1. Beastmilk ‘Climax’ (Svart Records)
I’d heard people raving about this and seen the article in the Guardian, so my interest was already peaked upon this dropping into my inbox. I must admit, it didn’t hook me on first listen, however, once it got me it got me hard and I’ve not been able to turn it off since. I will inevitably make myself sick of this album at some point, but until then I’m happy to enjoy the hybrid of Joy Division meets Queens of the Stone Age.
2. Chelsea Wolfe ‘Pain Is Beauty’ (Sargent House)
Chelsea Wolfe is a pretty recent discovery for me – I’d heard other people talking about her music for the last year or so and never gotten around to checking her out, mainly because I thought she’d just be a passing fad. However, I checked this album out about a month after it was released and have listened to barely anything else since then. Chelsea, you’ve made a fan for life.
3. Light Bearer ‘Silver Tongue’ (Halo Of Flies)
Light Bearer, for me, are one of the most emotive metal bands out there; their debut full length ‘Lapsus’ stole my heart and ‘Silver Tongue’ had me wet-eyed and goose pimpled on just my first listen. This band are a pleasure to listen to both live and on record and I’m eagerly anticipating a third release.
4. Crown ‘Psychurgy’ (Candlelight)
I was originally given this to review and wasn’t expecting much – I was totally blown away on first listen and completely went out of my way to make sure I got to interview the band by any means possible. Honestly one of the most crushing experiences live and I genuinely don’t care that they use a drum machine – the rest of the music more than makes up for it.
5. Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats ‘Mind Control’ (Rise Above)
Another favourite of mine; while this release may not have the same garage rock charm as the previous album, it’s still good fun and eerily psychedelic. Recently watched these guys supporting Black Sabbath and I felt myself swell with pride at how far they’ve come – I watched them at their first ever London performance at the Garage and then again at Hellfest the same year – three pretty huge stepping stones in a short period of time. Super excited to see what they do next.
6. Cathedral ‘The Last Spire’ (Rise Above)
A big inclusion and a sad one for many – the last ever Cathedral record; admittedly not their best work, but still a corker due to tracks such as ‘Cathedral of the Damned’ and ‘Pallbearer’. I’m including this on my list for sentimental reasons.
7. Windhand ‘Soma’ (Relapse)
This was bound to happen really, wasn’t it? No surprises here, Windhand consistently release good material and are excellent live, so I knew before I’d listened that this would inevitably end up on my album of the year list, and here it is!
8. High Priest Of Saturn – S/T (Svart Records)
Another promo to drop randomly into my inbox and take me totally by surprise; dreamy, ethereal sounding doom from Norway – I fall in love with this record all over again every time I play it. It’s wickedly haunting and bridges a gap between retro 70’s psychedelia and 21st century metal.
9. Demon Lung ‘The Hundredth Name’ (Candlelight)
One of the best bands Candlelight has taken on this year. I cannot get over Shanda’s vocals – totally androgynous and perfectly pitched. The pinchy-death metal guitar squeals are what really make this special though. This has the advantage of being gruesome and pretty all at once. It was love at first listen.
10. Age Of Taurus ‘Desperate Souls Of Tortured Times’ (Rise Above)
What a debut! ‘Walk With Me My Queen’ is an absolute belter. This album is a pleasure to listen to and even more so to write about. I can imagine this being the sort of record I put on in 10 years’ time and it won’t have aged a day; absolutely perfect and ideal if you enjoy massive, miserable-sounding riffs.
Scribed by: Angela Davey