Saturday, January 5, 2013

Top 5 Albums NOT of 2012 (Day Five)

...And here we are at the end of our look at some of the great albums that could have happened in 2012.  It's interesting we have yet another rather technical band.  Gorguts and Coroner deserve honorable mention in the highly anticipated and oft-delayed, two reunions that have yet to bear albums despite both bands performing new material live.  Does anyone know what happened to Spiral Architect?  We did get one album of the noodley and brutal that was long overdue; the new Spawn of Possesion.  ...And it wasn't that great.  Anyway, hopefully all the bands listed can avoid a similar disappointment if/when these albums reach our ears.

Anata- Greed Conquers All

If a single band could represent the term 'underrated' you couldn't pick a much better fit than Anata.  They haven't really had much of a breakthrough despite writing some of the best technical death metal albums around.  They've only gotten better with time, developing a more cohesive and potent formula throughout their four full lengths.  Full length number five, however, seems to be held up by the always dreaded "label issues."  Something with Earache possibly not letting Anata out of their contract and Earache saying they aren't in touch with the guys... who knows?  What we know is that the album is completely done and that the album is called "Greed Conquers All"... maybe.  Years ago a pair of 45 second instrumental samples were posted on the band's Myspace, doing just enough to prove that the band isn't dead.  If the delays are on Earache lets hope that greed doesn't conquer Anata.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Top 5 Albums NOT of 2012 (Day Four)

Quo Vadis- But Who Prays for Satan? (really?)

Back in 2008, technical/melodic Quebecois death metallers Quo Vadis suffered one hell of a setback.  They had scheduled a sort of farewell show for drummer Yanic Bercier, the only other original member left from the band's inception aside from songwriter/guitarist Bart Frydrychowic. The very same gig saw Bart suffer an aggravation of an old ligament injury.  His knees gave out and he, refusing to end the show early, finished the show seated, likely in agony.  After a pair of surgeries Bart quashed rumors of Quo Vadis disbanding, confirmed several new additions to the lineup and purported to have "two albums worth of material."  At this point it'd been four years since "Defiant Imagination" and fans were chomping at the bit. A rough mix of a song entitled "Equilibrium" eventually surfaced on the band's Myspace page and an Internet-only single consisting of the song "Orbitus" was released a couple of years later.  The last line of their Wikipedia insists that the new album is coming... in 2011.

Quo Vadis generally spend a little longer between albums and Bart Frydrychowic has shown that he doesn't give up easily.  Hopefully we'll see the new album (possibly with a different title...) soon.

Metal Haul II: 01/04/13

Vinyl enthusiast Cricket during the inaugural spin of "Under the Moonspell"
A trip to Columbus landed me in the vicinity of Magnolia Thunderpussy, an amusingly named music store on North High Street.  It'd been years since I'd last walked through those doors but I found their glorious metal section in exactly the same spot, though a much larger selection of vinyl is now present.  After agonizing over a few choices I ended up with the following:
From left to right, top to bottom:
Moonspell- Under the Moonspell (Picture Disc)
-Let this slip through my fingers on CD too many times, Moonspell's relatively primitive but unique and spirited early EP.
Suffocation- Despise the Sun
-Ridiculously short but powerful EP that sort of bridges classic Suffocation and their post-reunion material.
Moonspell- Alpha Noir/Omega White (2CD Digibook)
-One of 2012's most ambitious releases.  Two albums: one heavy, one light, packaged together in a gorgeous book-style presentation.
Satyricon- The Shadowthrone
-I now have all the Satyricon that really matters;, their 90's albums and a split with Enslaved that includes their only demo officially available.
Nox- Ixaxaar
-Though it's unfortunate this project is laid to rest, Centurian existing again makes up for it.
Dark Angel- Times Does Not Heal (Black Edition) (Oversized Digipack)
-Strange format, it's in between the size of a DVD and a CD, comes inside a slipcase with a booklet, also of bizarre proportions.
Shub Niggurath- Horror Creatures
-A compilation of obscure Lovecraftian oldschool death from Mexico.


Global Domination: Obituary- World Demise (Review)

Obituary at their grooviest, how does it hold up?

Review: Obituary- World Demise

Global Domination: Brutality- When the Sky Turns Black (review)

The second album from one of death metal's most underrated.

Review: Brutality- When the Sky Turns Black

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top 5 Albums NOT of 2012 (Day Three)

Virgin Black- Requiem - Pianissimo

There's something about trilogies that seems popular in films that hasn't really caught on as much in music.  A three part movie series is almost expected of a modern blockbuster movie.  One tends to think of albums as two-parters if they're extended past LP length, and even this isn't exactly a common move in extreme heavy metal.  Opeth's Deliverance and its companion Damnation, the newest releases from Baroness and Moonspell , Helloween's pair of "Keeper" albums are all examples (the former and latter stretching the "double album" terminology) but most bands stay shy of the 80 minute mark and keep their albums on one disc.  Gothic doomsters Virgin Black had a more ambitious idea, however.  Three albums, all backed by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, each expressing a different facet of the band.  Record label intervention led to the three albums being staggered and released in a different order than the original intention.  Fair enough, it made sense to put a year between the albums and to issue "Requiem - Mezzo Forte" in 2007 first, as it represented an extension of the band's older sound.  "Requiem - Fortissimo" was next and it was definitely a shock to hear at first.  This was the band at their most aggressive; guttural howls atop crushing death/doom.  In a perfect world 2009 would've brought as the "Pianissimo" part of the trilogy, a completely symphonic release.  For some reason years have gone by and the band is on an "extended break" without concrete plans to the album's fate.

Until "Pianissimo"'s release we're left with an incomplete work.  What's doubly frustrating was that it's considered part one of the trilogy.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top 5 Albums NOT of 2012 (Day Two)

Necrophagist- The Path to Naught/Death to the Faithful

Necrophagist has followed somewhat of a strange trajectory in their career.  And I imagine its driven their (presumably still current) record label insane.  It seems they reached some kind of peak in popularity far into the touring cycle for their last album, capping things off by headlining 2007's Summer Slaughter tour.  Okay, it was three years from the release of "Epitaph", maybe the American tech-death scene was a little slow to it but headlining an ambitious package tour like that made sense even if your band has already missed the general two year album pattern.  Okay, so you've got a big tour under your belt and a bunch of the bands you've influenced are making some waves in the scene.  Time to get out that new album and show 'em how it's done!  Or not... Although we haven't had the many false-starts and perpetually moving release dates as a lot of the albums on this list, the almost silence from the band on the matter isn't exactly comforting.  Type in "new Necrophagist album" on Google and you'll mostly bring up jokes about how, well, there is no new Necrophagist album.

I don't know the official status of this album-to-be but someone going by the handle "severin justin' posted the following on Necrophagist's Myspace page four months ago:

"Some day it makes boom and there will be a new Necrophagist Album from hell"

Some day...