Thursday, April 14, 2016

Best of 2015 Part 1

Welcome to the list of Top 20 albums of 2015 - Part 1. Compared to the Part 1 and Part 2 of the previous year, I can only say it was another hell of a year. In the list you will find a spectrum of genres ranging from progressive rock, through dark ambient, till atmospheric rock. Enjoy the stable masters, but also new talents. I know it's a middle of April, but there were still plenty of albums to be digested. ;D

1. Leprous - The Congregation
Since the moment I heard the piece The Valleyfrom their 2013’s Coal album, it was one of those moments, when you listen to the song five days non-f*cking-stop. You then start checking the earlier works and when such a band releases a new album, you can say “They are getting with every album!” Latest The Congregation album proves it fully. Amazing band, breathtaking music and what a live show! I also invite you to join us in Indiegogo campaign for their Live Recording at Rockefeller, Oslo. Deluxe Edition CD+DVD – Signed, is on its way later this year. ;D

2. Royal Thunder - Crooked Doors
Absolutely incredible! I follow these guys since their first album, but with this release, true love has been established. Great musicianship, incredible singing of Mlny Parsons and heart reaching melodies, especially towards the end of the album. When I had to choose an album that makes me “air sing” like a little girl on the night walks, this is the one. I must say, I was seriously thinking to place them as number one, but no replies to interview requests, gave plenty more positive points to more personal and musically fantastic Leprous.

3. Steven Wilson - Hand. Cannot. Erase
Progressive genius, musical prophet, amazing guest for an interview. Regarding his music, I can honestly say, I found a perfect music for train rides. Night or day, looks in a distance at your home land, with thoughts about your life. Sometimes even Way Out Of Here helps...

4. Clutch - Psychic Warfare
Dirty ZZ Top, black country and energy to the roof! Amazing successor of 2013 Earth Rocker. If they only sounded so great live...

5. Plini - The End Of Everything
One of the greatest discoveries I made in the past months. Plini is hell of a talented guitar player from Australia, who's purely instrumental songs speak to my soul. Also incredible for background music - IT experts prove it as well.

6. The Gathering - TG25 Live At Doornroosje
I will never forget the moment I heard On Most Surfaces from The Gathering for the first time. My dad just picked me up from a table tennis training and placed live album Superheat in, which he got from a friend. Since then, their music became absolute part of my life. I had a chance to see them live, especially Anneke solo shows multiple times (Barcelona, Rotterdam) and conduct few great interviews. This reunion show must have been a dream. Also check breathtaking live version of Travel.

7. Kylesa - Exhausting Fire
It's hard to believe, but these sludge masters are getting better with every album. No one works better with psychedelic metal...

8. Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss
I assume Chelsea would not not mind a tour with Kylesa. There are so many nice similarities, but she goes with electronics even deeper into dark atmosphere. I can finally call myself a fan.

9. Myrkur - M
We have very special relationship with Myrkur, based on the interview we did. Still, if I skip personal relationship, I have to say, her music is still quite impressive.

10. Klone - Here Come The Sun
Atmospherical is a new sense of direction for rare French masterpiece. I don't want to repeat myself, but another band, which is getting better with every album. I am just sorry we didn't manage to do an interview together. Last piece of communication between PR agency and the band, with me in the copy: "Guillaume, please take care of this finally!!" Hopefully, next time...

Friday, April 8, 2016

In Ears - February & March 2016

In Ears will be a regular series of music filter, which is my daily bread. Every month I have/want to cover dozens of CD's including new albums, but also numerous albums from recent and distant past. Hope you will enjoy.

Oceans of Slumber - Winter
Do you have a feeling for a female voice, but you demand variety? Oceans Of Slumber will give you both Alanis Morissette sensitive rock moments, but also double bass drums death massive impact. Give it few listens, until it "clicks". Obligatory for fans of System Divide or Distorted from Israel.

La-Ventura - White Crow
During my gothic teenage era, I was acquiring absolutely everything, which had a female singer in it. There were tons of bands which were not worth it and plenty which broaden my horizons and found the term "gothic" absolutely vague. One of the greatest discoveries from those days was a debut album from dutch La-Ventura. I don't know why I though those guys were from South America. Nevermind, the crucial message is, their second album White Crow from 2013 is honest follow-up to their incredible 2007 debut A New Beginning.

Greenleaf - Rise Above the Meadow
Do you often sound like those old bastards saying: "True hard rock is gone and only the good stuff was created five centuries ago in the days of Led Zeppelin!" Well, if you are aware about the latest retro psychedelic (hard) rock wave including Blues Pills, Orchid, Scorpion Child and plenty more you know the music business is not so dead, as you might have thought. Well, quite the opposite and Sweden-based Greenleaf belong the absolute top league. Album by album they convince me about their qualities and bring me to my teenage days, where I could just place audio cassette and enjoy every note...

Surprise note: On my flight from Paris, after an intensive weekend in Amsterdam, I listened to the Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon for the first time in my life. I was saving to listen to this legendary masterpiece for years, however .............................................kill me............. ....................absolutely no "click". However, it's just a matter of time...

What else: Once in a while return to old time hits of Elvis and Karel Gott ;D. Electric Wizard, new Diamond Head, Hypno5e, Intronaut, Messenger, Witchcraft, The Contortionist - no "click", Anvil get my respect just because I spoke to inspirational uncle Lips, Cattle Decapitation - might check for two songs at Brutal Assault, Trioscapes - Great deal of respect but still too much on me, same Haken or Neurosis, Killswitch Engage, Obscura - yeah, but..., Magnum - c'mon, Sabaton ;D,  
Check Perturbator and Steven Wilson is a must.

Read magazines!!! and while you read, check albums, which you haven't listened yet/much of legends as AC/DC, Anthrax, Dream Theater, Jefferson Airplane and especially Phil Collins...