It’s not quite up to last year’s par yet, but it’s a great year for music so far. In no particular order, here’s what’s standing out for me:
Record Store Day 2014, April 19th
The releases this year didn’t hit my excitement quite like last year’s, but were still fun. I procured the re-release of The Velvet Underground’s Loaded in splatter vinyl and the only copy of the Nirvana 7″ Pennyroyal Tea b/w I Hate Myself And Want To Die to make it to my town. It was a good day, as always.
King Dude & Chelsea Wolfe – Sing More Songs Together 7″ (Not Just Religious Music)
“If you wanna be free, don’t think about me, don’t you look in my eyes, don’t you hang around me no more.” Their duets only get better with time. I hope this becomes an annual tradition at the least.
King Dude – Fear (Not Just Religious Music)
Technically, I don’t have the album in hand yet. According to NJRM, the pressing plant was backed up severely from RSD which delayed the pressing of this album significantly. As of this writing, however, the album is pressed and should be shipping now. Despite all this, my pre-order scored me the downloads through Bandcamp, so I have heard this wonderful album! What we have here is King Dude mastermind TJ Cowgill’s usual excellently dark-tinged and passionate dark folk, Americana, rockabilly-sensed rock which spans from the lip-curled and heavy Fear Is All You Know to the infinitely sweet Maria, and only expands from there. A little apart from earlier KD, however, is a strong feeling of early Leonard Cohen permeating the songs. I found this album incredibly enjoyable and look forward to the arrival of the vinyl.
nine inch nails & Coil – Recoiled (Cold Spring)
This 6 track ep is a collection of previously unreleased remixes from NIN’s industrial era. In those days, nine inch nails singles, eps and remix interim releases were fun to collect because the remixes contained on them were all fan-fucking-tastic and independent album experiences in their own right. This ep is no different and has struck a sharp nostalgic chord in me. If you fondly recall enjoying NIN releases like fixed, Closer To God, and further down the spiral, Recoiled is absolutely for you.
Behemoth – The Satanist (Nuclear Blast, Metal Blade)
I haven’t been the biggest fan of Behemoth for some years. The Slaves Shall Serve ep (2005) was the last thing I could get into. What came afterward wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t terribly interesting to me either. The Satanist, however, got my attention. There are some memorable and wonderful movements in this chunk of dark brutality.
Sun Worship – Elder Giants (View From The Coffin)
This is excellent black metal from Germany. I discovered this thank to the lovely and infinitely more grim Tara. Do yourself a favor and get some of this. [Bandcamp page]
Merkaba – Bones Of The Sacred Forest (Pagan Flames)
Merkaba makes some of the most beautiful black metal I’ve heard this year. This is a great vinyl pressing of an older release (I believe originally on CDR) that needs to be procured by one and all.
Cradle of Filth – Total Fucking Darkness (Mordgrimm)
Cradle of Filth, a band I once loved deeply and now just kind of like (I still very much love those old releases, but the magic is gone from anything recent), released a remaster of their most well known early demo/ep Total Fucking Darkness. Of course, I’ve heard this before, as any early CoF fan worth his or her salt has, so I knew what I was in for: raw and gritty Cradle of Filth before the great sweeping beautiful keys took such prominence in their best era. TFD is a fun release, but not something I play with any regularity. This remaster does sound better and probably will get more play from me than the original. The unreleased track from the Goetia album that never was is a nice addition. It may be a cashing in moment, but it’s not a bad one. Now if only we could get a 180gr inexpensive pressing of Dusk…
I’ve yet to check out the new Agalloch, Cibo Matto, Twilight, Mayhem, Sunn o))) with Ulver, Nina Persson, Laibach, and Crystal Method albums, so those will be on my list as well. Overall, not a bad year so far. What will come next? What are you listening to?