Thursday, 26 December 2013

2013 Chronicle (Year in review) part 8 - Best of July 2013

July 1 - Chili Cold Blood (And Now the Dawn)

July 2 - Pyres (Year of Sleep)

July 5 - GOATESS (ST) - Pure psychedelic doom.  The sum of Swedish quartet Goatess's debut was greater than its parts and made for one of the best debut records of the year.  Then again, it wasn't entirely unexpected as I can't see legendary vocalist Chritus being involved in anything that isn't great.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Eyes of Zamiel" and "Devil's Wind".  Rating 4/5

July 5 - TOMBSTONE (Where the Dead Belong) - Though the official release date for this one is in January, the album was available for streaming only for months, it wasn't made available to download until this date.  In the end, it was a terrific collection of stoner blues riffs in the Church of Misery mold and a light years leap forward from their 2012 debut EP.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Werewolf" and "No Tomorrow".  Rating 4/5

July 6 - Black Majik Acid (ST)

July 6 - Ride Into the Sun (ST mini-LP)

July 8 - Corsair (Alpha Centauri)

July 9 - DIRTY STREETS (Blades of Grass) - The long awaited follow-up to this Memphis trio's excellent 'Movements' album displayed a soulful veneration of Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and the J.B.'s while still sounding like back country cousins to the Black Keys.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Blades of Grass" and "Truth".  Rating 4.5/5

July 9 - EARTHEN GRAVE (ST) - What's not to love about this one?  Ex-Trouble man Ron Holzner, world-class violinist Rachel Barton Pine and a great vocalist in Mark Weiner help make Earthen Grave's debut on Ripple Music a winner.  Guitarists Jason Muxlow & Tony Spillman pile on the riffs like mashed potatoes while Barton Pine pours on the gravy.  This album would be a stand out any year in any era.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Earthen Grave" and "Death is Another Word".  Rating 5/5

July 9 - SHROUD EATER (Dead Ends EP) - Florida sludge metal trio Shroud Eater ripped faces on their third official release.  Power packed doom grooves and aggressive vocals set a tone that sticks to you like a sweaty t-shirt in a mosh pit.  This five song EP proves why Shroud Eater are among the leading [piercing] lights of Southern Sludge.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Tempest" and "Sudden Plague".  Rating 4.5/5

July 16 - PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS (Walk Through Exits Only) - Pantera / Down / Superjoint Ritual, etc. frontman Phil Anselmo's debut solo album was a remarkable work from a lifelong metal fan who simply wanted to add to his beloved music without repeating anything that had been done before.  No small task.  Well, the results speak for themselves as Phil Anselmo crafted a stunningly good metal album that simply defies subgenrefication.  It's all the more remarkable considering the 40-something year old had never really written music before.  That's not to downplay the contributions of his backing band, called 'The Illegals' for this particular release.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Walk Through Exits Only" and "Battalion of Zero".  Rating 4.5/5

July 16 - Trouble (The Distortion Field)

July 18 - BORRACHO (Oculus) - D.C.'s resident stoner rock kingpins crushed with their first substantial offering of new material since 2011's critical darling 'Splitting Sky'.  Reduced to a power trio, the band nevertheless delivered a free-flowing album that is not only a worthy follow-up to their debut, but arguably surpasses it.  Get it hereHighlights include: "I've Come For It All" and "Empty".  Rating 4.5/5

July 21 - Fangs of the Molossus (ST)

July 21 - Sumeru (ST EP)

July 23 - CURSE THE SON (Psychache) - 'Psychache' was up for streaming on bandcamp for as many as 7 months before it was finally made available for download to the public on this date.  It took a hot minute for the album to catch on, but when it did it wouldn't let go.  Hands down Ron Vanacore's riffs and vocals and drummer Michael Petrucci's groovy-infested syncopation made this one of the year's top notch doom records.  It was later still pressed to vinyl and released by STB Records.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Spider Stole the Weed" and "Goodbye Henry Anslinger".  Rating 4.5/5

July 23 - MISS LAVA (Red Supergiant) - 'Red Supergiant' was actually released late in 2012 and flew completely under the radar until Small Stone Records caught wind of it, re-mastered it for more depth and re-released it on this date.  This is where you go when you're looking for a full album's worth of relentless stoner grooves.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Ride" and "Desert Mind".  Rating 4.5/5

July 24 - Wicked Inquisition (Silence Thereafter)

July 26 - Dozer (Vultures EP)

July 30 - HOLLOW LEG (Abysmal) - Florida sludge metal quartet Hollow Leg upped the ante in a major way on their second album, providing some of the most memorable moments in the genre all year.  They did this with riffs, memorable lyrics and bone splintering power grooves of atomic blowback proportions.  Seriously, don't let this one fly under your radar.  Original review here.  Get it hereHighlights include: "Ride To Ruin" and "Abysmal".  Rating 4.5/5

Best Album From June 2013:
'Psychache' by CURSE THE SON

Best Song From June 2013:
"Abysmal" by HOLLOW LEG

PARANOID Thoughts:
I've prepared a Top 20 Albums on the Rise list as a companion piece to last night's Top 20 I didn't listen to enough.  Most of the albums on this list I only just caught on to recently or was too busy focused on other albums to devote an appropriate amount of attention to until just recently, and some of them are re-discoveries of albums that simply slipped past me.  Basically, I'm trying to give as many deserving albums a share of the spotlight as possible.  These are all albums on the way up my lists ...

(Deep breath...) The Top 20 Rising Albums That Probably Would Have (or at least Might Have) Made the Top 100 of 2013 List if it was Published Two Months Later (now, exhale ..!):
1). Subrosa - 'More Constant Than the Gods'
2). Arrowhead - 'Atomsmasher'
3). Motörhead - 'Aftershock'
4). Blackwitch Pudding - 'Taste the Pudding'
5). Black Majik Acid - ST
6). Sangoma - 'Diviner'
7). Gaggle of Cocks - 'Low Class Trendsetter'
8). Bayou - ST
9). Zemial - 'Nykta'
10). Eye - 'Second Sight'
11). Fuzz - ST
12). Slasher Dave - 'Spookhouse'
13). Bardo Pond - 'Peace on Venus'
14). Stoned Cobra - 'High & Mighty'
15). Cokegoat - 'Vessel'
16). Doomriders - 'Grand Blood'
17). Earth Witch - 'Earth Bound' EP
18). Foghound - 'Quick, Dirty & High'
19). Ride Into the Sun - ST mini-LP
20). Djinn & Miskatonic - 'Forever in the Realm'*

*Looks like this project may now be defunct according to bassist Jayaprakash Satyamurthy.

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