See that? I stuck to my New Year's resolution. For now...
Anywho, when I looked back at my best of 2010 list, I realized that there was a lot of stuff left out of it, either because it was getting late and I was tired or I just plain forgot about them, so I think I'll close out the week with a continuation of sorts. The following albums were also really damn good and are definitely worth picking up.
Tech death fans rejoice, this album is nothing short of a masterpiece. It's a collaboration between Navene Koperweis (not to be confused with the girl from Avatar) of Animals As Leaders and Jonny Davy of Job For a Cowboy, and I gotta say, I have no idea how so much talent can come from two people. Actually, Navene plays all the instruments and Jonny just does the vocals, but it's still arguably his best work to date. If you want to get an idea of what it sounds like, first I would suggest you, I dunno, buy the album and listen to it, but for those of you who need to be wooed first, think The Faceless' first album but WAY heavier and beefy-sounding (which is fitting since Navene played for The Faceless for a while), and obviously with Jonny Davy doing vocals. The music is superbly written and manages to be experimental as all hell, yet undeniably catchy. I'll go on record and say that Mr. Koperweis is one of the best metal musicians of our generation, and his passion for what he does shines through brilliantly on Dementia/Dyslexia. Get it, and get it fast, but I must warn you, the outro to the song "Weeping Hallucinations" will make you feel like you just did a lot of drugs, even if you didn't. And if you did do drugs, for the love of Christ save yourself and turn it off now!
Dimmu Borgir- Abrahadabra
Yes, I'm well aware that this album has been getting a lot of flak lately, so much so that Dimmu was actually named the Worst Band of 2010 in Terrorizer Magazine's reader's poll, but fuck you, it's my best of list, I'll put whatever I damn well please on it, and I happened to like this album, thank you very little. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love a good powerful melody, and what better way to do just that than to record with an entire orchestra? And not that MIDI shit either (I'm looking at you, Winds of Plague), but the real thing. Despite no longer having the two members that made them great, Dimmu managed to put out an album that flat-out defines the phrase "symphonic black metal" by perfectly combining the two genres. They do stumble occasionally (I try to just ignore Agnete Kjølsrud's curious screeches in the first half of "Gateways"), but for the most part the band and the orchestra compliment each other nicely, creating a truly epic sound that they haven't achieved since "Progenies of the Great Apocalypse" first gave us brain aneurysms. Not bad for a band that doesn't have a full-time drummer, bassist or keyboardist. Now they just need to bring Vortex back and everything will be right with the world.
Hour of Penance- Paradogma
The general atmosphere of this album can be accurately summed up in three words: blast... fucking... beats! The Italian quartet's latest offering doesn't slow down a bit for its entire duration, and I don't really have a problem with that, like at all. Machine gun drums, gnarly riffs (with occasional shredding), rapid fire vocals and crisp production are what make Paradogma a keeper. Believe me when I tell you folks, this is brutality incarnate. If you can find someone who isn't intimidated by such blasphemous gems as "The Woeful Eucharistry", "Thousands of Christs" and "Spiritual Ravishment", then I'd say you just found yourself a new friend. There's not much else I can say that wouldn't end up being redundant at this point, so just get the damn album and enjoy.
Fleshgod Apocalypse- Mafia
For everything you need to know about Fleshgod Apocalypse's new EP, see the above paragraph but sprinkle the songs with audio clips of classical music. 'Nuff said. Although to be honest I don't really know what the giant octopus has to do with anything, but whatever, it still looks scary.
Short Bus Pile Up- Repulsive Display of Human Upholstery
Last but certainly not least, you may remember these Virginia slamsters from when we featured them in Slam Spotlight a while ago, and they were put there for a very good, very simple reason: their new album is bad-fucking-ass. The only way I can describe it is that the band just got everything right, from the guitar tone to the snare tone to Tyler Sharpes' vocal tone; any tone you can think of, they thought of. And the music ain't too shabby either, with plenty of catchy grooves, brutal slams and just the right amount of new songs and re-recordings to please fans both old and new. If you're looking to get your mosh on, put on songs like "Ball-Peen Beating", "Stench of Her Burning Flesh" and "Gagging On Dick" and see if they don't make you wanna grab someone smaller than you and throw them just for the fuck of it.
Alright, now we can put 2010 behind us for good. It was a pretty rad year for metal, but the forecast for 2011 is looking pretty damn bright as well, so here's to the future. Tell us what your favorite metal memories of 2010 were, or what you're looking forward to the most this year, in the comments below.
-BK (gaaahhhh too many acronyms!!!)