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
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
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
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.