HAPPY N(OIS)EW YEAR!
Here we are, the second day of 2010. Everything is done for 2009, so I can put down a list of my 10 top albums of the year. I think 2009 has been a nice year, music wise, not as good as 2008, but nice enough to be remembered. So, let’s go!
# 1 – Cripple Bastards – Age Of Vandalism
Ok, it’s not a new album, but, hey, 4 cds of top notch noisecore/grindcore is not something you can easuly find. This monolith compiles the first year of the Italian hate snipers, starting from 1986, through the first 4 demos. You can find here stuff going from harsh noisecore to muddy powerviolence/hardcore. There’s also room for all Cripple Bastards’ side projects (like Grimcorpses, Harsh Feelings and Steptogrinder) and for the great, simply GREAT, Isolation As A Cult GTB’s solo session. This boxset is pure love.
# 2 – Church Of Misery – House Of The Unholy
It’s not an easy task do something better than Masters Of Brutality, but Japanese legends Church Of Misery accomplished in that. House Of The Unholy is just an unstoppable flow of stoning riffs and superb musicianship. El Padrino has one of the best guitar/bass break I’ve ever heard and if you were songs like Blood Sucking Freak or Born To Raise Hell live you’ll find our why COM are so great. Listen to House Of The Unholy once and you won’t stop.
# 3 – Sunn O))) – Monoliths And Dimensions
Along with Black One, Monoliths And Dimensions is easily the most melodic of Sunn O)))’s production, but you will get lost in all the listening levels it has. The orchestral parts give a dark and gloomy aura to the songs, piercing your soul before your ears. The title well explains the mood of the album, with monoliths like Aghartha and Hunting And Gathering, but you will also find a sweet and mellow “ballad” like the closing song, Alice, But in Monoliths And Dimensions the real showstopper is Big Church, easily one of the best Sunn songs, I’ll guarantee your heart will stop every time the bell sounds. Menacing.
# 4 – General Surgery – Corpus In Extremis : Analysing Necroticism
It’s not easy to restart after losing (or, in truelier words, kicking out) your frontman, but Stockholm based General Surgery hired Erik Sahlstrom and put out one of the best death/grind album of the last decade. More Entombed influenced, more fast, more gory, more muddy, everything is in the right spot for a masterpiece. You won’t regret the past of the band, since this last effort stands pride beside a classic like Necrology and the mighty split with The County Medical Examiners. Welcome back home, General Surgery.
# 5 – Set Your Goals – This Will Be The Death Of Us
Don’t kill me now, please. I’m bound to this band with memories and great feelings, so I was expecting their sophomore album so much, and I wasn’t disappointed. They added one more guitar in the bunch, giving a more hardcore twist to their sound and the vocal dualism is just great on this album. They had to try to top their first great effort, Mutiny, and they succeeded, with a solid album, full of great tunes (The Fallen, Like You To Me, Look Closer) and great guests (Hayley Williams, anyone?). Heartwarming, feels like home.
# 6 – Wormrot – Abuse
Oh. My. God. THAT’S grindcore. After a big bunch of losers who think that grindcore is just going fast or screaming in a mike, Singapore new sensation Wormrot put out the epitaph to their pathetic existence. No compromises, no frills, just unstoppable, unrelenting grindcore the way it should be. No bass in this record, but you won’t miss it, just mind to bang your head as fast as you can, while listening to the vocal madness put out by Arif and the punkish, thrashy vibe the songs will give to you. GRIND ON!
# 7 – Super Fun Happy Slide – The Undislodgable Nugget Scenario
I can just write “as above” but I want to say something more about this Aussie guys. They play a great mix of everything was called grind 20 years ago, so you can hear grindcore, thrashcore, goregrind, noise, everything put together with the well known Australian out of mind attitude. Blastbeats, punky riffs, fast as fuck solos, barking vocal, everything is here. Super Fun Happy Slide are just at the beginning, but they’re here to stay.
# 8 – YOB – The Great Cessation
I’m starting to think that Elaborations Of Carbon won’t ever be topped BUT, with this last release YOB raised the stakes, changing musical direction in a more “melodic” way. Don’t get me wrong, on The Great Cessation every song is heavy as if the whole Earth falls on you, but vocal lines are starting to stretch, giving way to more clean solutions instead of the usual growl style. Every song is just great, but you will get stunned by the last one, the title track, the saddest and most melancholic stoner ballad you will ever hear.
# 9 – Squash Bowels – Grindvirus
Here they are again! Polish masters Squash Bowels strike back with a brain splitting gore soaked full length. No time to breath, just fast, unforgiving goregrind, the hard way. Old school as fuck, in the vein of the classics of Eastern Europe goregrind scene, Grindvirus will make every gore fan happy, with its inspired riffs, out-of-this-world vocals and sloppy bass. Squash Bowels ruled in the mid 90’s, now they’re back at that same level, reconquering the throne. All hail the masters!
# 10 – Agathocles – Obey Their Rules
This is “just” a collection of some 2008 recordings, but the songs in this 12″ are pure mincecore, the Belgian way! One side is in the fast vein, the other in the slow one, but you can hear the classic Agathocles anger fueled style in each song. The usual great songwriting is paired with a noisy approach, legacy of the then still alive Tony, one of the man we will miss more in the underground scene. The rage, the sadness and the sadness of the loss is clearly put out in Aside, easily one of the most heart shaking grindcore songs.