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The Short And Sweet Of 2011

Sooo, just thought I might keep y'all abreast of the EPs, demos, splits, etc. I've found worth listening to this year. I realize this is mostly black and death metal, but that does seem to comprise the majority of my audial diet. Recs are, as always, encouraged and appreciated.
1Hooded Menace/Asphyx

I believe this was released as a 7" with one song from each group. Both are pretty
solid death doom-type tracks, but naturally, Hooded Menace?s is a bit better.
Rating: 3
Revelations in Excrement

This band seems to get better with each release they put out. They deal in a dark,
slightly dissonant brand of death metal. Very cool stuff. Rating: 3.5
3Stench of Decay
Visions Beyond Death

Rocking that old Demigod guitar sound, Stench of Decay put out another EP basically
along the lines of their last album. Solid stuff here. Rating: 3

More great work from up-and-comers Krypts. Anyone who enjoyed the Finnish band's
last release should give this a go. Rating: 3.5
5 Corpsessed
The Dagger & the Chalice

Heavy, fairly cleanly produced, good mix of tempos. Another solid death metal EP.
This one's still growing. Rating: 3
Prophetic Plain of Abyssal Revelation

Intense, relentless, and gritty much like All Idols Fall Before the Hammer. Several really
awesome tracks plus pretty cool Archgoat and Incantation covers. Rating: 3.5
7Lantern (Fin)
Subterranean Effulgence

Pretty old-school sounding death metal EP. I'm quite impressed by this outing and
definitely looking forward to more stuff from them down the pike. Rating: 3.5
8 Ruin Lust
Demo 2011

Blackened death metal from some of the guys in Fell Voices. Shouldn't be surprising that
this is pretty great. Rating: 3.5
9Various Artists
Odour of Dust and Rot

Yet another Rhinocervs comp. Basically just a really diverse collection of black metal tracks from
BTC bands and some others. Nothing mind blowing, but there?s enough solid stuff here to make
this a worthwhile listen. Rating: 3
10Drowning the Light/Circle of Ouroborus

This split features two black metal bands from very different ends of the spectrum. Drowning
the Light plays fairly straight-up atmospheric black metal while Circle of Ouroborus adopt a
much more experimental sound, utilizing a lot of '80s goth and industrial influence. While the
Drowning the Light portion is pretty decent fare, Circle of Ouroborus contribute some truly
excellent tracks. Rating: 3.5
11Ash Pool
Together They Serve to Define the Process

So I think this was recorded before their last LP, which would explain this not being
complete shit. Basically, just more raw, primitive black metal if you're into that sort of thing.
Rating: 3
Aupres de la mort, triomphant!

More raw black metal from this Canadian band. Going from droning to punky to ambient, they
cover a decent amount of ground for three tracks. And while this isn't their best stuff, it is kind
of nice to see them keep expanding their sound. Rating: 3
13Astral Rebirth
The Axis of the Utter Black Ocean

I find this Mexican duo's sound to be highly reminiscent of Walknut. While not quite as
exceptional as the Russian black metal band, these guys definitely have some potential
and should be a group to watch out for. Rating: 3
Libertine Dissolves / Daedalus

A couple more decent tracks from Deafheaven. Nothing to really say here. If you
enjoy Roads to Judah, this is really a no-brainer. Rating: 3
15Wreck and Reference
Black Cassette

One of the more unique and impressive releases of the year, Wreck and Reference have
created a very original brand of doom centered around electronic effects and lo-fi
production. Great fuzz and textures going on here. I imagine if Om and Merzbow
collaborated, it would sound something like this. Definitely pick this up. Rating: 3.5
16Planning for Burial

I really like Leaving, so it was cool to find out this guy had put out some more material.
The first track is somewhat of a throwback to the post-metal-type stylings of that album,
while the second is more keyboard-driven drone. Rating: 3.5
17Barn Owl

This band has a fairly unique sound - one that doesn't change all that much - but I admittedly
love it. It could be described as ambient folk drone somewhere in between Earth and Six Organs
of Admittance. This is another really solid outing from the band. I actually went out on a limb and
bought this on vinyl without actually having heard it first, but I'm glad I did. Rating: 3.5
The Archer and the Owle

Aside from featuring a pretty cool cover of Nirvana's "Something in the Way", there are
five other quality tracks of Thou's signature sludge. This band always seems to impress.
Rating: 3.5

Basically, if you enjoyed Dirge, get this. It's just another really strong batch of tracks
from one of the best grind acts around today. Rating: 4
20Agoraphobic Nosebleed/ Despise You
And On and On. . .

A little grind and PV split action. Been a long time since DY have put out any new material, but it
doesn't look like they?ve lost much of their edge in the off time. Good Fear cover. AN continue with
their bat-shit insane drum programming. Their side is kind of whatever, but Despise You hold it
down pretty well. Rating: 3

More great material from the grind supergroup. Basically on par with the last EP,
Amber Gray. Rating: 3.5

Not much of a surprise this is really damn good. Both sides offer some of bands' best
material. Anyone that even remotely likes hardcore should already have this. Rating: 4
23Love American / Harbours

Here we have two promising, up-and-coming hardcore acts from SoCal putting out some pretty
quality material. While Love American tackles the more melodic side of things, Harbours keeps it
pretty simple and aggressive. With this split, you get two sides of the same coin, both being
pretty enjoyable listens. Plus, I think that twat Adam Thomas plays on here. Rating: 3.5
If There's a Light It Will Find You

Great mix of hardcore and screamo. Four tracks of good guitar and bass riffs.
Rating: 3.5
25Circle Takes the Square
Rites of Initiation

Wasn't really sure what to expect with this release, but they're showing some cool ideas on
this EP. While I think a lot of this sound needs some polishing up, the new album could end up
being pretty great. Rating: 3
26James Blake
Enough Thunder

This might be my favorite thing JB has done. He's got quite the knack for the whole piano
ballad thing and some of the touches in the production make them even better.
Absolutely love the cover of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You". Best cover I've heard in a
long time. Expect Kanye to sample/collaborate with this dude very soon. Rating: 4
Street Halo

More great output from Burial. In a way, this EP is kind of simultaneously more of the same and a
step in a new direction for the producer. It should be very exciting to see what he has in store for
his next full-length. "Stolen Dog" is really awesome, by the way. Rating: 3.5
28DJ Shadow
I Gotta Rokk

Not really on par with his legendary stuff, but this is a pretty enjoyable effort from
Shadow. Still trumps the somewhat disappointing The Less You Know. Rating: 3
29Holy Other
With U

Yeah, basically if you like witch house, get this. It's pretty solid. Chill atmospheres and stuff.
Rating: 3
Creature Dreams

She's cute and makes great music. What else could you ask for? There's some stuff on here
that approaches Nujabes and some more FlyLo, all being pretty quality. Rating: 3.5

Yo, this shit is dope. ?Wish You Were Here? is my fuckin' jam. Dev will probably back me
up on this. Rating: 3.5
32Clams Casino

This guy has a pretty distinctive sound, and while there's nothing spectacular here,
this EP showcases a few great beats from the young producer. Rating: 3

Mostly just the beats sans-rapping from the first LP he put out this year, but it's still a
pretty cool listen. Definitely get his two full albums, though. Rating: 3
Covert Coup

This guy just keeps putting out great mixtapes. Alchemist beats and a Gibbs guest spot really
make this. Haven?t heard the new joint, but I?m sure it?s about as awesome as this. Could've
easily been the best thing out of Young Money if he'd stayed. Rating: 3.5
35Childish Gambino

"Freaks and Geeks" basically makes this worth listening to. "In the back of a bush like Gavin
Rossdale's drummer." Haha. Rating: 3
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