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"
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!