Jump to content
NTNR

Top 10 Albums of Any Given Year

Recommended Posts



The Time Traveller's Dilemma is on my list, and E definitely belongs there as well - the more I listen to it the more I like it. The other ones from my list that I think you'd really like are the Suffering Hour and Cavernlight albums that I've already mentioned; you might also dig Sutrah's "Dunes", it may be a little new-school for you but they have something cool going on. Canadian tech death with a good ear for melody and strong riffing skills. Also try Fen and Dodecahedron if you haven't heard them.


Sutrah is the only one of those I haven't heard of, thanks for the heads up!

Sent from my HTCD160LVW using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Did you ever get to it? I was just interested in hearing your thoughts since it isn't a usual genre for you. 
Your message her just reminded me about them. I played a track and found it less fruity than I remembered from their self-titled album that I sold at the record store back in the day, and it was significantly less renaissance fair sounding than Rhapsody. It kind of reminded me of Dream Theater mixed with how Kamelot should sound, as opposed to how they actually sound. I could see myself enjoying this, even though I doubt it would ever occupy a top 10 spot for me. As you said, it's not my usual flavor, but I can see more clearly now than before why you would include it.

Sent from my HTCD160LVW using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's nearly been two years since I last posted a list here, and I have covered every year from 1992-2016 in this thread. My 2017 and 2018 lists are in their own threads. I really want to look back further and move into the 80s to see what I can come up with. Without second wave black metal and gothic doom I have a feeling we'll be seeing a bit of hair metal...

So here we go again: 

Requiem's Top 10 Albums of 1991

10. Dismember - 'Like an Ever Flowing Stream'

This is the era where death metal reigned, and I'm not the hugest fan of death metal. Nevertheless, this classic is a special album, with great production and a real sense of authenticity. I play this album all the time. Epic album artwork. 

9. Carcass - 'Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious' 

This tends to be as rough as I go with Carcass, and I think they got the balance pretty right here. Those British medical voiceovers, the great guitar riffs and the songmanship all make this an enjoyable listen, especially when I'm feeling like severing a few limbs....  Unusual and imaginative album cover. 

8. Bathory - 'Twilight of the Idols'

I definitely prefer 'Hammerheart' to this, but dammit there's something so engaging about Quorthon's vocals and that big epic sound of his. The last song proper, confusingly called 'Hammerheart', reminds me too much of a hymn we sang at school, 'I Vow to Thee My Country' but apparently they're both based on a Holst work, so I guess it's ok. Suitably viking album cover. 

7. Cathedral - 'Forest of Equilibrium'

I don't love this as much as the hardcore fans out there, and sometimes I find it a bit dull, but overall this is a special moment in time that I do enjoy quite a lot when I'm in the right mood. Brilliant Dave Patchett artwork. 

6. Type O Negative - 'Slow Deep and Hard'

I'm a late convert to this album, and I think it generally performs well in a weaker year for my personal musical taste. Still, there's no arguing with the foundation of the great Type O sounds of the future. I'm still not a huge fan of the humour. Foolish album cover. 

5. Darkthrone - 'Soulside Journey'

Bloody great album, this. Obviously more death metal than black, this still nevertheless exudes the vibe that really resonates with me, and it's basically just a really cool album. The album cover is strange but excellent - I really love it. 

4. Skid Row - 'Slave to the Grind'

Lifelong classic in Castle Requiem, I still remember the first time I heard it back in 1991 as an 11 year old. I still feel that same thrill today, 28 years later. Sebastian Bach's voice is off the charts on songs like 'Monkey Business' and 'Quicksand Jesus'. Weird album cover but I'm used to it - apparently a painting by Sebastian's father. 

3. Guns n Roses - 'Use Your Illusion II'

I'm not listening to this every day, but this album is an out and out classic. I don't rate the first 'Use Your Illusion' anywhere near this masterpiece, as tracks like 'You Could Be Mine', 'Locomotive', 'Estranged' and 'Pretty Tied Up' are just next level. They should have released the best songs from this plus 'November Rain' and made it a single album. But no... Album covers for these are pretty dumb, even though they come from a Raphael masterpiece. 

2. Paradise Lost - 'Gothic'

A monolithic album that created a genre (more or less). This is a special album that contains an atmosphere that would really shape my listening habits throughout my life. Morose riffs, gothic atmosphere, some female vocals, all laying down the archetypes. Again, strange album cover but it's very effective. 

1. Ozzy Osbourne - 'No More Tears'

Ah Ozzy. It's no secret that I'm an Ozzy tragic and this would be up in my top three or four of his albums. I've sort of overplayed this over the years, but it's one classy album that has become a full on classic. The title track alone is worthy of placing this at number 1. Brilliant album cover of classy Ozzy. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a plethora of metal classics released in 1990, many that I am unfortunately not an authority on or that don't gel with me personally. I'm getting deja vu writing this list and may have done it elsewhere before. Anyway, here are ten that I feel some degree of affection for. 

Requiem's Top 10 Albums of 1990

10. Entombed - 'Left Hand Path'

This is another one of those time and place type of albums. It just represents the dawn of a pretty significant movement in the Swedish death metal scene, and the sound of that guitar pedal has a lot to answer for. I'm not getting this tattooed on me, but it's a good listen and I respect it as much as admire the tunes. Nice old school album cover. 

9. Pantera - 'Cowboys from Hell'

This is a pretty happening album, and the first major label foray for these formally spandex bandits. The title track and 'Cemetery Gates' are classics. Nice riffing and drums, of course. Awesome album cover, and I remember as a 12 year old being pretty impressed with the bar room scene. Still am. 

8. Slayer - 'Seasons in the Abyss'

I like this more melodic version of Slayer. I can't say I listen to this very often - I don't even actually own it - but I nod my head appreciatively when it comes on somewhere. 'War Ensemble' and 'Dead Skin Mask' are killer songs. Album cover is a bit shit, but I guess it's now part of the landscape so it's ok. 

7. Paradise Lost - 'Lost Paradise'

Am I really being objective about my love for this album? Possibly. The Paradise Lost name and the guys who play on this album are like a warm comfort blanket, so before I've even heard the riffs I like this album. There are definitely great moments here and the birth of the Peaceville doom sound is taking place. Wacky album cover. 

6. Iron Maiden - 'No Prayer for the Dying'

This album is awesome and it tends to get a hard time from some people. I think it still has some really killer songs like 'Hooks in You' and 'Mother Russia' and each song has something to offer me personally and it's just a good-time Maiden album. The album cover's awesome with Eddie emerging from a grave (again). 

5. Warrant - 'Cherry Pie'

Shut up, this is metal. A cracking album from the talented Jani Lane, with some of hair metal's greatest songs - yes, including the title track. Attractive album cover with Lane's future wife Bobbi Brown. Warrant 4 lyf. 

4. Judas Priest - 'Painkiller'

I still don't own this, but I'm at the cusp of making the purchase. I've never been the biggest Priest fan, and in fact I've never actually owned a full album from these guys, which seems really odd. This is a great album though, obviously. I need it explore it more and become one with it. Man and CD. United in glory. 

3. Black Sabbath - 'Tyr'

Smashing album. Tony Martin's vocals here are brilliant, with Iommi's riffs fat and juicy with a great 80s vibe lingering across the glossy product. Opening track 'Anno Mundi' is a masterpiece. Hail Tony Martin. Hail Tony Iommi. Brilliant viking themed album cover. 

2. Bathory - 'Hammerheart'

Speaking of which. 'Hammerheart' is a milestone and the first true viking metal album. This is where it all comes together best for Quorthon, with 'One Rode to Asa Bay' and 'Father to Son' raising the hair on the back of my northern European neck. Brilliant vocals. Brilliant atmosphere, and one of the greatest metal album covers of all time. 

1. Megadeth - 'Rust in Peace'

As much as I love 'Hammerheart', I just can't go past this. This is a freakish album. Let's list the masterpieces within: 'Holy Wars', 'Hangar 18, 'Tornado of Souls', 'Rust in Peace... Polaris'. I also can't get enough of the original production and mix (fuck the remixes) that just sounds so great. Excellent alien conspiracy album cover. Every song is a classic. Easily the best album of 1990 for me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hail the 80s! I can't keep this posting pace up for too long, but here's another list. 1989 was the year and era of thrash and those first few proper death metal albums, which I admire but don't find myself loving. I blame my teenage years and that I have a soft spot for songs about girls and the Sunset Strip. 

Requiem's Top 10 Albums of 1989

10. Candlemass - 'Tales of Creation'

Not my favourite Candlemass album, but this - Messiah's last at the time - is still a solid slab of doom. It's funny, I was listening to it today and it was more Sabbath than Sabbath were at this stage. Some of this plods a bit and I find myself wishing I was listening to 'Epicus...'. Beautiful album cover as usual. 

9. Morbid Angel - 'Altars of Madness'

If it wasn't for all those damn catchy hair metal albums that came out this year, this album would be a lot higher up the list. Crystal production for 1989, don't know what's going on there but it's amazing. I love that Morbid Angel style with the original three guys and I have a real soft spot for the first four albums. Interesting album cover. I like it a fair bit. 

8. Blind Guardian - 'Follow the Blind'

I've always neglected old Blind Guardian, which is a pity, because these old albums are great. The choruses on songs like 'Banish From Sanctuary' and 'Valhalla' are to/die/for. Hansi's voice is amazing on any music, so this album really stands out from the crass thrash morass of 1989. Terrible but funny/cool album cover of... what... goblins?

7. Alice Cooper - 'Trash

For me this is by faaaar the best Alice Cooper album, and I'm surprised at how weak-sauce the albums both before and after this one happen to be. Led by 80s anthem 'Poison', which I maintain is one of rock's greatest songs, there are plenty of other cracking tracks that make this a winner. Cool cover of Alice looking cool. 

6. Aerosmith - 'Pump'

Speaking of cracking tracks. Another 70s act that made it bigger than ever in the 80s, 'Pump' is their best album and went 7x platinum. 'Janie's Got a Gun' is great but a bit serious, so I'm more into party rock anthems like 'Love in an Elevator' and 'F.I.N.E'. Steven Tyler's voice is to/die/for. Dodgy album cover but funny and cool for the 80s. Trucks having sex hur hur hur. 

5. Warrant 'Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich'

Is this really better than 'Pump'? It has an innocent frivolity about it that just kicks it into number 5. Look at the band photos, my god. This is girl-metal of the highest order, with barnstormers like '32 Pennies' and a simply awesome title track. See, most of you are listening to Kreator and Terrorizer... I'm listening to Warrant and considering putting my wife's lipstick on. Awesome album cover of fat rich man. 

4. Whitesnake - 'Slip of the Tongue' 

The follow-up to '1987' was never going to measure up, and this doesn't, but it's still a fantastic album. Steve Vai on guitar playing Adrian Vandenberg's riffs, with David Coverdale at his puerile best. Just ridiculous lyrics, but that's half the fun. Album art is a rip-off of their previous album and isn't as good, but still cool. Miss John Sykes though.

3. Black Sabbath - 'Headless Cross' 

The first Tony Martin album is probably the best of Martin Sabbath, and throw in good old Cozy Powell on drums and you've got a great version of Black Sabbath that sounds and looks nothing like the 70s - and proper - version. Excellent gothic doom lyrics by Martin and all the 80s glory metal you could want. Dark heavy riffs that presage the gothic metal movement. Excellent gothic artwork. 

2. Skid Row - 'Skid Row'

The debut, this was and remains a huge album. Classic tracks like 'Big Guns', 'Youth Gone Wild', '18 and Life' and 'I Remember You' make this hair metal heaven for the Sunset Strip set. I tell you what, those New Jersey lads were lucky to find young Canadian Sebastian Bach. Without him they're nothing. Still waiting for the reunion... Great cover. 

1. Motley Crue - 'Dr Feelgood'

And the best album of 1989 comes from these four Sunset Strip stooges: Vince, Nikki, Mick and Tommy. When I first heard this in 1990 I was 10 years old and I-could-not-believe it. I had Motley Crue posters all over my juvenile bedroom walls. I still love this album and have two copies on CD, one permanently in my car and one in the mansion. Huge Bob Rock production, 'Kickstart My Heart', 'Dr Feelgood'. Look at these tracks. Wonderful green album cover. This just works. Bit worried about 'The Dirt' movie though...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it's clear that 1989 was a strange year that was dominated by hair metal and hard rock for me. Let's check out 1988 where the proper metal stands up and shouts. 

Requiem's Top 10 Albums of 1988

10. Running Wild - 'Port Royal'

I've barely heard this band and I certainly haven't listened to this album in its entirety, but it takes the number 10 spot in honour of my brother @True Belief, who is a fan. Hail. Great 80s style pirates (the band)-in-a-tavern cover. I should actually listen to this at some point. 

9. Candlemass - 'Ancient Dreams'

Candlemass are always worthy of a listen, and this album has some nice moments. I really need to spend more time with it. Strange sort of fantasy novel cover, but it's cool as always. Candlemass will never be my favourite band but they're always respectable. 

8. Bathory - 'Blood Fire Death'

This is where Quorthon shifts his modus operandi from black metal to viking, and this album is the halfway mark. It's a bit rougher than things would become with 'Hammerheart', but it does the business with songs leaning towards the epic. I have a cheap re-release that lacks proper liner notes and lyrics, and I need a proper version. Stunning album art of valkyries in flight. 

7. Slayer - 'South of Heaven'

This and 'God Hates Us All' are probably my favourite Slayer albums, and I find this a lot more listenable and engaging than 'Reign in Blood' due to the slower pace and greater emphasis on melody, which I think actually adds to the menace rather than detracts. 'Mandatory Suicide' is mandatory listening and I remember playing this on drums back in high school in the 90s. Fitting album artwork. 

6. Cinderella - 'Long Cold Winter'

The worst thing this band ever did was give themselves such a limp band name, as Cinderella are actually pretty ballsy for a hair metal band. With Brian Johnson style vocals and a heavy blues vibe, this album is brilliant. The songwriting is just amazing. Of course, come 1991 no band called Cinderella could ever stand a chance. Boring all white cover. 

5. Megadeth - 'So Far So Good So What'

This is a strange album from Megadeth, probably because the production is so thick and the album cover is so alien. There are amazing songs on this release, such as the brilliant 1, 2 opening volley and of course 'In My Darkest Hour'. 'Mary Jane' is also a great haunting song. For some reason a kid at school chopped up a CD booklet and made it into a butchered cassette cover, which I had for years and frustratingly could only read half of the lyrics due to the scissor cuts. Strange what we remember from our youth...

4. Manowar - 'Kings of Metal'

What an amazing album this is. 1987/1988 Manowar is some of the best and most fun metal I've heard, from the drama of 'The Warrior's Prayer' to untouchable epics like 'The Crown and the Ring'. For years I had underestimated this band, thinking they were just a corny Spinal Tap sort of thing, but no, they're the real deal. Brillant warrior album art. 

3. Iron Maiden - 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son'

The classic light blue album from Maiden. The addition of those guitar synths, or whatever they are, give this a fantastical vibe that works really well, and the concept album message is pretty good although a little vague. The band are on fire, however, especially Bruce on songs like the title track and 'Infinite Dreams'. You can't deny them that this is a great album. Awesome cover of Eddie with the icebergs. 

2. Metallica - 'And Justice for All'

Yes, there's no bass and it's weird, but as a kid I had no idea anything was missing and I just loved this for what it was. Listening to it now, this album is simply stunning. The songs are epic, the drums click and clack and those guitars just soar. Listen to those twin guitars in the intro of 'Blackened'. Pure chills. Metallica are more like cartoon characters these days, but they once hit heights of perfection. Very impressive album cover that has sort of become an icon of 80s metal. 

1. Ozzy Osbourne - 'No Rest for the Wicked'

Compared with the genius of Metallica, this pulls up short, but for enjoyment factor this is it. Zakk Wylde's first album with the Ozman is a bit more serious than 'The Ultimate Sin', with Bob Daisley's lyrics emphasising the darker side of life, 'Crazy Babies' notwithstanding. The production is phat with 80s babies, 'Miracle Man' is catchy and Ozzy and Bob, this time with Zakk, produce the album of 1988 for Requiem Corp. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True Belief's favorite albums of 1988

10. Riot: Thundersteel

The previous two releases sucked quite frankly, but a brand new lineup  pushed this into a more European speed metal sound  and that's a good thing. New vocalist Tony Moore's vocals are a standout as is the unapologetic speed metal approach. Starts off with the powerhouse coupling of "Thundersteel" and "Fight or Fall" and seldom relents. The galop of "Flight of the Warrior" (later covered very well by Hammerfall)  and the Accept-like riffage of "On Wings of the Eagle" other standouts. I recall being blown away with the speed and intensity of the thing at the time. Thank god they ditched that absurd half man-half seal mascot thing. Today they exist as Riot V and are absolutely worthy of your attention.

9. Death: Leprosy

Picks itself this one, its just a matter of where in the 10 it sits. I wasn't a huge DM fan back then but taste's change so it sits up quite high at #9 for me. Bludgeoning production, deliciously thick riffs..."Leprosy", "Forgotten Past", "Left to Die", "Pull the Plug", "Open Casket", "Born Dead"...Rick Rozz's powerhouse riffing sitting perfectly alongside Chuck's shredding and a more mature songwriting approach (especially lyrically). A death metal masterpiece that showcased Death's growing musical sensibilities.

8. Running Wild: Port Royal

My first Running Wild album and damn if I didn't love it to death. I wasn't really taken by the whole Pirate thing but the songwriting was just irresistible. Probably the greatest power metal band of all time with an 8-album run of perfection from the preceding year's Under Jolly Roger  to 1998's "The Rivalry". Rolf's vocals were a bit of a weak link back then but he had such an ear for melody and an incredible ability to pull riffs out of the air. 8 minute epic closer  "Calico Jack" is brilliant. Shit the bed unfortunately and are pretty much a solo act nowadays. They've never recovered from the Angelo Sasso scandal hah ha!

7. Iron Maiden: Seventh Son

Its funny how you evaluate things differently in the fullness of time. If I'd compiled this list 10-15 years ago there's no way this would have featured in my favorite 50 let alone favorite 10. In fact after I bought the lead single "Can I Play with Madness" I half considered not grabbing the album proper when it landed. To me the changes evident on the (admittingly incredible) "Somewhere in Time" were further solidified here and at the time my friends and I were really worried. Nowadays in the context of their whole career I can look back and enjoy it for what it was - not fear it for what I thought was a sign of the band shitting the bed for good. There's some filler and the cover sucks but this is really good music.

6. Ozzy: No Rest for the Wicked

Damn this is underrated. Ozzy's first with Zakk Wylde and there's a massive change in sound from the lightweight, thin and squeaky clean "Ultimate Sin". Much heavier with a real focus on thick riffs and groove, I would concede the production is little muddy but that doesn't matter because there are some absolutely smoking tracks on this. "Miracle Man", "Bloodbath in Paradise", "Demon Alcohol", "Tattooed Dancer" and the amazing "Breaking all the Rules" which rolls along on such a simple yet brilliant riff and a massive bottom end. Truth be told I enjoy this album more than "No More Tears'.

5. Coroner: Punishment for Decadence

Bit of a transition album this one imo, Coroner branching out a little in terms of the incorporation of more technical and experimental moments which would culminate in sheer brilliance on the follow-up to this. However theres no doubting the brains and technical proficiency here. Quite chaotic yet totally coherent all at the same time. "Absored" is a fantastic opener showcasing all the timing changes, progressiveness and Celtic Frost inspired thrash we'd expect (and get) throughout. Coroner were so underrated; nowadays their name seems to get dropped by people courting respect in the metal world  but I'm glad I was there from (almost) the start. Tommy Vetterli take a bow. You are a monster.  {Note: Full disclosure, I did wear my "Punishment.." shirt to the Dee Snider concert last week and I got plenty of respect, people getting out of my way as I headed to the bar...nodding as I walked by.}

4. King Diamond: Them

As a kid growing up the whole Mercyful Fate/King Diamond thing was just so damn confusing.  Being down in Australia I think the MF hiatus after 1984 didn't really reach me. I got lost in what the hell was going on. I probably overlooked KD releases (hard to believe you'd overlook Abigail!), thinking it was a 'temporary' thing - hard to explain. Fatal Portrait sounded 'ok' but it wasn't anywhere near the magnificence of "Don't Break the Oath", "Melissa" or the s/t EP. Anyway, "Them" changed things for me and while its not my favorite King Diamond album, its impeccably constructed and performed.  My musical pallet was opening up around this time too and I started to warm to King's theatrics. Musicianship on this album is flawless. Andy La Rocque, Pete Blakk and Hal Patino deserve all the credit and respect they get. Mikkey Dee's final album with KD. 

3. Sabbat: History of a Time to Come

I want everyone to take note: "History..." is one of the most blistering, complex and musically brilliant thrash albums of all time. Andy Sneap (yes....THAT Andy Sneap) producing an absolute factory of riffs; Martin Walkyier's raspy almost Jeff Walker-like vocals and a subtle yet noticeable pagan influence standing this so far apart from the standard commercial US thrash sound. After a brief intro..."A Cautionary Tale" blasts out of the speakers and make no mistake this is serious business. Cracking song, cracking album. Handle with care - absolutely razor sharp. Thrash metal royalty. Could easily have landed this at #2. 

2. Metallica: And Justice for All (except Jason)

When I think of this album I think of us going to the record store upon release and one of my friends picking up the double-gatefold version and walking out with a copy under his jacket. We then got (ran to) the bus and went home drooling over the thing..wondering what the hell was inside. These were the days when record stores kept the wax inside the cover so you could pick it up and walk out with it. Things changed pretty quickly. Flaws aside, this is James' best vocal performance by a mile; the guitar tone is godly and similar to old mate Requiem, at the time I thought it was a bit 'dry' sounding but didn't notice all the fuss about the missing bass. "Dyers Eve" is a bona fide classic, although I'm a bit tired of it given its 30 years old "One" still contains moments of face melting goodness and the brooding "Harvester of Sorrow" is criminally overlooked. Not really sure where the band had to go after this....

1. Queensryche: Operation Mindcrime

Hands down the single greatest collection of 'songs' complied to form a single album that I own. Yes it was all bound in a brilliant storyline and yes it was woven together by some wonderfully emotive and thoughtful instrumental interludes (for example hear how 'Waiting for 22' bleeds into 'My Empty Room' which explodes  into the single most monumental album closer  of all time "Eyes of a Stranger"). And yes Geoff Tate & Chris DeGarmo can never be replaced (unlike drummer Scott Rockenfield, new singer Todd La Torre laying down all drum tracks for the upcoming album.)…..

Album highlights are too many to mention but I will anyway "Revolution Calling", "Operation Mindcrime with the brilliant telephone conversation intro...the melodic, gothic master play of "The Mission"... Pamela Moore's appearance as "Sister Mary". The commercial 1-2 of "I Don't Believe in Love" and "Breaking the Silence"....the speedy Helloween-inspired "The Needle Never Lies". I remember buying this form a little store called "Metal for Melbourne" here in (funnily enough) Melbourne while my dad was holding a talk at the National Gallery of Victoria over the river. Funny how you recall these little moments.

No band has ever been able to perfectly weave the phrase 'raison d'etre' into a song like Geoff Tate.

Buy this album folks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, True Belief said:

 

5. Coroner: Punishment for Decadence

  {Note: Full disclosure, I did wear my "Punishment.." shirt to the Dee Snider concert last week and I got plenty of respect, people getting out of my way as I headed to the bar...nodding as I walked by.}

 

This had nothing to do with your Coroner shirt. You receive respect and tribute wherever you go. 

Nice list by the way and it reminds me I have some listening to do. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Join Metal Forum

    joinus-home.jpg

  • Your Ad Here
    Support the forum, get a special badge and promote yourself to thousands of Metal fans. Click the above link to get started!
  • Our picks

    • Full length number 19 from overkill certainly makes a splash in the energy stakes, I mean there's some modern thrash bands that are a good two decades younger than Overkill who can only hope to achieve the levels of spunk that New Jersey's finest produce here.  That in itself is an achievement, for a band of Overkill's stature and reputation to be able to still sound relevant four decades into their career is no mean feat.  Even in the albums weaker moments it never gets redundant and the energy levels remain high.  There's a real sense of a band in a state of some renewed vigour, helped in no small part by the addition of Jason Bittner on drums.  The former Flotsam & Jetsam skinsman is nothing short of superb throughout "The Wings of War" and seems to have squeezed a little extra out of the rest of his peers.

      The album kicks of with a great build to opening track "Last Man Standing" and for the first 4 tracks of the album the Overkill crew stomp, bash and groove their way to a solid level of consistency.  The lead work is of particular note and Blitz sounds as sneery and scathing as ever.  The album is well produced and mixed too with all parts of the thrash machine audible as the five piece hammer away at your skull with the usual blend of chugging riffs and infectious anthems.  


      There are weak moments as mentioned but they are more a victim of how good the strong tracks are.  In it's own right "Distortion" is a solid enough - if not slightly varied a journey from the last offering - but it just doesn't stand up well against a "Bat Shit Crazy" or a "Head of a Pin".  As the album draws to a close you get the increasing impression that the last few tracks are rescued really by some great solos and stomping skin work which is a shame because trimming of a couple of tracks may have made this less obvious. 

      4/5
      • Reputation Points

      • 0 replies
    • It is fair to say that the Greek stalwarts of the Black Metal scene now have a sound that rarely ventures into the territory so well tread on "Thy Mighty Contract" and "Non Serviam" but it is also fair to say that "The Heretics" sounds from start to finish like a band who firmly stamp themselves on the metal map for 2019.  What album number thirteen from Rotting Christ does is take a measured approach to variation and repetition to build a memorable and lasting experience.

      The sound itself goes from dark and brooding metal and hard rock to almost Gothic metal proportions.  Yet at the same time that familiar melodic warmth remains in situ throughout.  More often than not there's that big soaring melodic riff riding the vocals like a surfer with his board.  "The Voice of the Universe" does this superbly as does "The Sons of Hell".  The overall feel the record as a whole leaves me with is one of ritualistic allure, tracks like "Hallowed Be Thy Name" and "Fire God and Fear" build well like powerful incantations being cited from voluminous tomes, flooding forwards intermittently with flowing dark melodies.


      It does remind me a lot of Behemoth ("The Satanist" Behemoth, not last years pompous bollocks Behemoth), with the theme of religion so heavily referenced but at the same time it feels like a much more cohesive effort than recent Behemoth keeping a level of consistency and restraint to the songwriting which holds the attention well.  Only once does the album visit anything like Black Metal on "I Believe", here they base a poem by Nikolaos Kazantzakis at the centre of the chaotic and frantic pace and sadly it fails miserably on my ears, coming across as just filler.  My only other criticism is that it does get a bit samey in places (namely the intros to each track).  Otherwise it is a perfectly respectable piece of dark metal.  C'mon, we can't this black metal anymore folks.

       

      3/5
      • Reputation Points

      • 0 replies
    • So here I am reviewing the new Drudkh album...oh...wait a minute...no apparently it isn't Drudkh, it is Windswept.  A quick look on the internet tells me that Windswept are Drudkh minus keyboards in terms of members.  Therefore Windswept is just a less atmospheric version of Drudkh?  That's not really a question as I have heard "The Onlooker" and I know it is in fact a statement of truth.

      I don't get it.  If I want to hear a Drudkh record I will just put one on.  Similarly, if I was a member of Drudkh and I wanted to make a new record, I'd just pick up the phone to my bandmates and start the writing process.  The fact that the majority of the band have made a different band just to not have atmosphere seems a little grandiose to me, although I get that the stylistic integrity of Drudkh is maintained. 

      It isn't that the album is bad.  Perfectly solid and driving, melodic BM cleverly framed by a music box intro and outro is what you get here folks.  It just sounds so much like Drudkh I can't get my head around the fact that it is just a below par Drudkh offering.  The one thing the record is crying out for is some atmosphere - THE FUCKING IRONY!


      If you can forget the existence of a Ukranian BM band called Drudkh, or perhaps have just been born into the world of BM and have no previous concept of the 3 band members here being involved in anything else then you will no doubt easily spot the merits of "The Onlooker".  For me it served no other purpose than to give me a really short review to write this week (and to put some Drudkh on).

      Based on it's merit as a standalone album = 3/5

      Hideously critical mind of a Drudkh fan rating = 2/5
      • Reputation Points

      • 0 replies
    • When it comes to death/doom, variety is not necessarily top of the average listener's appeal list.  Usually when I review such a release I find myself typing "doesn't reinvent the wheel but does the genre justice with this solid offering" or words to that effect.  Ossuarium's debut full length falls under that banner most definitely.  Nobody is fucking around here with a saxophone to make the offering standout with some eclectic and unnecessary deviation from tradition.  If you like your death metal doomy or your doom metal deathy then chalk up a tick in your respective box folks!

      Click the link for more:
      https://www.metalforum.com/blogs/entry/44-ossuarium-living-tomb/
      • Reputation Points

      • 0 replies
    • The roar has always been approaching.  As far back as three years ago when Altarage dropped their debut full length 'Nihl', this scribe could already hear the threat of their ability, feel the menace of their presence from over hills far away and sense the nefarious intent as the raw fury howled over my skin...
      • Reputation Points

      • 0 replies
×