Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Top Discoveries Of 2013

Year: 2013

2013 turned out to be a special year for me in terms of music. I started this webzine last December and as a result, I had the opportunity to check out so many underground bands from across the globe. Though not all these bands were worth the time, some of them were absolutely stand out brilliant. Though not widely known, these bands showcased their potential through their releases this year. Most of these bands are still unsigned, while a few of them have already signed deals with small time labels. Whatever the case, one thing is for sure. These bands have the potential to make it big and one must definitely keep an eye on them.

Corpseflesh – Tattooed by a Blowtorch (Ungodly Ruins Production)

One of the things I discovered this year was the existence of a strong underground brutal death metal scene in Australia. One of the bands in that scene called Corpseflesh, released their debut full length earlier this year and to summarize my thoughts on this album, it is a very fun record to listen to. It is dirty, grimy and downright disgusting mix of death metal and grindcore. Lyrically, the band has a sense of humour which makes it all the more fun to listen to. Their music might not be something absolutely unique, but their sheer tightness in delivery earns them a spot on this list.

Joel Grind – The Yellowgoat Sessions (Self Released)
I know Joel Grind is not exactly a new discovery but, this year he introduced yet another project. This time it was his solo studio effort which he christened, ‘The Yellowgoat Sessions’. Fans of his previous works with various bands would have an idea what to expect from this release. For the uninitiated, this is a dirty mix of black, thrash and speed metal, with blasphemous lyrics and satanic imagery. It is more evil sounding than any of his other works. What it makes it even darker is the absolute raw format in which the album is recorded. The feedbacks from the amplifiers are audible on this record, which contributes to the chaotic atmosphere. This record is another reason why Joel Grind is regarded a mastermind.

Blackrat – Whiskey And Blasphemy (Xnihilo Records)

Speaking of black thrash, this is a band that I stumbled upon while exploring bandcamp. These lads from Canada came out with a record which seems to say that not all records need to be taken seriously and not all records need to be thought provokingly technical. Sometimes, all that a record needs to be is mindlessly fun to listen to. This is exactly what these Canadians achieved with their debut album, ‘Whiskey and Blasphemy’. Put on this album for a night of alcohol fuelled sleazy fun.

Parasitic Ejaculation – Rationing The Sacred Human Remains (Ghastly Music)

Over the years, I have listened to a lot of slam / brutal death metal bands, but Parasitic Ejaculation is an entirely different breed. The first thing that hits you when listening to their 2013 debut, is the ultra clean production. Though not conventional for a slam album, the clean production is justified by the amount of riffs and licks they pack into each songs. What makes the album even more interesting is how each riff is written in a way that it sticks to the listener’s mind on the very first listen. This is an album I would definitely recommend to every fan of the genre.

Black Faith – Jubilate Diabolo (Mother Dead Productions)

This is a band I’ve been recommending to every fan of black metal. The reason is pretty simple. Their album is something that covers, or atleast tries to cover, all the different phases the genre of black metal has gone through. The songs on this album represent every phase of this genre from the early riff based thrashy black metal in the vein of Venom, to the modern incarnation where atmosphere becomes the key factor. Whether this was intentional on the band’s part or a mere coincidence, ‘Jubilate Diabolo’ is a very strong debut from these Italians. 

Meat Train – Man Made Flesh (Contagion Records)

This London based quartet is a recent discovery thanks to their  record label, the newly formed Contagion Records. Listening to this record felt like listening to an amalgamation of all the old school greats on one single record. Innovative song writing apart, this bass heavy album is one that is sure to leave any listener with pure eargasm. The songs on this record justify the bands name as they sound absolutely meaty. Lyrically too, this is album that has a lot to offer over a wide range of subjects. Climb aboard the meat train for a brutal ride.

Gloryhammer – Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife (Napalm Records)

I am not exactly keen on listening to power metal. Something about that genre makes it too cheesy to suit my tastes. But ever so often, I try to get accustomed to this genre. In one such attempt, I discovered this band, which is the side project of Alestorm vocalist, Christopher Bowes. Their debut is an energy filled tale of an medieval kingdom filled with unicorns, sorcerers and dragons. The album is complete with a ballad of a maiden waiting to be rescued. Overall, this is a good album and a thorough entertainer.

Mental Killing Spree – Centrifuge of Man (Self Released)

Of the numerous modern death metal bands I’ve heard over the years, this is easily one of the best. These Germans sure know how to make a powerful album that is sure to grind the bones of anyone who dares to listen. Listening to this album is like standing in front of an oncoming blitzkrieg and yet, the riffs in this record are so infectious that one simply cant stop listening to it very easily. Surprisingly, for a debut album, the song writing is refreshingly fresh and original. Mixing slight influences of polish death metal and grindcore, this slab of modern death metal is a must experience.

Aberration Nexus – Libro Lacet E.P. (Self Released)

A friend of mine once commented on this band: “Had Aberration Nexus been from Norway, they would have made it very big!”. And I totally agree with him. The brainchild of Chris Meyer from Australia, this one man black metal typhoon has all that it takes to be one of the best black metal acts. Abrasive Tremolos? Check. Intricate melodic and dark leads? Check. A demonic sounding vocal style? Double check. Solid drum production that sounds natural? Check. This is what makes up the ‘Libro Lacet E.P’ of Aberration Nexus. This bands definitely deserves more credit than they get, for this is one of the best black metal records released this year.

Markradonn – Final Dying Breath E.P.

Last but not least, is the experimental death metal band Markradonn’s debut E.P, titled ‘Final Dying Breath’. The music here, is one that transcends the boundaries of genres. This is true symphonic metal as the band makes use of unconventional instruments like timpani, French horn and a full brass section to create something that sounds cinematic, dark and brutal at the same time. Adding to these symphonic elements is the flawless guitar work and vocals of Haniel Adhar. What makes this spectacular combination sound even better is the raw and organic sounding production. This is my top discovery of this year and I definitely cannot wait for their debut full length.

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