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April 17, 2014
ORYXDunes of droning hypnotic sludge from the deserts of Las Cruces, NM.
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April 14, 2014
MAMMOTH STORMPlodding, tar-lathered metal-fed groove doom from Sweden.
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April 8, 2014
LADY FLINT Explosive stoner blues rock duo from Marselle, France.
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April 7, 2014
KING DEAD Doomy psyche-tinged spaghetti western sludge from PA.
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April 2, 2014
GROGGYBlues-obsessed fuzzy garage rock duo from Omsk, Russia.
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March 31, 2014
THE SILENT LOWMelodic, hard-hitting, attitude-driven stoner rock from Denmark.
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March 25, 2014
GRAILPsychedelic punk with a southern demonic desert groove out of Texas.
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March 24, 2014
LORD OF GIANTSincere, lumbering, 70's influenced heavy rock from Germany.
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March 19, 2014
WOVOKA Intense yet melodic, brutal gut-twisting post-metal sludge from LA.
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March 16, 2014
HEAVY VOODOO
Torpedo riffs, hazy grooves and cosmic stoner sleaze from Portland.
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March 13, 2014
SPIRITUAL VOID
Toxic, heavy southern groove metal attitude from Brazil.
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March 11, 2014
SOUTHERN STATE
Somber, shoegazing post-metal sludge from Columbus, Ohio.
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March 10, 2014
HYPERGIANT
Cosmic, gravity-defying stoner fuzziness from Sydney, Australia
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March 6, 2014
KHEMMIS
Fuzz-filled, snail-paced riff-praising doom from Denver, CO.
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March 5, 2014
BITCHCRAFT
Polish doom band with female vocals is a fuzz worshippers dream
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March 4, 2014
DRUG MOTHER
Sleazy, fat and dirty stoner metal riffs from down under.
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March 2, 2014
SPIRAL GURU
Newly formed 70's inspired stoner doom band from Brazil.
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Feb. 27, 2014
TIMESTONE
Expansive psychedelics and dusty grooves from Austria.
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Feb. 25, 2014
RHINO
Fuzzed-out heavy desert grooves from Catania, Italy.
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Feb. 24, 2014
SOLAIRE
Get stuck in some sludgey stoner groove from South Carolina. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 20, 2014
HADDOCK
Heavy lightning in a bottle stoner boogie groove from Sweden. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 19, 2014
VALFADER
Stirring progressive ambient doom from Bath, UK
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Feb. 17, 2014
BRUNT
Intense instrumental sludgefuzz from these Guernsey blokes. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 15, 2014
MATUSHKA
Swirling hypnotic heavy psychedelic rock from St. Petersburg, Russia. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 10, 2014
MOPE
Sultry and somber jazz-laden ambient doom from Genoa, Italy.
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Feb. 8, 2014
LANDSKAP
Late 60's early 70's influenced heavy psychedelic rock from London.
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Feb. 5, 2014
TOMBSEALER
Death/Doom/Thrash from the mean streets of Adelaide, Australia.
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Feb. 4, 2014
SLUG SALT LAVA
Doomy apocalyptic instrumental Sludge from Istanbul, Turkey.
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Feb. 2, 2014
MIST
Spell-binding all-female occult doom from Ljubljana,Slovenia.
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Feb. 1, 2014
GRIT
Heavy heartfelt psychedelic jams from Heidelberg, Germany.
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Jan. 30, 2014
9OZ OF NOTHING
Riff Heavy Stoner Doom with Southern grit from Athens, Greece
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Jan. 27, 2014
BRILLIANT MACHINE
Chest collapsing progressive heaviness from Ventura, CA
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Jan. 25, 2014
OUTWAILED
Genre-defying atmospheric mood music from Tampere, Finland. facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 23, 2014
YURI GAGARIN
Freaked-out psychedelic space rock from Gothenburg, Sweden. facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 22, 2014
BLACK SNAKE
Swamp-infested grooves and fuzzy desert riffs from Portland,Oregon.
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Jan. 21, 2014
BORDEL INFERNO Gritty heavy rock, solid riffs from Rio de Janiero.
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Jan. 20, 2014
OVERLORD Melodic groove-oriented Heavy Rock from Oxford.
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Jan. 19, 2014
A DAY AS WOLVES Garage-rock inspired bluesy fuzz and roll from Alberta, Canada. Eh! facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 18,2014
NAKED BROWN Hard-hitting Polish heavy rock in the vein of Clutch and Motorhead.
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Jan. 17, 2014
OMEGA SUN
Smoke obsessed Stoner Doom from Slovenia. Free demo.
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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Seth's Top 12 of 2012

ZAC: "Dad? Dad?! Hey Dad!"
REG: "WHAT?! Goddammit!"
ZAC: "How come Seth gets to make two lists this year and we only got one? Sludge, non-sludge... who gives a fuck?!"
TOBY: "Yeah, Dad. Totally not cool. He just whines and gets whatever he wants all the time. "
REG: "That's not true, it's just that..."
KEN: "Oh, COME ON! Ever since he flunked 7th grade you've taken this new age, Montessori approach to dealing with all his bullshit, so he just does whatever the hell he wants."
REG: "Who's the parent here! I am! Lee and Mark turned out alright, didn't they?"
TOBY: "Dad, we haven't seen them in months."
REG: "They've just been in the basement."
ZAC: "What about Misha?"
*Silence*
REG: "Alright, look. It's no secret your brother's always been different. He asked if he could make two lists, and I didn't want another argument. I mean, he was raised in the Midwest, he seems to do alright so long as he's not..."
KEN: "Fuckin' typical, Dad!"

1. The Midnight Ghost Train - Buffalo


I was disappointed when Karma to Burn had to pull themselves from a Chicago show with Truckfighters in March. I hung around the merch booth and tried my best not to be "that guy." Ozo and Pezo were approachable and warm, so when I spoke of missing KtB, they immediately assured me I wouldn't be disappointed. The Midnight Ghost Train took stage and Steve Moss immediately commanded everyone's ear. You'll hear about Buffalo being the next closest thing to TMGT's live show, and it's a safe assessment of David Barbe's excellent production.

The reason I've chosen Buffalo as 2012's best album is because it fucking was. Call it stoner-rock, delta blues, or grit-groovin', muddy soul, this stomper has it all. Every track ties into the album as a whole, though the themes aren't lost when examining each song in itself. I love the fuzz, but that's not enough to craft one of the finest stoner-rock records I've ever heard. Moss is true to his roots, whether they be in Topeka or Buffalo, and you can hear every calloused, bone-stiff blue collar American in this thirty minute trip. I guess the simplest terms and most convenient definitions boil down to this: Buffalo is 100% homegrown.

2. Pelican - Ataraxia / Taraxis


Ataraxia / Taraxis demonstrates both Pelican's fidelity to longtime loyals and their open arms to fresh ideas. The band does more in these eighteen minutes than most bands do on a double-disc greatest hits compilation. Here, Pelican reach their pinnacle with a balance of technical and absolutely fucking beautiful, an accomplished and sand-caked progression toward ever-escalating volume and scope. Ataraxia / Taraxis is only the most recent in a string of assertions that Pelican lead the pack of instrumental outfits. At times illusory and other times heavy, this EP is considerably expansive for its brevity. Contrasting moods and harmonies will have listeners enthralled, while Pelican's musicianship remains simply unmatched.

3. Wo Fat - The Black Code


Riffs. Endless fuzz. It's The Black Code's thickness that sets it apart from the balance of 2012's stoner metal releases. Wo Fat have reached their apex, jamming with a psychedelia that keeps the swamp teeming with sin. The songwriting finds the band at their best (so far), and the fuzz is no detraction from the craft. Dissect this disc from any perspective and you'll find reason to keep coming back. This chewy release is moldy Texas Toast slathered in bourbon barbecue glaze. Fucking delicious.

4. Greenleaf - Nest of Vipers


Composed of accomplished musicians from accomplished acts, it'd be easy for Greenleaf to ride their own coattails and trust that fans of Dozer and Truckfighters would buy the record anyway. It's impossible to deny these songs, and all of Nest of Vipers is timeless and nearly flawless. Our buddy Lee made heavy mention of the record's drumwork, and I'd be a fool to leave it out of this endorsement. I loved this album for adding up to more than the sum of its parts. Exceeding expectations is no easy task. Greenleaf breeze through it.

5. Ufomammut - Oro Opus Primum


It took Oro Opus Primum for me to fully embrace Ufomammut's supernatural, ultra-expansive space-metal. But hallelujah, holy shit... the deceptive tranquility builds toward cosmic doom, all the while the band exercises an incredible use of dynamic progressions. I had a hard time even approaching Oro Opus Alter, simply because I was so stunned by Primum. The natural pacing alone puts this album among the year's best, but Ufomammut's execution and songcraft cement their status as otherworldly luminaries.

6. Earth - Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II


If I learned anything about my tastes in 2012, it was that I succumb to drone as easily as I fall for sludge. There's something cathartic and melancholy about drawn out progressions hovering as they snag my sensibilities and make others question my tastes. Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II was 2012's first album that I played incessantly. These five songs perfectly complemented any mood, lending themselves to whatever I was feeling on that day. At times minimalistic, at times incredibly instrumentally proficient, it's easy to see how Earth inspired countless acts. These experimentations are more powerful and memorable than what many bands take years to construct.

7. Nate Hall - A Great River


I'd heard Nate Hall recorded A Great River in the span of one night, and I believe it. Taking an evening away from U.S. Christmas ended up being far more layered and pained than you'd expect from one man with one guitar. Hall plunges himself toward some heartbreaking depths, taking listeners with him. If these songs don't pluck your heart strings, your blood has finally gone cold.

8. Horseback - Half Blood


Well, here comes that weird chill. That chill that only the finest drone metal can inspire. The atmospheres of Half Blood are enough to complement those vocals you can't ignore. The keys and chimes are surprisingly effective, and the guitar layers showcase a band committed to doing things however they feel. Experimentation? I can't say. But I'm hearing more and more with each listen. An album that evolves is an album I can't leave alone.

9. Christian Mistress - Possession


I've got a soft spot for female vocalists in a genre heavily dominated by gruff, aggressive frontmen. When metal's catchy, I get nervous. But when Christine Davis harmonizes over old-school heavy metal hellfire, it's impossible not to get lost in the hooks. The best part? I burned a copy for my wife (a fan of Heart and Joan Jett) and introduced her to 2012's finest nod to NWOBHM.

10. Alice Tambourine Lover - Naked Songs


Alice Tambourine Lover immediately took me on the most bare and basic of trips. The songs are organic and stripped to the bone. Sometimes a woman's voice hits deeper than anything, and pairing Romanelli's guitar warble with Albertazzi's hauntingly sexy vocal is a recipe for some cool jams. I immediately swooned at the stoner slides, but that voice will set you adrift.

11. Snarf - Arrak Bisa Ular


Zac called this album "a prolonged sense of paranoia." This spooky set left me removing my headphones and checking doors and windows. Sprawling and patient, Snarf stuck with me for days. The hypnosis i entered was never a comfortable one, but it was never one I could pull myself from.

12. Pilgrim - Misery Wizard


Alright, let's slow things down. If you struggle to remain patient with your children, leave this album alone. But there was no way this album, what I would call the year's finest classic doom release, wasn't making an appearance. I love the plod, I love the patience, and I love that Pilgrim doesn't care if I love it or not. There are Sabbath nods, and there are hardly any tempo shifts, but I could plug away with Pilgrim all day. Straight-forward and at times completely malevolent, I loved every second. Every weepy, drawn-out second.

3 comments:

  1. Gnarly dude... I completely forgot about Pilgrim and Pelican's EP. I honestly cannot believe Pelican wasn't on my list. Its time for me to give some time to Ufomammut and Earth. I was thoroughly impressed with Earth's previous release. Another excellent year, another excellent list.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, and killer description of the HP family. HAHA!

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  3. Good article with so many wonderful pictures!

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