Saunders’ and Felagund’s Top Ten(ish) of 2022


Saunders

A modicum of normality returned in 2022 after the chaos and anxiety-stricken couple of preceding years. Yeah, “normal” is not a word to associate with life over the past three years, but I definitely felt a little more optimistic about things. I have previously commented on the fact that my now lengthy tenure at Angry Metal Guy has been a consistent part of my routine, navigating me through life hurdles and changes. This was again true over another fruitful and challenging year, which on a professional level, also included achieving my highest academic honor, a hugely rewarding experience despite the slog.

As far as music in 2022 went, it was a solid year, without truly blowing me away. On one hand, I felt there were a lot of very-good-to-great releases and perhaps a shortage of truly knockout material. Grind had an especially strong year, prog metal flexed its muscle, while death metal entertained me consistently as usual. However, I was a touch disappointed with the number of death albums that really grabbed me by the throat.

Then again perhaps I am just a cynical, grinchy bastard, as there were stacks of very-good-to-great albums that absorbed my interest throughout the year that didn’t make the final cut come list season. Meanwhile, the mighty Clutch returned to form, and favorites Royal Thunder and Dying Fetus hinted at their long-awaited returns, though as usual, I have much to catch up on. For instance, there was a truckload of widely regarded albums I enjoyed yet didn’t spend enough time with (Hell Fire, White Ward, Toxik, Nechochwen, and Darkher) and peer-recommended late-year discoveries, such as the riotous Livewire and Black Cross Hotel.

Big collective shout-out to the ever-expanding AMG crew that inspires me to challenge myself and improve my own writing. And thanks also for all the tireless work of the big dogs for their editing, promo distribution, tech handiwork, behind-the-scenes shenanigans, and iron fist ruling that keeps this blog running smoothly. Anywho, another year done and dusted… Wishing our wonderful readership and all my colleagues and bosses a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2023…


Revocation - Netherheaven Cover#ish. Revocation // NetherheavenFollowing a magical creative run between Existence is Futile and Deathless, despite never really dropping the ball, the past couple of Revocation albums struggled to reach the heights of their formidable golden stretch. However, Netherheaven found Revocation unleashing their best album since the aforementioned Deathless. Revocation crafted an inspired batch of tuneage that takes the listener headlong into the dark, twisty passages of warped death metal and playful technical thrash. Dave Davidson sounds back in the zone, ripping out some of his best riffs and solos in recent years, attached to versatile and memorable technical death-thrash gems.

#10. Freedom of Fear // CarpathiaAn end-of-year banger that had a significant impact on my listening rotation during the later stages of 2022. Carpathia firmly placed Freedom of Fear at the forefront of the progressive and technical death scenes. Despite boasting notable influences, Freedom of Fear brought enough of their own attributes and personality to the equation to match their lofty musical ambitions and sizzling instrumental skills. Hannes Grossman may have added welcome star power and supreme drumming skills to the department, however, the young upstarts more than hold their own in the musicianship and songwriting stakes. Freedom of Fear’s flair for symphonic drama and scorched black metal aggression lend the album an old-school ’90s symphoblack and melodeath vibe, crunched into shape by the prominent modern tech and prog death influences, creating an intriguing platter that bodes well for Freedom of Fear’s bright future. 

#9. Immolation // Acts of God – New York’s legendary Immolation remains a pillar of strength, consistency, and longevity. However, I initially failed to give 2017’s Atonement credit where it was due, after some initial misgivings. Underestimating Immolation should never be an option. Acts of God reinforces this fact with sledgehammer impact. Immolation is in a spot in their lengthy career where drastic reinvention is unlikely to occur, however, when you are the originators of timeless, dense, punishing, dissonant, grooving, and brutal furnace-blasting death, quality songwriting trumps any need for innovation. Even amidst a flooded modern death metal landscape, and young hungry acts nipping at their heels, Acts of God stamps Immolation’s long-enduring relevance and ability to level the opposition. There were plenty of great death metal releases in 2022, yet Immolation’s latest creation was the firm fan favorite and consistent go-to for my deathly fix.

#8. Sigh // Shiki – You can always prepare to expect the unexpected with Japan’s ageless Sigh. The majority of personal experiences sit with the band’s post-’00s output, and while quality varies, the band rarely disappoints. However, there is something particularly enticing about Shiki, another journey into the weird and wonderful world of avant-garde and psych-powered progressive black metal, marking the band’s most interesting, twisty album since 2012’s landmark In Somniphobia. Shiki ripples with psychedelic charms, unhinged blackened lunacy, and trademark oddball antics encased in intelligently-crafted and skillfully-composed progressive metal songs. Cohesion and invention tie the songs together in more fluid, consistent ways compared to their past couple of albums, with the use of traditional oriental instruments adding exotic flavors to what is also an especially dark and heavy offering. The contributions of Kreator’s Frédéric Leclercq and Fear Factory drummer Mike Heller add a fresh spark to the core duo, Mirai and Dr Mikannibal. Shiki is a deep well of quirky, blackened progressive metal, replete with trademark psych-drenched weirdness and heroic bursts of heavy metal bluster.

#7. Messa // Close – Italy’s Messa already had a couple of enchanting albums under their belt before re-emerging with their third LP, Close. But there is something special and enticing about Messa’s doom formula. As a result, Close never strayed far from my listening rotation when seeking out quirky, melancholic, and heavy doom. Sara’s enchanting clean vocals ghost hauntingly atop folk-speckled, tempo-shifting, and always interesting doom arrangements. There is a cool, old-timey feel to Messa’s music, with the organic production job and an array of extra instruments adorning the album, creating an intoxicating blend to compliment the darkly infectious melodies, long-form compositions, and quietly addictive songcraft. Close is a lengthy, though compelling journey, evidenced by spellbinding works such as ‘Pilgrim,” “Dark Horse,” “Suspended,” and the bewitching “If You Want Her to be Taken.”

#6. Zeal & Ardor // Zeal & Ardor – The talent and potential have always been present, however, this self-titled third LP from Zeal & Ardor, the brainchild of extremely gifted individual Manuel Gagneux, finally found Zeal & Ardor achieving the optimal balance, potency, and consistency in their writing. As a result, Zeal & Ardor expands and refines the vision that inspired the band’s still respectable and fleetingly brilliant previous offerings, into an action-packed and utterly gripping whole. Zeal & Ardor trims away the filler, refining their most consistent and compelling concoction of tunes. Chock full of menacing blackened destruction, soulful blues, rock, and industrial influences, it simmers with tension, emotional heft, and superb performances. Always destined to be a divisive act in the broader metal community, the band’s authenticity and passion cannot be questioned. It’s the power, passion, and increasingly seamless merging of styles that drives such terrific cuts as “Run,” “Death to the Holy,” “Golden Liar,” “Götterdämmerung,” “Bow,” and “Church Burns.” It’s all stellar stuff though.

#5. Sergeant Thunderhoof // This Spectred Veil – Included in a filter piece by my colleague Dear Hollow, I checked out the fourth album from UK stoner fuzz/psych merchants Sergeant Thunderhoof and proceeded to be blown away by the unheralded act. The Spectred Veil hit hard on an emotional level and kept me coming back for more with its striking dynamics, gargantuan stoner grooves, and unshakable earwormy hooks. Sure, the length is whopping, and the mammoth two-part finale may have benefited from slight editing, however, overall, the album’s consistently-gripping writing ensured my experiences were never greatly hindered. Since discovering this gem, it has remained in heavy rotation. Tearjerking doomy gems “Absolute Blue” and “Foreigner” feature soaring, emotive melodies, recalling early Pallbearer in their rich emotional resonance. Elsewhere you are treated to the grooving, progressive smarts and towering riffs of “You’ve Stolen the Words,” fun hard rocking bangers “Woman Call” and “Show Don’t Tell,” and doom-laden two-part closing epic, “Avon and Avalon.” Across the board, frontman Mark Sayer delivered one of the highlight vocal performances of the year.

#4. Persefone // metanoia – Just like the oversight in 2021, when I discovered VOLA well after they established their presence as prog metal marvels, I went through a similar awakening with underappreciated Andorran progsters Persefone. Thankfully, metanoia won me over and corrected my misguided ways. Metanoia is a terrific release; a classy, dynamic experience, meticulously crafted and loaded with pristine melodies and dazzling musicianship, embedded in textured, complex, and versatile progressive compositions. All the expert musicianship and grand scope would count for little if metanoia weren’t jam-packed with excellent songs and memorable hooks to savor. However, as the likes of “Consciousness (Pt. 3),” “Katabasis,” and “Merkabah” attest, this is certainly not the case. Although lengthy, metanoia does not outstay its welcome, remaining a compelling, fluid journey throughout.

#3. Cave In // Heavy PendulumCave In’s Heavy Pendulum was the ultimate rock experience in 2022. The veteran outfit combined elements past and present to collate an extravagant, punchy, and highly addictive concoction—combining heavy rock, hardcore, metal, grungy ’90s vibes, and progressive smarts into a cohesive, sprawling opus of mammoth proportions. There is so much cool stuff to indulge in that picking just a couple of favorite tunes proves futile. When the dust settled on 2019’s emotional Final Transmission, a reborn and rejuvenated Cave In album seemed unlikely. Heavy Pendulum provided the ultimate reboot, constructed by the core trio, and high-profile buddy Nate Newton (ConvergeDoomridersOld Man Gloom). While I may find reasons to nitpick on length, in truth it hasn’t diminished my enjoyment of Heavy Pendulum, which remained in heavy rotation, easily becoming one of my most listened-to albums in 2022. The album is brimming with addictive, dynamic rock gems, topped by the gripping epic, “Wavering Angel.”

#2. Wormrot // HissA glut of top-notch grind releases stimulated our respective ear holes in 2022 in ways that only grindcore can. However, it was the formidable return of Singaporean heavyweights Wormrot that stood head and shoulders above them all. Sometimes the hype machine cranked into overdrive can result in disappointment if the product in question fails to reach the perhaps unrealistic expectations. Hiss is a rare example worthy of the hype bestowed upon it. Six years is a long time between drinks, like twenty-four in grind years, so anticipation for the destructive trio’s fourth platter was understandably high. Hiss mark’s Wormrot’s longest, most varied, and experimental release to date, fucking with convention in utterly gripping ways while retaining a feral, white-knuckled intensity, unhinged vocal attack, and endless supply of serrated, hook-laden riffs. Wormrot’s precision glass-shattering grind incorporates hardcore, noise, and blackened elements, whipped into a shockingly catchy, fiery tornado that is perhaps the best grind album since Gridlink’s Longhena.

#1. Disillusion // Ayam – The incredible career arc of German stalwarts Disillusion continued following the success of their wonderful 2019 comeback album, The Liberation. As the highest ranking I have bestowed on an album since 2017, it was no surprise that Disillusion, albeit narrowly, cemented the top spot. Ayam charts a similar path to its predecessor but avoids treading water, deftly weaving through intricate, shape-shifting compositions in quirky ways distinctive of the unique formula of melodic death and progressive metal Disillusion have perfected over the years. The album’s pacing is sublime, musicianship and vocal performances outstanding, while the craftmanship of each intricately pieced-together arrangement is masterfully composed, boiling down to an album of excellent songs and multiple high points. Whether it be the epic, scorching dynamics of “Am Abgrund,” the chunky efficiency of “Tormento,” or the lush, progressive beauty of “Abide the Storm,” Ayam bubbles with creativity, intelligent writing, and songs that penetrate deeply and remain lodged in the memory bank, beckoning you back for more. Disillusion has embarked on a wildly fluctuating career journey, so to wind up delivering an album of the magnitude and quality of Ayam this far into a checkered career, is a testament to their supreme talents, toughness, and persistence.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Strigoi // Viscera – This album likely would have ranked higher had I not slept on it initially, the hardened heads at the heart of Strigoi’s robust, ugly mix of gloomy death-doom, and snippets of crusty grind, crafted a tough and uncompromising slab of hatred.
  • Autopsy // Morbidity TriumphantAutopsy always delivers a fun time as one of death metal’s most likable bands. Thick, gooey brutality and lowbrow sewage-coated grooves are the order of the day on this latest slab of brain-matter-spattered death, their best album in a while.
  • The Chasm // The Scars of a Lost Reflective Shadow – Riff-slinging, horn-throwing, raw, and boundlessly fun old-school death delivered with flair and cutthroat aggression.
  • Black Royal // Earthbound – Perhaps less immediate than its predecessor, Earthbound nonetheless found the Finnish lads compiling another sturdy and memorable slab of bluesy, sludgy, groove-laced death to strong effect.
  • Pharmacist // Flourishing Extremities on Unspoiled Mental Grounds – A fine slab of pure Carcass worship by Japan’s Pharmacist. The band’s progressive tendrils and eloquent guest shredding from Ripped to Shreds mastermind Andrew Lee topped a tasty collection of choice cuts.
  • Moon Tooth // Phototroph – New York’s Moon Tooth continue to impress on their third LP. Phototroph features bright, optimistic prog metal and hard rock jams, bolstered by muscular rhythms, technical showmanship, and skyscraping pop hooks.
  • In Aphelion // Moribund – High-quality, slashing, dashing, razor-sharp melodic black metal with an uncompromising mean streak.
  • Epoch of Unlight // At War with the Multiverse – Underground warriors and personal favorites, Epoch of Unlight returned after seventeen long years with their fourth LP, featuring a modern update and strong collection of thrashy, blackened melodeath tunes with plenty of bite.

Disappointment o’ the Year:

  • The Offering // Seeing the ElephantTry as I might, I just can’t get on board with this divisive sophomore effort from The Offering. After being blown away by the impressively scattershot, genre-mashing of their excellent debut Home, Seeing the Elephant came with high expectations. Unfortunately, despite multiple attempts to push through the barriers and uncover something to match the debut, the album was a disappointing misfire. Regardless of political agendas or preferences, the lyrics come across as juvenile and ham-fisted, the songs lack the compelling twists and sticky hooks from Home, and the vocal performance largely grates and falls flat. Here’s hoping this was just a creative misfire and The Offering will win me back next time, as they are certainly a talented crew.

Best Special Release:

  • Soen // Atlantis – Sweden’s progressive metal masters Soen returned with a different endeavor on Atlantis, a live recording featuring beautiful orchestral accompaniments and reinterpretations of a solid collection of their back catalog, as well as new song “Trials” and an inspired cover of Slipknot’s “Snuff.” Atlantis is a beautifully presented experience not to be missed by fans of the band.

Rest In Peace...

We lost some big names and special people from the musical landscape, and in the Australian sporting world of 2022, that hit hard. Personally, while late Australian cricket legend Shane Warne’s sudden and tragic loss left a huge impact, so too did the passing of a special duo of musical icons: The Black Dahlia Murder’s charismatic frontman Trevor Strnad and legendary vocalist, singer-songwriter, and grunge survivor Mark Lanegan. These two legends, from vastly different musical backgrounds, left lasting legacies I will draw upon for many years to come, and both will be sorely missed.

Playlist: Here’s a hastily pieced-together snapshot of some of the tunes I enjoyed in 2022:

  • Disillusion – “Tormento”
  • Zeal & Ardor – “Death to the Holy”
  • Mantar – “Hang ‘Em Low (So the Rats Can Get ‘Em)”
  • Sigh – “Satsui – Geshi No Ato”
  • Black Royal – “Queen of the Underworld”
  • Autopsy – “Knife Slice, Axe Chop”
  • Sergeant Thunderhoof – “Absolute Blue”
  • Cave In – “Amaranthine”
  • Wormrot – “Seizures”
  • Revocation – “Godforsaken”
  • Persefone – “Katabasis”
  • Immolation – “Shed the Light”
  • Strigoi – “Napalm Frost”
  • Messa – “Dark Horse”
  • Soen – “Trials”
  • Clutch – “Nosferatu Madre”
  • Moon Tooth – “Alpha Howl”
  • Greg Puciato – “No More Lives to Go”
  • Hell Fire – “Addicted to Violence”
  • The Chasm – “A Keen But Empty Sight”
  • Freedom of Fear – “Immortal”
  • The Hellacopters – “So Sorry I Could Die”

Felagund

Here it is. My first big boy list at Angry Metal Guy. Last year for my top Ten(ish), I was afforded mere table scraps; a simple, unadorned list, as is the requirement of all puny n00bs. The reviewing equivalent of Steel‘s mighty leftovers, you might say. But now, after ushering in a new N00b class and taking the required number of lashings (tongue, flail, and otherwise), I am now worthy of the overwritten, overwrought, overthought lists that I yearned so badly to craft when I first read this blog as a wee child.

And what happened in the interim? What transpired from my time as a lowly initiate with the delusion of grandeur to the still lowly, still delusional writer you see before you? A fair amount, it turns out. Since last year, I’ve gotten a promotion (at my day job, because there’s no room for advancement mucking out the promo simp), purchased a home, and braved the turbulent waters of having a 5-year-old in kindergarten. 

I didn’t find nearly enough time to listen to all the music I wanted to, and my output here has been less than ideal. Still, I’ve found some true gems through the gauntlet that has been 2022, and writing for AMG has been both a welcome distraction and a much-loved creative outlet when real life just got too real. And while I’ve gained a meager reputation as the anti-Holdeneye, I’ve loved a lot of what I’ve listened to over the past 365 days, even if my end-of-year average doesn’t quite reflect that. Twelve keeps telling me it’s okay to like things, but where’s the fun in that?1

Before we delve into my Top Ten(ish), I’d like to thank my listmate Saunders, both for being willing to appear alongside a Tolkienite of such low standing and for inadvertently introducing me to one of my favorite albums this year. I’d also like to give a quick shout-out to one Holdeneye, who, as the loving yin to my hateful yang, directly impacted several entries on my list thanks to his boundless, muscly enthusiasm. And finally, sincere thanks are in order to both Steel and Madam X, who keep this place functioning, herding the usual gang of idiots and making sure we do more than just bickering on Slack. And where would we be without the good Dr. AMG himself? With one less blog to write for and one less advocate for Wilderun. I digress.

Onto the only Top Ten(ish) list you’ll need this holiday season. Unless you choose to read the others. That’s cool too.


#ish. Zeal & Ardor // Zeal & Ardor – Zeal & Ardor haven’t been on my radar for several years now. Sadly, that remained true even after I heard good things about their self-titled third album. After diving in late though, I’m glad I took the time to give their latest a listen. This album finds the brainchild of Swiss musician Marcel Gagneux at the height of their powers, effectively melding black metal, rhythm and blues, hip-hop, industrial, and a few other dozen genres into a powerful, emotive, memorable record that I’m still spinning. While it didn’t climb to the top of my dung heap, I’m happy to give it the ish it deserves.

#10. Exhumed // To the Dead – I have long been a proud fan of these sloppy death metal miscreants, and their latest album was no different. To the Death reminded me time and time again of their third album (and a personal favorite) Anatomy is Destiny. Gnarled, muddy OSDM imbued with added heft thanks to Matt Harvey’s stellar songwriting skills, an insistence on groove without sacrificing horrific heaviness, and what I assume are dog-eared copies of medical texts and a well-worn thesaurus. Never boring, always engaging and another solid entry in the Exhumed discography, To the Dead is a reliable and enjoyable platter of splatter, perfect for bookending my top ten. 

#9. Ghost // IMPERA –  I don’t want to hear it. I heard it already in the comments when I reviewed the album back in March. Since then, IMPERA has remained one of my most-spun albums of the year. While a lot of Ghost’s earlier doomy tendencies have gone by the wayside, I’m still on board for this increasingly theatrical take on Tobias Forge’s original pop Satanist vision. IMPERA features both sinister occult rock bangers and lush, emotive ballads that you can’t help but love and then replay again and again. I wouldn’t be an honest reviewer if I didn’t include Ghost’s latest on my end-of-year list, even if its appearance results in additional pearl-clutching.

#8. Grand Harvest // Consummatum Est The inclusion of this album is perhaps the most immediate evidence of Holdeneye‘s Iago-like influence. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first spun Consummatum Est, although I immediately fell for this stirring approach to death doom with a blackened, grandiose edge. Grand Harvest is able to balance ferocity and woe, delivering memorable tracks that bounce between maudlin hopelessness and murderous nihilism. I found myself returning again and again, with special attention paid to “The Harrow,” “No Paler a Horse,” and closer “Consummatum Est,” although you can’t go wrong with any track here, which is why they’ve more than earned their spot. 

#7. Strigoi // Viscera – Another day, another death doom act making Felagund’s top ten. But hear me out. Strigoi are a different breed, delivering Viscera, a remarkably… visceral album. Gregor Mackintosh’s vocals are a highlight here, providing a hefty, well-enunciated growl that imbues even the longer tracks (with some dragging a bit) with a furious intensity that maintains their own brand of doomy momentum. Viscera grew on me over the course of several listens, revealing hidden nuances amidst chugging,  foreboding riffs, machine-gun drumming, and an atmosphere that is both enticing and frightening. Don’t threaten me with a good time, fellas.

#6. Undeath // It’s Time…to Rise from the Grave – What can I say about this album that hasn’t already been said by snarky commenters, critics, and probably someone’s mom on Twitter? From the moment Undeath’s sophomore effort dropped, I was hooked, and it’s been a record I’ve consistently returned to ever since. I can’t get over the relentless groove, the unapologetic OSDM worship, the period-accurate guitar tone and mix, and the sheer amount of fun these guys have as they growl about human chandeliers and rotting corpses with bionic implants. While other albums came and went, I couldn’t in good conscience push such a simple, enjoyable, and mighty slab like this too far outside of my top 5.

#5. De Profundis // The Corruption of Virtue – While last year’s top five were filled with tech-death tomfoolery, De Profundis carry that flag by their lonesome this year. Their fifth album, The Corruption of Virtue, is one infectious beast, combining swirling instrumental wizardry, a seemingly endless supply of killer riffs, and the kind of melody and groove that answers and ultimately amplifies the robust technicality. This is one of the strongest death metal releases of 2022, all delivered in a single, 38-minute wallop. I have to admit, this one occupied a variety of spots on my list, but it just didn’t feel right to relegate this absolute banger to anything other than part of my top five.

#4. Sigh // Shiki – While some members of the AMG staff felt this wasn’t Sigh’s strongest showing, I found their 12th studio album to be an absolute revelation, one that only grew in stature the more I revisited it. Shiki finds the band’s mastermind Mirai Kawashima choosing to shriek ‘n’ speak in his native tongue of Japanese to more completely explore his fear of death. As such, Shiki is an intensely personal album while also feeling equal parts accessible and experimental. Sigh relies on a catchy, melodic black metal template while also inserting aspects of power and symphonic metal and layering in traditional Japanese instruments. Shiki ensnared the listener just as it continues to ensnare me. A worthy addition to any top five.

#3. Ashenspire // Hostile Architecture – At first blush, Hostile Architecture was not an album that resonated with me, much less one I’d consider adding to my year-end list. And yet here we are. After multiple spins, I found myself taken not only by the harsh, shouted vocals, full of bitterness and righteous Scottish anger, nor by the lyrics, which decry the root causes of poverty, inequality, and desperation. No, what continues to grab me by the throat is Ashenspire’s approach overall to black metal, which includes elements of jazz, post-metal, and I swear, even musical theater. While there are others who traffic in a similar style, it was Ashenspire that socked me in the gut vocally, lyrically, musically, and thematically this year, and I can’t get enough.

#2. Disillusion // Ayam – Was I aware of Disillusion before this year? No. Was that remedied by Saunder‘s review of Ayam? Absolutely. Unlike some of the albums on this list, it grabbed my attention right from the beginning with its deft balancing of heaviness and nuance, crushing death metal, and lush, emotive prog. There is more than a little In Absentia present here, and I remain struck by the sheer warmth and depth of the music, cascading from harsh passages to beautiful, atmospheric sections. This is an album that I can and have listened to all the way through, only to start it over again from the beginning. While Ayam sits confidently at #2, it very nearly took the top spot thanks to its potent mix of melodicism and ferocity.

#1. Immolation // Acts of God – What did you expect? As a proud, knuckle-dragging death metal adherent, I was predisposed to have this record take the top spot, and I can’t say I’m surprised. The iconic Immolation has delivered a string of impressive platters over the past few years, and Acts of God is no different. Massive riffs, crushing brutality,  and Ross Dolan’s legendary deathened roar, still filled with enough rage and spite after all these years, are on full display and eager to challenge you to a bar fight. Immolation are legends for a reason, but too often, even the greatest bands have fallen short and threatened to tarnish what was once viewed as an impervious legacy. Not so here. Acts of God is a beast of an album, offering up just enough technicality, just enough dissonance, just enough rhythmic destruction, just enough riff-craft, and just enough groove to rise above other death metal releases in 2022 to become my Album of the Year.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Voivod // Syncro Anarchy Voivod is always a safe bet, and their brand of proggy, sci-fi weirdness remains as effective as ever. Syncro Anarchy is a fun listen from a reliable group.
  • In Aphelion // Moribund  – While a tad too long, In Aphelion delivered a definite success with Moribund. Thanks to Holdeneye for bringing this blackened onslaught to my attention.
  • Fliege // One Day They’ll Wonder What Happened Here – I first discovered Fliege on Twitter, and I’m sure glad I did. This year, they provided a “The Thing”-inspired melodic black metal album I didn’t know I needed. This is a band to watch. Closely. For signs of infection.
  • Azaab // Summoning the Cataclysm – I had the good fortune of reviewing Azaab’s debut album back in April, and I always knew it would occupy an HM spot on my year-end list. Summing the Cataclysm is a potent debut by a death metal band with significant chops and the technical abilities to back it all up.
  • Corpsegrinder // CorpsegrinderWhat can I say? I love Mr. Fischer, and his debut solo outing was fun, invigorating, and classic Corpsegrinder. Much like Cannibal Corpse, this record is bloody, bombastic, and sure to break your neck. Count me in for any and all future Corpsegrinder releases.

Disappointment o’ the Year:

  • King Buffalo // Regenerator
  • Black Royal // Earthbound 

Song o’ the Year:

In Aphelion  “Luciferian Age” – This song cannot be denied, nor should it be. And as we enter into yet another uncertain and frightful year, why not join In Aphelion in ushering in a new age of truth, justice, and Luciferianism? 

 

Show 1 footnote

  1. Truth. – Grier
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