Friday, December 31, 2010

Year in Metal/Best of 2010 List

1.      This year for me was odd musically, first one of the great singers in not just Metal but Music ITSELF died this year. Of course, I mean Dio. It's still really hard to believe he's gone. I felt really down reading about King Diamond's heart surgery, too but I hope he'll continue to rock the bone mic longer. 
      
       I saw a decent amount of shows and liked much of what I saw. Legendary bands like St. Vitus, Deviated Instinct, C.O.C., D.R.I., and Raven come to mind. Plus, a few others I hadn't got around to: The Gates of Slumber,Goatsnake, and Thou. As far as records go that went a bit strange, too. The crux of what I bought was a mix of old and new (much of that is represented here). Also, I ended my time at KZSU, for a variety of reasons. Next to no labels were sending the station heavy music worth its weight. Additionally, little that I wanted to do with my radio show came to fruition. The bulk of heavy music to the station was trade bait or worthless crap. (One song CD singles, still!). Reasons for "what about this or that?" is reflected with other issues of time/money/(computer) space issues. There is a middle between "die hard edition/vinyl/tape" super limited-ness of the ultra underground and the all digital bullshit, all the time. 
      
      That said, I'm missing several things I wanted to hear from beginning to end such as: Autopsy, Cough, Electric Wizard, Cauchemar, Weapon, Slough Feg, Hail of Bullets, Master, Sodom, Bastard Priest (and a TON more new wave of old school Death Metal), W.A.S.P., Ghost (Sweden), and Züül. Plus a ton of the newer punk/HC/psych/neo-folk/ambient/whatever bands. 

T t  Heavy music in 2010 showed no shortage of amazing new bands. A few of these I discovered from the fantastic Doomed Forever forum such as Uzala, Resonaut, Hot Graves, Winds of Genocide ( the last 2 whose demos I STILL need to get!). Also, it was nice to see a resurgance of zines (which seemed to have carried over from 2009) such as  Snakepit , Radio: Totally Crucial Rock N' Roll , and Bestial Avenger. Hell, even  Maximum Rock N' Roll's still in biz and writing about a gazillion punk/garage/HC bands that you may or may never get a chance to hear. Additionally, there were some great books that came out such as Tom G. Warrior's Only Death is Real, Hellbent for Cooking: The Heavy Metal Cookbook (OK, maybe this was late '09) and a very well researched book on Progressive Metal, all of these 3 can be found at Bazillion Points.
 
Onward with the list... (excuse the shitty formatting, blogger's being a dick). 
I     
A    ALBUMS:


AGALLOCH - Marrow of the Spirit (Profound Lore)- It's been worth the wait (and yes, the hype) for this as was their show last Wednesday at Great American Music Hall.
ATHEIST – Jupiter (Season of Mist) – Modern tech-thrash done amazingly well (despite their roots, I don’t hear a lotta DM in this, but no biggie).
BURZUM - Belus (Byelobog) – I love the fact that this not only channels various parts of classic 2nd wave BM but also the Master’s Hammer worship of “Sverddans”
CHILDREN OF TECHNOLOGY - It’s Time to Face the Doomsday (Hell’s Headbangers) - Insanely RIPPIN’ Italian band conjuring GBH, Onslaught, early VoiVod and of course Motörhead. Sure beats hearing another "post metal" or Incantation worship snore fest. 
CHRISTIAN MISTRESS - Agony and Opium (20 Buck Spin)
HIGH ON FIRE - Snakes for the Divine (E1) – Been hearing Pike lay down riffs since ’91 – and he keeps impressing me nearly at every turn.
IRON MAIDEN – The Final Frontier (E1) – The first 21st century ‘Maiden that’s really grabbed me. Regardless, this really works given a good number of listens.
KERASPHORUS - Cloven Hooves at the Holocaust Dawn (Nuclear War Now!) – Crushing, fast,  technical without being wanky and yet continually interesting. 
LUDICRA – The Tenant (Profound Lore) – Probably their most challenging but pays off very  well.
AMEBIX – Redux (Profane Existence) – Re-recordings by most heavy bands fucking suck but  this (and Sodom’s - In the Sign of Evil) does not what so ever! not what so ever. Amebix mix in more keys but the energy, fury and heaviness is all here.
MOTÖRHEAD - The World Is Yours (UDR/Motörhead Music) – Because sounds like fucking  Motörhead ! 30+ years and they STILL rule!  
TOXIC HOLOCAUST/INEPSY - split LP (Tank Crimes) 
BRETWALDAS OF HEATHEN DOOM -  Seven Bloodied Ramparts (King Penda) 
TRIPTYKON - Esparistera Daimones (Century Media) – A lack of “heeey” and “ouh!”/”ouuuugh!”    but still very heavy and continually interesting.
DARKTHRONE– Circle the Wagons (Peaceville) – it’s still Darkthrone, can’t complain.  
COFFINWORM – When All Becomes None (Profound Lore) Doomy, heavy as fuck and filthy. 
 

NOT HEAVY BUT STILL GREAT:
Gilbert Delfez Je Suis Vivant, Mais J’Ai peur de Gilbert Delfez (B-Music/Finders Keepers)
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Hawk (Vanguard) - Excellent Americana duets that invoke the late, great Lee Hazelwood.
Beach House Zebra – EP (Sub Pop) – didn’t get around to hearing all of Teen Dream but this is very nice and proves that current "indie rock" doesn't have all sound like 70's elevator music.
Rome - Nos Chants Perdus (Trisol)
Sabbath Assembly - Restored to One (Ajna)
HedjaApnoea (Bridgetown) – beautiful ambient stuff

HONORABLE MENTION:

Overkill Ironbound – would’ve been on here if it weren’t for the super-shitty, modern production with clicky-cliky triggered drums and super-slick mix. 

Christopher Lee's Charlemagne - By the Sword and the Cross – Dunno if this is actually as bad (or "so bad, it's good") as his appearance in the teen sex comedy Jocks in 1986 but still nice to see he’s getting work.

DEMOS:

Paranoid Freakout (Oakland)
Resonaut (Trondheim, Norway)
Age of Taurus (UK)
Bird (San Jose)
Uzala (Boise, ID)
Vastum (SF/Oakland, CA)
Xibalba (Mexico)

OLD STUFF/REISSUES: 


G.I.S.M. – Detestation and 1982-84 – bitch as bootlegz both.
Labradford – Mi media naranja (1997)
Hellbastard – demos LP
V/A: U.S. Metal Vol. II – (Shrapnel) Wild Dogs, The Rods, Exciter (!!!), the true Vixen’s “Angel’s From the Dust”. Even some early guitar wank from Michael “Angelo” Batio. Yes, the one later in Nitro!
White Boy and the Average Rat Band – White Boy and the Average Rat Band (Roach)
Heavy Load – every fucking thing they did.
Stitch – Devil’s Deal 7” - Thank you, Cosmic Hearse!

LIVE:

* Saint Vitus 2x! – January 29th & June 27th both @ DNA
* Shrinebuilder/Steve Von Till/Brainoil @ Voodoo Lounge, SJ, March 5th
* Bird/Basement Animal/Vaccuum @ The Caravan, SJ, November 6th
* Triptykon @ Slim’s – October 23rd
* C.O.C./Goatsnake/Black Breath @ DNA, August 10th
* D.R.I. @ Slim’s - January 9th
* Ludicra/Slough Feg (opening for Pentagram who unfortunately were very "off" that night.@ DNA, March 23rd
* Vitamin X/Toxic Holocaust/Deadfall/Face the Rail/Population Reduction/Muni Waste @ Tankcrimes Brainsqueeze Day 2, Oakland Metro
* Raven/Vastum/Stone Vengeance/Amber Asylum @ Tidal Wave Fest, July 24-25
* Thou @ Thee Parkside, June 18th
* Monarch! – 924 Gilman Nov. 5th
* Grand Invincible @ Mardi Gras, Redwood City, Nov.
* Deviated Instinct @ Gilman St., Sept 11th
* Crow/Conquest for Death/Cross Stitched Eyes/Acephalix @ 924 Gilman St.
* Frisco Freakout 2010 @ Thee Parkside October 16th: Assembled Head in Sunburst Sound, Carlton Melton, Strangers Family Band, White Manna, Jeffertitti's Nile. Carlton Melton on KZSU December 15th
* Venomous Concept @ Thee Parkside, September 17th
* Katatonia @ Thee Parkside, August
* The Gates of Slumber/Struck by Lightning/Black Tusk/Weedeater (the latter kinda sucked but the crowd went ape for 'em. @ Elbo Room, March 27th
 * Amber Asylum/Soriah/Lux Eterna/The Ghost Project with Belly Dancers @ Ghost Town Gallery, Oakland, January.


      RELATED STUFF: 

* Iconoclast: Boyd Rice (documentary) at Roxie Theater - the night S.F. went drunken batshit for the Giants
* Standing In Two Circles: The Collected Works of Boyd Rice book
* Swedish Death Metal book by Daniel Ekeroth
* Gimme Something Better: Bay Area Punk book
* Nagawika's cartoons



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