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Album Reviews

Chris Latta’s Top Albums of 2016 (10-6)

I must say that I hadn’t intended for this portion of my top albums list to be so doom-oriented. Fortunately the following albums prove that the genre does have a lot more variety than some detractors give it credit for. At any rate, the list continues with 10 through 5!


10) BUS: The Unknown Secretary

-Whether you deem BUS part of the doom scene or a NWOBHM revivalist act, you can’t deny that the Greek group really has a lot going for them. The bouncy riff work and upbeat vocal lines make this album an essential occupant for the void in your collection right next to your old Iron Maiden, Angel Witch, and Witchfinder General records. Now if only their name wasn’t so damn hard to Google…


9) Devil to Pay: A Bend Through Space and Time

-Though I’ve been a Devil to Pay fan since my move back to Indianapolis five years ago, I honestly didn’t expect to see this album on my list. It’s certainly a great rock album with plenty of awesome riffs (The one on “Kobold in the Breadbasket” is absolutely amazing) but its earworms really reveal themselves with multiple listens. Definitely a worthy addition to their discography alongside Heavily Ever After and Fate Is Your Muse.


8) Vektor: Terminal Redux

-Every music critic worth their salt should have this album on their list. I may be too much of a doom head to have Vektor’s prog thrash space opera at the top of my list, but I can still acknowledge its awesomeness. It’s a challenging listen but one deserving of the classic status that it has already earned. Considering how ambitious concept albums are usually followed by more simplified feats of commercialization (Queensryche and Mastodon come to mind), I advise you to hop on the Vektor kvlt train while you still can.


7) Wretch: Wretch

-Any complaints that I could possibly have about Wretch’s excellent debut are 100% in regards to its way-too-goddamn-short run time. I became a Gates of Slumber fanboy toward the end of their career and though the path to this release is wrought with pain and grief, it is also full of those wonderful Saint Vitus-isms that we’ve all come to love. Also, any band that draws from Rocka Rolla when wanting to cover a Judas Priest tune is good by me. Unless that band is Six Feet Under.


6) Elephant Tree: Elephant Tree

-Elephant Tree would be easy to pigeonhole as another doomgaze band in the vein of Warning or Pallbearer. The songs rarely venture past a snail’s pace and the guitar production is as hazy as the riffs drone, but the band’s performance and writing skills are much more confident. There is real power behind the vocal lines on songs like “Surma” and “Echoes,” and the acoustic excursion on “Circles” is more than welcome. It’s not a mopey listen but you just may feel something.

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