Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Best of 2011 Special Awards: Top 5 EP's

5.) Adversarial- Prophetic Plain of Abyssal Revelation

The follow up to my favorite Metal album of 2010, Prophetic Plain of Abyssal Revelation is a perfect piece of fan service. Featuring the Thralls demo, some new material(complete with better production) and some killer covers, Prophetic Plain of Abyssal Revelation is a good hold over for more material from these Canadian angel hunters.

4.) Corpsessed- The Chalice & The Dagger

If you mix New York Death Metal and Finnish Death Metal, chances are I will like your band. If you do it with passion, attitude and a smidgen of originality, I will love your band. The Chalice & The Dagger fits the latter description.

3.) Cruciamentum- Engulfed In Desolation

Crafting ridiculously sharp riffs like Vlad the Impaler's black smith, Cruciamentum escape the "Incantation clone" tag and develop a sound as inspired by Bolt Thrower and Benediction as Incantation. Engulfed in Desolation is a bit long winded, but the riffs are too delicious to ignore. Another young English Death Metal band making waves.

2.) Archgoat- Heavenly Vulva(Christ's Last Rites)

I love Archgoat, so any new material was going to be high up on my list. And sure enough, Heavenly Vulva(Christ's Last Rites) delivers the Satan in great supply. The mid-tempo crush of the riffs, the Demon Goat vocals, the cavernous bass distortion. I can literally hear the lambs of God scream out in agony amongst the Hellfire.

1.) Amnis Nihili- Christological Escalation

Equal parts scathing and haunting, Christological Escalation is a pitch perfect mix of technical, dissonant Orthodox Black Metal and atmospheric, dissonant "Blackgaze." Equal parts Aosoth and deafheaven, Amnis Nihili have the kind of caustic occult edge that screams trve grimm kvltness, but also indulge in layered, shoe-gazey compositions to lend bereavement to the frost bitten brutality. These Greek youngsters have developed a fluid synthesis of two sounds hugely popular in Black Metal right now, and done so in a very organic and way. An achievement not to be missed, and certainly the best EP I have heard this year.

The Best of 2011 Special Awards: Top 5 Demos

Here we go with Curse of the Great White Elephant's Best of 2011. We will start at the beginning for all bands: the demos.

5.) Heresiarch- Obsecrating the Global Holocaust

I actually much preferred this demo to the bands EP. The lo-fi production added a lot more dirty, visceral charm the the somewhat cleaner EP. Heresiarch are not a life-changing experience, but probably closer to a life ending one. Mix the brutality of Angelcorpse, Bolt Thrower and Path of the Weakening Deeds of Flesh, and you get the storm of fiery shit that is Heresiarch.

4.) Beyond- Relentless Abomination Vortex

The band asked me to review their demo, and I never got to it, so here is the review: this is some pretty wicked shit. Not particularly original, but the band mix Incantation, Blasphemy and various Finnish and Swedish sounds into a very solid little Old School Death Metal demo. The guitar work is particularly impressive.

3.) Angelcrust- Pet Semetary

This demo is about as Punk Rock as it gets, and the more time I have spent with it, the more I like it. The Black Metal influence is more distinctive and brutal than most, while the Punk elements are incredibly gritty and lo-fi. I look for Angelcrust to be the next big thing in Black/Crust.
2.) Artificial Brain- Artificial Brain Demo

Featuring members of Biolich and Revocation, Artificial Brain have the kind of pedigree that makes you excited. And sure enough, the bands demo is tremendous: brutal, dissonant and complex, it its all the high water marks for Technical Death Metal. The production is also as professional sounding as some major label full lengths. My expectations for this band are huge.

1.) Void Meditation Cult- Sulfurous Prayers

This demo is pure fucking Satan. There is no other way to describe this caustic, swirling mass of Doom-infused Bestial Black Metal. The Demoncy influence is strong here, and as an unabashed Demoncy fanboy, this demo is pretty much built for me. A must have demo, and a sign of things to come from this awesome American Black Metal one-piece.