My Top 5 albums of 2012 so far

1. Gojira – ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’

After giving it a 10/10, there are no regrets. Gojira continue to crush in their unique blend of death metal chuggery and calming interludes.

2. Asphyx – ‘Deathhammer’

The legends of the death/doom scene returned with their eighth full length and continue to do what they do best, crushing riffs, however this time with a slightly thrashy twist.

3. Gorod – ‘A Perfect Absolution’

Despite being one of the first releases of 2012, this album has still stuck with me. The technicality by the French  is flawless and the additional jazz parts make it hard to forget.

4. Meshuggah – ‘Koloss’

Does this really need an explanation? Meshuggah are finally back and they haven’t lost their touch as they continue to show up any other djent wannabes.

5. Goatwhore – ‘Blood for the Master’

Goatwhore celebrated their fifteenth anniversary with a beast of an album, however the stars still stay underrated despite a blackened death masterpiece that’s hard to pinpoint.

Close behind these choices were: Ihshan, Flayed Disiciple, Testament, Nachtvorst

 

My album of the week: Ulver – ‘Blood Inside’ [2005]

 

Despite the fact I have access to new releases and will review these on command, there is always one particular album that my iPod stumbles upon and a joyful reunion is had. After a morning of drunken repercussions and general illness, I desperately needed something to remove me from reality in a calm manner, without zoning me out completely and that’s when I was reacquainted with Ulver’s ‘Blood Inside’.

Ulver – ‘Blood Inside’

Ulver may have been around in the same times as church burnings and corpse paint, but were never dragged into the controversy or the clichéd sound coined in the second wave of Norwegian black metal. Instead, the Oslo-based outlet used their large discography to twist and turn through several sounds and styles without losing their fans along the way. The earlier work consisting of environmentally friendly folk and black metal quickly changed along with the line up to film soundtracks and their more recent releases show experiments into avant-garde and electronica.

‘Blood Inside’ was released in 2005 and not the first time original member and leader of the band Garm had blended electronic influences into his often industrial sounds, however it is a prime example of keeping a creepy and sinister atmosphere. Opener ‘Dressed in Black’ throws you into the abyss straight away with bizarre chanting vocals, and the official video confirms the artistic beauty of this album. ‘Christmas’ aptly uses bells however cries out more for Halloween than holidays, whilst the latter of the record continues to confuse with trip hop, jazz and black metal sculpted into a truly ethereal atmosphere.

Normally when a band creates such a hybrid of sounds, one may complain they did not know what it was they were trying to create but that is why ‘Blood Inside’ is so wonderful. Each crazy part of the creativity is purposely planned out and structured to create a layered album, which is about a million times more enjoyable than other layered objects, such as an onion.