Yes, 2009 has been over for eighteen days now, and I’m probably the last person to be posting lists, but that isn’t going to stop this righteous train of self-indulgence. Let’s get this show on the road– I’m taking time out of Demon’s Souls addiction and Eric Rohmer appreciation to gather my thoughts on the year in music 2009.
The following releases did not make me want to dip my balls in gasoline and dangle them over an open flame:
50. Raspberry Bulbs – Finally Burst… With Fluid
49. Skip Tooth – Mindnumbing Alienation
48. Blut aus Nord – Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars
47. Zs - Music of the Modern White
46. Drudkh – Microcosmos
45. Destroyer 666 – Defiance
44. Mouthbreather – Lila 10″
43. Ulcerate - Everything is Fire
42. St. Kilda - s/t
41. Ancestors – Of Sound Mind
40. Jackie-O Motherfucker – Ballads of the Revolution
39. Califone – All My Friends are Funeral Singers
38. Kevin Drumm - Imperial Horizon
37. Aidan Baker & Thisquietarmy - A Picture of a Picture
36. Nurse With Wound – The Surveillance Lounge
35. Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs
34. Converge - Axe to Fall
33. Emptyset - Emptyset
32. Shrinebuilder - s/t
31. The Raveonettes - In and Out of Control
30. Krallice - Dimensional Bleedthrough
29. James Blackshaw – The Glass Bead Game
28. Funeral Mist - Maranatha
27. Super Furry Animals - Dark Days/Light Years
26. Manatees – Icarus, the Sunclimber
25. LSD March – Under Milk Wood
24. Natural Snow Buildings – Daughter of Darkness
23. Nadja - Numbness
22. Feral - Welcome to the Graveyard
21. Circulatory System – Signal Morning
20. Loser Life – Friends With a Demon
19. Skullflower - Vile Veil
18. Nadja & Black Boned Angel - s/t
17. Disma - The Vault of Membros
16. Skyramps - Days of Thunder
15. Grave Miasma – Exalted Emanation
14. Funebrarum – The Sleep of Morbid Dreams
13. Future of the Left – Travels With Myself and Another
12. Evangelista - Prince of Truth
11. Grunt – Petturien rooli
10. Emeralds – s/t
It’s not the titanic work of deep drone goodness that Allegory of Allergies was, but it’s another interesting progression for the group. I suppose I should mention the Berlin school approach they continue to update and refine, but you should probably know that already.
9. Sean McCann – Phylum Sigh
This is a good fuckin’ tape. Sean McCann does the whole whimsical electro-acoustic collage thing without pretension or a furry fetish.
8. Mount Eerie – Wind’s Poem
Namedrop time: I saw Phil at Melt in Cincinnati while waiting on his show at the Art Damage Lodge back in November. Contrary to what my friend Zack told me, he does not stink. And neither does this album.
7. Pan Sonic & Keiji Haino – Shall I Download a Black Hole & Offer it to You
How can you go wrong with a batshit insane experimental legend teaming up with… uhh, two significantly less notable Finnish electro dudes? Although this is a live collaboration, this ends up being all Haino. His crazy ass demonic instruments and I’ve-got-my-nuts-stuck-in-a-vice-grip-oh-god-help-me vocals mesh very well with the pulsing throb and crunch of Pan Sonic.
6. Bloody Panda – Summon
The band putting all other Japanese female fronted bands to shame. This shit is so scary that it could possibly make Michael Gira cry and then reconsider his Swans reformation. Probably not though. Evil, evil stuff. Like opening Pandora’s Box and having an Oni emerge, sipping tea with it, and then being violently murdered by it.
5. The Ruins of Beverast – Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite
Do unsheltered elites have slightly less foul semen than sheltered ones? I’m not quite sure what the album title is all about, but I do know this is the year’s best black metal album. Epic and heavy. This guy is pretty awesome when he makes albums that you can actually hear without having to turn the volume up to max.
4. Leyland Kirby - Sadly the Future is No Longer What it Was
The Caretaker has revealed his secret identity to us– mild-mannered Leyland Kirby. He’s pretty good at music too. Go ahead, find a more beautiful album from 2009. You can’t do it.
3. Tim Hecker - An Imaginary Country
Tim Hecker, known in some circles as “that guy who isn’t Christian Fennesz” is pretty good. This is the concept of pop music– deconstructed. Another highly replayable triumph for Mr. Hecker.
2. Sunn O))) - Monoliths & Dimensions
They’re finally moving beyond “world’s best Earth tribute band” tag. This is almost on some modern classical shit here. You’ve got Attila from Mayhem on here sounding typically evil, there are choral arrangements, brass sections– they are throwing it all against the wall. And it’s not just sticking, it’s tearing the wall down.
1. Eagle Twin - The Unkindness of Crows
A couple of beardy dudes make sludgy-ass metal with jazz and experimental influences. This album is so bleak and heavy. The tone is consistent throughout, making it a lot of fun to listen to over and over. So much more than the wimpy, Isis worshiping, post-metal so many bands engage in these days. They tread ground at times similar to acts like Sunn O))), Sleep, and Om, but they have a sound all their own. Give these guys some fucking money.