2016 Top 10 Records

RockmusicRaider Review - Darkend 2016Well, it is time for some 2016 Top 10 reflections on RockmusicRaiders‘ most coveted findings for the last year. And it might turn out to be a few more than ten, but we will keep the official ranking to this magic number. We will just add a few honorable releases to the list that kinda missed this viking fighting ship. The list is also a reflection on those bands that got us thinking and managed to mess up the peace (of mind) and quiet of the writer supreme on this blog.

And it was a funny year: Seamlessly latching on to 2015, many more shades of black have been covered throughout these 12 months. At times it seemed like there is only black, just to find yourself in progressive country for quite long stretches. The symphonic and operatic divisions did not quite convince this year, albeit there are a few pockets of excellence that showed through the blankets of snow copiously covering the countryside. Then what a year it has been with many great names in music calling it quits last year and a new US president nobody expected to win. But enough of this, let’s start, shall we?

Here are the 2016 Top 10 records:

#10 Van Halst – World of Make Believe 

TRockmusicRaider Review - Van Halst - World of Make Believe - Album Coverhe Canadians from Edmonton project a very serious brand of Gothic Metal onto the fan crowd. Their approach to music is two-pronged: First, they take advantage of the amazing vocal presence of Kami Van Halst, wrapping sturdy metal around her singing prowess. Then, they broach serious subjects of social nature throughout the record. This not only renders it a pleasure to listen to musically, but is also challenging intellectually. And this cannot often be said in metal concoctions, where lyrics often are the most neglected aspect of the production.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

Intermittent Digest – Tome III

RockmusicRaider - Intermittent Digest - Tome IIIHowdy, fans and friends! Months have passed again way too fast since the last point of the situation (as we say in French) and already it is time to halt the horses again and take stock. The first full year @ RockmusicRaider – 2015 – has passed and we start to approach mid-year 2016. By Loki, things are moving fast and I am not getting younger. So, what happened since Tome II. I can say one thing: Dark, dark is the going, when the going gets tough.

Felt waves of Black or blackened Metal are coming our way. I am amazed – seems to be a sign of the times. Rorcal Creon Album coverJust check out Rorcal with κρέων (Creon) that visited the RockmusicRaider site real brutally. Those tracks left blood on the walls and streaks on the ground, echoing around the corridors even when the music was turned off. At the end of the day, all this Black Metal dissonance turned out to be a historical theme park of sorts. If this is possible at all. What really threw me is the fact that they somehow dwell on the wrong side of Geneva in Switzerland. For those knowing the city a somewhat difficult concept to comprehend.

Then late in 2015, we found an unknown band on our promo list called Batushka with Litourgyia. Blasphemous bastards taking on the orthodox church in a way that just reduced me to aRockmusicRaider Review - Batushka - Litourgyia - Album Cover helpless heap of mirth. And they promptly made it on the 2015 Top Ten Records of the RockmusicRaider blog. THIS is Black Metal the way it is supposed to be played. Trademark anonymity and all to boot – to this day nobody knows who they are really. This record is still and often played on the mighty RockmusicRaider Media Machine. Keep going guys, this is just good stuff. [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

Van Halst – World of Make Believe (2016) – Review

Apple Music Badge – Buy with Amazon!  

RockmusicRaider Review - Van Halst - World of Make Believe - Album CoverI can tell you what they are not: Van Halst are not some sort of an Evanescence clone, as was suggested by some. Their début World of Make Believe features some pretty strong similarities for sure. But they don’t imitate the typical sound of the latter, nor should they. If there has been a typical style left, that is, after the unhappy departure of the old band around Ben Moody.

Van Halst deploy a much fresher and – I daresay – a more thoughtful brand of their own music. Too tough and more varied than the one of their alleged idols. And this is a good thing. There are enough Amy Lee wannabees strutting about the Gothic landscape and we don’t need any more of those.   [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!