So I’ve been a fairly busy bee this year. Between getting married, changing my job around 3 times and moving house music has kinda taken a back seat for the past twelve months. Therefore populating this list wasn’t as easy as it could have been as any new music I’ve listened to this year hasn’t really had the playtime it deserves to bludgeon it’s way into my ever dwindling little grey cells and stay there for longer than the duration of the album. For example, my lovely wife bought me the new Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album ‘Skeleton Tree’ on vinyl for my birthday and I’ve only had the chance to listen to it once. I’d love for it to have a place on this list but it’s definitely an album that needs repeated listens as it’s quite a departure from the standard Nick Cave output (if there is such a thing) and it’s a fairly bleak experience but I’m sure it would be an intensely rewarding one if I’d only committed more time to it.
Anyway, enough babble, here’s a list of some good shit that came out this year.
1 - Ababath – Abbath
After splitting from Immortal, frontman Abbath Doom Occulta recruited members for a new project, one of whom being King Ov Hell (God Seed, Ex-Gorgoroth) and went on to record an album that’s still featuring in my playlists after it’s release at the start of the year. The Immortal split left me pining for the days of ‘At The Heart of Winter’ et al but this album has given me some hope for the future of black metal.
2 - Gnaw Their Tongues – Hymns for the Broken, Swollen and Silent
Fucking horrible, in the best way possible. If you can find a more deliciously disgusting album released in the past twelve months, let me know and I’ll call you a liar.
3 - Anaal Nathrakh – The Whole of the Law
Of course Nathrakh would have a place on this list. Like most of Anaal Nathrakh’s output ‘The Whole of the Law’ is an intense listen and, like most of Anaal Nathrakh’s output, it’s incredible.
4 - Boss Keloid – Herb Your Enthusiasm
After catching these guys at Bloodstock this year, it’s a safe bet to say they gained more than a few new fans that day, myself included. ‘Herb Your Enthusiasm’ is a testament to how good a live band Boss Keloid are and if you’ve not seen them, check out this beast of an album then check them out when they next tour, you absolutely will not regret it.
5 - Myrkur – Mausoleum
A live album recorded in a mausoleum, this is a hauntingly beautiful album that captures Myrkur at her absolute best.
6 - Foetal Juice – Masters of Absurdity
Another Bloodstock highlight, Foetal Juice first caught my attention with tracks such as ‘Albert Grindstein’ on their ‘Big Trouble in Little Vagina’ EP and this year they finally released their first full-length and it’s brilliant. Go listen to ‘Noneckahedron’ right now.
7 - Head Wound City – A New Wave of Violence
If, like me, the thought of a new album involving JP (The Locust, Retox, Holy Molar, etc.) makes you do a little bit of an exited wee-wee then you’ll have already checked out the first Head Wound City release in eleven years. If not, check it out anyway as it’s flippin’ great.
8 - The Body – No-one Deserves Happiness
Apparently the duo comprising of The Body set out to make “the grossest pop album of all time” and although I’m not sure if I’d class it as a pop album, it’s definitely gross. Balancing the ethereal vocal work of Chrissy Wolpert and Maralie Armstrong over an apocalyptic soundscape and Chip King’s panicked screams must have been no easy task but it makes for a unique, despair laden listen.
9 - Negură Bunget – Zi
In typical Negură Bunget fashion, this is an eclectic album full of folky, proggy, ambient black metally goodness.
10 - SIBIIR – SIBIIR
Go check out my review of this album on this very site, then go check out Sibiir.