Thursday, December 29, 2011

Easy Listening--Year End List--Todd

These are my top ten for this year, in no particular order. I have listened to the crap out of all of these 
albums, and all of them just keep getting better with every listen, hence why they're here.

Liturgy--Aesthetica--Thrill Jockey

There was an absolute ton of controversy around this album this year, mainly due to a rather outlandish manifesto written by frontman Hunter-Hunt Hendrix on the subject of Black Metal, causing for some pretty nasty debate across the interwebs. The "definition" of true black metal was talked about endlessly, to no real conclusion. Regardless, this was one of my most listened to records this year. It was truly unlike any black metal album I've heard. Production values were amazing, not to mention the borderline "happy vibe" of this record. No matter your opinion of Hunter's views, this record still rips.

Deafheaven--Roads To Judah--Deathwish

I found out about this album due to watching Deathwish's website like a hawk this year for Converge news on the Jane Doe vinyl repress. I got lucky and ordered it early on after listening to a sound sample (proud to say I got one of the rarest pressings of the vinyl). This was another record that seemed to cause some controversy, as the album mixes black metal, shoegaze, and post hardcore like it's no big deal. I had the opportunity to see this band live this year in Austin, and it was, without a doubt, one of the most intense live acts I've seen in years. Seriously mind blowing band.

False--Untitled--Gilead Media/Howling Mine

I've had the distinct pleasure of having the opportunity to open for these guys not once but twice this year. 
Without a doubt, this is one of my favorite debut records of all time. This record is one of the most punishing 
black metal releases I've ever heard. Hearkening back to the days of early Emperor, keyboard intact, "epic" doesn't even begin to describe this band. Make sure you pick up this release before it's out of print.

Wolves in the Throne Room--Celestial Lineage--Southern Lord

I was anxiously awaiting this one, as I'm sure most people into American Black Metal were. Finishing off a trilogy of sorts, Celestial Lineage was pretty much everything I expected and wanted. A bit more in the vein of their seminal release, Two Hunters, this album has everything that made Wolves so appealing in the first place. Fantastic release.

Thou--The Archer and the Owle--Robotic Empire/Sweat Lodge Guru

This was one of my favorite releases this year. I was super excited as the two tracks that were left off the vinyl release of Summit were included in this release. Throw in Pygmy Lush and Nirvana covers and I'm a happy man. Not to mention, it's Thou. Need I say more?

Planks--The Darkest of Grays/Solicit To Fall--Southern Lord

I love me some Planks. This fantastic CD release contains Planks' second full length and the follow-up EP Solicit To Fall. If you're not listening to this band yet, I'm telling you now, go buy this shit! Describing this band is very difficult. Punishing, yet seriously artistic is probably the best way I can do it. Heavy, but with a purpose, they will leave you devastated.

Ash Borer--S/T LP--Pesanta Urfolk

Um, yeah, this record is fucking sick. Seriously, if you listen to black metal and you don't own this one yet, 
it's a must have. The atmospheric qualities in Ash Borer's music are brilliant. One of the best black metal bands in the U.S. scene, I predict nothing but great things out of these guys. I adamantly await their next release.

Earth--Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I---Southern Lord

After The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull, I was very curious to see which direction Earth would take their ever-evolving sound. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the line up would include cellist Lori Goldstein. The record certainly delivered. Drone like only Earth knows how, this was yet another perfect record in this iconic band's catalog. I cannot wait for the second half of this record, due out in February via The Lord.

Fell Voices--Untitled--Gilead Media

Another excellent black metal outing from Fell Voices, their second Untitled LP definitely did not disappoint. 
There must be something in the water in Cali, as these guys and Ash Borer are from the same region. I just hope the releases keep coming.

Russian Circles--Empros--Sargent House

I have NOTHING bad to say about this album. Russian Circles' finest moment yet. Heavier and more focused than any of their previous albums, this record blew any expectations I had out of the water. Live, this band crushes. It's always nice when a band is four albums in, and it just keeps getting better. That's a rarity and it needs to be celebrated. 

Honorable mention goes to....

Burning Witch--Vinyl Box--Southern Lord

I have waited what seems like an eternity for this to happen. Already one of my favorite pieces in my collection, The Lord really did this one up right. They left nothing out and the sound is seriously monstrous. The only reason it wasn't in my top ten is this material has been out for such a long time and I wanted the list to be all new releases. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...