(We convinced “MiQe” Löfberg, vocalist for the long-running Belgian metal band In-Quest, to contribute to our year-end LISTMANIA series, and here’s what he wrote.)
Since I am not anything of a reviewer I’ll leave the real deal to the pro’s and will keep my comments more or less short and to the point. I rant enough on stage! 😉
To end the year of 2013, here are 13 albums and some of my personal favorites from the past year. So here it goes, in no particular order:
1. Hypocrisy – End of Disclosure
Peter Tägtgren has always had interesting bands/projects and I always enjoyed Hypocrisy. Very strong new album.
Top track: “End of Disclosure”
2. Vildhjarta – Thousands of Evils [EP]
Although I liked the full album Måsstaden more, this band is just a blast. For sure, one of the better and most original “Djent” bands. I really like the word games they sometimes do with the titles (mostly in Swedish though). As the track below, translates to: “Losing your mind/going crazy”, it also refers to mist/fog. A fogged up mind, what are we smoking there son? At least that is what I see in the title. Might be I’m a bit crazy too, but do I care? haha, “Thall pÂ er” as the boys would say!
Top track: “Mist förståndet”
3. Meshuggah – Koloss
Although released at the end 2012, I listened to it a lot this year. One of the bigger influences, but honestly I liked obZen more. Still, a band that never lets you down as far as technicality goes. Some of my favorite albums of all time are Destroy/Erase/Improve, Nothing, and Chaosphere.
Top track: “Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion”
4. Thy Art is Murder – Hate
Our sound engineer got me into this band, really like the death-core, mixed with a technical approach and modern post-death. A gem of an album.
Top tracks: “The Purest Strain of Hate” & “Shadow of Eternal Sin”.
5. Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals – Walk Through Exits Only
It’s a given for me. There’s no secret that Mr. Phil Hansen has always been one of my biggest vocal influences, and both Pantera and Down are some of my fave bands ever. Nice mix of “old school” Slayer Thrash, Punk’orama a’la Discharge, and Pantera-esque “Fuck you” attitude.
Top track: “Betrayed”
6. Badge – If I Could Love I’d Love This
This is a band I got into already from the previous CD Kill Another Fuzz. I’m totally addicted to the track “Pleasure”. A good friend, Ken Haake (last name rings a bell, Ed) introduced me to this crazy ass “rocka-hillbilly-blues-bluegrass-metal-act”. Can’t really describe it in any other way. Been a fan ever since and I recommend you give this a spin.
Top track: “Down to Earth”
7. Pro-Pain – The Final Revolution
Just recently out, so didn’t really have the time to listen to it so much yet, but man, the power of Gary Meskil’s vocals have always kept me intrigued. I saw them live just a few weeks ago, always awesome and straight to the (dome) point performances. A friend/Belgian drummer Jonas Sanders (Resistance, Komah, Age of Torment, a.o.) plays with them now and he is doing a darn good job.
Top track: “Southbound”
8. In-Quest – Chapter 8, the Odyssey of Eternity
I acually listened the most to our own CD this year, which make sense since we worked our asses off on it. It might seem a bit “cocky” to mention your own band, but honestly, writing and recording this album was such a pleasure and we are very happy and proud of the result. I recommend you check it out!
Thanks also to NCS & Andy Synn for the great review and support.
Shameless self-promotion: www.in-quest.be
Personal favourite: “The Algorhythmic Alignments”
9. Bear – Noumenon
A quite new Belgian band, which is highly recommended. A blend of hardcore and modern “technical” metal. Very energetic live band as well. We’ve already done a few shows with these guys and I thought for sure they are worth a mention. They sometimes remind me of a Swedish band called Nine.
Top track: “Rain”
10. Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt
What can I say? Eddie frekkin’ Vedder! Another huge voice who always inspired me, from the days of Ten and project band Temple of the Dog, still going strong.
Top track: “Sirens”
11. Crimson Falls – Downpours Of Disapproval
Good friends of In-Quest, we’ve always enjoyed doing live shows with these guys and they always put out very good stuff. One of the Belgian metal toppers in my opinion. The title track’s got some of the best break-down parts I’ve ever heard.
Top track: “Downpours Of Disapproval”
12. Soilwork – The Living Infinite
The whole Göteborg, Swedish Melodic Death Metal scene (although I usually prefer the Stockholm death metal scene) has always been interesting, and I find this one of the best bands from the area. Speed’s lyrics are just a joy to read and listen to; such lyrical depth is extremely rare. Also, Dirk is in my opinion one of the best drummers out there, in so many genres and different bands.
Top track: “This Momentary Bliss”
13. Black Sabbath – 13
I, like many others, always felt that metal would not even be around if it were not for this band. Still kicking it after +35 years, ‘nuf said.
Top track: “Live Forever”
Hail Of Bullets — III: The Rommel Chronicles (top track: “Swoop of the Falcon”)
Carcass — Surgical Steel (top track: “A Congealed Clot Of Blood”)
Suffocation — Pinnacle of Bedlam (top track: “My Demise”)
Kataklysm — Waiting for the End to Come (top track: “Elevate”)
Facebreaker — Dedicated to the Flesh (top tracks: “Meat Freak” & “Zombie Flesh Cult”)
Looking forward (2014) to the release of:
Entombed – Back to the Front
…and whatever other cool ear torture will be unleached.