10. Birds In Row – You Me & The Violence
9. Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage
8. God Seed – I Begin
7. Aborted – Global Flatline
6. The Chariot – One Wing
5. Baroness – Yellow & Green
Georgia doesn’t just need to be known for peaches- how about sludge metal instead? Home to not just Baroness but also Mastodon and Black Tusk, this state oozes more doom and blues than others. And Baroness, a band fond of colors, haven’t lost a beat or their lives, as they almost did back in August in a horrific bus accident in England. Yellow & Green isn’t just a sleeper record that you will keep coming back to, but the last verse of “Where I Belong” may be one of the finest they have ever written.
Pig Destroyer (or PxDx) aren’t a full time gig for members and it’s been five years since Phantom Limb, a record many popular bands will never even reach (or sound like) in their entire careers. Guest vocalists from Agoraphobic Nosebleed and a little length to guitarist Scott Hull’s riffs make this grindore’s latest effort amazing. Neurotic lyrical content isn’t even an issue as you want to love every last second of this blasphemous material.
Its Japanese title means less of that brick slam of “love at first sight” but more like the feeling of knowing this person will be important to you. That more subdue security makes this record and its message incredibly addictive. In “Entombed” vocalist Chino Moreno sings of lost-love: “From the day you arrived/ I’ve remained by your side/ In chains, entombed.” That’s powerful as you begin to understand the feeling of not being able to get what you want but there’s an inability to move forward. This isn’t something a lot of bands can pull off but the Deftones can and do.
Upon first hearing “Revival Mode” most people’s reaction was “yick.” I’m sorry, did you want Every Time I Die to make the same record over and over? Maybe so, but I wouldn’t be impressed. Though I bet the band still has time for their shenanigans, they lyrically grew up on this record with songs like “Typical Miracle” and “Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow.” There are enough brilliant and dark one-liners from vocalist Keith Buckley to fill your Tweets for next year.
You can swear on graves this band knows exactly what to do, all the time. For some time I believed Axe To Fall was one of my favorite records ever in the way that hardcore could experiment with songs with full guest vocals and slow paced jams. Yet, All We Love We Leave Behind throws out all of that progression and strips the band down to their bones: just keep it simple and play loud- real loud. This record is a finite masterpiece that will keep Converge as iconic as they have been for over 20 years. Ladies and gentlemen- this is hardcore.