Saturday 2 September 2017

TOP 16 ALBUMS: The Sour 16 (August 2017)

With English winter ending in July and commencing again in August, the summer as we know it, is over!  Now as we enter September, the sunshine may waver, but one constant source of light, is the inspiring music we embrace and celebrate. 

Mike Patton once said “what a day, when you can look it in the face and hold your vomit,” So to make things a little more bearable, allow yourself to indulge in a hefty dose of medicine, because it is time to present 16 of the best albums from August, it is time for your SOUR 16.

You know the drill by now, each month you the reader are unwittingly compiling a list of the top 16 records of the month, covering all genres of metal.  Is it not a chart, in which reviewers or contributors extol their opinion about their favourite music.  To put it simply, THE SOUR 16 are the records that have been trending the most at SLUDGELORD HQ.

The results are compiled based upon the amount of page views the reviews have received and are then calibrated into the list below. 

16). Cult of Erinyes - ‘Tiberivs’ (387)

In short, ‘Tiberivs’ is fully realized and wonderfully executed. Any black metal fans sleeping on this album are doing themselves a real disservice.

15). Mudbath - "Brine Pool" (397)

While firmly a doom metal group, Mudbath is not afraid to introduce different elements. With a shrieking vocal approach reminiscent of black metal and flourishes you might otherwise associate with drone, Mudbath manages to make it work.

14). Dead Cross - "Dead Cross" (405)

While Dead Cross don’t quite deliver the all-out face-melting insanity you may expect from their constituent parts, this debut is still an exhilarating burst of queasy punk rock mayhem that reminds most young pretenders who’s in charge.

13). Timeworn - "Venomous High" (408)

Some of the most engaging moments on “Venomous High” come when Timeworn move slightly away from their core sound.  “All Chiefs” finds the band at their most unhinged as they unleash an arsenal of spidery math-metal riffs with breakneck rock’n’roll abandon. Anyone missing Swiss behemoths Kruger will find a lot to enjoy in this killer track. “Venomous High” is a fine offering from Timeworn that takes an array of well-worn modern metal influences and blows them up on a grand scale.

 12). Nidingr - "The High Heat Licks Against Heaven" (414)

Given the amount of average extreme music that is available, Nidingr’s release is outstanding for such depth alone.

11). Geezer - “Psychoriffadelia” (424)

Guttural guitars and raunchy drums at the ready. Geezer delivers the intensity of the Melvins, one of the group's inspirations, while giving its own unique spin to stoner rock. While many others try, this is one band that is confident enough to step out and truly make this sound their own.

10). Sunrot - "Sunnata" (480)

Those who take the plunge into “Sunnata” will still be blown away by the fierce musical skill, emotional honesty, and undeniable potential of Sunrot.  Their truly exceptional full-length debut has set a high benchmark that, one hopes, is only the opening chapter of a lengthy, groundbreaking career.

9). Below The Sun - "Alien World" (533)

What you get is nothing short of spectacular. The soundscape intersects multiple metal subgenres, including funeral doom, black metal, drone and post metal. Moods throughout are bleak, as if the rumbling seas of Solaris are flicking gently at your mind and bouncing your hopes and fears to and fro.

8). Blues Funeral - "Awakening" (624)

Close your eyes and you can hear hints of Mountain and Blue Oyster Cult throughout "Awakening." The rolling title track is a true showcase for how these inspirations have shaped the Texas band. Such attention to the details most people probably never notice further ensures a level of quality that may surprise you. Not only is the music masterfully played, but nothing overpowers the composition

7). Red Mountains - "Slow Wander" (658) is so refreshing to find a release that is all at once heavy, accessible and frankly beautiful in its construction.

6). Ledge - "Cold Hard Concrete" (700)

“Cold Hard Concrete" is that uneasy masterpiece you will value even more by year's end.

5). Pyrrhon - "What Passes for Survival" (796)

"What Passes for Survival" is an uncompromising album and you will learn that fast, right out of the gate.  It is impossible to listen to Pyrrhon's magnificent new release, without admiring the band's fearlessness and technical prowess.  This album is exactly what extreme metal doubters need to hear.

4). Weed Demon - "Astrological Passages" (1040)

Weed Demon is quite willing to show they can do a diverse attack that goes beyond a Melvins-ish crunch. It can definitely throttle you with heavy, sludged out guitars and drums. Yet, as you find on "Primordial Genocide" and elsewhere, Weed Demon can go from blasting to burrowing with its arrangements, zipping from fast to slow, metal to a variation on math rock, smoothly.

3). Devil Electric - "Devil Electric" (1097)

Although you'll not find a swerve or anything wildly disparate, Devil Electric is nonetheless entrancing. In particular, the group is guaranteed to energize any fan of heavy blues reminiscent of Black Sabbath, The Allman Brothers and similar bands.

2). Venom Inc. - “Avé” (1128)

This record, is a triumph. Venom Inc. have produced a record more than worthy of the Venom name and it contains some of the best and most “Venom” moments since the early 80's. I cannot praise or recommend this record enough to fans of Venom or just metal in general. The songs, performances and production all deliver.

1). Accept - "The Rise Of Chaos" (1407)

“The Rise of Chaos” is precise, prescient, presented superbly in terms of artwork and production and, more importantly, rocks as hard as anything I have heard this year. A tour de force.

A big thank you as always to our amazing writers, your dedication knows no boundaries and for that I am truly grateful.  August 2017’s SOUR 16 features reviews by:  Richard Maw, Daniel Jackson, Charlie Butler, Mark Ambrose, Mark Tremblay & Ernesto Aguilar