COREY’S “SH*T I MISSED DURING THE FIRST HALF OF 2011” BLEEDERS’ LIST
Last year (and the year before) I got way too busy with this thing called life and missed out on a lot of quality music. I am here to rectify the error of my ways, month by month.
Here are the releases from the first half of the year 2011 that I missed for whatever reason that got under my skin, burrowed their way into my brain, made my ears bleed, or simply tickled my unmentionables:
FIRST HALF MISSES OF ’11 BLEEDERS
These are the keepers. I expect to spin these throughout the year and longer.
Batillus – Furnace
Holy Legion of Doom, Batman! This slow, grinding, mass of chaos will pulverize your remaining two senses into complete and utter submission by the time you plow through its 44-minutes of pure aural torture. And that’s a good thing! These Brooklynites lay on the heavy in shovelfuls and it is one bruising, depressing collection of heavy metal somber. It is so good that I would love to get a copy of this album minus the vocals as well, just so I could write more brutal murder scenes for my true crime books. It is that eviscerating and evocative.
The Bronx Casket Co. – Antihero
D.D. Verni, bassist for long-term thrashmasters Overkill, has had this side project for a number of years and this is the first time I’ve heard of it. It is as far removed from his main band as Philip Anselmo’s Christ Inversion was from Pantera, but in the other direction. This is definitely more for fans of Rob Zombie than Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth. Yes, it’s commercial hard rock, but thankfully, it rocks hard. There are keyboards, simple chuggery, Anthraxian group backing vocals, silly lyrics, but it manages to get your ass shaking and your head a boppin’. Verni has also taken over vocal chores and does a more than adequate job in that department. Pop open a sixer, roll your car windows down, and hit the open highway while blasting this one at full volume and its appropriateness will be readily apparent.
The Cavalera Conspiracy – Blunt Force Trauma
Best Max product since Roots (sorry, didn’t care for Soulfly)! This is straightforward, meat ‘n taters groove-thrash-death metal with some excellent guitar work from Max and his Soulfly compadre, Marc Rizzo. Plus, any album that can get me to enjoy Roger Miret’s voice is a winner. Motherfucking torture!
Dødsferd – Spitting With Hatred, the Insignificance of Life
The number of stellar black metal releases this year continues to grow with this bitch of an album. If you like to feel completely exhausted after listening to a BMovement and want to take a shower to scrape all the hell off your body, then this is the album for which you have been waiting. Part punk rock BM, part epic buzzscape, all darkness and despair. These Greeks, led by vocalist Wraith, know how to crack open your skull with a spiked mace, pick apart the shattered remnants of your brain, and feast on your unholy gray matter with their sound. A truly evil headbanging massacre with enough atmospheric passages to allow you to catch your breath, so you can gear up for a second round of self-flagellation. Oh, and best song title of the year so far goes to this incomprehensible gem: “A Pile of Shit; the only Hope of Your World.”
Feral – Dragged to the Altar
Getting tired of your death metal being so technical-ed up that you can’t even bang your head to it without causing dry land sea sickness? Welcome to Feral! This is Swedish death metal with extremely gravelly vocals, crunching rhythm guitars, and killer low end. This debut release from the Swedish five-piece is easy to grasp, yet HAF. Plus, there’s something to be said for stellar songwriting over technical wankery and I will choose the former over the latter any day. This is that.
To Cast A Shadow – In Memory Of
I know I should not like this, but I can’t help myself. It combines what should be solid traits from such underwhelming female-fronted PowerGothic Metal bands such as Leaves Eyes, Midnattsol, and Within Temptation with the ridiculously strong positive qualities of an incredible band like SubRosa. No, To Cast A Shadow is nowhere near as good as SubRosa, but it is leaps and bounds beyond those first bands I mentioned. Led by now-former vocalist Gunnhild Huser, these Norwegian gothbangers score big points on their second album with beautiful soaring, but not overreaching, vocals, tasteful guitar interplay, and solid production. Fans of My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost will be pleased to discover this band.
Until Your Heart Stops – Errors
Not sure how you can call 19 minutes a full-lengther, but, whatever. UYHS, a Bay Area hardcore unit, kicks out the jams MC5-meets-Black Flag style in short, punchy cadences. Sure, their vocalist hits about three notes throughout the entire record, but they are simply the perfect three notes. Nothing super innovative or OTT brilliant, but definitely HAF. Will get you pumped to jump and down like a five-year-old brat in an inflatable bouncer who has OD’d on a fourth bowl of Apple Jacks.
Good points throughout the record, but not enough to make we want to revisit it.
Abacinate – Genesis; Above Symmetry – Ripples; Acephalix – Interminable Night; Assassin – Breaking the Silence (good album but sounds WAYYYYY too much like Overkill); Assaulter – Boundless!; Ava Inferni – Onyx; Barnburner – Bangers II: Scum of the Earth (bit of a let down after their great debut album); Bloodiest – Descent; Darkest Era – The Last Caress of Light; Despise You/Agoraphobic Nosebleed –And On and On… split; Doctor Midnight and The Mercy Cult – I Declare Treason; Drainland – And So Our Troubles Began (almost a Bleeder); Fen/De Arma – Towards the Shores of the End split (Fen is great; De Arma, not so much); Folge Dem Wind – Inhale The Sacred Poison; Indian – Guiltless; Job For A Cowboy – Gloom EP; Lionheart – Built on Struggle; Melvins – Sugar Daddy Live; Moonreich – Loi Martiale; Moonsorrow – Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa (definitely a letdown); Nadiwrath – Nihilistic Stench; Necronoclast – Ashes; The New Black – II: Better in Black; Noisear – Subvert the Dominant Paradigm; Summon the Crows – One More For the Gallows; Svartsyn – Wrath Upon the Earth; Tyr – The Lay of Thrym; Uneven Structure – 8 EP; The Very End – Mercy and Misery; Vreid – V; VYGR – Hypersleep; The Warriors – See How You Are
FIRST HALF MISSES OF ’11 BLOWERS
The Browning – s/t; Betzefer – Freedom to the Slave Makers; Cypher Seer – Origins; Dotma – Sleep Paralyses; Hollywood Undead – American Tragedy; Hyperborean – The Spirit of Warfare; Loss – Despond; Orchid – Capricorn; The Project Hate MCMXCIX – Bleeding The New Apocalypse (Cum Victriciis In Manibus Armis); Routasielu – Pimeys; Solar Fragment – In Our Hands; The Soulless – Isolated; Srodek – Förfall; Various Artists – SIN-atra; Virus – The Agent That Shapes the Desert
STILL not able to get my grubby little hands on these platters.
JUNE ’11: Ancient VVisdom – A Godlike Inferno; The Android Meme – Ordo AB Chao; Bohren and der Glub of Gore – Beileid; Brent Hinds Presents: – Fiends Without a Face and West End Motel; Elitist – Fear in a Handful of Dust; Engineer – Crooked Voices; Faces of Bayon – Heart of the Fire; Futur Skullz – s/t; Gentleman’s Pistols – At Her Majesty’s Pleasure; Helms Alee –Weatherhead; Höllenlärm – Hellish Noise; Isis – Live II: 03.19.03; Isis – Live III: 12.17.04; Khann – Erode; Misguided Aggression – Flood the Common Ground; Morne – Asylum; Nordvargr – Re-Awaken; Pharaoh – Ten Years EP; Planks – The Darkest of Grays/Solicit to Fall; S.O.S. – I Owe You Nothing EP; Shraphead – Blind & Seduced; Sourvein – Black Fang; Turbid North – Orogeny; Various Artists – Afterparty Massacre Soundtrack; Verah Falls – All Our Yesterdays; VoiVod – Warriors of Ice Live; White Wizzard – Flying Tigers; Xibalba – Madre Mia Gracias Por Los Dias
MAY ’11: Across Tundras – Sage; Alpinist –Lichtlærm/Minus Mensch; Ana Kefr – The Burial Tree; Backslider/Nimbus – Terrifixsplit; Bringers of Disease – Gospel of Pestilence; The Crevices Below – Below the Crevices; Death Wolf – s/t; Desolate Shrine – Tenebrous Towers; Dynasty – Truer Living with a Youthful Vengeance; Forgotten Tomb – Under Saturn Retrograde; Gravehill – When All Roads Lead to Hell; Horde of Hel – Likdagg; Hrizg – Anthems to Decrepitude; Indestructible Noise Command – Heaven Sent, Hellbound; Isis – Live I: 9.23.03; Rival Sons – Pressure and Time; Satan’s Host – By the Hand of the Devil; Scelestus – s/t; Title Fight – Shed; V8Wankers – Iron Crossroads; Weekend Nachos – Worthless; X Opus – The Epiphany; Zombi – Escape Velocity
APRIL ’11: A Life Divided – Passenger; Aerial Ruin – Valleys of the Earth; Annihilation Time – II; A.N.S./Ramming – s/t split; Blood Freak – Mindscraper; Bodyfarm – s/t; Conflicted – Never Be Tamed; Destrophy – Cry Havoc; Faithsedge – s/t; Former Thieves – The Language That We Speak; Foundation – When the Smoke Clears; Graviton – Massless; Haeresiarchs Of Dis – In Obsecration of the Seven Darks; Heirs – Fowl; Hero In Error – The Highs of New Lows; Kicker – Innit; Negura Bunget – Poarta de Dincolo EP; No Turning Back – Take Control; Ovo – Cor Cordium; Sinister – Altered Since Birth; Taletellers – Radicalizer; Too Late the Hero – Statement of Purpose; Turbocharged – AntiXtian; Victims – A Dissident
MARCH ’11: As Likely As Not – Stand Up and Nerve; Assaulter – Boundless; Beehoover – Concrete Catalyst; Cut Your Teeth – CYT II; Fell Voices – Untitled; Goes Cube – In Tides and Drifts; Immortal Dominion – Primortal; Lekamen Illusionen Kallet – The Second Wind; Monsterworks – The God Album; Ruled by Reason – The Dawning of Dystopia; Sacrarium – March to an Inviolable Death; True Widow – As High as the Highest Heavens and From the Center to the Circumference of the Earth; W.A.I.L. – W.A.I.L.; Withering Soul – No Closure
FEBRUARY ’11: The Defaced – Anomaly; Drugs of Faith – Corroded; Engrained – Deep Rooted; Misery – Evil is Crowned; Scheepers – Scheepers; Spellbound Dazzle – Unreal Fairy Tales; The Swan King – Eyes Like Knives; Timo Tolkki – Saana Warrior of Light Pt. 1
JANUARY ’11: Attackhead – Voices in the Dark; Bruce Lamont – Feral Songs for the Epic Decline; Coldsnap – Perfection; Defiled – In Crisis; Disciplin – Radikale Randgruppe; Mass – ’84 Unchained; Mass – Fighter; Psycho – Pain Addict Pigs; Secret Sphere – The Scent of Human Desire; Skin Culture – The Earth Spits; Volture – Shocking Its Prey
BIGGEST FIRST HALF MISSES OF ’11 DISAPPOINTMENTS
Nothing major here. Just let down by the rather mediocre releases by Moonsorrow and Barnburner. I’m a big fan of both bands, read the OTT praise for both new albums, and felt decidely indifferent about both. Bummer.
2011 TOP 15 EARLY INCLUSIONS
Let’s see if they make the final cut.
Batillus – Furnace (April ’11)
Arch Enemy – Khaos Legions (June ’11)
Jungle Rot – Kill On Command (June ’11)
Looking For An Answer – Eterno Treblinka (June ’11)
Origin – Entity (June ’11)
Argus – Boldly Stride the Doomed (May ’11)
Infestus – ExIst (May ’11)
Nader Sadek – In The Flesh (May ’11)
Olde Growth – Olde Growth (May ’11)
Wormrot – Dirge (May ’11)
Cruachan – Blood on the Black Robe (Apr. ’11)
Signo Rojo – promoalbum2011 (Apr. ’11)
American Heritage – Sedentary (Mar. ’11)
KEN Mode – Venerable (Mar. ’11)
Of Legends – Stranded (Mar. ’11)
SubRosa – No Help For the Mighty Ones (Mar. ’11)
DevilDriver – Beast (Feb. ’11)
Horned Almighty – Necro Spirituals (Jan. ’11)
Inquisition – Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm (Jan. ’11)
Tuck From Hell – Thrashing (Jan. ’11)
Metal Releases Listened to – 356
Bleeders – 103
Meh’ers – 141
Blowers – 112
Top 15′ers – 20
PREVIOUS MONTHS’ BLEEDERS
**Some of these releases are possibly late 2010 sets, first-time U.S. releases, or sneak peeks of upcoming albums.**
Corey Mitchell is a best-selling author of several true crime books and is currently helping Philip H. Anselmo write his autobiography.