Sunday, January 22, 2006

Holee sheeit, i just realized Tentacles of Whorror came out in 2004. I guess I could substitute the Lurker of Chalice album, although it would get demoted in rank. Really, 2004 had all the really strong metal releases, with Leviathan, Converge and Pig Destroyer delivering overwhelming efforts. 2005 is the year I delved into older metal, finding Bathory's Under the Sign of the Black Mark, Carcass's Symphonies of Sickness and Entombed's Left Hand Path. Guess I'll just hope 2006 delivers more of both.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Top Ten of 2005
Ah, yes. Every music nerd waits all year long to make a top ten, some even jump the gun and get them published in December, but I waited, so j'know this is definitive:
10. Lightning Bolt : Hypermagic Mountain : Load
When it comes to LB, really all we want is more of the same, cause we've listened to the last one about a thousand times, and while it's not as good as Wonderful Rainbow, everything seems to be just that much more.
9. Excepter : Throne : Load
I've heard a bunch of John Fell Ryan and the gang's stuff, and its always gone from "interesting" and "promising" to "pretty damn good," but they dropped the fucking bomb on this one. Pure hypno-womb music.
8. Sunn O))) : Black One : Southern Lord
Totally O'Malley and Anderson's best yet. They've managed to bring an even bleaker sensibility to their blasted landscapes, tapping into black metal despair with the help of Wrest and Malefic. Finally got to see them live in 2005.
7. Double Leopards : Out of One, Through One, and to One : Eclipse
6. Mouthus : Slow Globes : Troubleman Unlimited
These practice space sharing space-heads represented the Brooklyn Zoo with a slew of top ten worthy releases this year, including their collaborative White Rock joints, but only the best of the best for my list. Retro posers need to fuck off, this is what psychedelia sounds like in the right now.
5. Leviathan : Tentacles of Whorror : Moribund
Yet another case of a prolific artist hurling a bounty of musical goodness out into the world, Leviathan is Wrest's flagship. Pure, vicious black metal drifts into haunted soundscapes and every point in between. If Bathory's Quorthon only knew what he was unleashing onto the world.
4. Kemialliset Ystavat : Kellari Juniversemi : Fonal / Beta-Lactam Ring
3. Avarus : Ruskea Timantti : Tumult
Both of these are re-releases, albeit of material that was largely unknown and almost impossible to find originally, they both feature Jan Anderzen as a leader and a member, respectively, and, once again, they are the best material of incredibly prolific artists. Actually, they're the best albums of the wealth of free-psych to recently explode out of Finland. Inspiringly primal and utterly other-worldly. Anything by either of these bands needs to be bought on sight.
2. Jack Rose : Kensington Blues : VHF
1. Prurient : Black Vase : Load
Topping the list are two definitive statements by artists for whom the word virtuosity almost seems like an understatement, and yet the sound and intent of these two albums could not be further apart. While Fahey and Basho inspired finger-picking seems to be achieving a renaissance in recent years, Rose is miles ahead of anyone, and this album is one of the greatest examples of a man fully expressing himself through his instrument since Coltrane ceased to walk the earth. Dominick Fernow's instrument of choice is mic feedback, and while that might sound limited, this act of self-immolation is the purest sound to emerge out of the East Coast post-everything whatever. Intensely cathartic and, at times, even beautiful, Fernow has combined eviscerating screams, thudding percussion and the sound of air being eaten alive in a completely new sound that seems so natural I might even need to use the word pure one more time. So fucking pure.