Top Album Jamz Of 2017

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Into the void itself with this year’s list…..better grab a pen and piece of paper.

2017 for the most part has been a life-changing year for myself. So much has happened after the 1 year anniversary of starting this blog it feels like I’m now starting life all-over again. It’s fucking great though. I’m sure a few people are wondering why I haven’t been more ‘vocal’ about things lately. Truth be told I’m tired at trying to drive a nail through a concrete bunker wall. I haven’t given up on this by any means, I’m still working at it. But for now I’m re-assessing my priorities because bitching and whining about what he-said/she-said and then coming in with my two cents doesn’t exactly help the idea of civil online discourse especially when I drop an F-bomb every five seconds in typical black Irish fashion. If anything I add on to the ever-growing online social media dogpile that happens whenever someone says something. And may be I’m finally growing…..older…..not old. I’m still 34 for fuck’s sake. But hurtling towards 35 with a kid on the way is showing me that there’s more to life than trying to stay on top of the online bitch fest. That part has gotten old by itself. So if you don’t see me adding my 2 cents on to whatever someone says, I’m simply not giving them the attention and clicks they deserve. I say just let ‘them’ be blissfully unaware at the lack of their logic and reasoning and continue to indulge in their utopian pipe dream all while completely ignoring history.

With that said, again it’s been nothing but positive change and personal growth for me. I can honestly say as 2017 has had it’s challenges, what with hurricanes and surgeries, part-time jobs, scoring my ever first professional interview for Noisey of all places, meeting and talking to a lot of cool people (both in-person and online), etc. It’s been keeping me on my toes. Most of all I found the love of my life. My wife and I are now building our lives and expecting our very first child within the upcoming year. So I am grateful. I’m grateful that everyone has helped supported Esoterica Codex be it by spreading the word via mouth, sharing, clicking that like button and commenting on my shit as well as checking out the bands I talk about and also giving me hails. With that said….here are the top 20 jamz to help make 2017 a pretty kick-ass year.

1). Paradise LostMedusa (Nuclear Blast)

This should be no secret by now. Anyone who knows me personally knows how much I am a massive fan of the UK’s lords of Doom. In PL’s case, it’s the case of the old dog improving on old tricks and showing the young puppers what the to do when the master summons for thy bidding. With the exception of the other Doom Metal-related bands on this list, this album alone wiped the slate clean of shitty Sleep-worship stoner rock bands having the audacity of calling themselves “doom metal.” And a proper return to their Death-Doom roots of 1991’s “Gothic” and 1992’s “Shades Of God.” Depression never felt so euphoric.

2). UlverThe Assassination Of Julius Caesar (House Of Mythology)

Shocked to find this artist on the list towering over the rest of the rather gloomy, subversive, and doom-laden? Well, reason why this is so high is the significance of this album and how it pertains to being the soundtrack to my life having such a dramatic change. Ulver doing Depeche Mode synth-pop with proper justice. It’s the album that has helped me at various times relax and clear my head that is swarming with obsessions over music and my blog and helped me pause for a minute and enjoy life. Not a lot of albums make me do that.

3). Drab MajestyThe Demonstration (Dais Records)

I keep coming back to this album for so-many unexplained reasons. Who knows why. For me it’s like a memory of a youthful feeling that’s so far away that trying to grasp it is depressingly out of your reach even though it’s already in your hands. I don’t know if that makes any sense. But I do know what makes sense: this album is fucking sweet. I constantly get lost in this album. Alongside Ulver, Drab Majesty are currently making the sweetest non-Metal jamz to seriously fuck with.

4). Spectral VoiceEroded Corridors Of Unbeing (Dark Descent Records)

Hype! That’s all I hear. But then who ISN’T hyped these days? I can name some but I refuse to give those ‘artists’ the attention of time of day. Spectral Voice was the unexplained Old One that Blood Incantation was summoning with 2016’s “Starspawn.” I’m not sure what it is they were trying to summon, but it’s weird and pissed-off whatever it is.

5). FINArrows Of A Dying Age (Folter Records)

If I can pin-point on a US black metal band that does the old-school sound with justice and no bullshit Euro-worship gimmicks, it’s Chicago’s very own sons of darkness, FIN. They totally capture the days of all of us here in the States listening to Painiac/Sombre Records releases and then throwing our North American take on that. It’s deadly, it’s an agressive, manic, pissed-off middle finger to everything that is false. It’s old-school, it’s melodic, and yet it’s a perfect snapshot of how black metal in 2017 SHOULD sound like as opposed to it trying to be something it’s not which is ‘post-modern. Fucking yuck. Support for FIN is total support for US Black Metal showing what the fuck it can do when it properly flexes it’s muscles.

6). HauntHaunt (Independent/Self-Released)

Truly the most disgusting and NECRO fucking black metal record of 2017, and quite possibly some-time. Haunt is like if you dug up the corpse of Mayhem’s Dead, Euronymous and Bathory’s Quorthon, put them in some dank, wet basement with a 4-track recorder to capture the spirit of what once was. But enhanced the cold and grave-like atmosphere with a weird digital/white noise edge to the guitar riffs and overall sound. Taste the grave dear readers, it’s been waiting for you.

7). LossHorizonless (Profound Lore Records)

The lords of US Funeral Doom are back with their second album and all the pain and misery in the world. There isn’t words enough to justify just how this album overshadowed the entire Doom Metal genre of 2017 at the right moment and at the right time. Prepare to suffer.

8). ImmolationAtonement (Nuclear Blast)

The classiest band in Death Metal are back with a new record with their old-school logo from their classic 90’s albums. Fuck yes.

9). Chaos MoonEschaton Moon (Blood Music)

Comprising of members from Krieg, Skaphe‘, Conqubine, Esoterica, Martrod, etc. this album is a beautiful example of how to do modern-day atmosphere correctly for a U.S. black metal band. Also included is the nightmarish artistic visions of Jef Whitehead who help paints the hymns to the end-times. Extremely fitting for 2017.

10). Forgotten KingdomsCrowned In Forlorn Darkness (Tour de Garde)

If there was one thing I thought would never come back to bring some form of joy in my more mature years, it was the worship and appreciation of the dark ambient snyth work of Norway’s Mortiis – or as it is now officially called “Dungeon Synth.” And out of all the Dungeon Synth material I have listened to in 2017, this one hit a mark that nobody else did. Where most other DS projects and artists are doing their best to frolick thru the shire to take the ring to Mordor, Azgorh channels the dark ambient synth of old-school Beherit and stretches it out to an entire demo-length.  Highly fukking recommended.

11). IntegrityHowling For The Nightmare Shall Continue (Relapse Records)

Integrity goes black metal? That’s what a low of people have said, but not really. But what I do know that this is by far their best fucking album since 1996’s “Humanity Is The Devil.” It’s an album that showcases all of not only their strong-points but how the band is still able to think outside of the proverbial Hardcore/Metal/Punk box and show what REAL crossover music CAN be.

12). Full Of HellTrumpeting Ecstasy (Profound Lore Records)

Returning from the mines of that rusted out area of Central Pennsylvania, FoH come blazing back with another fucked-up mixture of Grindcore/Death Metal/Hardcore/Noise/Electronic and god knows what else that managed to sneak into their young but lively and thriving mixture of genres.

13). Spirit AdriftCurse Of Conception (20 Buck Spin)

I wish I could put this album higher than where I’m putting it. It’s just that goddamn good of a fucking classic/traditional Doom Metal album. Again, no stupid fucking Sleep-stoner worship. No ramblings about smoking pot when though the riffs on this album ARE dank as fuck. Nope, just a side-project of the boiz in Arizona’s Gatecreeper laying down some of the best riffs/melodies outside of the like of Greg McKintosh of Paradise Lost and Kirk Windstein of Crowbar. Don’t worry….it’s more traditional/epic Doom Metal than in it is Sludge-y NOLA-style. Do not miss out on this.

14). Old TowerSpectral Horizons (Vinyl re-issue of demo via Tour De Garde)

I would have given this spot to Fief, another excellent DS artist but I felt this was the closest that could come next to the high mark that Forgotten Kingdoms hit. This is about as close as one wants to get to actual old-school Mortiis-worship without being called ‘worship’ or the dreaded ‘rip-off’ label. As it stands, Old Tower are one of the torchbearer’s to a newly-founded sub-genre that sure to stay around for quite some time.

15). Impetuous RitualBlight Upon Martyred Sentience (Profound Lore)

Metal fans didn’t get a new Portal album this year, so this will perfectly do and take the crown for the Cavernous-sounding Death Metal album of 2017. It’s a spiral down into the abyss itself. WEEEEEEEEE!!!!

16). Chis StapeltonTraveller (RCA Studios)

Here is 2017’s “Wild Card Album.” I know what you are thinking, so there is no need to say it. I do that for you; what the fuck is Chris Stapelton doing surrounded in this list of Metal and god-knows-what-else. And an album from 2015 of all things? Well in case any of y’all start to forget, you’re favorite blogger IS a long haired/bearded/tattooed Florida man from the great state and bayous of Louisiana. With a newly-found family that extends up to the hills of South Carolina. That said, I AM going to be a little bit of a loud-mouth redneck minus waving the confederate flag( unless you get some white wine in me 😛 ). I’ve always preached to never forget your roots under any circumstances. And if you wanna know where I tend to get my highly opinionated and middle finger to everything politically correct…..well now you know. Besides, I enjoy me some good-ol’ shit-kicking redneck jamz. Good shit to drive around to while giving your finger to ‘the man.’

17). Rope SectPersonae Ingratae/Proselytes (Iron Bonehead Productions)

2017 has been a quiet year for Post-Punk/Death Rock. With the exception of the latest Grave Pleasures album, it seems like the end-of-the-world party soundtrack has ended and now the hangover and reality of a world truly teetering to it’s end times madness is coming into fruition. Nobody said it was going to be pretty. And so isn’t Rope Sect. This compilation of both of their 2017 releases shows that may be it time to stop partying and start getting down to serious business.

18). Drowning The LightVarcolaci Rising (Dark Adversary Productions)

I was a bit late to this one this year. This is one of a limited handful of black metal releases this year that managed to stick around. Azgorh of DTL/FK is on a fucking roll this year with not 1 but 2 releases that I feel are a culmination of the best parts of his music/career in a very long time. Considering how much this dude puts out, it’s great to see that there is more of a filtering process. That’s not a slur or sign of disrespect either. I just feel that the gentleman is getting better even though I still enjoy some of his older material. Can’t wait to see where he goes from here.

19). NecrotBlood Offerings (Tankcrime Records)

Death Metal the way it’s supposed to be fucking play. End of discussion. Total fukking support!

20). UndergangMisantropologi (Dark Descent Records)

Last but not least and rounding out this year is Denmark’s Undergang. I caught them in Tampa live at The Brass Mug this past summer for the support of “Misantropologi” and it was pure fun. That’s really how I can sum up Undergang is just a no-thrills fun death metal band to enjoy live.

HONORABLE MENTIONS (more jamz that you should seek out and give no-less of total fukking support to):

Convulsing/Siberian Hell Soundssplit (Art As Catharsis Records)
Future TerrorWe’re All Fucked (Black House Industries)
Poison Bloods/t (Relapse Records)
Tchonorbogs/t (Fallen Empire Records)
Bell WitchMirror Reaper (Profound Lore Records)
Power TripNightmare Logic (Southern Lord Records)
The Lurking FearOut Of The Voiceless Grave (Century Media)
KreatorGods Of Violence (Nuclear Blast)
Artificial BrainInfared Horizon (Profound Lore Records)

And that about rounds up this year as far as the jamz go. Until next time, keep on jammin’ in the free world.

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Top 20 Albums of 2016 and all of the other honorable mentioned jamz. Plus Cthulhu.

As this giant dumpster fire of a year comes to a close, in which I know I’m not the only person who will be fucking glad to give it the middle finger as we all collectively see it disappear in the rear view mirror, I must say….it had some rather kick-ass jamz to occasionally distract us from the seriousness of everything. And that’s really what I like to focus on primarily with this blog is basically just the music itself. Yeah there are those series of unfortunate events that flooded my newsfeed in 2016 and there was that most recent thing that I have been hammering at for years, but that’s in the past. Let us at least get through the remaining handful of weeks of 2016 without slitting each other’s necks to the bone and let’s talk about those jamz….:does his best David Letterman impression:

Here are the Top 20 Albums of 2016 starting with:

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1. Blood IncantationStarspawn (Dark Descent Records)

I’m sure some of you were expecting Nails to be the top one on this list (Spoiler: there are on the list though), but really when it comes down to it, this album just not only blew me, but every music fan who has been wishing and wanting for an album to come out that would basically make Morbid Angel sound modern-day, innovative, and above all FRESH again. Not a single boring moment on the entire damn album. I mean, “Starspawn” really takes all the material that Morbid Angel did when they were worth a damn and amps it up in 2016 with some major psychedelic guitar noodling. If Trey of Morbid Angel tried to summon Cthulhu yet succumbed to madness for reading the wrong fucking invocation rite(not a pun btw) with that last album they did, then Blood Incantation properly pick-up the Necronomicon and summon forth something rather beautiful yet terrifying. The stygian abyss is opened up again for gazing into. Be afraid, be very afraid.

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2. NailsYou Will Never be One Of Us (Nuclear Blast Records)

This album. That Jef Whitehead artwork. What a shit-storm of controversy, accusations, ridicule and above all….memes from Facebook pages such as I Heart Powerviolence. Nails delivered their ultimate statement with an album title that truly pissed off a lot of people. It’s sheer level of aggression. The density of it’s absolute hatred. The blood-soaked message it delivered. The main reason why I loved it so much was that it took the ethos and ideas of the old guard of black metal’s mindframe (’91-’94) but delivered it with the chaotic looseness of Hardcore/Grindcore/Powerviolence. Thus bringing back the spirit of the old days and tossing the flaming garbage can into the politically-correct hivemind of 2016. And for that move which some people will call either “stupid“, “insane“, “cringe-worthy“, or whatever else they scrape off the bottom of their brains, I give them major fucking hails.

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3. Gatecreeper Sonoran Depravation (Relapse Records)

OUGH! That’s really how I can easily sum this amazing LP up. Either that or don’t entry because you’ll get burned and died. Total Boss HM2 guitar-pedal Entombed/Dismember guitar tones, Bolt Thrower grooves, Obituary/Asphyx death metal-worship and even some doomy early Paradise Lost feedback/riffs make an appearance. Combined with some serious mosh-y parts, this shit is seriously reeks of a combo of Redbull, old-school Death Metal, and overall dankness. Overall just a fun album you would want to mosh and head bang to. If you are a false, do not entry.

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4. A.M.S.G.Hostis Universi Generis (Profound Lore Records)

Oooo, lookee here, more Jef Whitehead artwork. Never a bad thing. Past that, this is just a really weird black metal album. And I say that in the most respectful and best way possible. It’s a really unorthodox type in the fact of some of the instruments used on the LP (saxophones and didgeridoos) and it reminds me a lot of Celtic Frost‘s “Into The Pandemonium” as far as making an honest attempt to push boundaries while still having one foot designated in the Ross Bay Cult sound. Which to me is not a combo you hear everyday.

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5. Youth CodeCommitment To Complications (Dais Records)

Break out the cowboy hats, black sunglasses, drum machines and old Wax Trax vinyl LPs; it’s old-school Industrial/EBM music the way it was always meant to be played: loud, aggressive, layered, and just as cold-natured as any black metal band on the face of the planet. This duo from L.A. have been hammering away and taking necessary pains and lengths to bring back the spirit of Ministry/Front Line Assembly/Front 242/Nitzer Ebb, and with this album it finally seems like they are finally getting recognition and exposing people who might have missed the Industrial ball the first time around. This album just speaks to my inner rivothead.

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6. VRTRAMy Bones Hold A Stillness (Sentient Ruin Laboratories)

Hands down the sickest fucking debut of 2016. Imagine some universal black hole where the planets of Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord and Neurosis were to be devoured and on the other side of where that black hole spits the remaining parts out, are all assimilated into a blackened planet orbiting a dying sun at a impending doom-like speed. And from the vastness of space surrounding it, you can hear the ghostly spectral moans and wails of whatever lived on those planets, all formed together in a hellish limbo where no hope exists. In space, no one can hear you scream.

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7. Mare CognitumLuminiferous Aether (I, Voidhanger Records)

Speaking of the outer reaches of space, stygian abysses, and the creeping crawling chaos that exists beyond what we may know….where other albums dwell on the fears of the summit man’s knowledge, Mare Cognitum is the welcoming elder sign to kick-start the end of it all and make us feel thankful to witness the beauty and destruction of all live in this universe. The sounding trumpet that sounds like an angelic voice to keep our heads from exploding from the sheer voice of some ancient one that our ears were not made to hear and listen to. Like the moon shattering and cosmic debris falling onto earth from that one kick-ass scene in “The Time Machine” re-make, it’s destructive and beautiful at the same time.

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8. Howls Of Ebb – Curses Impasse (I, Voidhanger Records)

Continuing with the Lovecraftian references(they never get old for me), we come to the slimy, dripping, tentacled THING that was unthawed from the ice earlier in the spring of this year. Basically if you were to take Portal and mix it with Gorguts and blacken it up a bit, that’s the closest thing thing that I can come to describing the constant morphing monolith that is Howls of Ebb. There’s parts where you expect one thing and then in comes some really off-the-wall dissonant chord that prepares you for some really disgustingly fleshed-out riff that doesn’t seem very human-like. Whatever you do, do NOT let yourself be alone with this album for more than an hour. Also ditto on that disturbing artwork as well. While it may look like the Curator or Portal itself, look closer and you’ll see the image of hellish void that will send chills up your digested spine.

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9. SurviveRR739 (Relapse Records)

Taking a break from the horror of this year’s jamz, we take a left turn and find ourself with the synthwave work of “Stranger Things“-famous artist Survive. Anyone who watched that Netflix show this year knows that godly synth soundtrack. Well shortly after the demand from the fans of the show, Relapse Records picked-up Survive and made them label buddies with proto-Synthwave originators Zombi who were doing this sound a good 10 years before Synthwave became the big thing to do. “RR739” isn’t so much John Carpenter, or Goblin…..they are more what you would get if Tangerine Dream did the soundtrack to the Ryan Gosling 2011 film “Drive.” There are some moments that would remind one of John Carpenter, but it doesn’t become another half-assed attempt at trying to create a soundtrack for a film that just got released on blu-ray on Scream Factory or some really shitty zombie film. Luscious in synth and ambiance, Survive are definitely going to be around and being the sole score creators for “Stranger Things” doesn’t hurt that’s for damn sure.

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10. Mystik – both “Dunkla Klangor…” and “Af Herrens Mystik…” Kapitel Compilations (Ancient Records)

Ancient Records, whatever it is that you are doing….fucking keep doing so. These two particular releases, both of which are demo compilations, both of which were released at the same time, are a complete throwback to the days of Painiac Records and Sombre Records. Extremely limited. Hard to get a hold of. Both released under the flag of obscurity, this to me is like a trip down memory lane whenever I would get some random release or ask Jon of Full Moon Productions to order something for me or how he would tell me how long he would be waiting for a certain package from some third world country. And the quality of these demo compilations are really good considering this easily falls into the “cult” category. Next to Mare Cognitum, and Palace Of Worms, some of the best melodies I have heard in 2016.

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11. Palace Of WormsThe Ladder (Broken Limbs Records)

See what I did there? Yeah ok I’ll stop with the spoilers on this list. I tell ya….fucking California has been releasing so many killer black metal offerings, a lot of them being one man acts, that I don’t know where this well of creativity comes from (Oh ok, may be I do know. I know that gentleman is lurking in the shadows on Instagram somewhere if you know where to find him) but main man and multi-instrumented Balan is another fortunate soul that is drinking from that river of creativity that runs through the Golden State. In an interview he gave The Sound Not The Word, he listed his influences and two albums which he spoke highly of which would be Tiamat‘s “Wildhoney” and Celtic Frost‘s “Into The Pandemonium” to which you can easily hear those two being worn proudly on his sleeve.

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12. Altar de FeyEchoes In The Corridor (Mass Media Records)

Oh man, it’s starting to get spOOky in here. If 2013 belonged to Finnland’s now defunct Beastmilk as far as Post-Punk/Goth/Death Rock jamz go with their “Climax” LP, well then 2016 belongs to Altar de Fey. This is their only LP and it’s a total throwback to West Coast Death Rock of Christian Death, 45 Grave, mid-era TSOL. A complete blast from the past. If you’re like me and you can’t get enough spOOky jamz, then head on over to their Bandcamp and order their limited edition red vinyl of this LP. Totally worth it.

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13. Our Place Of Silence Is WorshipThe Embodiment (Broken Limbs Records)

NY’s Broken Limbs Records has put out quite a few of my favorite releases this year, but this particular offering….holy fuck. If the 3rd Nails LP didn’t completely satisfy and quench your thirst for bloodlust, then roll up your sleeve and slam that mainline of pure rage with Our Place Of Silence Is Worship‘s “The Embodiment.” It’s the sound of the angry rage-filled reanimated corpse of Harambe’s (dicks out) body come back to life to completely hate-fuck the skulls of his executioners and to devour that stupid fucking kid. Complete with a Clandestine Blaze cover and one of the most sickening song titles in 2016 which is vegnefully named “Murdered While Praying.” The sound of the pure primal aggression.

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14. Anatomy of HabitCiphers + Axioms (Relapse Records)

Taking another left turn we come to Chicago’s very own twisted take on the likes of Swans/Neurosis/Death In June. Very bleak, down-beat, oppressive, and sombre-sounding. A full-length LP with only 2 very long songs, AoH plummel and completely fuck-up the listener’s brain chemistry with their endurance in entropy. Highly recommended.

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15. AntaeusCondemnation (Norma Evangellicum Diaboli Records)

With such a shitty year practically having humanity pray for a giant asteroid to collide with the earth, it’s no surprise that French filth-masters Antaeus carpet-bomb the last remaining weeks of 2016. “Condemnation” is nothing more than a rusty razor blade slicing your wrists open wide and leaving your bluing body ready to finally expire but not before you pledge your allegiance to the infernal one himself. Completely and total savagery.

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16. Deathspell OmegaThe Synarchy Of Molten Bones (Norma Evangellicum Diaboli Records)

You didn’t think I wouldn’t include this list without putting these guys on there did you? What? You weren’t paying attention the the albums before this where I mentioned their name with VRTRA‘s “My Bones Hold A Sickness“? Well that’s ok. I’m still battling a nasty upper respiratory infection and I’m here with cough syrup in my system so I won’t hold you to the lack of paying attention to detail. Let’s just put it this way: this is better than both their previous LP “Paracletus” and their “Drought” EP combined. Welcome back you leaders of the French legions. It’s been too long that you have grace us with your blackened light.

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17. Vermin WombDecline (Throatruiner Records)

FUCKING UGLY. Two words to sum this up. If Nails is for beginners, and Our Place Of Worship Is Silence is for high school students, then Vermin Womb is that dude that dropped-out of college and is dealing with a nasty opiate addiction going from one dead-end job to another.  That’s all you really need to know about this side-project with members of Primitive Man and Withered. If this album doesn’t cause you to start shooting up a mall during the holidays or bombing a church during Easter, your brain’s wiring needs to be looked at my friend.

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18. Hands of ThievesFeasting On Dark Intentions (Transilvanian Tapes)

This has in common with VRTRA‘s “My Bones Hold A Sickness” release. Black Metal mixed with healthy doses of death and doom and it just constantly twist and turns and contorts into something completely unique. Now comparing this to something else on said same list might scratch that “unique” quality out, but fear not because this isn’t the same Deathspell Omega/Blut Aus Nord/Neurosis mix. This is something completely different. I honestly can’t put my finger on the direct influences which is something I always love looking forward to listening to from any band what-so-ever.

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19. EcferusShadow Projection  (Children of The Night)

Black Metal that deals with evolutionary, anthropological, scientific and mythological themes? Ok you got my attention. One of the first demos to grab my attention this year for the most part, I have to give this demo credit for getting me back into actually purchasing cassette demos just based on the reviews it was being given. That and there is a sweet-as-fuck Dave Mustaine-ish guitar work/solo in the first song that will have you wanting to dig out your copy of “Rust In Peace.”

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20. DeftonesGore (Reprise Records)

At this point, it’s no secret to anyone that knows me to be a major mark for the Deftones. The ONLY band from that wretched period of 1996-2003 where Nu-Metal crept into the social conscious of the mainstream and basically gave everyone the worst impression of metal. Out of all of those bands, Deftones were the only band to transcend the boundaries and carry on into 2016 making excellent fucking music. “Gore” itself is just another example of their ability to continue in making the rest of that particular genre look like amateurs scrambling for their dusty-old baggy Jncos for their bullshit re-unions while Deftones keep pushing themselves and taking risks. I could give a fuck less if this deducts “points” from my “metal cred“….Stephen Carpenter will forever be within my top favorite guitarists of all time next to Jerry Cantrell(Alice In Chains), Greg McKintosh (Paradise Lost), Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Jef Whitehead (Leviathan), and Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath).

And last but not least, the honorable mentions of 2016. In no way shape or form are these bad, but they are still worthy of mentioning and you as the reader to do yourself the favor, seek them out and listen to them:

Sumerlands – self-titled
Grave Miasma
Endless Pilgramage 
Ill OmenAe. Thy. Rift.
Void Meditation CultUtter The Tongue Of The Dead
UadaDevoid of Light
Ancient Meat Revived: A Cold Meat Industry Tribute 
CrowbarThe Serpent Only Lies
NeurosisFire Within Fires
Temple NightsideThe Hecatomb 
WithdrawalNever
UstalostThe Spoor Of Vipers
InculcatorVoid Abecedary
Spitting ImageIcon Alive
SpectresUtopia

And that’s roughly it folks. If I may have forgotten anything, leave a comment, talk about your favorite releases, tell me I suck at this blogging thing. Either way, I’ll see everyone in 2017. I don’t know what 2017 holds for mankind, but I will definitely be looking forward to it’s jamz that’s for damn sure. But for now, I’ll leave you with this last reference to mah boi H.P. Lovecraft;

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”