Well, we all know that the year is winding down, so it’s that pesky time for end of the year lists. These are in no PECKticular order, so, you know, these are just some of the releases that are a better than fit to line my cage with.
Noisem, Agony Defined: This is thrash played the way it was meant to be played: aggressive and energetic. These kids really know how to kick out the jams.
Carcass, Surgical Steel: Yeah, yeah, yeah, people hate on this, but whatever, I love it. Part Heartwork, part Necroticism. This pretty much picks up where the band left off. Killer.
Drugs of Faith, Architectural Failures: This EP is the SOUND of architectural failure. Massive. The grind and roll masters are back.
Gorguts, Colored Sands: LeMay and crew are back in their most cohesive record since Erosion of Sanity. Beautiful passages into intense pummeling technical death.
Call of the Void, Dragged Down a Dead End Path: I really do love this: part powerviolence, part hardcore, part grind, part complete tom-fuckery of your ears. WAY underrated.
Weekend Nachos, Still: How this band maintains the same level of anger and vitriol is beyond me. This thing is a ripper from start to finish.
Locrian, Return to Annihilation: Blackend death drone that will paint an idea of the most desolate landscape in your head, so desolate that you want to cut your head off. Don’t do that — rock this thing instead.
Inter Arma, Sky Burial: I’m not sure really HOW to describe this: it’s pummeling, it’s heavy. It’s nasty and mean. Death, doom, hardcore — these guys take whatever ear-fucks them, put it in a blender and kill you with it.
Pig Destroyer, Mass and Volume: Doom from the dudes of grind, this EP is heavy with a capital H, and the bass-playing is AWESOME (shameless self-promotion).
Full of Hell, Rudiments of Mutilation: Grinding death in the form of hardcore punk. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. That and MEAN.
Deafheaven, Sunbather: Throw the word “hipster” around all you want, but this is epic warped black metal mixed with shoegaze, and is a way intense record.
Pharmakon, Abandon: Dense, heavy noise. You know, noise that actually has a purpose. Equal parts art and pure ugliness; this is what noise should be.
Matmos, The Marriage of True Minds: This duo can be called heavy at times, but there is a morbid cast underlying this noise opus. Art and grimness — digging it.
Ulcerate, Vermis: Nihilistic and moody, this unorthodox death metal band plays blackened death at a furious pace, and then slows it down just to fuck with your head.