Monday, 24 December 2012

2012 Chronicle (Year in review) part 6 - Best of June

June 1 - Kung Foo Preacher (ST)

June 1 - SNAKE THURSDAY (Cruise Mode) - Snake Thursday released their second EP and it was a doozy, something I keep coming back to months after its initial release.  "God's Scythe" in particular has been a staple of the daily hour long commute to work mix.  Showcasing the doomier side of the band, the song grew in my ears slowly and kept growing and growing to the point that it's now a ravening monster that lives inside my head.  "Bitchcraft" hit the spot as well, it's a perfect slice of hard driving stoner rock with a great riff.  The whole damn EP is great.  Download it for FREE on Bandcamp here.  Highlights include "God's Scythe" and "Bitchcraft".  Rating 4.5/5

June 5 - Candlemass (Psalms For The Dead)

June 5 - FEAR FACTORY (The Industrialist) - The resurgence of Fear Factory has been one of the best stories in metal over the last couple years.  Their follow-up to 2010's terrific 'Mechanize' features perhaps not as many standout tracks but is a complete album and a bit more of what longtime fans remember of the band.  Epic, atmospheric and deadly.  Get it here.  Highlights include "Recharger" and "The Industrialist".  Rating 4/5

June 5 - Grand Magus (The Hunt)

June 5 - KREATOR (Phantom Antichrist) - One of the great things about 2012 was hearing so many awesome older bands, particularly some older thrash metal bands come out with terrific albums.  Kreator came back stronger than ever, even more full of hatred and vitriol.  (Sigh).  Love the hate.  Get 'Phantom Antichrist' here.  Highlights include "Phantom Antichrist" and "United In Hate".  Rating 4/5

June 5 - MOON CURSE (ST) - Simply put, this is pound for pound one of the best releases of the year.  Five tracks, each remarkably catchy in its own way, including the short organ instrumental.  I liked this right away but I remember when it really clicked in and I had that "wow" moment.  It was when I put "Medicinecoma" on the headphones and the rhythm just infected me.  I had a similar "wow" moment with "Northern High".  Anyway, Moon Curse are from Milwaukee and they play a groovy style of stoner doom.  Incredibly catchy stuff.  You really don't want to miss out on this one, and there's no reason to either because it's pay what you want on Bandcamp.  Highlights include "Northern High" and "Medicinecoma".  Rating 5/5

June 8 - Sonic Mass (Magnetic Electric)

June 11 - DOPELORD (Magick Rites) - Dopelord released one of the best doom metal albums of the year, full of clips, spliffs and huge riffs.  Plenty of Devil and occult references in the lyrics cast a nice spell.  With this, their debut album, the Polish foursome revealed themselves as one of the few bands out there who could duplicate the head nodding hypnotism of Electric Wizard without sounding like clones.  I was also lucky enough to grab myself a CD copy on big cartel while they last.  Download  it on the cheap here on Bandcamp.  Highlights include "Possessed" and "Rise! Undying!".  Rating 4.5/5

June 12 - GREENLEAF (Nest of Vipers) - This was another album I came to way late, but I can't seem to get enough of this Swedish quintet's highly melodic brand of fuzz rock.  A highlight among highlights from the most consistently great label in the world, Small Stone records.  Download it here or get a physical copy at the Small Stone store.  Mine's in the mail.  Highlights include "Case of Fidelity" and "Jack Staff".  Rating 4.5/5

June 14 - NIGHTOSAUR (Spaceaxers) - Minneapolis based power trio Nightosaur play a raw brand of 'fossil rock' with elements of punk, thrash and sludge.  Their sophomore effort is a high energy, eptempo outing and loud above all else.  Get it here.  Highlights include "Too Far South For Mutiny" and "There May Be Dragons".  Rating 4/5

June 15 - Orcus Chylde (ST)

June 16 - Lahius (ST)

June 18 - NATUR (Head of Death) - This New York 4-piece released what is probably my favorite of the New Wave of BNWofHM albums of 2012.  It's just good metal, doesn't matter what you call it.  Catchy, heavy, something to throw the horns up and wail along to.  Full of long-haired, leather jacketed charm.  Get it here. Highlights include "Decion" and "Vermin Rift".  Rating 4.5/5

June 18 - SardoniS (II)

June 19 - Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound (Manzanita)

June 19 - Black Hand (And The Devil Rode Forth)

June 19 - Various Artists (Profound Lore Label Showcase)

June 20 - Broken Betty (Original Features)

June 22 - Stoner Train (Hobo From The Outer Space)

June 25 - GRIZZLY (Fear My Wrath) - I can confidently say that this stoner quintet's debut EP was the best thing I heard from Turkey all year.  Hard driving and aggressive for the most part, the band also shows a laidback side as well.  They do both equally well and with equal amounts of conviction.  Download it for free on bandcamp.  Highlights include "The Cultist" and "Dagon".  Rating 4.5/5

June 26 - MANGOO (Neverland) - Finnish quintet Mangoo are a psychedelic stoner band who like to experiment with form and texture.  Heavy fuzz with just the right tone, a concentration on a complete album rather than a collection of songs and a tasteful and often striking use of synth.  'Neverland' was a bit of a grower for me, but once you dig it, you dig it hard.  Get it here.  Highlights include "Lose Yourself" and "Neverland".  Rating 4/5

June 28 - Ice Dragon / Kroh (7" split single)

June 29 - EREB ALTOR (Gastrike) - Experimental Swedish trio Ereb Altor released perhaps their most experimental album to date.  There are still hints of viking metal, as well as black, death and thrash.  Some call it 'folk metal', but I still have no idea what that's supposed to mean.  In the end it's a great album.  Grasp it here.  Highlights include "Dispellation" and "I Djupet Så Svart".  Rating 4/5

June 29 - Super Oil 69 (Untitled)

June 30 - Cube (ST)

Best Album From June 2012:
'Moon Curse' by MOON CURSE

Best Song From June 2012:
"God's Scythe" by SNAKE THURSDAY

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