(We once again invited “B” from the Siberian band Station Dysthymia — whose music is available on Bandcamp here — to share with us his list of favorite 2014 releases, and once again he graciously agreed.)
Hello, NCS readers, I’m B, vox and bass of the Siberian funeral doom band Station Dysthymia. This is the second time I get the honor to be invited to participate in this Listmania extravaganza, and I’m not shifting the concept one bit — this is not a list of the “best” albums of the year, because I don’t believe such a thing is even possible to compile — so many albums, so little time. This is a list of releases that moved me personally on an emotional level: albums, demos, debuts… who cares, right? So, without further ado, let’s get started!
“пластилин” by фанни каплан (“plastilin”, by fanny kaplan)
Let’s get the odd non-metal entry out of the way. I can’t even accurately place this band anywhere on my musical map — so little it has to do with the music I usually listen to. This made me very sceptical initially, but my preconceptions got blown out of the water somewhere around the second track (included in this post) — this bizarre record contains some of the most authentic, sincere music I have ever heard. Watch out for these three girls, they’re really onto something!
“Foundations of Burden” by Pallbearer
If I actually had to pick THE best album of 2014, this would be the most likely winner. Funny that, I thought the same of their 2012 debut. With their insane melodicism and unparalleled mastery of The Riff, they represent what is best in doom. Too bad it’s highly unlikely I can ever catch them live.
“Time To Die” by Electric Wizard
I was very worried about this one, as their previous EP Legalise Drugs and Murder was a turd of an attempt at self-irony — if they tried to sound like a two-bit, third-echelon clone of themselves, then mission fucking accomplished. The preview of “Sadiowitch” did not help to change my mind. Fortunately to beardfucks everywhere, that was about the only bad song on the actual album. Some songs, like “Funeral of Your Mind”, are some of the downright evilest stuff the band ever recorded, and that’s a feat. I am glad that the Wizard in Black is back.
“Acoustic Wizard” by Acoustic Wizard
Electric Wizard should have totally done THIS instead of Legalise Drugs and Murder, I tell you…
“Имена на стене” by KYPCK (“Imena na stene” by Kursk)
Been following this band since their first singles on MySpace. So far, all their albums have been great — very characteristic, but always different in some key aspect. This one in particular is the lightest — the songs are catchy to the point I’ll dare calling it doom-pop. The songs truly shine when played live — I finally had a chance to see KYPCK perform, and it was something out of this world. Erkki, besides being a top-notch singer, also has a charisma (both on- and off-stage) that shouldn’t even be legal. If I were a girl, I would’ve ended up throwing my soaked underwear at the stage. Being your standard male beardfuck, I had to limit myself to throwing the horn sign and yelling a lot between the songs.
“Clearing the Path to Ascend” by YOB
When we started Station Dysthymia, one of our primary goals was doing music “like YOB, but funeral doom”. What sets apart YOB from any other sludge/stoner band are their consistency and strong identity; in both their image and their sound. The voice and the music’s pulsations are instantly recognizable. The music is catchy, but not exaggeratedly so. They also avoid the Unholy Trinity of Stoner/Sludge Kitsch — Satan, Drugs, and Phat Riffs. This album is not an exception.
“London” by Voices
The silver lining of Akercocke being no more is Voices. Although there are some obvious parallels, this spiritual successor manages to still be original — there’s a very unique approach to clean sound and vocals which sets the band apart, made abundantly clear by their latest effort.
“Codex Perfida” by Vircolac
Very nuanced and dynamic release! Vircolac has to be one of the most organic black/death hybrids I know, not so much switching between as seamlessly fusing the parent genres.
“Познание Тьмой” by Истина (“Poznanie T’moj”, Istina)
Can’t say I’m a huge DSBM fan — most of it falls deaf on my ears, because everyone is a clone of either Xasthur or Silencer. Not this one though — it has the melodic feel inherent to the genre, but it also has a certain je ne sais quoi aspect of their sound, which kept me enthralled for the whole duration. In case you were wondering, the band name means “Truth”, and the album title means “Cognition Through Darkness”.
“Darkspace III” by Darkspace
While I enjoyed the album by itself on its release date, what really pushed it over the top for me was when I decided to blast it while playing System Shock II, instead of that game’s technofuck of a soundtrack. Can’t say it differs much from their previous records, but this year they confirmed they’re still one of the most unique bands around.
“Melana Chasmata” by Triptykon
I’m a Tom G. Warrior fanboy, so I am obligated to include this album. In my defense, Triptykon essentially is the logical continuation of Celtic Frost’s Monotheist, probably the most mature album the band ever released. Triptykon preserve Monotheist’s most important quality — the music is not a genre salad, but a sturdy amalgam of every extreme metal sub-genre. This is what you get when pioneers never let go of their artistic integrity.
“En Naturlig Död” by DRÅP
Whatever I write is not going to do justice to the relentless audial assault that is this album, which starts from the first seconds. DRÅP are giving some of the seminal black/crust hybrids a run for their money.
“Elddop” by Martyrdöd
Speaking of seminal black/crust hybrids, Martyrdöd also posted a claim this year which, while falling short of the challenger DRÅP, is a very interesting evolution of their raw sound to something more refined — which might sound bad on paper, this being crust and all, but Martyrdöd pulled it off.
“The Awaiting Coffins” by Churchburn
Last year, I complained that Churchburn’s EP was too short, and I had to queue it up three times in a row to sate my hunger. Nothing much new here, just a couple more songs along with the old ones, to extend your listening pleasure. Not that there’s anything bad about it.
“Fallen in Disbelief” by Unmercenaries
Last minute entry — I was not expecting this album to be released this year. Nevertheless, I had some time to digest it, as I got a chance at an early sneak peek, courtesy of Moscow Funeral League. This is a joint project of Who Dies In Siberian Slush and My Shameful members, which resulted in a thoroughly enjoyable release that all funeral doom fans should check out. I usually prefer my funeral doom without prominent synths, and that is because few bands can even approach such rich use of the instrument as this album showcases.
“Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves” by Autopsy
Last year I ranted about Autopsy’s comeback, and this year I can only repeat myself — this is how it’s done.
“Reality of Decay” by Decay of Reality
Yet another interesting side-project including Who Dies In Siberian Slush members, this one together with Hater, guitarist of Abstract Spirit. I approached this album already familiar with the band, already having the privilige of witnessing them live (even shared a stage with them), but it is a good place to start for anyone, as it simply contains all of their songs to date. I was not disappointed, as this is slow and groovy, doom-infused death metal that is so uncommon these days.
“Demo 2014” by Radiation Vomit
It’s demo time! Out of grindcore, I always gravitated towards the punk-influenced old-school stuff, that does not sound like bodily substances leaving orifices in an exaggerated fashion — not that there’s anything bad about that. This is a perfect example of what scratches my itch.
“Demo 2x19x53” by Automorphism
And, to again shamelessly self-promote and at the same time logically continue the previous entry, I present to you the demo of an old-school grindcore band I participate in. In essence, it is a joke band that got serious — why not only write lyrics about the day-to-day struggles of college students with higher math, when you can set it up with your best Terrorizer and Carcass riffs?
This concludes my list, at an amazingly round 19 entries. Enjoy your holiday hangovers, folks!