Last year I could only come up with a list of 3 records that were released in 2008 that I actually purchased and/or enjoyed, so this year I'm going to honour that tradition with another measly list of 3. To be honest, I've got a brain like a sieve, and any record that came out 8 months ago that I might've liked has already been long forgotten. So 3 it is!
ZOMBI • Spirit Animal
Without a doubt the best thing Relapse has ever released. Layers upon layers of keyboard driven 70s horror soundscapes and Kraut Rock meanderings create an ambient, moody, scary record that I can't get enough of. Think: GOBLIN, TANGERINE DREAM, RUSH, and John Carpenter movie soundtracks. I'm confident that the MAJEURE record is going to be spectacular too, but I haven't even had a chance to crack the plastic on that one.
THE DEVIL'S BLOOD • The Time Of No Time Evermore
After all the teasers released by TDB... finally a full length to sink yer teeth into. Much like ZOMBI, THE DEVIL'S BLOOD are all about atmosphere and a haunting aura, 'cept instead of keyboards, they layer harmonized and reverb drenched guitars and vocals over 60s-style Rock meets MOTORHEAD. This didn't blow me away like Come Reap did, but I'll take what I can get!
AT WAR • Infidel
Heavy Artillery Records
This one was a toss up between WHIPLASH and AT WAR, but Infidel has edge over Unborn Again. While both are great returns to form, AT WAR were able to retain more of their initial energy, and sound - this coulda come out a year after Retaliatory Strike and it woulda sounded exactly the same. Yeah there's lots to question re: AT WAR's politics and gun toting, pro-war stance, but somehow it just makes them more likeable. Not because I agree... but God love 'em for being so damned American!