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 2013: A Year In Review

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Despotic Reign
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PostSubject: 2013: A Year In Review   Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:35 pm

As the end of the year draws ever closer (time has flown the fuck on by this year!), the moment has come for the obligatory review of the musical highlights of the last twelve-ish months. So, without further ado...

Protest the Hero - Volition

While my affection for these Canadians is no secret (I happen to be amongst those who donated to see this album come to fruition) they have surpassed all my expectations with this release. Fit to burst with hooks, filled with character and played with such technical excellence that it still blows my mind after fifty something listens. My album of the year without a doubt.

Savages - Silence Yourself

There has been something of a mini renaissance in the world of post punk this year, which suits me down to the ground. The standout band of this little revival (not that it ever really went away) is this gem. Full of awesome everything, riffs, vocals, bass lines... sharp, witty and bold, it grabs you from the start and doesn't let go.

Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum

By far the most metal album of the year. It's like Motorhead if they were a doom band with balls and not shit. Kinda. Sorta. Straight to the fucking point, riff fed metal that will rock your fucking socks off.

Iceage - You're Nothing

Continuing the post punk theme, with elements of noise and post-hardcore, Iceage bring chaos, dirt and a boat load of energy into their mix of brief, sweet songs (averaging around the 2.30 mark). Brash and unflinching, there is nothing not to like here.

Ataraxie - L Etre et La Nausee

Fucking grim. In all seriousness, I haven't enjoyed funeral music this much in a good long while. The melodies on this record are amazing, drawn out into tortorous behemoths. Winter nights before bed have never sounded so good.

Merchandise - Totale Nite

The last and most traditional of my post punk picks, being more dreamy than the afore mentioned artists. There is nothing here that hasn't been done before, but by Christ they do it so fucking well. Captivating.

Deafhaven - Sunbather

A band (and album) of paradoxes. Simultaneously effervescent and harsh, soothing and disturbing. Amazing atmosphere complimented by little moments of musical genius: perhaps a guitar line or passage that just blows you away or just the feeling that captures you and holds you throughout the record. Mesmerizing.

SubRosa - More Consistent than the Gods

So very heavy, yet balanced by a sense of musicality than is sometimes missing from this kind of music. An intense and rewarding listen.

Altar of Plagues - Teethed Glory and Injury

Best of the post metal influenced BM releases this year. It's that simple.

Anciients - Heart of Oak

Best progressive metal album of the year. Again, it's just that simple.

Haim - Days Are Gone

Yes, I'm all aboard the Haim hype train. If I'm being honest this album is a little lack-luster after the face melting live show I was lucky enough to witness (where I fell in love with three women simultaneously), but as a child of the 80s they tickle the little bubble of nostalgia in my brain that was raised on Stevie Nicks. Charming, simple pop rock done right.

Terra Tenebrosa - The Purging

Some truly malevolent sounding black sludgy goodness. I find it hard to describe this album, as I haven't really heard anything that sounds quite like it. It has elements of the familiar, sure, but it ends up sounding more unique than its individual parts might suggest. All you need to know is that it fucking rocks.


I really wanted to like Vermis by Ulcerate, but I've found death metal somewhat stale as of late and I just don't feel it. It's not a bad album by any means, but there are a number of death metal albums that haven't made the cut but I might see more favourably in the future once I get into the genre again.

A month ago The Mountain by Haken would have made the list, but it wore thin after repeated listens. There are a bunch of albums that didn't quite make the cut, but bare listening nonetheless. Bolzer, Locktender and Black Boned Angel amongst others all released albums worth your time.

A lot of people have said the new Gris album is amazing, but it felt to light for me, lacking any bite or verve to keep me interested. It was neither melodic or chill enough for ambient/shoegaze or depressing or meloncholy enough for atmospheric or sharp enough for more traditional BM. It sits somewhere in the middle and feels underwhelming for it.


Last edited by Despotic Reign on Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: 2013: A Year In Review   Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:38 pm

That's only half BTW, I'm working on more.

This year was fucking crazy good for music.
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PostSubject: Re: 2013: A Year In Review   Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:15 pm

ill check some of this out. its weird, ive been completely oblivious for the most part about music this year and you're saying this year had a lot. i have no idea what happened. been focusing too much on my stuff I think

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PostSubject: Re: 2013: A Year In Review   Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:28 pm

Skeletonwitch - Serpents Unleashed

Business as usual. That business? Melting your fucking face off of course. Maybe not quite as good as previous efforts, but that only makes it about 8 times as good as the rest of the crowd, not 10.

Skagos - Anarchic

Post folk experimental ambient black something-or-other. However you define them, this album is amazing in everyway.

Seth - The Howling Spirit

Makes the list just for the storming fucking riffage alone. The fact that it's an all round amazing black metal album is just the icing on the cake.

Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus

If pushed I'd probably say this is my second favourite album of the year. Electronic music has to be fucking exceptional for me to even take notice, let alone enjoy. This is just beyond words. Very evocative, it just makes you feel like your ears are ever so slowy melting to it's glorious warmth.


Maybe I'm going to have into more parts... shit keeps getting in my way.
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PostSubject: Re: 2013: A Year In Review   Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:43 pm

I've been fairly out of the loop this year, but I can definitely confirm that Skeletonwitch has knocked it out of the park once again with Serpents Unleashed. They never really mix it up that much, but that's alright by me if they keep bringing killer riffs. With Chance's vocals, they shouldn't ever get stale.

The new Skagos record is pretty intense too. I've only listened to it a few times but I'm loving it. I still have the new Altar of Plagues on my list of stuff to check out. I'll have to listen to a few of these later and let you know what I think. Haven't gotten too much into post-punk but I'll give them a try
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PostSubject: Re: 2013: A Year In Review   Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:10 pm

Have a lot to listen to when I get home

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PostSubject: Re: 2013: A Year In Review   Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:38 pm

o yeah skeletonwitch, i remember checking it out a few weeks ago and being really impressed. i keep forgetting to listen to things.

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PostSubject: Re: 2013: A Year In Review   Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:56 pm

Progenie Terrestre Pura - U.M.A

Spaceified industrial atmospheric black metal, that moves through phases of quiet beauty to stark harshness.  A stunning debut album.
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PostSubject: Re: 2013: A Year In Review   Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:28 pm

Good list, was going to include Church of Misery in my review. Church of Misery did this year what Black Sabbath couldn't: release a good Black Sabbath album.
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PostSubject: Re: 2013: A Year In Review   Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:46 pm

Merchandise - Totale Nite was awesome, I need to listen to more of these guys. Diggin' the floaty psych feeling

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PostSubject: Re: 2013: A Year In Review   Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:19 pm

been a fan of subrosa for a while. never heard that track Smile
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PostSubject: Re: 2013: A Year In Review   Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:33 pm

breakyoudown wrote:
Merchandise - Totale Nite was awesome, I need to listen to more of these guys. Diggin' the floaty psych feeling
If you like that you should definitely check out some of the older generation of post punk, stuff like the Cocteau Twins.


Mouth of the Architect - Dawning


Beefy post metal goodness.

Stiil got about 11 albums to go...
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