LET 2011 SHAKE (An End of Year List)

December 28, 2011

2011 is definitely a year of loss and gain for me, but only hindsight will tell if the 365 days that’s soon going to pass has been one of ablation (an arctic term where more snow at a given area is lost than gained but can only be confirmed by detailed, time-consuming measurements).

Although it does look like it because even though I traveled to hazardous, landmark locations and bagged what were, for me, benchmark stories from the field, and proposed to my long-time girlfriend, among other things, this is also the year I lost my grandmother and, a couple of months later, my mother. Ablation, thou art truly a cruel bitch.

Still, one thing I enjoyed this year is a load of amazing downloads of albums and the discovery (I know, it’s a late one, have been out of the loop) that a lot of outfits have been consciously blending post-rock and black metal in amazing ways and having huge Frankensteinian success. It’s fucking alive!

Especially Atlas Moth’s An Ache for the Distance. That one is still licking my brains off the floor and feasting on my rock journo entrails.

Here’s my top 17 picks of 2011’s albums in random order, up now on the gmanews.tv site.

Note that there’s a special reason Lintech got in there and was able to stand with the rest of the tall trees as the only Pinoy artists. And it’s not because the man made the soundtrack for my iPad book. World Error is just the bomb. If you don’t trust me, trust Jeff Stoddard (Roughhausen, ex-FLA, ex-Skinny Puppy)

From ’50 Words for Snow’ to ‘We Were Never Here’: Our top 17 albums of 2011

By KARL R. DE MESA & REN V. AGUILA December 28, 2011 2:01pm
Karl’s picks: Metal, folk, roots rock, soul, reggae
BLUT AUS NORD / 777–Sect(s)
These French multi-instrumentalists don’t rule by heaviness alone, but with precision classical finesse and virtuosity encased in a deadly black metal glove stained with the entrails of thrash, doom, goth, pop and even shoegaze. So avant it shatters your garde!
KURT VILE / Smoke Rings for My Halo
Touching, sexy, filled with the palimpsest of folk, roots rock, soul, reggae, and good ole troubadour balladry. Play “In My Baby’s Arms” to your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband and I guarantee you there will be much snuggling tonight.
MASTODON / The Hunter
A punk charged change of pace for the masters of dizzying, mountain yawping, hoary-headed heavy music adepts. May not be to everyone’s liking (just see the mixed reviews) but I like the new slant on minimalism and focus just fine.
INDIAN / Guiltless
Ever heard of the angry Black Man? Well this one’s the angry Red Man on a rampage with a hatchet, a hankering for scalps and a will to avenge all the centuries of wrong. If the level of fuzz and doom don’t do you in, the amazing screams will. Don’t stand in its way for Christ’s sake.
BJORK / Biophilia
I’d say it’s a fairly ordinary day for Bjork blowing minds with an excellent, intensely emotional album with experimental attacks. The thing that gave me spasms was when I saw the interactive iPad version where Bjork puts her voice and fist into the multi-media soup and gave it a mighty stir.
Ren’s picks are local ones, and can be found in the link’s sidebar. Read the rest of the list HERE.

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