Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Cacophemisms' 2013 lists

The white noise created by countless year-end lists has faded. Nonetheless, Cacophemisms and some of our friends have a few more contributions to make. 2013 was packed full of great music and it's safe to say that narrowing these picks down was more difficult than most/all of us expected. If you're reading this, hopefully you might find something you want to look into further. We also invite you to help us give a final blast to the din of subjective opinion and add your lists in a comment on this post.



1. Magic Circle - S/T
From the cathartic doom fuelled riffs that break into triumphant NWOBHM inspired flourishes to Q’s thumping drums that lead mightily from the front. From the striking emotional weight of Brendan Radigan’s vocal delivery to the irresistible pull of the recording’s raw, direct, live feel. Magic Circle’s debut album overflows with a special quality that makes you want to relive every moment as soon as it passes by. Months later, as the final lick of closer “Magic Circle/Cloven in Two” fades out, it’s still a struggle not to flip the record over and start again - to have one more scratch at the itch that spread with the first bite inflicted by the galloping verses of “Rapture”.

2. Northless - World Keeps Sinking
With more time to take in the behemoth that is World Keeps Sinking since my review in September, I am no less impressed by it. When the album’s devastating magnitude becomes less intimidating and the songs’ construction becomes more familiar, the details hidden in every corner continue to reveal themselves. It’s the unconventional, sometimes jarring, sometimes uplifting touches that really begin to stand out, keeping the entire album interesting and keeping Northless well ahead of the pack. Brilliant.

3. Agrimonia - Rites of Separation
The first time I heard the intro to “Talion” being savagely torn apart by the explosive verse, I wanted to destroy everything in sight. Agrimonia completely nailed their approach to epic, metallic crust with Rites of Separation, creating an incendiary, dynamic record that is massive in both sound and scope. While the album ebbs and flows, its percussive, driving force imposes a fevered intensity that sears throughout its five howled testimonies to humanity’s dislocation at its own hands.

4. Vhol - S/T
Vhol spew forth an awesomely maniacal blend of thrash, prog, black and power metal, drawing from Voivod, Celtic Frost and even Discharge to create a wonderful, mesmerising racket that defies simple description. Pulsing, tremolo picked basslines and supercharged drumming underpin some stupefying, wildly inventive guitar work. And Yob’s Mike Scheidt tops it all off with his inimitable subterranean growls, scratchy, cavernous vibrato and everything between.

5. Earthless - From the Ages
The latest chapter of Earthless’ psychedelic shred freak-out adventures truly delivers. Containing all the thrills and spills you would expect, From the Ages hangs on to some more straightforward grooves than their other albums do, offering more places to jump on board and enjoy the ride. This is definitely going to remain on high rotation throughout the summer. And the cherry on top: Earthless and The Shrine are playing here in Canberra on New Year’s Day at the Basement.

6. Orchid - The Mouths of Madness
At first, I dismissed Orchid as another pointless Sabbath rip-off. Wrong. Eventually, Through the Devil’s Doorway turned me, and by the time I got through The Mouths of Madness, I was fully converted. Orchid take ownership of what they borrow. You just can’t argue with the stellar songwriting, the perfectly muted heaviness, or the dark but catchy wailing vocal melodies that carry equally well in moments of soaring, classic hard rock glory and blurry-eyed, lava lamp-lit interludes.

7. Phantom Glue - A War of Light Cones
This seems to have slipped by with little recognition, which is a shame because Phantom Glue’s distinctive, hardcore-tinged approach to huge, noisy sludge (with nods to Black Elk and early Mastodon) packs a hefty blow. With A War of Light Cones, the band created a brutal but clever, charismatic, bass-heavy monster with rough, distorted vocals and effective, sparing use of screaming guitar lines and solos. A great album that is well worth checking out if you missed it.

8. Cloud Rat - Moksha
Moksha is an outstanding offering of thrashy, melodic grindcore that isn’t afraid to let its emotions wander into more diverse territory, as in the wistful beginnings of “Infinite Chasm”. But the scathing and the nightmarish dominate, with the ferocious attack of the vocals and drums projecting most of the wrath. The guitar is sometimes buried, but the effect is that its distant melodies actually draw you in closer so Cloud Rat can go straight for your face.

9. The Black Angels - Indigo Meadow
I had never heard the Black Angels before this year, and I’m very glad that a couple of mates alerted me to the band’s haunting psychedelic rock, which conjures Neil Young, the Doors and Black Mountain. I absorbed three of their four albums concurrently - their debut, Passover was the shining light. But even though 2013’s Indigo Meadow is more subdued, it contains some fantastic moments and a compelling, subtly sinister weirdness that keeps me going back.

10. Hydromedusa - The Rats Have My Mind
It’s only a three-song cassette, but I couldn’t leave the latest from Adelaide’s Hydromedusa out of this list. They toned down the Eyehategod influence on this release, focusing more heavily on channelling Buffalo and AC/DC. They also stripped back some of the complexity apparent on their self-titled EP in order to crank out wild, raucous, sludgy rock ‘n’ roll that I really hope to see on stage some time soon.

Honourable mentions:
Agents of Abhorrence - Relief
Czarface (Inspectah Deck/7L & Esoteric) - S/T
Noisem - Agony Defined
SubRosa - More Constant than the Gods
Vista Chino - Peace
Windhand - Soma

Unkle K

Flesh Police - Demo 2013
The VeeBees - Meet My Middle Finger/Wife School
Undergang - Som Til Din Ligkiste
Corrupt Moral Altar - Whiskey Sierra
Mansion - We Shall Live
Hoax - S/T
Obliterations - S/T
Slomatics - The Future Past
Laser Flames on the Great Big News - Lambs to the Slaughter
Tethered to a Dying Animal - Impermanent
Mother Brain - Straight to Business (2012)

Drowning Horse - S/T
Weekend Nachos - Still
Jucifer - За Bолгой для нас земли нет
Windhand - Soma
Orchid - The Mouths of Madness
Kylesa - Ultraviolet
Voivod - Target Earth
Year of No Light - Tocsin
Autopsy - The Headless Ritual
Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum
Coffins - The Fleshland
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Mind Control
Magic Circle - S/T
Code Orange Kids - Love is Love/Return to Dust
Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance
Sete Star Sept - Too many 2013 releases to mention
Portal – Vexovoid
To the Point - Shit You Should Have Bought on Vinyl the First Time Around 

Need to listen to these more:
Baptists - Bushcraft
All Pigs Must Die - Nothing Violates this Nature
Black Willows - Haze
14:13 - S/T
Anciients - Heart of Oak
Nightslug - Dismal Fucker
Seven Sisters of Sleep - Opium Morals
Grime - Deteriorate
Biipiigwan - Something for Everyone; Nothing for Anyone
Cult of Luna - Vertikal

TV shows:
Game of Thrones
Ray Donovan
Boardwalk Empire
Eastbound and Down
Orange is the New Black
Magic City
Top of the Lake
The Americans 


1. Lycus - Tempest
2. Hatred Surge - Human Overdose
3. Society Nurse - S/T
4. Moss - Horrible Night
5. Usnea - S/T
6. Full of Hell - Rudiments of Mutilation
7. Portal - Vexovoid
8. Bone Sickness - Alone in the Grave
9. Primitive Man - Scorn
10. Abyssal - Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius

Geoff (Mendicant Music)

1. Inquisition - Obscure Verses for the Multiverse
2. Krypts - Unending Degradation
3. Dead Can Dance - In Concert
4. Perfume - Level 3
5. Autopsy - The Headless Ritual
6. Obliteration - Black Death Horizon
7. Cultes Des Ghoules - Henbane
8. Lantern - Below
9. Portal - Vexovoid
10. Secret Chiefs 3 - Book Of Souls: Folio A
Honourable Mentions:
Agents Of Abhorrence - Relief
Batillus - Concrete Sustain
Bolzer - Aura
Clagg - Gather Your Beasts
Eardelete - Devilogy
Gruesome Stuff Relish - Sempiternal Death Grind
Hail Of Bullets – III: The Rommel Chronicles
Immolation - Kingdom of Conspiracy
Innumerable Forms/Blessed Offal - Split
Vastum - Patricidal Lust

JJ (I Exist/BMA "Metalise")

1. Portal - Vexovoid
2. Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum
3. Exhumed - Necrocracy
4. Clagg - Gather Your Beasts
5. Cathedral - The Last Spire
6. Windhand - Soma
7. Kvelertak - Meir
8. Orchid - The Mouths of Madness
9. Solstice - Death’s Crown is Victory
10. Black Sabbath - 13

Shane (Cutting Hose, Burning Plastic)

1. Beastmilk - Climax
2. The Body - Christs, Redeemers
3. Horisont - Time Warriors
4. Ulcerate - Vermis
5. Weekend Nachos - Still
6. Tombstoned - S/T
7. ASG - Blood Drive
8. Carcass - Surgical Steel
9. Gorguts - Colored Sands
10. Mountain Witch - Cold River
11. Windhand - Soma
12. Altar of Plagues - Teethed Glory & Injury
13. Gnaw - Horrible Chamber
14. Big Business - Battlefields Forever
15. Inquisition - Obscure Verses for the Multiverse
16. True Widow - Circumambulation
17. Obliteration - Black Death Horizon
18. Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum
19. Dead in The Dirt - The Blind Hole
20. Obits - Beds & Bugs

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