Hot Snakes – Jericho Sirens

Raise the alarm, light the beacons… whatever. Do something! Incoming: Hot Snakes!

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Sounds from the Dark Side top albums of 2016 (until now)

the_dark_side_of_the_moon toplist 2014

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!

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hinds-leave me alone_frontHinds – Leave Me Alone

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).


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Iron Savior - TitancraftIron Savior – Titancraft

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).
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Channel the Spirits - The Comet Is Coming_FRONTChannel 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). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blood Ceremony - Lord of MisruleBlood Ceremony – Lord of Misrule

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).
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The Heliocentrics - From The Deep FrontThe Heliocentrics – From The Deep

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).  


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Rotting-Christ-Rituals-2016-300x300Rotting Christ – Rituals

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).
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Jameszoo - Fool_FRONTJameszoo – Fool

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).


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fleshgod-apocalypse-kingFleshgod Apocalypse – King

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).
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thao & the-get-down-stay-down - a man alive_FRONTThao & The Get Down Stay Down – A Man Alive

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)!  
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David Bowie - BlackstarDavid Bowie – Blackstar

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).

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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

Further surfing:

W’s Sounds from the Dark Side on Spotify

Sounds from the Dark Side top albums of 2015 (until now)

the_dark_side_of_the_moon toplist 2014

Summer, summer, summertime…‘ Yep, we’re both huge fans of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Especially at this time of the year. For that exact reason these are our best releases of 2015 until today.

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Blind Guardian - Beyond the Red MirrorBlind Guardian – Beyond the Red Mirror

An absolute triumph of intricate, song-writing makes this the band’s most ambitious record. With two choirs and two orchestras in tow, the Blind Guardian never forgets that it’s a metal band first, and delivers on all promises. A true power metal masterpiece (RP – SftDS review).
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viet-cong-album-cover-300x300Viet Cong – Viet Cong

Viet Cong made this January a month to remember by throwing down the gloves with some sharp edged post-punk. And developing a record in while touring in front of live audiences is kind of experimental though? You better believe the hype. If not, that’s your bad (WRM – SftDS review).
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Therapy – DisquietTherapy? – Disquiet

Ireland’s noisiest trio return to their catchier brand of songwriting on a fun and accessible albums which immediately reminds of their Troublegum heydays. Great fun all in all. (RP).
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little-wings-explains_coverLittle Wings – Explains

An empty living or a stuffy bedroom still is the best place to listen to Little Wings.  Frontman Fields waywardly plays around breaking the conventions of alt-country.  A close listen to Explains therefore is mandatory for everyone who’s enjoys progressive music (WRM – SftDS review).
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Virgin Steele – Nocturnes of Hellfire and DamnationVirgin Steele – Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation

David DeFeis strikes again with a daunting collection of epic songs, once again combining classical influences with the rawness of rock and metal. (RP).
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Alamo-Race-Track-Hawks-300x300

Alamo Race Track – Hawks

For the fourth time now Alamo Race Track changed its sound to a new adagium but without losing their touch for high quality and well thought out indie pop song structuring. Did they found true place in the universe? I’d like to think so (WRM – SftDS review).

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Paradise Lost – The Plague WithinParadise Lost – The Plague Within

Paradise Lost’s much awaited return to their death/doom metal roots pays off on a varied and intensely moody album, which might be their best since their early Icon-days (RP).
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kamasi_FRONTKamasi Washington – The Epic

I didn’t get the chance to review this 172-minute, three-volume jazz set that includes a 32-piece orchestra, a 20-person choir, and 17 songs overlaid with a compositional score. But trust me, I’ll get back to that later. For now you will have settle with my comment that the titles says it al (WRM).
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Battle Beast – Unholy SaviorBattle Beast – Unholy Savior

A keytar-fuelled cheesefest if there ever was one, but Battle Beast third outing hugely profits from the amazing vocals of head-banshee Noora Louhimo and some immensely catchy songs (RP).
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Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just SitCourtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Courtney Barnett or Tobias Jesso Jr? That’s a Devil’s choice. I think I’ll go for Courtney. Why? Well, it’s an ideal mix for some good old fashioned spirit lifting and at the same time is nice enough to play as background music (WRM – SftDS review).
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There you go, something for everyone huh. So altough temperatures are rising high at the moment we’re still keen to push things foward for the rest of 2015.

Ralph Plug & Wander Meulemans – 010715

Further surfing:
W’s Sounds from the Dark Side on Spotify

Erase Errata – Lost Weekend

Erase Errata - Lost-Weekend_FrontHave you wasted your weekend looking for a bunch of spry ladies with a strong view on politics? Well, look no further because the girls of Erase Errata are here to fill your monday with some cool psych punk with a message. The band’s track titles and lyrics of old, ‘A Thief Detests The Criminal, Elements Of The Ruling Class, ‘Another Genius Idea From Our Government’ and “Murder With Your Tax Dollars” speak volumes in that respect. Lost Weekend is Erase Errata’s fourth and again is expected show little subtleness towards socio-political issues, in a very catchy manner that is. Continue reading

Viet Cong – Viet Cong

viet-cong-album-cover-300x300When it comes to about everything January is just a very yawnful month. The weather is grey, people’s gazes are tiresome and, most importantly of course, the number of new album releases is at an all time low. For God’s sake, the sooner January is behind us the better. In the past few weeks I feared nothing relevant would be brought out. Luckily I was wrong. The Canadian post-punkers Viet Cong decided the beginning of the year was an excellent time to release their first studio album and since I was trapped in the wrong venue during last years Le Guess Who festival a review of this album seems a good idea to start our year with.
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Iceage – Plowing Into the Field of Love

iceage-300x300The future belongs to the young. Especially if you’re able to keep together a bunch of friends who happen to have the same hobby of making music. Many great and famous bands we know to today saw the day of light in the early formative years of its members. Though they’re not famous in the way Pink Floyd is, Iceage is a band who are deemed by some to reach great heights. A month ago, ‘the saviors of punk music’ released their third full album on the prestigious Matador label. And just for a tease: the boys have been growing up very fast. Continue reading

Warpaint – Warpaint

Warpaint_frontAs far as I recall 2010 brought me quite a lot of ‘hipster approved’ music. And to be honest, bands such as Local Natives, Caribou, Balthazar, Sleigh Bells, Suuns and Warpaint showed a lot of promise back then. The press however was most jubilant about the all-female art-rock outfit, Warpaint, coming from Los Angeles. Surely the involvement of former Red Hot Chilli Peppers guitarist John Frusciante had something to do with that. Initially he successfully helped Theresa Wayman (vocals and guitar) et al to create a trendy, but also out of the box, post-punk sound. Warpaint’s first full length album, The Fool, was therefore deemed to become a self fulfilling prophecy of success. The Fool confirmed this status and stormed the 2010 indie charts and also received some favourable reviews for being swamped with moody chords and haunting vocals. However, where do we go from here? Extending a successful phase by simply releasing a new record isn’t an easy task. For their colleagues Sleigh Bells and Suuns the follow up proved to be a troublesome struggle. Indeed this doesn’t automatically mean another, more negative, self fulfilling prophecy for Warpaint is opening up. So lets give the eponymous second album a spin and hear if they’re able to enchant listeners once again.

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