† And then the Curse swept the Earth

segunda-feira, 30 de dezembro de 2013

Best of 2013 - Part II: The Albums

And here we are, on the last part of what are my favorite releases of the year. Hope you guys checked and have enjoyed the other first two parts, the Best Demos/EPs and Best of Albums  Pt.I. Now, for this last part I've gathered some names that are probably more familiar to you. These are indeed the cream of the crop in my opinion. It's those kind of albums that are definitely a "must-have". Albums that, even with the amount of new music coming out, will always feels good to revisit from time to time. 

20. Wormlust "The Feral Wisdom"

Wormlust, one of Iceland's best kept secrets, saw this year his name on everybody's mouthes due to his first full-length "The Feral Wisdom". A cadavre exquis of hallucinogenic black metal that you just simply love or hate. Being a long time fan of the band I personally love the whole atmosphere of the album. Just look at the album artwork. It really reflects what you will find inside: A creative and innovative mixture of psychedelia, black metal with amazing and mesmerizing atmospheric parts that will take you on a authentic roller-coaster journey. Listen the whole album here.

19. Moon "The Nine Gates"

Australia's atmospheric black metal band Moon also delivered a very magical and beautiful album this year. "The Nine Gates"is a rather somber but mystical album, filled with great and enigmatic details. A dark trip into Miasmyr's mind. Beautiful.

18. Rorcal "Világvége"

One of Europe's best kept secrets are Rorcal, a band that has been around since 2006 or maybe earlier, I don't know, and still they don't get enough recognition out there. And that kinda pisses me off, because this band kills and deserves more eyes and ears upon them. Nevertheless, Rorcal have already a large cult of fans following their steps and this year we were gifted with the crushing album "Világvége". A demolishing fusion of sludge, black metal, post metal, post hardcore.. whatever. It's heavy as fuck. Damn right it deserves to be here. Listen to it here.

17. Aosoth "IV: Arrow In Heart "

One of my current favorite French black metal bands, Aosoth, who this year delivered another great milestone which strengthens even further their journey as one of the best BM bands coming from France. A must. Listen here.

16. Lycus "Tempest"


After a very well received Demo, Lycus delivered this year their first full-length and one of the best albums in the Doom category. Great songs carrying loads and loads of grief, despair and solitude. All wrapped in a great sound production. Amazing. Listen.

15. The Howling Wind "Vortex"

Here is an album that caught me by surprise. While I loved 2010's "Into the Cryosphere" I really didn't die of love for "Of Babalon" I thought it was missing something, those epic tracks that "Into the Cryosphere" has. But with "Vortex", that good old feeling came back. Great tracks filled with riffs that haunts my mind for days. Awesome work. Another good news is that "Vortex" is now available as CD, get it right here and listen to "Vortex" if you haven't, here.

14. Slidhr "Deluge"

Ireland is one of those countries that let's face it, that isn't the most famous when it comes time to name some acts within the black metal scene. But being few, doesn't mean that they're weak or mediocre... on the contrary. Slidhr finally put out his first full-length entitled "Deluge". It only took one listen to this album for me to stay completely addicted to it. What i really enjoy the most here, is the sound of this album. Starting from that bass, to the drum, passing by the guitars and ending on the vocals, it all culminates in a not-so-grim-sounding-but-quite-nefarious record. Superb. Check here.

13. Old Witch "Come Mourning Come"

Another pleasant surprise for the year is Old Witch. A two person band that simply created this wonderful piece straight out of nowhere. Introducing a great fusion of drone/doom and black metal, "Come Mourning Come" is a superb album, with great lyrics that will transport us to the most melancholic scenarios in the wild. I've heard that a physical album is taking place, let's hope soon. Listen to this beauty here.

12. Leucosis "Leucosis"

Making presence yet again in my personal list, are Leucosis. This year, the band brought another great album with some slight changes in their sound but further raising the bar when it comes to the quality of the tracks. Undoubtedly one of the best pearls from the underground. So glad I own a physical copy of this album. Listen here.

11. A Story of Rats "Vastness & the Inverse"

Another great album that struck me for weeks was A Story Of Rats "Vastness & the Inverse". I don't know if we can tag this as "metal", I mean... the atmosphere is really dense and heavy. It seems to hover over drone and doom territories at some points. Although if features two tracks, it's a very beautiful and transcendental album, starting from the music itself to the whole artwork created by ASOR member Garek J. Druss to whom I must thank for the copy I own of this remarkable piece. Turn off the light and light some candles. Listen to an excerpt here.

10. Usnea "Usnea"


Another outstanding debut was this self titled album by Portland's Usnea. Four amazing tracks of simple the best sludge/doom I've heard in quite some time. Where other bands that I personally love (cough.. cough.. Mouth Of The Architect.. cough..) failed to do this year, Usnea nailed it! Can't wait to hear more from this band. Listen here.

9. Paysage d'Hiver "Das Tor"

After a six year hiatus, "Das Tor" marks the return of Wintherr as Paysage d'Hiver. A one and a half hour of the most mesmerizing, cold and grim black metal being made. Every time I hear this it feels like I'm teleported to this dense forest in the middle of the mountains of Switzerland right in the middle of a blizzard. A masterpiece. Enough said.

8. Lychgate "Lychgate"

Undoubtedly, one of my favorites and probably most plays got here at the Haxan's den. Another remarkable debut coming out from one of the most amazing supergroups. Lychgate's debut is all about delivering great theatrical and enigmatic atmospheres with the most esoteric of black metal soundtracks. Awesome. Listen here.

7. Ataraxie "L'Être Et La Nausée"

Another remarkable album that has passed under the radar of may people out there is this one, Ataraxie's "L'Être et la Nausée". An amazing journey into grief, despair and madness. Strange how I don't see people mention this album more often it really deserves more ears upon it. A magnificent and outstanding work by the French band.

6. Carpe Noctem "In Terra Profugus"


"In Terra Profugus" is another amazing journey brought this year by Iceland's Carpe Noctem. I really don't know what they're taking up there in Iceland. This band took a giant leap in what they were doing and the result is this jaw-dropping, astonishing, brilliant album that pulled off so many great reviews along its path. Look forward to grab the vinyl edition next year. Listen to a track or buy the CD here.

5. Grave Miasma "Odori Sepulcrorum"

When I think of death metal, of real death metal, I think of guitars spewing putrid sounds, a drum echoing from the most deep of catacombs, a creepy bass that gives me goosebumps and a monstrous voice that seems to growl from a grave. All of this and even more can be found in Grave Miasma's "Odori Sepulcrorum". This, ladies and gentlemen, is death metal. So fucking good.

4. Portal "Vexovoid"

Portal, what's necessary to say about Portal that has not already been said? "Vexovoid" an album that introduced a new sound to the band that probably divided some long time fans, and maybe made them earn new ones. Nevertheless, this album still proves that these crazy aussies are still masters in their game. Another great milestone into their career. (re)Listen here.

3. Irkallian Oracle "Grave Ekstasis"

From Sweden comes another great gem, "Grave Ekstasis" from the mysterious band Irkallian Oracle. Intoxicating. Hallucinated. Entrancing. These are all words i can use to describe this fantastic debut. For those who didn't grabbed the tape, no worries... a vinyl release is on the works. Listen here.

2. Fyrnask "Eldir Nótt"

Do you know when, from time to time, you find one of those specific releases that overwhelm you in such a way that you can't find words to describe it? Well, Fyrnask's "Eldir Nótt" is one of those cases. I was absolutely overwhelmed when I heard the track that introduced this first album. Automatically pre-ordered it. My guts told me this was a masterpieces of the year, and when I finally got the (amazing) double LP, I wasn't wrong. If you still aren't familiar with this band or album I strongly recommend that you take care of that asap. One of the most beautiful albums of the year. Listen/Buy here.

1. Cultes des Ghoules "Henbane"

And finally, we're down to my number one. Cultes Des Ghoules toxic album "Henbane". Why? Well, first I really enjoy this album from beginning to the end, the whole atmosphere around it exhales black magic. Those intros that the band uses really enhance that theatrical environment to the album, an aspect that for me in this specific case works rather well. Then the sound, truth is that isn't the most grim and frostbitten black metal album out there but I guess because this album is on another level.. on a occult and esoteric levels. The whole performance of the musicians is just awesome and the vocals... ah.. the vocals. I don't know how he pulls out so many and creepy voices like that, almost if he's possessed by not one but dozens of evil spirits. "Henbane" is one of those unforgettable albums. A true vintage black magic metal and classical album... Hear it here.

- Download Part II of Forever Cursed's Best Albums of 2013 HERE

 That's it, hope you've enjoyed it. Let's wait and see and 2014 will bring. See you guys next year, wish you all a happy new year. All the best!


quinta-feira, 19 de dezembro de 2013

Phobonoid "Orbita"

"Orbita", the remarkable debut of Phobonoid, a one man band coming from Italy. "Orbita" is a conceptual and cinematic journey about the end of the civilization on Mars, witnessed there by Phobos where he also meets his brother Deimos, on the already destroyed surface of Mars.

Just for curiosity, and for those who don't know, Phobos and Deimos are the two known moons of Mars who were baptized with the names taken from same gods from Greek mythology. Phobos is the God of Fear/Panic and Deimos, the God of Terror and Fear as well.

"Orbita" introduces a whole new and refreshing sound. Black metal like this doesn't come too often. Phobonoid's blends black metal and doom with industrial and electronic sounds that seem to come from outer space. Besides being mastered by Karl Daniel Liden (who have worked with Breach, Terra Tenebrosa, Switchblade, The Old Wind, etc.) everything else here on "Orbita" has been self-produced in Phobonoid’s home-studio. So this is really almost a DIY release by Phobonoid to whom I take my hat off.

Soundwise, "Orbita" sounds like if black space metal band Darkspace and industrial doomsters P.H.O.B.O.S (curiously this band has nothing to do with Phobonoid) were melted into one. The beats are clearly industrial as they are performed by a digital drum and the sound of the guitar brings the best of two worlds: black and doom metal. The voice whispers and hisses in the background, enhancing this dreary and menacing atmosphere.

It begins with the instrumental intro "Phobos" where this sound coming from nowhere, approaches at a very high speed, almost as if it's revealing something. Something huge and menacing. Thick riffs are slowly thrown as the marching beat announces the mighty and dreaded arrive of Phobos. Tracks like "ex", "Vuoto" and "Omega" takes us to some dense, unquiet and desolated black metal territories. The guitar has a very important role here, since it's the main instrument, the weapon of choice taken by Phobonoid. It feels like there's dozens of these guitar sounds all layered, entangled together. The result is this very powerful, buzzing, thick and menacing almost industrial sound. There are some tracks, like "Lo spettro di Deimos" that just like "Phobos" create these cinematic images in our minds where we can imagine the two dark moons over the desolated surface of Mars, spreading nothing but destruction, fear and chaos.

One of the key factors in "Orbita" is precisely this. The amazing capability of Phobonoid to embrace this concept and creating, through his music, these images, this cinematic journey in our heads. Taking us to a place we have never been (and never will), to be able to feel the horror of Phobos and Deimos. Every single song here is a chapter of this story. Amazing.

"Orbita" closes with two instrumental tracks, "Magnete" and the beautiful "Deimos", an amazing and epic instrumental. Filled with layers of these thick black metal spacial riffs, while a beautiful solo echoes in the background. Somehow it gives me feeling that this isn't the end, but the beginning of something.

With a total of 7 tracks, "Orbita" is an amazing 20 minute journey of terror and fear performed in the most darkest, deepest and cold outer space, leaving us begging for more.

This will be just the first part of the journey, as Man’s inner nature never changes: it’s a cycle that always ends up with its own self-destruction. 

Phobonoid's spacial opus "Orbita" will be soon available on CD through Dusktone Records and on tape from Eternal Warfare. You can stream it on Phobonoid's Bandcamp, just follow the link below. Highly Recommended.

quarta-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2013

Best of 2013 - Part I: The Albums

Time to bring you the first part of what are my favorite albums released in 2013. A lot of different stuff here. From the haunting and minimalistic landscapes from The Haxan Cloak to the coldest Winter blizzards with Battle Dagorath to the monochromatic post punk of Weekend. So, without further notice here it goes, Part I of Forever Cursed Best Albums of 2013. Enjoy!

40. The Haxan Cloak "Excavation"

Who said that electronic music can't be creepy? The Haxan Cloak proves that with "Excavation", an authentic creepy sonic voyage that sounds more like the soundtrack of a horror movie. Great textures here. The perfect listen for a long night of work. 

39. Svarte Greiner "Black Tie"

Svarte Greiner, one of my favorite artist in this field, returns with an ambitious album featuring two tracks only. "Black Tie" introduces us two long tracks creating one of the most sinister atmospheres (just like The Haxan Cloak) you will hear this year. Not an easy listen, I must confess.

38. The Sun Through a Telescope "I Die Smiling"

Now, I wasn't very familiar with this band. The Sun Through A Telescope is a one man drone/doom recording project from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. "I Die Smiling" soon proved to be a very essential album on my playlist. It's drone, sludge, ambient, experimental metal. All tracks are really different from each other and it's amazing how the whole album works as a whole. Really superb job. Listen the whole thing here.

37. Nhor "Within The Darkness Between The Starlight"

Now here is an album/artist that passed under the radar of many people out there. Lack of promotion of not, Nhor is one of U.K's finest black metal acts nowadays. "Within The Darkness Between The Starlight" is to me, the best work of Nhor so far. Amazing dreamy landscapes mixed with really passionate and sincere black metal that leads us to the deepest ancient forests of Britannia . What an amazing journey. Buy it here or here.

36. FIN "Fated By Will & Iron"

Another, let's call it, underrated release that really caught my attention was U.S's  Fin with their debut full-length "Fated By Will & Iron". This band simply delivers some really high quality black metal music. Although nothing groundbreaking here, I really ended up by getting hooked by their incisive and vicious black metal sound. Listen to it here.

35. Arckanum "Fenris Kindir"

Arckanum, what else need to be said about Arckanum? "Fenris Kindir" is the artist's eight full-length, dedicated to Lycanthropia. Although nowadays his sound is quite different from his older stuff, on this specific release I ended by really liking it a lot. Besides having that solid and furious black metal sound it also has a that really mean punk, crusty vibe attached to some of the tracks. Like for example "Hatarnir" and "Angrbða". And some really awesome interludes like "Vargøld" where I imagine a huge werewolf congregation taking place in the most darken forests of Sweden. Try for yourself here.

34. Throne Of Katarsis "The Three Transcendental Keys"

This year we were gifted by Throne Of Katarsis with a conceptual album called "The Three Transcendental Keys". Featuring three tracks (one dedicated to each key) having each one more than 10 minutes each. It really sounds like it was all recorded live in some old and decrepit church and recorded in one take. The result is an amazingly obscure and occult atmosphere with three tracks buried deep in the most intoxicating of the sulfurous of fogs. Creepy.

33. Lluvia "Premonicion De Guerra"

One more month and I would have to keep this release for the Best of 2014 List. But luckily, it arrived just in time. For those who don't know, Lluvia is the new project risen from the ashes of Blucht Der Nacht and The Rain In Endless Fall. Lluvia's "Premonicion De Guerra", delivers some of the best black metal I've had the pleasure to hear this year. Great atmospheres, really dark, cold and evil. Really a must-have for all black metal fans. Available here.

32. Mourning Cloak "No Visible Light"

Gathering folks from Braveyoung, Torch Runner and Graf Orlock, Mourning Cloak is a doom supergroup that delivered one of the heaviest albums of this year. "No Visible Light" features three tracks of some really heavy and thick doom. I really dig the atmosphere. Check it out here. Doooooommmm!!

31. Fell Voices "Regnum Saturni"

There isn't much that needs to be said about one of the most known and influential cascadian black metal bands tho walk this Earth. "Regnum Saturni" is a hypnotic, dense, chaotic whirlwind journey like I've never heard before. Besides the music here being colossal, the whole artwork matches perfectly. A must-have. Listen here.

30. Djevel "Besatt Av Maane Og Natt"

Djevel, a supergroup formed by members/ex-members of Koldbrann, Nettlecarrier, Enslaved, Kvelertak, and others. This is another album that really caught my attention due to it's superb quality. I wasn't totally aware who was behind this supergroup, to be honest, I've only found about it recently. But that wasn't the main factor why I got into this. "Besatt Av Maane Og Natt" is filled with great tracks, extremely well performed, good production. Norway wins again.

29. Cosmic Church "Ylistys"

Now here is an album that I almost let it escape. I really didn't payed the right attention when it came out but whenever I found the name "Cosmic Church" and "Ylistys" together, people were all saying great things about it, so I gave it a try. And I loved it. It may not stick immediately after a first listen (the whole album has 1 hour and 16 minutes length) but patience has its rewards and this album is definitely a "grower". The more I listen to it, the more I love it. Once again great black metal, great atmospheres, great music. A majestic album. You can listen the whole album here. Buy it here (although there are several copies spread out through many distros).

28. Battle Dagorath "Cursed Storm of Ages"

Battle Dagorath never ceases to amaze me. I featured the band also in my personal Best of List in 2011 if my memory isn't wrong. This double album is way more superior and ambitious than 2011's "Ancient Wraith". What you see on the cover of "Cursed Storm of Ages" is precisely what you get inside. The most cold of the coldest blizzards of black metal. Really powerful and epic tracks like "Cloud, Shadow, Earth & Flesh", "Processional Across Dreamed Landscapes"and "Awakened by the Spell of the Wind" are just a few, the whole thing is bloody amazing. And those vocals... damn, they give me the chills. Once again Battle Dagorath did it. Buy it here.

27. Wolvserpent "Perigaea Antahkart"

Another bloody amazing trip is Wolvserpent's "Perigaea Antahkarana". During almost 1 hour and half we are transported into this dreamy dimension where Wolvserpent numbs our senses with their magic and mystical music. Amazing fusion of atmospheres. A really impressive album. Listen to it here and buy it here.

26. Inter Arma "Sky Burial"

From the same label as Wolvserpent, their buddies Inter Arma also delivered one hell of a album. "Sky Burial" is Inter Arma's opus, their "Black Album". Extremely well performed sludge metal splattered with some hints of black metal and psychedelia. All wrapped in a stupendous production enhancing Inter Arma's amazing capability of making what they do best. This is an album that we will never grow tired of listen. Just listen to the track "The Long Road Home".. really. These guys really gave us a lesson on how it's supposed to be made. A slap in the face without a hand. Bri-lli-ant. Listen/Buy

25. Rosetta "The Anaesthete"

Rosetta is one of those bands that I already know for a long time, long time when I started to listen to all those post-metal bands like Isis, Mouth Of The Architect, Giant and others. I enjoy their sound but soon fell into boredom. But this album changed that. "The Anaesthete" is a brilliant piece of work. It hooked me up from the beginning to the end. And made me change opinion about them. Heavy post metal with great post rock influences giving us some really amazing atmospheres. The band was extremely kind to share the album for free at their Bandcamp, although this is really worth picking up since it will look awesome as hell on your turntable. Get it here.

24. Celeste "Animale(s)"

One of the most anticipated albums for this year was "Animale(s)" from French band Celeste. After a three year silence "Animale(s)" marks the return of this influential band. A colossal double album introducing that unmistakeable sound that we all know by now as being the trademark of the band. Once again Celeste proves us that their still master in their game. Listen and buy this beast of an album here.

23. True Widow "Circumambulation"

An album that accompanies me through these cold and dark Winter days is True Widow's "Circumambulation". Pioneers of the genre "stonergaze" like it's been called, True Widow have conquered fans inside and out of the metal territory. To me, "Circumambulation" is their gloomiest album to date. Feels good to slow down sometimes. Listen to it here.

22. Beastmilk "Climax"

Kvohst and his crew have done a terrific job with "Climax". This album is a total drug. Since day one those refrains are echoing in my head (Nuuuu-cleeeee-aaaaaaarr Wiinnn-teeeeee-eeeeeerr). Really, this album should bring a sticker on its cover alerting people to its addiction. If this was more mainstream, then every track would be an amazing hit single Apocalyptic post punk at its best. Listen to it here.

21. Weekend "Jinx"

I usually listen to a lot of different stuff as I'm pretty sure you do on that side. It all depends on the mood. Weekend are a band that I've been following for quite some time and "Jinx" is a great album that shows us an even more mature Weekend. This album is phenomenal, I listen to it almost every week. Great catchy tunes holding that post-punk vibe, great bass and drum complicity, great vocals. You can get it here and listen to some samples as well.

Download the compilation HERE.
(Sorry for the weight of the file, but with tracks clocking over 10 minutes or more what do you expect?)
Part II coming soon!


segunda-feira, 16 de dezembro de 2013

Funeral Moon "Funeral Moon"

Ultra Darkthrone-obssessed killer black metal from Adelaide, Australia. Formed by same dudes who play in Night Hag, Space Bong and other underground bands, Funeral Moon play this vicious early-Darkthrone-influenced-black-metal that I'm pretty sure it will please not only fans of the most contemporary black metal bands like Woe and Mutilation Rites, but also the most old-school fans that are into Darkthrone (of course) and Gorgoroth for example. Really great 666 killer material. Funeral Moon have some tapes available for you, get a copy here.

Act of Impalement "Hyperborean Altar"

Act of Impalement are a relatively new band coming from Nashville, U.S. They play this interesting fusion of sludge, doom, crust and punk. "Hyperborean Altar" features a total of seven (very good) tracks where the band manages to balance perfectly the gloomier side of sludge/doom with the fury of punk/crust moving, even at some points, into darker territories of black metal. Their sound has a really evil and occult vibe floating around it that I like a lot. Like for example, in the opening track "Necromancer's Theme". It sounds really obscure and nefarious as the voice dwells in the midst of this filthy and foggy barrage of sludgy riffs, summoning the most evil of the necromancers. The tracks dwell from slow, to mid-paced, to fast, giving them an interesting rhythm not boring the listener at all. Act of Impalement know what they do and how to do it. Although nothing ground-breaking here, I've really enjoyed this release. It turned out a very pleasant listening from the beginning to the end. Although there are many bands out there getting into this style, I really like the most occult side of Act of Impalement, maybe there lies their secret to success? The answer lies in the future. In the meantime, check them out. Good stuff.

quinta-feira, 12 de dezembro de 2013

Best of 2013 - Part I: The Demo/EPs

Man, 2013 was indeed another great year for heavy music. Am I right? 

Along these 12 months we've witnessed great releases coming out throughout the most diverse fields of metal music. I've gathered some releases that to me, gave me a lot of pleasure listening to and was absolutely overwhelmed by. Here you will find such diverse music coming from very different genres, from black metal to electronic ambient music, to death metal to post punk. I'm quite sure that are dozens of great, amazing underground releases out there that deserve to be on the spotlight, but this year was extremely busy for me and I didn't manage to respond all request & stuff. I'll try and justify why I've chosen the releases you will see featured below.

Besides all of the great music coming out, now (and more than ever) it's great to see that many people out there are really into tapes and vinyl again. Although the prices can't please every pocket and the postage/shipping increase between U.S/Canada/Europe is now more insane than ever. But it's good to see that at least some U.S labels are finding ways to keep their european clients satisfied by distributing most of their releases through European labels/distros. It's also nice to see some of the albums getting shape in the most diverse formats, pleasing all the metal music nerds like me, out there.

On the web, I'm sad to see that some of my bloggers-in-arms, like JT from Coffinpsalms and Sanakan from Equivoke have fell into the ground. I totally understand you dudes, that idea has crossed my mind way many times. My man Brett from Annihilate Next Week is still twitching from time to time and last but not the least, the slow dawning return of one of the most charismatic metal related blogs out there, like a phoenix coming out of the ashes, The Living Doorway from my pal, JGD. Good to see you back man.

Ok, so this first part is dedicated to the best Demos and EP's launched this year. This is a selection of my favorite that i've heard. I'm pretty sure I've slept on many others out there, but... Hey! I have a life. Said this, I hope you discover new music and enjoy them as much as i do. Thank you so much for staying on that side of the screen for all of this time. Thank you for your patience. You guys are the best. Thanks for believing in underground metal blogs. Wish you guys all the best. Enjoy the music.

10. Kêres "Old Blood for a New Moon" EP 

Great obscure black metal from Finland. The previous Kêres Demos are really good, but this time with "Old Blood for a New Moon" Kêres presents us a more clear and polished sound without never losing that mystical aura around it. I really enjoy this EP, besides the tracks being simple they're quite dark and the result is a very cohesive release from one of the best hidden gems from Finland. Get it from Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions.

9. Ostots "Arantzen Putzuan" Demo 

Great Raw Black Metal coming from the Basque Country. Here is a band that I believe might be new to many of you out there. I mean, the sound practiced by Ostots is not easy to please the generic black metal fan. Watching where the band started and where it stands now, Ostots have evolved a lot. Growing better and better, release upon release. I had great expectations with it's new Demo "Arantzen Putzuan" and it sure didn't disappointed me. Great tracks featuring the most pure raw black metal. Distributed by Fallow Field, Bubonic Productions also had a few copies, but at this point, I believe the tape is sold out.

8. Witch In Her Tomb "Maleficus Maleficarum" EP 

Raw, rabid and gnarly black metal from Illinois, U.S. It's true that Witch In Her Tomb have already a small cult around them. A proof of that is, whenever their physical releases come out, they fly in a blink of an eye. After a very well received Demo, with "Maleficus Maleficarum" WIHT proves us that they're one the best underground black metal gems in the U.S. actually.

7. Sun Worship "Surpass Eclipse" EP 

Great and epic black metal from Germany. Sun Worship are quickly rising and gaining a strong reputation release after release. "Surpass Eclipse" features two tracks of some of the most amazing black metal I've heard this year. Great construction of tracks, well played and very powerful. In the meantime I absolutely recommend you to check out their latest split with Unru, another great and aspiring band from Germany. You buy from Sun Worship here.

6. Hope Drone "Hope Drone" EP 

Remarkable and solid post black metal from Australia. I was totally blown' away by the quality of this EP. I can see a very shiny future for these boys. Fans of Ash Borer, Alda and other contemporary post black metal acts, take note. I've talked about this release when it came out. You can read it here. Buy it here.

5. מזמור "Untitled Winter" EP

Mizmor, the side project of A.L.N from the monster sludge/doom band Hell. With "Untitled Winter" EP, Mizmor gave me, and I hope to a lot of good folks out there, the perfect soundtrack for this Winter. A bleaking and heavy blend of amazing tunes that embody the best of two of my favorite music genres, doom and black metal. An amazing introspective trip. This release is currently sold out. Meanwhile check it out here.

4. Crypt Lurker "Baneful Magic, Death Worship and Necromancy Rites Archaic" EP

Evil crushing death/doom from the UK. Embodying the old spirit of British doom, Crypt Lurker are one of the heaviest bands out there right now. Released by the hand of Ulthar Records, do yourself a favor and grab one copy of this monolithic release here.

3. Malthusian "MMXIII" Demo 

Another great evil, obscure and hallucinogenic black death act, this time from Ireland. Malthusian are a new name on the scene to keep in mind. Their powerful blend of black and death metal is clearly one of the most asphyxiating and solid I've had the pleasure to hear this year. Released by Invictus Productions this Demo is sold out (and i own one... haha!), but you might get lucky and find some copies floating around although it's planned to come out as vinyl in a near future.

2. Fórn "Fórn" EP 

Crushing, vicious, heavy-as-fuck sludge doom from Boston. Now this is exactly the kind of sludge doom Haxan digs. Filthy riffs that march at the sound of putrid beats commanded by the most caustic style of vocals. Great, great stuff. I don't grow tired of hearing this. Sadly, only few physical copies were made and sold at their gigs. Look forward to hear more of this band. Check them out here.

1. Bölzer "Aura" EP 

Bölzer, fucking Bölzer. A band that, at this point, doesn't need any kind of introduction. The Swiss band that crushed everyone on their path, conquering a legion of fans with just one single song. Those riffs, those motherfucking riffs in "Entranced by the Wolfshook" are truly out of this World, they sound like the fucking lightnings of Zeus falling on our heads. I believe this must've been one of the most played EP's here at the Haxan's den. Amazing. If at this point you don't know or haven't heard this band... dude, you're clearly doing it wrong. Amazing band, amazing sound, amazing EP. The ancient Gods are pleased. Bring on a full-length. You can buy it at Iron Bonehead although there are several distros and Discogs sellers selling this beauty out here.

Download the compilation HERE and taste a few of what I've chosen back there.
That's all for now. Keep an eye out for the best Albums of 2013. Coming soon.