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Skid Row -- Toronto, Ontario -- August 20th, 2014
The Quireboys -- West Hollywood, CA -- August 6th, 2014
High on Fire -- Los Angeles, CA -- August 19th, 2014
Nothing More -- Baltimore, MD -- August 18th, 2014
Boris -- Vancouver, British Columbia -- August 17th, 2014

  #21  
Old 01-06-2013, 11:54 AM
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Top Performances: 5-1

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

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

4. Death Grips @ Slim's -- San Francisco, CA -- December 3rd

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

3. Sleep @ Fox Theater -- Oakland, CA -- June 5th

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

2. Death To All @ Regency Ballroom -- San Francisco, CA -- June 22nd

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

1. Vektor @ Thee Parkside -- San Francisco, CA -- September 2nd

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
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  #22  
Old 01-06-2013, 03:13 PM
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Back to albums!


10. Krallice – 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 you’re looking for some game changing black metal that’s as evil and brutal as it is progressive and mind-melting, check this out.
IIIIIIIII


9. Royal Thunder – CVI
Royal Thunder aren’t your average “female fronted” metal group. First off, it’s kind of hard to call ‘em metal at times, because they really lean more towards the hard rock side of things with elements of doom. But it’s also because the fact that they have a female vocalist isn’t the only thing that sets them apart from most other doom metal/rock bands coming along these days. There’s a super heavy rock ‘n’ roll, blues influence all over the record. It’s 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 rockin’ 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 Parsonz’ 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 ‘n’ roll and NWOBHM.
South of Somewhere


8. Rush – Clockwork Angels
Rush need no introduction. Their 19th (!) full length, Clockwork Angels, has been a long time commin’ 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 rockin’, but wasn’t quite as experimental as we’ve 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. Geddy’s 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 Neil’s best drumming to date. The album is made of 12 great songs, most over 5 minutes, so you get over an hour of Rush’s heaviest material to date. After 40 years, these guys are still proving they’re the best in the prog rock game.
BU2B


7. Pallbearer – 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, I’ll liken him to Ozzy and Geddy Lee. His voice sounds like it came from the 70’s 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 it’s 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 I’ve heard. Listen to this for some of the best doom you’ve heard in a while.
The Foreigner


6. Ahab – 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
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8/20 Amonie/Muscle & Marrow
8/21 Boris
8/22 Usnea/Lycus
8/30 Whirr
9/3 Sete Star Sept
9/19 Punch (?)
10/30 KING DIAMOND
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  #23  
Old 01-06-2013, 03:19 PM
energymetal14 energymetal14 is offline
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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

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.
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8/24 Vile Intent
9/18 Windhand
9/20 Doom
9/27 GBH
10/21 Dead Congregation
10/26 Pallbearer
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  #24  
Old 01-06-2013, 03:25 PM
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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.
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  #25  
Old 01-06-2013, 06:43 PM
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Love both number 8 and 7. Not a big fan of 10 or 6. Something just wasn't very exciting about em.
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  #26  
Old 01-06-2013, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomewhereInTime72 View Post
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.
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  #27  
Old 01-06-2013, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Natrlhi View Post
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. I'm pretty intrigued by the description and the strength of these compliments. Gonna have to add that to my to-download list.
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  #28  
Old 01-09-2013, 09:09 AM
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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.
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9/29 Defeater
10/2 ASIWYFA
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10/4 Mark Lanegan
11/1 Dax Riggs
11/8 LOG/KSE
12/12 High on Fire
2/22 DT/OG
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  #29  
Old 01-09-2013, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natrlhi View Post
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!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SomewhereInTime72 View Post
Is that so?

I didn't comment on it because I did indeed straight up miss it. 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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocco44 View Post
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.
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8/20 Amonie/Muscle & Marrow
8/21 Boris
8/22 Usnea/Lycus
8/30 Whirr
9/3 Sete Star Sept
9/19 Punch (?)
10/30 KING DIAMOND
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  #30  
Old 01-09-2013, 07:20 PM
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5. BADBADNOTGOOD – BBNG2
This is probably one of the most important records I’ve 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. They’re known for taking hip-hop beats and recreating ‘em into energetic jazz tunes, full of great musicianship. These kids have only known each other for less than two years and they sound like they’ve been playing together for a couple decades, which is remarkable since they’re 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 Mane’s Bastard/Lemonade, the epic version of Kanye West’s Flashing Lights, and the fast, noisy, and creepy version of My Bloody Valentine’s 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 I’ve 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 it’s an art form I’m 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



4. Death Grips – The Money Store
I never thought I’d be listening to a band like Death Grips at all, let alone love it this much. My history of Death Grips begins in late ’11 or early ’12. 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 wasn’t 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 I’d give the whole album a listen. First listen was definitely interesting hearing a lot of different sounds on the record, plus it didn’t 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 they’ve 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 I’ve 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 ‘em 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 I’ve heard and anything that is out there. And then we’ve 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. He’s got quite a range of different delivery but no matter what he’s got impeccable flow. And the sense of mystery and marvel that Ride produced is crazy too. A lot of people didn’t 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 haven’t checked these guys out, go in with an open mind if what I’m describing sounds interesting.
Hacker



3. Young Hunter – Stone Tools
Young Hunter are my favorite band I discovered in 2012. I found out about ‘em 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 I’d 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. They’re 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. You’re it the desert now.
Black Candles



2. High on Fire – 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 Fire’s most versatile record, encompassing many sounds from the band’s history while still being fresh and introducing new ideas and themes that we haven’t 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 band’s performance is top notch, seeing some of Matt’s 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



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 Bison’s 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 it’s 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 don’t let go. The six songs on the record all stretch past 6 minutes, except Clozapine Dream that’s 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 it’s 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 they’re doing, it’s 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. It’s 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
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8/20 Amonie/Muscle & Marrow
8/21 Boris
8/22 Usnea/Lycus
8/30 Whirr
9/3 Sete Star Sept
9/19 Punch (?)
10/30 KING DIAMOND
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