(Here’s the first of KevinP’s monthly selection of releases for 2016, naming his Top 5 favorite albums released or scheduled for release during January.)
Writing these little “intros” for the monthly picks are by far my least favorite part of what I have to do. I always try and keep it pithy even on the off chance I have something profound to say. So on that note, here we go……
5. Just Before Dawn – The Dead and Those About to Die (EP)
Much in the same way you know Islander will update the site 67 times per day without fail, Sweden’s mid-paced Bolt-Throwing death metal machine, Just Before Dawn, continues churning out the same material release after release. I’m not saying that either one is bad, quite the contrary. It’s nice to have that kind of consistency and expectation (and free time on your hands). The third full-length album is due later this year.
4. Chthonic Cult – I Am the Scourge of Eternity
I’m convinced that Iron Bonehead Productions has some secret underground lab where they churn out bands to sign. There isn’t a month that goes by where my inbox doesn’t have some new band that IBP is releasing material from. Which brings us to this Polish/German band and their debut release of viscous black/death mayhem. Raw and bestial enough to fit what you would expect from this label, but not too much where it comes across as a sloppy, unpolished affair. Normally music of this ilk doesn’t reside in tracks ranging from 8 to 14 minutes, but somehow it works.
3. Latitudes – Old Sunlight
I don’t listen to much progressive metal, so I’m not going to go into detail on the specifics, except that rarely does this type of music have such an immediacy to it. For the most part this an instrumental affair with a few scattered vocal parts in a couple of songs. Musically this really grabbed me and demanded attention. No pointless noodling or meandering sensibilities for the sake of self-reflection, just straight-up quality prog with some dashes of black, death, and sludge to round it all out.
2. Affliction Gate – Dying Alone (EP)
Back in November when we premiered a track from this EP I stated that I really didn’t care for the idea of this being coined old school death metal or using another band to describe what these Frenchies were doing, and I still stand by that. This is DEATH METAL. You don’t need to quantify it with any other adjectives. This is what death metal sounds like, not old, new, modern, it just IS.
1. Fifth to Infinity – Omnipotent Transdimensional Soulfire
I can already see the eyes rolling into the back of some of your heads based on the band name, album title, and label releasing it. It probably doesn’t help matters that I’m gonna tell you this is atmospheric dark metal with elements of melodic black and death metal to it. Oh, and Martin Lopez (Soen, ex-Opeth/Amon Amarth) is the drummer. Are you still with me? Good, now remove your SurgicalBrute panties from your orifice and stay with me here.
Scrap any preconceived notion you may have about anything I’ve said and give the album a listen. It’s fresh, heavy, dark, and will be one of the better things you’ll have heard in 2016, even when December rolls around.
And if you require a more thorough analysis, you can read Andy Synn’s review of the album here.
I need to get the Just Before Dawn and Affliction Gate EPs right now!! 🙂
I had forgotten that Just Before Dawn had some new stuff coming out. Nice.
Affliction Gate sounds pretty decent.
Thanks a lot for the Affliction Gate write-up man! It’s as good as death metal can get – raw, old school, and with SOUL!
Panties still firmly in place…cant say the same for my interest in Fifth to Infinity
Nailed it 🙂
That Affliction Gate is pretty fun! Liking the melodic tremolo riffs, and the drums and bass are solid and come through nicely! The tone of the first solo kind of reminds me of 90’s Blind Guardian for some reason o.o
Second solo in the song “Negative Lucidity”, that is.
Yes, the name, title, and label (as well as the cover art) indeed belie the heaviness and originality of Fifth to Infinity’s sound. It is extraordinary.
Chthe’ilist – Le Dernier Crépuscule? January is not over yet
No Chthe’ilist, huh?
I’m really having a hard time understanding how two EPs beat out that masterpiece, but to each their own I guess.
Looks like Zack and I were on the same page at the same moment haha
To be fair, the album technically isn’t out yet. I got my pre-order about two weeks ago
as -ggg- and Zack already mentioned Chthe’ilist – the only released track “Voidspawn” rules everything on this list.
convince yourself: https://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/album/le-dernier-cr-puscule
and the skaphe release was moved to march 🙁
OK, everyone has to remember, WE GET ACCESS TO PROMOS anywhere from 1 week to 3 months ahead of time. Print media gets stuff even earlier due to deadlines, so regardless of what day we post a “Best of” list, I’ve heard anything that has come out for the given month 🙂
That being said, I couldn’t take the Chthe’ilist seriously. I like Demilich alot, but this came across as waaay too similar. I don’t like when bands literally “ape” the sound of another band (I don’t like Gruesome at all either). And more times than not, I tend to not like Canadian bands.
I’m probably in the minority as I’m sure this will be the album that everyone goes nuts over this year. But I also don’t like Horrendous either, and everyone goes crazy for them as well 🙂
I also can not comprehend the hype for Horrendous (besides the cover art), but Chthe’ilist sounds like next level tech death, only surpassed by Inferi.
Ah, so now you understand how annoying it can be when, instead of talking about what you’ve actually written about, people just spontaneously decide you haven’t fulfilled your “obligation” by talking about whatever band they want to read about.
I mean, comments like:
“I’m really having a hard time understanding how two EPs beat out that masterpiece, but to each their own I guess.”
Just come across as really condescending and passive-aggressive, even if they’re not meant that way. Plus it shouldn’t be that hard to understand that MAYBE WE JUST HAVEN’T HEARD IT YET!
That’s laughable. Gorguts put out the best METAL album this year – don’t deny it. Stop trying to be different – you’re only appealing to hipsters. Have fun with that. I thought I’d found a credible metal music site to frequent – apparently not. Laters.
Sweet, do I own the site now?
THE TIME OF PURIFICATION IS AT HAND!!!
I bequeath all our debts to you… ENJOY!
I was just hoping for some clarification on why Chthe’ilist was beat out by two decent EPs. I’m not too sure why you’re getting you panties in a bunch.
Really like that Affliction Gate track. Also I agree, death metal needs no qualifying adjectives. It simply IS!
3/5 of these albums came out last year… Although I agree that Latitudes deserves a spot. And Filth to Infinity is pretty excellent.