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  #61  
Old 12-11-2011, 06:22 AM
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Well, WITTR is crazy low. I wouldn't be surprised if most of our lists overlap at very different positions.
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  #62  
Old 12-11-2011, 09:36 AM
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Dammerfarben sounds interesting.....will have to check them out.
Definitely do! And I'm so glad you're looking into some of this stuff. Let's me know there's some worth in making lists like these. "Nachtgedanken" is my favorite song on that album.

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Well, WITTR is crazy low. I wouldn't be surprised if most of our lists overlap at very different positions.
Yeah, PJ Harvey was placed entirely too high on your list, for example.
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  #63  
Old 12-13-2011, 03:49 PM
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#25 Insomnium - One For Sorrow

Insomnium has always written more emotional melodic death metal than of any of the "big 3" of the genre (if you don't know who they are, ), and this album is no exception. They're one of the best bands to hail out of Finland (a cesspool of awesome music). I find it particularly difficult to rank this band's albums, but I will say their last two, Above the Weeping World and Across the Dark, and this one are my favorites. On the last record we first heard clean vocals, and I instantly loved them. None of the band's fortes or trademarks were altered or surrendered; instead, the cleans just added an additional dimension to the band's sound. These vocals are by Profane Omen and Enemy Of The Sun's Jules Näveri, and they're well executed on this album just like they were on Across the Dark. And just like on Across the Dark, they're not featured throughout the album, just on a few select tracks. In fact they're used incredibly sparingly. When they are present, they add a very emotional disposition to the songs. I really don't get all the talk of how sad/depressing this band is. I mean, sure, there's that aspect to their music, but it's really not overwhelming to me. I guess these death metal kids just haven't listened to enough black and doom metal, because this really doesn't compare. This band has proved to be incredibly consistent. They've found their place in the world, and that's where they'll stay. And for them, that's okay. One For Sorrow is another excellent release by a band that doesn't disappoint.
Provided below is a link to the most "unrepresentative of the album" song on the album, I just really enjoy it...
HIGHLIGHTS: "Song of the Blackest Bird," "Only One Who Waits," "Decoherence," "Lay the Ghost to Rest," "One For Sorrow"



#24 Black Oath - The Third Aeon

I thought this was the heaviest album of the year. Absolutely raw, sinister guitar tone. Crushingly heavy riffs. And... OCCULT METAL! Put all these things together and you can't lose.

Italy's Black Oath debuted a self-titled EP in 2009 through Horror Records from Denmark, and now, they've released their first full-length through I Hate. The band quotes "I Hate is the best label to spread our curse." Italy has a rich history of occult doom bands (Death SS, Paul Chain, Black Hole), and Black Oath attributes this to its "magick atmosphere." Everything relates to death. Lots of cemeteries, lots of monuments, lots of catacombs.

This is one of those bands that came out of nowhere. The Candlemass influence is pretty obvious, as is the influence from bands like Abysmal Dawn, Solitude Aeturnus, and Mercyful Fate. The sound of this record is pretty much as I described above. A killer guitar tone, heavy pounding riffs, slow drums, and brilliant soaring clean vocals at the top of the mix. No harsh vocals found here. Lyrics revolve around esoterism, occultism, horror, thelemic literature, etc. The album title itself is a dedication to Crowley and his Thelema Aeon (anyone who's read Crowley knows about this). What you'd expect from an occult band.
HIGHLIGHTS: "Death as Liberation," Growth of a Star Within," "Evil Sorcerer," "The Black Oath"



#23 Russian Circles - Empros

Like Insomnium, here's a band with an impressive back catalogue. It actually feels like this being the case for bands on this list is the exception, which is exceptional in and of itself... the 2011 influx of new artists with fantastic first releases is truly stunning. But Russian Circles isn't one of those bands, and anyone that's familiar with Russian Circles knows they have an unmistakable sound, even though each and every album they've done brings something new to the table. Station dropped the headbanging intensity Enter had, Geneva implemented strings, and now Empros has thrown in a black metal tone. The playing itself is just as articulate as ever, if not more so. When Cook was asked about the making of the album, he remarked "I'll never make another record from the ground up." This album is really heavy. It might just be the heaviest Russian Circles album to date. "309" and "Mlàdek" both start the album off with tremendous intensity, and then with "Schipol" the aggression just evaporates into introspection. "Schipol" is probably my favorite track on the album. It's as emotional as Russian Circles has ever been before. For all its thirty-five minutes of heaviness (for the most part), the album ends with a track that's very spiritual in nature, and it features vocals from Cook, which is very rare thing. If you're one of those folks that can't listen to music without vocals, the first five tracks of this album aren't for you.
HIGHLIGHTS: "Mlàdek," "Schipol," "Atackla"



#22 Florence + the Machine - Ceremonials

Florence and the Machine's 2009 debut, Lungs, was met with widespread critical acclaim. It hit #2 on the UK album chart for five weeks straight following its release, hit #1 for two consecutive weeks at one point, peaked at #1 on the Irish and U.S. album charts, went gold in the U.S., 5x platinum in the UK, 4x platinum in Ireland, was a contender for the 2009 Mercury Prize, won the Mastercard British Album award at the 2010 BRIT Awards, etc. (yes, you can thank Wikipedia for all that). The album was a tremendous success. So Florence Welsh and company had their hands full trying to follow it up. Ceremonials is in some ways a better album than Lungs, and in some ways it isn't. It's far more cohesive, for one, where Lungs was more sporadic and unpredictable. Some would argue that's a good thing, some wouldn't. If anything, the random style of Lungs resulted in a more interesting and imaginative bunch of songs. The jazzy interludes and punk guitars really spiced it up and made it a thrill to listen to. Ceremonials is far more smooth, looming, and uniform. It can feels gothic at times. Florence twists romantic themes into most every track, dealing with love and loss, giving the album a very pensive and weighty feeling. "Regrets collect like old friends, here to relive your darkest moments." She actually said this record is "more joyous" than her debut, because apparently she wrote the debut after a break-up, but this album really has a heavy feeling to it. And to me it sounds darker and more reflective. I've listened to this record probably a dozen times by now, and I think it's definitely more emotional than Lungs. The vocals, as expected, are absolutely fantastic. Her vocal prowess is as stunning on this record as it was on Lungs. She's definitely one of the most powerful front women around today.
HIGHLIGHTS: "Only if For a Night," "Shake it Out," "Breaking Down," "Seven Devils," "Heartlines"



#21 Oranssi Pazuzu - Kosmonument

I'd never heard a psychedelic black metal album before this one. I can safely say this record was my introduction to a genre I didn't even know was a genre until I heard this album. After some reading I found that, at least according to most, most all psychedelic black metal albums have sounded horrible, and have been disastrous efforts attempting to breach genre borders to find new territory. This album is the one that actually accomplishes that.

Pushing the boundaries of a genre to create something different and purposefully weird isn't necessarily unique, just avant-garde. Crafting a sound all-together different from anything else out there, which can result in creating an entirely new genre... that's unique. At least that's how I look at it. This is the "uniquest" album of the year next to SORNE's House of Stone.

Some tracks here are very quiet (and instrumental), and unsettling. This whole album is unsettling, but the quieter tracks are the "freakiest" to me. These include "Luhistuva Aikahäkki," "Siirtorata 100 10100," "∞," and parts of "Andromeda." The vocals in "Andromeda" are just eerie. The more intense tracks range from weird to downright bizarre. I can't even explain the atmosphere this record captures... it's almost otherworldly. Black metal screams appear here and there. There's a fair share of tremolo picking and blastbeating (in "Uusi Olento Nousee" and "Loputon Tuntematon," especially). But a major component of the sound here is sludginess. The record is sludgier than it is black. There are a lot of noise/sound effects, too. Definitely approach this album with an open mind. It's not your run-of-the-mill black metal record.
HIGHLIGHTS: "Sienipilvi," "Komeetta," "Andromeda," "Kaaos Hallitsee"
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  #64  
Old 12-13-2011, 03:53 PM
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Can't believe you like Ceremonials more than Let England Shake, although I will say it lacks the quality that "Dog Days Are Over" has of making me immediately want to blow my brains out when it starts playing.
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  #65  
Old 12-13-2011, 04:00 PM
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I was wondering if you'd heard Ceremonials. Any fan of Kate Bush should dig Florence Welch. I guess you're one of the folks that thought Lungs was more on the depressing side than this one... bah.
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  #66  
Old 12-13-2011, 05:04 PM
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#24 Black Oath - The Third Aeon

I thought this was the heaviest album of the year. Absolutely raw, sinister guitar tone. Crushingly heavy riffs. And... OCCULT METAL! Put all these things together and you can't lose.

Italy's Black Oath debuted a self-titled EP in 2009 through Horror Records from Denmark, and now, they've released their first full-length through I Hate. The band quotes "I Hate is the best label to spread our curse." Italy has a rich history of occult doom bands (Death SS, Paul Chain, Black Hole), and Black Oath attributes this to its "magick atmosphere." Everything relates to death. Lots of cemeteries, lots of monuments, lots of catacombs.

This is one of those bands that came out of nowhere. The Candlemass influence is pretty obvious, as is the influence from bands like Abysmal Dawn, Solitude Aeturnus, and Mercyful Fate. The sound of this record is pretty much as I described above. A killer guitar tone, heavy pounding riffs, slow drums, and brilliant soaring clean vocals at the top of the mix. No harsh vocals found here. Lyrics revolve around esoterism, occultism, horror, thelemic literature, etc. The album title itself is a dedication to Crowley and his Thelema Aeon (anyone who's read Crowley knows about this). What you'd expect from an occult band.
HIGHLIGHTS: "Death as Liberation," Growth of a Star Within," "Evil Sorcerer," "The Black Oath"

This is why I joined this website because I never heard of this band until today and fuck I'm loving this right now
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  #67  
Old 12-13-2011, 06:33 PM
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This is why I joined this website because I never heard of this band until today and fuck I'm loving this right now
I'd never heard of them until a month ago

Glad you're digging it man. Those opening notes in "Death as Liberation" are just killer.
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  #68  
Old 12-15-2011, 10:21 PM
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#20 Taake - Noregs Vaapen

There is no experimenting with genre crossovers here. There never has been with Taake (Hoest). This is pure Norwegian black metal. That's not to say this album is the same as all of Taake's others. Hoest has always experimented with different approaches to black metal, he's just never fully incorporated another genre in with it. This album contains a lot of heavy metal riffs. And a lot of them are quite memorable. "Nordbundet" and "Helvetesmakt" are examples of this (I wish that intro riff to "Helvetesmakt" lasted longer). This album definitely sits on the 'black metal with obvious heavy metal tendencies' side of the spectrum, yet it's not even close to being a heavy metal record. There's nothing hipster about this record (save one short segment in one song). There are a few very brief voice samples on random tracks, which always enhance the interesting factor. Oh, and if you want to hear a banjo in a black metal song, listen to "Myr."
HIGHLIGHTS: "Fra Vadested til Vaandesmed," "Myr," "Helvetesmakt," "Dei Vil Alltid Klaga og Kyta"



#19 Execration - Odes of the Occult

I really enjoyed this record more than I thought I would. This isn't typical death metal. There are a lot of things going on here, and if nothing else this album is an excellent showcase of how diverse death metal can be. Importantly, tempo variations. A lot of this is played at a doom pace (parts of the longest track on the album, "A Crutch For Consolation," as well as parts of "Unction" and "Soul Maggot," for example, roll along at a particularly slow pace), which is much to my liking. Also parts of the album are played at a much faster pace. Tempo variance is almost always a necessity for successful modern death metal. The album opener, "Ode to Obscurity" opens up with a riff reminiscent of Autopsy, and it's fairly obvious from the beginning that Odes of the Occult is an album with classic death metal roots. I know when people think of Norway they think of the black metal scene, but I'm here to say anyone looking for some evil sounding music can find it in Execration. It's definitely not overproduced. This is death metal with balls. No breakdowns to be found. Parts are very straightforward, parts are very technical, parts are catchy, parts are Autopsy meets My Dying Bride, but it's all weird and creative.
Youtube uploads of tracks on this album are pretty sparse, so I only had a few to choose from. That's okay though, "A Crutch for Consolation" is the best track on the album.
HIGHLIGHTS: "Ode to Obscurity," "A Crutch for Consolation," "Soul Maggot," "Left in Scorn"

Looking ahead, there's only one death metal record placed higher than this one, which just so happens to be #16, and one death/doom record up higher on the list. So, congratulations to Execration for putting out one of my favorite death metal releases of the year!



#18 Vektor - Outer Isolation

One of the most highly anticipated releases of the year for a lot of folks on this site. I've yet to get a really solid idea of its perception throughout the metal world. Outer Isolation's predecessor, Black Future, was hailed by many as the best thrash release of the past decade, so this album certainly had some hype to live up to. First with the differences. Here are the noticeable changes Vektor made with Outer Isolation:
1. Less black metal sound and more progressive/classic thrash sound
2. More dynamic
3. Increased song variation
4. Better production

I wasn't one of those folks that thought Black Future was the greatest thrash album of the past decade. I thought it was an awesome album, but not a mind-numbingly awesome album. This time around, Vektor has created an album that's closer to being a "mind-numbingly awesome album." The sound of this thing is really something. It sounds like it's been sent back in time from a hundred years in the future. And it sounds like it's from a time where music is just produced differently than it is now. There's a very punchy sound to it. The guitar work is executed with magnificent precision. And it's beefier, with more substance. It's more explosive. The bulk of the album is speed, but I mentioned "dynamics" for a reason. There are definitely softer, more melodic parts on this album ("Tetrastructural Minds," for instance), whereas there really weren't on Black Future. Paces change really quick on this album, which is an instant improvement over the first. It's definitely the most technically proficient album on my entire list.
Not without cons, however: the drumming sounds irritatingly artificial, and the vocals aren't nearly as incredible as people claim. Sorry, but David Disanto doesn't hold a candle to Tom Araya.
HIGHLIGHTS: "Cosmic Cortex," "Tetrastructural Minds," "Outer Isolation"



#17 KYPCK - Ниже

Russian for "Under." KYPCK is a Finnish band that "sings in Russian for the lulz," as brutal descent was so kind to point out to me (he's probably not even reading this, the little shit). I originally thought it was a Russian band singing in Russian... since... you know... all their album titles and lyrics are in Russian… but it so happens that the band is from Finland. Their first album was released in 2008 (titled Черно), but I haven't heard it so there won't be any comparisons between the two.

Amongst all the doom released this year, I've seen this album mentioned surprisingly little. KYPCK calls their music "Fast Russian Doomsday Metal," even though it's the opposite of fast. Ниже crawls at a turtle's pace, just like doom should. There's nothing fast about it. KYPCK's guitarist plays a guitar that looks like a machine gun. It's called a Lopashnikov (whatever that is). And if that's not weird enough, their bassist plays a bass with only one string. Ниже is very melodic and easy to get behind. There's almost a groove to it. Album highlights "Posle (After)" and "Chuzhoi (Stranger)" both demonstrate this. There's a real power to this band. The music steamrolls right over you. Combine that with excellent production and killer clean vocals, and this album is really damn impressive. The more I listened to it the more I liked it. Most if not all the guys in this band are old enough to remember the Soviet Union days, and according to what I've read about the band, all the lyrics are about the U.S.S.R and Russian national identity during the 90's. So if you're ever in the mood, throw some of these lyrics into Google Translator and read about the disgruntled, traumatized, post-communist Russians and their struggle for national identity while you listen to this freight train of an album.
HIGHLIGHTS: "После (After)," "Чужой (Stranger)," "Бурлаки на Волге (Burlaks on the Volga)," "Товарищам (Comrades)"



#16 Necros Christos - Doom of the Occult

I said Execration's Odes of the Occult was a showcase for what death metal can really do. Well, this album is the ultimate showcase for what death metal can really do. That's basically what it takes to get me real interested in a death metal record these days... it has to be avant-garde. If there's not something different about it, it's going out the window. And I'm not talking about lame symphonic effects, I'm talking about things that actually make it stand out. If it's uniform, it's going out the window. If it's technical with zero creativity, it's going out the window. If it's brutal for the sake of being brutal, it's going out the window.

Doom of the Occult is about as creative and non-uniform a death metal record can be. You might take a look at the track listing here:
http://www.metal-archives.com/albums..._Occult/300603
Twenty-three tracks, an hour and thirteen minutes in length. The intro, outro, and interludes comprise fourteen tracks on the album, all of which are instrumental. Temple's I-VIII consist mostly of church organs. Gate's 1-5 consist of Arabic folk instruments (including mostly acoustics and woodwinds, see for example: "Gate 2"). These contrast impressively well with the death metal tracks on the album, and they very successfully prevent the album from becoming monotonous (which a lot of albums would over the course of an hour and thirteen minutes). So if you do the math, there are only nine metal tracks on this album. And as you may assume, they're all doom influenced. "Baal of Ekron" and "Succumbed to Sarkum Phagum" are examples of 'slow progression.' Starting out faster, like a more typical death metal track, and subsiding to doom. “Doom of Kali Ma – Pyramid of Shakti Love – Flame of Master Shiva,” which is the longest track on the album at 9:27, as gathered from the song title and the lyrics (Kali Ma - Hindu goddess of shakti/devi, all other Hindu goddesses are considered her "manifestations in different light," and the mention of Shiva - the Hindu god of destruction) it's about worshiping mythical Hindu deities. This track is particularly doomy, and really demonstrates Necros Christos' masterful songwriting ability. "Descending into the Kinly Tomba" features a fantastic solo about 2:25 in, as does "Necromatique Nun" at 2:51 in. This album is really a perfect example of structural death metal perfection.
HIGHLIGHTS: "Invoked from Carrion Slumber," "Doom of Kali Ma – Pyramid of Shakti Love – Flame of Master Shiva," "Succumbed to Sarkum Phagum," "The Pharaonic Dead," "Descending into the Kinly Tomba," as well as "Gate 2" mentioned above.
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  #69  
Old 12-15-2011, 10:26 PM
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(he's probably not even reading this, the little shit).
Execration is awesome

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  #70  
Old 12-15-2011, 10:46 PM
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Execration is awesome
I liked the remark before the edit better.

EDIT: And yes, they should've made your list, tub boy
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