Thursday, December 18, 2014

Angela's Top 10 of 2014

So here we are. Its almost 2015, and I just smelled my first real Christmas tree. In the meantime, I shall write this list. Whilst doing so, my friend, who is one of the best manousch guitarists in the world, has had a band member staying over. I took him to Kroger and when we came back, he decided to boil some water. He took water from the Keurig (thinking it would make the water boil faster on the stove) and mixed it with faucet water, then placing the pot on the gas stove. Holy blah blah, and what Im trying to say is, shit got absolutely insane, and the house almost burned down. The bottom of the Keurig stuck to the bottom of the pot of water, which then was placed on the stove, which then lead to OMFG THE KITCHEN IS ON FIRE.

Seriously you guys, I couldn't have made up a more retarded situation. Therefore, my list was juuuuuuuuust a little shy of what everyone has provided. But hey! Anyone wanna see my cleavage? (this is to make up for my lack of posts this year).

Mastodon - Once More ‘Round The Sun

I’ve stroked it so hard over this album since August you have no idea. I’m a Mastodon dork and quite honestly have a hard time finding anything wrong with what they do. Of course, I believe the more you love a band the more you critique them, which is why its a rarity when a band so prolific can continue to blow my mind without too much fault. HOWEVER, I think that the bands last album, The Hunter, gets completely lost in their discography. It quite honestly didn’t do much of anything for me. So when OMRTS came out, I nearly cried tears of joy after the first listen. The cheerleader gang-vox on Aunt Lisa are clownly* and nuanced, the chorus’ on the first 3 songs of the album are catchy without lacking quality and consistency. So its like, head bang, sing along like your at a Lady Gaga concert, then proceed to head-bang, all without feeling like a girlie man. Its predictably unpredictable. You have a sense of whats coming, but only as far as you can piss outside on a windy day. I haven’t found myself getting this into an album in quite a long time. I could go on and on, but I’ll let the album do the rest of the talking. If you aren’t a Mastodon fan then you probably eat your own excrement. But seriously, give it a chance if they don’t particularly tickle your fancy. Do it for me. *bats eye-lashes*  ALSO: I never knew what "making an ass clap" really meant or looked like....i just...i can't even...
*Clownly: For something to have the demeanor in metaphor of a clown but also exude the underlying notion of fear through said nuance. 

Wild Throne - Blood Maker (EP)

I don’t care if this is 3 songs. This is one of the most prominent sounds to be heard in metal this year. The altered states of the music leave it resonating in your mind more than the memory of that hot chick you kissed from high-school after you graduated. I have honestly never felt the passion from a band as much as I do with the few songs we've been graced with on Blood Maker.  Listen to The Wrecking Ball Unchained and tell me if you don’t get an emotional punch in the face. If not, you just don’t get it. Currently these guys are working on a full length album set to come out sometime in 2015, so I’d have to say that is going to be the most highly anticipated album in my book, hands down. Go download their LP if you haven’t already. Just make sure you’re not around any children when you click play, because chances are they’ll be going to school tomorrow looking like Tina Turner before she left Ike. Had to sprinkle in some domestic violence humor, because its the holidays and battered women's shelters are taking quite the hit. DOH!

Panopticon - Roads To The North

Creating a follow-up worthy of 2012‘s Kentucky must’ve been like pulling a rotting molar from a barking vagina dentata. Austin Lunn managed to do so in such a skull-fucking manner that its mildly offensive. From snow crunching under the boots of a vagrant to whirlwind-whipping head-banging, Roads To The North blasts your face into oblivion from beginning to end. If it wasn’t for a literally endless conversation via Skype between many a metal blogger, I would not have known about Panopticon. Progressive, “djenty” black metal is pretty hard to come by. And by that i mean, only Panopticon can make it happen.  Taking elements of what is popular by way of talent rather than marketing, and meshing it with back-woods hospitality via not-sounding-like-a-bunch-of-wolves-shitting-in-a-rapeshack, Austin sets himself aside from the pack by a significant margin. The blue-grass, jug-band elements that persist replace the rather boring pre-ludes that black metal albums often incorporate. Its one of the most refreshing takes on the genre that I think we’ve witnessed to date. There is no redundancy. Listening to it while knocking boots or cleaning your room will most likely result in the same outcum.  Also: the beginning of Where Mountains Peirce The Sky sounds like She Talks To Angels by The Black Crowes. Just sayin’. 

The Devin Townsend Project - Z2

This would be the 2nd fangirl album released in one year. Heavy Devy brings what he does best - on a double album, no less. Granted he tends to release more than one album in a calendar year, a double album is beyond exciting. And he brought back my bish, Anneke van Giersbergen, who originally appeared on the always fabulous Addicted album. Its hard to describe an album of this magnitude without being face to face with someone; where one part leads off, another begins and describing that with full-on Devy-face is essential. Here are some of the many thoughts i’ve had while in the midst of this masterpeice: 
  • The ending of Universal Flame makes me want to go to church.  And sit in the back. And not touch anything.
  • Silent Militia’s cock-rockesque beginning reminds me of how I didn’t join those random middle-aged dudes at the Motley Crue and Alice Cooper concert a couple months ago. Also: major Soilwork Stabbing The Drama on this track. 
  • Huge synth orgy. I wish someone heard this fart. 
  • You really get the melding of DTP’s last 3 albums on this one. I often fall asleep and wake-up to Ghost, so the layered harmonies stick out, especially since they are in a similar key to a multitude of songs on Ghost.
  • This is hot to strip too, but impossible to fuck too. Unless you're one of the women in the Mastodon 'Motherload" video. Because OMG. 

The Contortionist - Language

This years “pretty” album release has to go to The Contortionist, hands down.  Pretty things don't need descriptions. They're like a woman's face. Say that to your girl, you'll get the BEST head. For real. 

Killer Be Killed

SUPERGROUPZOMG. This ain’t you’re daddys jam sesh, son. This is the best get together of current, influential musicians in a very long time. This is kind of like, the dream team if metal musicians who actually have something to offer - unlike - say, Chickenfoot, which most members have been recipients of a new plastic hip. Max Cavelera? Troy Sanders? Greg Puciato? That other guy I’m not sure i’ve ever heard of? Only great things can come from a mix like this, and that's exactly what happened. I will admit that there is a tinge of “gay” floating around in the Killer Be Killed sound, but its no deal breaker and actually enhances and balances the more br00tal sections of their sound as a whole. All of this raises the question: does Max ever fucking sleep? Seriously. 

Spectral Lore - III

With elements of Behemoth circa Qudoash, Spectral Lore delivers a titillating black album that doesn’t bore you to pieces. With quickness the album gets up off its feet and births a doom-wielding sound that can only be rivaled by my beloved Panopticon. Granted, these are two very different animals in my opinion, but the link has to be addressed. As a black metal album, the recording was somewhere in-between your moms garage and a successful friends home studio; it blends together seamlessly without giving off that “our bassists buddy was fucking this chick for a while and her best-friends boyfriend hooked us up with some studio time” type of vibe. Although there are times I find myself skipping through songs when I’m not in the mood for melodic “lulls” (for lack of a better word), this does not at all effect the album as a whole. Sometimes you just wanna rage, and inquisitive guitar segways can only do so much when all your thinking about is drinking a glass of Old Guardian and slam-dancing at a concert.

Trollfest - Kaptein Kaos

Okay, I know I’m going to get shit for this but I don’t care. I think Trollfest are hilarious. Plus something had to take the place of Austrian Death machine in my “funny metal” category. Really nothing new to the Trollfest front besides more kitschy party music. Think Andrew W.K. but with lyrics in a made-up language that's a mishmash of German and Nordic. Their style is a similar cluster-fuck of sounds that that somehow works to their advantage. Think about a mix of Eluvetie, Korpiklanni, Andrew W.K., some pirates and the occasional tuba and you’ve got Kaptein Kaos at its finest. Everyone needs a good “fuck this shit, lets rage” album, and I’d have to say this has crept into my top 5 throughout the year. I suggest listening to this album while wrapping Christmas gifts, because that's exactly what I’m doing when I’m done writing this fucking list. 

Tombs - Savage Gold

I first heard of Tombs back in 2008 when they played a free show with Made Out Of Babies in Philly. They absolutely tore shit up and I’ve been a fan ever since. Savage Gold is the first true full-length album by the band that successfully executes their sound in a definitive manner. Double-bass attacks, swift turn-arounds and crushing riffs make this album a skip-less masterpiece. I mean, they recorded with Erik Rutan for fuck sake. This album was bound for success in that regard alone. Fun fact: the first time I listened to this album I was on the toilet with a bad case of mud-butt from a questionable batch of spinach dip. It was a fitting soundtrack for all the time spent in my porcelain prison. I hope that gave you some disturbing visuals. Enjoy the rest of your day. 

In Flames - Siren Charms

I was hesitant to put this on my list because its certainly not my favorite release from In Flames but out of respect and adoration, it needed to happen. Clearly over the years they have taken a “different” path then one would’ve expected, to say the least. They’ve kept key signature portions of their sound in tact but marched right on, album by album with an obviously different objective, opting for a more radio-friendly concept. Which is fine...I guess. At the end of the day we can’t force an evolving band to create the same sound over and over again; that takes away the point of artistry all together. So although I’d prefer a larger dose of heavy on Siren Charms, at the end of the day any In Flames is better than no In Flames at all. Hopefully that comment doesn’t come back to bite me in the ass. 

Honerable Mentions:

Behemoth - The Santanist
I hate that this is just an honorable mention, but honestly...I just didn't listen to this album as much as I did the others.

Britney Spears - Britney Jean
I love my Brit. She could crap into her own mouth, gargle it, chase it with Budweiser and call it an album and I will STILL bump 5 of the songs. Bitches stick together. 

Milky Chance - Sadnecessy (2013)
This was released last year but was not recognized until later in 2014. I fucking enjoy this entirely too much. I feel there that is revolution with pop music - with kids (and adults) - finally realizing that what they're being fed is just as bad as what cows, pigs, chickens, and all of us are forced to choke down on a daily basis. Celebrate the new and the simple. 

The rest of my mentions:

We all forget what life has to give us. I'm a fucking crazy bitch, and I love it. However, life hands us things that even the craziest, most intelligent, motivationally prompt folk equally difficult situations.   This was my year. I apologize for my absence, metalers, and hope that in 2015 you and I find ourselves in situations that have noting to do with death and everything to do with partying.

- Angela

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