Oh my God! It's yet another list!

2013 was another great year with so many great albums. Flicking through other people's lists makes me realize that I have propably missed quite a bunch of great albums. The downside of the technical possibilities the internet brings. Anyway, this list represents the 13 releases I listened to the most this year. To make it a easier for me I sorted them alphabetically.

ALTARS - Paramnesia

CLOUD RAT - Moksha


DEAD NEANDERTHALS - ...And It Ended Badly


GRAVE MIASMA - Odori Sepulcrorum

MUMAKIL - Flies Will Starve

OBLITERATION - Black Death Horizon

PHIL ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS - Walk Through Exits Only

PORTAL - Vexovoid

VOIVOD - Target Earth

WAKE - False

YATTAI - Fast Music Means Love

Of course there are way more great releases this year: CALL OF THE VOID, CELESTE, ELECTRICJEZUS, MELT BANANA,  NAILS, NECROPHOBIC, OBELYSKHH, ORANSSI PAZUZU, RORCAL, WHO'S MY SAVIOUR have all released great albums worth checking out.

Let's hope for great year 2014 with fascinating new band and albums! Keep'em coming, folks!



ELECTRICJEZUS are a two man band from Dmitrov, Russia. They play the dirtiest kind of metal combining influences from all kinds of music into one fine piece of old school noise. Oleg (drums) and Ruslan (guitar\bass\vocals) answered some questions to me for this blog. Thanks a lot!

Hey guys! First of all congrats on your debut "Грязь поколений". It reminded me of the good old metal days when metal was still raw and hard instead of over produced digital copy and paste music some newer bands are playing these days!

Hi Chris, and thanks for inspiring words!

Please, tell us something about your musical influences and how you combined them to what we're hearing on  "Грязь поколений".

Yes, our album was pretty diverse and nonuniform, everything from what we listen to various music and you will agree that it is not very interesting to do a whole album such as the title track. In doing so, we are inspired by the examples of Melvins, which during its existence, played in all territories. In the album we tried to combine all that we love: Grindcore, Thrash, '80s, Doom riffs, and even mocking Pop motifs and put all under the roof of fuzz sludge and of course blackened vocals, the songs do not sing in another.

You recorded the album with all kinds of analog equipment to create that special sound.

Yes, we tried to make an analog recording, we were so interested to use the analog equipment and when turned up such an opportunity, we did not refuse. Of course we were not Abby Road and we had to use modern technology, but this percentage was negligible. We recorded album fully live, and other embodiments could not have be, because such music should be closer to the live sound - aggressive emotional and maximum vividness as if we are playing in your home.

Since I unfortunately don't speak any Russian, can you please give us a hint what your lyrics are about?

Texts were quite thoughtful and even selfish. They have their place in the world, no populist slogans that we need to all get together and all change here to see prices rather the thoughts that come to people before going to bed (good or bad).
By the way we also have a humorous song. Lyrics for it completely taken from a Russian television series about police from the 90's.

Dmitrov isn't too far away from Moscow (about 70 km according to Google). Do you have a big metal scene where you come from?  

Yes, Google is not lying.
Since we are fairly new and the strange group the big scene do not take us seriously and we are far from her. Basically we play concerts for a small circle of lovers, who just formed and friends.
For us as a new group organizing concerts difficult exercise, yet so many connections inside underground. We have a lot of plans, we will try to do something like the tour and play as many gigs but unfortunately not everything depends on us.

What are your plans for the near or far future?

We have a lot of plans. Unfortunately we could not make edition on vinyl albums, none of the publishers were interested in our idea, and attempts to solve this problem by ourselves are not successful.
By the way, we have 4 songs for the next release. Not so long ago, we visited again in the studio and did a rough recording instruments. We do not know in what format it will be poured (EP or LP) but we can say that the overall theme of records will be the atmosphere of the book Andrei Platonov's "The Foundation Pit" (among themselves we call her Russian death). Well, and accordingly, all the songs will be about death
and of course want to go on a tour in different cities and countries, but so far we do not know how to manage it. We hope the project will live for a long time, we have enough enthusiasm.

Yeah, I hope that, too. It's the kind of enthusiasm that is so important for our scene! Thank you so much so answering my questions.

You can download  Грязь поколений for free on Bandcamp.

Check out this cool Electricjezus live video:
Electricjezus - live in Little Rock, Moscow (2013.04.29)

And if you happen to be interested in the Russian Metal underground here are some recommendations by Ruslan and Oleg ("Our favorite bands of the grim scene of Russia!")

The Fall of Mammoth ("Unfortunately the group has disbanded.") 


DEAD NEANDERTHALS - ...And It Ended Badly

It's been a busy year for the DEAD NEANDERTHALS. They played a bunch of festivals, have been on a 4 week tour with Nick Millevoi through Eurpope and after the "Polaris"-Album and the "Meat Shovel"-EP they just released their next album which is a collaboration with London based sax player Colin Webster.
...And It Ended Badly is a concept album. A musical statement describing the chaos of a war in 6 chapters. The  drums are representing the armory used in a battle while the two saxophones are the opponents, fighting to the death. Neither one is going to give up. During an emotional ride towards exhaustion the opponents get weaker the longer the battle goes on.
...And It Ended Badly paints a cruel picture of an utterly pointless war that can never be won. It ends with what is both the quietest and saddest song the DEAD NEANDERTHALS have recorded so far.
Colin Webster (sax), Otto Kokke (sax) and Rene Aquarius (drums) have created a very complex piece of art that is worth being discovered and unraveled piece by piece. Let's hope the collaboration of the three musicians will be continued eventually.

You can stream and download ...And It Ended Badly on Dead Neanderthals' Bandcamp or buy a CD version via Gaffer Records or Raw Tonk Records.


WAKE - False

"We do not have much hope for people [...]!" is what WAKE stated in a recent interview with Decibel Magazine. Listening to their latest record that's not hard to believe. With a sound that is way dirtier than on their last full length  WAKE color their grind black. Noisy disharmonies, guitar feedbacks and tons of distortion make the Calgary four-piece sound beyond pissed, screaming bloody murder towards a modern society that is drowning in its own overbearing way of life.
"False" is a 20 minute avalanche of hate combining the full speed frenzy of raw grind and the shattering despair of modern black metal. For me one of this year's must have albums in extreme music.
Handshake Inc. owner David Hall is making a film based on the album, you can watch the first clip that's based on the track "Rotten" here.

You can buy your vinyl copy via Handshake.Inc (US) or 7 Degrees Records (Germany). A downloadable version is available on Bandcamp.


ELECTRICJEZUS - Грязь поколений

Electricjezus are a Russian duo and Грязь поколений ("Mud of Generations") is their debut album. Recorded live using only analog equipment it sounds old school as hell. Old Venom or Hellhammer were what came to mind when I listened to it first.
But there's more to it: The album title can be understood as a metaphor for the band's influences combining the dirtiest variations of the last three decades of metal to one filthy bastard of (mostly) downtempo noise.
Using samples from more or less popular horror movies to connect the songs this- to quote the band- "rusty, damp and dirty" album is every bit as raw and heavy as we need this music to be. An awesome nod to the old school without sounding outdatet!
The release of a limited edition of vinyl is planned, until then you can download Грязь поколений at a price you name on bandcamp.


CALL OF THE VOID - Dragged Down A Dead End Path

"Dragged Down A Dead End Path" received some pretty bad reviews in the print zines I am reading. Good thing a friend recommended it to me before I read them. Maybe otherwise I'd have missed this record and that would be a shame.
"DDADEP" does not take any prisoners. The first 45 seconds of "Failure" are somewhat of an intro after which all hell breaks lose! Pure grinding fastcore keeping the energy level permanently on the verge to pure frenzy even when for a short moment the gas-pedal isn't floored. The sound is raw and dirty giving all those sterile triggered copy-and-paste bands the finger!
"Dragged Down..." may not be the most original record of the year but it is sure as hell one of the most intense. You can listen to and order it on COTV's bandcamp.


MORTALS - Death Ritual

Wow, this is killing me!
Death Ritual is the fourth release by Brooklyn based trio MORTALS and it is kicking some serious ass. Widening the scope of their influences the three ladies combine the aggressive stamping rhythms of drone and sludge with the fast forward heavyness of black and death metal. The result is a breathtaking ride to hell and back.
And the sound is deep and heavy as fuck! Droning, but crystal clear. Giving the two songs the pressure they need without sounding over-produced. Freakin' insane!
If you like heavy music, please support this incredible band and buy Death Ritual on their bandcamp. You won't regret it.


EMPLOYED TO SERVE - Counting Crows

Last year's EP Long Time Dead was one of my favorite releases in 2012. So, obviously, I was looking forward to this new output of Justine Jones and Sammy Urwin aka Employed To Serve.

And I wasn't dissappointed: A short guitar feedback initiates the tour de farce that is Counting Crows. The british duo start bulldozing full speed ahead. A turn left. A graveled path. Slow and painful. Short turn right. Back to speed, but not for long. Slam on the brakes. Another hard turn. Struggle through a hedge of thorns. Screaming in pain, getting more rabid the longer it takes. A short cry for help, almost giving up. Almost! Clearance with the last ounce of strength.

Counting Crows is what I was hoping for, with one blemish: Clocking in at 8 minutes it's way too short. But I figure ETS are already writing new songs for upcoming releases. Let's hope they keep them coming.

You can download Counting Crows at a price you name at ETS's Bandcamp.


CLOUD RAT - Moksha

You have propably read about this. Released in January "Moksha" had huge impact on the underground, everybody is celebrating it as a ground-breaking masterpiece. It is hard if not impossible to find even one single word that is not heaping a praise on it.

"Moksha" will be on most of the end of year lists, I am pretty sure it will be on mine, too. History is to decide about the long term impact but Cloud Rat have composed an album that has everything on board to make it a classic release that people will talk about for a long time. Harsh enough to blast everything to pieces it takes some melodic detours to keep it fresh and make you press the repeat button over and over again.

Why most of the well-known print zines are ignoring this incredible record is a mystery that I am too stupid to unravel. Luckily enough we don't need them, anyway.  Tell your friends about Cloud Rat, catch them on the road and buy their merch! Let's make this band as big as they deserve!

You can buy your vinyl copy via Halo Of Flies Records (US), 7 Degrees Records (Germany) or React with Protest Records (Germany). A downloadable version is available on



Dutch jazz-grinding duo DEAD NEANDERTHALS have been mincing music for quite a while now. Their new album POLARIS will be released via Utech records on March 23rd.
Otto (sax) and René (drums) agreed to answer some questions for this blog. Thanks a lot!

Photo by Thijmen Sietsma

Hey guys, congratulations on the new album Polaris. You really accomplish to surprise your audience with every new output you release!
Hi Chris, thanks so much man! Good to hear you like it and nice that we can keep people on their toes with our releases.

The first thing that struck me is that you resigned from the multilayered saxophone sounds and got back to basics: just one saxophone and drums.
That's right. We listen to a bunch of different stuff and it all inspires us: Grindcore, Noise, Drone, Jazz. In this case, the latter probably got more dominant. But hey, we're still Dead Neanderthals even in a more stripped-down version. POLARIS is no easy listening, it's more like acoustic noise. A nice little experiment we would say!

Instead of a baritone sax you used a tenor sax on Polaris. Any special reasons for that?
(Otto) Because I bought one! I was playing around with the idea of doing something on tenor sax because it's really quite a different thing (to us saxophone players at least) and that might be fun, not even specifically for Dead Neanderthals or anything, just noodling around. And then when we thought about doing this more acoustic stuff it was kind of an obvious choice for us. It really fits. I don't think it would have been as nice if I'd done this on baritone sax.

How do you guys write your songs? How important is the freedom of improvising when recording?
That can be quite varied! The first album was almost completely improvised, while The V-Shaped Position, The Saw EP and Jazzhammer/Stormannsgalskap were much more structured and composed. There was still some room for improvisation, especially when we are playing shows. The new album POLARIS is almost completely improvised.

What's first? Songtitles you compose a song to or do you name the song when you finished composing? And what the hell is "Neck-AIDS"?
(Rene) Yeah, Otto, what the fuck IS Neck-AIDS?? :)
(Otto) It's a very serious affliction. Nothing to laugh about. For personal reasons I don't want to talk about this any further.

On your blog you offer two different technical riders.
We can offer venues two really different sets now. The 'hard set' is our Jazzhammer/Stormannsgalskap set involving a big-ass baritone sax, a big-ass amp and many bright lights. The 'jazz set' is our improvisation set which is more fitting to the POLARIS album. We will use no amp and a tenor sax. Also less lights are involved. It will be less harsh, but not less intense! It's cool we can offer venues and festivals both sides of the band, they can just pick whatever they like the most. We always had one set, so we're also really curious how this will turn out. It will probably keep things fresh for us.

You have played with a lot of different bands and musicians, you played with grind-bands as well as singer/songwriters. What are your experiences concerning acceptance by your audience? Have you ever been worried or even afraid of what might happen once you'd start playing?
Hehe, only a couple of times when we started doing live shows. In the end people seem to like us most of the time. Sometimes because they really like our sound and sometimes because they never heard something like it before. Whatever the reason, we never got boo-ed off the stage, which is good. So we're not so worried anymore. It's cool to play with a lot of different bands: You don't only play for different crowds, but also for crowds of different sizes, which is great.

What are your plans for Dead Neanderthals?
For now we'll keep on writing and recording the music we like to play. Actually, we already completed 2 (!!) new full length albums, which we are hopefully releasing later this year. One was a collaboration with British saxophone player Colin Webster and the other a collaboration with Dutch drone/noise artist Machinefabriek. For the rest: we're busy with a lot of shows at the moment. Hopefully we can confirm all of them. A lot with cool artists or in great venues. We definitely hope to play more shows abroad. If you want to book us, get in touch!

Thanks again for answering my questions! I hope you can make your way over to Germany some time soon. It's not that far, anyway.

For more informations on Dead Neanderthals visit their blog:



The menacing pile of clouds on the cover gives a hint where this is going. Polaris is overrunning you like the unpredictable chaos of a vast yet fascinating thunderstorm.

Stripped naked to the bone with just one screaming Tenor Saxophone fighting against jittery drum attacks the record offers a reduced vision of the jazz grinding un-music that is the art of the Netherlands' finest. 

While the predecessor Jazzhammer/Stormannsgalskap was a dark monotonous colossus, Polaris is its nervous hyperactive antagonist. The Dead Neanderthals are uncoupling music from structure, shifting it further away from any restrictions that the seemingly reasonable combination of sound and rhythm might bring.

"Fuck conventions! Fuck expectations!" is what the dutch duo claim on their blog. And that is exactly what they do on Polaris, this scatterbrained yet strangely spellbinding monster of an album.

Polaris will be released in March via Utech Records.



This third official full length by Bay Area based Metal outfit Bosse-de-Nage has been out a while but it had to grow on me. When heard III for the first time I was confused. What is this supposed to be? Black Metal? Post Rock? Alternative? It took me a while to realize that B-d-N don't give a rat's ass about genre conventions, let alone any boundaries a certain musical style might bring. Only when I caught up on that I started enjoying what I heard.

III is the grim reaper shooting ahead with the gloves off taking an occasional breather only to come back at you even fiercer than before. No matter if B-d-N blast their spells on you or carry you away on a melodic wave, they compound seemingly conflicting faces to one quite special big picture.

Great album with a dynamic sound supporting both faces of the beast. Keep an eye on this band that we're hopefully going to hear more of.


DEAD LIKE ME vs GERDA - Me And Gerda Are Both Dead Like You

French Mathcore versus Italian Noise. While DEAD LIKE ME (France) slap us around three times with brutal in your face Core, GERDA (Italy) try to dissamble our heads with just one rather complex Noise song. Both bands are transporting an attitude of negativity pulling you into that maelstrom of absolute agony with no hope of escape. Ever.

After listening to this you just know that there is absolutely no way but down from here. But why cry over the inevitable. Accept the facts, smirk and press the repeat button knowing we're at least going down with the perfect soundtrack.

You can buy this incredible split via Left Hand Records or stream/download the digital version here.