December 31, 2013

Volo's best albums of 2013


So, this is the first time that I'm doing a list at the end of the year, ever, be it grocery list or shit not to do in the next year list. After much soul and  record shops searching, I narrowed it down to 13 albums that really got me through the day in the year that's about to end. Without any more useless ramble, I give you the best of the best in my humble opinion.



Comadre - Self Titled



This was the first record I listened in 2013, and it stuck with me for the rest of the year. This record marked a changed in sound for Comadre, and you know, usually that sucks, but damn, is this a good record, I love it from the first to last song. Unfortunately, Comadre parted ways after some months this record came out, and I'm still pretty bummed out about it. RIP!

Melvins - Everybody Loves Sausage


Everyone this year got super crazy for Ghost BC's cover EP, but for me it did nothing, and I'm kind of pissed of this covers LP by Melvins got overlooked, I mean come one, Melvins covering David Bowie and Queen, how can you not like that? And did I mention that it features a cover by Venom's epic song Warhead with Scott Kelly on vocals? Did I get your attention now? Hope so? If not, please go back to your ABBA arena rock.

This Routine Is Hell - Howl


This LP has been overhyped at TZEEEAC HQ this year alot. We've been spinning it until the needle eroded, it's that good, fast punk, somewhat similar to Ceremony's 'Rohnert Park' but made by some dutch dudes who dance like crazy on stage.

Locrian - Return To Annihilation


Another record, that we got crazy for here at TZEEEAC HQ. I wasn't that crazy for their past stuff, kind of liked The Crystal World, but never really got back to it. I'm not familiar with all their release, since they have a hell of alot, but this one just clicked with me, haunting atmosphere, epic drum beats, epic guitars, and freaking scarry screams, this one's still on my playlist, goes well with the foggy so called winter that's going on here in Romania now.

Ruined Families - Blank Language


Ruined Families is a greek band that kind of changed their style along the years, but still maintaing its sound somewhere in the hardcore area. Blank Language is really cool, because it covers alot of genres in one short and fast record, spanning from post punk to black metal. Imagine Joy Division covering Darkthrone songs with Ian Mackay on vocals, or something like that...trv kvlt kids will hate me.

Ramlord - Crippled Minds, Sundered Wisdom


I haven't listened this year to any stench record, unfortunately, beside this one, and I'm pretty happy I did. It's one of the most filthies stench record ever brought upon this earth. It's dirty, raw and fast. It's got everything you want from a stench record, highly recommend it!

Self Defense Family - Try Me


This one's from the second part of the year. I've been into these guys for some time now, and this record really got to me, highly emotional. The interview part of the record kind of killed it for me, but if you ignore that part, this record is really enjoyable. For fans of Lungfish, of course.

Tera Melos - X'ed Out


I'm getting a little eclectic with this list, but this year just hasen't been that metal for me. This is Tera Melos third or fourth record, and it sees them moving away from their math sound to something, let's say, more pop. Really catchy hooks, and ultra weird atmosphere.

Morne - Shadows


Here's another crust kind of record that I really enjoyed this year, from Portlands crust outfit Morne. Let's say that this record is drifting more and more away from their original sound, that was straight out stenchcore. It kind of goes in a sludgier, maybe funeral direction, 5 tracks of total depression and emotion.

Chelsea Wolfe - Pain is Beauty


I absolutely love Chelsea Wolfe. This is her fourth record to date, the previous one, being a collection of acoustic songs. Pain is Beauty molds the sound of her previous two records into one haunting trip. You'll hear sounds raging from doom to dark folk. When I feel down, I listen to this record, and I feel more down.

Cara Neir - Portals to a Better, Dead World


Texas Marco Black Metal outfit Cara Neir, have been around for some time, but they gained alot of hype with Portals to a Better Dead World, their first vinyl release ever. This record combines alot of elements in one beautifully crafted piece of music, you'll hear stuff like Pg.99 screamo elements with filthy dark norwegian black metal.

Baptists - Bushcraft


So the first thing that got my attention towards this record was the cover, so I checked it out, man was I in for a treat. Let's say that if you like Cursed and Converge, you can't not like this, it's short but sweet.

Jungbluth - Part Ache


Back when Alpinist broke up, I was kind of bummed, because I really liked them. But my saddnes didn't last long, because 3 out of 4 members of Alpinist decided to continue under the name of Jungbluth, so basically they sound the same, the message in the songs is the same, and it's still in german. Part Ache is really catchy and aggressive, I only wish I knew German, so I can sing along, but all jokes aside, they have the lyrics in english, and they're worth checking out, because they talk alot about socio-political stuff.

December 30, 2013

Nekrofilth - Devil's Breath (2013)



NEKROFILTH CAKE RECIPE 
(serves 666)

Ingredients:

Zach Rose (Nunslaughter, ex-Crucified Mortals)
Tony Daprano (which almost sounds like Tony Soprano)
Jon B. (drummer in Masakari)
Artwork by Putrid
Alcohol
Drugs
Pizza
Insanity

First, mix Zach Rose and Tony Daprano until you obtain some skin-ripping, grinding death metal riffs backed by loud and gritty bass lines. Add Jon B.'s intense drumming that sounds like someone banging on coffins and loosely mix everything together until murky production is achieved. Incorporate shamelessly sleazy lyrics about licking buttholes, drinking crocodile piss, fucking corpses, hanging out with disease-ridden prostitutes and having skin infections. Add the rest of the ingredients. Reminisce about the early days of Autopsy, Carcass, Impetigo and Repulsion. Bake until slightly crusty. Devour whole. Press repeat. Fukk you.





December 29, 2013

Daniel W.'s Best Records Of 2013


And now for something completely different.



The first entry is a more exotic one, as it’s not everyday that you get to listen to Finnish post-apocalyptic post-punk that really gets you going. With it’s couple of boring tracks, this album is a marvel to behold in the year 2013, packing a sound that is pretty hard to imitate. +1 Rad Resistance.

9. SHITFUCKER “Suck Cocks In Hell”


Detroit Rock City's most dirty and die-hard band. This absolutely disgusting metalpunk trio’s debut LP, after a series of very good EPs and demos, surely delivers the edgyness. It’s just something about Demonbitch’s vocals that makes you crawling back for more. Includes Acid Witch member Tim Shagrat as “perverse proselyzing Axemaster”.



Now we’re talking no-bullshit traditional doom, baby. French-Canadian rulers Annick and Francois, freshly returned from their trip around the world (which included some riff writing for this album) got together and recorded some of the most promising material around. Hands down the best track is the last one, “Tenebrario”, absolutely bone-chilling music.



If it weren’t for a couple of weaker tracks, this hypnothising album would’ve made one of the top spots, clearly, as the singles off it, namely “Poison Apple” and “Mind Crawler” are some of the most amazing songs 2013 has had to offer. Quite the trip this LP is, with its concept story about a cult member murdering his fellow disciples and forming his own religion is pure greatness, yet this offering from our second favourite uncle (Uncle Creepy=best) still is a few steps behind from their sophomore record, “Blood Lust”. Follow the leader!



Nobody does death metal better than the Swedes, and when that pure-bread Swedish extreme music is coupled with cosmic and ethereal vibes, you get a truly unique death metal album that sends you to far away places before smashing you back into the ground with pounding Dissection-like riffs and hamonies.

5. ARCTIC MONKEYS “AM”


It’s pretty damn good if you ask me. (words coming from a non-Arctic Monkeys fan)



This is 4th dimension shit right here. In Solitude are pretty much breaking their own game and expanding ridiculously into strange new places. The result is an esotheric explosion that is completely different from their first album and a little bit from their second, mixing everything from post-punk, gothic, alternative to heavy, speed and thrash, and manage to pull it off without being to homosensual about it. Masterpiece.



Wawawa. Fast, catchy, visceral, Swedish. Best speed metal album in eons, surpassing “Diamonds” and earning a lot of respect in the songwritting department for these charismatic and ghoulish Swedes. Who would have thought that an instrumental track would surpass a lot of the heavy metal that is being put out today? Galloping riffs all around.

2. BLOOD CEREMONY “The Eldrich Dark”


I have not heard such clever songwriting in a very long time. Amazing chemistry between the guitar, flute and drums happening on this 40 minute mammoth that would put even some Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull songs to shame. It took me three days of listening to this record on repeat to put it on it’s well deserved 2nd place on my dandy list.
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1.

Hands down, the best. Rarely do I form emotional ties with an album, let alone a masterpiece of so many different influences, sounds and eras combined. The feels are too strong to speak more, take my advice, plug this into your headphones, sit back and feel absorbed into the musical experience of a lifetime.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

EPs

5. BOLZER “Aura”
Damn this black death metal. Damn. This duo does live shows with only a guitar and drums and still manage to be as intense as possible. Pretty rare thing for a new black metal band.

4. JESS & THE ANCIENT ONES “Astral Sabbath”
Not for the title track, not for the 14 minute epic, but for the Shocking Blue cover this EP finds its place in my list. Waiting to hear more from this promissing band.

3. RANGER “Knights Of Darkness”
Dis some fast shit. Not too often do newcomer speed metal bands manage to sound so sharp and jam-packed to the brim. Impressive guitar work to say the least.

2. BLACK MAGIC SS “Panzerwitch”
No other band can sound as fucked up, bleached, muffled and pounding as Black Magic SS. Very good keyboard-work. Who expects a NSBM band to sound like the fucking Doors at times and pull off one of the best EPs this year? Also, they’re misterious as fuck, with only one more 7” released and no metal-archives, last.fm, allmusic etc. page. Talk about cult.

1. HIGH SPIRITS “2013”
Everything Chris Black touches turns to gold. Of course the best EP of the past 365 days is from High Spirits, one of the greatest bands of the century so far.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Special Awards:

BEST MUSIC VIDEOUncle Acid & The Deadbeats “Mind Crawler” – I wonder how much did the creator of this amazing music video lose of his precious mind searching for absolutely everything cult/biker/satan/drug/mass panic-related that made its way into the media in the 60s and 70s. All synched with the drums. Perfect.

DISSAPOINTMENT AWARDJex Thoth “Blood Moon Rise – While the song “Keep Your Weeds” is one of the best this year, the rest are just boring as shitttt :( Avoid.


BEST NEWCOMERS: Alucarda “Dope Forever/Forever Loaded” demo – Satan’s Satyrs worshiping with Electric Wizard-inspired instrumentals. A beauty of a 4-track to put on when you’re trying to feel as filthy as possible. Which reminds me...


FILTHIEST ALBUMNekrofilth “Devil’s Breath” – If Abscess and Black Flag had a baby and the baby recorded an album and Putrid drew the cover, it would make me sick to my stomach.

SEMPITERMAL DOOM AWARDMagic Circle “s/t” – The riff game ridiculous.

AN ALBUM I REALLY WANTED TO LIKE: Kadavar “Abra Kadavar” – even though it still packs a handful of great riffs and some good songwriting, it feels so hollow and plastic-like compared to their self titled LP. Yet another very promising band that fell under the wing of Nuclear Blast.

MOST ORIGINAL SOUNDBlack Magic SS – I’ve already made my point.

BEST RECORD COVER: Watain “The Wild Hunt” – The funny thing about Watain is that they always have such amazing cover artwork, yet their albums are the audio equivalent of a banana being nailed to a tree. Happy to say that The Wild Hunt’s artwork beats them all to a bloody pulp, thanx to artist Zbyszek Bielak (The Devil’s Blood, Ghost, Behemoth).

MOST PRIMITIVE SOUNDOccult Burial “Demo MMXIII” – Did anybody say Bathory ^_^ ?

RIDING THE WINGS OF 2014Acid Witch/Nunslaughter “Spooky” split 7” – The Half Life 3 of music, two new ACID WITCH songs. (out JANUARY 2014) Also looking extraordinarily forward to new MORBUS CHRON material.

All in all, I don't know if I should say 2013 was a richer year in metal and alltogether good music or if I got more open minded with the times, even though the latter is more possible. 2014 is gonna shred, though.

El-P + Killer Mike = Run the Jewels (2013)



I'm willing to bet that El-P is Marco's favorite white rapper or at the VERY LEAST he's got a spot in his Top 3, and I'm also willing to bet that if Marco ever got a car, he'd bump that shit at the stop lights while wearing a bandanna and eating out of a big bowl of pasta. I think El-P is pretty cool, too, and Drones over BKLYN is hands-down one of the best rap songs I've ever heard - check out dem sikk jamz. Sadly, though, I'm not too familiar with his material apart from this one song, which I'm guessing makes me a poser. 

All of this is about to change though, because this fucking release just gave this guy a huge blip on my hip-hop radar. Run the Jewels is a two-headed musical beast comprising El-P and Killer Mike, who look like they wanted to make a fun, laid-back hip-hop album together and ended up with this amazing fucking thing that blew me over. I've only been listening to it non-stop for the past three days and I'm still in that phase where I'm just enjoying the flow of the words and the beats, so I'm afraid I haven't really delved that deep into the lyrics. But the vocal deliveries of these two MCs are nothing short of flawless, with Killer Mike dropping rhymes in a pissed off, menacing tone, while El-P comes in with his signature smooth delivery, sounding tight as fuck. 


Production duties are handled entirely by El-P and everything sounds, simply put, amazing. The Brooklyn native makes full use of his musical arsenal and conjures some truly memorable beats, full of schizoid synths, distorted bass lines, paranoid minor chord drones, unsettling drum patterns and various other bits and pieces of electronic noises. It's a massive sounding album, meant to be played loud, with the bass thumping and the windows rattling. Which is precisely what I've been doing with it. 

Oh, and luckily for you dorks, they released the album for free on Soundcloud, instead of selling it like normal people and making a fuckton of money off of it, because it's really fucking good. I'm gonna chalk Run the Jewels down as my #1 musical surprise of 2013, because this thing sank its teeth so deep in me it's scratching on bones. You NEED to hear this.


December 27, 2013

Postures - S/T (2013)




If Mikael Åkerfeldt was living and writing music in an alternate universe, 2013 would have him pegged under the moniker Paulina Nyström and his band would be called Postures. Even more so, both singers come from Sweden and both this album and Opeth's Heritage from a few years back are, in so many ways, cut from the same cloth that it's borderline ridiculous. 

On another note, you might remember me bitching about Opeth's latest release a bit, yet I've found in Postures sounds and general hooks that I've felt were lacking in Heritage - at least for me.

So, what's this all about really? Well, Postures takes a big bow to old-school jazzy experimentation, pinched with just the necessary grains of progressive and electronica to make its sound full, yet not overtly intrusive. And while I'm completely loving the vocal delivery of Paulina, what's even more interesting is that the band doesn't rely completely on her to carry the songs (it would be exhausting to say the least). Instead the album is split somewhat in the middle, with shorter, catchier songs sharing the same space alongside immense, carefully constructed instrumental monsters such as Solipse and Quakes. And trust me, they deliver big time.

You might want to take note of this band. While not breaking any barriers with their self titled debut, should they choose to perfect this particular style, I feel they could produce something extraordinary. Until then, we'll just have to make do with whatever we can (you hear that, Mikael?).


December 26, 2013

Robert's Top Albums Thing 2013




As the end of 2013 draws near I can already hear people talking about their plans for next year, their NYE resolutions as well. At this point, I'd like to abuse my power as a Tzeeeac member: Robert’s Favorite Albums of 2013. The list is composed of rather unorthodox entries which would normally get me a pretty bad reputation, but I’ve posted a Drake review before so here it goes :^) :

As a typical disclaimer I'd like to state that they are in no order of preference and should be regarded as such.

Miley Cyrus - Bangerz





Let me start by saying that this album is pretty solid, singles like We won't stop and Wrecking ball make it a new type of music, maybe some of her actions are questionable but this one surely was not. Her voice is good, the beats were good and the themes varied and beautifully expressed.

8,5/10 AND WE CAN'T STOP, AND WE WON'T STOP!

The Strokes - Comedown Machine




This release from my favorite band didn't really impress me that much, but I do admire their change capabilities, Julian's falsetto being a genuinely impressive addition to their eclectic discography. It is an album which makes me melancholic and strangely happy.

7,5/10 - I was expecting a tad more.

Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience part I




Amazing is the only word fit to describe such a release, not that I would be expecting anything less from JT , absolutely every detail of every song is close to perfection into it's own way. Justin Timberlake has great ideas, themes, collaborations and such. Excellent work Justin. Tied with a certain album, I'd rank this my favorite of the year.

10/10 Let the Groove get in!

Jay Z Magna Carta... Holy Grail




Magna Carta... Holy Grail is a rather interesting album from many points of view, Jay Z managed to take mainstream rap and turn it chic, mixing fame and glory with emotions and creating one of the most inspiring and successful albums of 2013, regardless of his deal with Samsung. Cool songs: Picasso baby, Holy Grail, Tom Ford.

~7,5/10 Jay, that was decent.

Kanye West - Yeezus.



While I may have said that the albums are not in any order, I can definitely say this is the album of the year for me. The innovations brought about are simply astonishing, beats, singing styles, themes, advertising, everything was incredibly well planned and executed. I mean come one, projecting New Slaves across the world on buildings before the album came out , that was awesome.

~10/10 KanYe make some more?

Tyler, The Creator - Wolf




Golf Wang leader Wolf Haley released a very nice album in April, the themes are unsurprisingly dark, twisted, and pretty well exposed. The lyrical content is haunting yet hyperactive and obviously vulgar; Tyler managed to throw in his past and expose the real him. Good effort, I really enjoyed it.

8/10 Tallullah Willis in Tamale

Other albums which were great:
Arctic Monkeys - AM
Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience part II
Daft Punk - R.A.M.
ASAP FERG - Hood pope
ASAP ROCKY - Long. Live. ASAP
Drake - Nothing was the same


Marco's Top Albums of 2013


I've wasted more time doing this in Paint than writing the whole fucking article.


2013 has been a great year, both for me as a  reviewer and music in general. Despite not having listened to a whole lot of music because being a college drop-out is a time consuming state to be in and that nacho department from the grocery store ain't emptying itself,  it sure was diversified as fuck. Jazz, indie, electro, hip-hop, pop, hardcore, you name it.

So here are my favorite albums of the year, in a random order:



Daft Punk - Random Access Memories




Daft Punk is the first electronic act I made contact with years ago and I couldn't wait for RAM to be released. I know there are other bands out there who do a great job and are full of potential, but let's face it: only Daft Punk has the gear, talent, vision and experience to create something like RAM. While Kraftwerk has pioneered electronic music, Daft Punk mastered it. From nostalgia-infused tracks like Giorgio for Moroder and The Game of Love, soul-crushing musical pieces like Instant Crush and Within to groovy, shakethatbootyish gems like Get Lucky and Loose Yourself to Dance, RAM is a welcomed fucking return from the french duo who have fortunately gotten over the barren creative period they were traversing.


Perturbator - Sexualizer EP




80's inspired synthwave concept album about a drug addicted porn star who goes on a killing spree, ends up in prison and discovers that his actions may be part of some kind conspiracy.  Are we having fun yet?




This Routine is Hell - Howl




How can I NOT feature the first hardcore act ever to leave an impact on me? I just couldn't. This fucking thing has been haunting me from the moment I pressed ''play'' for the first time and I still listen to it when I'm on my way to college or to do some boring bureaucratic bullshit. There's nothing like watching an overweight, middle aged secretary whose husband is gone on voyages for most of the year because she makes his life a living hell getting red-faced and screaming at some young attractive students who had the audacity to ask for her support in filling some important college-related forms while the lead singer of TRH is shouting some lyrics about corporate soullessness and mediocrity.




YC The Cynic - GNK




GNK is one of those albums whose meaning and message I haven't truly gotten a grasp of, yet I still enjoy it as if I did. The witty lyrics, impeccable flow and top-notch production make it a joy to listen to. I might go so far as to say that it's on the same level with Jedi Mind Tricks' The Psycho Social, but that would be like poking Jesus with a stick on a Sunday afternoon. Suffice to say, while they're both as heavy and cerebral as a hip-hop album can get, GNK achieves the same level of depth without being hard to digest.




Black Sugar Transmission - The Glamour Pantomime




Mixing high-pitched industrial sounds, glam rock, synths and distorted guitars with lyrics that focus on sexual depravity and drug abuse might not sound like a good idea in theory, but Black Sugar Transmission pulled it off masterfully. If I could summarize this whole soul sucking, paranoia inducing themed roller coaster of an album in only one word, that would be fun. Fun fun fun. It's colorful, charming and full of personality. Go check it out, you horse fuckers.




Loungerie II - Devaro




I have already talked about this into great detail so I won't repeat myself. It's a great psych, funk, jazzy kind of indie album with some elements of post-rock thrown into the mix just to confuse you more. They've ditched the rap segments, upped the production values and delivered a more focused and mature album. More!




Tumbleweed Dealer - Tumbleweed Dealer



Tumbleweed Dealer is kind of a grower for me because I didn't enjoy it when I first heard it. At all. I found it to be boring and superficial. It really bummed me out because I'm a big fan of stoner-related media and I needed some good stoner music running in the background while I was calculating how much money I needed to score some decent weed for me and my friends. But as time went on and the workload for college got heavier along with the stress associated with it, I came to appreciate Tumbledweed Dealer for what it truly is: a bluesy picturesque trip through the hot, inhospitable southern swamps and Saharan Desert. It's the kind of music you would expect a lizard to listen to while relaxing on a rock under the burning sun after a hard day of fucking his pretty lizard-wife.





Justin Timberlake - 20/20 Experience




Sexy album, sexy beats, sexy rhythms, sexy Justin. He's not the first mainstream musician to go for this noire aesthetic (see Christina Aguilera and, to a lesser extent, Fergie) but he sure is the first one to do it right. Having gained such a negative connotation, I feel guilty even to include him into the mainstream category.  I mean, come on, 10 minute long pop songs?! Madness! No fillers? Also unheard of. What more can I say about 20/20 that hasn't been already been said? Get over your preconceptions and give it a try. You'll have a blast, I can guarantee for it.


HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Arcade Fire - Reflektor
clipping. - midcity
Whores - Clean
Samsara Blues Experiment - Waiting For The Flood
Action Jackson - Miami System EP
Local Natives - Hummingbird
The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
ASAP Rocky - Long. Live. ASAP
Dropkick Murphys - Signed and Sealed in Blood
Inspectah Deck and 7L & Esoteric - Czarface
Ghostface Killah - Twelve Reasons to Die
Placebo - Loud Like Love

December 24, 2013

Chester's Best Albums of 2013





So here's the deal: I haven't listened to shit this year and now it's come back to bite me in the ass. There's a flurry of amazing black metal, death metal, doom metal, sludge metal, crust, drone, post-rock (and any combination thereof) albums released this year and I haven't gotten the chance to properly listen to most of them. I'll chuck the ones I can remember at the end of the list, with the promise of getting into them later. The actual list consists of 10 albums I have been listening to over and over this year, in alphabetical order. These are the ones I'm absolutely obsessed with, my personal cream of the crop. See you in 2014!


Arctic Monkeys – AM



Well, I may have been a bit rash in my review earlier this year. As long-time friend and occasional TZEEEAC reader OSD pointed out (while screaming and flailing his arms around in frustrated anger), this one’s a grower. While I’m still not crazy about certain songs, AM has definitely wrapped itself around me and I can safely hail it as another triumph for the Arctic Monkeys. It’s full of catchy, memorable songs, ranging from soft, sentimental ballads like I Wanna Be Yours and Fireside to rock-out-with-your-cock-out anthems like R U Mine and all the way to hip-hop flavored late-night tunes like Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?. There’s no stopping these guys!


Deafheaven – Sunbather



The absolute kings of Marco black metal, Deafheaven have taken the entire underground by storm with their sophomore album, Sunbather. It’s a monster of an album, flawlessly executing and perfecting the formula of shoegazing post-black metal or whatever the fuck you wanna call it. Emotional, introspective lyrics snarled over meditative yet aggressive guitar riffs and some of the best drumming I’ve seen in a while, plus wonderful cover art and a highly charismatic lead singer – Deafheaven have it all and it’s no surprise Sunbather has received unanimous praise. It’s just that good.


Ghost BC – Infestissunam



The highly-anticipated second album by Ghost enthralled me with its lush melodies, luxuriant atmosphere, stellar production, insanely catchy songs and some of the most memorable choruses I’ve ever heard. There’s not one bad song on this record (although there are two kinda boring ones…), in fact, most of them are excellent and they bring out the best in Papa Emeritus II’s brilliant voice and the Nameless Ghouls’ knack for writing some of the best pop-rock tunes around. Come together for Lucifer’s son!

Ghost BC – If You Have Ghost EP



It was high time Ghost gathered their amazing covers on one release because I almost feel that their covers are better than their own songs. Even though I’d rather they include the Beatles “Here Comes the Sun” cover  (strangely missing from this EP) instead of yet another boring  live rendition of Secular Haze that nobody cares about, If You Have Ghost is a lovely collection of covers of songs by Roky Ericson, ABBA, Army of Lovers and Depeche Mode and I don’t feel bad in the slightest for having two Ghost releases in my end-of-the-year list. Truly, if you have Ghost, you have everything!

Kazi Ploae - Silent Regis EP



By far my favorite Romanian rapper (out of the few I actually have a deep passion for) and definitely the brightest one in the underground scene, Kazi Ploae has crawled out of his grave once more and teamed up with acclaimed producer Silent Strike to deliver one of the best hip-hop releases of the year. The Silent Regis EP mixes Kazimir’s intricate, intelligent lyrics and flawless vocal delivery with Silent Strike’s ambient-infused electronic backdrops into five tracks that I’ve been listening to over and over for the past… 10 months? Holy shit! If there’s one must-listen Romanian release of 2013, this is definitely it.

FREE DOWNLOAD COURTESY OF BANANA SOCIETY

Locrian - Return to Annihilation



Highly atmospheric electro/drone/black metal that evokes terrifying visions of worlds forming and crumbling, with tons of textures, noises, horrific shrieks and minimalistic drumming – in a word, Locrian. Their new album might not be as haunting as The Crystal World, but it’s an excellent release by these noise-mongers, nonetheless. Cool videos, too.


Modern Life Is War – Fever Hunting



I’ve never even listened to these guys before, but Modern Life Is War hooked me instantly with their energetic brand of hardcore punk, chock-full of memorable riffs, tight drumming, great vocals and inspiring lyrics. I’m gonna listen to Health, Wealth and Peace forever. 

Perturbator - Sexualizer EP



"Meet Jimmy, an actor on the set of his new blockbuster film: "Sexualizer". Jimmy is a porn star, and unfortunately for him, a drug addict. Ever since Jimmy's agent hooked him up with a new strain of Angel Dust, his grip on reality has started to slip. When the tension is too high and the girls are too hot, Jimmy can't help but start brutally killing anyone who gets in his way. But when Jimmy is caught and ends up in prison, the line between reality and drug-induced fantasy begins to blur, and he soon discovers that all of his actions may have been part of "Sexualizer" plot..." 

This description sounds fucking amazing, but the best part is the music totally lives up to the expectations. Perturbator really outdid himself this time and conjured five tracks of 80s-inspired synthwave that’s been on heavy rotation since the day it was released. C’est magnifique!



Touche Amore - Is Survived By



Another well-known hardcore punk band I wasn’t aware of until Volo introduced me to it, Touche Amore has quickly become one of my favorite bands ever. Why? Well, because 1) they play some of the best melodic hardcore around; 2) the emotional, instantly-relatable lyrics might actually prompt you to make some changes in your life and 3) they are just a bunch of sweet boys singing, touring, laughing and having fun together. I can definitely get behind all these positive feelings!

Umberto – Confrontations



Umberto aka Matt Hill moves away from his giallo-inspired soundtracks and into hard sci-fi territory with Confrontations and pulls it off without breaking a sweat. I’ve been listening to this since it came out back in February and I still listen to it on the reg. Music to get abducted by UFOs to!




OTHER GREAT SHIT/HONORABLE MENTIONS/STUFF I HAVEN'T LISTENED TO PROPERLY:

Occultist - Death Sigils
An Autumn for Crippled Children - Try Not to Destroy Everything You Love
Valerinne - Arborescent
YOUTH CODE - YOUTH CODE
Wreck And Reference - No Content
All Pigs Must Die – Nothing Violates This Nature
Altar Of Plagues – Teethed Glory And Injury
Nails – Abandon All Life
Katechon - Man, God, Giant
Aosoth - IV: Arrow In Heart
Leucosis - Leucosis
Torture Chain - Mutilating Astral Entities
Fister - Gemini
Nightslug - Dismal Fucker
The Body - Christs, Redeemers…
Bottom Feeder - Grinding Teeth
TesseracT - Altered State
Russian Circles - Memorial
Hope Drone - Hope Drone
Sun Worship - Surpass Eclipse
Malthusian - MMXIII
Leprous - Coal
Samsara Blues Experiment - Waiting for the Flood
This Routine Is Hell - Howl
Death Grips - Government Plates
No Omega - Shame
Horseback - A Plague of Knowing
Clipping - midcity
Whores - Clean
Enforcer - Death by Fire
Pissed Jeans - Honeys
Echo Park - Deluge
Oathbreaker - Eros|Anteros
Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats - Mind Control
Kadavar - Abra Kadavar
Church Whip - Psychedelic Nightmare
Blockheads - This World Is Dead
Cloud Rat - Moksha
Rotting Christ - Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού
Rotten Sound - Species at War
Portal - Vexovoid
Njiqahdda - Serpents in the Sky