December 24, 2012

Zulu’s 2012 musical wrap-up

Part of my admission process as a musical journalist for Tzeeeac included the promise to boldly create a musical top that no one has created before. Also, imagine having to make this god-awful promise while standing with my knees on chrismukkah-colored glass shards and with my right hand glued to The Book of Heavy Metal.  It’s no easy feat, I tell you, and I’m glad I had the strength of character to be accepted.

With that said, I’ve decided to comprise three short lists each with three choices (again, it’s a magic number and I very much like it). They will be called, in no particular order:  Release of The Year (ROTY), Fail of The Year (FOTY) and Musical Discovery of The Year/Gem of The Year (let’s say GETY). And since I’ve posted them in this order, let’s have at it the same way.

First up, ROTY Category:

3. Epica - Requiem for the Indifferent

These guys have become something in the vein of Amon Amarth: They keep releasing the same record every time, yet it never gets old. And I’ll be damned if I have something against that: the music is great for head banging, their live shows are a blast (I’ve seen them twice and will definitely see them again) and Simone is putting the H in Hot, as always. What’s there not to like?

2. FusionCore - Permanent Voyage

Up and coming Romanian rockers flying under the moniker FusionCore have put out a smashing debut that incorporates elements of funk, jazz and even metal, with lyrics sung in three languages. A very exciting album to listen to that will appeal to music lovers anywhere. See if this hits the spot for you.

To top that, there a free download at the following address
Get it while it’s hot!

1. Tetrafusion - Horizons

After two previous full albums, these american proggers have settled in a comfortable formula and have found a style that defines them, pretty much unique in the genre, and this nifty EP stands proof to that. I’ve talked about them before on Tzeeeac (here’s the link) and I’m happy to award them the title for Release of The Year. Good jobs guys, and let’s hear a full album in 2013. You deserve to make it big!

Get the EP here!

More on the blind side, the FOTY  Category:

3. Katatonia - Dead End Kings 

     After the excellent Night is The New Day, I was expecting something truly amazing from these guys. Instead I got Dead End Kings, a record which is not bad by any means, but that doesn’t really go anywhere. The songs have no true identity and just plod along at the usual pace for a Katatonia release. I have listened to this album many times while on the train ride to/from work and the only redeeming quality about it seems to be that I sleep very well with it as background music. Here’s one of the better tracks:


2. Between the Buried And Me - The Parallax II: Future Sequence

Being a fan of BTBAM’s early work mostly, this album was something that I listened to purely as an informative action. Based on the EP that precedes it, I didn’t expect to like it that much, yet it managed to quickly become one of the most annoying albums that I have laid my ears upon. Therefore, inclusion in this list was made mandatory. Again, link to one of the better tracks:

     More on the album here.

1. Swallow The Sun - Emerald Forest and the Blackbird

Let’s disregard for a moment the silly album name and I’ll try to give you some relevant info. From the moment STS posted a sample of their next release on their website, all I did was check for updates time and time again to hear more of it. It was awesome and jaw-dropping and it reminded me of The Plague of Butterflies. It was my most highly anticipated album for 2012. But they were secretive and until release day came upon us, the common folk, nothing much was shared. Suffice to say I couldn’t sit down and have more than 3 listens of this album without the music unwillingly turning into background noise. 

The rehash of old ideas complemented with the lack of originality in all the compositions made for the most bludgeoning borefest one could never have asked for. Just listen to this:

Ten minutes of music that go nowhere and most of the times I lose interest half-way into the song.
With that said, I’m forced to crawl back to their debut release, The Morning Never Came. More on that here

And finally, the GETY Category:

 3. Gojira - L’Enfant Sauvage

     I’m not going to try and come up with excuses of why I didn’t listen to Gojira before; let’s just say that it slipped by me in more ways than one.
This album hit me like a train could hit a 70’s convertible: leaving a giant pile of wreckage behind. The rawness of the production, the uncomplicated music (only guitars, drums and harsh vocals), the massive concentration of mind blowing riffs per minute and the fact that it all sounds like Arch Anemy, early day Chimaira and Amon Amarth got together for a jamming session, it all makes for an exhilarating ride that I have subconsciously been waiting for in a long time.

It just can’t get any better than that.

2. Uaral - Sounds of Pain…

There’s really only one word to describe this album: DAT.ACOUSTIC. GUITAR.

Ok so maybe it was three words, but who am I to judge?!? The mad skills behind this release make me overlook any of the little faults that lie within it.

    1. Kauan - Any release

    This band did to me this year what Year of No Light did in 2011: that is make me completely oblivious to any other forms of music, burying myself in the scenery painted with the blood and sweat of only two people. At over 20 hours of airtime gathered in just about three weeks, considering I don’t have much time to listen to music as I did in the past years, it should give you enough of an insight of how invested I have become into this band. Any song from any of the four releases is good enough to be featured here, and since in my last post I’ve talked a little about records one and three, I’ll just choose a tune from their latest offering, Kuu.

I just wished I would have found them earlier.

And that’s about it with my 2012 musical ramblings, now excuse me while I go and email Anton from Kauan for some t-shirts.

Zulu out.



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