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Part 4 of a number of similar lists I've done since 2015. It's been a couple of years since the last one, but y'all know the drill. 20 albums with less than 100 votes that I've rated 4 of greater that deserve a little limelight
Prima Che Tutto Bruci
Screamo / post-rock
Discovering this album is what inspired me to come back and make another installment in this series. Absolutely phenomenal screamo that takes post-rock heavy approach to scream - think Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket with more aggression, or State Faults with more shimmery clean guitars. The band brilliantly carries their momentum through dynamic shifts and maintains a crushingly emotional atmosphere from front to back. The vocalist is also one of the best in the biz. Go and read Hogans 5/5 review for this masterpiece for more, he hits the nail on the head.
|2||Sangre de Muerdago|
O Camino das Mans Valeiras
For me, the success of these sorts of mellow folk artists (Musk Ox, Vali etc) tends to rely on the ability to hold a consistent and enchanting atmosphere, which is something this album achieves in spades. The incorporation of traditional folk instrumentation along with the gorgeous vocals gives this a unique edge over similar releases. Highly recommended for fans of the aforementioned bands.
Blackened, melodic crust punk / hardcore
Never would I have thought a 39min hardcore song would work, but here we are. This absolute monstrosity just keeps pounding you with brilliant riffs one after another without ever letting up. Every time you think they’ll slow down or start a fresh build-up, they just shift the song’s dynamics with a powerful melodeath section or vicious blastbeats and ride the new wave to another peak. It blows me away that any artist can write such a cohesive track in this style, let alone on their debut. It’s a must-listen.
|4||The Oh Hellos|
Through The Deep, Dark Valley
These guys hit on pretty much every indie folk trope I’m a sucker for. It’s got the male/female vocal interplay, gang vocals, quaint little acoustic numbers led by the female vocals, rollicking foot-stomping ditties, the works. It’s such a charming little record that never fails to put a smile on my face. Posi vibes guys
This is one of those albums that just takes you to a totally different world. I can’t even begin to describe it fairly, it’s a wild journey through ambience, world music and electronica that has no comparison points in other albums I’ve heard. Incredibly unique and refreshing.
Another one of these artists that ride the classics coattails, but they do it with a finesse most others don’t. The cheesy melodies are tempered with a rawness in the vocals and production that keep everything grounded, and do a fantastic job of conveying a real bloody battle with their approach rather than the fantastical battles with dragons and gods that often comes out of genre compatriots. It won’t change your mind if you can’t stand the style, but it’s top shelf.
|7||Christoph De Babalon|
If You're Into It, I'm Out Of It
Drum n bass
Dark and twisted drum n bass that runs totally against almost any other dnb I’ve heard. The combination of brooding dark ambient tracks and sparse breaks against sinister understated melodies create an atmosphere rarely matched in the genre. Totally flipped dnb on its head for me.
Ambient breakbeat / techno
Killer electronic release from earlier this year. The main reason this will place highly on my end of year list is just the diversity on display which blows me away each time I spin it front to back. Skee Mask traverses so many styles buried underneath the thick ambient mist that drenches everything, which lends continuity to the album despite the variety. The breakbeat pieces are especially phenomenal (see Soundboy Ext and Kozmic Flush)
Exhumed of the Earth
Absolutely classic death doom from the early 90s. It’s got a great mixture of mid-tempo dm riffs and crawling doom passages at its base, with smatterings of strings and opera/choir vocals that add to the religious conjured by the lyrics. Potentially the best metal to come out of Australia.
|10||Nature and Organisation|
Death In A Snow Leopard Winter
Michael Cashmore of Current 93 fame retreated one long winter to record this gorgeous, fragile classical album. Don’t be tricked by the related artists, this isn’t neofolk. It’s just a very pleasant, very simple collection of piano and string pieces. Perfect for a late evening or rainy day.
An old discovery from lurking Dev’s 5s back in the Sput glory days. Ambient garage that relies on trance-inducing repetition and brilliant sample placement to drown you in the atmosphere.
Cradle of Insanity
Melodic death metal
Heavily classically influenced melodic death metal from Japan. An absolute gem of unique and aggressive melodeath with virtuosic guitar stylings and a muddy production style that keeps the album grounded and prevents the neoclassical noodling from feeling lifeless or overly pristine. One of Japan’s top exports.
Infinity... A Timeless Journey
More 90s doom, this time from Portugal. We’re far enough away from the 90s now that those cheesy glassy synths that plagued so much music have become a bit more palatable, and they’re used to great effect here. There’s a bunch of things in here that were rare at the time in the doom sphere, like little call and response duels between guitars and synths and mixing between several extreme metal vocal styles. It’s very rough around the edges, but magnificent taken in context.
Rollicking instrumental post-rock/metal , kind of like a lighter version of Russian Circles, or a fun riffy Jakob. Not much to add, it’s simple but incredibly well executed with a good flow of momentum both within and between tracks.
Before this band fell off a fucking cliff, they were making some of the most creative, inspired indie rock out there. They really don’t have any comparable acts, so that’s all I’ll do to try and sell them to you, but it’s a damn shame they were overlooked enough that they did a total 180 to chase money because they could’ve been huge if they kept this up.
Summer Sessions Vol. 1
Instrumental psychedelic prog shit
Visions of Summer is the single best example of this style of instrumental psych/prog/desert rock jam session and it’s not at all close. The rest of the album is swell too.
Cold Dark Matter
Really bleak industrial metal from an incredibly consistent and overlooked artist. 5 brilliant industrial albums in a row that play on different facets of the genre (Hybreed for more drone and post-metal, IPP and Sick Transit for greater dm and riff emphasis). Cold Dark Matter finds a nice balance between these styles, achieving a similarly cold dystopic feel as Hybreed while upping the tempo and trimming the fat. If you’re into industrial, all 5 of their latest will have something for you.
Drum n bass
For our next entry on lurking Dev’s 5s, we have a dark slab of urban drum n bass built for 1am wanders through the city. There’s an intensity to the skittish, almost paranoia-inducing backdrop of these tunes that is rarely found in dnb and makes it instantly stand out. Both this and the release that follows (which is even more interesting, albeit not as consistent) would rank in my top 10 dnb easily, potentially top 5.
Melodic death doom
Brilliant melodic death doom that walks a similar path to the Daylight Dies / Swallow the Sun brood of death doom artists. If you’re a fan of those, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy this.
Prince of the Poverty Line
Up there with Thundersteel and King of the Dead as one of the most overlooked metal classics. This one isn’t similar at all to most artists I’d drop in the “folk metal” sphere, but that’s because of how flawlessly they incorporate the folk into their thrashy classic heavy metal structure.
Rec from FreddieDelaney31
My rating: 4.1, likely to bump up to 4.5 with repeat listens. This thing is immense and such a refreshing mixture of sounds. It's super messy and unrefined but that just makes it endearing. One of the best demos I've heard
|Well, I'd say Ojne and Ictus together are what encouraged me to make another one of these. Absolutely phenomenal albums I've found recently that I can't recommend enough.|
Hope you're all doing well Sputbros, been a long while (:
|11 is such a damn gem.|
|Some of the best in the biz for sure|
|This list needs Demo Two by Life|
|9 slays. Have you heard their second album Within the Ancient Forest?|
|@freddie, that album is painful to search for but just jammed the first song and it's swell. I'll add it to the list shortly|
|And yeah @Source, love that album but debut edges it out for me|
|@cometodaddy make sure you have the 4 song version and not the 7 song one, that one inexplicably has 3 awful generic black metal songs|
Also badass list, love 1 and 4
|8 is the best yeah|
|Yeah the version on Spotify is the 4 song one so all g there|
|Nice list man (: how's it going? Haven't seen you around in a little bit. |
|Wow, haven't heard of any of this. can't wait to check it out|
|Also speaking of 18, is Dev even still alive?|
|This is a nice list |
|thanks a lot for 3, they're great!|
|lol'd at the Dev's 5s part. good list|
|Check out 1 check out 1 check out 1|
|Also sick list, gonna check everything on here I haven’t jammed|
|Ayyee waking up to a feature, nice. Thanks to whoever bumped it.|
@Scuro, good! Graduated now and flat out in an engineering firm, so I just poke into random threads every so often. Not nearly as much time as I used to have. How's things?
Hope the rest of y'all who check some of these enjoy them (:
|@hogan, check Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket! Just saw you didn't have it rated, it was on the last one of these lists I did and it's top shelf post-rock / screamo, you should definitely dig it|
|I got time tonight so expect it rated by then, sounds dope|
|man, how good is 8? (soundboy ext especially) |
|That's great to hear man (: Still getting through uni myself, I feel you on the lack of time. Things are good on my end though, can't complain. |
|Warring is super great.|
|Programme - Mon Cerveau Dans Ma Bouche|
Most underrated french record this century so far.
|the Darcys break my heart, I still can't believe they went down their current path|
|I love Sangre de Muerdago so much. Nice list!|
|Christoph De Babalon, nice.|
|4 is amazing and 7 is a hard 5, good list my dude|
|Both Cern records absolutely crush|
|Excellent list. If I were to make a list of all-time favorites 2, 6, 19 and 20 would be included.|
|3 and 4 big good|
|2 and 19 are my jams as well. Was curious to check out 13 not long ago but now I have to. Nice list!|
|'obscure classics' without 'Obscura' album = fail|
|2,3,10,19 are all amazing, I trust your judgement my good man, and will check the ones I haven't heard.|
|hell yeah, good to see so much love for 2, 4 and 7.|
@lalchimiste, check out Skyclad if you haven't already. Also friendly reminder to get onto Estatic Fear ;) I'd prioritize that over any of these
@DungeonBoy, out of the ones you haven't jammed I'd think 9 would be the one you'd dig most. Worth giving 1 a spin too seeing you've given The Lack Long After a 4.5. It's a bit more aggressive but you'd probably enjoy it
|Yeah man I know I always have been intrigued by Skyclad since they share key members with Satan (Court in the Act could def have been on this list, one of the unsung NWOBHM classics) and Satan is my jam.|
Yeah I checked out Hades Almighty and Ifing from the recs on my list, I'll get on Estatic Fear ASAP
|2’s album from this year is amazing so I’ll have to check that. Props for 19 too. Awesome list bro. m/|
|Yo Hawks, given how much you're into State Faults you'd probably dig 1 a bunch. Probably the most I've enjoyed a skramz album since Resonate / Desperate|
|Niiiiice def gonna jam it. m/|
|I’m gonna go ahead and listen to the new Darcy’s album so that their previous one sounds better afterwards.|
|Fuck major props for 6 and 12 too, just noticed they were on here lol.|
And 1 rules hard. m/
|Hell yeah it does, glad ya dug it matey|
|11 is really good, will check 5|
|agreed hard on 6. Need to hear more from the rest...|
|I own that RED HARVEST album. Love those guys. I bought it years ago. |
|really cool list |
def checking out 1 2 3 4 10 11 and 15. Luckily none of those are so obscure that they're not on spotify lol
|Yeah I jammed everything on spotify as I made the list, pretty sure they're all up there except for 12. Hope you dig em bud (:|
|omg The Darcys. I remember finding them last year and reading Rowan's scathing review for their big disappointment album, then listening to it and actually thinking it was pretty decent and catchy. Couldn't remember their name for the life of me. |