Sounds from the Dark Side top albums of 2017 (until now)

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Time flies when you’re having fun so let’s saw 2017 into half…

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Amy Macdonald – Under Stars

The year started out with what might be Amy Macdonald’s best and most mature album so far. Under Stars shows the Scottish singer/songwriter has all grown up and is relevant far beyond This Is The Life. (RP – SftDS review).


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Ryan Adams – Prisoner

Prisoner was an unexpectedly good album fueled by Adams’ divorce from singer Mandy Moore. The album has a nice pace and flows along very naturally. Don’t worry about us Ryan, we still love you (WRM).
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Avatarium – Hurricanes and Halos

With Hurricanes and Halos, Avatarium moves further away still from Leif Edling’s Candlemass-infused doom roots and sounds tighter and more convinced than ever (RP). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Necks – Unfold

Balancing on the verges of jazz, avant-garde rock and classical The Necks take you down a very deep rabbit hole. Unfold is a perfect album to get lost in, and only ends when you feel that the end is there. (WRM – SftDS review).
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Ex Deo – The Immortal Wars

Early this year Ex Deo returned to the fray to deliver a concept album about the exploits of Hannibal. Not the one from The A-Team or the beloved cannibal, but the Elephant Man. Or something. An unbelievably tight death metal record straight out of Ancient Rome. (RP – SftDS review).  


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Scott H. Biram – The Bad Testament

The Bad Testament is a songbook made of a lifetime of bad decisions. Outlaw blues and brutally honest lyrics FTW, so you better believe it Roger Waters! (WRM – SftDS review).
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Roger Waters – Is This The Life We Really Want?

I’ve no idea if this is the life I really want, but Roger Waters’ new album has been a long time in the making and does not disappoint yet. A very strong contender to top the list at the end of this year. (RP – SftDS review).


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Thundercat – Drunk

Goofy R&B fusion that comes in pints. Thats enough reason to get one right? It’s nice enough to put on as background music but is far more enjoyable when you’re able to understand Bruner’s honesty and heartache as dark humor (WRM – SftDS review).
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Deep Purple – Infinite

Deep Purple is saying goodbye with a presumably last tour and album, and there are far worse ways to close off a career than with an album as strong as Infinite. A fine classic rock album and one of the better ones from latter day Purple (RP – SftDS review). 
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Arca – Arca

Arca’s search for some form of identity is intriguing. At times it is bombastic but it also comes to a standstill at the right moments.  It’s punishing, yet beautiful. (WRM – SftDS review).

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That’s it for now boys and girls. Be sure to check in every now and then and enjoy your summer holidays.

Wander Meulemans & Ralph Plug – 300617

Further surfing:

W’s Sounds from the Dark Side on Spotify

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Album Year List (2016)

the_dark_side_of_the_moon toplist 2014

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.

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Album Year List (2015)

the_dark_side_of_the_moon toplist 2014

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.

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Album Year List (2014)

the_dark_side_of_the_moon toplist 2014

Although it’s always difficult to pin down a musical year in a few words a lot of critics do it anyway. Thus, we can’t stay behind on that, can we? However, before we end 2014 in style, let us loosely say we enjoyed working in the dark to serve you the reviews of the music we like and that nothing is true and yes, … everything is permitted. 

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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’.