FOCUS: YEAR END — 2014

CHAINEDDARK_2014yearend_cln11 copyLate again. This list came out far leaner compared to 2013. There is much I haven’t heard from 2014 but fuck it, what else is new right? I’ll get to that later.

There’s an honorable mentions and missing in action section but this is largely about the releases I spent the most time with in 2014. Many of which I’ve written about in the course of the year.

It’ll be short so read on after the break.

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Dephosphorus – Ravenous Solemnity (2014) — LP REVIEW

DEPHOSPHORUS_RAVSOL_8021 copyI don’t know if I’ve made this explicit enough but I’m infatuated with Dephosphorus. I can trust this disciplined, generous band to not let me down in each astral grind endeavor they explore at this point and Ravenous Solemnity further confirms this.

It’s a very grounding (and fairly rare) feeling that I recall having when I first heard bands that really influenced or moved me in my time listening to heavy music. Iniquity, Mare, Absu, Cryptopsy, Led Astray, Thou, Amenra, Men In Search of the Perfect Weapon  — stuff like that cut into my memory and linked to standards of cathartic, inspiring enjoyment and creation that rarely are toppled.

Music that compelled me to try and recreate it on guitar myself, however failed or successful those attempts became on my end. It’s not easy in my mind for a band to pry its way into that area of nostalgia.

A little dramatic sure, but Dephosphorus are a band I have no hesitations about including in that circle, with Ravenous Solemnity acting as a third bulwark of sidereal majesty only securing them further in reverence for me.

Those who have kept up with them will be pleased significantly, and for those unconvinced or unaware I’d suggest it’s next to impossible for their music not to make an impression at this level.

Small changes, an unending euphoric tension that progresses from Night Sky Transform and embraces an uncertain future with what the title would suggest: a revered, voracious ceremony of stellar declaration grounded in personal, secular aggression. No stagnation, only further committal to passionate creation.

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Yautja – Songs of Descent (2014) — LP REVIEW

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Damn! It would be tough to contain my enthusiasm when talking about this record. I hardly knew anything about Nashville’s Yautja prior to fall last year, but since then they’ve had my attention wholly.

Yautja’s debut LP Songs of Descent is remarkable. It is unexpected, indeed unforgettable and inventive. Even contending with the overpowering influence of Gaza, Kiss It Goodbye, and Great Falls; giants and a genre that allows little wiggle room.

This infuriated hybrid grind group has blossomed in imaginative, intoxicating new forms of nucleic aggression as is clearly and confidently expressed on Songs of Descent.

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Great Falls – Accidents Grotesque (2013) — LP REVIEW

IMG_7427Great Falls. What the fuck!

Carrying out their second LP like a torture session this ensnaring minefield of a record was one of the biggest things last year. Accidents Grotesque provides absolutely massive stopping power with both grit and intelligence behind their animosity.

Something I’ve desired so intently was also something I could’ve easily missed. Shameful for sure. This really is a prime example of thoughtful composition, subdued but clearly deep skill, and ruthless aggression combusting together to form what is certainly a nuanced and threatening classic.

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Grave Upheaval – Untitled (2013) — LP REVIEW

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It took a long time to sit down and crack this intimidating record open, and while it doesn’t surpass the related Impetuous Ritual’s entwined death-fit the doom Grave Upheaval finally let seep from their long sealed tomb is stifling, fetid, onerous and exhausting.

The impenetrable nature of this record is almost perverse. A result of this is it marks it as an easy album to either ignore as ‘boring’ or claim to be unstoppable gold. While it’s not necessarily either at all points I would not diminish it’s staggering presence. This thrills in a subtle, time consuming manner — it’s labeled by some as ritualistic for reason.

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