Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Top 100 Most Paranoid Albums of 2013

IMPORTANT NOTE: So this is it, this is the official Paranoid Hitsophrenic year's end best of list for the year 2013, but there are a couple things that you should know.  1). That the order and selection of the albums on this list are based on but a single criteria: amount of plays.  There's a whole formula that goes into it, but basically this is a list of my Most Played albums from 2013.  I still can't think of a better way to accurately document personal favorites.  And 2). that this list only covers albums that were officially released between January 1 and October 31 2013 with three exceptions (Egypt's 'Become The Sun', Green Shades's '..Bright Interlude' and Cpt Kronos's 'The Invocation' E.P. all of which were released in the final days of December 2012).  Albums released between November 1 and December 31, 2013 will be covered in next year's list.

All albums listed have links to listen to or purchase the album or both.  Please feel free to click the links of unfamiliar albums and fall in love.
  1. IRON MAN – South of the Earth
  2. DEVIL – Gather the Sinners
  3. BEELZEFUZZ – Self-Titled
  4. HEAD OF THE DEMON – Self-Titled
  5. BLOOD CEREMONY – The Eldritch Dark
  6. DEVIL TO PAY – Fate Is Your Muse
  7. MOTHER OF GOD – Anthropos
  8. NYMF – From the Dark
  9. ABYSMAL GRIEF – Feretri
  10. UNCLE ACID &THE DEADBEATS – Mind Control
  11. BLIZARO – Strange Doorways
  12. NEON WARSHIP – Self-Titled
  13. TUMBLEWEED DEALER – Self-Titled
  14. ALICE IN CHAINS – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
  15. HOLLOW LEG – Abysmal
  16. MONSTER MAGNET – Last Patrol
  17. CURSE THE SON – Psychache
  18. MOUNTAIN WITCH – Cold River
  19. VISTA CHINO – Peace
  21. UZALA – Tales of Blood & Fire
  22. ZODIAC – Self-TitledE.P.
  23. TOMBSTONES – Red Skies& Dead Eyes
  24. LA CHINGA – Self-Titled
  25. WINDHAND – Soma
  26. BRUTUS – Behind the Mountains
  27. KADAVAR – Abra Kadavar
  28. TSAR BOMBA – Silent Queen
  29. DEMON EYE – Self-Titled E.P.
  30. BEASTWARS – Blood Becomes Fire
  31. TENTACLE – Ingot Eye
  32. ICE DRAGON – Born a Heavy Morning
  33. SPIRAL SHADES – Hypnosis Sessions
  34. CRYPT TRIP – Self-Titled E.P.
  35. DOCTOR SMOKE – Demo
  36. PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS – Walk Through Exits Only
  37. MOTHERSHIP – Self-Titled
  38. SHALLOW GRAVE – Self-Titled
  39. MAGIC CIRCLE – Self-Titled
  40. HORISONT – Time Warriors
  41. AT DEVIL DIRT - Plan B: Sin Revolución no hay Evolución
  42. CPT. KRONOS – The Invocation E.P.
  43. GOZU – The Fury of a Patient Man
  44. EGYPT – Become the Sun
  45. CULT OF OCCULT – Hic Est Domus Diaboli
  46. SUMERU – Self-Titled
  47. ROTE MARE – The Invocation / The Kingdom
  48. BORRACHO – Oculus
  49. RED FANG – Whales & Leeches
  50. EARTHEN GRAVE – Self-Titled
  51. WEED PRIEST – Self-Titled
  52. ALEPH NULL – Belladonna E.P.
  53. ICE DRAGON – The Soul’s Midnight
  54. MAMMOTH STORM – Demo
  55. DEMONAUTA – Caminando En La Luna
  56. THE GATES OF SLUMBER – Stormcrow E.P.
  57. BLACK SABBATH – 13
  58. GREEN SHADE - ..Bright Interlude
  59. WICKED INQUISITION – Silence Thereafter
  60. SEREMONIA – Ihminen
  61. KRÖWNN – Hyborian Age
  62. YIDHRA – Hexed
  63. GOATESS – Self-Titled
  64. BLACK CAPRICORN – Born Under the Capricorn
  65. ORANSSI PAZUZU – Valonielu
  66. ALBINO PYTHON – The Doomed & The Damned
  67. REVELATION – Inner Harbor
  68. SPACE GOD RITUAL – Eldritch Tales
  69. MAGISTER TEMPLI – Lucifer Leviathan Logos
  70. BLACK PYRAMID – Adversarial
  71. PEACEMAKER – Cult .45
  72. PALM DESERT – Rotten Village Sessions
  74. VOID OF SLEEP – Tales Between Reality & Madness
  75. CATHEDRAL – The Last Spire
  76. IRON HEARSE – Get In the Hearse
  77. CULTURA TRES – Rezando Al Miedo
  78. CHURCH OF VOID – Winter Is Coming E.P.
  79. CROWLORD – Nakes Chicks, Goats & Wolves
  80. SHININ’ SHADE – Sat-Urn
  81. BLACK RAINBOWS – Holy Moon E.P.
  82. ARGUS – Beyond the Martyrs
  83. TOMBSTONE – Where the Dead Belong
  84. CHURCH OF VOID – Dead Rising
  85. BLOOD RED WATER – All the Ills of Mankind
  86. FANGS OF THE MOLOSSUS – Self-Titled
  87. BLACK ANGELS – Indigo Meadow
  88. MOSS – Horrible Night
  90. FIVE HORSE JOHNSON – The Taking of Blackheart
  91. APE SKULL – Self-Titled
  92. DOZER – Vultures E.P.
  93. PYRES – Year of Sleep
  94. POMBAGIRA – Maleficia Lamiah
  95. DIESEL KING – The Grey Man E.P.
  96. MOUNT SALEM – Endless
  97. THE HEAVY CO. – Midwest Electric
  98. NOCTUM – Final Sacrifice
  99. APE MACHINE – Mangled By the Machine
  100. SHROUD EATER – Dead Ends E.P.
One final note:  This being a most played list, the rankings are fluid.  Take a look at last year's list right here (looks better doesn't it?  Well, I gave myself a lot more time last year), then compare it to where the 2012 list stands at this moment in time (Top 30):

  2. HIGH ON FIRE - De Vermis Mysteriis
  3. FROM BEYOND - The Color Out of Space E.P.
  4. MOON CURSE - Self-Titled
  5. ABRAHMA - Through the Dusty Paths of Our Lives
  6. RED DESERT - Damned By Fate
  7. SONIC TITAN - Even Higher
  8. MOUNT FUJI - Self-Titled
  9. WINDHAND - Self-Titled
  10. HOUR OF 13 - 333
  11. ADMIRAL SIR CLOUDESLEY SHOVELL - Don't Hear It ... Fear It!
  12. SKANSKA MORD - Paths To Charon
  13. AT DEVIL DIRT - Chapter II "Vulgo gratissimus auctor"
  14. ICHABOD - Dreamscapes From Dead Space
  15. ORANGE GOBLIN - A Eulogy For the Damned
  16. GREENLEAF - Nest of Vipers
  17. VINUM SABBATUM - Bacchanale Premiere
  18. DOWN - Down IV: The Purple E.P.
  19. SATELLITE BEAVER - The Last Bow
  20. THE GRAVIATORS - Evil Deeds
  21. WO FAT - The Black Code
  22. SET - Sacred Moon Cult
  23. SEREMONIA - Self-Titled
  24. DOPELORD - Magick Rites
  25. CAPTAIN CRIMSON - Dancing Madly Backwards
  26. MOS GENERATOR - Nomads
  27. MOONLESS - Calling All Demons
  28. THE WANDERING MIDGET - From the Meadows of Opium Dreams
  29. SOUNDCRAWLER - The Sandcrawler
  30. GOYA - Demo

2014 Year in (P)review Part ψΦψ - Most Anticipated

This is part 3 of 3 of our look at the Most Anticipated upcoming albums here at Paranoid Hitsophrenic.  This short series has been fun to put together and it's beginning to feel a little bit like the beginning of a regular series.  For now, there's this:

Cover artwork by Tony Roberts.
RAINBOWS ARE FREE - We're only about two weeks away from the release of Oklahoma's finest releasing their long-awaited second album, 'Waves Ahead of the Ocean'.  To listen to a rough / unmastered version of the title song (that's track number three on your program) go to this soundcloud link.  From the looks of it, this eight song album promises to be an early contender for the year's end title, Rainbows Are Free continue to clobber listeners with strong, balls-out vocals and big riffs that move on swinging hooks at a groovy pace.  The official release date is for January 14 on Guestroom Records.  Oh, and when listening to the track provided at the link above, keep the player going after the song finishes to hear a rough/unmastered version of the second track "The Botanist" as well, your sweat glands will be glad you did.  Once you're finished wiping your own brains off the wall behind you, you can pre-order this sucker at this link.

Please note: this is not the cover art.
SERPENT VENOM - I've got this one pegged as my #1 Most Anticipated album of 2014.  Why, because the band's first album 'Carnal Altar' is one of my favorite doom albums of all time.  The forthcoming album 'Of Things Seen And Unseen' was recorded by Chris Fielding at Jon Davis (of Liverpool band Conan)'s brand new Skyhammer Studio and will be released by Church Within Records.  The closest we've come to a release date is early 2014 with my money on "By April" as an appropriate, approximate target.  The big change that has taken place between albums is swapping original guitarist / Hammond organist / main composer Pete Fox for Roland Scriver (formerly of End of Level Boss).  Based on this preview stream of the track "Sorrow's Bastard" (courtesy of Sleeping Shaman website) the change in sound is marginal at best, even though Pete was credited with writing all the music on the first album.

Please note: this is not the cover art
SET - New England doom quartet Set blew my mind with their four song E.P. back in 2012.  The song "Sacred Moon Cult" in particular captured my dark imagination (it was #3 on my Top 100 Songs of 2012 list and is my fourth most played song since June 30 2012 when I got this laptop), but all 4 songs were great.  In March the band will spread its debut full-length album called 'Valley of the Stone' across the world like a plague cloud.  It'll be around 42 minutes in length and based on the title track and "Wolves Behind the Sheep", it's going to be monstrous.  This album has been one of my most long awaited doom gems for a long time now and the first two tracks on stream do not disappoint.  The four guys in Set have a background in hardcore (who from Boston doesn't?) and it plays into their sound, snapping on a dime from instant to instant from slow simmering doom to paroxysms of boiling rage at the drop of a tuning.

SNAIL - Veteran Portland doom trio Snail are busy finishing up a new record called 'Feral' which they hope to have out "early next year".  This is great news for eardrums and gastropods everywhere.  The band's 2012 opus 'Terminus' was an addictive experience.  Tone, melody and fuzz spilled slickly from the album like mollusc slime.  This will be the band's third album since re-forming in 2008, only wasn't 'Terminus' meant to be their swan song?  Am I confused here because I could have sworn the band was kissing off at the end of 2012.  Did I only imagine that?  Maybe the band was hedging their bets that the world was coming to an end and as a band, wanted to go out on their own terms.  Either way, they have been hard at it for much of this year, writing and recording, parting ways with guitarist Eric Clausen and moving forward.  It would seem the life of a Snail never slows down.

THE SOCKS - This one is up right now on bandcamp, all ready and waiting, over on the Small Stone Records page like a giant tease because only one of the nine tracks is currently streaming, that being the garage boogie jam "Some Kind of Sorcery".  I thought The Socks were a surprise signing by Small Stone Records in the first place.  I'd heard the band's 'Bedrock' E.P. and I liked it, but there was nothing about the psychedelically tinged hard rock record that suggested Small Stone material to me.  This song changes all that, sounding like something of a French answer to the Scandinavian Retro Rock bands by way of Dozer.  Usually, the case with Small Stone records is that they will be made available for download well before the projected release date so I half expect this one to be downloading into this laptop sometime within the next couple weeks.  Otherwise CD's will be shipping out on March 18.

TRUCKFIGHTERS - Another imminent release, this time from Örebro fuzz legends Truckfighter.  'Universe' was crowdfunded into existence and will be released by the band's own label Fuzzorama Records.  The band released 'The Chairman' EP in advance of the full-length on October 4, the title track from which (and only original / non-live of the 4 songs on the E.P.) stands as track #2 on 'Universe'.  If the aforementioned song and its immediate follow-up "Prophet" (watch the video here) are anything to go on (and they ought to be as they comprise a hefty 2/7ths of the album), the band have taken things in a slightly different direction.  The focus now is on melody rather than tone.  Keep in mind I said the focus is on so there's still plenty of heft to Truckfighters's by-now famous fuzz tone, but let's just say the two songs I've heard from the album are a bit more colorful than on previous efforts.  The change reminds me of the one Witchcraft undertook on their most recent album 'Legend'.  'Universe' will be released February 4 and will kick off a sizable touring schedule which will see Truckfighters cross paths with the throngs at SXSW.  You can pre-order the album in nearly any format you'd like right here.

WO FAT - Keep in mind that I only just heard this news so I'm still getting my bearings here.  Details are non-existent at this point.  Small Stone Records is promising a new album from the band in early 2014.  I'd hate to accuse them of lying, and I'd hate even more for the band to prove them to be liars, but I chose to remain hopefully skeptical that this will be the case.  What I mean by that is I want to not believe that it will happen sooner rather than later because a new Wo Fat album is large news indeed, fat, fuzzy, thick, elephantine news indeed, and the waiting around for it to "drop" would kill me.  Therefore I chose to believe that it just ain't going to happen, no sir, it will not be.  But just to reiterate, Small Stone Records announced over a month ago that a new Wo Fat album will be released in "the first half of 2014".  But I'm telling you, don't believe the hype, because the waiting for it will kill you! ... But wait.  What's this?  Pictures of the band playing instruments and sitting at mixing boards in their own brand new studio?  Dated recently (November 29-30 / December 4)?  Could it be?  Oh my Lord, it is!  It's coming!  A new Wo Fat album is coming!  Aaaarrrrrghh, oh no, the waiting is going to kill me!!

HONORABLE MENTIONS - I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fresh as steaming hot cakes news of a new Roadsaw album coming the world's way in 2014.  If you're an asshole like I was just before last night, and you'd never actually heard a full Roadsaw album before, well I think you should know that this is fuzzing fantastic news.

In other news Rhode Island mega-doomanoids Balam have been busy in studio, recording, but for what (an album, E.P., single, split, compilation, etc.?) is currently unknown so that notable band warrants an honorable mention as we're excited to hear the band sneezing on record, they're that good.

I missed this the first time around, but it appears Dwellers have a new album on the horizon for Small Stone Records.  The last album 'Good Morning Harakiri' went somewhat under the radar as it seemed to be overshadowed somewhat by the other albums put forth by the label in 2012, but make no mistake, it was terrific.

One other thing that NEEDS to be mentioned is that up-and-coming Milwaukee doom titans Moon Curse will have their debut E.P. released by Kozmik Artifactz with a "new" old song that was recorded with the others but was left unfinished until now.  I've been lucky enough to hear it, it's called "Seminary Woods" and it's at least the equal of anything else on the record that was originally released on bandcamp.  That new vinyl release is coming soon, look for it

Other bands talking new material in 2014: Destroyer of Light, From Beyond, Maligno.

There are others as well.  This could really go on forever.

2014 Year in (P)review Part Ω℧ - Most Anticipated

Welcome to part 2 in our 3 three part series that does it's best to preview the most exciting upcoming releases in the world of stoner and doom metal.  Go here to read part 1.

Photo by Jody N Nicole Dorignac.
DOWN - The plan was to release four 6-song E.P.'s over the course of about a year and a half, each one focusing on a different aspect of Down's sound.  The first one, 'The Purple E.P.' was released late 2012 and the next two were supposed to have been released at various points throughout 2013 with the fourth and final one released sometime in mid 2014.  Well that plan never materialized, but the band did recently finish up recording E.P. #2 with Honky's charismatic guitarist Bobby Landgraf filling in for the departed Kirk Windstein, who has left for the forseeable future to focus on his main band, Crowbar.  Down vocalist Phil Anselmo has stated in several interviews that the new Down E.P. will be very Sabbath-like, getting back to the band's 'NOLA' album roots.  Other noted influences include Witchfinder General and Trouble.  No word on release dates yet but there have been whispers of a first quarter of 2014 release.  I'd pay that no mind however as the band is notorious for pushing back release dates.

THE GRAVIATORS - Malmö, Sweden's stoner metal quartet The Graviators will return in 2014 with their third full-length album 'Motherload'.  The all-analog recorded album will be released by Napalm Records on March 28, mark it down, these are the catchiest M.F.'s of them all.  I still find songs from their last album 'Evil Deeds' floating around my head on a weekly basis.  The Vance Kelly artwork hasn't come back yet, but based on the cover he's done for the new Black Capricorn album (see it here) the LP cover of 'Motherload' will be tacked up to many a bedroom wall.  The band will also commence a two week European tour in April to support the album and in the meantime, be on the look-out for a forthcoming music video shot by Thomas Tjäder (catch it on The Hour of Power when it is released!).

GREENLEAF - As of December 7, the new Greenleaf album titled 'Trails & Passes' was being mixed, according to an update on the band's official facebook page.  Their last album 'Nest of Vipers' was a fuzz muffin, a deliciously warm muffin of melody and fuzz.  2014 looks to be a big year for the band's label Small Stone Records with no upcoming release more exciting than 'Trails & Passes'.  Three members of Greenleaf are also in Dozer, who have been spotted jamming, rehearsing and will be spotted gigging in 2014.  There have been no official announcements as to whether or not Dozer will have a new one coming down the pipeline in 2014, but if they do, many a muffin will be devoured satisfying fuzz bellies from Borlänge to Brooklyn and all places in between.

ICHABOD - Lowell, Massachusetts psychedelic sludge rockers Ichabod will return with a concept album in 2014, a love letter of sorts to their home territory titled 'Merrimack' after the river that cuts through the region.  The album was mostly composed by the time the band released their most recent opus, the amazing 'Dreamscapes From Dead Space' but was only recently finished and is currently in the mixing stage.  Artwork will be handled by Dave Huckins who seems well suited to capture the bands highly psychedelic flourishes.  You can preview a couple unmixed versions of 'Merrimack' tunes here and here.  The band hopes to have the album in hand for their appearance at The Eyes of the Stoned Goat IV Festival in May.  Sadly, this will be vocalist John Fadden's swan song with the band after leaving the group amicably, he will fulfill his remaining commitments with the band including their performance at EotSG IV.

INDIAN - No sketchy info about this release, it's coming soon and all the details about it are known.  'From All Purity', the Chicago quintet's fifth full-length album will be released by Relapse Records on January 21.  They've even released an advance single in fourth track (of 6) "Rhetoric of No" (watch the video here).  Typically I like a good clean, melodic vocal, but every now and then a band with a harsh vocalist will break through and land on my radar screen, Indian was one of the first such bands to do so because their songs are about so much more than just being noisy and abrasive.  They seem to put a little bit more of themselves into their blackened doom compositions.  No doubt this one will be making its way around the review websites and print magazines, so I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot about it in the near future.

MOS GENERATOR - "The new album is done!!! Just got done with the mastering and doing some final touches on the artwork layout. We are feeling good about this album and got an enthusiastic thumbs up from the record label after hearing the final version. Our 8th album 'ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN MAJESTY' should be out in March." (via facebook update, December 23, 2013)

Washington state hard rock veterans Mos Generator's new album will be released through Listenable Records and will feature 11 new tracks.  There is a plan for a tour through Europe in May.  Nothing too much to add here that hasn't already been covered over at The Obelisk website, just to say how geeked out I am about this.  You can listen to the title track here.

MOTHERSLUG - Australian heavy as a lead fart stoner doom quarter Motherslug will return with a pair of new tracks that will make up a two-sided single.  The birth pangs of these new tracks provide nearly as heavy a story as the band's music.  I asked vocalist Cam what he could tell me about the new release.  I wasn't prepared for the answer he gave:

This has to be the most painfully protracted procedure I have ever been through with a band. Compared to the EP which was recorded and mixed in four days this seemed to drag on forever. To give you a brief outline... 
In August we recorded Three Kings and Trippin' to be released through Psyche Ward Records. Due to 'contractual problems' the sessions were scrapped. 
We scheduled time with Marc Russo at Beveridge Road Studios in November to re-record the same tracks. For various issues this got pushed back to December. The week before recording founding member Ferg decided to leave the band. No animosity - a dude's gotta do what a dude's gotta do - but the timing couldn't have been worse. We found replacements to fill Ferg's spot for live gigs but given the short notice Matt chose to play all the guitar parts on the recording. 
The night before recording the studio suffered a power outage that blew a converter. After several hours delay we got the bass and drums down before heading back into town (BRS is in a beautiful rural area called Sylvan) to play a gig. The next day Matt tracked all the guitar parts for both songs in one session, which I'm sure fried his ears and his brain. I came back through the week and did the vocal tracking in two separate sessions, Three Kings' vocals suffered from me staying out late to see The Melvins the night before. Damn you Melvins! 
Mixdown took several sessions and we still are waiting to hear the latest mix of Three Kings, but I can tell you Trippin' is massive and epic and we couldn't be happier with the results. 
I feel both tracks have a natural progression in their sound from the EP tracks. They sound a little more polished - possibly due to the extra time spent in the studio - but also are really distinct in structure and don't feel like we are treading the same territory as the earlier tracks. Three Kings really punches along, it is more uptempo than the demo on Reverbnation which sets it apart from Trippin' which rumbles along at Motherslug pace, deviates into a crushing, black metal vibe before coming to rest in an ambient psyched out groove. 
We should be sending the tracks to master in the next week or so and releasing it sometime in February. Currently only slated for a digital release, but we are keen to get these tracks onto vinyl.
For a preview of what you might expect you can find that "Three Kings" Reverbnation demo right here.  It may only be two songs, but those song will at least carry the weight of a long-ish E.P.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: It seems arrogant to place Boston quartet Ice Dragon on this list considering there are no plans or even rumors that have been released regarding a new Ice Dragon release in 2014.  Who knows, the genius quartet could throw a curve ball and not record or release any new music until 2020 ... but you know it's coming.  You don't know what it will be, what form it will take or where it will come from (either Ice Dragon or any number of the band's associated acts / side projects), but you just know something is coming, and you just know it will be good.  Umeå, Sweden sextet Mexicoma will also be releasing an album through Bilocation Records in 2014, which I only just found out about.  You can listen to "West of Memphis", the first song released off the album right here.

Monday, 30 December 2013

The Top 100 Most Paranoid Songs of 2013

This list gave me nightmares.  By far the most difficult list I've ever put together, The Most Paranoid Songs of 2013 is an approximation at best.  I started this thing out with some 368 songs that I thought were worthy of inclusion and whittled it down, and whittled and whittled.  Then, finally, I went ahead and whittled away at it some more.  But aside from just getting the list down to 100, then there was the sequencing to worry about.  Nightmares, my friends.  Hopefully you'll find something here that you hadn't heard before that will blow your mind, there was more than enough excellent music to sift through.  Feel free to let me know what an idiot I was for not including this song or that song.  I don't think any of us can get enough great music so share your picks here or on the facebook page if you feel so inclined, I'd be happy to check them out ...
  1. Carry You Away (Neon Warship / ST)
  2. Polygon of Eyes (Scorpion Child / ST)
  3. Bald Bull (Gozu / The Fury of a Patient Man)
  4. Brother Death (Zodiac / ST)
  5. Mind Crawler (Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats / Mind Control)
  6. Already Dead (Devil To Pay / Fate Is Your Muse)
  7. By Titan Hand (Head of the Demon / ST)
  8. Goodbye Gemini (Blood Ceremony / The Eldritch Dark)
  9. South of the Earth (Iron Man / South of the Earth)
  10. The Tower of Silence (Cathedral / The Last Spire)
  11. Prepare To Die (Devil To Pay / Fate Is Your Muse)
  12. Abysmal (Hollow Leg / Abysmal)
  13. Gun You Down (Ape Machine / Mangled By the Machine)
  14. Walk Through Exits Only (Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals / Walk Through Exits Only)
  15. La Chinga (La Chinga / ST)
  16. Mt. Abraxas (Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats / Mind Control)
  17. Woodbine (Windhand / Soma)
  18. Horrible Nights (Moss / Horrible Night)
  19. Maleficia Lamiah (Pombagira / Maleficia Lamiah)
  20. A Whore In Confession (Iron Man / South of the Earth)
  21. Restless Wanderer (Devil / Gather The Sinners)
  22. Night Demon (Night Demon / ST EP)
  23. Warrior Woman (Corsair / Ghosts of Proxima Centauri EP)
  24. Spider Stole the Weed (Curse the Son / Psychache)
  25. Ten Lizardmen & One Pocketknife (Devil To Pay / Fate Is Your Muse)
  26. Devils II (Witches of God / The Blood of Others)
  27. Leaning on a Bear (Purson / The Circle & The Blue Door)
  28. Sin Revolución no hay Evolución (At Devil Dirt / Plan B: Sin Revolución no hay Evolución)
  29. Monster of the Highway (Black Rainbows / Holy Moon EP)
  30. Ride (Miss Lava / Red Supergiant)
  31. Nuclear Messiah (King Goat / Atom)
  32. Pare Huarg (Lord Summerisle / Demo)
  33. Goodbye Henry Anslinger (Curse the Son / Psychache)
  34. By Endurance We Conquer (Argus / Beyond the Martyrs)
  35. Summoning the Not Living (Vidunder / ST)
  36. The Witches Remains (Brutus / Behind the Mountains)
  37. Wise As A Serpent (Spiritual Beggars / Earth Blues)
  38. The Message (Sasquatch / IV)
  39. Shrubbery The Warlock (Mountain Witch / Cold River)
  40. Master of the Temple (Magister Templi / Lucifer Leviathan Logos)
  41. Mindless Ones (Monster Magnet / Last Patrol)
  42. Mystery Machine (Brutus / Behind the Mountains)
  43. God Is Dead? (Black Sabbath / 13)
  44. Sinister Gleams (Abysmal Grief / Feretri)
  45. The Imposter (Dozer / Vultures EP)
  46. Savage Dancer (Black Moth / 7" single)
  47. Black Flag (Tsar Bomba / Silent Queen)
  48. Phantasmagoria (Head of the Demon / ST)
  49. The Great Escape of the Giant Stone Man (Void of Sleep / Tales Between Reality & Madness)
  50. I've Come For It All (Borracho / Oculus)
  51. Ride To Ruin (Hollow Leg / Abysmal)
  52. Earth Rocker (Clutch / Earth Rocker)
  53. Conflict (Philip H. Anselmo / War of the Gargantuas)
  54. Running on Fumes (Lowburn / Soaring High EP)
  55. Hypnotise (Beelzefuzz / ST)
  56. The Willow (Doctor Smoke / Demo)
  57. Shameless (Rote Mare / The Kingdom)
  58. 230 (Mother of God / Anthropos)
  59. Welldweller (Lothorian / Welldweller)
  60. Rebecca At the Well (Revelation / Inner Harbor)
  61. For the Throne of Fire (Kröwnn / Hyborian Age)
  62. Run the Night (Salem's Pot / ST cassette)
  63. Kingdom (Sumeru / ST EP)
  64. The Blackness of My Soul Will Be So Great As To Make the Night Weep (Tentacle / Ingot Eye)
  65. The Key (Head of the Demon / ST)
  66. Lazy (Ape Skull / ST)
  67. Hacia El 6to Sol (DemonAuta / Caminando En La Luna)
  68. Vertigo (Zodiac / ST)
  69. The Is Not a God Or A Devil (At Devil Dirt / Plan B: Sin Revolución no hay Evolución)
  70. As You Wish (Vista Chino / Peace)
  71. The Jester's Clown (Wicked Inquisition / Silence Thereafter)
  72. The Worst & Longest Day (Iron Man / South of the Earth)
  73. Kingdom of Others (Death Ape Disco / Supervolcano)
  74. Dull Ache [I Hate Myself Today]  (Tentacle / Ingot Eye)
  75. Thy Kingdom Gone (Weed Priest / ST)
  76. Lucid (Mount Salem / Endless EP)
  77. Crux To Bear (Across Tundras / Split LP)
  78. Shadow King (Beastwars / Blood Becomes Fire)
  79. The Secret Spot (Scorpion Child / ST)
  80. The Bull (The Ruiner / digital single)
  81. Solution (Supermachine / ST)
  82. Kings of Koch (Snowchild / digital single)
  83. That Woebegone (Ghold / Judas Ghoat)
  84. Winter Light (Magic Circle / ST)
  85. Illuminati (Spiral Shades / Hypnosis Sessions)
  86. Sirens Song (Beelzefuzz / ST)
  87. Hysteria (Mount Salem / Endless EP)
  88. This Train Won't Stop (Devil To Pay / Fate Is Your Muse)
  89. One of a Kind (Nocturnal / ST)
  90. Ladies of the Night (Devil / Gather the Sinners)
  91. Reborn (Beelzefuzz / ST)
  92. Madness! (Space God Ritual / Eldritch Tales)
  93. Lava (Deville / Hydra)
  94. La Ley Del Dolor (Cultura Tres / Rezando Al Miedo)
  95. Writing on the Wall (Horisont / Time Warriors)
  96. In the Nightmares of Snakes (Crowlord / Naked Chicks, Goats & Wolves)
  97. Lords of the Funerals (Abysmal Grief / Feretri)
  98. Suicidal Slayer (Rote Mare / The Kingdom)
  99. Don't See You Around (At Devil Dirt / Plan B: Sin Revolución no hay Evolución)
  100. Caul of Time (Beastwars / Blood Becomes Fire)

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Doom Chart: Most Paranoid Albums of 12/29/13

Top 30 Albums
#). artist - album title
  1. Blizaro - Strange Doorways
  2. Brimstone Coven - II
  3. Arrowhead - Atomsmasher
  4. Uzala - Tales of Blood & Fire
  5. Sonic Mass - All Creatures Strange
  6. Doctor Smoke - ST EP
  7. Tombstones - Red Skies & Dead Eyes
  8. In the Company of Serpents - Of The Flock
  9. Hollow Leg - Abysmal
  10. Mountain Witch - Cold River
  11. Satan's Satyrs - Wild Beyond Belief
  12. Wounded Giant - Lightning Medicine
  13. SubRosa - More Constant Than the Gods
  14. Blackwitch Pudding - Taste the Pudding
  15. Iron Man - South of the Earth
  16. Black Skies - Circadian Meditations
  17. Ancient Warlocks - ST
  18. Crypt Trip - ST EP
  19. The Great Electric Quest - Chapter II EP
  20. Velvet Robe - Night Soil
  21. Asomvel - Knuckle Duster
  22. Sandveiss - Scream Queen
  23. Black Majik Acid - ST
  24. Sangoma - Diviner***
  25. Earth Witch - Earthbound EP***
  26. Sandrider - Godhead
  27. Sasquatch - IV
  28. Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals - Walk Through Exits Only
  29. Argus - Beyond the Martyrs
  30. Motörhead - Aftershock
*** New Album

PARANOID Spotlight on:

Making a return trip to the top albums list this week is Sacremento, California's Black Majik Acid coming in at #23.  Up until recently the project consisted of guitarist/vocalist Sonny Dodds who wrote recorded and played everything on the album himself, but he's recently brought drummer Tyler Gottlob on board and they are set to play their first show January 9, sharing the stage with no less of personages than Blackwitch Pudding in Sacremento.  I caught on to the band when everybody and their cat was sharing the album on facebook a few months ago, unfortunately, due to other commitments, I never quite found the time to really sink my teeth into this thing.  Recently however, I caught wind of the split E.P. Black Majik Acid did with Kansas City experimental weirdos Merlin called 'Sermons of the Dead'.  It was enough of a kick in the ass to remind me to dive into 'Black Majik Acid'.

I'm glad I did.  A loose, lo-fi guitar sound wraps itself around your ears like the crimson bands of Cyttorak.  A warm bluesy feel dominates throughout with an experimental noise rock approach as interpreted by Electric Wizard, especially on the song "Fire Ritual".  'Black Majik Acid' already made my "Rising Albums" list so it's no big shock that it should make a triumphant return to the doom chart albums list, it's just disappointing that I wasted so much time not getting to know it sooner.

Look for the song "High Priestess" on the next Doom Charts songs list this Wednesday, it's the opening track on the album and its opening lick has been caught in my head all week.  After their debut show in January Black Majik Acid will also be supporting Lord Dying on an upcoming show in February.  Things seem to be moving in the right direction for Dodds and co.  The album is up for cheap download on bandcamp right now.  You and your cat should keep spreading it around as much as you can, it's a good one.

2014 Year in (P)review Part ∅ - Most Anticipated

With our month by month 2013 year in review in the rearview mirror, it's time to start looking ahead from the year that was to the year that will be.  There are a number of great bands with projects looming on the horizon, so many in fact that this Most Anticipated list will be broken down into three parts, here's a first look (in alphabetical order) at what has me starry eyed and titilated with excitement ...

Incredible cover artwork by Vance Kelly.
BLACK CAPRICORN - Just today Black Capricorn announced they will have a new album out in 2014, their third, titled 'Cult of Black Friars'.  It will be released by Stone Stallion Rex, who are currently busy selecting a vinyl friendly 40 minutes worth of doom from the 9 songs and one hour's worth of material the Italian trio has submitted to the label.  No release dates have come to light, but if I was a betting man I would imagine a second quarter release would be prudent.  Black Capricorn's second album, 'Born Under the Capricorn' was released in March of last year but is picking up momentum as time goes on and more and more people are beginning to hear the record for the first time and catching on to how great it is [read my review here].  'Born Under the Capricorn' has made numerous end of year lists and deservedly so.

Cover artwork by Dan Bell (not final artwork).
BLIZARO - 'Cornucopia Della Morte' is not necessarily confirmed for a 2014 release date, but you've got to figure it's about due to come out.  Far as I know the tracking for this album was completed many moons ago and has been in the some state of post-production for some time now.  With the recent release of the band's two-disc demos collection titled 'Strange Doorways' I am pacified for now, but excitement is also building and it's officially listed on the Razorback Records homepage as an upcoming release so I should just stop being a total spazz about it and just wait for the awesomeness to come pouring down my earholes like some unnameable thing that slithers in darkness. (Note: I'm wearing a Blizaro shirt as I type this.)  For more about Blizaro go here or here.

BLOOD FARMERS - This long dormant band's one and only (so far) self-titled 1995 album is my white whale.  I can't find it anywhere.  I need to hear this thing so if you would like to or are able to sell me a copy, please get in touch with me.  Anyway, Blood Farmers were one of the first doom bands I discovered (via youtube) when I was new to the genre and I wrote the name down in my little notebook of bands to check out, it remains one of the few that don't have a check mark beside it.  Then, in June of this year, the band premiered a brand new video on The Obelisk website.  It was the title track off a forthcoming album called 'Headless Eyes'.  The album has yet to be released and with no official facebook page or anything like that it's hard to get info or updates on the album.  So no release date at this point, but let's just draw a red circle around the year 2014 on our calendars as a target date.

CARDINALS FOLLY - Much like Blizaro, this Finnish traditional doom trio released a demos / rarities compilation in preparation for their next album called 'Our Cult Continues'.  It's a technique that seems to work.  I hadn't got around to hearing Cardinals Folly for myself until I was given a review copy of the demos comp. 'Strange Conflicts of the Past' for The Sludgelord website.  It got me hooked.  The title track of the forthcoming disc was released on the band's bandcamp page in late October and as part of the latest Doommantia compilation (download it here).  Album artwork and release dates have not been confirmed at this point but what is confirmed by the title song is that the band continues to power walk through a doomed wasteland.  There is enough power and energy behind the band to stay warm in the frozen wastes of their own doomed compositions.

Excellent Conan band artwork done (as always) by Tony Roberts.
CONAN - This one actually does have a release date and in fact, I've already pre-ordered it from the Napalm Records webstore.  'Blood Eagle' will batter cowards on a shore of long bones come February 28.  The album will contain six tracks with at least one "Gravity Chasm" having already been featured on the Paranoid Hour of Power in live form.  This Liverpool trio is one of my favorite doom bands and there are none heavier.  The band will be conducting a reasonably thorough tour of the UK in mid to late March 2014 before embarking on a European tour for most of April 2014 hitting Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Finland and Sweden along the way.  Meanwhile to those who will have picked up the album by then, gravity chasms will be opening in the centers of skulls everywhere and imploding them in a spray of gore.

Photo by Randy Ada.
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY - This one is unconfirmed and there is no word on what if any type of releases the legendary North Carolina band has in store but they recently entered the studio and European tour dates await in the month of March.  Mike Dean the band's bass guitar and vocal dynamo is still touring with Vista Chino but hasn't officially joined the band full-time and there's been no word on whether C.O.C. have finished recording in the studio so if they haven't they will have to work around his busy schedule.  If that's the case we might not expect a new album or E.P. from that band until 2015 or late 2014.  Either way, I'll be looking forward to a new album from the original trio line-up of Corrosion of Conformity, their self-titled full-length was my album of the year in 2012 and The Megalodon E.P from later in the year showed no signs of the band fading.

CROWBAR - "This music is slow and fat."  "This is the kind of music you have on a workout tape if you're skinny, and you want to get fat."  No dates or titles confirmed here or anything but sludge metal innovators Crowbar entered the studio just two weeks ago to begin recording their tenth studio album to commemorate the band's 25th year of existence (/ punishment).  Just to emphasize how serious band leader Kirk Windstein is about the project, he recently left Down to devote 100 per cent focus on it.  If and when the album is released this year, it will be their first since 2011's 'Sever the Wicked Hand'.

DOCTOR SMOKE - Doctor Smoke have got to be one of the top two or three acts from the rock n roll mecca of Mingo Junction, Ohio.  From the looks and sounds of it Doctor Smoke is an ambitious band and I mean that in the best possible way.  By the time I'd caught wind of their free bandcamp demo, their crowdfunding campaign was already underway.  Based on the strength of the four songs from the demo the band more than met their target campaign goal and didn't stop to count the money, they went right into the studio and recorded their upcoming album which was finished tracking after three or four days and is now being mixed.  This quartet wastes no time, they are fast workers and smooth operators.  I recently described the band's sound as "compar[ing] favorably to Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats but substitutes the latter's Beatles influence for that of Pentagram".  I was fairly proud of that description because it felt like all net from three point range to me.  I also posted the Doctor Smoke live set from Stoner Hands of Doom XIII recently and you can watch the 30 minute video for a preview of what to expect from the album (hint: it's good).

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Maidstone, UK prog/doom duo Crowned In Earth have entered the studio but nothing is confirmed, if and when new recordings materialize there will be rejoicing in the Paranoid Compound.  Demon Eye's debut full-length 'Leave the Light' comes out January 24 on Souseller Records.  This one would be on my most anticipated list but I've already heard it and can confirm the anticipation is certainly warranted!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

2013 Chronicle (Year in review) part 11 - Best of October 2013

So here is the stunning conclusion of our monthly looks back at MMXIII in music.  Now, I can hear some of you grumbling, "what about November and December?"  Patience, those months will be covered next year.  I learned a hard lesson last year that you can't possibly find all the best albums, let alone process them without the proper perspective that can only come with the passage of time.  So enjoy, October was the best month of the year for releases, there were at least 50 albums I could have chosen for the Best of October.  It was tough whittling it down to 20 ...

October 1 - Black Rainbows (Holy Moon EP)

October 1 - Horisont (Time Warriors)

October 4 - Argus (Beyond the Martyrs)

October 4 - IRON MAN (South of the Earth) - Everything came together just right for Iron Man on 'South of the Earth', the band's fifth full-length album and first with the current line-up, to create an album that resonates long after it's finished.  Guitarist and sole remaining original member Alfred Morris III put in the performance of a lifetime, flashing a fluid hand at blues and doom fundamentals while blazing when called upon, there isn't much he doesn't do on this album and do well.  On the opposite side of the stage Louis Strachan put in the bass guitar performance of the year, complimenting Morris III with wah funk while blazing a few trails of his own.  Vocalist Dee Calhoun provides the exclamation point marrying memorable, well-crafted lyrics to a booming, expressive voice while drummer Mot Waldman both punctuates and reinforces the whole thing.  After recording the album independently it got the notice of Lee Dorrian of Rise Above Records who promptly signed the band to the label.  The album was released and distributed by Rise Above / Metal Blade Records and the band is closing out the year and ringing in the new with a first-ever trip to London to perform at the Rise Above 25th Anniversary Show.  The success of the band couldn't have happened to a more deserving bunch of musicians.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "South of the Earth" and "Whore In Confession".  Rating 5/5

October 9 - TOMBSTONES (Red Skies & Dead Eyes) - Granite heavy Norwegian doom trio, Tombstones summoned their fourth album from the molten depths and released it on SoulSeller Records.  In some ways 'Red Skies' continues along the familiar trajectory of their last album, 'Year of the Burial', but I would say this new one is thicker in sound, atmosphere and composition.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Black Moon" and "Obstfelder".  Rating 4.5/5

October 15 - ORANSSI PAZUZU (Valonielu) - Finnish blackened space rock quintet (yes, you read that correctly) Oranssi Pazuzu may not have set out to, but they ended up recording and releasing one of the best horror soundtracks of the year.  "A space ship broken down on a remote asteroid, the crew must find shelter in the caves, but it is only there that they encounter ... the shape!"  or something.  This is a terrific, atmospheric album but beware of harsh vocals.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Uraanisula" and "Vino Verso".  Rating 4.5/5

October 15 - RED FANG (Whales & Leeches) - Red Fang's long awaited return may have resulted in the most underrated album of the year.  Many were disappointed with the direction the band took on this one favoring battering ram rock n roll over sludgier compositions, an uptempo direction which also carries the bulk of the band's beloved fun factor.  Go into it with no expectations however, and 'Whales & Leeches' is a terrific album.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Crows in Swine" and "Blood Like Cream".  Rating 4.5/5

October 15 - UZALA (Tales of Blood & Fire) - Uzala's second album is a dark slice of doom sludge with psychedelic overtones.  A specific kind of atmosphere penetrates the listener in the same way that the abyss stares back at you.  'Tales of Blood & Fire' is less an album and more an addiction.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Seven Veils" and "Dark Days".  Rating 4.5/5

October 17 - MONSTER MAGNET (Last Patrol) - Dave Wyndorf and company returned after a three year absence with the most psychedelically tinged Monster Magnet album since 'Dopes To Infinity' on this date.  Though the band is getting older they show no signs of slowing down, but every now and then they got to trip out for awhile, get a grasp on life's ever-changing perspective.  That's what this album's all about.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Last Patrol" and "Mindless Ones".  Rating 4.5/5

October 18 - Seremonia (Ihminen)

October 20 - Space God Ritual (Eldritch Tales)

October 21 - GAGGLE OF COCKS (Low Class Trendsetter) - This upstate New York power trio's second album and first in about 12 years is the place to go for some high powered in your face rock n roll.  I'll admit I wasn't expecting to like this album very much but even if it had been on my most anticipated list it still would have floored me with its hooky power and unrelenting heaviness.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Low Class Trendsetter" and "Black Helicopters".  Rating 4/5

October 28 - Bardo Pond (Peace on Venus)

October 28 - MOUNTAIN WITCH (Cold River) - Now we've come to what is arguably the best retro rock record of the year.  'Cold River' was all about seventies sounds and dark feelings.  The eight songs on this album were built around expansive structures, extended instrumental sections and solid resonant vocals giving the album depth.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Shrubbery the Warlock" and "Sleepers Chant".  Rating 4.5/5

October 29 - Noctum (Final Sacrifice)

October 30 - At Devil Dirt (Plan B: Sin Revolución no hay Evolución)

October 30 - BLIZARO (Strange Doorways) - This mammoth 40-song 2-disc collection drags a rake across John Gallo and co.'s back catalog of demos and give them their much deserved first official release.  Add to that a whole other demo album's worth of material previously unavailable anywhere and you've got a horror doom must have.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Sacrifice" and "Demonhenge".  Rating 5/5

October 31 - Crypt Trip (ST EP)

October 31 - In The Company of Serpents (Of the Flock)

October 31 - ZEMIAL (Nykta) - This expansive, hour-long nine-song album released through Hell's Headbangers Records probably flew well under the radar of most doom metal fans because this Greek one man project is categorized as Black Metal.  But there's more doom here than black metal.  Actually, this one takes a sweeping survery of metal in general touching on different movements at different points throughout.  Old school metal and doom are of course the standout moments here.  Thankfully there's a good number of them.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Ancient Arcane Scrolls" and "Eclipse".  Rating 4/5

Best Album From June 2013:
'From the Dark' by NYMF

Best Song From June 2013:
"Woodbine" by WINDHAND

PARANOID Thoughts:
Scandanavian (/Teutonic) Retro Rock has been all the rage here at the Paranoid Bunker the past couple years.  2013 saw some excellent releases, especially toward the end of the year.  There is an American variation of the form, perhaps best exemplified by bands like Demon Eye and Doctor Smoke, but we're going to focus on the region that started it all with Swedish underground band Norrsken, who broke up before officially releasing any recordings (although a bootleg copy of their demos exists) and branching off into the two most influential groups of the style: Witchcraft and Graveyard.

The quality that makes "Retro Rock" is nearly indefinable or at least requires exactly the king of technical language that is not part of my toolbox.  Basically, if it sounds "old", but is actually "new" it is retro rock.  Devil's 'Gather the Sinners' and Magister Templi's 'Lucifer Leviathan Logos' albums fit that mold perfectly but they would be more accurately described as "Retro Metal".  Anyway, you know it when you hear it.  

And I hope you had a good year, I'm sure it had its challenges but I'd imagine you're tougher for the experience.  Have a good 2014 and we'll see each other on the other side for another series of Chronicles next year.  Thanks for reading!

Here are my ten favorite Retro Rock albums of the year ...

Top 10 Retro Rock Albums:
1). Mountain Witch - 'Cold River'
2). Brutus - 'Behind the Mountains'
3). Kadavar - 'Abra Kadavar'
4). Horisont - 'Time Warriors'
5). Seremonia - 'Ihminen'
6). Noctum - 'Final Sacrifice'
7). Spirits of the Dead - 'Rumours of a Presence'
8). Doublestone - Self-titled EP
9). Vidunder - Self-Titled
10). Spiritual Beggars - 'Earth Blues'
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