Friday, 27 December 2013

Best of 2013

Before I start I'd just like to note that this site now also has a Facebook page so you can stay up to date and all that jazz. Feel free to jump over to it with the button on the right hand side.

The year is very quickly wrapping up, and thus it is the time that everyone starts putting up their best albums of the year. I did do this last year, so thought I would keep up the tradition once more.
It has been a great year with lots of stellar releases, but these are what have stood out for me. Bare in mind that these were not all necessarily released this year, they have just been featured on the blog sometime in 2013.

Best Cassette Tape

I have been picking up a few tapes here and there again this year. A few honourable mentions include Rot in Hell's demo tape and the three tape Negromancy set, but my favourite above all is "Fonograms of Violence and Terror" by Brazil's Shade of Mankind.
The release was handled by Stirvve Recordings, so was of course top notch. The whole thing came inside a biohazard bag and came with badges, a massive poster and all kinds of other goodies. The tracks are also brutal as hell, with an incredibly wicked Integrity cover. 
These guys are on the cusp of releasing a new LP, check out the released tracks so far right here.

Best 7" EP

Last year this category was the toughest, because I definitely get more 7"s than anything else. There were still a lot to choose from this year, but there was one that stood out so far beyond everything else that the choice was actually quite easy. This was of course Studies in Emerald by Rot in Hell.
The tracks were actually released a while ago, on two separate CDs, but this year saw the band release them on 7" vinyl. RIH have always been known for their incredible packaging, but they really stepped up their game with this release. First of the vinyl had a transparent x-ray image of a fly which looked utterly fantastic. There was also a book, an x-ray insert (that appears to be different for every one of the 30 or so that were produced), stickers, a stencil which was all put together in a green hard slip-case. It just blew me away.
Funnily enough Studies in Emerald appeared on my list last year as well, it must show how great the tracks and the band really are.

Best split 7"

This is an other category that was relatively easy to choose as well. Of all the splits I acquired this year, I think I was most excited and pleased with the Cape of Bats and AVM split released around September. Ever since I heard the split AVM did with Integrity I have been trying to find more about this obscure band, desperately trying to find any more tracks. When I heard news of this split I was more than ecstatic and ordered it as soon as it was available.
I still listen to Devil's Last Dance much more than most other tracks in my library, I really just can't get enough. I'm hoping 2014 will see the group release even more..

Best 12" LP

Finally, we have my favourite 12" LP. This has to go to Kromosom's Nuclear Reich. For a release that went by relatively unheard of, this thing is fantastic. With this release they seemed to shake of the slightly darker tone to the music released on Holy Terror records and get back to the rawness from their original demo.
The energy captured in this recording is incredibly immense, I'm surprised the recording equipment was able to handle it all, just amazing.

That wraps up 2013. I must confess that things have slowed down here a bit in the last few months, but hopefully the new year can see it pick up a bit of steam once again. See you in 2014.

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