So following Dormition’s Top Tunes I decided to share my own favorites from this year. There’s some overlap, so I decided to exclude songs that he already included. This is a loosely ordered list, so don’t rage on in the comments section about band A being better/worse than band B.
1) Encircle – “Watch the Sky Fall“
This one’s by my friend Anthony DiGiacomo. I don’t usually like solely instrumental music, but this one’s pretty good. And I’ve heard more tracks from his upcoming debut album, Watch the Sky Fall, and they’re all great. If you’re a fan of Cloudkicker, Veil of Maya and Meshuggah; you should definitely keep your eyes open for this one. As more becomes available, I’ll share them with you. In the meantime, check out his Youtube channel or Encircle’s Facebook page for more stuff by him including other original songs and many covers.
2) Tre Watson – “Charmander is Evolving!“
Tre is also a good friend of mine, and he’s probably the only other artist that I enjoy in this vein. This is a redo of his older track “Charmander used Flamethrower!”. He has an EP coming later this year, and having heard some of it, I can say that it is insane. Again, keep checking back for more news on his work, and in the meantime you can download his previous albums from his BandCamp page, and become a fan on Facebook.
3) Origin – “Expulsion of Fury“
I’ve enjoyed Origin’s previous album Finite quite a bit, and this track is perfect if you want more of that. It’s fast, heavy and awesome overall. It’s got groovy parts and techy parts, which create a nice balance. I’m excited for the next album now.
4) Revocation – “Cradle Robber“
Revocation always feel like a punch in the face (in a good way), and this new track is an even harder punch than their usual M.O. If you like Death/Thrash, this is the band to go to nowadays. The playing and tone is just impeccable. Beware! You will feel the urge to break someting.
5) The Bridal Procession – “Flesh to Flesh“
This one’s kind of my pet favorite, the underdog. The Bridal Procession are a French death metal band which can be described as “Behemoth with keyboards”. I thought the album was very solid, and this track does a good job of demonstrating the strong aspects of the album. It’s no Behemoth, but it’s something to tide you over while Nergal recovers.
6) Winds of Plague – “One for the Butcher“
As I said before, haters gonna hate. I quite liked the latest album by Winds of Plague. It’s epic, it’s mosh-worthy and it’s a good listen overall. This is the first track, “One for the Butcher” (and its intro “Raise the Dead”). The intro sets a great ambiance and then the actual track proceeds to make your break your neck with the headbanging. It’s no simple mindless chugging either, there is a very deliberate structure to the song. I know most people don’t like this band, but I still recommend that you give them another chance.
7) The Human Abstract – “Complex Terms“
I’ve been really anticipating The Human Abstract’s new album ever since I heard the single “Faust”. In the end, the album was quite good but not as good as I expected. Most of the songs were still amazing, though. “Complex Terms” ended up being my favorite, because of the Muse-like chorus and the insane buildup near the end – “Oh how we believe in all the monuments built by thieves…”
8) Scar Symmetry – “The Anomaly“
I used to be really into Scar Symmetry around the Pitch Black Progress era, but kinda forgot about them after that. Lately I’ve been getting back into them, which is a great time to do so, since they just came out with a new album! (It’s released in Europe but not yet in North America). This opening track reminds me of “The Illusionist” – melodic and catchy, with an awesome solo to boot. I’m not going to compare the vocalists to Christian Alvestam, I believe the vocal work on this track stands strong on its own. Beware though, this song is quite an ear worm!
9 ) Across the Sun – “Tipping the Scales“
Across the Sun are a fairly new band, and their brand new record Before the Night Takes Us is quite an interesting one. It feels like Dream Theater meets Trivium, and they’re two bands that I really like. While the entire album isn’t too great, there are a few tracks that really shine. The vocals are very catchy and the riffing is tasteful. While this is in no way mind-blowing, it’s still a very good listen and very enjoyable -it’s one of the albums I listen to most while on the road.
10) Obscura – “Septuagint”
This seven minute tech death ballad is the opening track of German tech death masters (well, other than Necrophagist) Obscura’s latest album Omnivium, and it’s a blast to listen to. I really liked the album, and this track in particular is probably my favorite, as it is very diverse and engaging. You should definitely check this out if you already haven’t.
11) Last Chance to Reason – “Upload Complete“
Last Chance to Reason’s sophomore album Level 2 is probably one of the more surprising releases of the year, coming out of nowhere and blowing everyone’s mind with some serious jazzy techy prog metal. I especially like the buildup near this song’s end, and the lines “A system update glows in this directory” and “Erase or be erased” are delivered so well that I get chills every single time.
13) The Faceless – “The Eidolon Reality“
I think The Faceless the best Tech Death band in existence. “Planetary Duality” is easily one of my favorite albums of all time, and it blows my mind every single time I listen to it. I am so excited for what The Faceless will put out this fall that words cannot even describe it. This track is definitely promising, both keeping true to their style and moving it forward.
13) Born of Osiris – “Singularity“
Born of Osiris are my favorite band, and they have outdone themselves with their latest album The Discovery. While there are flashier tracks on the album like “Behold” or “Dissimulation”, this one is my favorite. The melodies are incredibly catchy, the vocals are amazing and the message in the lyrics is one that I take to heart. This is probably my favorite track by the band, and one of my favorite songs of all time.