Albums of the Year: Anagnorisis
With the autobiographically anchored Peripeteia, Anagnorisis emphazise their eyemplary status in the USBM scene: based on vocalist Zachary Kerr’s life, the band from Louisville, KY recorded pure catharsis, with unparalleled conceptual and lyrical consequence, all held together through gripping songwriting and intoxicating melodies. An album so intense, it hurts – but still, uniquely beautiful. Check ou the followong list by Samuel Hartman, keyboards for Anagnorisis.
This list is by no means exhaustive, as 2016 was an incredible fucking year for metal. These are a few of the albums we couldn’t stop listening to!
Alcest – Kodama
Blackgaze! Or whatever you want to call it…Alcest is back after two years with another banger. I, for one, welcome the return to the heavier sound so I can quit listening to Lantlôs and pretending it’s Alcest. The whole band has really enjoyed this album and are looking forward to the North American tour next year!
Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones
Somehow, this is billed as a full length, but it’s not even 30 minutes long? Whatever, it crushes. If you’re familiar at all with Deathspell Omega, you know no one plays black metal quite like them. I have to say, this album honestly reminds me of The Dillinger Escape Plan in both franticness and guitar tone – and that’s not a bad thing! Sadly, we’ll never get to see this chaos live…DO has made it quite clear that’s not in their future. But, the record slays and if you like unrelenting blastbeats with disembodied riffs, this is the 30 minutes you’ve been seeking.
Oathbreaker – Rheia
It’s cliche to compare this record to Deafheaven, but it was engineered & mixed by the same dude. Equal parts aggressive and mild-mannered, this record is just super passionate. I encourage you to check out the Audiotree sessions these guys did to see the fervor they put into the instruments. Definitely the breakout year for these Belgians, this record is the perfect mix of blastbeats and half-time body bang-worthy groove.
ColdWorld – Autumn
Germany had all kinds of good shit this year, and the latest ColdWorld record was no exception. Last time this dude did something was 2008, so I don’t blame you if you forgot the name. Autumn is a a solid black metal record with tons of awesome melodies, some clean singing, and an excellent flow – definitely a record to listen to in one sitting and turn shuffle “off.”
Khemmis – Hunted
We’ve known the guitarist of this band, Ben, for years, way back in a band he probably doesn’t want to admit to, Burial Within. We got to see Khemmis play a lot of these songs at Migration Fest this summer in Olympia, and it was crushing. I love the interplay between the clean and harsh vocals, and it’s hard to nail down the genre here: Doom? Stoner metal? Sludge?. These 5 songs fly by leaving us wanting more! Hunted has popped up on a lot of year-end charts and we’re really happy for their success!
Void Omnia – Dying Light
Label mates with us on Vendetta Records, Void Omnia has put out a fabulous slab of USBM. Also short at just 5 songs, it’s raw and blasty with maniacal vocals. VO have only been around for a few years and I’m excited to see how they build off this release!
Imperium Dekadenz – Dis Manibvs
Yes, another German band…no I’m not choosing these because our label is German! Imperium Dekadenz has been a player in this scene for awhile, but I never really took note for one reason or another. Dis Manibvs changed all that – super catchy riffs, great blasts, and over an hour of solid fucking black metal. No big frills or keyboards needed, just stagger blast after stagger blast after stagger blast…that’s all you need! The stand-out track is Volcano…the melodies are chilling and beautiful.