Album Year List (2013)

The year is almost over, so it’s time to draw up the musical balance. We probably missed out on one or two nice albums in the proceedings of this year, so there is all the more reason to keep watch in 2014. Before doing that, let us close 2013 with two proper year lists.

Wander’s Eclectic Top Ten List of 2013:

As far as I’m concerned this year brought us a more than a few solid releases. Especially artists that have been with us for quite some time now were still able to amaze. Some of those truly returned to form, although mostly upheld their high standards. Those of you who dared to look a bit further also found that there was room for some refreshing innovation that was mainly inspired by non-Western traditions. This potential could be endless for its based on something very simple, playfulness. To be honest I’m pretty pleased 2013 showed me the oldies still got it and some emerging bands truly surpassed my expectations.

10. Matt Elliott – Only Myocardial Infarction Can Break Your Heart (SftDS review)
9. Goldfrapp – Tales Of Us (SftDS review)
8. Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest
7. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away (SftDS review)
6. Lola Montez – Kolaveri Di (SftDS review)
5. Kurt Vile – Wakin On A Pretty Daze
4. Meridian Brothers – Devoción (Works 2005 – 2011) (SftDS review)

bill-callahan-dream-river-album3. Bill Callahan – Dream River (SftDS review)
There’s no denying it, Bill Callahan just keeps on making the one beautiful song after the other. So I suggest you’ll wait until the day is about to end, pour yourself a nightcap and surrender yourself to Callahan’s short poems. 

Deerhunter-Monomania 300x3002. Deerhunter – Monomania
I don’t have any excuse for not reviewing Deerhunter this year. So here is my opinion in a nutshell: Monomania is absolutely f$#k@*g splendid! If you ask me this is by far, the best indie-rock album of 2013. Got that?

The Heliocentrics - 13 Degrees of Reality_cover1. The Heliocentrics – 13 Degrees of Reality (SftDS review)
13 Degrees of Reality is built upon a diversity of sounds coming from all corners of the world.  The Heliocentrics successfully blend this diversity into something new and progressive. Don’t be afraid to pick up this one at your local record store if in need of some forshadowing tension.

Concerts of 2013:
– Ibrahim Maalouf – North Sea Jazz Festival. Ahoy Rotterdam 13-7-2013 (SftDS review)
– Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – HMH. Amsterdam 4-11-2013 (SftDS review)
– Matt Elliott – Le Guess Who? Leeuwenbergh Utrecht 1-12-2013

Anticipated for 2014:
– Beck – Morning Phase – Expected 14-2-2014
– Timber Timbre – Hot Dreams  –  Expected 1-4-2014
– Modest Mouse – TBD

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Ralph’s Unholy List of Infernal Racket of 2013:

There have been worse musical years, especially when you are into more the old-fashioned sounding heavy metal of yesteryear. The retro virus is apparently still spreading and the swampy, seventies vibe still roams through the metallic land. There have been a number of surprises for me this year and at least one more than convincing comeback, and drawing up a list of ten best (or favourite) albums felt like a herculean effort. So without further ado, here’s my top ten list of 2013:

10. Jex Thoth – Blood Moon Rise
9. Rotting Christ – Κατά Τον Δαίμονα Εαυτού (SftDS review)
8. Chthonic – Bú-Tik (SftDS review)
7. Summoning – Old Mornings Dawn (SftDS review)
6. Avatarium – Avatarium
5. Kvelertak – Meir (SftDS review)
4. Ghost – Infestissumam (SftDS review)

David Bowie - The Next Day3. Bowie, David – The Next Day (SftDS review)
Bowie’s first album in ten years totally came out of left field, but managed to both convince and surprise. A perfect marriage between the man’s older and newer material, The Next Day is up there with his best efforts.

Twilight of the Gods - Fire on the Mountain2. Twilight of the Gods – Fire on the Mountain (SftDS review)
No one expected this Bathory cover band to come out with their own material, but Fire on the Mountain is a real scorcher, and not to be missed by fans of traditional and epic heavy metal.

Atlantean Kodex - The White Goddess

1. Atlantean Kodex – The White Goddess (SftDS review)
Really putting the ‘e’ in ‘epic’, the German Atlantean Kodex pulls no punches on their terrific sophomore album. The White Goddess is one of those rare albums that is way ahead of the competition, and is destined to become an all-time classic metal album in the years to come.

Concerts of 2013:
– Rush – Ziggo Dome Amsterdam, 2-6-2013
– Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band – Goffertpark Nijmegen, 22-6-2013 (SftDS review)
– Roger Waters – Gelredome Arnhem, 18-7-2013 (SftDS review)

Anticipated for 2014:
– Iced Earth – Plagues of Babylon – Expected 1-6-2014
– Alcest – Shelter – Expected 17-1-2014
– Iron Savior – Rise of the Hero – Expected 28-2-2014

That’s it for now so see you next year. Have a nice one, and oh,… ‘keep on trucking’.

Meridian Brothers – Devoción (Works 2005 – 2011) (2013)

meridian-brothers-devocion-works-2005-2011At the very end of each December it is of good custom to talk about what the year has musically brought us. Before I lose myself into listmania I think it’s fair to point out a great ensemble of musicians  I discovered  in the latter part of 2013. So if you’re interested in Mestizo with a South-American edge, dropping acid, UFO’s and… well, let’s say an overall craziness, please read on. Continue reading

Bad Religion – Christmas Songs (2013)

Bad Religion – Christmas SongsIt’s perhaps a small miracle it has taken Bad Religion so long to come up with an official Christmas release. Masters of the harmonious oohs and aahs, seasonal sing-a-longs should be right up their proverbial alley, after all. Of course, there are a number of old (bootleg) recordings of the American punk rock institute burning their fingers on festive evergreens, but 2013 marks the year Graffin, Gurewitz et al release their first real Christmas EP. Continue reading

Sumie – Sumie (2013)

Sumie-Sumie-COVERAs winter settles in, many of us are getting ready for an overall quaintness. Domestically seen coziness is typically of female concern. Therefore its quite natural dropping  temperatures cause an increase of releases coming from female singer songwriters. Only question is, which splendor will be the most successful this year? Chances are the new album of the Danish pianist Agnes Obel will end up underneath many Christmas trees. However, the competition field is very strong and, for whats its worth,  mostly Scandinavian. Next to Obel,  Ane Brun, Nina Kinert, Titiyo and Laura Marling are just a few names who want to make winter a soothing experience. In the niches of this all-female battle smaller acts are still hoping to make an impact in this scene. The Swedish-Japanese Sumie Nagano is one of them. With a significant marketing buzz her self-titled debut was brought to stores at the beginning of this month. On forehand Sumie’s CD seems to be at least a fine example of Just-in-Time management. Now let’s hope she musically able to convince as well.

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Steve Hackett – Genesis Revisited: Live at Hammersmith (2013)

Steve Hackett - Genesis Revisited Live at HammersmithWay back in 2012, former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett released a follow-up to his 1996 album Watcher of the Skies: Genesis Revisited, which, as the title suggests, featured a number of classic as well as lesser known Genesis songs. On Genesis Revisited II, Hackett pulled out all the stops and, together with a host of guest musicians, finally took on long-time fan favourites such as the gargantuan Supper’s Ready, The Musical Box and Return of the Giant Hogweed. Now, there’s the live document Genesis Revisited: Live at Hammersmith to accompany that release. Continue reading