Tuesday, 24 December 2013

2013 Chronicle (Year in review) part 7 - Best of June 2013

June 2 - Floodriders (ST)

June 3 - DEMON LUNG (The Hundredth Name) - After releasing a promising EP in 2012 this Vegas quartet signed a deal with Candlelight Records and dropped their first full-length on that label.  'The Hundredth Name' was the result, full of dark southern doom with captivating vocals which tell a demon haunted story with esoteric lyrics.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Eyes of Zamiel" and "Devil's Wind".  Rating 4/5

June 4 - Naam (Vow)

June 10 - Egypt / Wo Fat split (Cyclopean Riffs)

June 10 - Mansion (We Shall Live EP)

June 11 - BLACK SABBATH (13) - Arguably the most divisive and talked about album of the year, '13' was like a referendum on the state of doom metal and whether or not the legends have been surpassed creatively by the bands they have undoubtedly influenced.  It appeared most people walked into the album with their opinions of it already set.  It would seem the most controversial decision the band made was allowing original drummer Bill Ward to get out of shape over the past decade and a half.  Get it hereHighlights include: "God Is Dead?" and "Live Forever".  Rating 4/5

June 11 - CARDINALS FOLLY (Strange Conflicts of the Past) - This Finnish traditional doom trio released their early demos on this collection through Shadow Kingdom Records in preparation for their forthcoming album 'Our Cult Continues' and it was a feast.  Fist pumping doom of a high magnitude cut through ten tracks with a couple rarities thrown atop for good measure (including an excellent Kraftwerk cover).  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "The Right Hand of Doom" and "Serpent Nights".  Rating 4.5/5

June 11 - CHURCH OF MISERY (Thy Kingdom Scum) - Japanese stoner stalwarts Church of Misery's first album since 2009 featured 7 songs of strictly top shelf material.  Never deviating from their long-standing winning formula 'Thy Kingdom Scum' was bloated with riffs, tales of murderous depravity and the ever-popular obscure cover song (by way of Quartermass).  Get it hereHighlights include: "The Right Hand of Doom" and "Serpent Nights".  Rating 4.5/5

June 13 - Black Oath (Ov Qliphoth And Darkness)

June 14 - BRUTUS (Behind the Mountains) - Norwegian retro rockers Brutus offered up one of the stronger entries into the genre, doing the throwback style right with riffs, dynamism and dark overtones.  On this, their second at bat, they've carved a niche for themselves whereby they don't quite sound like anybody else in particular, not even the rock n roll heroes they are emulating, which is rare in the retro rock world.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Personal Riot" and "Blue Pills".  Rating 4.5/5

June 14 - CROWLORD (Naked Chicks, Goats & Wolves) - While this Tennesseean quartet will be labelled as "sludge metal", a more accurate label for their thick-bodied, twin bass, no guitar attack might be "tar metal".  Finding a vocalist who sounds like the beast from which they take their name only adds to the band's mystique.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Son of Crow" and "In the Nightmares of Snakes".  Rating 4.5/5

June 19 - ALBINO PYTHON (The Doomed and the Damned) - After releasing the ludicrously infectious 'Haunter of the Dark' (that song was stuck in my heads for months!) in late summer of 2012, Albino Python's long awaited debut arrived and delivered the goods.  The name of the game here is scathing and grimy doom.  What sets this female-fronted duo apart is its forcefulness and aggression.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Haunter of the Dark" and "To Hell We Ride".  Rating 4.5/5

June 21 - Chinaski (Resiliencia)

June 22 - CULT OF OCCULT (Hic Est Domus Diaboli) - This French trio's sophomore offering was a six-track blast of doom, sludge & crypt dust.  With five of the six tracks ranging beyond the 10-minute mark you know you're in for a fully engrossing journey that ends in the I.C.U. ... or maybe the morgue.  Uncompromisingly heavy in tone and mood, 'Hic Est Domus Diaboli' is one of the must have doom albums of 2013.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "In Vino Veritas" and "Opus Ad Odio".  Rating 5/5

June 24 - PEACEMAKER (Cult .45) - This new UK quartet unleashed their debut on bandcamp and it was one of the truly great under-the-radar releases of the year.  Packing neck-snapping power grooves inside capital M doom Metal riffs, Peacemaker proved themselves as ones to watch for 2014 and beyond.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Follow the Rats" and "Soul Cheater".  Rating 4.5/5

June 25 - Isaak (The Longer The Beard The Harder The Sound)

June 25 - SCORPION CHILD (ST) - This Austin Texas quintet definitively proved that it's still masculine to wear tight jeans, leather vests and rock out with mustaches.  Combining the soulfulness of The Black Crowes with the bluesy heaviness of Led Zeppelin, Scorpion Child are one of the bright lights and great hopes for rock n roll.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Polygon of Eyes" and "The Secret Spot".  Rating 4/5

June 28 - Black Wizard (Young Wisdom)

June 28 - Cokegoat (Vessel)

June 28 - Holy Mount (Alpic)

June 28 - Switchblade Jesus (ST)

Best Album From June 2013:
'Behind the Mountains' by BRUTUS

Best Song From June 2013:
"Polygon of Eyes" by SCORPION CHILD

PARANOID Thoughts:
I'm the type of guy where if I don't tackle something right away, it's going to go right by me and so it is with my listening habits.  Those marathon "scouting missions" on bandcamp where you find five or ten albums all at once are great fun, but they can also lead to great music slipping through the cracks as it gets harder and harder to find the time to listen to it all.  Sometimes you'll find something unexpected and grab it right quick while your attention is focused on another block of albums to listen to and process.  I usually listen to one or maybe two songs on a bandcamp page before making the decision to buy or pass by.  Sometimes I know I'm ready to buy after hearing the opening riff for five or ten seconds.  It becomes a matter of waiting to see how good or bad the vocals are at that point.  So I'll discover something, or have it recommended to me, preview it for 10 or 30 seconds, or maybe even five minutes, then I'll download it and add it to my itunes.  Meanwhile however, I've got five or ten albums ahead of this new one that I have to* listen to.  Before you know it, that little gem you found is way back in the queue

These are the albums that I lost track of or never found the time to give them the proper gorging they deserved and so they didn't end up making my year end Top 100.  If there was any justice in the world or if there was just one extra day in the week (a non-work day of course), I probably would have got there.  At the same time there isn't a single album that I'd like to knock out of the Top 100.  

And why a Top 100 anyway?  Isn't that a bit excessive?  Not to me it isn't.  Really there were somewhere in the order of 150 albums that I would have loved to cram into the 100 so it still feels like an 'elite' list.  And besides, music freaks, listers (!!!) are a bit anal retentive when it comes to their lists.  A Top 137 Albums list looks sloppy and disorganized with about as much thought and care put into it as a shopping list.  No, we can only deal in round numbers.  

So to the bands that made the rather dubious list below, I say "you weren't expecting anything from me.  I was under no obligation to put your album on my list, or even listen to your album let alone be aware of its existence.  But YOU cared.  You put time, money, effort and inspiration into your album and I failed you as a listener.  I'm sorry.  I know that doesn't make it right, but ... will you ever forgive me?"

Anyway, these are all great albums for you to check out ...

*'have to' is in the sense of burning desire as opposed to dry obligation.

Top 20 Records I didn't listen to enough from 2013:
1). Ten Foot Wizard - 'Return to the Infinite'
2). Woodwall - 'WoodEmpire'
3). Switchblade Jesus - ST
4). A Pale Horse Named Death - 'Lay My Soul To Waste'
5). Victor Girffin's In~Graved - ST
6). Subrosa - 'More Constant Than the Gods'
7). Black Majik Acid - ST
8). Death Angel - 'The Dream Calls For Blood'
9). Warbeast - 'Destroy'
10). Hela - 'Broken Cross'
11). Beastwood - 'Alabama Space Witch'
12). Valfader - 'Whispers of Chaos'
13). Vestal Claret - 'Bloodbath'
14). Dream Death - 'Somnium Excessum'
15). Procession - 'To Reap Heavens Apart'
16). Throne - 'Avoid the Light'
17). Deaf Proof - 'Beyond the Orange Door'
18). Gallow God - 'The Veneration of Serpents'
19). Mortgage Freeman - 'The Living Proof'
20). Mystery Ship EP's I & II

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