Welcome, all lovers of the riff, you know the deal by now, however for those of you that do not, let us recap. Each month, you the reader are unwittingly compiling a list of the top 16 records of the month, covering all genres of metal, but predominately the best the doom, sludge, stoner-psychedelic genres have to offer. Is it not a chart, in which reviewers or contributors extol their opinion about their favourite music, but simply, the ‘Sour 16’ are the records you guys (readers) have been most interested in over the last month and checking out on this page.
So here is the The Sludgelord’s ‘Sour 16’ for September 2015, the 16 records you’re most looking forward too or are currently checking out. Dig in, spread the word and perhaps revisit some records you may have overlooked. The results are compiled based on page views alone and calibrated into the list below. So without further ado, enjoy the ‘Sour 16’. Roll up, kick back, chug a beer and Hail the riff! For more info click on the artwork. (Total views at the time of publication highlighted in red)
16). Slayer – ‘Repentless’ (271)
Overall, I would be confident in hailing this the best Slayer album for some time. It is certainly better than “World Painted Blood” and, for all its fury, “Christ Illusion” had no real staying power for me. It is not perfect by any means, and is perhaps a couple of tracks too long, but all in all, this is SLAYER. No sell out, no compromise, no change. Business, in fact, as usual.
14) = Wild Throne – ‘Harvest of Darkness’ (281)
Alongside the ingenuities and provocative pieces from ‘Blood Maker’ ‘I Of The Prism’ is another scintillating highlight. It’s brazen guitar work and searing vocal lines force a real sense of horripilation upon you, you don’t so much as listen to this as you do experience it. It’s structure is a labyrinth of crazed punk drumming, a really atmospheric but menacing ,reverb drenched instrumentation and enough melody to blind a unicorn.
14) =Fvnerals - ‘The Path’ (281)
There are not a lot of bands that are easily comparable to FVNERALS, as they effortlessly draw together various elements of such sounds as if Swans and My Bloody Valentine had a sleek, crooning child in an underground speakeasy.
13). Hangman’s Chair – ‘This is not supposed to be positive’ (292)
A record as powerful and as potent as this, cannot be ignored. An absolutely sterling effort, it stirs something within you like no other music can.
12). Venom Prison – ‘The Primal Chaos’ EP (295)
This is a nasty little EP from the South Wales mob- “Babylon The Whore” showing you what they are all about in its three and a bit minutes. Noise, blasts, grooves, feral production- it's all here. This is a fine EP and if you have any interest in death, grind, hardcore, crust or any mixing of any of those sub-genres... you should hear this.
11). Iron Maiden – ‘The Book of Souls’ (316)
If you approach The Book of Souls with an open mind and accept the more bombastic moments, you will find a huge amount to enjoy. By my count, there are at least eight top notch tracks here. There may well be more, it is just that this is a genuine double album and has such scope and depth that it is hard to become familiar with it (perhaps concentrate on one disc or one slab of wax at a time?!). Eight out of eleven tracks rated as top grade is a fantastic tally. Still the Kings. Long may they reign.
10). Cult of Occult – ‘Five Degrees of Insanity’ (325)
An ominous amp hum builds before erupting into the gut churning opening riff of “Alcoholic”. What follows is a 15 minute onslaught of bleak sludge, harrowing vocals and an evil guitar tone Bongripper would be proud of. Cult of Occult employ repetition to great effect, playing each riff until breaking point before moving to the next.
9). Luna Sol – ‘Blood Moon’ (326)
Luna Sol has the material – the riffs, the attitude, and the songs – to be able to stand on their own two feet. if you’re looking for some burly, tough, guitar driven, American rock music with inviting choruses and a strong sense of melody, then go ahead and slip this disc in your car’s CD player and go for a long drive.
8). Motorhead - ‘Bad Magic’ (353)
If this is to be the last album, then the band have added to their legacy, kept their powder dry once again and gone out all guns blazing. If it isn't, well the next one will be along in a couple of years and will no doubt give your ears a good hiding when it does. Still the best rock and roll band in the world, and as the man says, the last one you can trust until the end.
7). Hate Eternal – ‘Infernus’ (360)
There aren't many bands out there that can punish your ears with such consummate brutality, which is what Hate Eternal succeeds at doing from start to finish on this disc. Highlights? 'TheChosen Ones' has bewilderingly epic bass guitar work which is fully audible beneath the atonal guitar-mashings of main man Erik Rutan.
6). Sweat Lodge - ‘Talismana’ (371)
With such mean songwriting skills as is on display here it’s rather difficult to pick favourites. ’Talismana’ definitely brings stand-out tracks but the band with their strong sense of vision and penchant for killer riffs and catchy hooks all coated with stirring vocal melodies manages to blend it all into one cohesive whole. This is one superb debut from this Texan group and definitely one of this year’s not to be missed out on.
5). Snail – ‘Feral’ (440)
As far as tone and mood are concerned, “Feral” is far from untamed. To the touch, these eight cuts are smooth, the production doing what it needs to do to keep this beast domesticated. At the end of the day, though, this beast is hard to ignore, which is the justification for the album’s name.
4). Indian Handcrafts - ‘Creeps’ (444)
The consistency of the record is well, well above par too. Every song has its own unique character and sense of self. They never repeat the same formula or trick – they simply don’t need to rely on any form of cyclical cop out – and no track is starved of quality alongside the rest of the pack.
3). Belzebong – ‘Green Inferno’ (717)
‘Inhale in Hell’ honestly is just one massive slow chug fest, filling every available space with some ridiculous throbbing string torture with a sweet backing beat. It sounds akin to a giant walking the earth, simply moving things aside without noticing. True evil blues this band has summoned, and you the listener, shall reap their rewards! From that slow, massive chugging into feedback and staccato wah picking, they have no problems slamming you up against the wall and rifling through your pockets for some loose cash.
2). Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats – ‘The Night Creeper’ (1192)
“Horror films don't create fear. They release it,” – Wes Craven (1939-2015)
1). With The Dead – ‘With The Dead’ (1254)
It's evident that Bagshaw has acquired a few new fuzz pedals since the last Serpentine Path album as opening track 'Crown Of Burning Stars' is so oppressive, fuzzy and dense that it made my teeth itch. After the backwards speaking samples, the crunch of the guitar is incredible. The vocals are classic Dorrian and the bands sound on a whole is somewhere between Serpentine Path, 'Dopethrone' era Electric Wizard, early Cathedral and 'Misanthropic Alchemy' era Ramesses. This for me is an album of the year contender, the kind of thing you'd expect from 3 of the scene's most influential figures. All expectation has been lived up to. Prepare to be blown away.
This list features reviews by, Chris Bull, Philip Weller, Hunter Young, Richard Maw, James Taylor, Victor Van Ommen, Charlie Butler, James Harris & Joosep Nilk