Happy New Year, freaks! 2013 has officially begun, and we are we are kicking it off just like we did last year by look back at some Sh!t We Missed from the year before. This week’s picks came from end-of-the-year lists of blogs we frequent and a certain Metal magazine, and it is quite a diverse list with some diverse opinions of the albums. Since January is a slow release month (well, at least of things we remotely care about), there will probably be some more of this in the coming weeks as well, so stay tuned!
Reviews: Birds in Row – You, Me, and the Violence; Evoken – Atra Mors; Royal Thunder – CVI; Slice the Cake – The Man with No Face; Woods of Ypres – Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Lights
Woods Of Ypres – Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light
Birds In Row – You, Me, And The Violence
De facto columnist: I like it!
It amazes me how when all the year end lists are released I still fail to have heard of some of the albums on some lists. I feel like I follow the news and releases over the course of the year, but I still somehow fail to have even heard of a lot of the albums that Decibel ranked. Early Graves? Farsot? Panopticon? I don’t just mean that I haven’t listened to those albums in 2012, I mean I had never even heard of these bands until reading Decibel’s list despite reading Decibel all year. Did many of these albums go in one proverbial ear and out the other? Surely. But the point is that if something didn’t get enough of my attention at the time to even remember it, then my feeling is that it can’t be any good.
I also think that this time of year is a great time to catch up on some of those releases which I did hear of and wanted to get around to listen to but just didn’t yet, as you guys have done this week. Evoken was one of those albums for me that fell into that category. Add to that the fact that as you guys point out: tis the season for Doom Metal. I think the production on Atra Mors is part of the point. Doom isn’t supposed to have a bass drum that is in your face driving the music forward creating tension that begs to be resolved. It’s doom. It’s supposed to plod along and not go anywhere. If that’s not your cup of tea, then I can certainly understand that. As a doom album, I think Atra Mors is successful. But despite the fact that Atra Mors would be my second favorite doom album of 2012 (behind Pallbearer), this album still wouldn’t crack my top 20.
I agree with Kyle about lyrics. Maybe not 99 out of 100 albums do I feel the lyrics are irrelevant, but it’s more like 9 out of 10.
I gave both Christian Mistress and Royal Thunder a try this year. While I think both of those are good albums, it’s just not what I’m into right now. 3 years ago I would have probably loved Royal Thunder, but right now I’m into more “modern” stuff (for lack of a better term). Or maybe “un-retro” might be a better term. Even the 2012 release by Testament sounds more modern and fresh to me than Royal Thunder, even though Testament didn’t exactly break any new ground with Dark Roots of the Earth. At least Testament used modern production to make a statement about who and where they are as a band instead of trying to be part of a retro trend. And that’s not a criticism of Royal Thunder, it’s just not what I’m into right now.