Monday, March 10, 2014


Due to various reasons and unforeseen events, I have been neglecting my readers and failed to post my TOP5 picks for the last year. It's March already, so I am running out of excuses but I am hoping to redeem myself with this post and sticking to a plan where I will promise myself to follow more or less frequent plan to post updates.

Ranking the TOP5 albums has been extremely difficult for me, but I promised myself to follow the rules of my scorecard. Funnily though returning to my scorecard a month later only proves that the ranking could have changed but I don't care: these following five albums kill me each and every time.

5th place: Omnium Gatherum: Beyond (Lifeforce Records)

New World Shadows was one of the biggest surprises for me in 2011 and Omnium Gatherum continues where they left off. I cannot help but wander the creative force of Markus Vanhala and bow down to the master. The melodies, the riffing and the songwriting are simply beautiful. It's one of those albums I cannot seem to get enough. The best melodic death metal album of 2013 hands down and a must-have for everyone into this genre.

Watch the official video for The Unknowing below:

Killing Cuts: In The Rim, Nightwalkers, The Unknowing, Living In Me

Points: 38/40

4th place: Mourning Beloveth: Formless (Grau Records)

One word for this album: Mr. Frank Brennan! His clean vocals are absolutely spot on and his performance is one of the most passionate and emotional I have heard all year. Take Dead Channel, Nothing Has A Centre or Transmissions and you are forced to reckon he is simply on fire. His counterpart Mr. Darren Moore adds balance to the vocals and the slow pace of the songs give them plenty of space to grow and depth. I am addicted to the closer of the album, Transmissions, as it ends the album on a high note. It might take quite many years for these Irish men to return, but their entire discography is stellar and will keep me warm.

Watch the official video for Theories Of Old Bones below:

Killing Cuts: Dead Channel, Nothing Has A Centre and Transmissions

Points: 38/40

3rd place: Caladan Brood: Echoes Of Battle (Northern Silence Productions)

This album floored upon first listen. The soundscape follows the Summoning laden path of atmospheric black metal, but these guys make it their own. I am absolutely loving the orchestrations, midi sound files, the choirs and the versatility of the songs due various vocal styles. The album is not perfect, but it is pretty damn close! Echoes Of Battle makes me want to quit my day job, liquidize everything and move to the cabin up in the mountains, grow the longest beard I can and respect the laws of nature.

Killing Cuts: Echoes Of Battle, Wild Autumn Wind, Book Of The Fallen

Points: 38/40

2nd place: Hamferð: Evst (Tutl Records)

If you don't know these guys before, now is the time! This album was something I waited for quite some time and when it finally arrived I shed a few tears upon first listen. This album awakes such strong emotions in me that sometimes I need to avoid overplaying it as it has the capability of draining me. All comes down to the superb and spine chilling vocal performance of Jón Aldará. His clean vocals offer the goosebumps of the year together with Mr. Brennan from Mourning Beloveth.

Although I post a lot black metal, death and doom, it doesn't stray me away from the fact that I have and always will respect amazing vocal performance no matter what the genre. Evst is a storm warning of what these guys are capable of and I hope they make it big.

Watch the promo video for Deyðir varðar below:

Killing Cuts: Evst, Deyðir varðar, Ytst

Points: 39/40

Album Of The Year: Àrsaidh: Roots (Darker Than Black Records)

Maybe I should have lived in another century or maybe my soul belongs to pagan times, but from the first time I heard Àrsaidh I knew the bond has been made. The groundbreaking factor for me was the perfect balance of folk elements, orchestrations and atmosphere. Everything seems to blend together beautifully and especially the flute/pipe/bagpipe arrangements were the final nail in the coffin for me. The reason I love this album so much is probably cause this is the kind of music I would make or wish I could be able to create: long, epic tunes carrying the will of free spirit, respecting the law of nature and folklore, proudly conveying the power of soul and creativity.

Listening to Roots transports me immediately the foggy meadows of Scotland where I am proud to defend the heritage and nature of my land from whatever danger approaches from sea or from the mountain. I will stand fast and hold my ground.

Killing Cuts: The entire masterpiece

Points: 40/40