Wednesday 1 November 2017

TOP 16 ALBUMS: The Sour 16 (October 2017)

Allow yourself to indulge in a hefty dose of riffs, because it is time to present 16 of the best albums from September, 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 on the amount of page views the reviews have received and are then calibrated into the list below.  All reviews can be viewed by clicking the artwork and we have included album streams wherever possible. (Total views since their publication are highlighted in the red)

16). Belus - "Apophenia" (710)

“Apophenia” is a breathtaking experience, a challenging listen, and an auspicious first entry from one of the few bands with the audacity to experiment and the chops to pull it off.

15). Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – “Vol. 1” (Reissue) (744)

Imperfect though it may be, "Vol. 1" is a fascinating introduction to Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats' bold vision

14). Unsane - "Sterilize" (756)

 This is a flawless collection of bile-soaked missives that set the standard for riff-heavy, ugly noise rock in 2017

13). Gruntruck - "Gruntruck" (812)

Gruntruck straddles that line between heavy, melodic, and noisey, not afraid to venture into Pearl Jam territory when it feels like it, then take a hard left and land somewhere near the sound of Alice In Chains.  Listening to “Gruntruck”, I think I finally understand what grunge was about.  Sure it was a trend, but bands like this just wanted to rock.  And that’s what this record does. 

12). Wormwood - "Mooncurse" (892)

Wormwood's performance on "Mooncurse" is doom in the purest sense. Purposeful pacing and incredibly weighty riffs aplenty.  As you make your way to "Passage of Fire," Wormwood's greatest traits are on full display: an impeccable grasp of timing, dark musical sequences and undefeatable heaviness

11). Blackfinger - "When Colors Fade Away" (934)

I cannot find anything to fault here. Blackfinger have delivered nine tracks of trad doom with style and finesse. Eric Wagner has put his name to another excellent doom album and this is recommended to any fans of Trouble, The Skull, Saint Vitus, The Obsessed and so on out there

10). Sarke - "Viige Urh" (952)

“Viige Urh” ignites stronger than the incineration of flames; forcefully ascends high up to Valhalla— it is a projection of eternality, packed up in a form of eight tracks as ferocious as incendiaries. 

09). Merchant - "Beneath" (987)

If you’re a fan of heavy sludge, doom, and death/doom, I don’t see how you could possibly not dig this album. The production is amazing and the tone is ultra-heavy. The drums pound mercilessly, the bass hits like a 50 pound maul, and the vocals pull it all together perfectly. Give this a listen now.

08). Iron Monkey - "9-13" (1383)

"9-13" offers a shredding sludge attack and is a violent rejoinder of why Iron Monkey got its reputation as a doom/sludge vanguard. All these years later, Iron Monkey remains gritty and uncompromising. Predictions for a return were invariably high. "9-13" does not blow those expectations out of the water. Nor does Iron Monkey disappoint. For that, there's much to smile about.

07). Bell Witch - "Mirror Reaper" (1440)

With "Mirror Reaper," the music conveys the reflection back of life and of death; literally that the Grim Reaper is a facsimile of the cycle of life. As with anything Bell Witch, though, such a realization is not engaged with in a fashion that rips at the pain of loss or terror, but rather builds into a deeper, though no less excoriating, meditation on the passage of time

06). Stonebirds - "Time" (1510)

The group merges many influences into a package that still sounds true to the subgenre. Stonebirds is adept at exploring concepts in their music that make it even more intriguing. To put it simply, the trio is one of the Europe's more intriguing stoner/doom performers today. "Time," far exceeds expectations and situates Stonebirds as a band to keep an eye on.

05). Pänzer - "Fatal Command" (1738)

This is a similar beast to their debut- powerful but with melody, hard driving but never out and out thrash. If you are a fan of Priest, Hammerfall, Accept and of course Destruction, there will be plenty for you to enjoy here. Classic heavy metal with a modern stainless steel sheen.

04). Enslaved - ‘E’ (2045)

‘E’ could very well be the foundation for yet another great era in a discography that is already ludicrously loaded with top-tier albums.  It is a  shift made with finesse and the second half of “Storm Son” could be the basis for a whole new era of Enslaved on its own.

03). All Pigs Must Die - "Hostage Animal" (2179)

The riffs are ceaseless as Wentworth and Izzi vary from much faster chords into a war chorus of tonality. And the results are gripping at every second. It, like previous selections, is potent with APMD's militancy. Best of all, APMD made the wait well worth it.

02). Blut Aus Nord - "Deus Salutis Meae" (2381)

What is truly most evident is an extreme music group that will not be bound to definitions, or at least is willing to experiment to ascend beyond what we think we know of a genre.

01). Primitive Man - "Caustic" (2989)

"Caustic" is an ambitious project, among the band's longest and most complex to date. Like their past work, the group explores nihilism in sound that rivals some of the most hopeless metal you've heard. That unrelenting quicksand of guitars and bass is here, as are those vocals of your nightmares.  Primitive Man offer up some of its most excellent music to date, making this sprawling and charging full length worth the wait.

A big thank you as always to our amazing writers, your dedication knows no boundaries and for that I am truly grateful.  October 2017’s “SOUR 16” features reviews byRichard Maw, Andre Almaraz, Mark Ambrose, Ernesto Aguilar, Daniel Jackson, Theron Moore, Charlie Bulter & Ralka Skjerseth