IN ROTATION: Our most played albums in December 2019

14 min read


Monday is Friday, or is Friday now Monday? Days become a blur of night and day. Beer, Jack Daniels and coke has replaced tea and coffee. Chocolate for breakfast. Mince Pies and packets of Twiglets are now used as currency. Everything is a fuzzy, blurry glow of blinking multicoloured lights and surfaces are adorned in tinsel and glitter. People are more chilled out, loving, and less argumentative. People you can barely remember now show up at your gaff in their droves. Uncle who? Cousin what? What even is anything any more? End of days? Ah, yeah – that Christmas thing again. Where was I? Oh yes, tunes I was listening to. Right you are, then…

Metal Church – Metal Church

A glorious slice of 1980s thrash, with a tinge of almost power metal overtones and the amazing vocals of the late David Wayne; with probably one of the best debut albums of all time. Top tip: Find this album on original pressing (probably costs an arm and a leg now, thanks a lot hipster twats) and play it on a decent hi-fi, because Terry Date’s album mastering is god-like. And by hi-fi, I don’t mean one of those Crosely record carving pieces of crap. It will blow your head clean off.

Savatage – Hall of the Mountain King

Power metal excellence from the United States, on their forth album and at the time were a formidable force to be reckoned with having toured with Kiss, Metallica and Motorhead which gained them many new friends by this point. One of the founding blocks of the power metal movement, with an untouchable album.

Queensryche – Warning

For the most part, it certainly seemed like power metal albums was the flavour of the month. Maybe power metal is “inadvertently christmassy” because it’s more upbeat, dramatic and powerful? Something that lifts the spirits and dare I say it “feel good music”? That’s open to interpretation, but there’s no arguing that Queensryche’s debut album is a massive, massive banger.

Fen – The Dead Light

It can be argued that Fen is black metal’s answer to Pink Floyd, with the way their music ebbs and flows with super intense passages and then tracks of tranquil shimmering beauty. Thankfully, the lads in Fen didn’t disappoint with their latest album, which I fear may have escaped many people’s album of the year lists due to coming out in December. If you did, you’d better correct this glaring omission. Because, it’s a corker.

Esoteric – A Pyrrhic Existence

An eagerly awaited return after an 8 year absence, myself (and probably other extreme metal fans too) were getting a bit worried about Esoteric and thought they called it a day. Then again, creating huge spiralling funeral doom opuses every few years at the quality Greg Chandler and the lads compose is probably pretty intensive work; after all Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are Esoteric albums. It was certainly worth the wait: Crushing, exhaustive, and debilitating as ever.

Wildcard album: Soft Cell – Non Stop Erotic Cabaret

We all have our vices, and it’s well known around these parts that I have one of the most eclectic music tastes of the BAZ team. An attack of nostalgia hit me again, diving back into 1980s new wave and reminiscing of old times; at that particular point I dived into listening to Soft Cell. At the time of release (cheesiness notwithstanding), it was actually a bold and brave move. Songs about taboo subjects like sado masochism (Sex Dwarf), urban debauchery and pornography (Seedy Films), guilty pleasures and drugs (Frustration) scans like a documentary of Mark Almond’s wacky adventures, dark humour, and observations set to sleazy synths and seedy beats. Weird, bonkers, smutty, and captivating all at once – ‘Non Stop Erotic Cabaret’ is the musical equivalent of that friend that’s an absolute hoot on a night out who brightens up everything in their presence; a day-glow rainbow of restricted seriousness, in an otherwise monotone and grey world.

Until next time, keep it weirdcore.

Goth Mark

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