FUCK YEAH UTRECHT, Benji was right all along!
Although it’s hard not to jump on the bandwagon when talking about 2016 we still wish you a pleasant year’s end and a cheer for the new year. However, before we start the days that lay ahead with champagne and fireworks we counted our blessings which of course, also resulted in these two illustrious album year lists.
As you might have guessed last solstice was reason enough for us to draw up a list with our best albums of 2016 until this day. Here goes!
Hinds delivers a stable fundament, a catchy upbeatness and a strong no-nonsense sentiment on their first studio album. A splendid achievement of a group of young friends who again prove that the future belongs to the young (WRM – SftDS review).
After an excellent, old school comeback, German metal machine Iron Savior shows that lightning can indeed strike twice. An excellent power metal album, with a host of varied and pumping tunes (RP).
Channel the Spirits – The Comet Is Coming
Channel the Spirits breaks through the traditional jazz swing and brings very danceable jazz funk. The ensemble taps into the work of free jazz pioneers such John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders and Sun Ra. Highly recommended (WRM). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Getting slightly less dark and more retro rocking with each new release, this American band is still a standout in the barrage of retro bands kicking about at the moment. Less heavy, but a little more mature than before (RP).
Finally The Heliocentrics definitely found their niche by bringing together all experience they have gathered around them in recent years. From The Deep is raw and conceptually challenging but moreover. It’s a piece of work to turn inside out over and over again (WRM – SftDS review).
The brothers Tolis return with another collection of their own particular brand of ethnic-upped black-ish metal. Which is something you’d not read on the back of the box very soon. Ethnic-upped probably isn’t even a thing. Still, a great album (RP – SftDS review).
Dutch musician Jameszoo combines Hip hop, jazz, dubstep, R&B and Brazilian music and also is inspired by the medieval painter Hieronymus Bosch. Jameszoo himself calls his debut album Fool a collection of “naive, computer jazz”. I fully agree, so I pitty the fool who doesn’t pick up on this album soon… (WRM – SftDS review).
King is the culmination of years of work for this Italian band, finally marrying classical music and black metal like a Rhapsody of Fire steroids. A triumph for Fleshgod Apocalypse, and an album to keep coming back to (RP).
A Man Alive is an adventurous album and offers listeners a record that is simply full of plain old fun and at the same time is interesting enough to keep playing throughout 2016. Outstanding job Thao (WRM – SftDS review)!
Almost half a year in, Blackstar is still the most intruiging, mysterious and downright fascinating record out there. Bowie’s last album is a masterpiece of jazz fusion and its dark as night itself, both musically as well as lyrically. Unsettling and brilliant (RP – SftDS review).
Indeed, jazz fusion, free jazz and jazz funk are gaining terrain. How about that!? Perhaps it has something to do with age, who knows. Anyway, have a nice summer and see you on the other side.
Ralph Plug & Wander Meulemans – 290616
Obviously Bowie’s parting gift was last week’s main talking point. Blackstar will probably, and justly, leave deep imprints on the year that lies in front of us. However, the wheels of the industry keep on turning and forces us to look beyond all sobbing. Luckily the Madrid based indie rock chicks of Hinds offer us 2016’s first bright welcoming gift. Continue reading
Who would have thought Blackstar would turn out to be David Bowie’s final album? As it turns out, not many, other than Bowie himself. Here, we take a long, hard look at the man’s parting gift to the world. Continue reading
Happy belated non-denominational winter holiday of your choice, everyone! We’re back with another tombola filled with musical endeavours of our choosing. Round and round it goes, where it stops, no-one knows. Except we do, and here are what we thought were the best albums of 2015. Enjoy.
This review very nearly went unwritten. I have an immense love for David Bowie, and sometimes, when you love something a lot, it can get extremely difficult to write something, because you feel you’re either too critical or too fanboyish in your lavish praise for a new work. Then there’s the fear of just not getting it right, because what do I really know about the artist in question in the end? Surely there are other people out there hitting nails on the head whilst I am muddling along trying to exude the proper words and struggle to write a coherent piece? You read other, well-written reviews and think to yourself that you will never be either as elaborate or effective in your descriptions and you just want to give up. It’s on those days that I sometimes miss writing for an established magazine, where one did not have the luxury of waiting until an album was out and being beaten to the bush, but had to write your article weeks before it actually hit the streets, all because I’m at my very best when confronted with deadlines. On the other hand, Sounds from the Dark Side gives me the chance to let an album gestate and sink in for a while without any pressure from anyone, and if I decided not to do a review after all, there would be no harm done. You probably wouldn’t even miss it. When you love something a lot, though, you want to share it with the world, and you have to get it off your chest one way or another. Continue reading