Is it poor taste to write a eulogy for 2016 in album titles with the deaths of so many prominent names in pop music?
“Violets are blue, unicorns are real. We’re coming aboard. Prepare to eat steel.”
This was my introduction to Thraenenkind and it was such a strong impression that it hit me hard back through their entire discography. Yet this album stuck with me. King Apathy progressed the Thraenenkind sound and defined their style of gothic metal. Incensed with powerful considerations to the times we live in it was a robust statement set in hyperbole, painted in vision and all while raging towards a resolution written in music. King Apathy was an album that sang between seas of nihilism and resolve luring the listener into a storm of suggestive emotions.
Tracks to check out: King Apathy, The Blood On Our Hands, Smokestacks and Concrete Walls
Sinner’s Delight EP
There are some bands that try to use sex appeal to amplify their simple brand and then there’s Junksista who use their combined sexiness to turn up the bass and welcome great tunes into the room. Sinner’s Delight was a risque step in the right direction considering all the facilitators of political correctness that are appropriating positions of censorship in government these days. An album that has its base in industrial but elevates it to more comprehensive levels of techno; it’s albums like this that make sex, drugs and dance great again.
Tracks to check out: Drug, How Deep Is My Love, Slow
03: Anaal Nathrakh
The Whole of the Law
Man I haven’t heard an album that mercilessly blends industrial elements with extreme metal this fine since Red Harvests’ Cold Dark Matter. Except now Anaal Nathrakh have pushed the benchmark into wholly new territories of epic and it’s now going to be a tough comparison to whatever follows. The spooky action of the industrial components are enough to get the hairs raised on the back of your neck but couple that with the incendiary riffs raging out from the speakers, and this album is like an ACME bomb that will leave your hairs grey and face black with soot, when its in-your-face rhythms commence is bliss.
Tracks to check out: Hold Your Children Close and Pray for Oblivion, …So We Can Die Happy, On Being A Slave
Honorable mention: Ulver
The wolves developed their legacy further with this pseudo-live album. Defying the constructs of recorded music and being both a technical and musical achievement. ATGCLVLSSCAP was recorded live from the stage during a series of improv performances in February MMXIV and it was then reworked in the studio to create this musical representation of a temporal anomaly. It’s a truly unique almost-bootleg experience and although I didn’t get to review it if I did it’d get a grand 11 out of 10.
Tracks to check out: Press play. When the album finishes press play again, and again.
When I’m gone I’m going to haunt these shores like a banshee, singing in the wind, carrying all these good memories into the future to trick the then brooding populace into thinking happiness was a tangible substance.
Four bands and it was fun for all. It was a big occasion for me seeing Marduk. When I was fifteen my band mates (from Demonic Rising) and I scrapped enough cash to go and see Old Marmaduke play in the Catty (The Cathouse.) It was a great night and introduced us to the mighty poetry of Dornenreich who were supporting that tour. Anyway Marduk came on, and before I go on you have to admire the dedication to the fans here, but the lead singer Legion wasn’t feeling very well that night and after a couple of tracks vomited on stage. Now you might think that that’s pretty sick and metal but no. The poor guy had to rest and the band announced that they couldn’t go on. Lovely people though they had the courage to thank everyone for coming as we left. It may have taken me a further fifteen years to finally see an entire Marduk set but it was worth it. Plus they played some of my favourites from Nightwing!
02: Lacuna Coil
The Garage, Glasgow 15/11/16
Another band that I would have chopped your limbs off, cut out your organs and sold your Nan to see when I was fifteen. Luckily maturity has taught me much and now I know where to find buyers for viscera. It was the final show I was at this year so in a sense it was my send off to 2016 . Lacuna Coil are such a unique entity now and they’ve changed so much from their very first EP but what hasn’t changed is the passion that these guys have for making music. It’s definitely apparent in their live show and just seeing such a strong and defiant band (they are the great Italian trendkill) playing together was inspirational.
Audio, Glasgow 18/09/2016
For some reason I can’t get Empathy Test out of my mind, but that’s besides the point. It was Meshes first time playing up north and it was so good to hear and see them live that I got the T-Shirt. A genuinely nice experience, and as humble as they were, they were so tight that I was sure that someone had dumped a years supply of Botox in the fog machine. Couple that with the unearthly sounds of Aesthetic Perfection and I felt like I was on the moon, or at least my tummy did. It was like meeting new friends with Mesh leading the crowd, engaging with us, encouraging us to participate and join them. It was no singing kettle but I’m so glad I got that T.
Honorable mention: Resistanz Festival
The Corporation, Sheffield 25-27/03/16
So long and thanks for all the kitsch.
P.S. Please return in the near future.
P.P.S. I love you.