Thumbs up: +15
This year, I will try to listen to less music more. That is, I won't go out of my way to hear and list every possible album I sort of dig on the first spin, and the ones I do include I aim to know thoroughly. A lot of the albums I include tentatively will probably get deleted, too. Without further preamble, interesting albums in no particular order:

Created by: IronAngel | 26.03.2014



1. Owen Pallett - In Conflict (Art Pop/Chamber Pop. Owen still can't sing, and he's still the most innovative violinist in popular music (as much as I love you, Warren Ellis). Apart from the magic he conjures from the violin, he is also incredible at writing vocal melodies and harmonies. This album takes even further the rich, electronic sound of Heartland, giving greater scope to synths and drums. In The Riverbed, he also wrote his heaviest, almost industrial song. I miss the organic feel of his albums under the Final Fantasy moniker, and I wish he'd get a really skilled vocalist, but this album is magical. 4/5.)
2. Menace Ruine - Venus Armata (Drone Metal/Neofolk. Beautiful, haunting, comforting, melancholy, and occasionally menacing. The concept of blending drone, doomy riffs and neofolk with medieval flavor and a Nicoesque singer is delicious on paper, but Menace Ruine transcend the sum of their parts to be something greater. They are consistently good, and this album is right up there with The Die Is Cast and Alight in Ashes. Possible track of the year: Red Sulphur. 4/5.)
3. Jenny Hval & Susanna - Meshes of Voice (Art Pop/Experimental. A great blend of creepy/dreamy folk and drone. Susanna's darker and softer voice complements Jenny's sharp wail, and overall the two artists' style is similar enough to produce a coherent album. Not quite as strong as Jenny Hval's solo work, but there are some chilling highlights. 3,5/5.)
4. Tuomas Henrikin Jeesuksen Kristuksen Bändi - Käkkyrällään (Alternative/Art Rock/Punk. The band is at times lyrically ridiculous and musically awkward or plain crazy, and at first time's difficult to take them seriously. But the more I listen to them, the more they grow on me, and I can't help but feel they have captured something profound about music in their naivety. They can go from heartfelt to ironic to angry in an instant. For a great example, see the melancholic and tender Titityy followed by the massive post-rock build-up of Oksat pois. 3,5/5.)
5. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Pika Pika Fantajin (J-Pop. Infectiously catchy and extremely well-produced, the album more or less repeats the formula of her previous albums. Some filler, some smash hits, and something in-between. There aren't quite as many really good songs as on Nanda Collection, and Ring A Bell is truly grating, but overall there's little dip in quality. Key track: Yumeno Hajima Ring Ring. 3,5/5.)
6. Birds of Passage - This Kindly Slumber (Ambient (pop). Alicia Merz is the other half of Brother Sun, Sister Moon whose debut I enjoyed in 2012. (She has previous solo albums too, but I haven't heard them yet.) Unlike that album, This Kindly Slumber is gloomy and frail to the point of spooky. Sighing vocals echo over very sparse and minimal backgrounds. There's plenty of such Grouper-like hazy, folky stuff floating about, but rarely does it have the gravitas and simple effectiveness of this haunting album. 3,5/5.)
7. Francis Harris - Minutes of Sleep (Ambient/Microhouse. Ambient soundscapes punctuated by drum tracks and some electronic and jazzy elements. There is a cello line in the first track that reminds me very much of Silent Hill and sets the tone for the album: not the creepy industrial horror but the beautiful melancholy of the soundtracks, of radio broadcasts piercing through white noise, faded photographs on the dresser, fog rolling over empty streets. 3,5/5.)
8. Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra - Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything (Post-Rock/Artsy Noise Rock. If you still had your doubts, this album demonstrates Silver Mt. Zion isn't a GY!BE spinoff. The instrumentation is the kind of cacophonic post-rock you'd expect from these guys, and the almost-punk vocals add an element of urgency and frustration that makes it distinctive. The album is a very intense listen, and the experience is crowned by the slow and beautiful What We Loved Was Not Enough amid all the noise. 3,5/5.)
9. Have A Nice Life - The Unnatural World (Lo-Fi/Post-Punk/Shoegaze/Drone. Six years after the cult classic Deathconsciousness, the duo is back with a less ambitious, more coherent album of drony, dark post-punk. The intentionally poor production works most of the time, and the best songs (like the opener) are really good, but there is some mediocre material too. 3,5/5.)
10. Sevendeaths - Concretè Misery (Progressive Electronic/Drone. Really good, spacey and cold music reminiscent of Phaedra/Rubycon-era Tangerine Dream, complemented with some pretty straightforward drone. The first track (Petrograde) is very representative and very good. The album is a bit on the short side. 3,5/5.)
11. Mondkopf - Hadès (Electronic/Dark Ambient. A really impressive blend of electronic melodies, some industrial beats and dark ambient. Not only does it sound great, it's also fairly memorable, which is rare in the genre. 3,5/5.)
12. Swans - To Be Kind (Experimental Rock. No doubt the most overrated album of the year, but that's not to say it isn't impressive. There is something disturbing and depraved about its relentless grooves. Despite being heavy as fuck, it's not as monotonous or difficult to listen to as The Seer. It never matches the highlights of Soundtracks for the Blind, for example, but its remarkable consistency (something which SftB can't boast of) makes it one of the better Swans albums. 3,5/5.)
13. Tori Amos - Unrepentant Geraldines (Singer-Songwriter/Adult Contemporary. Sigh. Tori, oh Tori. Undoubtedly the most talented and unique female singer-songwriter along with Kate Bush, but she just can't seem to release a solid album nowadays. The best tracks here show she's absolutely still got it: Weatherman, Oysters and Invisible Boy are nearly as good as anything she ever did. But there are 14 songs on the album, and some of them are entirely average. Nonetheless, this is her best album in a while, possibly since Scarlet's Walk. 3,5/5.)
14. Moonface - City Wrecker (Singer-Songwriter/Piano Rock. An EP very much continuing where Julia With Blue Jeans On left off, it is mainly just a piano and Spencer Krug's heart-wrenching, soulful vocals. Gloomy and beautiful, but the songs aren't quite as strong as the highlights of last year's LP. 3,5/5.)
15. Orcas - Yearling (Dream Pop/Ambient. This is a good dream pop album with some ambient tracks. But after the fragile magic of the debut, I expected better. The vocals are much more prominent, as are drums. Though good tracks as such, Infinite Stillness and Half Light are just too in-your-face on an Orcas album. On its own merits, though, a very nice album. Key tracks: Capillaries, Filament. 3,5/5.)
16. Hail Spirit Noir - Oi Magoi (Psychedelic/Progressive (Black) Metal. A more mature effort than the debut, but no less unique for it. I haven't listened to it much because I haven't been in the mood for this kind of stuff, but I can't in good conscience rate in any lower than the debut - it's just as good. 3,5/5.)
17. Scandinavian Music Group - Terminal 2 (Art Pop/Rock. A change of style after three albums of warm country/folk, and their best album since the phenomenal Missä olet, Laila? The new sound harkens back to their cold and slightly electronic debut, with nods to 80s synth pop and AOR. Check out Ei paniikkia and Las Vegasin raunioilla. 3,5/5.)
18. Rome - Passage to Rhodesia (Neofolk. Pretty much what you've come to expect from Rome: lush and memorable neofolk with a martial industrial edge. Does not hold a candle to Rome's masterpieces, but Reuter's voice is a treat to listen to and the best tracks are really worthwhile (see: The Ballad of Red Flame Lily). 3/5.)
19. Lethe - When Dreams Become Nightmares (Electronic Rock/Trip-Rock. The closest comparison to this weird album would probably be the experimental era of The 3rd and The Mortal (something between Painting on Glass and In This Room) and the electronic era of The Gathering (more like Home in tone, more like Souvenirs in scope). Probably a little more abrasive and out-there than either of them, too. Lethe don't do this nearly as well as the aforementioned giants, but there's very little similar stuff out there and this is more than good enough to scratch that itch. 3/5.)
20. Black Swan Lane - A Moment of Happiness (Post-Punk/Dream Pop. The genre labels may be a little misleading, because the tone of the singer's voice and something about the mood and vocal melodies of the album remind me of the neofolk/martial industrial band Rome. Fans of later Antimatter would probably also dig this. Really unusual band, extremely polished and mature for how relatively unknown and original they are. 3/5.)
21. Chinawoman - Let's Part In Style (Art Pop/Slowcore. This is a weird one. It is skeletal, groovy and noir, with a firm electronic base but closer to post-punk than IDM. Spiritually and in terms of mood the album has something in common with Timber Timbre. 3/5.)
22. Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Lo-Fi Singer-Songwriter/Indie Folk. Americana-influenced, gloomy lo-fi indie rock/folk. She's like a Cat Power or Waxahatchee playing what are, at their core, country songs. Occasionally boring, but the most painful tracks are quite devastating. Highlight: Unfucktheworld. 3/5.)
23. Bohren & der Club of Gore - Piano Nights (Ambient Jazz. These guys are always good, and this is very much in line with their previous, sax-led smooth and nocturnal style. Nothing really caught my ear to make me want to play this in favor of Sunset Mission or Black Earth, though. 3/5.)
24. Sage Francis - Copper Gone (Hip Hop. Good, witty lyricism - attempting to be a little more high-brown than the average rapper, I suppose. It gets a bit too melodramatic at times, though. It's not as lush as CunninLynguists, but the beats are similarly beautiful and atmospheric. 3/5.)
25. St. Vincent - St. Vincent (Art Pop. Jagged, angular and a little noisy. St. Vincent has taken cues from her recent collaboration with David Byrne, which shows in the beats and electronic elements. Stylistically, this is quite cool - Rattlesnake and Digital Witness [i]sound[/i] good - but much of the songwriting is just mediocre. On the other hand, Prince Johnny is by far the best composition on the album (and one of the best pop songs of the year), and its style is very vanilla. Not her strongest album. 3/5.)
26. Hundreds - Aftermath (Dream Pop/Indie Pop. A very pleasant if unmemorable listen. The singer reminds me of Dido, and the music could be hers if she was into the ambient/downtempo aesthetic. 3/5.)
27. Snowbird - Moon (Dream Pop/Chamber Pop. The bassist of Cocteau Twins teamed up with a singer who sounds something like Elizabeth Fraser to record an album of lush, dreamy and beautifully arranged chamber pop. It could do with some weight or edge; it has none of the darkness of Cocteau Twins or brave determination of Talk Talk. A pleasant listen, though. 3/5.)
28. Warpaint - Warpaint (Dream Pop/Trip Hop. A decent follow-up to the lauded 2010 debut. Their great sound is a recognizable blend of dream pop, trip hop beats and neo-psychedelia (of the Mazzy Star variety), but the songwriting isn't strong enough to carry through the whole album. 3/5.)
29. BADBADNOTGOOD - III (Jazz Fusion. Some hip hop beats, nocturnal atmosphere and soulful melodies. The album is engaging and interesting. 3/5.)
30. Jess Williamson - Native State (Folk/Americana. Nice but pretty by-the-book country/bluegrass-tinged folk. She's got a nice voice, although it sounds like a dozen other americana singers. Check out Field, and Blood Song. 3/5.)
31. Kerkko Koskinen Kollektiivi - 2 (Art Pop. What a disappointment. Ironically, this both rocks harder and sounds more middle-aged than the debut. Kerkko Koskinen also sings a lot more, which he really should leave to the three women. Replacing the clear and sharp, crystal-like voice of Paula Vesala with Maija Vilkkumaa's husky and nasal whine did not improve their sound, but alas. The songwriting isn't as memorable, either. In every a step down from the really good debut. Barely a 3/5.)
32. Sun Kil Moon - Benji (Contemporary Folk)
33. Otto A Totland - Minô (Modern Classical)
34. Tara Jane O'Neil - Where Shine New Lights (Dream Pop/Ambient Pop)
35. Nadja - Queller (Shoegaze/Drone Metal)
36. The Wounded Kings - Consolamentum (Traditional Doom)
37. Current 93 - I Am the Last of All the Field That Fell (A Channel) (Neofolk/Avant-Folk)
38. Dirge - Hyperion (Atmospheric Sludge)
39. Thou - Heathen (Sludge/Doom)
40. Conan - Blood Eagle (Doom/Sludge)
41. Timber Timbre - Hot Dreams (Contemporary Folk)
42. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata (Hip Hop)
43. Christina Vantzou - No. 2 (Ambient/Modern Classical)
44. Wijlen Wij - Coronachs Of The Ω (Funeral Doom)
45. Teebs - E s t a r a (Ambient/Downtempo. Glitchy, pleasant, and BoC-inspired.)
46. Bvdub - I'll Only Break Your Heart (Ambient Techno/Pop)
47. Valentin Stip - Sigh (IDM/Microhouse)
48. Golden Retriever - Seer (Ambient/Progressive Electronic)
49. Krusseldorf - Fractal World (IDM/Downtempo)
50. David Andree & Josh Mason - Call, Response (Ambient)
51. CunninLynguists - Strange Journey Volume Three (Hip Hop)
52. Neneh Cherry - Blank Project (Art Pop/Jazzy R&B/Trip Hop)
53. Kangding Ray - Solens Arc (Minimal Techno)
54. Junius - Days Of The Fallen Sun (Post-Rock/Alt-Rock.)
55. Triptykon - Melana Chasmata (Thrash/Doom)
56. Wovenhand - Refractory Obdurate (Alt-Country/Psychedelic Folk Rock)
57. Sharon Van Etten - Are We There (Contemporary Folk/Singer-Songwriter)
58. Godflesh - Decline & Fall (Industrial Sludge)
59. Mayhem - Esoteric Warfare (Black Metal)
60. Joose Keskitalo - Ylösnousemus (Singer-Songwriter/Folk)
61. Blut Aus Nord - Triunity [Split] (With P.H.O.B.O.S. Industrial Black/Doom)
62. Lantlôs - Melting Sun (Shoegaze/Post-Rock)
63. Fennesz - Bécs (Ambient/Electroacoustic)
64. Planning For Burial - Desideratum (Drone/Shoegaze)
65. First Aid Kit - Stay Gold (Folk Pop)
66. Venetian Snares - My Love Is A Bulldozer (Breakcore)
67. Pilgrim - II: Void Worship (Traditional Doom)
68. Bong - Stoner Rock (Drone Doom)
69. Pallbearer - Foundations Of Burden (Epicish Traditional Doom)
70. Eyehategod - Eyehategod (Sludge)
71. Sólstafir - Ótta (Progressive Rock/Atmospheric Sludge)
72. Einar Stray Orchestra - Politricks (Chamber Pop/Post-Rock)
73. Earth - Primitive And Deadly (Psychedelic Rock)
74. Siinai - Supermarket (Progressive Electronic/Krautrock)
75. A Winged Victory For The Sullen - Atomos (Ambient/Modern Classical)
76. Leonard Cohen - Popular Problems (Singer-Songwriter)
77. YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend (Doom/Sludge)
78. Aphex Twin - Syro (IDM)
79. Today Is The Day - Animal Mother (Sludge/Noisecore)
80. Darkspace - Dark Space III I (Atmospheric/Ambient Black Metal)
81. Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire (Industrial Sludge)
82. Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io (Progressive/Experimental Rock)
83. This Will Destroy You - Another Language (Post-Rock/Ambient)
84. Mirel Wagner - When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day (Singer-Songwriter/Folk/Blues)
85. Keaton Henson - Romantic Works (Chamber Music/Impressionism)
86. Sinoia Caves - Beyond The Black Rainbow OST (Progressive Electronic/Horror Synth)
87. Darren Korb - Transistor OST (Downtempo/Game Music)
88. Anaal Nathrakh - Desideratum (Industrial/Grindy Black Metal)
89. Grouper - Ruins (Ambient/Folk)
90. Prawn - Kingfisher (Emo)
91. Gates - Bloom & Breathe (Post-Rock/Emo)
92. Sea Oleena - Shallow (Ambient Pop/Dream Pop)
93. Arcana Coelestia - Nomas (Blackened Funeral Doom)
94. Hauschka - Abandoned City (Modern Classical)
95. Her Name Is Calla - Navigator (Chamber Folk/Post-Rock)
96. Primordial - Where Greater Men Have Fallen (Folk Metal/Black Metal)
97. The Meads Of Asphodel - The Middle Ages (Avantgarde Black Metal)
98. Emptiness - Nothing But The Whole (Experimental Death Metal)
99. Kairon; IRSE! - Ujubasajuba (Shoegaze)



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by IronAngel ]



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!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2014 at 00:33  
There's a genre called "microhouse." That's extremely adorable. I need to go through this list.
IronAngel - 06.04.2014 at 10:46  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 06.04.2014 at 00:33

There's a genre called "microhouse." That's extremely adorable. I need to go through this list.


Yeah. I am not entirely sure if Francis Harris qualifies as microhouse, but Nicholas Jaar was the closest reference I could think of. I'll think you like it, and Mondkopf. The new Tycho is not quite as good as the 2011 album, I'm afraid.
tea[m]ster - 06.04.2014 at 15:55  
Is this list ranked? I am looking for some nice dream pop stuff...start at the top?
IronAngel - 06.04.2014 at 16:03  
Written by tea[m]ster on 06.04.2014 at 15:55

Is this list ranked? I am looking for some nice dream pop stuff...start at the top?


It is not. It's mostly in order of discovery.

If you want pretty, dreamy and almost ambient, go for Tara Jane O'Neil, Snowbird, and Birds of Passage. They remind me of something like Cocteau Twins, Slowdive (on Pygmalion), Grouper and Orcas. For shoegazey guitarwalls, Have A Nice Life is boss. I have not found much good middle-of-the-road, traditional dream pop this year. It's usually pretty generic stuff.
tea[m]ster - 06.04.2014 at 16:07  
Written by IronAngel on 06.04.2014 at 16:03

It is not. It's mostly in order of discovery.


Thanks for the recs. I haven't attempted to find a lot of dream pop/shoegaze stuff this year but the one I did like:

Dum Dum Girls - Too True
IronAngel - 06.04.2014 at 18:55  
Written by tea[m]ster on 06.04.2014 at 16:07

Dum Dum Girls - Too True


I've heard some of their earlier stuff, but it did not impress me overmuch.

For shoegaze, I imagine you would dig Nothing's Guilty of Everything. You'll find it on YouTube, at least. Did not add to my list, not yet at least, but the guitar walls are pretty heavy and big.
tea[m]ster - 06.04.2014 at 19:00  
Written by IronAngel on 06.04.2014 at 18:55

I've heard some of their earlier stuff, but it did not impress me overmuch.

For shoegaze, I imagine you would dig Nothing's Guilty of Everything. You'll find it on YouTube, at least. Did not add to my list, not yet at least, but the guitar walls are pretty heavy and big.




Addicting. Such a different sound for me. Maybe it will wear off after a while but not now.

Thanks for the rec again, I will check it.
!J.O.O.E.! - 07.04.2014 at 03:18  
That Birds of Passage record is spectacular. I'm hating having Spotify interrupt the songs and breaking the immersion (I need to get a paid account again at some point).
deadone - 07.04.2014 at 03:57  
Quote:
This year, I will try to listen to less music more. That is, I won't go out of my way to hear and list every possible album I sort of dig on the first spin, and the ones I do include I aim to know thoroughly


This is the way music should be listened to.


Listening to something once doesn't really allow one to appreciate something (though it's fine to disregard an album on first listen if it's of a genre/style one doesn't like).
Troy Killjoy - 07.04.2014 at 04:50  
Written by deadone on 07.04.2014 at 03:57
Listening to something once doesn't really allow one to appreciate something (though it's fine to disregard an album on first listen if it's of a genre/style one doesn't like).

I've come to realize this myself. I used to churn through album after album, rarely revisiting ones I wrote off after a single listen. Now I have less of an urge to look into new stuff, choosing instead to focus on replaying albums I've already heard and growing familiar with them.

So far I've found my listening experience to be far more enjoyable. I may not pump out as many reviews or be able to recommend as many new albums, but I enjoy listening to music more for me than for others now so it doesn't matter.
deadone - 07.04.2014 at 04:57  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 07.04.2014 at 04:50

I've come to realize this myself. I used to churn through album after album, rarely revisiting ones I wrote off after a single listen. Now I have less of an urge to look into new stuff, choosing instead to focus on replaying albums I've already heard and growing familiar with them.

So far I've found my listening experience to be far more enjoyable. I may not pump out as many reviews or be able to recommend as many new albums, but I enjoy listening to music more for me than for others now so it doesn't matter.



Very good post and one I agree with.

Especially the bit about listening to music for one self - it is after all about enjoying something.


I tend to listen to albums dozens/hundreds of times and over the course of decades. And every now and then I throw in something new that grabs my ears.
IronAngel - 07.04.2014 at 10:47  
Written by deadone on 07.04.2014 at 03:57


Listening to something once doesn't really allow one to appreciate something (though it's fine to disregard an album on first listen if it's of a genre/style one doesn't like).


I agree, but it's not really an isolated choice between listening to a good album superficially or thoroughly. If it was, it would be a no-brainer. It's a matter of resource allocation. How are you going to allocate X amount of listening-hours between Y number of albums? Simply checking out new albums takes a lot of time. And, truthfully, there are more good (3-star) albums released a year than one person can properly listen to. The only way to differentiate between the great and the merely good is to listen to them. What I used to do was give an album a spin, and if I liked it or saw potential, add it to my list. Then I would revisit it in the months to come, or maybe delete it if I hadn't/it turned out to be crap. That is really the best way to discover what's really good, but it's time-consuming. Whether it's worth it, is anyone's guess.

So it is a real, non-trivial choice. Either way you're going to lose something valuable. I don't have so much time and energy this year (I already had a lack of enthusiasm for proper reviews last year), so I've decided to stick with names I know and cherry-pick albums that look like I am going to love them. I will not spend effort trying to appreciate albums that just might turn out to be masterpieces, or looking up obscure Bandcamp demos that could become the next big thing. I don't think it's ideal; I will almost certainly lose out on some great stuff, and might never discover what could have become an all-time favorite. But on the flip side, it makes the endeavor lot less stressful, and it lets me focus on those few albums that I do suspect will become favorites.

I think listening style is a matter of taste, but also of life situation. Sometimes you have time and energy to delve deep, other times you don't. I don't mean my list title to be a general declaration - it's just where I'm at right now.
deadone - 08.04.2014 at 01:31  
Written by IronAngel on 07.04.2014 at 10:47


Either way you're going to lose something valuable. I don't have so much time and energy this year (I already had a lack of enthusiasm for proper reviews last year), so I've decided to stick with names I know and cherry-pick albums that look like I am going to love them.
.....

I think listening style is a matter of taste, but also of life situation. Sometimes you have time and energy to delve deep, other times you don't. I don't mean my list title to be a general declaration - it's just where I'm at right now.



Whilst I agree with your post 100% the points above highlight my position exactly.
1Yossarian1 - 08.04.2014 at 22:12  
Nice list man! Loving the Thee Mt. Silver Zion/Have a Nice life/freedie Gibbs/Sun Kill Moon records!
PocketMetal - 09.04.2014 at 09:33  
Wow, I love this list. Finally a list with all kinds of genres, finding great non-metal albums can be extremely satisfying.
Neiluria - 11.04.2014 at 11:33  
I did not expect to find "Timber timbre"
I love this music "hot dreams", I love this music "hot dreams" she's sexy !
I do not know if you know: :



some pretty cool music I think!
I have lots of other if you want.
Good list
Neiluria - 11.04.2014 at 11:36  
Neiluria - 11.04.2014 at 11:37  


Good surprise in the end
IronAngel - 11.04.2014 at 12:22  
Written by Neiluria on 11.04.2014 at 11:33

I did not expect to find "Timber timbre"
I love this music "hot dreams", I love this music "hot dreams" she's sexy !


The album is one of my favorites this year, and will probably be in the top 15 by the end. I love gloomy ballads and deep male voices (Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave etc.) so I've always enjoyed Timber Timbre a lot.

I don't think I knew any of your recommendations, but Blood Orange sounded nice. CHeers.
Neiluria - 11.04.2014 at 12:32  
Written by IronAngel on 11.04.2014 at 12:22

Written by Neiluria on 11.04.2014 at 11:33

I did not expect to find "Timber timbre"
I love this music "hot dreams", I love this music "hot dreams" she's sexy !


The album is one of my favorites this year, and will probably be in the top 15 by the end. I love gloomy ballads and deep male voices (Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave etc.) so I've always enjoyed Timber Timbre a lot.

I don't think I knew any of your recommendations, but Blood Orange sounded nice. CHeers.


you have given me want to listen to the album
I know that "hot dreams" !
I'll tell you what I think when I have listened

Sorry for my english. I'm french
tea[m]ster - 16.04.2014 at 17:57  
http://thissocialcoil.bandcamp.com/album/after-the-day-before

Hey buddy, tell me why the hell I love this shit!!!
tea[m]ster - 07.05.2014 at 16:59  
Hey man, I've come to you first...

When I am searching for some atmospheric black metal, why is their an "epic metal" tag right along with it...it will say:
"atmospheric black metal / epic metal"

WTF is "epic metal"?
Erik M. - 07.05.2014 at 17:02  
Written by tea[m]ster on 07.05.2014 at 16:59

WTF is "epic metal"?


Epic black metal:



Epic doom metal:

tea[m]ster - 07.05.2014 at 17:07  
Written by Erik M. on 07.05.2014 at 17:02

Epic black metal:
Epic doom metal:


I get all that, but what does 'epic" have to with atmospheric black? I see nothing "epic" about WIITR or AoP or ITW...or Agalloch. I could go on and on...
Must be something new cause I haven't seen that tag with Atmo-Black before.
Erik M. - 07.05.2014 at 17:13  
Written by tea[m]ster on 07.05.2014 at 17:07

I get all that, but what does 'epic" have to with atmospheric black? I see nothing "epic" about WIITR or AoP or ITW...or Agalloch. I could go on and on...
Must be something new cause I haven't seen that tag with Atmo-Black before.


Summoning can be labelled as epic atmospheric black metal because it is epic music as well as very atmospheric... and black metal (though they've become less BM with each album). And no, WITTR and Agalloch indeed aren't "epic" I'd say. I wouldn't call ITW... epic either, at least not their debut. AoP = Altar of Plagues I assume? Nope, nothing epic about them either.
tea[m]ster - 07.05.2014 at 17:21  
Written by Erik M. on 07.05.2014 at 17:13

Summoning can be labelled as epic atmospheric black metal because it is epic music as well as very atmospheric... and black metal (though they've become less BM with each album). And no, WITTR and Agalloch indeed aren't "epic" I'd say. I wouldn't call ITW epic either, at least not their debut. AoP = Altar of Plagues I assume? Nope, nothing epic about them either.


Right on Eric. So are we to assume this is a new form of black metal? Is 'epic' referring to length? Because all of those bands I mentioned they all have some loooong songs. Maybe the mean "massive", in scale, for overall sound.
!J.O.O.E.! - 07.05.2014 at 17:29  
Written by tea[m]ster on 07.05.2014 at 17:21


Right on Eric. So are we to assume this is a new form of black metal? Is 'epic' referring to length? Because all of those bands I mentioned they all have some loooong songs. Maybe the mean "massive", in scale, for overall sound.

Epic is really in the eye (or ear) of the beholder, as is atmospheric really, so don't get hung up on it. It's far from being an "official" term.
Karlabos - 07.05.2014 at 17:32  
I always thought "epic" (when it comes to black metal at least) is about the same as "with a medieval touch", like... Summoning, Elffor, Emin Muyl, Caladan Brood, Faethon, and so on.
!J.O.O.E.! - 07.05.2014 at 17:33  
Written by Karlabos on 07.05.2014 at 17:32

I always thought "epic" (when it comes to black metal at least) is about the same as "with a medieval touch", like... Summoning, Elffor, Emin Muyl, Caladan Brood, Faethon, and so on.

But then we'd have to call The Meads of Asphodel epic. Which I don't think would work.
tea[m]ster - 07.05.2014 at 17:34  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 07.05.2014 at 17:29

Epic is really in the eye (or ear) of the beholder, as is atmospheric really, so don't get hung up on it. It's far from being an "official" term.


Ahhh could have asked you too JOOE. Why am I seeing these two tags together now? I don't remember ever seeing "atmo black" and "epic" in the same tag.
tea[m]ster - 07.05.2014 at 17:34  
Written by Karlabos on 07.05.2014 at 17:32

I always thought "epic" (when it comes to black metal at least) is about the same as "with a medieval touch", like... Summoning, Elffor, Emin Muyl, Caladan Brood, Faethon, and so on.


I always think of doom...epic doom.
!J.O.O.E.! - 07.05.2014 at 17:35  
Written by tea[m]ster on 07.05.2014 at 17:34


Ahhh could have asked you too JOOE. Why am I seeing these two tags together now? I don't remember ever seeing "atmo black" and "epic" in the same tag.

It's just a bunch of adjectives people throw at bands to try to describe their sound. I don't really think "epic" or "atmospheric" are universal enough to really be used as genre tags myself, though they can be useful when describing something outside of that when used in a certain context.
tea[m]ster - 07.05.2014 at 17:38  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 07.05.2014 at 17:35


It's just a bunch of adjectives people throw at bands to try to describe their sound. I don't really think "epic" or "atmospheric" are universal enough to really be used as genre tags myself, though they can be useful when describing something outside of that when used in a certain context.


It's just so hilarious how the shit catches on. One band or music blogger probably did it now everyone is doing it where is applies. It's like the hive mentality.
Alex Fenger - 07.05.2014 at 17:40  
Calling something "Epic" is about as valid and subjective as calling it "good". It is in no way official terminology, and I would never use it to actually label something.
Alex Fenger - 07.05.2014 at 17:41  
Also, kudos for including Teebs, Valentin Stip, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, and a few other non-metal gems. Nice to see someone who can appreciate a wide range of music
tea[m]ster - 07.05.2014 at 17:42  
Written by Alex Fenger on 07.05.2014 at 17:40

Calling something "Epic" is about as valid and subjective as calling it "good". It is in no way official terminology, and I would never use it to actually label something.


Well it's the genre tag of the week right now, it's everywhere. Any atmospheric black metal tag I see is accompanied with "epic"
Alex Fenger - 07.05.2014 at 17:44  
Written by tea[m]ster on 07.05.2014 at 17:42

Well it's the genre tag of the week right now, it's everywhere. Any atmospheric black metal tag I see is accompanied with "epic"

That's quite bewildering to me. Just ignore it and hope it goes away I guess. There's really not enough differences in song structure or approach to differentiate these "epic" bands.
Erik M. - 07.05.2014 at 17:47  
Written by tea[m]ster on 07.05.2014 at 17:21

Right on Eric. So are we to assume this is a new form of black metal? Is 'epic' referring to length? Because all of those bands I mentioned they all have some loooong songs. Maybe the mean "massive", in scale, for overall sound.


No, "epic" is referring to the epic sound of the music: often drums add a majestic and bombastic feeling to the music, like is definitely the case with those songs I just posted. In some cases, like epic doom metal, the vocals add to the epicness as well, like in Candlemass' case. Summoning also has quite a few songs that are more epic because of the vocals. One of the best example would be this song:



Notice the majestic clean vocals that create a very uplifting and epic feeling to the music as a whole. Oh, and of course lyrics do definitely add to the epicness as well, in some cases. The chorus (clean vocals) of Farewell or example:

"Farewell, leave the shore to an ocean wide and untamed
Hold your shield high, let the wind bring your enemy your nightmare
By the bane of my blade, a mighty spell is made and
Far beyond the battle blood shall fall like a hard rain."

So basically it's drums, vocals and lyrical themes that make music epic, at least in my opinion. You can add synths/keyboards to that as well, which are mainly used to create a certain atmosphere.
Erik M. - 07.05.2014 at 17:59  
Written by Alex Fenger on 07.05.2014 at 17:40

Calling something "Epic" is about as valid and subjective as calling it "good". It is in no way official terminology, and I would never use it to actually label something.


Wrong. While calling epic of course isn't totally objective, it's really objective to some extent. Would you call Candlemass epic doom or just doom metal? Calling them simply doom metal wouldn't be wrong, but it wouldn't be accurate either. Same goes for Summoning, whether you think they're boring or not. It's generally agreed and accepted that some bands play some sort of epic metal.
IronAngel - 07.05.2014 at 18:05  
I don't know what the fuck is going on, but I'm just happy my epic list gets undeserved attention as a by-product!

I could be a wise-ass and direct you to the definition of epic poetry. But personally, I'm of the opinion you know what's epic (in the musical sense) when you hear it.
Alex Fenger - 07.05.2014 at 18:08  
Written by Erik M. on 07.05.2014 at 17:59

Wrong. While calling epic of course isn't totally objective, it's really objective to some extent. Would you call Candlemass epic doom or just doom metal? Calling them simply doom metal wouldn't be wrong, but it wouldn't be accurate either. Same goes for Summoning, whether you think they're boring or not.

Why though? You haven't provided and reasoning for it? In terms of song structure, composition, musical techniques, etc... Summoning is completely stereotypical of atmospheric black metal, and Candlemass are simply a standard Doom band.
Erik M. - 07.05.2014 at 18:10  
Written by Alex Fenger on 07.05.2014 at 18:08

Why though? You haven't provided and reasoning for it? In terms of song structure, composition, musical techniques, etc... Summoning is completely stereotypical of atmospheric black metal, and Candlemass are simply a standard Doom band.


I haven't provided reasoning for it? If you scroll a bit up then you'll see my reasoning.
tea[m]ster - 07.05.2014 at 18:11  
Written by IronAngel on 07.05.2014 at 18:05

I don't know what the fuck is going on, but I'm just happy my epic list gets undeserved attention as a by-product!

I could be a wise-ass and direct you to the definition of epic poetry. But personally, I'm of the opinion you know what's epic (in the musical sense) when you hear it.


lmfao, we took over your thread IA !!! sorry,,,
ok you explain to me what the fuck is going on with this 'epic' genre tag...
Erik M. - 07.05.2014 at 18:11  
Written by IronAngel on 07.05.2014 at 18:05

I don't know what the fuck is going on


Once again I'm the initiator of the shitstorm that's going on right now.
Alex Fenger - 07.05.2014 at 18:18  
Written by Erik M. on 07.05.2014 at 18:10

I haven't provided reasoning for it? If you scroll a bit up then you'll see my reasoning.

This is the last I'll respond on the issue since we seem to have derailed Iron's list.
You didn't provide reasoning as to why it should be classified as epic, you provided reasoning as to why YOU PERSONALLY think it's epic. None of the information you provided was objective, and you simply said various things sounded "epic", which to me, they don't. They sound mundane and repetitive. If you want to classify something as "epic", go for it, but the fact of the matter is you simply can't argue that it's a valid GENRE TAG because there aren't any structural differences in the music. The differences between ambient black metal and standard black metal ala Emperor are clear and can be objectively defined. The differences between Summoning and other "atmospheric" black metal bands are virtually non-existent except for the actual melodies and production. NOW, no more on this, you can send me a PM if you really want to continue this conversation.

Iron, I think you may enjoy this. It's a pretty interesting mix of genres ranging from noise/ambient to folk
IronAngel - 07.05.2014 at 19:14  
Oh I don't mind you having this discussion here.

Thanks for the Broads rec, I'll listen to it tonight.

We need to keep in mind that "epic doom metal" is a pretty established genre with certain stylistic features (which you can look up if you don't know), but the same doesn't seem to go for the "epic" tag in front of just any genre.
Erik M. - 07.05.2014 at 22:46  
Written by IronAngel on 07.05.2014 at 19:14

We need to keep in mind that "epic doom metal" is a pretty established genre with certain stylistic features (which you can look up if you don't know), but the same doesn't seem to go for the "epic" tag in front of just any genre.


Indeed. And for some reason Alex and Joe think it's not an official genre-tag, while in fact it's used pretty much everywhere. Candlemass is known for playing epic doom (Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, does that ring a bell?), just like Summoning is known for playing epic black metal. Hell, there's even a T-shirt that "proves" this: Summoning - Epic Black Metal T-Shirt.
!J.O.O.E.! - 07.05.2014 at 22:59  
Written by Erik M. on 07.05.2014 at 22:46

Indeed. And for some reason Alex and Joe think it's not an official genre-tag, while in fact it's used pretty much everywhere. Candlemass is known for playing epic doom (Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, does that ring a bell?), just like Summoning is known for playing epic black metal. Hell, there's even a T-shirt that "proves" this: Summoning - Epic Black Metal T-Shirt.

But there are no stylistic relations between Candlemass and Summoning, which highlights how fallible the term is and relatively useless as a descriptive genre tag.

Also, a t shirt doesn't prove anything or sway your argument. If it does I'm going to attest that Archgoat are "angelslaying black fucking metal" or Darkthrone "true Aryan black metal" my point being that bands put all kind of rubbish on their shirts. It doesn't make it official in any capacity.
Erik M. - 07.05.2014 at 22:59  
Written by Alex Fenger on 07.05.2014 at 18:18

This is the last I'll respond on the issue since we seem to have derailed Iron's list.
You didn't provide reasoning as to why it should be classified as epic, you provided reasoning as to why YOU PERSONALLY think it's epic. None of the information you provided was objective, and you simply said various things sounded "epic", which to me, they don't. They sound mundane and repetitive. If you want to classify something as "epic", go for it, but the fact of the matter is you simply can't argue that it's a valid GENRE TAG because there aren't any structural differences in the music. The differences between ambient black metal and standard black metal ala Emperor are clear and can be objectively defined. The differences between Summoning and other "atmospheric" black metal bands are virtually non-existent except for the actual melodies and production. NOW, no more on this, you can send me a PM if you really want to continue this conversation.

Iron, I think you may enjoy this. It's a pretty interesting mix of genres ranging from noise/ambient to folk


Not saying MA is very trustworthy, but this and this would tell you something. Thousands of bands are labelled as epic doom or epic black metal it seems.

Look, both epic doom and epic black metal are generally accepted genre-tags. Fine by me if you want to disagree with that simply because you don't recognize epic music when you hear it.
Erik M. - 07.05.2014 at 23:03  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 07.05.2014 at 22:59

But there are no stylistic relations between Candlemass and Summoning, which highlights how fallible the term is and relatively useless as a descriptive genre tag.

Also, a t shirt doesn't prove anything or sway your argument. If it does I'm going to attest that Archgoat are "angelslaying black fucking metal" or Darkthrone "true Aryan black metal" my point being that bands put all kind of rubbish on their shirts. It doesn't make it official in any capacity.


Often bands that play epic metal, whether it's doom, black or heavy, all have a similar kind of bombastic drumming. Lyrical themes, often fantasy and mythology, are also a thing they have in common. Generally the music is rather uplifting, although I know that's pretty subjective. I linked that T-Shirt to point it out, not to prove it hence why I wrote "prove".

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