Sunday, January 8, 2012

2011 Honorary Mentions

This is a collection of EP's and non-metal albums which didn't make my top 66 list, but I decided to make this honorary mentions section to give credit to these outstanding bands/artists.

Syven: Aikaintaite
This Finnish duo plays dark folk music with totally unique atmosphere. You could describe their sound as sitting in an Indian tent, smoking water pipe and looking into the frozen night sky filled with stars. I return to this album every time I want to connect with my spirituality and inner struggles. Check out Syvyys the opening track of the album.

Tenhi: Saivo
Tenhi is Finnish dark neofolk band formed in 1996. Their sound is quite unique consisting of poetic vocals with whispers and shaman like atmosphere. There is something really soothing in Tyko Saarikko's vocals and it brings calmness and peace. This album is a masterpiece in its genre to my ears and I can warmly recommended it to anybody who are into folk and atmospheric music. Check out Saivon Kimallus / Siniset Runot.

Kauan: Kuu..
Kauan is a dark folk duo from Russia. What is special with this band is the fact that the singer Anton Belov decided to write the lyrics in Finnish. You can hear that his pronunciation is not native, but it doesn't really bother you. I can warmly recommend this album when you need I break from the world and just want to stare at the candle burning and connect with your thoughts. Check out Tähtien Hiljainen Laulu.

Graveyard: Hisingen Blues
Despite its name, I wouldn't say we are on metal ground, I would categorize these guys as psychedelic rock from the 70's. In my books this is a like a resurrection of Doors with a bit harder guitar sound but equally amazing vocals. The album closer The Siren is one of the greatest rock songs in 2011 IMO.

Steven Wilson: Grace for Drowning
Steven Wilson is the mastermind behind Porcupine Tree and Blackfield. This is his third solo album and I am sure there is not a single progressive rock fanatic who would call this album a failure. Actually, it is filled with versatile songs and different moods and is highly recommended for any prog music lover. Check out Index.

The Devil's Blood: The Thousandfold Epicentre
The Devil's Blood originates from The Netherlands and play occult psychedelic rock. Their sound could be described as occult seating in a dark room filled with smoke and red velvet. While you a bit mesmerized what is going to happen next the female singer Farida Lemouchi steps in and steals the show. Check out Fire Burning.

Immolation: Providence (EP)
This is some of finest death metal from USA. These guys have been around more than 20 years and don't seem to settle down. Providence has five fast-paced in-your-face DM with groovy riffs and great attitude! Check the self-titled track Providence.

Agrypnie: Asche (EP)
I don't know the reason why Asche is called an EP since it contains close to 50 minutes music. These guys come from Germany playing melodic black/death metal. I am totally enjoying this when I need to hear good, epic metal with outstanding musicianship and stellar songs. Check out Augenblick.

Blotted Science: The Animation of Entomology
This is instrumental technical death metal with outstanding musicianship (especially drumming) and great compositions. Usually I get bored to instrumental music if there isn't anything to keep me interested, but I don't have that problem with these guys. Check out Vermicular Asphyxiation and yes, the video is a bit creepy so viewer discreation is adviced. 

Blut Aus Nord: 777 - Sect(s) / 777 - The Desanctification
French Blut Aus Nord offers some of the most bizarre black metal. There are industrial elements in it and the guitar sound sets them apart from others. They already have a vast fanbase and I can totally get it. There are moments on both albums which are extraordinary, but for some reason these guys haven't really clicked with me. 777 trilogy will be completed later 2012 as the final albums completes. You cannot blame them for lack of motivation. Check out Epitome 02.

Animals As Leaders: Weightless
It was only this year I stumbled across these talented guys. AaL is a progressive instrumental act from Washington D.C. Their sound could somehow be described as softer and lighter version of Meshuggah, but that is not entirely true. Check out Isolated Incidents and make up your own mind. Highly recommended!

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