Top 10 albums of 2013

It's been a while since I've been here. Let's just say the last 5 months weren't good for me. Probably some of the worst times of my life. But I'm eager to put them behind me so let's run down my top ten albums from 2013.

10. Sacriphyx - The Western Front

Aussie death metal with a war theme.

Samples: Fatal Fromelles, Without a Trace, Food for the Front

Buy it: http://nuclearwarnowproductions.bandcamp.com/album/the-western-front

9. Spiritual Beggars - Earth Blues

Pure 70s tribute. If you like Uriah Heep, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, etc, get this album.

Samples: Dreamer, Turn the Tide, Legends Collapse

Buy it: http://www.amazon.com/Earth-Blues-Spiritual-Beggars/dp/B00C7APVU0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1388445736&sr=8-2&keywords=earth+blues

8. Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum

Black Sabbath worship from Japan. If you like riffs, you'll like this.

Samples: B.T.K, Brother Bishop, Düsseldorf Monster

Buy it: http://www.riseaboverecords.com/store/church-of-misery-thy-kingdom-scum/

7. Gotsu Totsu Kotsu - Legend of Shadow

Round 2 from Japan, this time some really good death metal. Well the band calls themselves "samurai metal" but we all know that's just silly.

Samples: Harakiri, 203, Saigo no Rakujitsu, Marishiten

Buy it: You have to import. Amazon Japan will ship to international addresses.

6. Lychgate - Lychgate

Creepy black metal with some great organ usage.

Samples: Sceptre to Control the World, Against the Paradoxical Guild, Dust of a Gun Barrel

Buy it: http://mordgrimm.bandcamp.com/album/lychgate

5. Chthonic - Bú-Tik

Asian invasion continues with this melodic black/death offering from Taiwan.

Samples: Sail Into the Sunset's Fire, Defenders of Bú-Tik Palace, Next Republic, Rage of My Sword

Buy it: https://itunes.apple.com/fi/album/bu-tik/id644487492?l=en

4. Obliteration - Black Death Horizon

If you like old Autopsy or Asphyx, you'll love this.

Samples: Black Death Horizon, The Distant Sun (They Are the Key)

Buy it: http://blackdeathhorizon.bandcamp.com/releases

3. Satan's Host - Virgin Sails

Power metal with an attitude.

Samples: Infinite Impossibilities, Island of the Giant Ants

Buy it: Moribund Store

2. Warlord - The Holy Empire

Manowar, Manilla Road, Fates Warning. If those names put a smile on your face, you owe it to yourself to get this.

Samples: 70,000 Sorrows, Thy Kingdom Come, Glory, The Holy Empire

Buy it: Warlord's Store

1. Ningen-Isu - Mandoro

And so ends my list with yet another Japanese album. I stumbled across this band a few months ago, just in time to get their discography imported for Christmas. It's a hefty price but oh so worth it. This latest album is their seventeenth release and it continues their unprecedented run of awesome records. Seriously, not one of their records is a skunk, they're all great. I have no idea how these guys aren't metal legends by now or how they don't have some kind of western distribution deal. Do whatever it takes to get your hands on this and all their albums.

Only one song on Youtube but it's great: Kuroyuri Nikki

Buy it: Same as GTK, you have to import. But please, please, please don't let that stop you.

There you have it. See you around.

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A harrowing tale of survival - not for the faint of heart

The flames were all around me, escape was impossible. I fell to my knees, slammed my fists into the ground and sank my head down. This was it, my life was over. Anger took me and I raised my head. My eyes locked onto the raging inferno just metres away. I screamed and charged, determined to be beaten on my own terms. I wasn't about to wait for my death. I cocked my fist back, aiming to plunge it into the fire.

A few of you might know that my town was under threat from a forest fire last week. We were evacuated and I had to stay in some housing complex for 2 nights. The town is fine, no one got hurt as far as I know. Only damage was to people's cabins out in the boons. The fire was always a low risk of damaging the town, the only reason they evacuated us was the air quality. The room I stayed in only had 1 bed so my brother had to sleep on the floor the first night (perks of being an older brother - you get the bed). He went to stay with friends after that. Me, I sat in that room with nothing to do for 2 days except watch The Naked Gun over and over. And let me tell you: I faked every motherfucking orgasm. Usually I'd have a friend to stay with but he was on vacation. When the evacuation order was lifted, we half expected to find our house had been looted but thankfully nothing was stolen. We're still under a state of emergency since the fire's not out but I doubt anything will come of it again. If I could travel back in time, I'd warn Julius Caesar. Then I'd tell myself not to evacuate, it was a waste of time. At least I'd tell myself to bring more damn movies.

Anyway, thanks to those who expressed concern and junk.

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My town smells like a campfire

So there's this big forest fire near my town. We're on evacuation notice and officials might have to cut the power for safety reasons, whatever that means. There's a ton of smoke in town right now, I can sometimes barely see 500 metres out my window. There's a huge mine across a lake that is clearly visible year-round that is now completely shrouded in smoke. Here's the situation if you want to read for yourself: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2013/06/28/nl-wabush-forest-fire-628.html

If you don't hear from me for a while, I probably burned to death. Or got evacuated, whatever.

Where's Denis Leary when you need him? Hell, I'll take Howie Long.

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2013 in metal

If you are going to share a Youtube video, please hyperlink it instead of embedding. Too many embedded Youtube videos can destroy browsers.

2013 is here and with it comes sonic pleasures... or something. I'd like this to be the spot for all of Giant Bomb's denizens to discuss this years' metal offerings. Here I'll keep an updated(I'm thinking every 7-10 days) list of the stuff that I like and you can put the stuff you like the comments(and after that we can go to my house and play trucks if you want). This won't be exclusive to LPs - I'll list EPs and splits if they're cool. No singles, singles are useless. OPINIONS. Anyway, here's my list:

NEW

(split)Dodsengel/Nightbringer - Circumambulations of the Solar Inferno (black metal) | BC

Black Metal

Monarque - Lys Noir | CD

Lychgate - Lychgate | BC

(EP)Riul Doamnei - A Christmas Carol | Free from their website!

Thorngoth - Schwarz-Karg-Kalt | Amazon MP3/CD

Chaos Invocation - Black Mirror Hours | CD

(EP)Arescet - The Crackling of Embers | BC

(EP)Kozeljnik - Null: The Acheron of Multiform Negation | BC

Černá - Restoring Life | BC

Death Metal

Necroblation - Ablation of Death | BC

Ade - Spartacus | BC

(EP)Pyrithion - The Burden of Sorrow | CD

(EP)Brutality - Ruins of Humans | Amazon MP3/CD

Defeated Sanity - Passages Into Deformity | BC

Suffocation - Pinnacle of Bedlam | Amazon MP3/iTunes

In Vain - Ænigma | Amazon MP3/Klicktrack

Doom/Stoner/Sludge

Entropia - Vesper | BC

Steak Number Eight - The Hutch | Amazon MP3/Klicktrack

Inter Arma - Sky Burial | BC

Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum | CD

Whelm - A Gaze Blank and Pitiless as the Sun | BC

The Fall of Every Season - Amends | Amazon MP3/iTunes

Spiritual Beggars - Earth Blues | Amazon MP3/CD

Procession - To Reap Heavens Apart | Amazon MP3/iTunes

Heavy/Progressive

Intronaut - Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones) | Amazon MP3/CD

Persefone - Spiritual Migration | BC

Warlord - The Holy Empire | Amazon MP3/CD

Satan - Life Sentence | CD

Giant Bomb user AndrewGPM is in Unsacred Seed. Check our their debut album here.

I've been waiting for The Fall of Every Season to do something new for years. His first album From Below is quite different from the new one but if you like gloomy death/doom, check it out, it's amazing.

I'd also like to highlight a band by the name of Howling. They put an album out in 2013. It's decent but not really remarkable. Why am I talking about them then? Their logo is best thing I've ever seen. Look at this fucking thing:

If I were to ever get a tattoo, this would be it. Fucking glorious.

The album art for A Beast Conceived is pretty great too but it's NSFW. BOOBIES!

Go forth and listen!

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Metal Showcase - Dissection

I listen to a lot of metal. My favorite thing to do is search around for new and exciting bands to listen to. So I thought I'd help out some fellow listeners by showcasing a band for people to check out. I won't be posting these on a regular basis - it might be 2-3 in a week or 1 in 2 weeks. I'm not going to go for solely underground shit, either. Some of it will be obscure, yes, but I'll also have some more well-known stuff to give a nice mix.

Today's band is Dissection. They're perhaps most famous for guitarist/vocalist Jon Nödtveidt's suicide. It's believed he killed himself because he thought he had achieved all he could in life. Anyway, Dissection released 3 albums - The Somberlain('93), Storm of the Light's Bane('95) and Reinkaωs('06). My personal favorite is Storm of the Light's Bane. If you like black metal their first two albums are amazing. Reinkaωs is a different style - melodic death metal. Not my favorite. Here are some songs:

Black Horizons (The Somberlain)

Night's Blood (Storm of the Light's Bane)

Black Dragon (Reinkaωs)

If you have a band that you'd like me to check out go right ahead and share it. Also if you have a genre that you'd like a new band for just ask and I'll give you some recommendations. I'm most knowledgeable about doom, death and black. I don't know shit about "core" anything so don't even ask.

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10 best albums of 2012

10. Desecravity - Implicit Obidence (technical brutal death metal)

Japan has always been an interesting place for metal. They usually have too many keyboards for my taste but there's none of that to be found here. Really good old school DM vocals.

9. Monolithe - Monolithe III (funeral doom metal)

This latest album moves away from the funeral sound a little bit but I didn't mind, it's still exceptional doom. I can't link the song(Monolithe albums are 1 song) since it isn't on Youtube but their first 2 albums are if you want to see what they're about.

8. Carach Angren - Where the Corpses Sink Forever (symphonic black metal)

There are a lot of junky bands in this genre. Carach Angren aren't one of them.

7. Hour of Penance - Sedition (technical brutal death metal)

Hide your kids and hide your wife, this shit doesn't hold any punches.

6. Napalm Death - Utilitarian (grindcore)

Yep.

5. My Dying Bride - A Map of All Our Failures (gothic doom metal)

Songs of Darkness, Words of Light is one of my favorite albums ever. This isn't as good but it's certainly better than anything they've put out since that 2004 masterpiece.

4. Evoken - Atra Mors (funeral doom metal)

Atra Mors may seem like a relatively safe album for such a veteran of the genre but whatever, it fucking owns. This album also holds the distinction of having my favorite album cover of the year.

3. Finsterforst - Rastlos (folk metal)

There's a lot of stuff going on here and it's really a testament to their musicianship that it doesn't all fall apart. Woodwinds, accordions, nature samples, brass, EVERYTHING. There's also a liberal dash of black metal that I really enjoyed.

2. Cattle Decapitation - Monolith of Inhumanity (death metal/grindcore)

I never really dug any of Cattle Decapitation's other stuff. The Harvest Floor was getting closer to something I'd really like but something was missing. This isn't missing anything. An addicting vocal diversity, crushing riffs and some of the best drumming I heard this year all combine to make a death metal masterpiece. If you like death metal at all, listen to this.

1. Bastard Sapling - Dragged From Our Restless Trance (black metal)

Hey, look at me, I picked an obscure BM album to be my AotY, aren't I cool?

There you have it. 2012 was fucking awesome, getting this down to 10 was difficult. I was going to add pictures to lessen the wall of text effect but when I tried to do this last week the pictures kept breaking the formatting, it was annoying. Feel free to share your favorites. Happy new year and shit.

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Horror Movie of the Week -Sep 7, 2012-

Sorry for being late this week, my internet was down for a couple days and some other stuff (DotA 2) got in the way of me watching a movie. But I watched a movie last night so here we are.

That movie was Night of the Creeps. trailer

It's about some alien stuff that gets to Earth in the 50s. The Government presumably intervenes and keeps a person infected by the alien thing in stasis until a couple decades later two kids unleash it. Oops. The aliens are like these little slugs that squirm around and try to get into your mouth and turn you into a zombie until they fully multiply - at which point they burst out of you. Pretty devious.

I liked it. It's got some tone issues. It's generally light hearted fun but there's some weird stuff with the cop's background and some character development that's gets a little grimly serious. I don't really know how to categorize it. It's got some campy fun like Return of the Living Dead and it has more serious moments like Night of the Living Dead. There's also a weird thing where all of the main characters are named after Horror icons(Well, minus Cameron, I guess.). There's a Romero, a Cronenberg, a Raimi and a Carpenter/Hooper crossbreed. Also, the University is named "Corman University" - an obvious reference to the king of B movies, Roger Corman. I don't know how I feel about it.

The actors are fine. The ever-reliable Tom Atkins (Halloween 3, The Fog) plays a cop with a dark past who has a penchant for drinking whiskey and smoking. He's the stand out. The rest are alright if a little stiff at times.

I give it 3 cats that scare you because you think there's a zombie outside your door, out of 5. Some decent action towards the end and the effects are pretty nice. Watch it. Or don't, what do I care?

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Horror movie of the week! -Aug 28, 2012-

Hello again, gentlemen and ladies, it's time for another horror movie. This week's movie isn't exactly scary but it does spoof some horror cliches in a fun way so I dunno. I didn't have much time to watch movies this week and this was all I watched so deal with it.

The movie was Tucker and Dale vs Evil. No trailer this week since the ones I found gave too much away.

I'm torn. The first half is amazing. The second half kinda crawls up its own ass and by the end it starts using some old horror movie cliches. It's hard to talk specifically. They spoof bad horror movies, basically. And by bad I mean formulaic. In the first 5 minutes I was strapping in for a piece of shit movie with piss poor characters, ABC plot structure and shoddy acting. It's not that at all. It has some decent laughs, nice characters and a little bit of heart. My favorite character is Tucker, played by Firefly alumni Alan Tudyk(the pilot). He's an unpretentious countryman who likes to fish, drink beer and hang out with his buddy. What's not to like? The whole cast is decent with some minor exceptions. I didn't care for the female lead much. Small complaint.

Like I said, I'm torn. I really like the first half but the second isn't quite up to that standard. One day it might be 3 and others it might be 4. It depends on which half I remember first. Today I'm thinking about how much I like the first half, so here it is:

4 hillbilly psychopaths out of 5. Check it out for some good laughs. It's especially good if you've seen a decent amount of slasher films. Enjoy!

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