I like reading other peoples ‘end of year’ lists just in case there is something on there that I’ve missed. Why, just this year alone I discovered the rather wonderful Colin Stetson via some list or other, and I’m sure there’ll be other gems I’ll stumble across soon enough via the same method too.
However, I just can’t really be arsed to do such a list myself. My memory for dates and names etc is shocking, so I can never be sure exactly when something came out. Add to that the fact that I am a musical and cultural omnivore and the sheer breadth of scope that is open to me is a little overwhelming. So, rather than do a ‘Definitive Top 10 of 2011’, I’m just gonna mention a few things vaguely relevant to The Sleeping Shaman that I really enjoyed, in no particular order.
Hammers of Misfortune‘s 17th Street knocked my socks off, as did Alaric and The Haxan Cloak‘s self-titled debuts too.Vektor‘s Outer Isolation, Shroud Eater‘s ThunderNoise, Yob‘s Atma, Opeth‘s Heritage, Valborg‘s Barbarian and Amebix‘ Sonic Mass were also quality listens. Also, every single thing that Expo’70 released this year was, as ever, solid gold.
As far as things that I reviewed here, The Clearing by Locrian, Knights In White Phosphorus by Hot Graves, Sulaco‘s Build And Burn, Leather Nun America‘s Kult Occult, The Book of Knots‘ Garden Of Fainting Stars, Aseethe‘s Reverent Burden, Exemption‘s Public Cemetary Party, Pombagira‘s mighty Iconoclast Dream, Mark D‘s The Value of Decay, Belong‘s Common Era, just about everything released by Drainland this year and that c*nt Catten‘s album all still receive regular play here. Oh, and Roadburn was fucking ace.
In non-Shamanic areas David Lynch‘s Crazy Clown Time, Tom Waits‘ Bad As Me, Peter Gabriel‘s New Blood, Emeralds Does It Look Like I’m Here, Hive Mind‘s Elemental Disgrace, Animals As Leaders‘ mind-boggling Weightless, Zola Jesus‘ Conatus and Emika‘s self-titled debut all got played to death by me, along with however many things Mater Suspiria Vision put out. I can’t remember, it seemed like quite a lot.
Best new discovery this year for me was Fielded, the solo project of Lindsay Powell, from folk-duo Festival, and previously known as Cake Bake Betty. Truly beautiful and ethereal stuff.
Now, I don’t need to scry in my magick mirror to tell you that as far as 2012 goes, the chances of there being a better album than Loincloth‘s Fancy Tech-Doom behemoth Iron Balls Of Steel are pretty damn slim. Seriously. That’s my tip for next year.
Scribed by: Paul Robertson