Tuesday, 31 December 2013


Every year, during the last week of December, the zines/blogs staff discusses the top ten list of everything - movies, music albums, books etc. As a metalhead, I am also interested to make a list. Personally 2013 was not a very eventful year for me. I was unable to participate in some great gigs due to non-availability of train tickets, and other personal problems. This year, I could connect with some of the best musicians in the scene. I had great experiences interviewing bands like Chaos Invocation, the ultimate thrash metal act Chaos from India, Preludium from Poland, an interview with Kalevi Uibo from Chaos Echœs and an interview with Odem from Russia.

What I look forward to hearing in 2014 is "Writhen Unto Abraxas" by Mitochondrion. The third album is getting structured and bastardized in full glory I guess. Besides, stuff from Ascension, Necros Christos, Nightbringer, Venenum, Drowned and if possible Dead Congregation. Hopefully I will get to see Impiety live in February at Trendslaughter Fest IV.

I am remembering those albums released in 2013 that were significant to me for their profound and aesthetic merit. I find it impossible to pick the best/favourite listens in 2013 as there are some albums that are just so unforgettably written and they stand out in my mind. I probably heard 150-200 albums and avoided many but its pretty apparent what kind of tunes I've been digging this year. Here is my list of what I think that are some of the superexcellent metal album releases in MMXIII. Let's look at those extremely talented bands who made 2013 noteworthy for us.

Apart from "The Word As Power" by Lustmord, my favourite listens are...

1) Chaos Invocation - Black Mirror Hours -  This album is darker and quite different from the début album. Black Mirror Hours is less raw than In Bloodline with the Snake, but still aggressive, more powerful and atmospheric with very profound lyrics. There's a lot happening in every song, such as twists, variation and different vocals. Lyrically and musically Chaos Invocation are great and they offer more than what beats in their chest. Let chaos thrive... There is no other metal album I listened with much fascination and interest this year.

2) Acherontas - Amenti - Ψαλμοί Αίματος και Αστρικά Οράματα - Sheer aesthetics of black metal stumbles right from the first tune. The new hymns slay as much as anything they've done. Special collaborations took place in this new opus as Naas Alcameth from Nightbringer, Edgar Kerval from Emme Ya and other artists contributed as well. Edgar Kerval has created 5 rituals tracks like intros between each track with invocations and mantras. Every work of Acherontas is an expression of esotericism. Released on World Terror Committee in May. I was sure that they were going to contribute something great to black metal this year and gladly, the expectations are mostly attested.

3) Cultes des Ghoules - Henbane, ...or Sonic Compendium Of The Black Arts - This Polish group is like ' De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas' played with Mortuary Drape influence with a touch of Drawing Down the Moon by Beherit. The album is raw and putrid besides gloom and crawling black metal delivered in extra long songs with a lot of class and its a sonic ritual of devotion to the Devil. If you felt disturbed while listening to this, then Cultes des Ghoules are obviously doing something great.

4) Wormlust - The Feral Wisdom - The audio autopsy called "The Feral Wisdom" is an amalgamation of the unyielding vocals with furious blasting and riffing. The first two tracks are more chaotic and intense, rest go right down deep into endless darkness from which there is no bottom. To me there is no doubt that whenever anyone talks about the beast of 2013, The Feral Wisdom will figure on top. Demonhood Production handled this uncomfortable black metal release whereas its Cd version in digipack unleashed by Daemon Worship Productions.

5) The Ruins of Beverast - Blood Vaults - The Blazing Gospel of Heinrich Kramer - If you're familiar with the band's style this album won't come as a surprise to you. Lengthy compositions featuring an array of atmospheric and hypnotic components and the use of a variety of extreme vocals and choral singing define the style of this great band. Recent material also features substantial influence from the funeral doom metal genre. In terms of the sheer atmosphere, here Alexander manages to produce quality stuff. All of his works are astonishing as he constructs a huge part of the atmosphere in the compositions and arranged to fit flawlessly into a greater whole. Approach it with an open mind.

6) Cult of Fire - मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान - This is not an extra-ordinary album but good in many ways. Czech sitar artist Ladislav Brom has contributed on this album which make things interesting. The Sitar incorporating in the song structure is equal to pure bliss besides the lyrics printed in the booklet in Hindi but they sing in Czech. The eight songs of this album have plenty melodic arpeggios. The particular song “Kali Ma” reminded me of Mgla for some reason whereas the other songs are lot differences. Cult of Fire is one of the most interesting acts coming out of Eastern Europe right now.

(Triumph, Genus released a feel-good album “Všehorovnost je porážkou převyšujících” this year. If this isn't for you, try another black metal band from same country, like Inferno, which is excellent. “Omniabsence Filled by His Greatness” has portrayed pretty good uses of dissonance and atmosphere and great production).

7) Gorguts - Colored Sands - Look at your life and think about what has change in the last twelve years. Probably a lot and you have gone through it all without hearing anything new from Gorguts. Gorguts have enthralled us often with the impeccable albums before, and “Colored Sands” is no exception. It 'sounds' like ulcerate a bit indeed, but the content is constructed in a different way, a far more interesting and developed way. In shaping this colossal massiveness, bassist Colin and drummer John Longstreth deploy several inventive gambits that send us one of the best metal albums this year.

8) Bölzer - Aura - I have been totally entranced by this duo von Zurich. This Mephistophelian duo plays fiercely grandiose blackened death metal which emphasis some doom elements to their sounds. On “Aura” are packed with verve of a perfect blend of black and death. A momentous release for sure. what a delight for the ears. Atmospheric intricate guitar parts are suffused into the aesthetics of improvisation. They’re constructing an amalgamation of atmospheric, evocative, brooding melodies. I ween that they can pull off this level of expression on a full-length. Bölzer are aiming high. This is essential to check out.

9) Portal - Vexovoid - There’s no way to deny the ingenuity and brilliance of Portal’s Vexovoid, it’s an album that should in no way be missed. Vexovoid reverberates with horrific nuances of horripilating dissonance. Crushing riffs, drums and the equally dark and disturbing and sumptuous atmosphere by the heavily down tuned guitars and bass make this album memorable. The production quality exhibited on Vexovoid is arguably the finest that the band has ever had; Cover to the album "Vexovoid" by Rev. Kriss Hades. Released on Profound Lore Records.

10) Obliteration - Black Death Horizon - Obliteration are really a great death metal composers better than many older bands. 'Black Death Horizon is a carefully-crafted and appealing death metal album of them that is much craftier than Nekropsalms and Perpetual Decay. It's sharp, and without any doubt, Autopsy-like atmosphere strikes are impeccably orchestrated. Obliteration is an act of the highest calibre and this album that I would love to hear again, and maybe again, and again. BDH strikes the pantheon of must-listen album with grace. These guys, along with Diskord and Execration are redefining Norwegian death metal oeuvre.

11) Sickrites - Irreverent Death Megaliths - Irreverent Death Megaliths is viciously atmospheric and haunting lp. Vocals are deep and sepulchral. There is no such barbaric level of riffs or drums, and it does not feel incredibly tight and consistent whereas almost slow and atmospheric. Undoubtedly several notches above the standard genre fare. Irreverent Death Megaliths provides nothing extraordinary but satisfying and unstoppable old school death metal. Fantastic artwork to go with it too. The Cd version of this release will be handled by Osmose Production in 2014. Behold - Osmose Productions.

12) Grave Miasma - Odori Sepulcrocrum - UK’s Grave Miasma is seriously one of the most enrapturing death metal bands around; besides, I had faith in their works. Début album Odori Sepulcrorum sounds pretty okay to me. It has a more sepulchral, atmospheric and cavernous sound but it’s not a unique and highly influential record I think. The album gives some high but not several atmosphere of freshness. Tracks like Eoxaтoс, is exceptional.

Music is mightier than its creator.

  • An Arrow In Heart - Aosoth
  • Clutching Revulsion - Ulcerate
  • Coronal Mass Ejaculation - Bölzer
  • Death Meta - Antediluvian
  • Ember's Voice - Gorguts
  • Eoxatoc - Grave Miasma
  • Festival of Devotion - Cultes des Ghoules
  • Iconoclasm - Irkallian Oracle 
  • In Tamas They Dwell - Orator
  • Kilter - Portal
  • Monstrance Clock - Ghost
  • Ordeal - The Ruins of Beverast
  • Pillars of the Fallen Light - Sickrites
  • The Essence Unbound - Gevurah
  • Vitriol - Carpe Noctem
  • Wanderer in the Outer Darkness - Tribulation 

That's all from me. Okay.

Fuck hope and Godspeed.

Have a blissful travel towards 2014.