Halfway through 2013

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June 23, 2013 by Beldrac

We’re almost halfway through 2013 and so far, it’s been a bit of a disappointing year with the best albums released by bands we’ve come to expect great albums from. I remember 2012 as the year when up-and-coming bands such as The Foreshadowing, Beyond The Bridge, Dråpsnatt, Kontinuum, and Soen and underground bands like Fhoi Myore, Wildernessking, and The Great Old Ones dominated my Best of list.

The year kicked off beautifully with a majestically crafted piece of Progressive Rock/Metal from Polish band Riverside, with their fifth studio album called “Shrine of New Generation Slaves.” (I should really write a review of this one.) This song represents the Prog Rock side of the album that can wash over you like waves on a sandy beach, but there’s enough Metal on here too to give it some energy and make for a well-rounded album.

I had to wait until April for the next album to break into my head, perhaps aptly it was Death Metal stalwart Peter Tägtgren that hit the bull’s eye with “End of Disclosure.” Hypocrisy‘s always flown under my radar and I occasionally lock in when I wanted some deathly excitement, this album is my favourite Hypocrisy album by far and as far as Tägtgren’s work goes, the only one I like more is “Nightmares Made Flesh” under the bloody banner of Bloodbath.

Also released in April was the new album from the Swedish ghouls Ghost, “Infestissumam” is their second album and they made a big impact with their debut “Opus Eponymous.” This album picks up their 60’s-inspired mixture of Stoner and Doom Metal and this one is even more spooky and oh-so-awesomely-antichristian.

On to one of the big hitters now; Amorphis have been on a roll of late and before hearing “Circle” I read a few raving reviews, one even giving it the ultimate 10/10. In my book that points to a perfect album and well, that it is not. It’s very good though, but I haven’t found the depth that I usually love about Amorphis albums. This song turned out not only being my favourite on the album, but one of their best of all time. There’s a certain savagery about this that I’ve missed and that they haven’t had since the days before Pasi Koskinen.

And then there was Amon Amarth. Not much needs to be said. They do what they do very, very well. “Deceiver of the Gods” is growing on me daily and there seems to be more than meets the ear here than most of their albums.

Finally and as June is drawing to a close, we have the latest album by Orphaned Land. When I first heard the single and title track of “All is One” I was skeptical, thinking that they might just disappoint me this time around. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I listened to the album three times in a row yesterday and about three times today. They’ve certainly gone all out with this one and it’s more orchestral than their other albums, it’s simply beautiful…any and all other superlatives would be superficial.

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