Dienstag, 6. Januar 2015

Top 10 Records of 2014

So, here you go - the official Top 10 Records of 2014
(not just my personal list - the definite list. debating over it is pointless).

1. WitnessThe Fall - Reflections LP - 12" / CD

Oldschool 90's style Metalcore in the vein of bands like Skycamefalling and Poison The Well.
With already having recorded two awesome EP's in '05 and '07 they really allowed themselves
some time for this new record to come out... but man, I tell you, it was worth the waiting!
The record opens up with a chugging, yet melodic riff a la skycamefalling and overwhelming,
high pitched screams. Shortly after turns into an almost emotional part - revealing these
fragile structures, to which the lyrics perfectly match. But even before you can deeply think about it,
a devastating breakdown snaps you out of it and just makes you want to let go of all the feelings.
The next song, "Blue Skies Burning" (probably my favorite from the record), is like the typical
metalcore song. Fancy riffs following on 90's style tremolo like parts and even a solo appears,
before the whole thing turns into the essential breakdown. Not least because of the name,
Dead Blue Sky is another band that might comes to mind while listening to this...
Some other songs are more emotional, like "The light of day" which begins with a dream-like
clean interlude before it throws you into a depressing vortex of (self-)doubts and despair.
Songs like "Carrier" (probably my favorite as well) however, do even appear positive.
Still pretty emotional and nostalgic - like mourning about old times - but far from forlorn.
The message in this song gets supported by an Undying like melodie (which gives the nostalgic
part a different note as well). After a pretty oldschool Interlude, which might reminds you of
their first record (in case you know it), "De Herfst" - a dutch song crushes down. Though I guess
you wouldnt actually notice the change of language if you dont listen really closely. I mean,
I really like his style, but you cant really understand 90% of what he screams ;-)
Other than their music (and lyrics) I really like their attitude as well. Everything, from
printing merch, to releasing records and doing shows is done as diy as possible. These guys
are really living it the oldschools (90's) way, what is fucking awesome if you ask me!
If you're keen about some more information, get yourself a copy of the 2nd Issue of my zine,
(along with one of the comp-tapes i put out for them) it's an Interview in there.
So, check them out here, and get it straight, this one is number 1, yo!

2. Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache LP - 12” / Tape
Carry The Weight Records, Life Lair Regret Records
Emotional 90’s Metalcore in the vein of bands like Poison The Well or 7 Angels 7 Plagues.
The record opens up with a clean and melodic, almost beautiful interlude that suddenly,
before you’re completely drowning in it, changes to a devastating riff, accompanied by
emotional screams (lyrics are definitely more emo than metal here). Hard and moshy riffs
are taking turns with groovy chug parts and fragile acoustic/clean interplays during the whole record.
At one time, like in “The Lies We Burn” for example, you get a virtually romantic part, with such
emotional lyrics, spoken/sung and then screamed, that you’re on the verge of breaking into tears
(don’t tell me you aren’t man) and then, in the next second, everything changes into a breakdown,
so damn hard that it turns all these generated emotions into pure fucking rage. Their demo was
already pretty good, but this LP is beyond awesome - people will still talk about it in years I guess!
I read the term “cry-mosh” somewhere… fits perfectly! I mean, obviously you don’t have to cry
if you don’t want to, but this record is just perfect to vent on one’s emotions, whether you want to
fight someone (or just the air in terms of the pit :P ), break down in tears, or anything in between.
“Aching” and “An Unpainted Canvas” for example, are these kind of songs, which definitely
give you a chance for both. 
So, just don’t be an idiot and get wild on it here: http://carrytheweightrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-melancholy-we-ache

3. Incitement - Hyena EP - 12”
I instantly fell in love with this band when I heard their demo for the first time.
My first thought was: Wow, this is Arkangel - Arkangel in polish. While listening to itthe second time, I just realized that the lyrics are actually in English… Nonetheless it is
a pretty damn good demo and after a while you really get into his accent and everything.
Anyway, their new EP is a bit different - vocals are more evil than before and the accent
doesn’t shine through that much anymore. Their style is still pretty good comparable to H8000,
though this record has more “metal” (in terms of death or even black metal) influence than the demo
I guess. Arkangel meets Entombed, meets Satan (yeah, Satan… just read the lyrics and you’ll
know why). The whole thing just sounds as dark and gloomy as it looks like - pure misanthrophy.Check it out here, if you dare: http://carrytheweightrecords.bandcamp.com/album/hyena

4. Funerals - Human Ruin EP - 7” / Tape
Blasphemour Records

Probably one of the best demo’s ever. I really don’t know much about them, where they’ve
come from so suddenly/what they’ve done before/etc. But these 3 songs are just so perfect.
They somehow managed it to combine the good old 90’s Metalcore sound with some serious
Sludge tunes and this “Holy Terror” kind of style… like Disembodied meets EyeHateGod,
meets Integrity, or something like that. I don’t know, it’s just, everything at once:
Brutal and devastating, cold and merciless, but still wild and catchy somehow. Lyrics are,
who would’ve thought, hatefull and misanthropic… perhaps even occultist…
Really looking forward to hear more from them!Check them out here: http://blasphemourrecords.bandcamp.com/album/human-ruin

5. Foreseen - Helsinki Savagery LP - 12” / Tape / CD
Take It Back Records, 20 Buck Spin

Raging Thrash Metal from Finland that combines the best of the 80’s and 90’s sound,
with lots of Hardcore Crossover elements. Like the bastard child of Carnivore/ Slayer/Sodom
and Agnostic Front/Cro-Mags/Crumbsuckers. And besides getting more and more into
the direction of professional metal (at least it fucking sounds like that), they haven’t lost a bit
of their punk/diy ethics - just read the lyrics and listen to what the guys behind the band have
to tell you! They’re still putting up their own shows/printing their own merch/etc. although
they could easily be fame/stars like Bon Jovi, if they just wanted to! Anyway, this full length is
just perfect - it has riffs, so fast I couldn’t even believe at first listen. I wanted to run, punch
through a wall and start power lifting at the same time! It has solo’s that just sound like
they’d come directly from the depths of the universe. Wrapping you up in a stream of sound,
when suddenly hard as fuck gang vocals snap you out of that journey, bring you back to earth
and just make you want to swing that damn chain in the middle of the pit, or stomp over the heads
of someone. This is World War V (no offense to Twitching Tongues here, I just needed that quote,
they’re a great band… but in comparison to this, they can simply fuck off)!
Nothing but respect for these guys - just check them out or crawl back under your stone!
(btw. If you read the thanks list in the inside of the LP carefully, you’ll come across 
“Tim and Bound By Modern Age” at some point…wohohohoh - I love you guys)!

Totally forgot about this... or rather, wasnt sure if it'd be out in 2014 yet.
But yeah, it is out and it is indeed really good, so it definitely deserves a place in the Top10... therefore you'll have to stick with "5.5" now :P

5.5 ToAshes - Liberation Through Destruction EP - Tape
Bound By Modern Age Records

Vegan Straight Edge Modern Hardcore with a punky attitude. Somewhere between Purification
and Gather. Really promising demo right here… and besides making awesome music, they also
do have a whole lot to say! Great lyrics (tapes come with info text’s and explanations) with
a meaning. Topics like speciesism, capitalism and sobriety.  I’m extremely proud to have the honor
of releasing this (7” vinyl is planned for early 2015, in collaboration with eco.nspiracy) - let’s see
what the future holds for them and in the meantime, de-mosh (destroy/mosh) the state to thissoundtrack! “Smash the state, eradicate traditions, set their world afire, start the revolution!”

6. Unrestrained - Forward Onto Death LP - 12” / Tape
Trip Machine Laboratories, Bound By Modern Age Records
90’s Style Metalcore in the vein of bands like Morning Again and Unbroken. Not to confuse
with “the other Unrestrained” - the one I’m talking about here are the ones from Portland.
Have been around for like 8 years now and still going strong! I feel like they’re just getting better
with every release. And so I can obviously say that this is their best release yet…
and I’m extremely proud that I had the pleasure of releasing it on tape! Members are long time
hardcore veterans like Justin Sitner (vocals) from Stuck In The Past (that blogspot) and
formerly x43x, Jon Sinko from Backlash or John LaCroix from Ten Yard Fight. So you know
that they’re not just some kids trying to make what that 90’s sound because it’s cool…
they are “really” stuck in the past, haha… Just check em out, they’re awesome: http://unrestrained.bandcamp.com/

7. Statement - Kill Mode EP - 7”
Bloodless Records
Mercieless Vegan Metal like back in the 90’s. Musically somewhere between Slayer, Integrity
and Entombed. Lyrically just like the old Statement, though I have the feeling that he might even
has improved his songwriting. Vocals are not 100% my cup of tea - only reason that this is “just”
on place 7 I guess. But with passages like “only one thing cures humanity” in “Kill Mode”,
how can you not like it? I mean, obviously this isn’t “Hardline” anymore, and especially with
lines like “don’t breed a human life, end the cycle with your life” he made clear that he’s over
the pro-life phase, but I guess this is as close as it can get nowadays. Still militant vegan
and drug free - a band that exists for over 30 years now. I mean, if this alone isn’t reason enough
to buy the record, I don’t know what is. 
But, decide for yourself, check out a song of it here:
And since Rat is still too lazy for putting up a bandcamp, download the whole thing here.

8. InTongues - Entombed By Existence EP - CD / Tape
Atonement Records
Crushing 90’s Metalcore with lots of divebombs and a militant stance
against fascism/racism/sexism/etc. - Glasgow City Antifa! Misanthropic lyrics to songtitles
like “Once Possessed A Strength Which Has Now Left Me”, which might remind you of
Shai Hulud or Poison The Well, but go musically more into the direction of Disembodied,
Buried Alive or Integrity. The songs really match to each other and create this big picture of
the rising northern darkness… doomy atmosphere, almost depressing. They definitely improved
their style in comparison to their ’12 Demo - this is not just another 90’s rip-off band, with
this record they managed to create something individual with the best of thrash metal,
slowed down hardcore and metalcore. I’d be really keen to hear something new from them in 2015,
although it has been dismayingly quiet about them lately… 
Anyway, let’s just hope for the best,
and if you don’t even know them yet: http://intonguesghc.bandcamp.com/

9. StrangePlaces - Strange(r) Places EP - 7”
Hardcore / Thrash Metal Crossover with some Stoner / Grunge influence.
This is their second EP and you can say that they’ve developed just fine. Apposite to the lyrics,
the whole record creates that feeling of an adventure game, with creepy vocals and strange sounds.
Besides “The Elder Scrolls” and LOTR, lyrics are about dark and occult stuff… what else!
Btw. It’s the old singer of Wayfarer if I remember correctly - would fit by all means.
So, this is definitely just as much interesting for the people who are more into that Stonger/Grunge
Metal stuff, as for the people who are more into that Thrash or even Black Metal stuff - I mean,
I already stopped counting the comparisons to “the cold south” after the first few lines! Do yourself a favor and check it out here: http://carrytheweightrecords.bandcamp.com/album/strange-r-places

10. Decadence - Into The Mouth Of Hell EP - 10” / CD / Tape
Instilled, Cruzade, In My Heart, Dias De Juventud, LifeLair Regret Records
Chugga-Chugga 90’s Style Metalcore from Spain. The Guys have played in a beatdown
hardcore band called Pacto De Sangre before, where they obviously draw some influences from
as well. 
Some of them do also play in another band called Minority Of One, which is goes
more into the direction of New School/Melodic Hardcore, but surely worth a listen! ;-)
Anyway, their debut EP Into The Mouth Of Hell is really the hell of a record. It starts with an evil
as fuck intro - So brutal you want to punch holes into the wall! And then continues with a chugging
90’s metalcore anthem with misanthropic lyrics about animal rights… I mean, how much more 90’s
can it even get? While the record spins along you get more and more reminded of the old H8000
bands like Arkangel and Congress. Socio-critical lyrics are following, rotationally shouted/screamed
by a high pitched voice or spoken/sung in the style of bands like Morning Again and Culture did.They’re perhaps not reinventing the wheel here, but it’s a really awesome record and you can definitely put it into your 90’s/H8000 playlist and nobody will notice that it is from ’14.
Btw. If you want to know some more about them, be prepared for the 3rd Issue of
the BBMA Zine (I’m currently doing an Interview with them)Check them out here: http://decadence90s.bandcamp.com/

So, yeah... thats it. But, beacause 2014 was a really awesome year, here are places 11 - 20:

11. Heartfelt - Flaws In Human Nature EP (Demo)

90's Hardcore. FFO: Kindred, Morning Again, Reprisal, ...
Tape Version coming soon (on BBMA Records)

12. Skinfather - None Will Mourn LP
Death/Thrash Metal with some Hardcore (Crossover) influence.
FFO: Entombed, Morbid Angel, Obituary, ...

13. Constrict - Carved In Stone EP
Oldschool (90's) SXE Hardcore. FFO: Judge, Outspoken, Earth Crisis, ...http://constrict.bandcamp.com/album/carved-in-stone

14. Barren - Anachronism LP
XVX 90's Hardcore. FFO: Chokehold, Unbroken, Left For Dead, ...

15. Desperate Times - Looking For Solution EP
Hardcore/Thrash Metal Crossover. FFO: Cro-Mags, Leeway, Killing Time, ...
Metallic SXE Hardcore with some 90's influence (since this record).
FFO: Throwdown, Strife, Buried Alive, ...
90's Hardcore/Metalcore - Florida Style. FFO: All Out War, Harvest, Buried Alive, ...

18. Battle Ruins - Self Titled LP
80's (Heavy)Metal with Oi and Hardcore influences. 
FFO: Life Of Agony, Youth Defense League, Stars & Stripes, ...
Get it here!

19. Earthly Rage - On Wings Of Darkness EP (Demo)
90's Hardcore/Metalcore. FFO: Chokehold, Unbroken, Raid, ...
90's Metalcore/Death Metal. FFO: Undertow, Slavearc, Arkangel, ...
New stuff is even better! Demo + LP Promo Tape out on BBMA Records

Besides this, there is also a lot of stuff I just discovered recently, like in December/January,after I already started doing this (or even forgot about :P)... so, I was too lazy editing 
the list again, but you should definitely check out the following as well:

Rebirth - Self Titled EP (Demo)
90's SXE Hardcore FFO: Outspoken, Culture, Earth Crisis, ...
Really awesome demo, perhaps even top 10 awesome!

Overturn - Self Titled EP (Demo)
90's Hardcore. FFO: Strain, Canon, Strife, ...

Annulment - Celestial Mother Of The Handless Path EP (Demo)
90's Metalcore, Long Island style. FFO: Unbroken, Catharsis, 108, ...

Titan - Self Titled EP (Demo)
Chaotic 90's Metalcore. FFO: Jane., Orchid, Crucible, ...

Ancst - In Turmoil LP
Oldschool Black Metal with some Death/Metalcore influence.
FFO: Mayhem, Darkthrone, Anaal Nathrakh, ...

A Life Of Torment - Fracture / Conscious EP (Demo)
90's Hardcore/Metalcore. FFO; Chapter, Slavearc, Disembodied, ...

Institution - Uncritical Receiver EP
Metallic Oldschool XVX Hardcore. FFO: Judge, Earth Crisis, Outspoken, ...

Nihility - Consumed EP
Death Metal w/ Thrash and Hardcore influence. FFO: Entombed, Morbid Angel, Obituary, ...

Aim - Foundation EP (Demo)
Melodic SXE Hardcore w/ some youth crew influence. FFO: Trial, Floorpunch, Earth Crisis, ...

Longest War - Self Titled EP (Demo)
Metallic 90's Hardcore. FFO: Integrity, Despair, Slugfest, ...

And as if this wasnt already enough, here is some more stuff,
which obviously would've deserved a place in the top 10 (or at least top 20), but
I dont wanted to add, as it are just "promos" - so the actual records, following on these,
will definitely be in the 2015's top list!

XVX 90's Metalcore. FFO: Arkangel, Statement, Morning Again, ...

90's Metalcore/Death Metal. FFO: Dying Fetus, Suffocation, Heaven Shall Burn, ...

Occult Metallic Hardcore. FFO: Integrity, Ringworm, Withdrawal, ...

And of course everyone of us is still waiting for the following (2015 will be huge as well):
On Bodies EP, Contend With Dying EP, First Fight Down EP, and many more...

Please tell me if I forgot YOUR favorite release! :-)

2 Kommentare:

  1. Just recently found your blog. Good stuff. Do happen to have either surface out germany or possibly end of days. I know members of surface went on to form end of days in the 2000s. Other than the first surface album, which I have a physical copy of, I can't seem to track down any of the other material. Thanks for any possible help

    1. Hey, sorry for the late answer... I just asked my mate chris (former drummer of end of days and now of heaven shall burn) and he send me everything EoD ever recorded. I can up it for you if you want me to... but unfortunately i couldnt find anything from surface :-/ I was able to dig up some information on them, but no music... so, I will continue research, but I would be glad if you could rip and upload your cd as well :D