My list of 2016 top records might look a bit long but not only I've had a lot of time to listen to new music this year (despite my everyday more complex and occupied life), in addition the fact is this has been an amazing year for music, especially if we're speaking about extreme Metal. And, to be honest, I always had a hard time picking only ten records.
I had more or less good expectations for 2016 due to a few previously announced (or more or less expected) records, such as the new Irkallian Oracle, Urfaust, Krypts, Ulcerate or Inverloch albums, plus the fact that the darkest fields of the underground Metal spectrum have showed an impressive recovery in the last years in comparison to the previous decade.
The first quarter of the year already showed us some good surprises, number one being Howls of Ebb second full-length, which has stood as my top 2016 record since it was released in April, and one of the most maniacal and original Death Metal releases in a while. The second one was Necromantic Worship second (and unfortunately final) demo, a pure delight for lovers of the old Greek sound. Also Iron Bonehead's tribute to Cold Meat Industry proved not only to be a great idea, but the good shape of the scene from down under, and has been frequently on my record player along this year..
The German label has actually taken a good part of my listening time with the challenging and growing new album from Bolzer, Shataan's impressive debut and Temple Nightside second full-length. Although their Irish counterpeers from Invictus Productions have stood close with Head of the Demon's sophomore album and Qrixquor's unrelenting first mini album. And if some of the mentioned names were not enough to make it clear that 2016 has been an amazing year for Death Metal, I could also name Grave Miasma, Ritual Chamber, Funebrarum and Blood Incantation.
Although the best part of it all has been all the unexpected and almost non (or last minute) announced releases by bands such as Antaeus, Cult of Fire, Deathspell Omega, Dead Congregation, Teitanblood (yes, Noevdia has had some smartly planned impact on 2016) and, last but not less important, Cultes des Ghoules, which escalated up to the second position of my list with their masterful third album.
On the less extreme or metallic side of things, Rome's 'The Hyperion Machine' has been an almost daily companion for my calmer moments, and for more introspective or melancholic states of mind Alaric and 40 Watt Sun's sophomore's have remained unsurpassed. Surprisingly, for the angriest or bleakest moments of this year I haven't found the best response in Metal but in stuff like Genocide Organ's latest masterpiece, The Body's yearly offering or Sex Prisoner and Column of Heaven's pissed-off grinding spits. Neurosis came back with a new album which was way more convincing than their previous effort, and classical Heavy Metal stood strong with the debut of Sumerlands and the fantastic return of Agatus. On the most experimental side of things there's also been some very good contributions, such as Virus and Aluk Todolo's new albums, but also Finland's Sink and their always progressing sound.
Last, but not less important at all, there's been a bunch of great re-releases of albums that were very hard (ie. expensive) to find on vinyl or had never made it to this format, such as Morbid Angel and Enslaved's debuts, Abigor's rehashed version of their fifth album or Warlord two first records re-releases through High Roller Records. Although Neurosis vinyl and CD discography box was the most welcome of them all.
So here's my final and much rethought list, which might change once I properly listen to the new Sacrificio, Bestial Raids, White Medal and Teitanblood records.
Let's hope this new year keeps the same pace. So far there's already a few very promising announcements.
Have a very good beginning of 2017 and thanks for reading Gia Thanatos.
1. Howls of Ebb – Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows (Nuclear War Now! Productions)
2. Cultes des Ghoules – Coven (Hell’s Headbangers/Under the Sign of Garazel)
3. Bolzer – Hero (Iron Bonehead Productions)
4. Irkallian Oracle – Apollyon (Nuclear War Now! Productions)
5. Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)
6. Head Of The Demon – Sathanas Trismegistos (Invictus Productions)
7. Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis (Relapse Records)
8. Inverloch – Distance | Collapsed (Relapse Records)
9. V/A – Ancient Meat Revived (A tribute to Cold Meat Industry) (Iron Bonehead Productions)
10. Qrixkuor – Three Devils Dance (Invictus Productions)
11. Urfaust – Empty Space Mediation (Ván Records)
12. Dead Congregation – Sombre Doom (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)
13. Shataan – Weigh of the Wolf (Iron Bonehead Productions)
14. Terra Tenebrosa – The Reverses (Debemur Morti Productions)
15. Antaeus – Condemnation (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)
16. Cult of Fire – Life, Sex & Death (Beyond Eyes Productions)
17. Necromantic Worship – The Calling (Nuclear War Now! Productions/New Era Productions)
18. Grave Miasma – Endless Pilgrimage (Sepulchral Voice Records)
19. Krypts – Remnants of Expansion (Dark Descent Records)
20. Funebrarum – Exhumation Of The Ancient (Doomentia Records)
21. Ritual Chamber – Obscurations (To Feast on the Seraphim) (Dark Descent Records)
22. Gevurah – Hallelujah! (Profound Lore Records)
23. Blood Incantation – Starspawn (Dark Descent Records)
24. Temple Nightside – The Hecatomb (Iron Bonehead Productions)
25. Autokrator – The Obedience to Authority (Godz ov War Productions/Larval Productions)
1. Rome – The Hyperion Machine (Trisol)
2. 40 Watt Sun – Wider Than The Sky (Svart Records)
3. Crippled Black Phoenix – Bronze (Season of Mist)
4. Agatus- The Eternalist (Hell’s Headbangers)
5. Alaric – End of Mirrors (Neurot Recordings)
6. Genocide Organ – Obituary of the Americas (Tesco)
7. Virus – Memento Collider (Karisma Records)
8. Aluk Todolo – Voix (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)
9. Neurosis – Fires Within Fires (Neurot Recordings)
10. Sumerlands – Sumerlands (Relapse Records)
11. No Future - Den sista blomsterkransen (Döda Barn)
12. Column of Heaven / Suffering Luna – Split (Nerve Altar)
13. The Body – No One Deserves Happiness (Thrill Jockey)
14. Sink – Ark of Contempt and Anger (Svart Records)
15. Sex Prisoner – Tannhäuser Gate (Deep Six Records)
16. Arms Race – New Wave of British Hardcore (La Vida es un Mus)
17. Private Pact – Purity (Mass Media Records)
18. Belgrado – Obraz (La Vida es un Mus)
19. Walk Back Pilgrim – Erra (Bestiarie Records)
20. Wagner Ödegård – Glømbd I Grifft + Nattslingor + Ur Törnedjupen + Øðe (
1. Neurosis – Strength & Vision Discography Vinyl+CD Box (Neurot Recordings)
2. Altars of Madness LP (Earache Records)
3. Enslaved – Vikingligr Veldi 2xLP (ByNorse Music)
4. Abigor – Quintessence 2xLP + 7" (Avantgarde Music)
5. Warlord – Deliver Us 3xLP / And The Cannons of Destruction Have Begun ... 3xLP (High Roller Records)
6. Agalloch – Pale Folklore 2xLP / The Mantle 2xLP / Ashes Against the Grain 2xLP (The End Records)
7. Dodheimsgard – Monumental Possession LP (Peaceville Records)
8. Akitsa – Goétie 2xLP (Hospital Productions)
9. Panphage – Genom Konst & Krig 2xCD (Ætergap Productions)
10. Bohren & Der Club of Gore – Black Earth 2xLP ([PIAS] Recordings)
Dwell (Denmark) will unleash their new mini album entitled 'Desolation Psalms' in early 2017.
The mini album has a playing time of around 26 minutes and will contain the following 4 tracks: “March of the Leeches”, “The Inevitable Absence of Time”, “Teeth Gnawing, Talons Tearing” and “None but my Bones”.
“Desolation Psalms” was recorded at Sol Ater studios and engineered, mixed and mastered by Dwell bass player Quentin Nicollet. The artwork has been suplied by Maxime Taccardi.
Digi MCD via Rex Bagude (Mexico) and a bit later a tape version will follow on Afgrundsvisioner (Denmark)
Nearly five years after their debut album, 'Embodiment of Death', Gorephilia will return on March 3, 2017 with their follow-up full-length. 'Severed Monolith' spans nine tracks which steamroll 41 minutes. Unrelenting death metal from Finland!
Below you can listen to a new track and also watch some studio footage.
'Severed Monolith' tracklist:
3. Harmageddon of Souls
4. Words that Solve Problems
5. Black Horns
6. The Ravenous Storm
7. Return to Dark Space
9. Crushed Under the Weight of God
Compact disc by Dark Descent Records.
Vinyl version will be released by Me Saco Uno Ojo Records.
Cover art by Raúl Gonzalez.
Since 2003, Cleveland's MIDNIGHT have been slaying the metal/punk underground with their own, highly addictive brand of lust, filth, and sleaze, building up a sizable (and collectible) catalog along the way. And while 2012's HELLS HEADBANGERS-released Complete and Total Hell collection compiled MIDNIGHT's massive amount of EPs and splits up to (and successive of) their now-classic debut album, Satanic Royalty, the new kings of Hell needed yet another bursting-at-the-seams compilation that wrangles all their EPs and splits since that momentous debut: enter "Shox of Violence". But more than the usual odds 'n' sods collection so endemic to heavy metal, "Shox of Violence" features four brand-new songs to keep MIDNIGHT's rabid legion of devotees sated while their third album is being prepared. As such, those four songs are being released as a stand-alone 12" MLP, while the CD and tape versions pack a mammoth 25 tracks total. Across "Shox of Violence," in addition to the four new songs, you will find the cover of Venom's "Too Loud (for the Crowd)" flexi that was available exclusively to subscribers of Decibel magazine, some super-rowdy live tracks, and a handful of covers of MIDNIGHT favorites The Spits, covers of the likes of Quiet Riot, Girlschool, The Pagans, Australia's Taipan, and NWOBHM cult Crucifixion among others: all songs that have yet to make it to CD format, essentially. Complete and total hell - again! - complete and total MIDNIGHT, hear these legends-in-the-making at their rawest and most rabid..."Shox of Violence"!
An homage to Winter in conception, an explosion of expressions in perception, 'Old Man's Wyntar' is an astonishing masterpiece of soundscaping. Its highly complex structure takes the listener on a many-faceted journey into the deepest realms of ice, snow, and darkness. With a unique mix of Black Metal, Avantgarde, Neofolk, Ambient, Neue Deutsche Todeskunst and many other elements and influences, it lures the mind and beckons to venture beyond the borders of its usual conversance.
The course of the EP is shapeshifting between incantation, melancholy, desperation, fierce bitterness, harsh coldness and enticing tranquility. Its frostbitten, sharp sound entwines and channels the lyrical concept and musical fabric in towering manner toward the ecstasy of white, hostile solitude. 'Old Man's Wyntar' grave repercussions echo forth a long time after its last note has died away.
This very special, extended version finally turns the EP into the treat of a Full-Length. Enhanced with an additional chapter, the total playing time is advanced to an incredible 74 minutes of allurement that will see the last unfrozen souls enchanted. Within these new chapters, there are various guest appearances - the german neoclassic duo NACHTREICH contributed some string parts, Scorpios Androctonus (CRIMSON MOON, Ex-MELECHESH), Erik Gärdefors (GRIFT), Leshiyas (VIVUS HUMARE), Barth (OUR SURIVIAL DEPENDS ON US), as well as E.H. (WOLFHETAN) sharpening a true MOSAIC.
All music was carefully crafted at the HOUSE OF INKANTATION. For the mastering, none other than Patrick W. Engel (TEMPLE OF DISHARMONY) put the final touches on this unique winter journey.
Complete with a thick A5 book, reworked and extended artwork and booklet, as well as full English translations of all lyrics for the first time ever.
The tracklisting is as follows::
Chapter I: ERWECKUNGE & WINTEREN
[engl.: awakening & snowfall]
I. Incipit: Geherre (5.49)
II. Onset of Wyntar (12.49)
III. Im Winter (2.30)
Chapter II: ZOUBAR & TUNKALHEYT
[engl.: ...of magick & darkness]
IV. Snowscape (3.21)
V. White Gloom (11.24)
VI. Black Glimmer (8.56)
Chapter III: VRÖUDENHÜGE & ROUCHNAHT
[engl: joyful reminiscence & sacred eves]
VII. Silent World, Holy Awe (4.05)
VIII. Vom ersten Schnee (5.55)
IX. Silver Nights (22.24
Track from the upcoming full-length 'Dommedagskvad' to be released by Terratur Possessions exclusively, April 12th at the infamous Inferno Festival.
The Ruins of Beverast have announced the release of a new 12"EP which will feature the initial part of a bipartite meditation and celebration in euphoria for manhood's loss of the crown of creation. This meditation will be completed by the 2nd and final part on the forthcoming album later in 2017. The B-side of the EP is entitled "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun", and thus is an obvious obeisance to the godfathers of this EP's central idea.
The "Takitum Tootem!"-vinyl is an experimental orgy of spiritual psychedelia beyond the mood and concept of the following album - thus it stands alone as its harbinger.
1.Takitum Tootem! (Wardance):
"Takitum Tootem! is a bipartite percussive mediation and celebration in euphoria for manhood's loss of the crown of creation. This is the initial part, the wardance." (8:50min)
2. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (Pink Floyd):
"A prostration before timeless poetry and psychedelia." (11:50min)
Available for preorder now and ready to be shipped the 19th of December as vinyl record.
DARK SYMPHONIES / THE CRYPT is honored to work with Borknagar mastermind Øystein G. Brun to reissue official stand alone CDs of the brutal, classic debut album "Blod Draum" and the classic EP "Stormvold" from the legendary Norse death metal act MOLESTED.
We are proud to announce that we are working directly with Øystein to obtain a wealth of material. "Blod Draum" will include the original film negative of the cover artwork for best visual presentation, unpublished band photos, lyrics and new liner notes. The CD will include the original 1995 studio recording, which was carefully mastered from the original DAT source as well a revised version of the album, which will be remixed by Øystein from the original multi-track studio tapes. This CD is designed after the original 1995 CD release, taking elements from the original layout with attention to detail, even down to the logo and typeface for a touch of nostalgia.
"Stormvold" will include the band's "Stalk the Dead" and "Unborn Woods in Doom' demos. Including the original cover artwork, unpublished band photos, lyrics, new liner notes and the original 1997 DAT tape for the Stormvold audio source and original analog tapes for the DEMO audio sources.
"Stormvold" will be presented as a metallic gold printed insert and will be designed after the original 1997 Effigy Productions release, taking elements from the original layout with attention to detail, even down to the logo and typeface for a touch of nostalgia.
These will be the ultimate CD versions of these classic death metal masterpieces.
Limited to 1000 copies worldwide! Stay away from BOOTLEGS! Support the band and official releases!!
Behold the rise of Oraculum's upcoming release "Always Higher".
Here is a teaser of what will be crafted in early 2017 under the banner of Invictus Productions.
Gia Thanatos is a webzine dedicated to music for the apocalyptic times. No matter the scene or genre it comes from, and mainly chosen according to its author's taste.