Monday, 23 December 2013

2013 Chronicle (Year in review) part 6 - Best of May 2013

May 1 - Geezer (Gage EP)

May 2 - Ten Foot Wizard (ST)

May 3 - Procession (To Reap Heavens Apart)

May 7 - APE MACHINE (Mangled By the Machine) - By this point in the year, the Ripple Music machine was really rolling and it was impossible not to get mangled by it.  If this album was just a hefty stoner record of no inconsiderable girth, it would be notable simply for how good it is.  But that it was recorded in a single take, front to back with no pauses between songs, makes it an essential listen.  Original review here.  Get it here.  Highlights include: "Gun You Down" and "Angry Man".  Rating 5/5

May 10 - MAGISTER TEMPLI (Lucifer Leviathan Logos) - Old school metal combined with doom and occult / esoteric references set the foundation for this Norwegian quintet.  This was one of the more satisfying and memorable albums of the style released in 2013.  Anyway, it`s hard to go wrong with that mix of influences, Magister Templi concocted a killer potion indeed here.  Original review here.  Get it here.  Highlights include: "Master of the Temple" and "The Innsmouth Look".  Rating 4/5

May 10 - SHALLOW GRAVE (ST) - This Auckland quartet released one of the most addictive albums of the year.  It was brutal, sludgy and doomy with droney passages which played out like time spent tied to a chair in a shed or basement waiting for the next round of torture to begin.  This album is a rare combination of dark and aggressive.  Get it here.  Highlights include: "Chemical Fog" and "Nameless Chants".  Rating 4.5/5

May 12 - MAMMOTH STORM (Demo 2013) - This apocalyptically heavy trio must have emerged from deep inside a snow filled caldera.  One day Mammoth Storm and Salem's Pot are going to tickle fight to see who is Sweden's heaviest band.  All us mortals the world over will be destroyed in their convulsive jocularity.  No happy endings here, just mass.  Original review here.  Get it here.  Highlights include: "Volcanic Winter" and "Ancient Apocalypse".  Rating 5/5

May 14 - KADAVAR (Abra Kadavar) - German retro rockin' trio Kadavar's rise was a meteoric one.  Within the space of a single year the band went from one that few outside their home territory knew about to releasing a six song album with polyrhythmic structures to being signed by Nuclear Blast and releasing a streamlined straight up hard rock record and becoming everybody's favorite buzz band.  Original review here.  Get it here.  Highlights include: "Fire" and "Doomsday Machine".  Rating 4.5/5

May 14 - UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS (Mind Control) - UK quartet Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats (named after a band former Cactus vocalist Rusty Day formed shortly before his murder) came out of their shell this year, conducting interviews and releasing promo group shots at the behest of their new label Rise Above Records.  They also made their live debut at the Roadburn Festival (!!! [that's some venue for a debut performance]) and later toured the UK with no lesser personages than Black Sabbath themselves.  Most importantly they released their third album and all-important follow-up to 2011's terrific 'Blood Lust' which had scored the band significant underground buzz.  As always of course, opinions were split on the creative success of the record with the majority falling victim to the album's deadly charisma.  Original review here.  Get it here.  Highlights include: "Mt. Abraxas" and "Mind Crawler".  Rating 4.5/5

May 15 - CULTURA TRES (Rezando Al Miedo) - South American sludge heroes Cultura Tres had a great year, signing to Devouter Records in late 2012, then successfully touring Europe shortly before releasing this terrific album.  Hooky, heavy & haunting, the album took Alice in Chains style harmonies and dragged them through the sludge.  'Rezando al Miedo' was one if the great albums and one of the great creative leaps forward for any band this year.  Original review here.  Get it here.  Highlights include: "La Ley Del Dolor" and "Hole In Your Head".  Rating 4.5/5

May 15 - Kings Destroy (A Time of Hunting)

May 17 - Evangelist (Doominicanes)

May 21 - A Pale Horse Named Death (Lay My Soul To Waste)

May 21 - ROTE MARE (The Invocation & The Kingdom) - It's not easy hearing someone pour their guts out on record but when the net results are an airtight split and a stellar pair of full-length albums it becomes a little easier to handle.  Sifting through the entrails reveals gem upon gem and any stretching of creativity expands to new heights, never thinning out.  Traditional doom never sounded so passionate.  Original review here.  Get it here.  Highlights include: "Suicidal Slayer" and "The Thief".  Rating 4.5/5

May 24 - Steak (Corned Beef Colossus)

May 24 - Vidunder (ST)

May 27 - BLOOD CEREMONY (The Eldritch Dark) - Canadian quartet Blood Ceremony's much anticipated third album came out of left field with a folk / doom tidal wave of top notch storytelling with more than ample memorable moments to match.  A decidedly more colorful record than their previous effort 'Living With The Ancients', 'The Eldritch Dark' has been a mainstay in my Top 10 records of the year since its release.  Original review here.  Get it here.  Highlights include: "Goodbye Gemini" and "Witchwood".  Rating 4.5/5

May 28 - Age of Taurus (Desperate Souls of Tortured Times)

May 28 - ALICE IN CHAINS (The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here) - Alice in Chains's second album since their 2009 resurrection was simply more of what you've come to expect from the grungy legends.  It's a great album, full of hooks and harmonies, big metal poses and faux cowboy ballads.  The thing I like about it most is that it exists.  Original review here.  Get it here.  Highlights include: "Stone" and "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here".  Rating 4.5/5

May 30 - Witches of God (The Blood of Others)

Best Album From April 2013:
'The Eldritch Dark' by BLOOD CEREMONY

Best Song From April 2013:

PARANOID Thoughts:
And the award for record label of the year goes to: Rise Above Records.  Forget that the label is currently embroiled in a minor controversy with all-world label signees Electric Wizard, 2013 ought to be remembered for the consistently high quality of the label's output.  Everything the label released was awesome and each album that came out seemed to be better than the last.  Any one of the albums listed below would have been at or near the top of any other label's best releases list for the year, the fact that label head honcho Lee Dorrian managed to rush them all out the door in the space of a single year makes you wonder whether the anti-trust lawyers won't be coming after him some day soon.

Top 10 Rise Above Records released albums from 2013:
1). Iron Man - 'South of the Earth'
2). Blood Ceremony - 'The Eldritch Dark'
3). Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - 'Mind Control'
4). Horisont - 'Time Warriors'
5). Cathedral - 'The Last Spire'
6). Moss - 'Horrible Night'
7). Church of Misery - 'Thy Kingdom Scum'
8). Age of Taurus - 'Desperate Souls of Tortured Times'
9). The Hidden Masters - 'Of This & Other Worlds'
10). Purson - 'The Circle & the Blue Door'
Last year's winner: Small Stone Records.

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