Friday, 8 December 2017

TOP 16 ALBUMS: THE SOUR 16 (November 2017)

As we enter the countdown to Christmas and with a mere 17 days to go 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 top16 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). Sect“No Cure for Death” (823)

Sect have set the standard for hardcore music and what it should aspire to in 2017. If you’re looking to heavy music with a message, look no further than “No Cure for Death”.

15). Slabdragger & Wren - “Mothers Of The Beef And The Magic Of Invention” [Split] (874)

Both bands deliver the best kind of cover version; one that takes the source material and imbues it with their own unique spirit to create something new and exciting.  An essential purchase for any fans of the UK heavy underground and maybe it’ll turn some old Zappa and Beefheart heads towards the sludgier side of life too

14). Cannibal Corpse - "Red Before Black" (938)

Once again, Cannibal Corpse have crushed all in their wake and returned as conquering anti-heroes of the death metal genre.  Cannibal Corpse remain the death metal band by which many other death metal bands are judged and remain my go-to band of choice if I want to listen to something extreme, violent, uncompromising and also oddly, inexplicably, insanely listenable.

13). Hooded Priest - "The Hour Be None" (959)

This is doom metal that will appeal to anyone with a sense of theatre and anyone who wants to bang their head as well; there is some great metal on offer here. Huge and sprawling in its ambition, “The Hour Be None” is a doom tour de force and I recommend it highly.

12). Amenra - "Mass VI" (1054)

Amenra’s music is real and comes across as brutally honest. The formula (sonic + emotional heft) = (a heavy album) is one that’s been done many times before, but what Amenra does that sets them apart from the pack is the diligence they use when drinking from the well of inspiration. Amenra makes their listener feel and live with them. This keeps Amenra in touch with why they started making music in the first place. It’s this artistic integrity that helps make “Mass VI” what it is. 

11). Pale Horseman - "The Fourth Seal" (1084)

Pale Horseman offers a special sort of heft to their music, with mesmerizing guitars convulsing, vocals crunching  and the drums creating a war beat that is stifling in weight.

10). Fister & CHRCH“Fister/CHRCH” (Split LP) (1120)

Over the course of nearly forty minutes, CHRCH and Fister, employing different sonic palettes and lineups, craft a perfect split for the moment: unholy, polluted, funereal and dismal – a requiem for humanity’s end times that is as beautiful as it is ugly.

9). Manilla Road - "To Kill A King" (1205)

In summary, To Kill A King is a superb and epic metal album, forged from the finest steel.

8). Dead Quiet“Grand Rites” (1255)

All of the nuance and balance on this record really make it an experience that never bogs the listener down. It is for these reasons, that Dead Quiet’s “Grand Rites” is one of the best Canadian Metal records of the year.

7). Purple Hill Witch - "Celestial Cemetery" (1256)

From the Deep Purple-indebted organ intro, to the bluesy pentatonic riffing, there’s no doubt that the latest LP from Norway’s Purple Hill Witch is pure retro-metal worship.  The pervasive garage metal swagger elevates some pretty raw material and proves that they have the chops to be a really excellent outlier in the doom metal underground

6). Clouds Taste Satanic - "The Glitter of Infinite Hell" (1381)

Clouds Taste Satanic’s blend of doom, stoner and sludge chords, capacious basslines and drums set an imposing climate that sets them  apart from their peers. Each cut here feels distilled down to the pitched greatness of its many influences. Guitars simmer like the hunt during a horror movie and by the albums conclusion, chances are your mind will be thoroughly mashed.

5). Converge - "The Dusk In Us" (1897)

Today, with random acts of violence, anger and pessimism dotting our timelines, maybe Converge just now seems like a soundtrack to our contemporary apocalypse

4). Godflesh - "Post Self" (2301)

It may be a disturbing, challenging last will and testament of humanity’s futurist hopes and dreams, but “Post Self” is an invigorating, complex, and honest piece of industrial metal.  Perhaps most importantly, in a genre that can be glutted with repetitive speed metal riffs and samples of shouting despots, Godflesh stands as one of the smartest bands working today.

3). Norilsk - "Le Passage des Glaciers" (2752)

French canadian doom duo Norilsk return from a two-year layoff with a surprising new album, one that gives a reengaged sound to the pair's signature style.  Norilsk manages to be bold without being alienating, and that is indeed refreshing.

2). Electric Wizard - "Wizard Bloody Wizard" (9121)

 “Wizard Bloody Wizard” transcends whatever the in-thing of the moment is, and focuses instead on musicianship, the album's all-analog approach creates a warm, vintage sound for the songs and on the whole Electric Wizard feels re-energized, whilst  remaining true to their seedy pedigree

1). Morbid Angel - "Kingdoms Disdained" (28760)

This album is a statement of intent, placing the focus on convulsive rhythm changes and dissonant, jagged riffs over accessibility.  ‘Kingdoms Disdained’ is Morbid Angel's most uncompromising album of their career and their best album in nearly twenty years, and I don’t consider that light praise.

A big thank you as always to our amazing writers, your dedication knows no boundaries and for that I am truly grateful.  Novembers 2017’s “SOUR 16” features reviews byRichard Maw, Ernesto Aguilar, Daniel Jackson, Mark Ambrose, Victor Van Ommen, Charlie Butler & Mark Tremblay