Alright, 2013 is just about done with. I clocked in at about 50 shows and 4 festivals this year, which isn't bad considering I spent a couple months back home to get married and tend to some family health issues.
So, just in case you don't have enough lists to read here are one or two more:
12 DEMOs & EPs THAT I THOUGHT WERE PRETTY GOOD
(in no particular order)
Gates of Slumber - Stormcrow
Sadly, this is the final release from The Gates of Slumber as they have broken up since this EP came out. However itís a solid final note to go out on. This is 5 tracks of slow headbang inducing doom that will have your neck sore upon multiple listens
Stone Dagger - The Siege of Jerusalem
The guys in Magic Circle have another traditional metal band, this time in the form of power metal played in the style of early Manilla Road. Beautiful, haunting and totally excellent production that creates the perfect atmosphere and sound for the style.
Mount Salem - Endless
Traditional doom metal with a female vocalist out of the Chicago area. Really enjoyable EP if you dig Witch Mountain, Royal Thunder and the like.
Widower - Goat Throne and Execration
One of the most promising up and coming Austin bands is Widower with some deadly proficient black/death/thrash madness. I hope these guys gain some traction in and out of the Lonestar State.
Mitochondrion - Antinumerology
Canadaís black metal scene is full of underrated talent and Vancouverís Mitochondrion has become one of the bands to keep a close eye and ear on. Their dense black/death is not a casual listen and goes beyond the usual Incantation clones to become something unique that demands repeat spins.
War Master - Blood Dawn
If you havenít heard Houstonís War Master yet all you need to know is that they play brutal Bolt Thrower-esque death metal and theyíve snagged a slot on MDF 2014. As of last year the frontman of now defunct grinders Insect Warfare has taken over vocal duties for War Master.
Ash Borer - Bloodlands
On this EP Ash Borer has begun to eschew some of their post-rock elements and have brought the darker pieces of their black metal side to the forefront. The 2 tracks are long, at 15 and 19.5 minutes, but the atmospheric stretches keep things interesting and build tension before crashing back to raw blasting.
Torture Division - The Worship
This 3 man death metal troupe from Sweden consists of the drummer of Vomitory and one of the original members of Grave, then to top it off Dan SwanŲ (Edge of Sanity) mixes and masters most of their releases. They donít actually have an official full length album, but 10 or so demos and compilations which they offer as free downloads on their website.
Rotten Sound - Species At War
Finnish grind masters Rotten Sound deliver 6 tracks in 8 minutes and while itís business as usual, that just means a dose of precision brutality at breakneck speeds.
Temple of Void - Demo MMXIII
Death/doom out of Detroit that features the live guitarist of Acid Witch amongst their ranks. There are some more melodic stretches that venture into At The Gates territory to my ears.
Grayceon - Pearl and the End of Days
This EP is the San Francisco trioís first output since 2011ís brilliant All We Destroy. These two tracks have me salivating for a new full length album from either Grayceon or Giant Squid.
Royal Thunder - CVI:A
An EP featuring three tracks from last years CVI performed acoustically. I think I like the acoustic version of Whispering World more than the original. Minyís voice really shines on these simple arrangements.