A MidYear Reflection: Deckard Cain’s Maladies of the Ear

A stooping back, coughed up blood, feet that grate and yet death eludes me. A great evil works beneath the surface, ceaselessly, to guarantee me life, sustaining it. I reckon it is that good for nothing, hellhole dweller, Diablo, once again. While the rest of humanity holds vitality dear to their heart, I deny it with vehemence unparalleled. I seek death in the deepest corners of this planet for in eternal silence I might finally rid of my physical burdens. But for now, senility is a curse, while immortality thrust upon you at senility, remains a bane of unfathomable proportions.

What keeps me alive in this howling doldrum, is companionship. My fellow magi, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy(list) and Mohmmad Kabeer(list), of our Ancient Horadrim Order, have once again unraveled scrolls of a nature, hitherto undiscovered. Their great and exotic findings within made for a sumptuous feast of music. And now I present a scroll, hidden away in a SATCHEL deep in Tristam’s boondocks.

Feel free to judge my character, and maybe piss on it…But in the end i humbly request you to…




1. Omnium Gatherum – Beyond

Omnium Gatherum has always been hinting at their best, but was never fully realized. They showered us with a massive amount of proof with New World Shadows but then again, after finding their sound in Redshift, personally it seemed like it was deprived of some key ingredient. With “Beyond” the band truly realizes themselves carving out one fine slab of melancholic melodic death metal.


2. The Flight of Sleipnir – Saga

Having not heard anything previously from the band this came to as a pleasant surprise, the effect of which only grew with time. Each song draws from the usually complimentary genres such as blackened folk and doom. Although a bit like Agalloch they do put in a few good old stoner doom riffs in there as well. The production and instrumentation are murky enough to keep it raw. A truly sublimely emotive vocal delivery as accompaniment as well.


3. Cortez – Phoebus

With knowledge regarding Noise Rock/Hardcore amounting to naught, I never really knew what to expect from Cortez. In due time i was floored by the furious mix of unadulterated hardcore, alternating between spastic and grandiose, making for great emotive segments. And it all lines up pretty nicely with the production, as against a plethora of bands that have been trying for eons to get this mix that these guys seems to have perfected.


4. Man the Machetes – Idiokrati

Having liked Kvelertak’s debut and then going on to get slightly disappointed with their sophomore effort, I was looking elsewhere for quenching my thirst for fun filled punk. I never had to look farther than into the very same record label. Man the Machetes take the more punkish hardcore segments found in Kvelertak, add in a more fun “go get it!” spin to it and make a whole album out of it. Fun extreme.


5. ASG – Blood Drive

Laid back alternative stoner rock. A better yet crude way of putting it might be to call them a mix of Black Sabbath-esque stoner riffs bathed in Torche’s sense of melody. Coupled with one of the best vocal performances all year and a production that leaves no deep yearning for clarity, gives this great replayability.


6. Katalepsy – Autopsychosis

There’s been a rush of brutal death metal this year from the stalwarts Defeated Sanity, Devourment and Wormed. But this little known Russian band steals the cake. Technicality and heaviness squashed down into a more palpable form. Together with some of the finest grooves laid down in the genre, Autopsychosis brings an insane amount of catchiness to the table.


7. Crown – Psychurgy

Exploring the aural alternatives of the word “Crushing”. This French duo take the atmosphere heavy, post- sludge to greater heights. There is ample industrial experimentation on work here as well which makes it all the more interesting.


8. Deafheaven – Sunbather

Hipsters black metal… as your average ludicrous kvltist might put it. Do not be fooled my friends, for this is truly a piece of beautiful music, extricating black metal from its inherent conservativeness and spreading it with truly ingenious sense of melody. The lyrics are deeply introspective and further accentuates the music at hand.


9. Beastwars – Blood Becomes Fire

Law abiding citizens of planet “Obey the Riff”, are  Beastwars. Having been enamored by their debut just the last year, Blood Becomes Fire makes swift escape from the jaws of the sophomore slum abyss. Imagine if High on Fire attempted  a return to being Sleep and maybe added a dash of melody more than usual.


10. Caladan Brood – Echoes of Battle

Named after one of the most powerful warriors in the epic fantasy novel series “The Book of Malazan”( which i coincidentally took to reading earlier this year) makes this album and band all the more special. Imagine the Tolkien worshipers in the band Summoning, changing their lyrical influence and accordingly the music as well. Epic folky black metal. Do not look here for an instrumental wank off, rather come here for atmosphere.


Other Notable Mentions

1. Benea Reach – Possession

With their innate knack to pen down some of the catchiest riffs with a great ear for melody , they ride far from the madding crowd of djent fanatics. If one can see past their cringe worthy lyricism, then this will go down as one of the better modern metal albums off late.

2. The Fall of Every Second – Amends

Imagine Insomnium being further slowed down and choosing to tread over a more doomier path.

3. Hate – Solarflesh

Clearly a case of the band outdoing and outmaneuvering their influences (Behemoth in this case). Makes for a much better listen than any of Behemoth’s albums.

4. Regarde Les Hommes Tomber – Regarde Les Homme Tomber

Probably the best debut all year. Might as well call it sludgy/post-metal/black metal/doom. There are so many genres at play here, yet it all seem as a single entity.

5. Universe217 – Harm

Some of the best vocal performances in a long time, thoroughly haunting and captivating. The doomy instrumentation fine packages the sublime vocal performance.

6. Moth – Endlessly in Motion

Strapping Young Lad-ish and at times Decapitated-ish. Catchy nonetheless.

7. Scale the Summit – The Migration

Once again a case of top notch instrumental wizardry at par with stellar songwriting.

8. Krownn – Hyborian Age

Conan, gives all hideous monsters a rest, smokes a reefer and tries a hand at composing music. “Hmm… Not that bad… Good infact.. Real Good.”

9. Vuyvr – Heiskalt

The best release from the already impressive Throatruiner records roster. Scathing and unrelenting black metal, unfolding and bathing in its most primeval form.

10. Shade Empire – Omega Arcane

Septic Flesh and Fleshgod Apocalypse have a new rival in the making. Although being their 4th full length, this is a strong release which will establish their relevance in the symphonic death metal milieu.

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