A Look Back At 2009

It seems I’m having trouble remembering what happened in 2009, all I can assess is there was an onslaught of forgettable albums baring a few exceptions. So I will have to look back and work out what the fuck happened.

The big one this year seems to have been Mastodon, Mastodon have been a band that have been forced down our necks for around about 5 years now, every year some journalist with an itchy trigger finger claims they are ready to break out and become huge stars. The only people who seem to believe this are the egocentric Band members. However they always seem to end up supporting Slayer or Metallica every year in some horrible tour package that no one asked for, during which they manage to show just how scared they are to be in a venue bigger then a local supermarket. If you read Metal magazines you will know that according to the magazines every year about 3 albums come out that hold up to the standard of the new Rein in Blood or Master of Puppets, Mastodon managed to receive that brand this year with what I can only assess as a good enough album being severely overhyped leading to their own tour in which they used visuals to draw attention away from their boring immobile stage presence. Mastodon will soon be conducting a tour in even bigger venues with the hype surrounding their album a distant memory, let’s see how the Luke warm response leaves them opening for Slayer yet again. Hopefully it will soon dawn on the Metal journalist that even with severe hype, very little people actually care about them.

A Look Back At 2009

And yes what of Slayer?, Slayer ironically also received the clichéd Rein in Blood tag this year, yet are now playing venues much smaller than usual, the reason being, everyone and their dog has fucking seen them, along with the fact their albums in the last ten years are mediocre at best. Their most recent offering titled “World Painted Blood” is the same lack lustre material from the crippled dinosaurs showing promise every few songs for less than 5 seconds. They inevitably fall back into the same shit they have been doing for the last 15 years and they will probably get a Grammy for it. But that’s Thrash for you.

Thrash has been an odd one this year due to the “thrash revival” being a mere blip on the screen as most expected, however Kreator released an amazing album which showed up any of the new bands on the scene. However “Sepultura” released a concept album which proved overall pretty embarrassing. Megadeth also pleased fans with their offering this year with a return to form in “Endgame”. The ones who gained the most from the thrash revival hype this year is probably Municipal Waste who are a band bland enough on record who somehow manage to explode in a live setting. Evile also did well out of the hype realising a second album with mixed reviews (Personally I never rated them on either of their albums) however recent events make it hard to foresee their future with any clarity. The Death of their bassist will either put them in a spotlight for long enough to solidify their future, or lead them back into the depths of obscurity. Never the less, this all seems a bit familiar. Upcoming Thrash band loose bassist and now have possibilities of stardom.

On the more experimental front there have been some good contenders for best album of the year, Kylesa’s “Static Tensions” has been constantly in my player which maybe why the other realises have been a blur to me, seeing them play live this year under Clutch was one of the definite highlights.

However Church of Misery where the band who gave the best onstage performance I think I have ever seen, leaving legends Electric Wizard looking tame the night after, and Church of Misery’s phenomenal album “Houses of the Unholy” is a fitting tribute to that old bluesy sound found in the recesses of the indulgent 70’s yet somehow its approached with a new sense of fury that leads to intense fuzzed out listening.

Super group Shrinebuilder gave everyone something to look forward too. Composed of members of Neurosis, Sleep, Om and of course everyone’s favourite, Wino. Delivering a fairly short however beautiful self titled album, the only flaw I can see is with a line-up like that there was no way for them to live up to the extreme expectations.

Death metal has had a incredibly shaky year so much so that I can very close to just abandoning the genre, the doors to slam opened this year leading to an extreme number of bands playing what appear to be the exact same songs. Also apathetic fans have lead to many long running promoters in Britain simply packing up and quitting. Strangely this comes at a time in which previously ignored UK bands are signed to fairly big labels. One shining moment however arrived what I heard a band called Fleshgod Apocalypse deliver a new side to Death Metal restoring my faith in the genre, however its aware to me that this is a band that I can’t help but overhype so I will say very little and you can go listen to them for yourself.

Immortal have returned this year with another new album, their comeback “Sons of Northern Darkness” shocked people for its accessibility whilst still remaining fairly true to the genre, not to mention it was an amazing album, well they have done it again this year with “All Shall Fall” whilst not being as epic as its predecessor it’s still worth a few spins at least.

Well that’s it, there is more but I have no will to go on so I’ll leave you with the tired typical list of albums I think where decent this year, turns out I remember more than I thought, but it’s been a long year and I don’t want to relive it anymore, here’s to another boring forgettable year.

Kreator “Hordes of Chaos”
Kylesa “Static Tensions”
Church of Misery “Houses of the Unholy”
Ancestors “Of Sound Mind”
Fleshgod Apocalypse “Oracles”
Astra “The Wierding”
Immortal “All Shall Fall”
La Coka Nostra “A Brand You Can Trust”
ShrineBuilder “ShrineBuilder”
Black Pyramid “Black Pyramid”

Scribed by: Drian Nash