Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Cacophemisms' 2014 lists

Unkle K

Amazing year for releases. I couldn't possibly narrow it down to ten and I was still discovering 2014 releases with a couple of weeks until the end of the year.

1. Electric Wizard - Time to Die - The kings return.
2. Eyehategod - S/T - Fantastic comeback considering their loss. Never released a bad album.
3. Internal Rot - Mental Hygiene - Melbourne grind tornado lifts the bar. Look forward to the tour with Manhunt in February.
4. The Oath - S/T - Looks and hooks, great heavy metal.
5. Slomatics - Estron - Irish sludgers get better with every release.
6. Occultation - Silence in the Ancestral House - A late discovery. Great dark doom rock.
7. Yob - Clearing the Path to Ascend - Love the Neurosis-y elements creeping in.
8. Yuri Gagarin - S/T - Swedish space rock, a heavier Hawkwind/Monster Magnet. Brilliant.
9. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden - Best described by someone else as 'opium den metal'.
10. Horsehunter - Caged in Flesh - Young Melbourne doomsters, killer debut.
11. Old Man Gloom - The Ape of God (I & II) - Double LP of APE CORE.
12. Space Witch - S/T - Heavy as shit instrumental pommie space doom.
13. Thou - Heathen - Maybe their best yet, which is a big call with their back catalogue.
14. Satan's Satyrs - Die Screaming - Sleazy rocking punk brilliance. Would have rated higher, but those vocals.
15. Manhunt - S/T - South Oz PV wrecking machine. Make sure to see them in February.
16. Witch Mountain - Mobile of Angels - Don't go, Uta. Will be interesting to see where they go from here.
17. Autopsy - Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves - Best death metal band ever.
18. Obliterations - The Hole - More Sab/Flag thrashing madness from members of Black Mountain and Saviours.
19. Super Fun Happy Slide - Drop Your Pants & Grind - Would have rated higher with more listens. Love this band.
20. The VeeBees - Outta Ammo - 'Berra grog monsters hit the big league in 2014 with constant touring and a fantastic looking LP. Hardest blokes, hardest drinkers, hardest tourers in the land.

Just missing out: Floor, USA Out Of Vietnam, The Shrine, Jig-Ai, Godflesh, Monolord, Atomic Death Squad, Fistula.


1. Thou - Heathen
Words and thought are nothing. Instinct and experience are all. The facile trivialities with which we imprison our true, wild essence must be cast off and destroyed. Of course, Thou surely see the irony that such ultimately human-focused conceits, which are doubtless distilled from the work of numerous thinkers and writers, are expressed on Heathen through discursive lyrics accompanying deliberately contrived musical compositions. But this infuriating, hypocritical struggle is a reminder that we remain inescapably human. And Heathen unloads every single savage fragment of that struggle that it can muster, reaching out of the speakers with sheer desperation to grab, slash and tear mercilessly at the insufferable bullshit coating every single surface of our existence. This album really is something else. It builds upon everything Thou have done previously to see them masterfully controlling the brutality of their painfully heavy, skin-crawling sludge with finesse and seamlessly weaving in poignant moments of calm and serenity. The result is cohesive and nuanced while being visceral and vicious. Heathen forces a reaction and leaves a huge impression that has not dulled at all in the months since its release.

2. Yob - Clearing the Path to Ascend
There are many reasons that people revere Yob as something akin to a force of nature, not least being their craft in making music that is at once shatteringly heavy and deeply meditative. In that vein, Clearing the Path to Ascend is a record that comes as close as any other to cracking open some new, unexplored dimension where all is unbounded from the constraints of time. The spiritual chasm that Mike Scheidt’s howls rise from in the darker parts of the album seems as though it would disintegrate any unsuspecting feeble souls that unwittingly glimpse inside. But perseverance yields reward, and the entirety of this creation is far more psychically comforting than it is terrifying. “It’s time to wake up.” Yob is love.

3. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
Sometimes the hype is entirely deserved, and that rings true for Foundations of Burden. Pallbearer towered with their new spin on classic doom, which overflows with harrowing melodies, incredible tones and phenomenal songwriting. There are brilliant little touches secreted away amongst it all, which continue to reveal themselves after (many) repeated listens. A little more upbeat and accessible than Sorrow and Extinction, it remains epic, powerful and affecting.

4. Mantar - Death by Burning
It didn’t seem to garner that much attention, but this German/Turkish duo spat out a feral little mongrel with their debut, Death by Burning. It’s a raw, depraved concoction that both scrapes through howled doom and belts out primitive, straightforward death rock, while maintaining dark (but catchy) melodies. Rabid and hyperactive, it sounds like Black Cobra sinking into a tar pit and dragging Nirvana in with them, while Kyuss and Chuck Schuldiner (and maybe Darkthrone) throw rocks from the edge. I look forward to hearing more from this band.

5. Earth - Primitive and Deadly
Dylan Carlson and co. once again deliver the distorted dreamscapes and hypnotic repetition you would expect, but this time there is more. The enigmatic, rolling contours of Primitive and Deadly have a definite forward momentum. They are accentuated and given life by some surprising, soaring guitar leads and spectacular vocal contributions from Mark Lanegan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi. It all fits together perfectly, resulting in an album of irresistible, otherworldly blues that compels you to return.

6. Oozing Wound - Earth Suck
In short, Earth Suck consists of Oozing Wound throwing seven more noisy, sludgy, thrash tantrums. It is debauched, petulant and annoying in the best way possible, with frenzied riffing, psychotic screeching and hammering drums all working to toe a fine line between speedy bangers that can induce neck spasms and maddening assaults of repetition that could drive almost anyone over the edge. Spite and cynicism have never been so much fun.

7. Martyrdöd - Elddop
The blazing metallic d-beat of Martyrdöd’s latest album is punctuated with slower passages, featuring chords that ring out to accentuate a heightened emotional focus, as compared to 2012’s Paranoia. There are rock 'n' roll touches here and there and characteristic, squealing guitar lines ascend above the searing rhythms which, for the most part, refuse to be shackled by what seems to be a more considered approach to the songs. And those throaty, barked vocals wail painfully over everything to make sure the intensity doesn’t let up for too long. Great stuff.

8. The Atlas Moth - The Old Believer
The Atlas Moth took another evolutionary leap forward on The Old Believer. The depth in the music is almost tangible, as if you were hearing it inside a fevered hallucination. All the elements meld together with amazing subtlety, and moving the vocals further back in the mix has helped round out the edges of their quirky amalgamation of prog, goth, doom and sludge influences. My only gripe is that if they tread much further towards Tool, they could risk falling into parody (some would probably say they already have). But otherwise, this is a damn impressive record.

9. Grand Magus - Triumph and Power
Countless times have I jammed Triumph and Power at ridiculous volume in the rattling, collapsing Pulsar. The other commuter drones peer blankly with dull-eyed scorn at the aging loser they behold: grinning maniacally as he furiously bangs his head, he grasps the wheel with white knuckles, stubbornly clutching to a faded adrenaline- and testosterone-fuelled teenage fantasy of righteousness and battle, loosening his grip only to pump his fist at them in mighty, victorious defiance. And then I pulled in to the workplace carpark.

10. Fu Manchu - Gigantoid
A welcome return to form by these old favourites, Gigantoid doesn’t shake up the tried and true formula too much, but it does have a few tweaks to keep things interesting. It’s a bit more laid back and much more dynamic than Fu Manchu’s last couple of outings. Psych-inflected fuzziness comes to the fore, balancing out the more raucous, punk vibe that carries over from their recent albums. Closing track, “The Last Question” is a highlight, providing a fantastic, unexpectedly subdued, spacey exit.

Honourable mentions
It has been a massive year for music, and picking out only ten albums was extremely difficult. A lot of my other favourites appear in the other lists in this post, but to avoid further duplication, here are some additional releases that I think also rate a mention.

Barghest - The Virtuous Purge
Corrupt Moral Altar - Mechanical Tides
Dead - Captains of Industry
Dilated Peoples - Directors of Photography
Harmony - Carpetbombing
Megaton Leviathan - Past 21 Beyond the Arctic Cell
Nux Vomica - S/T
Run the Jewels - RTJ2
Sunwolf - Beholden to Nothing and No One
Trap Them - Blissfucker

Shane (Cutting Hose, Burning Plastic)

1. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
2. Yob - Clearing the Path to Ascend
3. Thou - Heathen
4. Tombs - Savage Gold
5. Bongripper - Miserable
6. Earth - Primitive and Deadly
7. Panopticon - Roads to the North
8. Mutilation Rites - Harbinger
9. Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire
10. Nothing - Guilty of Everything
11. Solstafir - Otta
12. Morbus Chron - Sweven
13. Gridlink - Longhena
14. Midnight - No Mercy for Mayhem
15. Horrendous - Ecdysis
16. Electric Wizard - Time to Die
17. Today is the Day - Animal Mother
18. Eyehategod - S/T
19. Iron Reagan - The Tyranny of Will
20. Old Man Gloom - The Ape of God (I & II)

Geoff (Mendicant Music, also posted with reviews here)

1. Bethlehem - Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia
2. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
3. Dead Congregation - Promulgation of the Fall
4. Bölzer - Soma
5. Thou - Heathen
6. Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire
7. Super Fun Happy Slide - Drop Your Pants & Grind
8. Mournful Congregation - Concrescence of the Sophia
9. Horrendous - Ecdysis
10. StarGazer - A Merging to the Boundless

JJ (I Exist/BMA "Metalise")

1. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
2. Yob - Clearing the Path to Ascend
3. Electric Wizard - Time to Die
4. Conan - Blood Eagle
5. Thou - Heathen
6. Super Fun Happy Slide - Drop Your Pants & Grind
7. Autopsy - Torniquets, Hacksaws & Graves
8. Iron Reagan - The Tyranny of Will
9. Floor - Oblation
10. Eyehategod - S/T


1. Encoffination - III: Hear Me, O' Death
2. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
3. Monolord - Empress Rising
4. Boston Strangler - Fire
5. Super Fun Happy Slide - Drop Your Pants & Grind
6. Eyehategod - S/T
7. Internal Rot - Mental Hygiene
8. Yob - Clearing the Path to Ascend
9. Fistula - Vermin Prolificus
10. Conan - Blood Eagle

1 comment:

  1. Haha lxp your Grand Magus review rules (and feels strangely familiar)