|2013 - Voivod's Random Best Of List|
These are the albums that moved me during 2013. Enjoy and drop a comment like whenever.
Blood Moon Rise
Jex Thoth have created an enticing doom/blues rock soundtrack for the "small" hours of the night, where thoughts and spirits from the past come to mess with the mind.
Leif Edling is detached from the anchor Candlemass had gradually become during the '00s in terms of innovation, and with a team of new associates, he is renovating the monolithic doom metal that the said outfit had introduced in the mid '80s.
Awesome psychedelic/majestic/post/you-name-it female fronted doom metal bearing various awesome vibes.
In case anyone's wondering about how to delay the course of time, Windhand's female fronted, psychedelic stoner/doom metal is one of the best ways to do it...
On their second album, Vaura are highlighting the seamless links connecting '80s goth rock, post-punk and black metal, with excellent results.
Voivod just can't do no wrong and give their fans enough reasons as to why they should continue as a band. Target Earth is a condensed re-run of all the places Voivod have visited from Killing Technology up to Voivod, their industrial era (Negatron, Phobos) excluded.
Haven't heard anything this mind bending in extreme metal since "forever"... Gorguts have definitely set the bar much much higher this time.
CAUGHT IN A MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Album is dope. The drone/psych elements are perfectly blended with the inherent black metal ethics, i.e. repetition, minimalism and nihilism. Although all tracks are excellent, special mention is due to "Olen aukaissut uuden silm?n (I Have Opened A New Eye)" which is dope^dope^dope...
Darkness in a Different Light
On their 11th album, Fates Warning give way to extrovert heavy rock at the expense of their inherent introspective conduct. The album refrains from revealing its merit during the first few listens, yet it is a slow grower and it kicks serious ass live.
Solarflesh is the 8th observation from the Polish death/black outfit of Hate and captures the band going upward again after the low flight of Erebos. Their sense in arranging their blast beat driven death/black metal (second (?) only to their fellow country men Behemoth) has shown some progress in here. The band has managed to successfully infuse melody within the blast beat chaos and amplify the majestic feeling that made albums such as Morphosis so great in the first place.
The Brutal State
With one foot stepping on Bay Area and the other on the more raw European school, this band and album are in the top 5% of the worldwide thrash revival scene. Immense technical skills at all instruments and insane vocals (imagine Tim Baker from Cirith Ungol thrashing) are combined with a totally berzerk performance and a warm, analogue sound production that avoids the sterile pitfalls most of their peers fall in.
The self titled Stomach Earth debut album is an excellent observation in abysmal/majestic extreme doom metal.
The Greek weather is too warm to fully appreciate the winterborn (sic) folk/black/melodeath metal of Sukkonen's new band. While there is merely nothing new under the sun compared to Sukkonen's prior outfits, everything in Winterborn is masterfully executed.
In Solitude signify the twilight of their idols and the result is a rather unusual "goth" metal album.
Back To Land
Wooden Shjips have come up with a lighter and more easy going way of expression with respect to their '60s/'70s psychedelic/drone rock, while conforming fully to the core directives - exploration through minimality and repetition - the band identifies with.
In view of the ever flourishing "contemporary" vintage/heavy rock circuit, Earth Blues may as well be the album that will introduce Spiritual Beggars (est. 1992!) as one of its inherent forefathers.
At their eleventh observation, Vicious Rumors reproduce their brand of US power metal with class, and while they are getting themselves closer and closer to Bay Area thrash, they further diversify their sound with 80s glam rock and the blues.
This soundtrack is so good it can exist purely on its own. If I had to site a couple of references, I would quote Ulver's Svidd Neger and the music for the 1998 PC game Ubik (Cryo Interactive).
Beyond The Martyrs
The contemporary heavy/doom metal scene is bursting with creativity and the third Argus album is a representative example in that respect.
Death By Fire
Old school metal lives and these Swedes should be worshiped accordingly.-
|22||Thou Art Lord|
The Regal Pulse of Lucifer
Hellenic mid-90s death/black metal, there and back again.
Kata Ton Demona Eaftou
The 11th Rotting Christ has picked up from where Aealo stopped and further strengthened the testament of its predecessor with intense Bathory driven, majestic goth/folk/black metal. Tolis brothers are in terrific shape!!
The Circle and the Blue Door
Purson turn their spotlight towards the intermediate space between '70s pop, progressive, and occult/folk rock and deliver an enticing debut album.
Pinnacle of Bedlam
In their 7th album, New York death metal veterans sound as passionate and determined as when they were putting out albums such as Pierced from Within.
|26||Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats|
In their third album, Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats have adapted their sound to the album's concept about the mechanisms of human mind control. Songs are doom-ier, hypnotic and even drone-ish at times, while the vocals are clearly Beatles-driven. Without a doubt, the album is worth listening/purchasing and clearly attains a character of its own, however it feels "incomplete" and it is really difficult to objectively explain the said notion....
|27||Before the Eyewall|
Before the Eyewall
The eponymous Before the Eyewall album is a great piece of instrumental, psychedelic doom metal with notable sludge and post- references. If anything, it signifies a great starting point for this Columbus, Ohio based outfit.
On their third album, Ceremony from Virginia craft the absolute shoegaze/psychedelic/noise rock soundtrack for the unstable emotional life of actual and/or virtual teenagers.
|29||Twilight Of The Gods|
Fire On The Mountain
Twilight Of The Gods deliver some badass old school/epic metal. Instrumentally, the band does not go out of its comfort zone (80s metal/Bathory metal), but Nemtheanga's vocals are captivating as always.
A Water Which Does Not Wet Hands
Imagine the minimal synth masterpieces of John Carpenter's Assault On Precinct 13 and Howard Shore's Videodrome combined with doom-based rhythm section, psychedelic guitar leads and Francesca's soothing vocals and there you have it, from an outfit that deserves to be further known.
Pain Is Beauty
This is exactly the non-metal music that I fancy listening to. Fantastic album!
Solid as a whole, Memory Garden's fifth observation will satisfy dedicated power/doom metal fans, whereas it is a good starting point for getting acquainted with the band and the sub-genre they file under.
Dethroned & Uncrowned
With Dead End Kings Katatonia coped adequately with the burn out syndrome that their previous magnum opus induced. With Dethroned & Uncrowned though, I see a band at the last stages of the healing process, as the album makes me want to revisit Dead End Kings and vice versa.
Swedish power/thrashers have started climbing again that very mountain, whose summit they had conquered in 2003 with Modus Vivendi. In that respect, Revenant is a great but far from flawless album.
|35||Seduce The Heaven|
Field Of Dreams
In Field Of Dreams, Hellenes Seduce The Heaven combine a number of metal genres -power, death, progressive, metalcore- and manage to produce a homogeneous result of good replay value.
Certain occasions call for an album of calm and subtle music that can serve as an essential listen and as background music. Any record featuring Mark Lanegan's crooning voice leans over the first end, while the soothing yet monotonous music of the album leans over the second.
Wardrum strive at establishing themselves firmly within the old school heavy/power/progressive metal circuit and they are in a haste. Messenger is the third Wardrum album in three years and sees the band in further refining its many merits, still it is a mixed bag or really awesome and really passable songs.
Queensryche are exorcising 15 years of unbearable mediocrity. Still, they have a long way to go so as to match the quality of their mid-'80s-to-mid-'90s back catalogue.
More Constant Than The Gods
Good album, the '90s doom/death metal references through the violin melodies are great, still this year's competition in female fronted doom metal does not work in favour of the Salt Lake City based outfit.
I like this album a lot, the doom/death metal of these guys shows an additional twist towards traditional metal and 70s rock.
|41||Circuit Des Yeux|
Haley Fohr's vocals cannot be mistaken for any other female vocalist out there, while the experimental nature of the album, soothing and calm for the most part and dissonant on occasion, is definitely worth checking out at least.
A significant improvement over the debut album - first of all the vocals!! - Final Sacrifice is a solid album that revolves around vintage hard rock, doom rock and '80s metal.
This is Motorhead doing what Motorhead do better than any outfit out there during the last 30+ years.
Not particularly memorable but solid in any case, I don't see why this French outfit won't please fans that need their industrial tight. Those who like bands such as Sweden's Red Harvest, should check this pronto. With some luck, song "Antrophobia" could become an underground hit.
Back To The Cruel World
Minimal, rotten and abrupt, the second Strange Attractor album does a fine job at revisiting the '70s garage/punk rock sound.
From The Ages
Earthless are not re-inventing the wheel, but don't let that keep you from enjoying this album, the band is as tight as it gets, and there are some really solid stoner rock jams right here.
Expanding Toward Collapsed Lungs
On their third album, Saprogenic from Detroit Michigan deliver some solid death metal.
The use of fundamentally different guest vocalists is what makes this album going, as for Moby's arrangements they are attractive as always, yet they lack the element of surprise.
On their 8th album Endstille deliver an extremely solid, yet standard piece of second wave black metal.
|50||The Silent Wedding|
Hellenes The Silent Wedding give out some solid, yet standard heavy/power metal with discrete prog references. That being said, the great merit of Livin' Experiments is severely plagued by the mediocre sound production, which is unfortunate because the band has some potential at display.