Everything in this list can be easily found on the web, so no links! Anyway, as it is still January I feel it is still perfectly legit to put out an end of year list detailing my favourite releases of the past year. Lets begin;
5. Pallbearer - Sorrow And Extinction (Profound Lore)
What hasn't been said about this album already? Dense, melodic, atmospheric yet relentlessly heavy. With all the buzz there would always be an inevitable backlash. Having been a fan of their '2010 Demo' all I can say is that I was left very far from disappointed.
4. Goat - World Music (Stranded Rekords)
There isn't anything new going on here, just some really engaging, catchy, afro-psych freak out music. This is exactly the sort of thing you could recommend to the people who hear Corrosion Of Conformity and think it's similar to Nickelback (true story). They'd think it was cool, and in all fairness they'd be damn right.
3. Windhand - Windhand (Forcefield Records)
This is just one of those great riff-led Doom albums, sounding like a mash of 'Come My Fanatics...'-era Electric Wizard and hypnotic female vocals, reminiscent of Acid King. Everything that is right with Doom is right in this album, the riffs, the fills, the licks, the vocals. An essential for any enthusiast of the genre.
2. Kadavar - Kadavar (Tee Pee Records)
Really simple, straight forward, retro-rock. Infectiously catchy! There isn't really too much to talk about this album. If you empathize with its goals you'll have trouble not listening to it. Rock n' roll always prospers.
1. The Wandering Midget - From The Meadows Of Opium Dreams (Eyes Like Snow)
Four years on from the very solid 'The Serpent Coven', these comedically named dudes from Finland have stepped up another gear completely. The song writing has really been taken up an notch and resembles Yob in terms of the diversity and dynamics used. The Midget still lean stylistically to that traditional doom flavour but there is much more going on, very cool stoner riffs, drawn out but playful drum fills and cleverly deployed musical hooks. The production also has a very strange, organic feel to it too. I sense a true classic will emerge from The Midget sooner rather than later.