as i lay dying, As They Sleep, Autopsy, black breath, black tusk, cephalic carnage, Charred Walls of the Damned, cloudkicker, coffinworm, cradle of filth, dawn of ashes, dawnbringer, defeatist, early graves, east of the wall, fleshwrought, fuck the facts, gwar, holy grail, infernaeon, kataklysm, kill the client, kvelertak, landmine marathon, melechesh, mose giganticus, murder construct, nails, phobia, salome, svart crown, the funeral pyre, the rotted, trap them, withered
I started this blog on September 1st of this year. Since then, I have reviewed 44 new albums and I have listened to roughly 100-110. I have heard some of the best music in many years come out in 2010. There were a few albums that I listened to that didn’t tweak my nips and a few that I just couldn’t get around to checking out. I do regret not having listened to these albums before posting my “Best of” list, but I set this deadline the day I started the blog.
First off, I’d like to point out that Captain Overboard–Radio Earth! released their debut album in October. It was an independent release, but it is definitely worth a listen. Check it out.
Now, like I said, there was a nauseating amount of albums that came out this year and no way for me to listen to all of them. Some of the main albums I regret either not getting to hear or not getting to hear in entirety are:
- Dawnbringer – Nucleus
- Withered – Dualitas
- Melechesh – The Epigenesis
- The Funeral Pyre – Vultures At Dawn
- East of The Wall – Ressentiment
- Agalloch – Marrow of The Spirit
Before narrowing my list down to 25, I was up in the 40s and 50s. As I said, there was so much good shit out this year, I really didn’t want to cut anything out. But I had to, so I did. Some of the ones that almost made the list are:
- The Rotted – Anarchogram EP
- Gwar – Bloody Pit of Horror
- Cephalic Carnage – Misled by Certainty
- Landmine Marathon – Sovereign Descent
- Murder Construct – Murder Construct EP
And now, for what you have all been waiting for, Ross Gnarly’s “Best of 2010″ list is here. I have been working on this list since mid-October and it has been really hard to cut out albums to finish this list, but I did what I had to do. Here it is (25-11)
25. Black Tusk – Taste The Sin
24. Kataklysm – Heaven’s Venom
23. Salome – Terminal
22. Cradle of Filth – Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa
21. Defeatist – Sixth Extinction
20. Fleshwrought – Dementia/Dyslexia
19. Fuck The Facts – Unnamed EP
18. Phobia – Unrelenting EP
17. Kill The Client – Set For Extinction
16. Infernaeon – Genesis to Nemesis
15. As They Sleep – Dynasty
14. Charred Walls of the Damned – Charred Walls of the Damned
13. Autopsy – The Tomb Within EP
12. Mose Giganticus – Gift Horse
11. As I Lay Dying – The Powerless Rise
10. Svart Crown – Witnessing The Fall
–Amazingly well done black/death that is sure to put poison in your veins. Read the review here.
9. Early Graves – Goner
–Punishing metalcore at it’s greatest. Mahk Daniels will be missed. His voice was one of the strongest, most passionate I’ve heard. Read the review here.
8. Kvelertak – Kvelertak
–Super catchy black n’ roll. Upon first hearing this, I didn’t know what to think about it. And now? All I can say is it is one of a kind. Fucking killer. Check it out. Read the review here.
7. Black Breath – Heavy Breathing
–Brutal neo-thrash that will stomp your ass with military boots. For fans of Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust. Love it. Read the review here.
6. Trap Them – Filth Rations EP
–Punishing. That’s it. Fucking punishing. Do it.
5. Cloudkicker – Beacons
–Some of the most amazing progressive instrumental metal I’ve ever heard. Ben Sharp is a master of crafts. This is like the Star Wars of progessive, one-man metal. It’s that epic. Read the review here.
4. Holy Grail – Crisis In Utopia
–Holy Grail are the epitome of neo-traditional heavy/speed metal. Amazing melody and some of the best vocals of all time. Great. Gnarly. Read the review here.
3. Dawn of Ashes – Genocide Chapters
–Evil-as-fuck. Death incarnate. Scary, brutal, melodic, scary. All these words make up just a hint of what Dawn of Ashes have to offer. Read the review here.
2. Coffinworm – When All Became None
–The best example of black/doom. Coffinworm were the the number one album on this list until recently. This album is an evil mass that shall reign in hell. Read the review here.
1. Nails – Unsilent Death
What can I say about Nails? Their musical style is one that should be, not looked up, but praised. They have every aspect of the crust/grind/death/hardcore spectrum in tact and it all gets worked into a raging beast that made it’s way to number one. Here is the review of “Unsilent Death”:
“Conform” contains some of the fastest, most brutal fucking grind I’ve heard in a good while. It soars by with lightning speed and tears ear drums and anything else in it’s path to shreds. The song leads right into the next, “Scum Will Rise” which responds with a more melodic approach to grinding. Fucking amazing track. With songs so short, it is hard for some to describe grindcore albums in more than a paragraph or two. I however wish to tell you the impact this album will have on you. Imagine taking your brains from your skull and putting them into a blender on frappe. You then freeze the remains into a large ice block, carry it into the backyard and smash it with a mallet. Yes. It is frozen-brain-shattering. Yes it is. “Your God” goes back to the formula of “Conform” as being an insanely fast and heavy track. It does however manage to maintain melody throughout the entire 33 seconds. A nice drum roll introduces us to the groove-grinding of “Suffering Soul.” The chorus of this song rings out like an anthem for the depraved. The vocals are pure and simple. A gut-wrenching yell with tremendous emotion. Nice grooving guitar riff towards the end of the song in which the song as a whole hits the slow-down-button. Nice old school death metal riffing on the title track, “Unsilent Death.” This shows that this band has a very wide range influences that make this band rather hard to categorize. This whole song takes me back to the mid 1990s in death metal. Fucking “A.” A lot of feed back for what I would assume you would consider a breakdown. The song then returns to that fantastic groove. “Traitor” touches back on some previous songs (“Conform” and “Your God”) but with odd, varying timing. Grind one second and a chord-hanging doom riff. Very odd, but I love it. “I Will Not Follow” is as punishing as the rest of the album. Fast and furious yet filled with melody. Nice chugging guitar riffing. Nice doom-death riffing around the 1:00 mark. This band has an amazing sound that will definitely keep them going for many years to come. “No Servant” is another melo-grind face-smasher with a great guitar soloing. Oddly timed, but that’s the best kind. These guys are killing it. “Scapegoat” has some of the best guitar shredding on the album. It still has that old school death metal feel, especially around the 0:40 mark and leading all the way into “Depths” which marks the last track on the album. This is also the longest song on the album, maxing out at almost four minutes! The song doom/drones along at the beginning before bursting into another extraordinary death-groove shred-marathon. Another odd solo pops up at 1:36. This entire band is extremely tight while keeping the music superbly crusty and filthy. The song breaks down around the 2:05 mark and dooms it for a while. Nice pinch harmonics coming through very clear. This bands wide range of sound keeps me guessing what is around every turn. I never know what I am going to hear next: grindcore, death metal, doom, polka. Who knows?
“Where The Light Ends” has a good tune right off. I am interested within the first 20 seconds. Good going. Nice guitar work and drumming. Not bad for an intro. “Collosseum” opens with shredding guitars and machine gun drumming topped only by the evil-as-fuck vocals. Pretty fucking killer. The tempo varies from time to time. I like that. Switches from grinding black metal to full-on black metal with some nice melodic elements. This is some pretty sick shit. Gnarly likes. “Dogs of Gods” continues the grinding fury with the return of those monstrous vocals. I’m loving the lead guitar work. Something that is often left out of black metal is the usage of leads and solos. I love when bands bring that shit in to up the wow factor. A lot of more mellow parts just right for a steady head bang. Some pretty nice drum rolls before the song burst back with a vengeance. I do hear a lot of black metal influence in this, but that’s not the only thing. Hints of death metal and grindcore loom around. The blast beats are fantastic. Amazing track. “Nahash The Temptator” begins with with ambient guitar for a few seconds then hits with a nice steady riff bordering on math/noisecore shit. This band offers a lot more than the usual every day black metal band. Vocals are again menacing, guitar are sawing and the drummer is pummeling that bass drum like a zombie’s skull. I love the chugging around the 3:38 mark. This is epic shit. I love it. One thing I really like about this band is the fact that their songs are not mind-numbingly long. A few are even under 3:00. Pretty super-duper. “Here Comes Your Salvation” reminds me of a lot of death metal that’s been coming out recently musically. Decrepitaph and the likes. Very good. Nice chugging with fantastic lead guitar work. Vocals are more in vein of death metal as well with more growls than screams. The solo at the 2:17 mark is pretty killer. This is one of the best tracks on the album. This band keeps you on your toes for sure. Every song has different elements blended together. “Into A Demential Sea” is chock-full of extraordinary grinding riffage. This is on the same note as the previous song as being more death metal. This song is even more so than “Here Comes Your Salvation.” The blast beat drumming is of epic proportions. The bass stands out just enough to make it known. When the song chills out, it has a melancholic vibe to it. It picks back up towards the end of the song and brings back the monstrosity of a metal attack that has stood out so well on this album. “An Eternal Descent” opens with killer chugging guitar riff. I love this already (0:14 in). When the drums kick in, it is a melee of masterful musicianship. This song mixes every genre I’ve mentioned throughout this review into one powerful 6:00 beast. I love some good chugging guitars. I’m not sure why, but they draw me in and make me want more. This song is full of them overlaid with beautifully melodic lead guitar parts. The solo is mesmerizing. This song has to be the best on the album. It is certainly my favorite. “Strength Higher Than Justice” is yet another death-inspired grinding fury. More fabulous chugging riffs and outstanding vocals. I am reminded a little of Goatwhore on this track. This track is evil and brutal and still remains melodic and overall memorable. This track slowly evolves from death metal to a more black metal style with melodic parts. A short clip opens the black metal beauty that is “Incestuous Breath.” This song touches more on the songs at the beginning of the album, where more black metal styling is present than death metal or any other genre I’ve mentioned. This song reminds me of Averse Sefira for the most part. The riffing from 2:50-3:30 is fucking killer. The vocals are still evil and superb. “Of Sulphur and Fire” opens with an ambient guitar part similar to that in “Where The Light Ends.” Very gloomy and creepy. At 1:10 the song turns into a full-on doom metal track. This album is extremely eclectic. There is all kinds of shit to be enjoyed here. This is probably one of the most diverse albums I’ve heard. The song picks up after a while, but there are still very strong touches of doom in this track. Nice lead guitar work throughout the song. Sickening drum rolls. This track is fantastic. This album is amazing. Ross’ Verdict: Fucking gnarly. A definite late entry on my “Best Of” list. Bravo, Svart Crown. Bravo.