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Metal 2009

Metal 2009
May 16, 2010, 10:41:08 AM
There was never really a 2009 retrospective thread that I recall.  Here's my "No Surprise Best Of:"  

Asphyx - Death the Brutal Way:  I listened to this for the first time in quite a while the other night and it really stood up well.  In fact taking a break from it and coming back made it even better.  An immense sound and VanDrunen (my favorite death metal vocalist) sounds as grizzled as ever.  Not one dull moment in this epic.  Asphyx cements its legacy.  This was my favorite album of the year.
Beherit - Engram:  Is Beherit the greatest metal act of all time?  To come back after a 14 year break and release something this good makes me think so.  However, I feel this album works best if you are well versed in the tradition of Beherit, their previous releases, and the tradition of black metal, in general.  Because of this I give the edge to Asphyx for best album.
Disma - The Vault of Membros:  Although Asphyx and Beherit released the better albums (and this is only a 3 song demo, of course), I am more excited about this release than anything else this year.  This came out of left field for me.  I would almost say I've never really heard death metal quite like this before.  Great vocals, great atmosphere.  Let's see what the future holds.

Honorable Mention:
Birth A.D. - Stillbirth of a Nation:  (not the biggest fan of thrash and the 20 minute run time bums me out, but this is just solid and lots of fun.  well worth the $11.  great lyrics!)
War Master - Chapel of the Apocalypse:  (much like Disma, this demo makes me more excited than satisfied.  love the atmosphere.  Can't wait for a full length.)
Winterwolf - Cycle of the Werewolf:  (nothing new here, but I'm a sucker for the style and the aesthetic.  Bloody Finnish FUN!!)


If Disma and War Master can release full-lengths this year, and if Profanatica's album actually gets released, between them and a handful of Texas bands (Blaspherian, Imprecation, etc), 2010 could be one hell of a year for American Metal!

EDIT:  Aosoth - Ashes of Angels deserves at least an honorable mention:  no-goofing-around black metal.  No lulls for 40 minutes, but not over-the-top rabid, either.

Re: Metal 2009
May 16, 2010, 11:08:49 AM
In addition, I can commend these as some surprise "best of" picks:

Midnight Odyssey - Firmament: While drone and ambient black metal, in Burzum's and Summoning's hands some of the most elegant and promising ways of black metal composing, turned into hipster sonic wallpaper, this one Australian brought back archaic elegance and forest poetry.

Nazxul - Iconoclast: As the final offering of this occult, deadly counterpart to non-morbid Australian black thrashers, these hooded Emperor worshippers out-magicked Watain, Deathspell Omega and the rest while also bringing back some of the outmoded "symphonic black metal" ideal.

Nile - Those Whom the Gods Detest: Maligned because of their popularity, these technical pseudo-egyptologists still deserve praise for their tasteful application of Arabic scale, Candlemass, British grindcore influences and other stylistic repertoire, as also for their excellent use of the phrase "allahu akbar!"

Slugathor - Echoes from Beneath: As if Bolt Thrower clashing in battle with one of the Texas death metal bands, Slugathor's evil conjurations brought about some of the most sensual and sodomic experiences of last year's Finnish death metal; like doomdeath but with malign force in place of sadness.

Vektor - Black Future: Wiping away 20 years of retro-thrash in a relativistic time dilation experiment, Vektor used agility and cosmic visions to pick up where Voivod and Watchtower left speed metal - entertaining and punishing at the same time, with surprising Fripp-like touches on lead guitar.

Re: Metal 2009
May 16, 2010, 05:38:26 PM
Sammath - Triumph In Hatred: Aggressive melodic black metal with "wall of sound" texture, this album has truly fiery/infernal feel to it

Teitanblood - Seven Chalices: Pretty good Spanish Blasphemy-worship

Portal - Swarth: Dissonant death metal/grind with claustrophobic atmosphere

Havohej - Kembatinan Premaster: Not metal per se, but pretty interesting. While the vocals and drums are what we're used to with Profanatica/Havohej, the guitars have been replaced with weird noise - it's hard to say whether it's a product of messing with distortion/amplification or just purely software-generated.
Somebody uploaded it to Youtube(1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8).

Re: Metal 2009
May 16, 2010, 06:12:57 PM
Sammath's album was indeed a nice little surprise. I was already very familiar with their debut, excellent in its derivations of Mozartian melodic sense. However, it always struck me as being the kind of "good" that would be inevitably diluted on any further albums. I listened to the 2009 one and found it good, which has driven me to -at some point- listen to all the albums in between as well.

Re: Metal 2009
May 17, 2010, 06:04:52 PM

Beherit - Engram:  Is Beherit the greatest metal act of all time?  To come back after a 14 year break and release something this good makes me think so.  However, I feel this album works best if you are well versed in the tradition of Beherit, their previous releases, and the tradition of black metal, in general.  Because of this I give the edge to Asphyx for best album.

I disagree with this.  On the contrary, I only got really into Beherit because of this album.  I'll admit, I new about their reutation as experimental in the later releases, but only listened to one or two albums once or twice a piece.  Now they are one of my all-time favorite bands.

I pick this as the best album of not only 2009 but of the whole decade because it shows of the light it casts on modern metal. The music is not difficult to play for any metal musician, nor is it very complicated in structure.  It is merely brillient primitive black metal that releases the spirit of all that was ever good about the genre and asks the question "How hard is it to make good music these days?  Look at how easy we have made gold."

Re: Metal 2009
May 18, 2010, 02:58:05 PM
From what I've heard (not a whole lot, I'm just recently looking into some stuff that came out last year), Engram seems to be the clear best. Firmament by Midnight Odyssey I also found worth buying, and it's been finding a lot of plays in my stereo. I haven't been able to get into any post-Strijd Sammath. I'll have to check out the rest of the stuff mentioned in this thread.

Re: Metal 2009
May 18, 2010, 03:43:55 PM
The Chasm's Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm was something truly worthwhile from last year. I encourage more of you to listen to it. Wonderfully narrative, structured and epic.

Stench of Decay's Where Death and Decay Reign demo was pretty decent too, a good dose of Finnish death metal.

Re: Metal 2009
May 18, 2010, 04:14:59 PM
I strongly recommend Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite by the Ruins of Beverast. It's like Beherit meets Burzum meets Deathspell Omega meets electronic music; very dark, very well-structured, extremely epic and engaging music.

Peste Noire, Blut aus Nord, Ulcerate, and Slough Feg's 2009 albums all get pretty heavy listening from me as well.

Re: Metal 2009
May 18, 2010, 10:39:14 PM
Deathspell Omega

You've lost me, here.

Re: Metal 2009
May 18, 2010, 11:32:18 PM
Sucks for you.

Re: Metal 2009
May 19, 2010, 02:18:43 AM
I hate to be the guy that rains on parades but besides most of Devamitra's list, nothing mentioned deserves to be on a list w/ the Beherit or Asphyx releases, not even close in fact.  Actually, The Chasm was good, I'll give you that - it deserves mention in a 2009 retrospective thread.  Teitanblood was just the worst.  Sammath I haven't heard yet, so I would be willing to give that a try.  The description of Ruins of Beverast, makes it sound ponderous.  I haven't heard it, but if you're likening them to Deathspell Omega, then I'm sorry but you've lost me, too.

Devamitra:  Black Future lost its luster quickly for me.  The first time I heard it, I was excited, but everything was downhill after that - Birth A.D. sits atop the Thrash Throne this year!  However, big thumbs up on Slugathor!  (It was Finland's year!)  And hails to DEATHMETAL.ORG!!!

Sammaell:  I certainly can't argue w/ your own personal experience, but let me get back to you on some more Engram discussion in a day or two (gotta eat now, don't have time to talk metal - see ya!)

Re: Metal 2009
May 19, 2010, 06:15:01 AM
That last Blut Aus Nord should not be ignored. My personal favorite of 2009.

Re: Metal 2009
May 19, 2010, 09:48:05 AM
I thought Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II was only a little less cheaper than the dismal 'The Work Which Transforms God' and with a more studious but mechanical application of Burzumic conventions.

If you enjoyed the Cruciamentum - Convocation of Crawling Chaos demo as reviewed in the Sadistic Metal blog, then the Grave Miasma - Exalted Emanation EP should be of definite interest. I recommend it as one of the finest Death Metal releases of 2009 and a much needed injection of serious occult soundspheres in a burnt out, braindead British scene.

Re: Metal 2009
May 19, 2010, 12:32:07 PM
I hate to be the guy that rains on parades but besides most of Devamitra's list, nothing mentioned deserves to be on a list w/ the Beherit or Asphyx releases, not even close in fact.  Actually, The Chasm was good, I'll give you that - it deserves mention in a 2009 retrospective thread.  Teitanblood was just the worst.  Sammath I haven't heard yet, so I would be willing to give that a try.  The description of Ruins of Beverast, makes it sound ponderous.  I haven't heard it, but if you're likening them to Deathspell Omega, then I'm sorry but you've lost me, too.

If our quality control for the best albums of the year are 'as good as Beherit and Asphyx', we're going to have a very short list. 2 albums to be precise. There have been some decent A- to B+ albums this year worth mentioning.

Re: Metal 2009
May 19, 2010, 03:56:24 PM
"Death The Brutal Way" stands head and shoulders above all else that came my way in '09!! 

"Die by Fuckin' Asphyx"   (the line/lyric of the year!) Reminds me of the good old days when metal was brutual...but hadn't yet begun to take itself too seriously, as would become the norm.