Friday, January 11, 2008

My Filthy 50 List In Decibel Magazine

This came out last summer. It was a lot of fun to do. It got a fair amount of bitching from internet doomheads, but what the hell. I'm only human. It's really just a list of albums that I love. I never meant for it to be some sort of DEFINITIVE list of proto-metal. Of course, it reads like this was my intention in the magazine. Anyway, I know for a fact that people bought Groundhogs albums because of this list. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. And, just in cased you missed it:

The Filthy 50 - Story by Scott Seward

Decibel unearths 50 forgotten late ‘60s/early ’70s thud-rock masterpieces.

Basically, it goes like this: Chuck Berry—British Invasion—Garage Rock—Cream—Hendrix—Led Zeppelin—Black Sabbath—the last Hate Eternal album. OK, it’s not quite that neat. Nothing ever is. Which brings us to this completely biased and unscientific list of late ’60s and early ’70s heavy stuff that time (mostly) forgot. Proto-metal albums that had one supreme goal: to blow your little mind. To make this list, an album had to fit one or more of the following criteria:

• Thud: Does it make you want to fight or fuck?
• Crud: Is it unsavory in some way?
• Mud: Is it a bummer that stabs the hippie dream in the face?
• And, finally, Sticky Sticky Bud: Is it drug-induced and do you know where we can get some?

Apologies to hipster faves Toad, Bang, Sir Lord Baltimore, May Blitz, Black Widow and a zillion others that we forgot. The list-making process got a little, um, fuzzy, and we’re just glad we remembered how to count to 50. If you can remember to look for some of these the next time you hit the used bins, then you probably need a new dealer.

01 Groundhogs,Thank Christ for the Bomb
Groundhogs are a religion and Tony McPhee is the pope. Every solo and riff is the end of the world as you know it.
Liberty | 1970

02 Grand Funk Railroad,On Time
Underrated despite their ubiquity, this is the Funk at their earliest, fiercest and most doom-laden, and it makes most overhyped greaseballs sound flabby by comparison.
Capitol | 1969

03 Toe Fat,Two
Kick-ass, unattractive and totally bad for you. In other words, thud-rock at its most essential. The most elemental riffs known to man. Grab the debut while you’re at it.
Rare Earth | 1971

04 Road,Road
COMPLETELY drug-drenched killer hard rock from ex-Experience member Noel Redding on this—like Toe Fat’s Rare Earth label—Motown subsidiary. Somewhere, Smokey Robinson wept.
Natural Resources | 1972

05 Bloodrock,U.S.A.
All Bloodrock albums are worth owning, but only one has the song “Don’t Eat the Children,” where spirits invade your skull like Satan’s festered hand. You know?
Capitol | 1971

06 Epitaph,Outside the Law
In the states, these German hard-rockers shared a label with kraut space-cases Neu! and the ever-popular Lucifer’s Friend, but their own brand of fancy fretwork shouldn’t be overshadowed. Dudes could shred.
Billingsgate | 1974

07 Dust,Dust
Superior power-trio blast featuring future Ramone Marc Bell (“Marky Ramone”) and the incomparable stoner doom anthem “From a Dry Camel.” Marc made two great Dust albums and the excellent Estus album on Columbia before going all CBGB’s on our ass.
Kama Sutra | 1971

08 High Tide,Sea Shanties
So ludicrously loud and violent that you gotta wonder what the hell punk rock was supposed to be saving us from. Oh yeah, ELP. Whatever. Most punks couldn’t hold a candle to the nihilistic fury of High Tide. Liberty | 1969

09 The Litter,Emerge
Their first two albums are garage-punk classics, but on their third, the Litter had become a fierce fuzzy beast and a harbinger of hard rock to come.
Probe | 1969

10 The Head Shop,The Head Shop
Speaking of harbingers, the Head Shop’s lone psych semi-classic is likewise a breath of foul air filled with woozy—and supremely heavy—bad acid moments that would reflect the coming waves of dirt metal that the ’70s had to offer.
Epic | 1969

11 Cactus,Cactus
Vanilla Fudge’s rhythm section plus the godlike blues rock guitar of Jim McCarty makes Cactus’ debut the bone-crunching and highly influential album that it is. Heed the advice on the back cover: “This album should be played at ‘high’ level.”
Atco | 1970

12 Edgar Broughton Band,Wasa Wasa
The mud-caked bastard offspring of Captain Beefheart and U.K. acts like the Deviants, Edgar Broughton Band pisses all over your flowers and then proceeds to pass out. Now THIS is grunge.
12 Harvest | 1969

13 Randy Holden,Population II
This album is fucked. Randy Holden is a god. The electric guitar has never been abused so thoroughly since.
Hobbit | 1969

14 Atomic Rooster,Death Walks Behind You
The title track kicks so many kinds of ass that it’s kinda hard to even focus on the rest of the album. And the rest of the album is fucking great.
Elektra | 1971

15 Armageddon,Armageddon
Just in case you were wondering what tech-death sounded like in 1975, former Yardbird Keith Relf and Captain Beyond drummer Bobby Caldwell would like to show you. One of the GREAT major label releases of the 1970s.
A&M | 1975

16 Leigh Stephens,Red Weather
Randy Holden wasn’t the only former member of Blue Cheer to feel the need to get something off his chest in 1969. Red Weather is a singular, drugged and supremely bummed-out epic by this stoner rock pioneer. Amazing and haunting.
Philips | 1969

17 Crow,Crow Music
Not a great album, but Crow deserve a nod for their straight-up biker rock, the seriously doomed proto-metal of “White Eyes” and for providing Black Sabbath with their first single (“Evil Woman”).
Amaret | 1969

18 Smoke Rise,The Survival of St. Joan
While they might not have been the greatest hard rock band in the world, they are, as far as anyone knows, the only band high enough to think that a double album stoner boogie opera about Joan of Arc was a good idea. And that’s got to count for something.
Paramount | 1971

19 The Open Mind,The Open Mind
Brit power-psych with a huge bottom end and deathless, doomed proto-metal vibe that can’t be beat. You can FINALLY get this as an official release with decent sound and no longer have to shell out a thousand clams for the original.
Philips | 1969

20 Gun,Gunsight
Gun was guitar hero Adrian Gurvitz’s first chance to show his stuff via hard rock gems and jams that are as wild and wooly as his huge red afro. The dude is genius.
Epic | 1969

21 The Damnation of Adam Blessing,Second Damnation
One of the greatest US rock bands that hardly anyone has heard, TDOAB lay down a serious hurting on their second full-length.
United Artists | 1970

22 Peter Green,The End
of the Game Ex-Fleetwood Mac guitar god goes down a very steep cliff and just keeps falling and falling and falling…
Reprise | 1970

23 Valhalla,Valhalla
TDOAB labelmates (UA’s hard rock roster was unfuckingbeatable) Valhalla effortlessly blend prog, psych and jaw-dropping heavy stuff on their lone, nearly-forgotten LP.
United Artists | 1969

24 The Hook,Will Grab You
Exemplary post-Hendrix power-trio blast.
Uni | 1968

25 Thunder and Roses,King of the Black Sunrise
Exemplary post-Hendrix power-trio blast. Vol.2.
United Artists | 1969

26 Puzzle,Puzzle
Exemplary post-Hendrix power-trio blast. Vol.3.
ABC | 1969

27 Eden's Children,Eden’s Children
Exemplary post-Hendrix power-trio blast. Vol. 4.
ABC | 1968

28 The Grodeck Whipperjenny,The Grodeck Whipperjenny
James Brown put this funky beast out because he didn’t think you had enough fuzz in your life. Now you do.
People | 1970

29 Bubble Puppy,A Gathering of Promises
Yeah, it’s a psych milestone, but it’s also one of the great progressive hard rock albums of the ’60s. When Bubble Puppy changed their name to Demian, they repeated the trick with their lone album on ABC-Dunhill.
International Artists | 1969

30 West, Bruce & Lang,Whatever Turns You On
Jack Bruce knows power-trios, and the one he put together with Mountain man Leslie West was a beefy, greezy beast.
Windfall/Columbia | 1973

31 MC5,Starship
Keeping away from the better-known names on this list for the most part to give the neglected their due, but this live Five set from ’68 is a wind tunnel of viciousness and needs to be studied by the Department of Homeland Security in the hopes that they can stave off any future attacks of sonic terrorism.
Alive/Total Energy | 1998

32 Wishbone Ash,Wishbone Ash
Before they floated off into the UK rural prog jam band ether, Wishbone Ash delivered seriously smoking and locked-in boogie rock fire. Their first three albums are essential.
Decca | 1970

33 Jade Warrior,Released
Dude, flutes and horns? What is this shit? Oh, wait, that guitar solo just sliced my face off. My bad.
Vertigo | 1972

34 Mad River,Mad River
If the song titles “High All the Time” and “Amphetamine Gazelle” don’t give you an idea of where Mad River were at, then the furious and tense bad trip Quicksilver-esque head-nodding devil music on their debut most certainly will.
Capitol | 1968

35 Fear Itself,Fear Itself
Awesome and powerful Zeppelin-esque blooze grunge with singer and guitarist Ellen McIlwaine playing the part of Robert Plant. A sadly short-lived group that still impresses.
Dot | 1969

36 Mott the Hoople, Brain Capers
Everyone ON EARTH should own the first four Mott albums, but JUST IN CASE someone has never heard “Death May Be Your Santa Claus” or “Darkness, Darkness,” well, there’s still time to make something of your wretched life.
Atlantic | 1971

37 Captain Beyond,Captain Beyond
Bobby Caldwell is god and this is hands down the greatest southern space rock boogie metal album ever made.
Capricorn | 1972

38 Banchee,Banchee
Pristine, hypnotic and driving hard rock that mesmerizes with ease. They don’t make bands like this anymore.
Atlantic | 1969

39 Sam Gopal,Escalator
Lemmy invented metal. And then he invented god and the devil and then he ate them.
Stable | 1969

40 Terry Brooks & Strange,To Earth With Love
DIY astral guitar superhero melds Hawkwind and his own demented charm until sparks fly. Recorded in 1979, but it was always 1971 in his world.
Star People | 1980

41 Humble Pie,Rock On
Steve Marriott is a legend, so let’s take this time to give a shout-out to Suck, JPT Scare Band, Nitzinger, Budgie, the Frost and Pentagram! A&M | 1971

42 Ursa Major,Ursa Major
The mighty Dick Wagner of the Frost would make this amp-burning screamer before heading off with best bud Steve Hunter to add crucial fierceness to Alice Cooper and Lou Reed albums.
RCA | 1972

43 The Bob Seger System,Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man
So fuckin’ cool. Heavy, rockin’, in your face and HUNGRY. Bob has long been considered a garage rock legend, but you gotta hear this shit to believe it.
Capitol | 1969

44 Ten Years After,Stonedhenge
Again, legends, but not an album you hear every day. Stoner minimalism and an x-ray of the blues creates late-night lysergic bliss.
Deram | 1968

45 Savoy Brown,Looking In
This. Is. How. You. Do. It.
Parrot | 1970

46 Pink Fairies,Kings of Oblivion
The rock is out. The cock is out. Larry Wallis shows no mercy. It’s like listening to the birth of a planet. You need this like you need air and water.
Polydor | 1973

47 Glass Harp,Glass Harp
Epic arrangements, Phil Keaggy’s guitar heroics and seriously brainy jammage.
Decca | 1970

48 Bitter Blood Street Theatre,Vol. 2
Alice Cooper supposedly stole this group’s theatre of the absurd shtick. Recorded at the dawn of the ’70s, Vol. 2 has crazed spoken word interludes, raggedy horror-filled rockers like “The Monkey Wolf” and “Gutter Children” and a unique drug-soaked energy unlike most albums of the day.
Vetco | 1978

49 Frantic,Conception
Crude and rude and heavy on bar band-friendly covers, Conception is a degenerate soundtrack. It’s really LOUD, has no socially redeemable qualities and it will make you pine for the days when Quaaludes grew on trees.
Lizard | 1971

50 Three Man Army,A Third of a Lifetime
Post-Gun, Adrian Gurvitz just cranks up the heat and the speed to deliver Mach 3 jams that reverberate for eons.
Kama Sutra | 1971

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Red Harvest - A Greater Darkness (Season of Mist - 2007)

In the better late than never department, I STILL can't get over how great the last Red Harvest album was/is. Honestly, the best Neurosis album might have come from Norway in 2007. And with all due respect to Neurosis, a band I adore, A Greater Darkness got a lot more play from me than Given To The Rising. And I liked Given To The Rising! And it's not as if Red Harvest are some sort of carbon copy Neur/Isis wannabe. They are better than that. But the comparison is still valid. And it's a compliment, really. The idea of making an album sound like some sort of catastrophic weather pattern - a storm to end all storms - and the almost mythical levels of dramatic tension, are, for both bands, ways to tap into something much much larger than themselves. Which, you could say, is metal's job. Or what most metal strives to achieve. But the best bands go beyond "big" or "loud" or "epic". They create their own oversized mythos. Red Harvest do this handily on A Greater Darkness. It's everything you could ask for from a modern metal album. Such a satisfying and rightous roar. Just in case anyone missed this blast, here's an album that, in retrospect, deserved a better showing on my top 20 list for the year. Sorry, Red Harvest! What can I say? It was a strong year with a ton of strong albums.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Vog - S/T (Shifty Records)

It just hits me and hits me and keeps on hitting me. Ow! Honestly, I’m not that masochistic, but sometimes it really does hurt so good. Music that sounds like a fist. A sloppy drunken fist in the case of Vog. Vog are from Virginia. I recently did a write-up in Decibel on Shifty Records and Shifty sent me all kinds of cool sludge and home-grown doom. I liked most of it. Maybe I was in the mood. Almost every band affiliated with Shifty goes for the gold when it comes to dementia. They walk that extra mile. They give 110%! The Vog album might have impressed me the most though. I like albums that sound out of control. But what I might like even more are albums that never quite lose their shit. They hurtle down a steep hill and they somehow never crash. They have a drunk’s luck. Or maybe they actually do have amazing self-control and only sound as if they are desperate and unclean. They’re faking! Which is fine. However you get to A to B is all good with me. I enjoy the ride. I enjoy the relentlessness of Vog’s album as well. And the way that they combine all my favorite well-worn sounds and genres. The sludge and the punk and the doom and the psychedelia. I love Eyehategod enough that I’ll happily listen to bands who steal from them and leave it at that. Bands that don’t take EHG’s sound any further. It’s a great sound! And it works. It’s heavy and sprawling and it defines freedom through lethargy. Vog want their sludge to be more epic in scope. And the welcome addition of heavy psych divorced from the pain and grit of heavy sludge makes the band stand out. They also go for a leaner up-tempo punk sound at times that could no doubt outrun any member of Eyehategod. The tandem vocals – deep inhuman belch on the one hand and pitbull shrieker on the other – work well. Vog know the power of filth. And the power of riffs that are bigger than a bread box. They get down and dirty and impress you by never once coming up for air.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Isole - Bliss of Solitude (Napalm - 2008)

I thoroughly enjoyed Throne of Void, the 2006 album by Sweden's Isole on the always interesting I Hate Records. I Hate has impeccable taste when it comes to all manner of doom metal, and Isole, while not as down and dirty as some bands on the I Hate roster, can hold their own with any group of gloom-mongers and are worthy in all respects when it comes to making memorable epic doom. It's possible I'm too easy on bands that remind me of the 90's heyday of U.K. doom a la My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Cathedral, etc. I live for that stuff. Isole make no bones about their worship of Candlemass and other 80's and 90's masters. And Throne of Void definitely struck me as well-made homage. (Isole have been around forever, however. And I came to them late. They used to be known as Forlorn before changing their name to Isole. So, in a sense, they are pioneers as much as anyone else who started playing in the early 90's.) Anyway, I love the new album - on new bigger label Napalm - Bliss of Solitude so much, that I'm definitely going to re-investigate Throne of Void and try and find a copy of Forevermore, their 2005 album that I've never heard. Bliss is just so solid and massive. The production is, for the most part, strong and complimentary. Good doom is only as good as the sound of the guitars you build your doom castle with, and Isole make their six-strings sing sweetly as well as dig deep for that unholy bottom that hardly anyone ever reaches. That's the goal, really. To get to the bottom. Many have tried to prove that they're slower and they didn't last and they died as they tried. Doom metal will live forever simply to give new generations a chance to reach the bottom. Isn't that sweet? On Bliss, Isole have definitely outlived and outlasted the comparisons to Solitude Aeternus and Candlemass. They are their own distinct entity. And Bliss is very much a MODERN epic doom album. My 90's nostalgia is rarely fed while listening. Oh, it's all there somewhere. But album-opener "By Blood" is so immediately exciting and gratifying and so very NOW that nostalgia is the last thing I feel when it's playing. And it's been playing a LOT at my house. Isole have made a career album. This is a band that knows EXACTLY what they are doing and what their strengths are as a unit. This is satisfying, professional, uncompromising, and HEAVY music.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Upon Listening To Amok's Necrospiritual Deathcore

I listen to a lot of music. Tons. It is one of the great joys in my life. And you never really know what is going to hit you the hardest next. Or at least I don't. Not all the time anyway. Sure, I have a good idea by now what I will like and what I won't like based on prior listening and descriptions. Some things definitely sound enticing to me when I read about them beforehand. And I know I will probably be turned off if I read certain warning sign words in a review or article or whatever. "post-Soft Bulletin Flaming Lips", "emocore", "Death Cab For Cutie", "Amerindie pop with a dash of electronica". Stuff like that. Basically, 90% of the junk promo e-mail I get reads like a worst-case scenario to some degree. And I definitely anticipate loving certain things before I hear them. I was so blown away by French band Deathspell Omega's Kenose album that I really couldn't wait to hear their next album. Lots of people felt this way. Kenose was special. It FELT genuinely evil. The darkness surrounding it is the kind that is not easily duplicated or faked. You have to commit wholeheartedly to making music like that, and you have to give of yourself to receive something so, in some ways, repellent. Or abrasive. Well, not if you are a metal fan you don't. Not usually. Abrasive and repellent is par for the course. But some records work so hard to push against you. Push you away from the music. For adventurous listeners, this means that it's time to push back. To dive in and see how far under you can go. Try and figure out what the hell is going on in there. This is me, anyway. This is what I like to do. I allow the music to take me over. To have its way with me. Which is one reason why I listen to music louder than most people do. I don't want it to be background. Wallpaper. Something to wash dishes too. Don't get me wrong. I do wash dishes and listen to music. But I want to HEAR it. And the women in my life have been turning it down for decades.
Anyway, the follow-up to Deathspell Omega's Kenose came out in 2007 and I enjoyed it a great deal. But it didn't suck me in like Kenose. I didn't grapple with it. Ultimately, it's probably a more "listenable" album. It's still crazed and heavy and nuts and all that, but it doesn't create that perfect storm of atmosphere that Kenose whipped up in its tsunami of blackness. Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum, the latest album, suffers a bit from Kenose's success. This band has already BEEN to the other side. So what do you do for an encore? It's a tough trick. A trick that many bands before them have tried to pull.
Norway's Amok was one of the bands that pulled me down to new depths in 2007. Their Necrospritual Deathcore album on the Planet Satan Revolution label threw me for all kinds of loops. Here's my review from Decibel Magazine:

Color me impressed! Amok’s first full-length is a helluva malevolent beast. A big shout-out to Necrocum, Goatpromoter Lava, Iscariah and… Stanley. Sigh. Attention, dudes in bands: Just GIVE your drummer a cool name, OK? Apparently they have a hard time coming up with one on their own. Anyhoo, these Norse noise boys serve up the blackened death-thrash hybrid with scary aplomb. With their heavy, heavy super-repetitive riffs that sink below ground in a swirling depressive spiral, you can see why the band name-checks olde-tyme demonic thudmasters like Von and Sadistik Exekution. But just when you think you’re in for simple heads-down mid-tempo thrash or proto-BM, they throw in a what-the-fuck echo-laden blues guitar solo or some other disorienting effect and top it all off with some modern BM flair. Suffice it to say, there’s more than meets the eye here.

And this leads you to the three-part showpiece of the disc. The creepy Jim Jones samples in between songs are another harbinger of the dementia to come. After a long-ass intro of tubular bells and monk chanting comes a completely sick guitar line that sets the mood for this mini-epic. Lots of spoken word shouting—Jim Jones transcripts?—culminates in the drone-like repetition of the line “No way out/ There is never a legitimate reason for leaving” amid all manner of unearthly sounds, time-changes and that sick sick guitar. So cool! Also, it sounds like a different band entirely from the first half of the album. Then things get really weird. More of these fucked noises, please! And a shout-out to Nazipenis Hoest, who plays drums on this “Goatflesh Removal” trilogy; he’s always there when you need him. Apparently Malfeitor Fabban from Aborym is on this thing somewhere too, but all is chaos, and who can tell what’s going on? Highly recommended for fans of all things mysterious and spooky. Or just for Satanists with a taste for bad-ass guitars. You aren’t all into cheesy keyboard action, right? —Scott Seward

So, yeah, that's how I felt about the album at the time in spring of 2007. Translated into Decibelese, of course. And I kept coming back to it. The guitars on Amok's album...ooh la la. They are everything over-distorted guitars should be. Just glorious. But it's that album-ending "Goatflesh Removal". Man, I just can't explain it properly. The spoken vocals that are at complete odds with the rest of the album. The mantra-like calm. One of the missions for Amok as a band was to take things back to that old school of 80's scuzzbucket death and (actually fairly rocking) destruction of yore. And it is mission accomplished until this last bit. Because the last bit doesn't remind me of any Cro-Magnon proto-death acts I can think of. When I'm listening to the Goat Removal Trilogy, and Necrocum and Goatpromoter Lava and the rest are firing on all cylinders, I realize that I want everything to sound like this forever. That I want it to last forever. The song. This music. I never asked for these sounds. I had no idea what to expect when I put the cd on. I had never heard Amok before. The last albums by Primordial, Harvey Milk, and Converge have made me feel this way as well. It's as if time has stopped. The sounds these bands are making are simply archetypal sounds that act as perfect illustrations of what their music is and what their time on earth sounds like and what their creative goals are and what has come before them and what will come after them. I mean, PERFECT. The noises they are making are historic noises. They are making history in sound. Not for record books. I mean, that they are making history in the way that a tree makes history when it grows another ring. Their growth has enabled them to perfectly actualize their moment in time and space. Your most perfect day on earth may beat these albums by a mile, but nobody, as of this moment, has devoted a 100% cotton hoodie to your perfect day. And I never SAW your perfect day. So I must report on phenomena as it reaches me through whatever means are at my disposal. You can send me pictures of your perfect day, but I can't promise anything. Okay?

What I’ve Been Listening To

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band – The Impossible Dream (Vertigo – 1974)

Mark Moogy Klingman – Moogy (Capitol – 1972)

L.G. Scott & The Lee Scott Singers – Peacemaker (Nashboro – 1972)

It’s A Beautiful Day – Choice Quality Stuff/Anytime (Columbia – 1971)

Ennio Morricone - Sacco & Vanzetti OST (RCA – 1971)

Esperanto Rock Orchestra – S/T (A&M – 1973)

Mickey Newbury – Harlequin Melodies (RCA – 1968)

Red Kerns & his Rocky Mountain Boys – Just a Pickin’ and a Grinnin’ (Round – 196?)

The Temptations – Cloud Nine (Gordy – 1969)

My Favorite Albums From 2007

Hell, I cut and paste this list everywhere and anywhere, I might as well put it here too. My Decibel list and other stuff that I liked a lot. A great year for metal!

My Decibel list:

1 – Caina – Mourner (Profound Lore)

2 – Grave In The Sky – Cutlery Hits China: English For The Hearing Impaired (Heart & Crossbone)

3 – Dodheimsgard – Supervillain Outcast (The End)

4 – Moonsorrow – Viides Luku: Havitetty (Unruly Sounds/The End)

5 – Necrodemon – Ice Fields of Hyperion (Open Grave)

6 – Sun Of Nothing - …in the weak and the wounded (Venerate Industries)

7 – Ulver – Shadows Of The Sun (The End)

8 – Procer Veneficus – A Summerhaze Array For August Nights (God Is Myth/Ars Magna)

9 – Amok – Necrospiritual Deathcore (Planet Satan Revolution)

10 – Novembers Doom – The Novella Reservoir (The End)

11 – Blood of the Black Owl – S/T (Bindrune)

12 – Virgin Black – Requiem – Mezzo Forte (The End)

13 – Alcest – souvenirs d’un autre monde (Profound Lore)

14 – Portal – Outre (Profound Lore)

15 – Deathspell Omega – Fas-Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)

16 – Tharaphita – Iidsetel Sunkjatel Radadel (Nailboard)

17 – Metsatoll – Terast Mis Hangund Me Hinge 10218 (Nailboard)

18 – Earthless – Rhythms From A Cosmic Sky (Tee Pee)

19 – Baroness – The Red Album (Relapse)

20 – Ensiferum – Victory Songs (Spinefarm)

Stuff I also liked/loved that I feel needs mentioning (including reissues and possibly stuff from late 2006 that I only heard this year):

Harvey Milk - The Pleaser (reissue)

Harvey Milk - My Love Is Higher Than Your Assessment Of What My Love Could Be (reissue)

Art 238 - Empire of the Atom

October Falls - The Streams of the End

The Angelic Process - Weighing Souls With Sand

Monarch! - Dead Men Tell No Tales

Mehkago N.T. - Demo

Nagelfar - Virus West (reissue)

The Ruins Of Beverast - Rain Upon The Impure

Manes - How The World Came To An End

Blood Tsunami - Thrash Metal

Funeral - From These Wounds

Morsure - M.A.D. et Acceleration Process (reissue/archival)

Dead Conspiracy - Gore Drenched Legacy (archival comp)

EA - Taesse (Came out in late 2006. GREATLY regret that this isn't in my top 20 list. i forgot it.)

Laethora - March of the Parasite

Guttural Secrete - Reek of Pubescent Despoilment

Heinous Killings - Hung With Barbwire

Endless Dismal Moan - Lord Of Nightmare

Magane - Mortes Saltantes

Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound - Ekranoplan

Lietterschpich - I Cum Blood In The Think Tank

Kult - Winds Of War

Shining - V - Halmstad

Merciless Death - Evil In The Night

Toxic Bonkers - Progress

Obituary - Xecutioner's Return

Vorkuta - Into The Chasms of Lunacy

Rotting Christ - Theogonia

V.E.G.A. - Cocaine

Car Bomb - Centralia

Red Harvest - A Greater Darkness

Defiance - Insomnia (3-disc reissue box)

Artillery - Through The Years (4-disc reissue box)

post-rock post-rock who's got the post-rock?

spent almost the entire first day of the new year listening to post-rock bands and music from 2007. why? i have no idea. i was intrigued. the godspeed/mogwai stuff was, not surprisingly, the most boring. but there is some good music being made under that banner and i'm completely out of that loop. well, now i'm not. now i'm an expert on latter-day post-rock and neo-classical electronic math rock. i started a thread on ilm about these two year-end lists that got me curious. lots of pretty album covers: