If it needed any more proof, that the recommendations by Phantom Winter are to be counted on –Als Tier ist der Mensch Nichts delivers. And we never should have overlooked the Bielefeld band’s debut, too promising were the demo from 2013, as well as the splits with Sun Worship and Paramnesia. Furthermore, UNRU impressively elevate their dark melange of furious black metal and deeply atmospheric crust roots to a whole new level, which can compete in the heights of the genre across all borders. And one more proof of the sound-dainties the witches’ cauldron from the Tonmeisterei is able to cook up.
I didn’t get around to a whole lot of new records this year. Not on this list for various reasons Neurosis – Fires Within Fires, Grand Magus – [amazon_link id=“B01BV8TDG6″ target=“_blank“ ]Sword Songs[/amazon_link], Whores – [amazon_link id=“B01LG7FY9C“ target=“_blank“ ]Gold[/amazon_link], Audio88 & Yassin – [amazon_link id=“B01EDPZGHY“ target=“_blank“ ]Halleluja[/amazon_link], Black Tomb – Black Tomb, Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones u.a.
The Body – No One Deserves Happiness
After for absolutely spotless albums and uncountable splits and collaborations and Eps, with not one of them even being mediocre, I knew when it was announced, that No One Deserves Happiness not only was going to be one of the best records of 2016, but also the one with the greatest artwork.
„The grossest pop album of all time“ is almost completely stripped off the very little metal-influences the duo had left, which makes it a lot more haunting, than the current metal underground, that gets more boring and boring, could ever be.
Links: Facebook | [amazon_link id=“B00W3H1DMW“ target=“_blank“ ]Amazon[/amazon_link]
Sun Worship – Pale Dawn
Talking about the metal underground: not all’s bad. 2017 the coldest and most precise sound gets made in Neukölln. Compared to its precursor, the second album by our Berlin friends is more dense, the band knows their strengths, and exhausts them in full consciousness. At the end of this furious trip, there’s an elevated, monumental artwork by a band, that’s one of a kind in Germany.
Links: Facebook | [amazon_link id=“B01BEF1H2O“ target=“_blank“ ]Amazon[/amazon_link]
Martyrdöd – List
Riffs, riffs, riffs. With List, Martyrdöd beat His Hero Is Gone as the most shredding band ever. Even better than the phenomenal Elddop, List is apocalyptic, wild, melancholic and beautiful at the same time. Can listen to it infinitely on repeat, and will find something new every time. Just don’t watch them live.
Links: Facebook | [amazon_link id=“B01M18RZKY“ target=“_blank“ ]Amazon[/amazon_link]
Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder
As former super-fan I have a bit of an love/hate relationship with Darkthrone. Since The Cult is Alive, I never listened to an album by them more than three times, if that, and I really can’t come to terms with the bands new vibe. It might be cynical, but if it were for me, Fenriz should have never become sober and the pop-cultural icon he is, that gets passed down from indie-mag to indie-mag. But I still gave Arctic Thunder a listen, because I just couldn’t ignore the mumbling about the grimmest album in a decade anymore. And again. And again. And what can I say? I still don’t like it. I never loved this band that much, because they entertained me as well as I’m sure their proto-metal carnivals still would today. I did because the perfectly reduced riffing, the cold soundscapes and the cryptic, fragmentized lyrics were representative of everything that makes black metal so unique to me. They still got nothing of that back. More power to them and their fans, but I’m still out.
Links: Facebook | [amazon_link id=“B01JKMSX8Y“ target=“_blank“ ]Amazon[/amazon_link]
Perturbator – The Uncanny Valley
I discovered my affection to horrorsynth and retrowave in 2016. I bet I’m being laughed at by people that actually know about electronic music, and pre-emptively, I’m super-embarrassed. But Perturbator revoke these feelings of nights long gone at Industrial and Goth-parties, and they perfectly pull all my horror-movie-strings.
Links: Facebook | [amazon_link id=“B01CSK0XOW“ target=“_blank“ ]Amazon[/amazon_link]
Ólafur Arnalds – Island Songs
Incredibly beautiful album, and probably the one I’ve listened most to in 2016.
Ólafur Arnalds recorded seven compositions in seven weeks in seven different places in Iceland during this project, and creates several portraits with various musicians, that all have their own characteristics.
In my next life, I’ll learn a string instrument.
Links: Facebook | [amazon_link id=“B01H84SK3Y“ target=“_blank“ ]Amazon[/amazon_link]
TTNG – Disappointment Island
All-time Favourites. They always manage to bridge the gap between technical challenging music and easy-listening in a way, thats never annoying, but always interessting if you listen carefully. Disappointment Island is just another releases by a ever amazing band.
Links: Facebook | [amazon_link id=“B01G5F5G2U“ target=“_blank“ ]Amazon[/amazon_link]
G.L.O.S.S. – TRANS DAY OF REVENGE
Well, it’s somehow beautiful and sad at the same time, to see a punk band staying punk, and pull the plug during their most successful time, and split up. Their last output Trans Day of Revenge is the punk-record of the year.
Old Soul – Blue Heron
Compared with their older works, Blue Heron might not have shown up to much in my playlists, but Old Soul delivered the most impressive show this year, and that’s why I want to mention them. One of these moments, where I regret not giving them a listen earlier, because that show was a very captivating farewell-show.
Sun Worship – Pale Down
The only metal record of the year I listened to on the regular. Especially Perihelion got played about 235476 times