Holy Grails Of 2011

In the first days of 2012; a very potent year in music (have in mind: Unsane, Saint Vitus, Asphyx, ...), it's good to look back at the previous year and pick up the finest releases. Here's the list (not in any order, just randomly arranged):

Nunfuckritual - In Bondage To The Serpent

Expo '70 - Inaudible Bicoastal Trajectory

"The Manifestation Of the Mystery

Gazing, we do not see it
we call it empty space
Listening, we do not hear it
we call it silence or noise
Groping, we do not grasp it
we call it intangible
But here..... we.....spin through it
Electric, silent, subtle"

Tristan Honsinger & Olaf Rupp ‎- Stretto

In the woods, there is a cello and a guitar. 

Brutal Truth - End Time

Ruins Alone - Ruins Alone

Deeply crowded, not alone.

Sourvein - Black Fangs

Read the review.

Premonition 13 - 13

Fred Frith - Clearing Customs

One track; 67 minutes of almost everything.

Ry Cooder - Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down

Gotta love a new Cooder.

Hull - Beyond The Lightless Sky

Tom Waits - Bad As Me

Tom waits for no one.

Sonore - Cafe OTO / London

Named after the place it was recorded at, the second Sonore record is the trio's capstone.

Pentagram - Last Rites

Bobby's return to the world of flesh was certainly the work of the Devil.

Hank Williams III - 3 Bar Ranch Cattle Callin

Psyopus re-imagined in the world of cattles and hellbillies -- sheer insanity.

Ravencult - Morbid Blood

Masking 80's BM with that of 90's.

Amebix - Sonic Mass

Post-metallic crust.

Crowbar - Sever The Wicked Hand

Gothic acts of passions.

Primus - Green Naugahyde

Prog funk at its absolute best.

Bong - Beyond Ancient Space

If you're one of the early readers of Holy Grail, you definitely remember my review of Bong's "Bethmoora". Their latest record, "Beyond Ancient Space", is about 80 minutes of space rock melted in the sun and turned into sonic ash -- simply a church for those who worships the sound of Popol Vuh, Ginnungagap, and Harvestman; and truly a holy grail in this age that music is more about skipping time rather than swallowing it, bit by bit.

Today Is The Day - Pain Is A Warning

If Today Is The Day, or to say, Steve Austin, wants to record something straight-forward, it'll be as just as kickass. And here it is the proof for that; "Pain Is A Warning", 43 minutes of pure sonic adrenaline.

Ungod - Cloaked In Eternal Darkness

At night, there is chaos.

Weedeater - Jason...The Dragon

Weed is probably the only drug you can simply quit anytime you want, but Weedeater... it's not that easy. They're among the very few bands in the sludge scene whose music is not that angst-ridden, and it is instead about how high you can get with the riff, as though one were smoking the notes.

Total Fucking Destruction - Hater

Hate each other. It's good.

Motörhead - The Wörld Is Yours

Marrying the more metal sound of the "Sacrifice" era with the modernized rockabilly heard on "Hammered", Motörhead's latest record was, like almost everything in their catalog, a record that sounded deceptively familiar, yet possessed a completely unique sound of its own. It also marked the impossibility of Lemmy's voice getting screwed up -- simply listen to 'Brotherhood Of Man' -- one of the heaviest songs they've recorded since 'Make 'Em Blind', 'Devils', and 'Orgasmatron' before that.

Zebulon Pike - Space Is The Corpse Of Time

Today's finest prog metallers? Yeah, you got 'em.

Black Cobra - Invernal

Black Cobra's latest venom is a deadly one. Dig it.

Scott Fields Ensemble - Frail Lumber

Old complexity.

Moon Duo - Mazes

Terry Riley's unborn punk child.