With the rest of the (active)writers on board, we’ve decided to put up our own little mid year best-of lists. Hopeful to the fact, that you guys might stumble on something new in the process as well. We had Mohammad Kabeer’s list posted last week, check that if you haven’t already. Today we have our own doomlord Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, talking about his favorite ones.
1. Victor Griffin’s In-Graved – S/T ( Review )
I greatly prefer this album to the last Pentagram offering; the best bits on it were Griffin’s solos, anyway. A soulful, heavy and integral collection of excellent tunes by a consummate songwriter and guitar player.
2. Goatess – S/T ( Review )
What some of the latter-day trad doom bands forget is that their influences always turned in albums that were as diverse as they were definitive. Goatess understands this, and each song has its own character while maintaining a consistent feel. Chritus, of course, is in fine form.
3. Kongh – Sole Creation ( Review )
Just four songs, but each one is a sprawling epic of heavy, sludgy guitars, mesmerizing, almost post-metallic textures and a great mix of gruff and melodic vocals that don’t sound gimmicky at all.
4. Primitive Man – Scorn
Abrasive, grimy, downtempo and heavy as heck, the Colorado sludgers’ debut album is one of the finest slabs of dissonant, pissed off riff abuse in a while. A fantastic production job abets songs that emerge and fade in squalls of noise while providing a surprisingly healthy quota of genuine hooks in between.
5. Endless Boogie – Long Island
This is blues rock the way it’s rarely heard – not an effervescent virtuoso showcase, but a series of strung-out, stoned jams that reverberate with washes of glorious fuzz, oddball storylines and eccentric but very authentically bluesy ritualism.
6. Abyssal – Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius
Imagine a slowed-down Portal. That begins to describe this UK black/doom band’s sluggish, weighty sound. The ambience is nightmarishly oppressive and the structures are more abstract and free-form than on their debut, ‘Denouement’, which only works in favour of the uncanny atmosphere conjured up by this band.
7. Dark Buddha Rising – Dakhmandal ( Review )
Not an album as much as a ritual, a trance-inducing, terrifying, alluring song-cycle that takes you through a stunning diversity of musical textures. Their best album yet.
8. Dragonauta – Omega Pentagram
The band with the Sleep-worshipping name delivers a doom/sludge album that doesn’t wear any of the expected influences on its sleeve, choosing instead to revel in some of the most original and distinctive riffs and melodies I’ve head being carved out in this genre in a while.
9. Fragarak – Crypts of Dissimulation
Intelligent, questing and melodic progressive extreme metal with an introspective bent. One of the best debuts of the year and certainly the best Indian metal release of the year so far.
10. Reino Ermitano – Veneracion Del Fuego ( Review )
This Peruvian doom band has fallen beneath the radar for me in past years, but this platter of seasoned, immersive music ensures that I’ll pay them a lot more attention henceforth. Dark, mystical music with great tone and songs that stretch out to great effect.
Cathedral – The Last Spire
Not their finest hour, but a wonderfully doomy set of songs.
Sacred Gate- Tides Of War
Proof that the battle of Thermopylae and Iron Maiden still have the power to inspire some really good metal music
Blood Ceremony – The Eldritch Dark
Their most assured and original album yet
Hexvesselc – Iron Marsh EP
This EP shows the gains this band has reaped from bringing heavier textures into their musical mix
Timo Tolkk’s Avalon – The Land Of New Hope
Great melodies, dramatic over-the-top vocals and some brilliant soloing make this Tolkki’s best album since the demise of Renaissance Revolution
Anvil – Hope In Hell
A catchy, likable album that underscores the real reason you should listen to this band – their incredible consistency
Krypts – Unending Degradation
Delivers on the promise of their self-titled EP with one of the most idiomatic and well-conceived old school DM sets this year
Asgard – Outworld
Metalheads who swear by Helloween’s ‘Walls Of Jericho’ simply must check out this album by a band that puts the power back in power metal
Abysmal Grief – Feretr
This band occupies the common ground between goth and trad doom, and does a fine job of it
Cauchemar – Tenbrario
The trad doomers take it up a notch or two from their debut EP, delivering a very strong follow-up
Ramlord – Crippled Minds, Sundered Wisdom
Crusty sludge with shades of d-beat and black metal. Another supremely abrasive, scalding album