Best of 2013 – Caitlin Smith
1. Vatnett Viskar – Sky Swallower
2. Cult of Luna – Vertikal
3. Year of no Light – Tocsin
4. Officium Triste – Mors Viri
5. Windhand – Soma
6. Mourning Beloveth – Formless
7. Altar of Plagues – Teethed Glory and Injury
8. Gorguts – Colored Sands
9. Code – Augur Nox
10. Nightslug – Dismal Fucker
11. Fen – Dustwalker
12. Ereb Altor – Fire meets Ice
13. Moss – Horrible Night
14. Valkyrja – The Antagonist’s Fire
15. Eye of Solitude – Canto iii
16. Rosetta – The Anaesthete
17. Dark Buddha Rising – Dakhmandal
18. Deafhaven – Sunbather
19. Inter Arma – Sky Burial
20. Kylesa – Ultraviolet
Black Magician – The Pursuivant
Psychedelic organ notes, repeating riff and aggressive vocals, this album is the return of the witch finders, the religious fanatics preaching their so-called wisdom to anyone that cares to listen. This is only the second release from the Liverpool 5-piece, following on from the album Nature is the Devil’s Church released last year and proof that this band have a lot more to offer.
Arcturus, Fen and From the Bogs of Aughiska @ the O2 Islington
The question of best raises a few issues… the choice between best sound, most energy and sheer entertainment really is a hard one to make. This gig had everything though, the awesome droning power of Bogs of Aughiska, Fen bring soaring doom in crystal clear precision and finally Arcturus. It’s hard to know what to make of this band.
The only way to describe it is drunken operatic ramblings, not entirely in tune at the beginning but always keeping us thoroughly entertained. ICS Vortex may not have been surrounded by his usual troupe of dancing creatures, but his perfected wiggle dance was enough to make up for the absence. This is performance at its very best.
Drunken, lively and completely insane.
Best local band
Having moved back to the shire, I thought there’d be nothing here but old man pubs and folk bands. I could not have been more wrong. Supporting a wealth of local metal acts, Kent can boast some serious strong talent rising up in the metal scene. One of those acts is death metal 5-piece NeonHalo. Having reformed after a long break with their strongest lineup yet and winning a spot this year at Bloodstocks the Metal to the Masses, this band is taking the metal scene by storm. Why? because it’s pure gore to the fucking core.
Check them out here.
Best new band
They may have formed in 2011, but with their first release this year you can’t get too much more recent. Nightslug are a band on the edge of every genre, scraping the edges of sludge, doom, noise and punk. This band is a mix of all the dirtiest genres of the music out there, and the result is an album of pure and utter sonic filth.
There’s one thing about arguing with people on the internet and that’s the wealth of bands you can discover from all corners of the earth. One of those for me this year was Liturgy, a post-rock/black metal band from America. While black metal is usually crushingly aggressive and depressing, Liturgy show that the genre really is so much more versatile.
Major events in the Metal world
- The sad and sudden loss of Jeff Hanemann.
- Avant-garde black metal band Altar of Plagues disbanding.
Predictions for 2014
Dave Mustaine will run for presidency before finally realizing no one cares about his political agenda.