So here we are, at the end of the year and what a year it's been. From the bigger names, to the obscure and almost unknown, it's been a productive year. I've compiled the ten albums I think that really stole the show. There's plenty of great eps, splits, and singles I'd love to mention, but we've limited our top tens to albums only. Big names like Magrudergrind, Hatred Surge, and Napalm Death dropped titles on us this year, so there's a lot of competition, but I've narrowed it down to the best ten album of there year. Hope you find something new, and hope the year was as good for you as it's been for me. Links provided, but as always we hope you buy the thing if you like it. Links lead to reviews and downloads contributed by Sludge Swamp, Attila and our very own staff.
Now I know 206 won't be happy with me for this placement, but Wormrot's furious debut Abuse, showcases a modern twist on the glory days of Earache and blasts its way through 23 tracks of pure grindy goodness. Competent, excellent executed, and viciously delivered, Wormrot rock.
9. Liturgy- Renihilation
From unlikely origins, Liturgy is the creation of Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, whose primarily known for his hardcore outfit, Birthday Boyz (now Survival). While the band predates Krallice, the comparisons can't be ignored. Endless tremolo picked riffs at lightning speeds paired with a endlessly blasting drums. The music's great, and strays from the long-windedness of Krallice and finds it's strength in the crescendos and energy of buildups and simple progressions.
8. Infernal Stronghold- Godless Noise
More blackened crusty thrash from Philly's favorite. Fast thrash with the attitude of punk and the filth of black metal, Infernal Stronghold deliver black metal with a sense of fun and energy. They're a band that doesn't take themselves too seriously and understands music's about enjoyment, not about being evil. Infernally good.
7. Hatred Surge-Deconstruct
Finally a full length from these gulf coast monsters. Hatred Surge sticks with what they know, which is quite a lot, and brings crushingly heavy power violence with all the bells and whistles. Slow sludgy sections, blazing fast grind sections and an awesome punky outro all with both male and female vocals. While it's a bit short, there's no filler to be found; a must!
6. Nashgul- El Dia Despues Al Fin De La Humanidad
My new favorite Spanish band, Nashgul, encompass an overall brutal, thrashy and fun sound with their first proper LP. Thick and punky bass, varied vocals, masterful drumwork, riffs upon riffs and varied composition create my favorite grind album of the year. Songs like "La Plaga,"
"Snake Plissken," and "Disintegration In A Flash Of Light" are absolute highlights and give a good example of what you're in for.
5. Ben Frost- By The Throat
My biggest and most fruitful surprise of the year, By The Throat really standouts as one of the best ambient/minimalist/electronic whatever works I've ever heard. A real curve ball for the typical Chainsaw Justice banter, but Ben Frost's seamless composition and soundscapes create as much of an eerie as well as beautiful soundtrack to a dream I've never had.
4. Arckanum - ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ
Occult and extremely annoying to talk about (in terms of the symbols) Arckanum's latest showcases one of black metal's most consistent and best artists. Whole and clear production tagged along with excellent composure and attention grabbing riffs, vocals, and drumwork create Arckanum's best release to date. For fans of modern sounding, but wholly authentic, black metal.
3. Anaal Nathrakh- In the Constellation of the Black Widow
Returning with their best album yet, Anaal Nathrakh combine all the former elements that seemed to be scatterbrained throughout previous releases into one cohesive and brilliantly powerful album. Filthy and raw riffs coupled with moments of anthemic and powerful clean vocals and riffs help to create an exceptionally awesome paradox of an album. Not much else to say beyond that they absolutely slay here.
2. Teitanblood- Seven Chalices
The album Blasphemy wishes they could write, Seven Chalices is a harrowing and amazingly heavy black metal release which almost rivals many of the classics in the black/death metal field. Having one of the best openings to any album I've ever heard, Seven Chalices combines the super heavy and fuzzy guitar tone of Archgoat and the like with wild solos, thrashy breaks and plenty of riffs. The small interludes and beautifully bizarre packaging heighten this occult and ancient vibe that carries the album so well. Best black metal album I've heard in a bit, hands down.
1. Weekend Nachos- Unforgivable
The best marriage of misanthropy, energy, and violence I've heard in a long time, Weekend Nachos easily deliver the best album of the year. Surging hardcore paired with dismally heavy sludge like sections and plenty of mosh friendly beat downs really highlight the violence in power violence. I can't give enough praise for this album, read my review to see how i tried to put how awesome it is into words.
Here are some great albums that didn't make the cut.
Altar of Plagues- White Tomb
Katharsis- Fourth Reich
Kylesa- Static Tensions
Fleshpress- Season in Sludge- Decade in Doom (I can't find this anywhere, not even an mp3... would be in the top ten if i could)