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The Top 40 Albums of 2013

Posted by Captain Beyond Zen on Friday, December 27, 2013


As the year 2013 approaches its last days I celebrate another fantastic year of music. As it is going to be the same procedure as every year I'm going to share the secret and reveal my list of the top 40 albums of 2013. This list makes no claim for completeness and I apologize for any overlooked masterpiece. Be prepared. The countdown starts...now!

Peace☮, love♥ and fuzz♫

Tombstones - Red Skies and Dead Eyes

Posted by Captain Beyond Zen on Thursday, November 21, 2013


The night wind howls over the barren land. The black moon shines from a pitch-black sky and baths the shadows in eerie light. A lonely guitar riff and drums like a thundering echo abandon the silence severely.

This is barely worded how Tombstones' 'Red Skies and Dead Eyes' starts and this dark mood pervades the whole album and it is one of the biggest merit of it. The monotone riffing of the extremely downtuned guitar have an hypnotic effect to the listener.

Horisont - Time Warriors

Posted by Captain Beyond Zen on Wednesday, November 13, 2013


'Time Warriors' by Horisont was one of the most anticipated album by me in 2013 after the release of their masterpiece 'Second Assault', which entered rank #13 in my top album list of 2012. My expectations went to sky high and I was champing at the bit to listen to this album. But things never turn out the way you expect.

Where the predecessor 'Second Assault' came up with a more harsh and rough around the edges sound, supplemented with psychedelic excursions, Horisont shift down a gear on 'Time Warriors'.

In Solitude - Sister

Posted by Captain Beyond Zen on Wednesday, November 6, 2013


'Sister' by In Solitude wasn't on my watch list for 2013, because In Solitude fell out of my scope in the past. I classified In Solitude as one of the so called NWOTHM (New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal) bands, which mushroomed up since 2008 especially in Sweden. Enforcer, RAM, Helvetets PortSteelwing, Bullet, Portrait and In Solitude are the spearhead of this wave in Sweden among others.

They take their cue for their musical inspiration from a diverse range of bands like Angel Witch, Mercyful Fate, Manilla RoadIron Maiden and Motörhead. Accordingly to their heroes the results of their musical output varied pretty much.

Noctum - Final Sacrifice

Posted by Captain Beyond Zen on Tuesday, November 5, 2013


The first impression counts. After removing the plastic foil and opening the CD cover the fragrance of the booklet comes to my nose. Wow, this is the best smelling booklet of the year! With this olfactory exaltation I am ready to enjoy Noctum's sophomore album 'Final Sacrifice'.

Mountain Witch - Cold River

Posted by Captain Beyond Zen on Sunday, October 27, 2013


All fans of Kadavar, Uncle Acid & the deadbeats, Graveyard and Horisont: Pay attention! The new 70's hard rock/retro/occult sensation is knocking at your door! Mountain Witch serve a proper brew of awesome Sabbathian riffs and 70's hard rock melodies which you could wish for. If you were disappointed with Sabbath's 13, you should continue reading.

Mountain Witch's 'Cold River' stream plays consistently on my PC for more than a week now and I can't get enough of this old-school, dark and gritty doom rock. You could accuse the band to ride on the occult rock wave but Mountain Witch combine all these familiar elements to a great listening experience.

Bloody Hammers - Spiritual Relics

Posted by Captain Beyond Zen on Sunday, October 20, 2013


Eleven months ago it was one of those great moments in the Doom/Gothic/Heavy Psych genre, when Bloody Hammers from Charlotte, NC, released their self-titled debut album. Bloody Hammers entered the scene out of nowhere and captured everybody's heart, especially of those, who long for a mixture of fuzzy Doom and Heavy Psych with a gothic touch and catchy hooklines and deadly guitar riffs and the icing on the cake were the creepy and ominous synths.