So, part two of my review of the year, and this week it is the tracks of the year. This as usual spans a number of different genres, and I don't doubt that there will be some disagreement with my choices: so to that end, let me know what you think the best of the year is in the comments…
The monstrous opening track to their latest album, this takes the Lovecraftian slant rather than their usual Egyptian themes to spectacular effect. Nile remain the premier exponents of "technical" death metal…
One of the unexpected hits of Infest this year, this is one stupendously catchy track. A wonderfully sneering vocal, allied with a soaring chorus, this is one of those tracks that is impossible to get out of your head: but when it is this good, it's hard to
Searing "blackened death metal" that sounds like being trampled by a rampaging army for three minutes. In other words, it's really rather fantastic.
Sparkling swedish synthpop that is really rather wonderful. Clever use of male and female vocals, and perhaps a little unusually, the chorus is not the focal point of the track (the verses stand out far more). The album is a little patchy, but I'm going to give that time to grow on me, particularly as this track took a while to grow on me, too…
After nine years of waiting for a new album, when it finally arrived it was well worth the wait. This is the best track on it: floor-shaking bass booms underpin a quasi-drum'n'bass beat, while Eric Powell sings what appears to be an ode to being an audio geek as the guitar riffs rain down.
The critical renaissance of PL continued this year with the release
of their best album in years. Oddly, it's almost as if the last ten years never happened on the new album, as it sounds for all the world like a direct follow-on from their classic Draconian Times. This is the best of the tracks on the new album, an awesome, sweeping track of gothic grandeur that shows everything that is great about PL.
One of the most extraordinary, creepy remixes I have ever heard, it rebuilds the so-so original from the ground up into a horror-show masterpiece. Download it from the media page on their website (it is available for free), as it really is that good.
Certainly one of the oddest songs to appear this year, which makes ever more twisted sense when you see it's brilliant video. Which features a rapping Piranha, with his sidekick (a Salmon, obviously) and a pufferfish beatbox. In addition this song kicked off the most fun 45 minutes of DJing I have ever done, at Judder last month…
Mix in four insanely talented musicians, a Glitter beat, some very odd vocal effects and you end up with one of the most catchy singles released all year. While the video edit is great, the full glorious seven minutes and seven seconds version is even better (the edited version fucks with the pacing somewhat).
The one new track on the remix album nBoyde raRepi, this opens the album and is an utter belter. Pounding beats start a dust-up with the swirling electronics, while Nikki's heavily distorted vocals add a startling level of menace. This group are rapidly becoming one of the most inventive in the "industrial noise" arena, and a new album really can't come soon enough.