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It Lies Within -- Warren, MI -- May 22nd, 2015
Steven Wilson -- Boston, MA -- May 22nd, 2015
Toto -- Glasgow, Scotland -- May 21st, 2015
Overkill -- Moscow, Russia -- May 21st, 2015
A Sound of Thunder -- West Springfield, VA -- May 3rd, 2015


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Old 01-10-2015, 12:37 AM
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Treghet's Ultra Rad 2014 Thread

I've been procrastinating a lot, but I'm finally going to get this started. Over the past few weeks I've been trying to catch up on releases I had yet to check out and then attempting to finalize my list. I'm sure I've missed out on a lot of great stuff, but now that we're ten days into January I've decided it's now or never if I want to post a 2014 list.

What can you expect from this thread? I'll mostly be writing about my love for J-pop, which is superior to that Korean bullshit that mankvill listens to. I'll also write extensive pieces on my favorite beatdown hardcore releases, because I can never get enough of that sick pit riffment. Prepare yourselves...
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:41 AM
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What can you expect from this thread? I'll mostly be writing about my love for J-pop, which is superior to that Korean bullshit that mankvill listens to.


10/10 will continue reading!
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Old 01-10-2015, 04:14 AM
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I'll also write extensive pieces on my favorite beatdown hardcore releases, because I can never get enough of that sick pit riffment. Prepare yourselves...


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Old 01-10-2015, 05:57 AM
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In regards to shows, 2014 wasn't very exciting for me, but I'll do a short recap of my year. I only attended seven shows last year due to money constraints. There were a ton of others I would have liked to see, but I think the ones I picked to attend made up for that deficit. The overall funnest one I went to this year was Scion Rock Fest. The lineup this time around was definitely not as strong as the 2011 one, but I got to hangout with a bunch of friends and watch some bands I had never had the opportunity to see before. One of those bands was Jex Thoth, who put on a stellar performance in a tiny nightclub above the Fox Theater. As far as I know it was their first time playing out here and I had the pleasure to meet Jessica afterward.

As much fun as I had at Scion Rock Fest though, the greatest show for me in 2014 would have to be the first one I attended, Possessed. They're a band I had been wanting to see for a while, but every time they came around it just didn't work out for me. This time they were hitting the Whisky a Go-Go on a weeknight and I wasn't quite sure if I was going to make it, but after a friend let me know that they had been playing Seven Churches in its entirety at previous shows I then decided I had to go no matter what. After I got out of class that evening I got on the freeway to LA. I arrived at the venue a bit before Possessed was supposed to go on and found my friend hanging out by the doors. He was hanging out with a guy I didn't know. A couple minutes after I walked up the guy left to pick up his ticket at the box office and then my friend let me know that it was Don Doty, formerly of Dark Angel. I didn't even recognize him until he said that, and it seemed that nobody else did either, because we were the only ones talking to him out of the large crowd on the sidewalk. After he had picked up his ticket we talked with him for a while longer until Jeff Becerra arrived for Possessed's set. I usually don't care much for meeting musicians, but Don Doty has long been one of my idols and he was really nice in person, so I was I glad to have to opportunity to chat with him.

That was only the icing on the cake for the night though, as Possessed ending up playing all of Seven Churches. They actually weren't planning on doing it though, because the set they had on stage only listed eight of the ten songs from the album. The other two were unplanned encores for the sold out crowd that was demanding more. Possessed might not be the same band it was many years ago, but to hear that classic album performed in its entirety was something I could never have dreamed of.
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:59 AM
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Top Disappointments of 2014




Behemoth
The Satanist


It’s needless to say that there was a huge amount of anticipation for this release within the metal community, but at first I didn’t share that feeling. Behemoth was one of the first extreme metal bands I got into, but over the past few years my interest in their death metal material has waned. Not even seeing them on their comeback tour could reignite the flame for me. Regardless, I was still following what the band was up to and after reading multiple reviews for this album claiming that they had incorporated more black metal elements into their sound my curiosity was piqued. It also helped that the band chose my favorite artist, Denis Forkas, to create the cover for the album. Slowly I felt the anticipation rising within me, but unfortunately all of this led to a massive disappointment. Of course I didn’t expect them to do a full 180 back to their black metal origins, but there is hardly any black metal influence to be seen on this record. There are a couple black metal riffs thrown in here and there, such as the intro to “Furor Divinus”, but this album is really not that different from the band’s last output, Evangelion. The songwriting is a bit stripped down in comparison, but the overall approach to the music is the same. While this might appeal to most of their fans, I desired something different.




Okkultokrati
Night Jerks


A few years back Okkultokrati burst onto the Norwegian scene with a great debut album, No Light for Mass. They combined elements of hardcore punk with black metal influences, creating a sound unlike any other. I don’t think they ever garnered the attention they deserved for that release. I found their second album to be quite enjoyable as well, although not quite as strong as the first. Since then I haven’t been listening to much hardcore, but Okkultokrati is one of the few bands I continued to keep an eye on. I was excited to hear they were writing a third record, but when I clicked the link to listen to the first single from it I wasn’t even sure if it was the same band. What the hell happened? I really can’t begin to explain what it sounds like, but believe me when I say it is total shit. There are two songs on the album that sound more like their previous records, but the rest of it is so far out there that they might as well have released the album under a different name. If you want an example, just compare the song “Rose Crux” to anything from their aforementioned debut. It’s sad to see a band that had so much potential decide to throw away everything that made them worth listening to in the first place.




Röyksopp
The Inevitable End


Röyksopp has long been one of my favorite bands. The electronic duo has consistently put out impressive albums up until now. Each record they’ve released has been vastly different from the one before it and I expected this one to be no different in that regard. Their last full length, Senior, was an instrumental ambient / downtempo record and since then they’ve released a collaboration mini album with Swedish pop star Robyn, which was more in the vein of synthpop. All of the interviews and album reviews pointed towards The Inevitable End being a more solemn album, while retaining the warm sound Röyksopp has become known for. I can’t say I particularly agree with those assessments though. While this album might feel more solemn, it has been completely stripped of Röyksopp’s trademark style. Sometimes it feels like nothing more than stereotypical Euro dance club music manufactured for the masses. There are a few tracks that seemed to have little to no effort put into them, the most notable of those being “Rong”, which primarily consists of the lyric “What the fuck is wrong with you?” repeated over and over again. This is not the innovative electronic duo I’ve come to know and it pains me to even listen to it. With that said though, there is still one remarkable song that I need to mention, and that is “Running to the Sea”, featuring Susanne Sundfør, my favorite singer. Without her on the album The Inevitable End would have been completely worthless to me.




Sadistic Intent
Reawakening Horrid Thoughts


Throughout the ‘90s Sadistic Intent persisted in the underground scene with a few stellar EPs and then abruptly stopped producing new material. They were supposed to release a full length in the late ‘90s, but that fell through, and it seems that they were never able to regain support from a record label after that. Their last new song came on a split 7” in 1998. After many years of silence the band would finally reawaken in 2014 to release a new EP. I really didn’t think it would ever come out, seeing as that full length is supposedly still in the works. It happened though, and in September the band released Reawakening of Horrid Thoughts. Given that Sadistic Intent had never released anything lackluster in the past, I bought the record when I saw them that month opening for Exumer. I couldn’t wait to put it on my turntable. As the record spun though, I couldn’t help but feel like this release didn’t stand up to any of their previous works.

The first song on EP is “Malignant Spirits”, which was originally written to be released as a Possessed song before Rick and Bay split from Jeff Becerra. The opening riff of this song is nearly as infectious as any of the classic Possessed material, but the production on this release holds it back from reaching its full potential. The guitar sound is a bit thin and the vocals sound like they were recorded on a cheap computer headset. The second song on the release, “Horrid Thoughts”, is actually an old track from the earliest days of the band. Unfortunately its age is very apparent here. The songwriting is nowhere near the same level as “Malignant Spirits”. The Darkthrone cover that closes the EP is not particularly interesting to me either, so overall this EP is one for three in my book. After so many years of not releasing any new material I really expected the band to put their best foot forward and release something truly memorable, but that was not the case. Who knows when they will put out something new again, but I hope the next release is better than this one.




Vader
Tibi et Igni


After Vader’s great return to form a few years ago with Welcome to the Morbid Reich I was really excited to hear what they would come out with next. The artwork for Tibi et Igni shows some semblance to the early ‘90s old school death metal works, much like Welcome to the Morbid Reich’s cover does, so I was hoping for a continuation of that style. The band had also adopted a more traditional leather and studs image, further alluding to my assumptions of a more old school influenced album. I really could not have been more wrong though. While there are a couple tracks on this record that are reminiscent of the past, such as “Where Angels Weep”, the overall feel of the album is their most modern and streamlined one to date. The symphonic elements that the band has used sparingly in the past have been put in the spotlight in a few songs, which is a major turn off to my ears. “The Eye of the Abyss” is a prime example of this and it also includes a horrendous Lamb of God-esque breakdown about 2/3 in. If it wasn’t for a couple of decent tracks on this record I would say it’s the worst thing they’ve ever released, but it somehow manages to barely edge out The Beast.
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Last edited by treghet; 01-11-2015 at 06:15 AM.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:22 AM
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Top Disappointments of 2014




Behemoth
The Satanist


It’s needless to say that there was a huge amount of anticipation for this release within the metal community, but at first I didn’t share that feeling. Behemoth was one of the first extreme metal bands I got into, but over the past few years my interest in their death metal material has waned. Not even seeing them on their comeback tour could reignite the flame for me. Regardless, I was still following what the band was up to and after reading multiple reviews for this album claiming that they had incorporated more black metal elements into their sound my curiosity was piqued. It also helped that the band chose my favorite artist, Denis Forkas, to create the cover for the album. Slowly I felt the anticipation rising within me, but unfortunately all of this led to a massive disappointment. Of course I didn’t expect them to do a full 180 back to their black metal origins, but there is hardly any black metal influence to be seen on this record. There are a couple black metal riffs thrown in here and there, such as the intro to “Furor Divinus”, but this album is really not that different from the band’s last output, Evangelion. The songwriting is a bit stripped down in comparison, but the overall approach to the music is the same. While this might appeal to most of their fans, I desired something different.
Seems like this was a pretty polarizing album. Some loved it, while others were massively disappointed or just downright hated it.

Expectations might have a lot to do with it, because I can see your point about hearing the rumors about the increased amount of black metal elements, only to find out that there are basically very few present. I would have been bummed too if that were the case for me. I didn't hear those rumors. In fact, my expectations were set low to begin with because Evangelion was pretty mediocre, and I was willing to concede that the first Behemoth album after Nergal's recovery might not be all that good. When I heard people praising it upon its release, the only "spoiler" rumor I heard was that it was a pretty different sound for them (i.e., not all super fast from start to finish), so I adjusted my expectations a little and was prepared for that aspect as well.

Based on all of the above, then, I would say that when I first listened to The Satanist, I had little to no expectations about it and I just tried to keep my mind open. What I heard was something massively different than what you did, I think - not to say that either one of us is right or wrong, just to say that perception is everything. When I get around to the write-up in my thread (which is just getting off the ground as well), I look forward to reading any comments you might have.
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Old 01-16-2015, 06:15 AM
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I'll definitely check out your list when you get it started!
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Old 01-16-2015, 06:16 AM
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Top 20 Releases of 2014

This list will include albums, EPs, and demos.


20.



Satanic Warmaster
Fimbulwinter


Werwolf’s tried and true formula for raw black metal had been unchanged since he first started Satanic Warmaster in the late ‘90s, but with the fifth album he has finally decided to do something differently. On Fimbulwinter he has ditched the lo-fi sound for a sleek digital recording. Needless to say there was a small amount of backlash from certain fans, but most were welcoming to the change. The music is no different from the previous albums, it’s just been given a glossy finish this time around. Although I enjoyed this album more than Nachzehrer, I think a few songs had slightly missed the mark here. If each track was as strong as “Fimbulwinter's Spell” this could have been among Werwolf’s strongest works and definitely would have landed the album a higher spot on my list.

Fimbulwinter’s Spell


19.



Arizmenda
Stillbirth in the Temple of Venus


Arizmenda has become one of the most prominent bands in the Black Twilight Circle by creating some of the strangest black metal to come out in recent years. Murdunbad, the mastermind of the project, composes melancholic, twisted riffs that are layered in a thick wall of noise on top of his tortured screams. The songwriting doesn’t deviate too much from the previous two records, but I think there are more interesting melodies to be found here versus the last effort. Unfortunately this album has yet to receive a proper release and the version available right now is a low quality dub that was made to be sold at a show. The pro-tape and vinyl versions will hopefully be out soon. The two digital tracks online sound much better than the tape dub does.

Cum In Your Wound


18.



Nifelheim
Satanatas


It has been far too long since Nifelheim last gave us anything new to headbang to, so it was a welcomed surprise when they announced they were back in the studio. The resulting effort is a three song EP which harks back to black metal’s more primitive origins with thrash infused riffs and ripping solos. The vocals are drenched in reverb and the guitar tone is thin, giving the illusion that this record actually came out of the late ‘80s or early ‘90s. After seven years of silence on the recording front I was unsure if Nifelheim could still deliver something memorable, but they have done so yet again.

From Hell’s Vast Plains


17.



Diocletian
Gesundrian


Over the past decade New Zealand has produced a few incredibly abrasive metal bands, which has brought international attention to its small scene. Diocletian stands on the frontline of this scene with their militaristic brand of black/death. Gesundrian picks up where the last record left off, delivering more relentless blasting and a barrage of vicious riffs. It slams you to the ground and tramples you until the end. With this album Diocletian has proven that they are the best in their field right now.

Summoning Fear


16.



Gridlink
Longhena


Now for another type of relentless blasting. There are few modern grindcore bands that I find myself enjoying, but Gridlink is one of the exceptions. With the first two albums, Amber Gray and Orphan, they made their stake in the genre by crafting a form of extremely technical insanity. Longhena continues that tradition, but there is also an increased amount of melody to be found here. Yes, melody in grindcore, and they implement it without losing the intensity of the music. What Gridlink has done is show that there is room for new ideas in the genre, which makes it that much more of a shame that they’ve now broken up.

Constant Autumn
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:20 AM
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15.



Sacrificio
Sacrificio


Newly formed and ready to put their stamp on the underground, Sacrificio have made their debut release. This Spanish three piece is devoted to the ways of the old, taking inspiration from the mid ‘80s black metal releases, most notably those by Hellhammer. They reinvigorate this now classic sound with a more extreme take by using hellish screams and a meatier production. Much like the genre founders they play their instruments with an unhinged ferocity, abusing them to their limitations. The raucous drumming and wailing guitar solos make no attempt to sound elegant. This isn’t meant to be easy listening. Given the strength of this first release I’m looking forward to hearing what these guys do next.

Vástagos de la Abominación


14.



Dead Congregation
Promulgation of the Fall


For a lot of people this was one of the most anticipated metal releases of the year, but I wasn’t immediately buying into the hype. I enjoyed Dead Congregation’s debut album, but I don’t feel it is nearly as great as many fans make it out to be. Regardless, I was looking forward to hearing Promulgation of the Fall, and when I did I was taken aback. Simply put, this album hits you like a ton of bricks. The Incantation and Immolation influences on the guitar work are undeniable, with plenty of crushing passages and off-kilter riffing to be found. The production is incredibly dense, helping to bring out the power in the guitars. The guttural vocals add another texture to the foreboding atmosphere of the record. Many bands have attempted to emulate this style, but none have captured its essence clearer than Dead Congregation has on this album.

Only Ashes Remain
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:58 AM
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