up than comes back down to crash against the shore. Vocalists Lorraine Rath and Jessica Way have voices that are very sweet but when combined the music they produce sound very pained. The music often starts with just one instrument then both vocalists come in providing vocal lines that are often a sort-of call and response in contrary motion. After a few minutes, the other instruments join in to set a ground for the song, and they build on it and let it churn for a while. Of course, thatís not every track; there is plenty of variation on the record. The album is full of different flavors, from the dark ambiance of Release Your Days, the heavy riffs on Further Out, and plenty more. The guitars are both very clean with reverb and delay or super heavy and fuzzy. Bass either has a clean or fuzzy tone and the way the guitar and bass interact with each other is much like the vocals, focusing on a common theme or melody, but playing something completely different, creating a heterophonic texture to the music, while the drums keep everything together. They truly have a unique sound and it is really something special. If you like music that is just as dark and melancholic as it is serene, check this out.
Further Out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vSMZ1ag--M)

kalfitegrdan
12-21-2012, 06:02 AM
Ne Obliviscaris are a 76-piece, featuring, a harsh vocalist, two guitarists, bassist, drummer, and clean vocalist/violinist.

What do the other 70 members do? ;)

I need to check out that Ne Obliviscaris album. I've heard a lot of good things about it. Your description of Worm Ouroboros sound interesting. I'll have to check that out, same with Anhedonist.

Those Ash Borer and Godspeed albums are great. :fist:

slapguitarer
12-21-2012, 08:05 AM
Oops, forgetting to proofread strikes again! I thought they were a seven piece, but then checked my facts and it's only six. I guess I forgot to hit backspace when correcting myself.:hecho:

mastodon421
12-21-2012, 09:32 AM
I know it's your opinion and that's cool ,but I still get really confused why you dislike the new BTBAM as much as you do. I know you love their older stuff and your criticisms of this record (except for they are trying to become a prog rock band) are the same ones their detractors have had for their whole career. Is it my favorite album by them? No, but If you thoroughly enjoy BTBAM's previous material it doesn't really make sense to me how you didn't enjoy this.

slapguitarer
12-24-2012, 01:16 PM
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xz6qaNRFdMs/UBerbeJI8GI/AAAAAAAAAA0/gix8qSaLn1A/s400/1343562368_cover.jpg
5. Smash Potater Ė The EP
Showing the forum some love, here. Smash Potater are a crossover/thrash band featuring poster metallicbrian666 on guitars and back up vokills. These guys write speedy songs that are short, sweet, and to the point. Fast riffs, speedy solos are abundant along with an array of vocal styles, from typical crossover shouted vocals to death growls. Every song starts with a sample of some sort, which ties in the song lyrically. Speaking of lyrics, these guys have a good sense of humor and use in their lyrics. Lyrical themes are mostly centered around food but they also have hilarious thrash commentary. Itís hard not to chuckle when listening to this EP. If you like quick thrash and funny lyrics, check this out.
Pit-O-Phile (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JKPbn54g_w)

http://esotericalembic.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/chromewavescover.jpeg
4. Chrome Waves Ė Chrome Waves
Post-black metal super group Chrome Waves, featuring members of Wolvhammer, Gates of Slumber and The Atlas Moth, step foot into the metal realm with their self-titled debut EP. Their style of post-black metal is definitely a bit on the slower side, definitely taking on emphasis on the rock in post-rock. While the songs they write are slow in feeling and atmosphere, the do have an upbeat rock groove with constant chord strumming, similar to Agalloch. That sets them apart from many of their colleagues in the post-BM game. The only real line that connects these guys to black metal is the heavy use of minor chords do build a melancholic atmosphere and of course the blackened shrieks. Blast beats and unrelenting double bass passages are kept to a minimum on the record. The vocals are delivered with tons of emotion, and sound very tortured, as good black metal vocals should. Guitar and bass work on this album sound great with rich fuzzy tone and cool use of acoustic guitar, whether itís strumming are arpeggiating chords. Over all this is a great post-black metal record more in the vein of the neo-folk sound that Agalloch produces.
Height Of the Rifles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdxv72c8qWQ)

http://www.thepurplebay.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/TNGHT-cover.jpg
3. TNGHT Ė TNGHT EP
I wouldnít be surprised if Iím the only person to include this in their year-end review. Or if I was the only person who listened to it. TNGHT (pronounced ďtonightĒ) is a collaboration between producers Hudson Mohawke and Lunice. TNGHT create beats that quite energetic, bass heavy, loud, sample heavy, and could be described as ignorant or obnoxious. Considering bass, wonky, and trap are some of the tags on their last.fm, Iím not sure this is going to attract many people on there, but I really like it. Every song is different in feel and actually showcases some musical knowledge. There is obviously a lot of work put into these beats, because theyíre pretty layered with a lot of sounds and pretty impressive rhythmic work. They also use a lot of cool samples that donít seem common in hip-hop like babies, bubbles popping, cars crashing, video game sounds, and more. If you like fun, energetic electronic music, give it a shot.
Bugg'n (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ia34yXU1gw)

http://lightbearerband.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/picture-6.png
2. Light Bearer - Celestium Apocrypha; Book of Watchers
Technically this is a split with Northless, but I only downloaded the Light Bearer side, so Iím considering it a single. Light Bearer start yet another music series, the Celestium Apocrypha, which will be a compilation of side of whatís going on in the ∆sahśttr Tetralogy, with the first installment: Book of Watchers. The song start with about 4 minutes of feedback and static then drums fade, later joined by guitar, then bass. An excellent riff is established and played for a bit then changes as vocals come in, but it then returns to the main riff, this time layered with guitar leads. The riff evolves into a behemoth of a riff, then calms down for a bit, only to return to its previous stature, only to die down again. At this point thereís only noise and vocals that are harmonized. Slowly, piece-by-piece, the band enters back in and introduces a really slow, dark lead and pummeling drums that sound like a primitive warning that something dark and evil is coming. That eventually happens with an enormous, slow riff that blasts in, aided by call and response screamed vocals. Again, it dies down to a clean chord progression. It then ends in loud crescendo on a riff used earlier in the song. Light Bearer prove that they are masters in the craft of writing evil atmospheric sludge that pulls you in, sits you down, and tells you a story.
Celestium Apocrypha; Book of Watchers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQGGXNOdXmM)

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1) Agalloch Ė Faustian Echoes
Agalloch release the finest EP of the year with their 20-minute song, Faustian Echoes. The song shows Agalloch furthering themselves into black metal as we saw on their last LP, Marrow of the Spirit. After a short sample, the song comes blazing with a back metal riff, full of tremolo picking and blast beats. It soon goes into the dark neo-folk kind of passage weíre used to from these guys, but heavier than before. The chord progression is soon met with an arpeggiation of chords layered on top. But they Agalloch doesnít stop there, adding even more layers, such as a tremolo picked melody on top of what has already been set. All of this is not 6 minutes into the song, and you have some of the best writing weíve seen from these guys, with awesome guitar layering, audible bass with a good tone and good bassline, and Aesopís drumming is ace. All of this is halted with a quick break with one of the catchiest riffs in Agalloch history. And like before, that riff is accompanied with an awesome melody and great backing section. That soon dies down, with a heavy and slow riff. After all comes to silence, weíre met with samples from a movie that I can only assume if about Faust, which is what the song is also about. They band returns to the song with a fast and furious black metal passage that is as much evil as it is beautiful. That evolves into less distorted black/folk metal riff. All of this then returns to a variation of that sweet riff that happened early in the song, around the 6:40 mark. They then introduce one last idea, accompanied with an awesome guitar solo, and then the song dies down to a sample from the movie mentioned before. Agalloch may have written one of their best songs to date with Faustian Echoes. It combines everything there is to love about their last two records and more.
Faustian Echoes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIF0d4PLsjY)

Onioner
12-24-2012, 02:52 PM
Agreed on Faustian Echoes, it's one of Agalloch's best achievements yet. It blows Marrow of the Spirit out of the water, that's for sure. I think I still like Ashes Against the Grain best though, if only because it has more music to offer than this EP.

Natrlhi
12-25-2012, 08:28 AM
Nice picks on some of the more eclectic ones. Looks like I have to check a few of these out.

gmatts
12-29-2012, 05:33 AM
Wait, where is the rest of the list for this thread? I was digging it so far....

slapguitarer
12-29-2012, 07:48 AM
I've been pretty busy the past week. I'll try to update it ASAP. Thanks for checking it out!:D

slapguitarer
12-31-2012, 12:41 PM
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15. Torche Ė Harmonicraft
Everybodyís favorite hipster metal band slaps some new music on the table this year with their third album, Harmonicraft. These guys write music that is self-pronounced ďthunder popĒ. And it sounds almost exactly like that. Short, catchy songs made of thunderous riffs. Songs range from fast and energetic, like Letting Go and Walk It off, or songs that are more relaxed and groovy, such as Reverse Inverted and Roaming. And of course there are tracks that fall in between Skin Moth and Kicking. Some songs also show of some really cool scaler licks like Snakes Are Charmed and the title track. But no matter what theyíre doing, every track gets your head bobbiní and in a good mood. There isnít really much more to say. This album is an incredibly fun listen full of awesome songs made of kickass riffs. Itís nothing groundbreaking, but they just do it so wonderfully I canít help but love it.
Snakes Are Charmed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Yu9H8_Z-UI)

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14. Alcest - Les Voyages De L'¬me
There seems to have been some dispute with this record. People are either considering Alcestís third record, Les Voyages De L'¬me, to be the best or worst Alcest record to date. While I tend to side with the people who think itís the worst, I donít find it to be quite as disappointing, and still really love the record. It held number 1 on the list for quite a long time, but thatís due to the fact that this album was released January 6, 2012; very early in the year. One thing thatís really great about the album is the production. This things sound angelic. I can imagine Beings of Lights being the sound track to an angel descending from the heavens unto Earth to wipe the planet of all that is wrong with world. Most of the songs are more on the post-rock/shoegazing side than black metal, but there are black metal moments like on the second and fifth tracks, but thatís about it. Otherwise itís bright, uplifting, nostalgic side that weíve come to associate with Alcest. And itís done really well and is more rock based than the lighter side of Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde. But the only thing is that a lot of the songs do feel formulaic. It does feel kind of like Alcest by the numbers. But even if it doesnít feel as genuine as the first two records, itís definitely an impressive record with more colors explored than previously. The worst Alcest record is still an incredible one.
Lŗ Oý Naissent Les Couleurs Nouvelles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksRBfsz53Eg)

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9g42oyrBu1qbj6tvo1_500.jpg
13. Neurosis Ė Honor Found In Decay
Neurosis are one of those bands I know Iíll love when I check out and explore, but just havenít gotten to yet. I did spin their acclaimed album, Through Silver In Blood, a few times about a year ago and remember really enjoying it but have yet to return to it. So when I heard they had a new album coming out this year, I decided to check it out, since checking out a bandís new material then going back has worked for me in a few cases. The record starts on a great note, with the pummeling track, We All Rage in Gold. The riffs are heavy, Scott Kellyís voice is mad and thereís even a flute solo at the end! Through out the record, many of the songs are consistent with the same, slow, pained, doom feel, yet it refrains from sounding repetitive. The songs build on themselves as they progress but come to climax in different ways. Like how on At The Well, the song ends with an aggressive chord progression while Scott yells like a tormented man and on the track My Heart For Deliverance the song ends with a slower, post-rock like ending with the guitars playing a pained melody that is massive. But even though the songs vary, the theme is pretty much the same through out the whole album. Other than that, Neurosis delivers an awesome atmospheric sludge record that is pummeling in every way possible.
At The Well (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCGctuclgTs)

http://www.metalsucks.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/omg-no.jpg
12. Old Man Gloom Ė No
8 years after their last album, Old Man Gloom come back with their crushing new album No. Old Man Gloom is a super group of sorts, featuring Aaron Turner of Isis fame and Nate Newton from Converge. Along with Santos Montano of Zozobra and Caleb Scofield of Cave In, they produce a really dark, gritty sludge that is riddled with elements of ambient and noise. The music is often slow, heavier than all hell, noisy and angry. Aaron Turnerís twisted screams are distorted, which gives Ďem a more sinister sound than ever before. One could compare the music to a heavier, crustier Isis, but thatís not the whole story. Along with heavy atmospheric sludge you also songs that sound like the tasteful are sludge of Baroness, like the track Regain/Rejoin. There is a heavier of electronics and noise, like on the track Shadowed Hand, or Rats. Along with that, the track lengths vary, with about half the album never reaching 5 minutes then four other tracks at least 8, with the final track, Shuddering Earth breaking 14 minutes. Old Man Gloom released a hell of a sludge album with No, full of tons of sounds from electronic and ambient music along side heavy, pained riffs. Dig it!
Rats (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BLyrX_Z_2U)

http://infectionofmetal.worldanime.tv/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/enslaved-RIITIIR.jpg
11. Enslaved Ė RIITIIR
Enslaved were one of those black metal bands that I meant to get into when I started exploring the genre but never got around. When I heard tons of praise for their 2010 effort, Axioma Ethica Odini, I thought Iíd give it a shot, because I was interested in what this so called progressive black metal would sound like. I was blown away with what I heard. Enslaved maintain the epic qualities of viking/black metal and through the power of excellent songwriting abilities, combine those elements with majesty of progressive rock to make some really heavy, brain-tingling, and really powerful music. On their new album, RIITIIR, Enslaved bump of the prog a notch or two. Thereís more clean singing on this album than the last, the guys are pulling out even more odd meters, jazzier chord voicings, and tasteful uplifting passages. The album has eight songs, most of which at least 9 minutes long, so the album gives you over an hour of incredible progressive black metal. Something worth mentioning is that every song seemingly seems to flow from one to another. It makes the album a fluid and flowing listen. Overall, the new Enslaved is a great step forward in this progressive direction.
Roots of the Mountain (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DULdEgVgY8)

illuminatus917
01-01-2013, 08:17 PM
That Chrome Waves album was really good. I kind of forgot about it until I just now saw it on your list. :eyes:

:fist:

slapguitarer
01-02-2013, 07:29 PM
Before we jump in the Top 10 albums, I'll be doing Top 10 live performances. Again, increments of 5.

10. Hyro Da Hero @ Warped Tour -- San Francisco, CA -- June 23rd
http://www.londonbandphotography.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/hyro-da-hero-slamdunk-2011-16.jpg
Hyro Da Hero and his band put on an incredible live performance. I only knew to check him out because Manks gave 'em a positive review in his Warped '12 preview, and I'm sure glad I checked out Hyro. He and his band has so much energy, running and jumping around the stage almost like DEP, and played really fun rap-rock. Despite not having the most impressive crowd, Hyro put in his all and often got on the guard rail and during the last song actually got into the crowd and moshed with people. That really got the crowd going. Overall super fun, high-energy set.
Original Review (http://metalsetlists.com/showthread.php?t=20721)

9. Red Hot Chili Peppers @ Oracle Arena -- Oakland, CA -- August 15th
http://stadium-arcadium.com/red-hot-chili-peppers/red-hot-chili-peppers-tampa-florida-concert-march-29th-2012-im-with-you-tour.jpg
My first concert was almost 6 years prior to this date, when I saw the Chili Peppers at the same spot on August 22nd in in 2006. They put on a hell of a show then and put on a hell of show now. As usual, these guys were full on energy, played tons of awesome songs including most all the necessary hits and a few songs of the new one and some deep cuts, like Sir Psycho Sexy :party:. Although I think they should've played longer due to their extensive library, it was a good show and it was fun seeing 'em again!

8. High on Fire @ The Atrium -- Santa Cruz, CA -- December 18th
http://www.culturebully.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/high-on-fire-live.jpg
My third time seeing High on Fire and the best so far! Matt Pike and co. but on an awesome set full of nothing but heavy hitting songs! All the songs sounded awesome from the new ones to the classics. Everybody sounded flawless and Des was on it! The crowd had one too many drunk assholes in the pit, and the set could've been longer, but it was still a hell of a time rockin' out to some fucking awesome heavy metal.

7. Young Hunter @ Arlene Francis Center -- Santa Rosa, CA -- June 1st
http://i1187.photobucket.com/albums/z394/slapguitarer/younghunter_zpsd4e8b00f.jpg
I learned of these guys about 3 days prior to the event when Cormorant announced they were doing a west coast tour with these cats. I checked out their debut album, Stone Tools (which you'll read of later ;)) and was really impressed. They were playing a gig in Santa Rosa before the tour started while Cormorant was off playing some 21+ show in the next town over ;_;, so I decided to hit up Young Hunter with my buddy. After all the odd opening bands, Young Hunter came on and blew me away. They sounded even better live than on record and put in so much emotion and soul into their playing. The music was so heavy and created such an honest atmosphere that I couldn't help but love. I talked to the lead man and the bassist after the show and they were super chill. Also, I'm pretty sure me and my friend were the only dudes there who weren't friends of the band.
Original Review (http://metalsetlists.com/showthread.php?t=20562)

6. Agalloch @ The Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA - August 11th
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5009/5326424546_650b19a2ed_z.jpg
What a show! Agalloch put on an incredible set including material from all their full lengths and two most important EPs. Like last time, they had a lot of nature themed stage props and more importantly sounded incredible. Aesop sounded awesome the whole night, especially on Faustian Echoes, and John and Don were also spot on with all the guitar work. It was all there: awesome/lengthy set, incredible stage show, incredible sound, and just enough stage banter. Everything was genuine and awesome.
Original Review (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=482068&postcount=2)

slapguitarer
01-06-2013, 11:54 AM
I'm almost done with albums 10-6, so I'll finish live performances then have the albums up by later today.

5. Iron Maiden @ Shoreline Amphitheater -- Mountain View, CA -- August 3rd
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k206/WrEtcH_138/tidal%20wave%202012/Iron%20Maiden%20-%20Shoreline%202012/105_1815.jpg
Finally; my first time seeing Iron Maiden. As expected, they put on an amazing performance and everybody was on their A game. Every member of the band sounded absolutely on queue, and were entertaining to watch perform. Plus seeing them play most the 80's hits as well as some deepcuts, mainly from Seventh Son, was an awesome for my first Maiden show. The fact that these guys play with such precision and energy at their age is amazing. Not much else I can say, since I'm sure pretty much everybody on this forum has seen these guys more times than I have :lol:

4. Death Grips @ Slim's -- San Francisco, CA -- December 3rd
http://ww1.hdnux.com/photos/16/57/01/3862604/3/628x471.png
Complete, utter chaos for an hour is what I experienced when I saw Death Grips. The craziest show I went to this year and one of the craziest shows I've been to overall, Death Grips got the show goin'! They just blazed through their set, no breaks or time to take it all in. Just a steady stream of raw energy, crazy fans, and some of the most interesting hip-hop/electro-punk/whatever on the planet. MC Ride was awesome the entire night and Zach Hill is a god among men on the drumkit, even without cymbals. I don't get how one man has that much stamina. Hearing some of my favorite music of the year was a treat too. I was feelin' it. Hell yeah fuck yea.
Original Review (http://metalsetlists.com/showthread.php?t=21982)

3. Sleep @ Fox Theater -- Oakland, CA -- June 5th
http://www.thenewnoise.it/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Sleep_live.jpg
Heaviest show of the year. Sleep always delivers an amazing set, playing some of the best and most celebrated stoner metal the world has to offer. The show was really bass heavy, the whole place was shaking the entire time. This time around, I stood in front of Al Cisneros, and watching him just own his bass was a marvel. Seeing Matt Pike in this light was also awesome as always. This show was just unrelenting heavy riffage and badass. It's always a pleasure dropping out of life, and having Sleep take you to the riff filled land.
Original Review (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=470335&postcount=8)

2. Death To All @ Regency Ballroom -- San Francisco, CA -- June 22nd
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/jmbJp6ITCaQ/0.jpg
Seriously, one of the best experiences ever. After becoming familiar with Death and falling in love with all their records, seeing so many of the musicians that played on these records and more performing over 2 hours of Death material and nothing else was mind-blowing. Everybody on stage was completely in the zone and visually having a great time. That night I experienced some of the best bass and drum performances I've witnessed. And it the fact that it was for a great cause made it even better. Seriously, you almost can't beat seeing over two hours of some of the best metal in the world performed by those who took part in it.
Original Review (http://metalsetlists.com/showthread.php?t=20714)

1. Vektor @ Thee Parkside -- San Francisco, CA -- September 2nd
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k206/WrEtcH_138/Vektor/105_1919.jpg
Best show I've gone to in the the last two years. Pure euphoria and ecstasy is all I felt the entire time. Nothing but good vibes. Just read the review.
Original Review (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=485944&postcount=5)

slapguitarer
01-06-2013, 03:13 PM
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-L4_XzAdP1OQ/UBlmhgpnegI/AAAAAAAADtQ/2FN6QXBiqgI/s1600/Krallice%2B-%2BYears%2BPast%2BMatter.jpg
10. Krallice Ė Years Past Matter
Kicking off the Top 10 is avant-black metal supergroup Krallice. These guys make some of the most brain-bending black metal the US scene has to offer, riddled with wicked harmonies, syncopated riffs, ever changing drumbeats, and tons more. Most of the time, nobody in the band is playing the same thing, always playing different chord progressions or contrasting riffs, making the moments when they do coalesce quite a mesmerizing and euphoric experience. Every riff and chord progression these guys run through always sounds wicked and dissonant and sit on each idea for a while, which sounds like it could get boring but the drummer is changing up the beat every few measures and keeps things interesting and invigorating the whole time. And the vocalists sound badass as usual, just adding another layer of awesome qualities to this band. All the actual songs on the record average to at least 10 minutes long, and each song goes through tons of ideas, all fusing black metal and progressive rock to create really interesting sounds. If youíre looking for some game changing black metal thatís as evil and brutal as it is progressive and mind-melting, check this out.
IIIIIIIII (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVGrJUDNM9s)

http://www.metalsucks.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/royalthunder-cvi.jpg
9. Royal Thunder Ė CVI
Royal Thunder arenít your average ďfemale frontedĒ metal group. First off, itís kind of hard to call Ďem metal at times, because they really lean more towards the hard rock side of things with elements of doom. But itís also because the fact that they have a female vocalist isnít the only thing that sets them apart from most other doom metal/rock bands coming along these days. Thereís a super heavy rock Ďní roll, blues influence all over the record. Itís really obvious on tracks with tracks like No Good. The album is also full of really longwinded songs that take lots of time to build up and turn into really spacey, doomy, and heavy songs full of different spices and flavors, all feeling retro and modern at the same time. Most of the tracks are on the slower side, more focused on creating and eerie atmosphere while simultaneously rockiní down the house. Every musician on the record also shows their chops on the album aside from being awesome songwriters. You got awesome riffs and guitar licks all across the board, grooving and interesting bass lines, lots of diversity in the drums and Mlny Parsonzí voice is truly a thing of wonder. Royal Thunder make some of the best rock music around by fusing together eerie blues, melancholic doom metal, and high energy rock Ďní roll and NWOBHM.
South of Somewhere (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cf3S7d6ipBE)

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8. Rush Ė Clockwork Angels
Rush need no introduction. Their 19th (!) full length, Clockwork Angels, has been a long time comminí and was worth the wait. Back in 2010, they dropped a single featuring the first two songs, Caravan and BU2B, which they played on their infamous Time Machine tour that spanned two years. Those two tracks saw Rush getting even heavier than before. It was no unlike their mid 70s material, in that it was heavy and rockiní, but wasnít quite as experimental as weíve seen Rush get. But the rest of the album shows their progressive tendencies and new sounds. There are definitely elements of Middle Eastern music in a few of these tracks, which is a refreshing sound. On top of that, there is also a good use of strings on the album, mostly on the slower/ballad like tracks, but they always sound good and add to the music. And with all of that, the band still sounds awesome. Geddyís voice sounds awesome considering his age, and the whole band is completely on top of it. The album is full of awesome riffs, great guitar solos, bombastic bass lines, and some of Neilís best drumming to date. The album is made of 12 great songs, most over 5 minutes, so you get over an hour of Rushís heaviest material to date. After 40 years, these guys are still proving theyíre the best in the prog rock game.
BU2B (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mu6-jeydvo)

http://www.metalblast.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/pallbearer.jpg
7. Pallbearer Ė Sorrow and Extinction
Pallbearer are quite an amazing band. They write very powerful doom metal that sounds like was shipped in from the UK, but the band hails from Little Rock, Arkansas. The band sounds very familiar to Warning and Candlemass, while maintaining to have their own sound. For one, the singer on the album sounds amazing. Like many others, Iíll liken him to Ozzy and Geddy Lee. His voice sounds like it came from the 70ís and quite versatile. All at once, it knocks you to your knees then picks you right back up, just when you thought all hope was lost. It fits well with the music the rest of the band creates that has the same knock-you-down/pick-you-up tendencies. Most every song starts out with crushing, heavy-as-all-hell riffs that grip you by the collar to call your attention. But itís never overwhelmingly melancholic/depressive, so they never knock you down hard enough to make the uplifting sections all that much more noticeable. The way they simultaneously have both atmospheres happening in these songs is really something unlike Iíve heard. Listen to this for some of the best doom youíve heard in a while.
The Foreigner (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efsUakRY2IQ)

http://www.cvltnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Ahab-The-Giant.jpg
6. Ahab Ė The Giant
Ahab continue to show their dominance over the funeral doom scene with their heavy-hitting album, The Giant. Ahab are notorious for their ever so slow and brutal riffs that wail (tee-hee) and weep relentlessly for long periods of time, consuming you into the deep abyss of the wretched sea. This time around, there they combine their funeral doom with hints of post-rock and more clean vocals then ever before. This really only adds to the music in a positive manner. The clean vocals add another layer of to the tortured and bleak atmosphere of the music and the post-rock elements aid the band in fleshing out the riffs and themes of each track to make them even larger and grander than before. Each song shows great songwriting and musicianship, from the awesome leads, to the layered riffs, great singing and death growls and pronounced bass in the mix. This album only proves that Ahab are a force to be reckoned with and have far greater things to come. Check this out for some phenomenal funeral doom.
Aeons Elapse (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmPo-CdkQs0)

energymetal14
01-06-2013, 03:19 PM
I've noticed just about everyone on here has Iron Maiden in their top shows list. I think it's about time I dish out the money to see them :lol:

Nice reviews of the Pallbearer and Ahab albums, couldn't have described them better myself! Pallbearer was the total surprise of the year for me.

Natrlhi
01-06-2013, 03:25 PM
Well done so far. I dug the gig summaries. You saw some great shows.

Regarding #10 - #6:

#10 Didn't spend enough time with it this year, but liked what I heard.
#9 Loved it.
#8 Didn't listen to it.
#7 Loved it.
#6 Tried it, but it just didn't work for me. Too slow and ultra-funeral for my taste.

SomewhereInTime72
01-06-2013, 06:43 PM
Love both number 8 and 7. Not a big fan of 10 or 6. Something just wasn't very exciting about em.

Natrlhi
01-06-2013, 07:00 PM
Love both number 8 and 7. Not a big fan of 10 or 6. Something just wasn't very exciting about em.

FYI, the one you seem to have straight up missed is the best of the bunch.

SomewhereInTime72
01-06-2013, 07:24 PM
FYI, the one you seem to have straight up missed is the best of the bunch.

Is that so?

I didn't comment on it because I did indeed straight up miss it. :tongue: I'm pretty intrigued by the description and the strength of these compliments. Gonna have to add that to my to-download list.

Rocco44
01-09-2013, 09:09 AM
Good reviews and some great albums for sure.

And not to be a genre nazi but the new Ahab is definitely not funeral doom. Definitely more traditional doom and a lot of prog and post elements. The Call Of the Wretched Sea is funeral, not this.

slapguitarer
01-09-2013, 07:05 PM
Well done so far. I dug the gig summaries. You saw some great shows.

Regarding #10 - #6:

#10 Didn't spend enough time with it this year, but liked what I heard.
#9 Loved it.
#8 Didn't listen to it.
#7 Loved it.
#6 Tried it, but it just didn't work for me. Too slow and ultra-funeral for my taste.

Glad you're enjoying it!

Is that so?

I didn't comment on it because I did indeed straight up miss it. :tongue: I'm pretty intrigued by the description and the strength of these compliments. Gonna have to add that to my to-download list.

Do do that. CVI is one of the best retro-sounding bands to come it recently.

Good reviews and some great albums for sure.

And not to be a genre nazi but the new Ahab is definitely not funeral doom. Definitely more traditional doom and a lot of prog and post elements. The Call Of the Wretched Sea is funeral, not this.

Thanks. And yeah, I can see your point, but it's hard not to throw the funeral label on there. There's still plenty of funeral doom aspects on The Giant.

I'll be posting the Top 5 shortly! Thanks for tuning in guys.

slapguitarer
01-09-2013, 07:20 PM
http://www.chartattack.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/badbadnotgood-bbng21-500x500.jpg
5. BADBADNOTGOOD Ė BBNG2
This is probably one of the most important records Iíve listened to this year. Toronto jazz trio, BADBADNOTTGOOD (or BBNG), are making waves in the music scene with their infectious and unique take on improvisational music. Theyíre known for taking hip-hop beats and recreating Ďem into energetic jazz tunes, full of great musicianship. These kids have only known each other for less than two years and they sound like theyíve been playing together for a couple decades, which is remarkable since theyíre all under 21 years old. And on top of all that this album was recorded in one, 10 hour recording session. The band is made up of Matthew Tavares on piano and keyboard, Chester Hansen on electric and double bass, and Alexander Sowinski on drums and sampler. They are joined on a few tracks by Leland Whitty on sax and Luan Phung on guitar. On their latest album, they have interpretations of songs from multiple genres, including hip-hop, electronic/soul, and even shoegaze. And along with those they have five original compositions that are great tracks with a wide spectrum of themes and atmospheres. From the ultra cool vibes of UWM, the fun and infectious DMZ, or the eerie Rotten Decay. Their interpretations give the originals new life, with the dark and twisted to sporadic and fast version of Tyler, The Creator and Gucci Maneís Bastard/Lemonade, the epic version of Kanye Westís Flashing Lights, and the fast, noisy, and creepy version of My Bloody Valentineís You Made Me Realise, this album has a lot to offer, not just in the great music, but also introducing listeners to lots of other music. Which brings me back to my first point. The reason this album is probably one of the most important records Iíve heard all year is because it reintroduced me to hip-hop, which was a genre of music I long-ago kind of put on the back burner then started to hate. But thanks to BBNG, my interest in the genre has been reignited and itís an art form Iím getting into and seeing in a new light. These guys have done a really impressive thing with this album. If you like jazz, hip-hop, instrumental, electronic or improvisational music, check this out.
Flashing Lights (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_Cu6BQxwzc)


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ndCoRv9Hmh8/UMpjZrJNb2I/AAAAAAAAfCw/Ts_x9x53sRk/s1600/DeathGripsTheMoneyStore.jpeg
4. Death Grips Ė The Money Store
I never thought Iíd be listening to a band like Death Grips at all, let alone love it this much. My history of Death Grips begins in late í11 or early í12. My friend sent me a link to a track on Exmilitary and told me to check it out. I could appreciate the good production, and it was interesting, but it was a little out there, especially with the angry hobo shouting over the beat. Then after The Money Store dropped, he sent me a link to the track Blackjack. This time I wasnít into it at all, with the really distorted bass heavy beat that kind of wobbled and the even more distorted vocals. My friend gave up on getting me into them. Then Anthony Fantano of The Needle Drop gave The Money Store a 10/10. This is a super rare event, so I thought Iíd give the whole album a listen. First listen was definitely interesting hearing a lot of different sounds on the record, plus it didnít sound anything like the first song my friend sent. Then on the second listen or so it all clicked.

Death Grips are an avant-garde hip-hop, electro-punk, something-or-other trio from Sacramento, CA, featuring Zach Hill of Hella fame co-producing the album along with Flatlander and one of the most interesting emcees on the planet, MC Ride. With each release theyíve pushed the boundaries of hip-hop and electronic music, always with an abrasive attitude like no other act in the game. On The Money Store, there are a lot of different and experimental synth sounds and percussion sounds through out. From the very bass heavy tracks like Black Jack, the ultra percussive Lost Boys, poppy and synth driven Iíve Seen Footage, ultra raw and distorted The Fever (Aye-Aye), and tracks that are truly unique, like Hacker. There are so many more different sounds and ideas introduced on the record that going through Ďem all would almost be missing the point. The experimental, catchy, synth driven and unique beats that producers Flatlander and Zach Hill create on the record are unlike anything Iíve heard and anything that is out there. And then weíve got the emcee, MC Ride. This guy is a force to be reckoned with. The way he delivers his lines are so primal, fierce and borderline psychotic most of the time, yet can be very chill at other times from song to song or in the same song. Heís got quite a range of different delivery but no matter what heís got impeccable flow. And the sense of mystery and marvel that Ride produced is crazy too. A lot of people didnít know if the crazy, homicidal, drug abusing hobo persona that MC Ride has was fact or fiction. Death Grips do something really special with The Money Store, with each factor of the album being genre pushing in every regard. And on top of that each song is unique and unlike the track before while every track is unmistakably Death Grips. If you havenít checked these guys out, go in with an open mind if what Iím describing sounds interesting.
Hacker (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74NA48f66kk)


http://i1187.photobucket.com/albums/z394/slapguitarer/YoungHunter-StoneTools_zps5f7055a8.jpg
3. Young Hunter Ė Stone Tools
Young Hunter are my favorite band I discovered in 2012. I found out about Ďem via Cormorant, since Cormorant decided to take Young Hunter on tour on the West Coast in the DIY or Die tour. When I heard Young Hunter were playing a gig in Santa Rosa before the tour kicked off, I thought Iíd look up their music. What I heard would proceed to blow my socks off.

Young Hunter are a 7-piece from Tucson, featuring three guitarists, a bassist, a keyboardist, and two drummers. One of the guitarists and the keyboardist are the main vocal contributors. Theyíre style of stoner metal/desert rock is extremely unique and the bands also describes it at nomadic and psychedelic which are extremely fitting descriptions. The album makes you feel like a lone cowboy, making your way through the old west, struggling day by to day to get by, often alone or an unwelcome stranger in a small town. Many of the tracks sound like the atmosphere of gun-drawing duels, with really heavy, tense building riffs or being in the desert at the dead of night and being conscious of possible predators, human or not. The way the album was recorded is really interesting too. They recorded the vocals with homemade microphones, made out of PBR cans! It definitely gives the album a cool, lo-fi, DIY sound. Overall, Young Hunter make a really dark, heavy, distraught, and atmospheric stone/desert rock album that recreates the sounds of the old wild west. Youíre it the desert now.
Black Candles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la-cuGo7lEo)


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2. High on Fire Ė De Vermis Mysteriis
Stoner metal titans High on Fire bring us one of the best offerings to date with their ultra heavy and versatile new album, De Vermis Myseriis. The Oakland trio sound their best on the new record, both musically and production-wise. The sound Kurt Ballou gets out of these guys is wonderful and extremely in-your-face heavy and brutal. De Vermis Mysteriis is probably High on Fireís most versatile record, encompassing many sounds from the bandís history while still being fresh and introducing new ideas and themes that we havenít seen from them before. From the faster and more furious then ever songs like Bloody Knuckles and Fertile Green, to the ever-heavy Madness Of An Architect that sounds like it way definitely influenced form the Sleep reunion shows. We also get the closest thing to a High on Fire ballad possible with the track King of Days, which ends with awesome solos trade-offs from Matt to Jeff. The bandís performance is top notch, seeing some of Mattís best riffs and solos and absolutely stellar performances from Jeff Matz and Des Kensel ripping it up all over the new record. With great musical performances, stunning production, the most eclectic set of songs to date, and signature heavy stoner sound, High on Fire put out one of their best records in recent history and one of the best metal records in recent history.
Madness Of An Architect (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWgZ59_J1ZE)


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1. Bison B.C. - Lovelessness
Bison come back with their colossal sludge/crossover sound and their third full-length and fourth release, Lovelessness. The first thing to point out is that the album was written almost entirely by guitarist/vocalist, James Farewell, which explains him being the only one of sings on the record, when Bisonís vocal duties are usually split between James and other guitarist Dan And. This really affects the way the band sounds, since Farewell was going through some tough times at the time he was writing the album. You can feel a lot of pain and sorrow through the music, whether through the riffs, vocals, lyrics, and the tone of it all. But at the same times you can feel the catharsis that Farewell must have felt writing the music, to exercise his demons. Something else different about this album is that itís the first to feature Matt Wood on drums, and he does a mighty fine job capturing the Bison feel and adding greatly to it. With Lovelessness, Bison present their signature colossal sludge sound, combining elements of sludge and crossover thrash with intense, melodic leads that grab onto you and donít let go. The six songs on the record all stretch past 6 minutes, except Clozapine Dream thatís a little over 3 minutes, and they have a lot going on to each song and tons of raw emotion. None of the songs every stay in one place, there is always a transition in flow and vibe. Usually it either goes from slow and sludgy to crossover, or vice versa like on tracks Anxiety Puke/Lovelessness and Last And First Things, but other times itís just from one feel to another, like on the track Blood Music, when it starts of really slow riff based music to a more upbeat, lick based sludge stuff. But no matter what theyíre doing, itís colossal riffs that groove and leads that melt your face, both of which are full of raw, unadulterated emotion. Bison create something truly beautiful with this record. Itís still got their signature sound but feels really pained and beaten but also really cathartic and uplifting. It just proves that the bad can sometimes bring out the best in some people.
Anxiety Puke/Lovelessness (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2GC3oh1h1s)

VoidFlame
01-10-2013, 04:32 AM
Totally forgot Bison B.C. had a new record out. I'll have to check it out.

illuminatus917
01-15-2013, 09:23 AM
Best show I've gone to in the the last two years. Pure euphoria and ecstasy is all I felt the entire time. Nothing but good vibes. Just read the review.
Original Review (http://metalsetlists.com/showpost.php?p=485944&postcount=5)

My experience seeing Vektor was identical, that's the perfect way to describe them live.