Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα The Temple. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα The Temple. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Δευτέρα 19 Δεκεμβρίου 2022

2022 - THE BEST OF METAL

2022 was just like the previous year: It had countless albums! Everything is easier and everyone can record an album easier. It is easy to release it also, even if many of them sell just a few hundred copies. Everyone can become a "recording artist" and the music industry has changed a lot over the past two decades. And keeps changing.  

Everything you will read below was written within a few hours or something. This is not filtered or worked within a bigger time frame of days just like other features, just the first things that come to mind.


The Top-20 list was already completed in late November since it was asked from Metal Hammer magazine in Greece (where I am also a scribe) but let me add one short comment: No one really cares of what's added in place 18 or 19. In this list or any other list. It's all about what's in and what's not, but this also can be somehow "wrong". You know why? Because almost everything that's from 10 to 20, might change in a few years and one could add something that didn't make it to the list. For example, on a second thought, I really like a lot SAVAGE MASTER's Those Who Hunt at Night and I should add it, while the song "The Pilgrimage" from SAXON's Carpe Diem is better than most of the songs in any 10 to 20 albums of that list. Go figure...

However, the Top-5 albums on that list, are really TOP-5, 9/10 albums, with the first two ones (sharing the TOP spot) being future classics, possibly 10/10 albums. These are the best of the best, albums that we will mention many times in the future, albums that will take place in future "best of" lists.

Among the rest (most of them 8/10 albums) there are albums I really enjoyed, albums I listened to countless times, albums that I am going to listen to for a long time in the future too, and of course I bought all of the albums in that Top-20 list, plus the majority of the rest that are mentioned.

Let's go to Crystal Logic's Top-20 (plus many more you should check also!)

written by Andreas Andreou



20. FRIENDS OF HELL - Friends of Hell

Looks like a dream team including Master Tas and Albert Witchfinder. The debut release of the international group, named after the classic WITCHFINDER GENERAL album, is traditional Sabbathian doom with one of the most iconic doom metal figures on vocals, that will attract fans of early CATHEDRAL, doom-y NWOBHM and PENTAGRAM.


19. ACHELOUS - The Icewind Chronicles

From the cold winds of Olympus to the flames of war, the Mediterranean epic heavy metal of ACHELOUS is praised by the underground metal hordes.


18. MIRROR - The Day Bastard Leaders Die

Master Tas strikes again with a grower that will be appreciated more in the future. MIRROR's third album is their most "metal" one, including killer songs such as "Souls of Megiddo", meeting also Arthur Rizk's approval of a great album.

Check  also: CLARENT BLADE Return Into Forever : That's a special case that starts with the best epic metal song of 2022 most people won't listen to! It's probably because of the vocals and I can't blame them for that but the songwriting here is ace. This is something that can be huge. Remember the name.


17. SAKIS TOLIS - Among the Fires of Hell

During the covid months and lockdown days, Sakis Tolis of ROTTING CHRIST wrote an album that brings in mind late '90s vibes of his main band.


16. WHITE WARD - False Light

When multi-instrumentalist, composer and guest musician in False Light Mykola Lebed was asked to describe the art of WHITE WARD in his own words, the reply was:

"I would describe it with a picture: it is like you are strolling through the woods in the mountains while the storm is becoming more intense and harsher. But all this happens inside of you. The themes of their lyrics are resonating with me very much. It can be a song about personal feelings, about the grace of nature, or also about Kateryna Handziuk – the activist from Kherson - who was killed by an acid attack."

WHITE WARD is definitely one of the most innovative bands in the wider field of black metal, mixing experimental black metal, blackgaze and dark jazz.


15. SONJA - Loud Arriver

Often mentioned as "sounds like" UNTO OTHERS (former IDLE HANDS), this is actually a zero-fucks-given heavy metal album with an all-around-mentallity filled with different moods. Strong candidate for best debut album of 2022.

Check also: SANHEDRIN Lights On

 


14. KONQUEST - Time and Tyranny

In the debut album they sounded like modern day HEAVY LOAD but now they managed to add a strong MAIDEN's somewhere-in-time guitar sound. Just listen to the majesty of "The Light that Fades Again". A beautiful and a feel-good album!


13. GARGANTUAN BLADE - Gargantuan Blade

HEAVY. EPIC. DOOM. METAL.


12. BLOOD TYRANT - Codex Cruor

The blackest and truest black metal album of 2022. The spirit of black metal dwells in those songs. Just for the few; the brave ones, the black souls.


11. CAULDRON BORN - Cold Steel for the Necromancer

Master Bentley returned after many years with new CAULDRON BORN music and maestro's sword is still sharp. Poserkiller, true US technical power metal.


10. DAEVA - Through Sheer Will and Black Magic

Evil and blackened thrash metal with CRYPT SERMON members can't go wrong.


9. LUZIFER - Iron Shackles

"Free yourself from iron shackles!" is one of the most addictive lines and songs of 2022! The German lads sound like '80s Swedish kids that moved to England.



8. PHANTOM SPELL - Immortal's Requiem

SEVEN SISTERS' Kyle McNeill heart is all over an emotional album coming from the depths of his soul. Beautiful melodies, a warm sound, excellent songwriting.

Check also: IRON GRIFFIN Storm of Magic


7. OZZY OSBOURNE - Patient Number 9

Teaming again with old friends, Ozzy recorded a few of the most emotional and best songs of the year, including "No Escape from Now" (with Lord Iommi), "One of Those Days" (with Eric Clapton) and "Mr. Darkness" (with Zakk Wylde).

Check also: A-Z A-Z, TONY MARTIN Thorns, SCORPIONS Rock Believer


6. GRAVESPAWN - Scourge of the Realm

Battles, swords, demons in the mist, the impaler and blood. The best black metal album of 2022 is probably the epic black metal release you ignored and need to listen to. Perhaps you think you listened to better black metal albums this year but you definitely didn't listen to more epic ones or more suitable guitar solos in a black metal album.

Check also: CIRKELN A Song To Sorrow, KARMANJAKA Gates of Muspel



5. THE TEMPLE - Of Solitude Triumphant

The DOOM METAL MANIFESTO of 2022. The purest, the truest, the saddest, the deeper. True Doom Metal.


4. SMITH & SWANSON - Smith & Swanson

Crystal Logic admires Phil Swanson. The iconic performer is teaming up again with his old friend from SEAMOUNT, Tim Schmidt, and they deliver a heavy Sabbathian doom metal debut album that obeys the RIFF. The most riff-driven album of 2022, a favourite one that will be revisited forever.

Check also: EARLY MOODS Early Moods, ERIC WAGNER In the Lonely Light of Mourning


3. DOOMOCRACY - Unorthodox

This is art. A deep concept and music worked in every detail. Technical power doom metal, not your REVEREND BIZARRE style of doom, but the one that's written and performed just by a few. Simply because just a few can record this kind of music that has an epic doom metal heart but it's not regressive and allows elements from US power and progressive metal filtered by the band's character creating something new. Do you want name dropping? SOLITUDE AETURNUS, MEMORY GARDEN, MEMENTO MORI, CONCEPTION playing doom, even SAVIOUR MACHINE vibes.

Check also: DISHARMONY Gods Made of Flesh



1. SUMERLANDS - Dreamkiller

There is a lengthy feature written for this album already. This is a classic, best album of 2022 part one.

Check also: SPLINTERED THRONE The Greater Good of Man


1. RIOT CITY - Electric Elite

Best album of 2022 part two. Everything is on fire here. The blood of a legendary classic metal album runs in Electric Elite. One of the most praised classic heavy metal albums of 2022, from both underground and mainstream media, a speed metal mayhem, an electric power metal vengeance. Many claim to be the next big thing but don't get fooled by false prophets. This is the real thing.

Check also: EVIL INVADERS Shattering Reflection



More heavy, trad, epic, doom, power and a bit of thrash metal too: AFTERIMAGE II: Beyond Horizons Infinite, AMKEN Passive Aggression, CANDLEMASS Sweet Evil Sun, FER DE LANCE The Hyperborean, FLAMES Resurgence, FALL OF THE IDOLS Contradictory Notes, INCURSION Blinding Force, INFINITY DREAM Memories, KNIGHT & GALLOW For Honor and Bloodshed, KREATOR Hate Uber Alles, MEGADETH The Sick, the Dying... and the Dead!, MIDAS Midas, MYTHOSPHERE Pathological, QUEENSRYCHE Digital Noise Alliance, SACRAL NIGHT Le Diademe d'Argent, SAVAGE MASTER Those Who Hunt at Night, SAXON Carpe Diem, SORDID BLADE Every Battle Has Its Glory, SPELL Tragic Magic, SPITFIRE Denial To Fall, STRAY GODS Storm the Walls, SWORD III, VALIDOR Full Triumphed, WITCHSLAYER Witchslayer, WOLF Shadowland


More black metal: AARA Triade II: Hemera, DOLDRUM The Knocking, or the Story of the Sound That Preceded Their Disappearance, GAEREA Mirage, GEVURAH Gehinnom, GLEMSEL Forfader, MIST OF MISERY Severance, NEGATIVE PLANE The Pact..., WATAIN The Agony and Ecstasy of Watain




Παρασκευή 6 Ιανουαρίου 2017

The metal albums we enjoyed most in 2016

2016 was a great year for metal music. When you are working in music industry and being part of a record label, store, magazine and website, you are associated with musicians, labels, promoters and editors daily, so metal besides of music, is your reality. One more year, I had the opportunity to listen to many new albums, but still, no one can say that listened everything. Everyone who claims that, is wrong. Also, you need to check the physical format to have the complete experience of an album, and not just have a quick listen on social networks, downloads or whatever. There are also the unlucky ones (the albums that released during December) that haven't got all the proper attention, since a few plays are not enough.



Below you will find (for start) 10 albums that I enjoyed most in 2016, and some of them (like 'The Eternalist') will follow me for the years to come, as pure classics.

1. AGATUS - The Eternalist
14 years have passed since the last Agatus album ('The Weaving Fates', 2002) but this long wait worth’s every single day, because with this release we witness history in the making. 'The Eternalist' is a genre-breaking album that captures the soul and passion of metal music through the visionary mind of its creator, Eskarth The Dark One. The Dark is without doubt a pure artist, a multi-instrumentalist, a creator with original ideas and vision. With the precious help and creative input of Vorskaath (Zemial), The Dark is offering to the metal universe an artistic creation that combines elements like the passion of Bathory, Warlord and ’70s-inspired prog melodies (in the vein of Eloy); epic majesty and pure metal that through the eyes and heart of The Dark transcends to a unique soundscape of dark heavy metal.


2. ETERNAL CHAMPION - The Armor Of Ire
Hammers, balls, guts and epic metal. One of the underground metal highlights of 2016 inspired by the Legends.


3. SUMERLANDS - Sumerlands
Genuine 80s metal worship and Phil Swanson on mic. Catchy, inspired, riff-driven and passionate, this is the kind of heavy metal we are looking (and praying) for, in the years to come.


4. FATES WARNING - Theories Of Flight
A great album by an old 80s established band. This is not something you see very often but Fates is not an ordinary band. 'Theories Of Flight' is the band's best album since 'A Pleasant SHade Of Gray' and it is filled with melody, their "regular" top notch songwriting, the best Ray Alder since ages and the heavy presence of Bobby Jarzombek. 


5. TAROT - Reflections
Do you miss Pagan Altar? 'Reflections' is the first full-length album of Tarot from Australia, after 'The Warrior's Spell', that was actually a compilation of the band's EPs. Nostalgic and beautiful, 'Reflections' is made of dreams, eerie landscapes and poetry, transformed in pure artistic music.


6. ASSASSIN'S BLADE - Agents Of Mystification
Another great debut album for 2016. A Swedish mob join forces with singer Jacques Belanger (ex-Exciter) and deliver us a pure metal offering inspired by Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate, Manilla Road and the spirit of Heavy Metal.


7. KHEMMIS - Hunted
Just a year after their debut full-length album ('Absolution'), the doomsters from Denver, Colorado, return with the perfect follow-up keeping their momentum strong. Once again, a great cover catches your eye before you even listen to the five songs herein. 'Hunted' is dominated by melody, the emotional vocal performance and along with gigantic riffs and the menhir-solid rhythm section it is irritant bizarre and defies the borders of traditional doom metal. 


8. THE TEMPLE - Forevermourn
Doom metal is perhaps the hardest sub-genre of our precious music sphere to get right. It really needs spirit and true passion to achieve the right result. All the songs on 'Forevermourn' seem to be forged and conceived from sorrow, regret and struggle, inspired by bands like Solstice, Warning and Isole. This is true doom metal indeed and so few new bands can truly claim that heavy crown.


9. SPELLCASTER - Night Hides The World
These guys, from Oregon, USA, have a great evolution and you won’t believe how good their third (and best so far) album is. 'Night Hides The World' is diverse and full of catchy, feel-good melodies. It might bring you in mind to a few of the (real) greats in metal, from bits of the Alder-era Fates Warning to Queensryche and Iron Maiden.


10. SACRED STEEL - Heavy Metal Sacrifice
Well, if you want to experience Heavy Metal in its purest form, you can't go wrong with Sacred Steel. Every time I listen an album by this German metal armada, I pray to transferred in their live shows at once.



 

Top 5 + 1 EPs / singles

1. SOLSTICE - To Sol A Thane
Loud uncompromised epic metal. Not for cunts.


2. WATCHTOWER - Concepts Of Math: Book One
Decades in the making, the line-up of 'Control And Resistance' cannot fail.


3. THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM - Never Machine
The Doomfather (Leif Edling) with Niklas Stalvind (Wolf) on vocals, deliver us 4 tracks from the Sabbath catacombs. 


4. ASCALON - Reflections
UK vigilantes and probably the best newcomers of the so called "new wave of traditional heavy metal"


5. MAUSOLEUM GATE - Metal And The Might
A unique blend of 70s sounds, obscure metal and personality.


+ BLACK SABBATH - The End
Available only during their first live shows of the final tour, this is a special edition that contains 4 new studio tracks and 4 live recordings. Those 4 new tracks are in the usual Sabbath standards. Meaning, best of the best.




2016 was a great year for metal music. After many many years, QUICKSAND DREAM released their second album 'Beheading Tyrants' and that was a really nice surprise for 2016! Doomy epic metal with beautiful melodies and a great aura surrounding the songs. Portoguese metal warriors RAVENSIRE released their best effort yet, 'The Cycle Never Ends', in the beginning of 2016 and this is what you need before the battle in order to destroy your enemies and drink blood from their skulls.

DANG 'Monstrum Ex Machina' is the absolute outsider of 2016. A great multi dimensional album with 70s rock and prog elements, doom metal, heavy atmosphere and monsters from the underworld. Completely "outside of the box" is also the latest artistic creation of ZEMIAL 'The Repairer Of Reputations' that is available only digital at the moment, but you need to check it yourself.


Two classic US power metal acts had a killer comeback. HELSTAR with 'Vampiro' and METAL CHURCH with 'XI'. The latest album of METAL CHURCH was marked by the return of vocalist Mike Howe and even if few of the previous albums with Ronny Munroe on vocals were really good, it seems that this album was what fans wanted. On the other hand, the latest HELSTAR albums were not really good and had a more aggressive edge, that wasn't welcome by many of their fans, but 'Vampiro' is their best effort since their golden years in the 80s.


From older bands, the line-up change in German power metal legends RAGE was a relief for captain Peavey and 'The Devil Strikes Again' was indeed a strike we were looking for, from this great band. However, the real captain Rock n' Rolf returned with RUNNING WILD and 'Rapid Foray', and even if there are some strongs ideas and songs in the album, he really needs to consider again the band's line-up. I think that a call to Jorg Michael (drums) will be something that fans will really appreciate.


New (or close to "new") bands had also their share in 2016 with cool and enjoyable albums like MONUMENT ('Hair Of The Dog'), DEXTER WARD ('Rendezvous With Destiny'), HIGH SPIRITS ('Motivator') BLAZON STONE ('War Of The Roses'), HITTEN ('State Of Shock'), MONASTERIUM ('Monasterium') and WYTCH HAZEL ('Prelude') but few other not so new bands like SPIRITUS MORTIS ('The Year Is One') and WIDOW ('Carved In Stone') were nearly to the very best.


Besides what I really liked in 2016, there were many more albums and bands that must be mentioned if you want to have a right and correct retrospect, but this is not the point here. However, it is always important for the metal universe when a brand name like METALLICA or MEGADETH has a new album out there, but let's keep this for other sites.


What should we expect in 2017? A new album from the other few brand names is needed. Let's say that in my dreams I am expecting an album from OZZY in the vein of 'Bark At The Moon' and 'The Ultimate Sin' but let's stay on earth, where we are waiting for new albums from HEIR APPARENT, SOLSTICE, PAINFUL PRIDE and SAXON.


News are expected on the MANILLA ROAD family, too. Three albums are ready and scheduled for release during 2017. The new MANILLA ROAD album, the new HELLWELL album where Mark Shelton is working again with Randy 'Thrasher' Foxe on drums, and also a project where Mark Shelton is working with Rick Fisher on drums.


While BLACK SABBATH is coming to an end, Tony Iommi will probably compose music easier and according to some rumors he will might write few songs with Tony Martin that probably will be part in the future (?) reissues of albums like 'Headless Cross' and 'Tyr'. Meanwhile, since he already wrote a song like 'How Good It Is', we are expecting more surprises.


Have a great, healthy and lucky 2017.