Adam Crosier of Hymns Picks Top Five Most Innovative Metal Albums of the Last Five Years
Co-founded by metal lifer Phil Anselmo and true-crime author Corey Mitchell, the inaugural Housecore Horror Film Festival goes down in Austin, Texas, October 25 – 27. Brazilian horror legend Coffin Joe will be there, Nekromantik director Jörg Buttgereit will be there, The Manson Family director Jim VanBebber, Goblin will be there live-scoring a screening of Susperia while Mayhem vocalist Attila Csihar will provide a live score to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari in his Void ov Voices alter ego. Down, Crowbar, Eyehategod, and Warbeast will play, as will Anselmo’s solo project, Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals. All in all, it will be a sick, twisted, and terrifying experience for all who attend. In anticipation of the event, various members of the HHFF staff and bands will be providing lists on a variety of topics; here, Adam Crosier– of one of the other performing bands, Hymns, picks his Top Five Most Innovative Metal Albums of the Last Five Years.
5. Winterblut – Das Aas Aller Dinge (2007)
This obscure German black metal band has several albums that don’t really do much for me, for a lack of better words. But their 2007 full-length Das Aas Aller Dinge delivers some very unique and ugly harmonies, as well as guitar work that will really leave you feeling like you need to take a shower. The bass work alone demands attention, going off in it’s own world on numerous occasions. As for the vocals, it’s odd, unorthodox, sick, and innovative. Once you hear the third track “Das Aas (Schauderhaft)” in it’s entirety, you will understand why this album made this list. Not for the close minded listeners! Check it out if you have a pair.
4. Funeral Mist – Maranatha (2009)
When I was first getting into black metal, Funeral Mist was a band that really excited me. It was one of those bands that I knew immediately after listening to, would be a top favorite of mine. Arioch (a.k.a. Mortuus in the infamous Marduk) conducts and composes all of the music in this band. His violent approach to the black metal formula makes you really want to go fucking nuts! His grotesque, angry, and monstrous vocals cause you to wonder if a human is actually capable of producing such a vocal delivery without a plethora of effects– and he is! While there is some reverb and possibly slight distortion, for the most part, it’s all natural. I know because I’ve seen him do it live (in Marduk)! But the rhythm and guitar work is all very innovative while still somewhat within the traditional black metal style. It’s an intense album/band and I recommend ALL black metal fans checking this one out if you haven’t already.
3. Deathspell Omega – Paracletus (2010)
The notoriously reclusive French wizards Deathspell Omega is definitely one of the most innovative avant-garde/black metal bands of our time. The insane note structures and harmonies their guitarists use are just plain fucking sick! They are one of the few bands that can take a “wrong note” and make a beautiful masterpiece that’s rooted off of it. They are a band that requires several listens and a lot of attention to fully understand. But once you “get it,” the reward for checking these guys out is very satisfying. Another one of my favorite bands right now that I highly recommend to anyone that is intelligent. It’s spastic at times but you have to give it more than a couple of listens. I chose this album because it was their last full length. Almost all of their catalog kills! Don’t miss out on this gem.
2. Virus – The Black Flux (2008)
These Norwegian avant-garde metal/rock band might be the most innovative band in this list. From the powerful, doomsday sounding vocals to the undeniably intriguing groove of the well-constructed instrumental harmony-this band simply kills! It’s debatable whether or not Virus is even metal at all or a bizarre rock band. The odd harmonies within the string section is such a pleasant surprise that you can’t help but get excited while listening to their music. The band has four albums currently and each offer a different approach to their unique sound. If you’re in the mood to smoke some herb or just jam out to some killer rock, check out Virus now!
1. Portal – Swarth (2009)
If you haven’t heard of Portal and you’re into death or black metal…where have you been?! These guys are all around INSANE! The Australian outfit dresses like characters straight out of an H.P. Lovecraft short story; and their ideology resembles the king of science fiction horror as well. From the ultra unorthodox drumming to the wild 7 and 8 string (baritone) guitar marriage, Portal creates an entity of horror in music that you have never heard the likes of before. Some consider the band an avant-garde death metal group, and that is a somewhat unfair label in my opinion. These assholes are in their own category. No one sounds like them and they made sure of that before they even picked up their instruments. Every album/EP from Portal is worthy of multiple listens. Make sure you are focused and ready to be confused, because these cats aren’t aiming for the Billboard 200. They want to disturb your ears AND eyes with their tripped out live performances and music videos. Check them out on YouTube and grab their albums immediately. These guys are the definition of musical innovation and I love it!
I should also note: Philip H Anselmo & The Illegals just released an uber innovative masterpiece called Walk Through Exits Only. Considering our relationship and his notoriety, I kept this album off of the list in order to share some more less popular bands. Nonetheless, “The Kid” is the master of original music and deserves every accolade he receives. Naysayers don’t have the brains!