(I invited Patrick Bruss, aka Crypticus, to share his year-end list with us, because I had a high degree of confidence I would like everything on it that I knew about and would need to track down everything else I didn’t know about. And I was right.)
BRUTALLY DECEASED – Black Infernal Vortex
Listen to those chainsaws! Lots of Sunlight Studio-style bands these days, but only a few have the special rotted & filthy feeling that made those DISMEMBER & GOD MACABRE albums so much fun. These guys are bathing in it. Savage yet melodic riffs & a slaughterhouse production.
DESECRESY – Chasmic Transcendence
Over several albums they’ve been slowly developing their own unique style of haunting Death Metal with hypnotic Science Fiction atmospheres. A great soundtrack for exploring an abandoned space station full of dead monsters.
FORESEEN – Helsinki Savagery
This year’s POWER TRIP. It has become one of my favorite Thrash albums ever. Over-the-top in the same way “The Ultraviolence” & “The Legacy” were. This album literally commands you to Mosh.
GRIM LEGION – Unholy Resurrection
Nothing new here but some seriously nasty & bass-heavy Death Metal in the old JL America tradition, but you know, not shitty. Old School without being retro. Thick-ass bass sound! Get this instead of that boring new OBITUARY album.
HATE STORM ANNIHILATION – Storm of Flames
These guys from Chicago are a drum/guitar duo like CRYPTICUS. Kind of like NILE without all the Egyptology or BEHEMOTH without the Hellraiser cosplay, but having their own style. Just fucking big destructive Death Metal without pretense. Really nice guys too.
HOUR OF PENANCE – Regicide
I’m very jealous of some of these riffs. I’d never been into these guys before but they really upped their game with this album & forced me to fall in line. Just a class in powerful Death Metal riffery. The speed & extremity never overshadow the crushing & tasteful guitar work.
MORBUS CHRON – Sweven
Just a rotted psychedelic mushroom of an album. A lot of people didn’t get it, but maybe they didn’t listen to it stoned in a foggy park after a blizzard? (Probably not) I’ve said it before – If there was Death Metal in the early ’70s it would sound like this. Progressive Post Death Metal? Also some of the my favorite guitar playing this year. There’s nobody else right now like MORBUS CHRON.
THE SILENCE INDUSTRY – Brother Sing, Sister Shout
Warning: Not Metal. I’m a big fan of FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM, early THE SISTERS OF MERCY, etc. so it was a great surprise to discover this band. Imagine Pornography-era THE CURE if they had a Metal drummer.
USURPRESS – Ordained
Crusty D-Beat Death played all on the neck pickup for extra morbidity. VOIVOD-esque blower bass provided by that guy who wrote the “Swedish Death Metal” book. ‘Nuff said.
VANHELGD – Relics of Sulfur Salvation
Been following these guys since their first album but I was not prepared for this. With this they jump from merely being “fun” to having something powerful to say. Dark & epic.
OFFAL – Horrorfiend (not yet released)
This may be cheating since I handled the mastering for this album, but it’s honestly some of the most quality Goregrind I’ve heard in years. Fans of early CARCASS & MACHETAZO, keep an ear out for this great album.