Posts Tagged ‘Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats’

I love doom. 2015’s doom has been in some places, magnificent. It is the most primal and emotional subgenre; the closest to the progenitor riffs of Iommi and ghostly wail of Ozzy. There has been some triumphs this year in this genre, and here are the Killchain top 10. It contains some of the same albums I put forward to the Sleeping Shaman as my top ten, but some have changed.

10. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – The Night Creeper: A last minute addition to the list, where the Deadbeats swoop in to amaze with their groove ridden psychedelic doom. The journey continues deeper into the bowels of doom

9. A Dream of Poe – An Infinity Emerged: An album designed to wring pure emotion from you in every way. Crooning vocals, mourning riffs and a creaking atmosphere builds into one of the gloomiest pieces of gothic doom art this year. Affecting in the most primal way.

8. Thorr-Axe – The Gates of Winter: Another masterpiece of riffing, a crushing swing of the doom sword to smote the enemies below. Thorr-Axe blend some hardcore tinges into their swelling post metal/doom mix, and the result is a heady album of bludgeon and glacial power.

7. Paradise Lost – A Plague Within: Yorkshire doom masters bring the heavy, the gothic melancholy, and just about everything else in their arsenal to create a monolithic slab of deathly doom majesty. Another prime example of how the golden oldies never fail to amaze or deliver.

6. Pentagram – Curious Volume: A triumphant return for one of doom’s legends. ‘Curious Volume’ sees Pentagram regain their place as one of doom’s figureheads with swaggering groove, achingly heavy riffs and Liebling’s soulful croon sounding better than it has in years. Don’t close the casket on them yet…

5. Shrine of the Serpent – Shrine of the Serpent: A pure evilness abounds in this three track crushing death/doom from these US newcomers. This is the sound of misery crushing you into nothing, with a fetid stench of death about every riff and every vomited incantation. Doomed to destroy

4. High on Fire: Luminiferous: RIFFS! That’s pretty much the whole modus operandi for High on Fire, and ‘Luminiferous’ delivers a metric fuckton of riffs. Matt Pike and co have always possessed this primal power in voice, riff and drum, and ‘Luminiferous’ may be their most definite statement yet.

3. Lucifer – Lucifer I: The sultry, smoky occult doom stylings of Lucifer bring me back to the feelings of joy last year when I encountered Mount Salem for the first time. The groove and the simple beauty of each riff is hypnotic, while the vocal hooks keep you from wandering. Stunning.

2. Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower: The band you rely on to fill Electric Wizard’s space when they’re off watching horror movies and smoking weed. Windhand have an uncanny knack of writing these dense, monolithic riffs that rumble through your very bones. Psychedelic groove that drags you to the void

1.Undersmile – Anhedonia: The scorching primal beauty of ‘Anhedonia’ is clear for everyone to see. Balancing heft with glacial beauty, melancholy with crushing power of riff, Undersmile’s 2015 effort was one of the finest records in any genre I got this year.

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Lists. Lists are both the bane and the joy of many metalheads’ lives. We are constantly in search of ‘the best death metal bands you’ve never heard of in Paraguay’ or something like that. We seek out the unknown, then attempt to quantify it in top 10s, top 50s, top 100s. Year-end lists are the ultimate expression of our desire to have an unarguable truth in what defines ‘the best’ of something. Yet, as music taste is subjective, we can’t really ever have something that satisfies everyone.

So, in the spirit of listing things, I have collected 23 lists of ‘best of 2013’ from a variety of magazines and websites, and put them into a spreadsheet to try and determine if there is any general correlation between the views of these people on the best records of 2013. Some things were not surprising (Motorhead, Carcass and Windhand did very well), some things were (no votes for new Suffocation? Really?). There were a great many records that only gathered one vote, one suggestion that it was a brilliant record as part of 2013. Some records didn’t appear that I enjoyed (Boris -Praparat and New Keepers of the Water Towers – Cosmic Child) and some that I felt were very poor (Megadeth – Super Collider anyone?) did.

But in the end, I am not here to judge, merely to report. I know what my favourite records of last year were, and most of them were here. Some weren’t. There’s just no accounting for taste eh?So, according to my research, the top records of 2013 are as follows:

1. Carcass – Surgical Steel (a clear winner with 13 votes)

2. Clutch – Earth Rocker and Windhand – Soma (both 8)

3. Black Sabbath – 13 (7)

4. Deafheaven – Sunbather, In Solitude – Sister, Motorhead – Aftershock, SubRosa – More Constant Than the Gods (6)

5. Altar of Plagues – Teethed Glory and Injury, Autopsy – The Headless Ritual, Avatarium – Avatarium, Beastmilk – Climax, Gorguts – Colored Sands, Kverlertak – Meir, Nails – Abandon All Life, The Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us is the Killer and Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats – Mind Control (5)

In total, there were 331 different records on my list, many of which I know,many I don’t. But you can bet I’ll be looking forward to finding the ones I didn’t in the near future.

There’s nothing quite like Black Sabbath live. I need to get that out to start. But rewind back to the start of the evening. This was a day I’d been waiting for for about seven months, when my lovely lady bought me Sabbath tickets for my birthday. I had to wait so long, so fucking long to see the originators, the progenitors of my most beloved music genre. But it turned out to be more than worth the wait. But first, to the support.

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats were great, their fuzzed out proto-doom are the perfect warm up act for a band like Black Sabbath. Uncle Acid are what Sabbath could have become if they’d stayed stuck in ‘Master of Reality’ mode. Their songs are catchy, but with a malevolent element; something dark and occult lurks behind those melodies that worm their way into your brain.

But now to Sabbath. There’s always a fear when you go to see a favourite band that they won’t be as good as you hope. Especially one like Black Sabbath, whose influence on music is unfathomable, but whose members are all pushing 60. And Ozzy, oh Ozzy, how you are still alive nobody knows but we are all eternally grateful. Ozzy turned 65 just days before the gig, and with his quadbike accident and the years of abusing his body with all kinds of substances, you’ve got to cross your fingers and hope he’s gonna be ok. Luckily, he was better than ok.

Opening with ‘War Pigs’ probably was the best choice. Opening track of their most famous record, and epic slice of heavy metal history, it was a perfect start. The gig then became the hit parade, with ‘Into the Void’, ‘Snowblind’ and ‘Black Sabbath’ thrown into the first half. The new tracks from ’13’, like ‘Age of Reason’ and ‘God is Dead’ fit in perfectly with older material, and tracks like ‘Under the Sun’ and ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ were an unexpected surprise to me. I assumed it’d be the hits, but in fairness both those tracks are awesome. Highlights were the thunderous ‘Iron Man’, with the sold out crowd ‘whoa whoa’-ing along with the iconic main riff, and a grinding ‘Children of the Grave’. Iommi was staggering, Geezer’s bass was note perfect, and Ozzy’s voice was great. Ozzy is forever the showman, running around, jumping up and down and moving a lot more than a man of his age should be. His voice, while not able to hit the higher notes he used to be able to, has gained a darker tone that really cranked up the evilness of tracks like ‘Black Sabbath’. In fact, the eponymous track still, after 43 years, is the most sinister and evil piece of metal ever written.

It was a beautiful thing watching the men who started it all bring their A game 43 years later. Let’s hope ’13’ wasn’t their last record, because the godfathers still have plenty of life left in them. They are lords of this world