Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Thursday, 5 January 2017

***BEST OF 2016***

I feel like I'm supposed to write some big introduction. Not gonna happen. Dave's picks up top. Jesse's pick at the bottom. Here goes...


The
(((((OPENmind/SATURATEDbrain)))))
Best of 2016

Top 20 LPs

-------------------o0(1)0o-------------------
'Gravity and Grace'
I've been saying it all year and now that it is 2017 my mind has not swayed. Toronto's RESPIRE dropped the most unsuspecting and lush piece of art I've seen/heard in a very long time. Epic, melancholy and eclectic movements carry the nine songs through massive soundscapes and emotions, as if Godspeed, You! Black Emperor, Sinking Steps...Rising Eyes and Locktender collaborated on one cohesive sound. If you haven't listened to this yet I simply do not know what the fuck you are doing. Get on it. The band was recently interviewed here.
ffo: Old Soul, Locktender and Sinking Steps...Rising Eyes
-----o-----

-------------------o0(2)0o-------------------
.GIF FROM GOD
Wretched, dark and stuffed to the brim with breakdowns, the screamy opus that is .GIF FROM GOD released the widely praised grindy metalcore debut that was highly influenced by early Norma Jean, The Great Redneck Hope and Me And Him Call It Us. Members of Ostraca, Caust, Majorel, Truman, Samarra, This Land Is Now Dead, Cage You Call A Chest and Kaoru Nagisa. I also interviewed that band at Swamp Fest 2016 which you can watch here and here.
Facebook
ffo: Me And Him Call It Us, Love Lost But Not Forgotten and The Great Redneck Hope
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-------------------o0(3)0o-------------------
DREI AFFEN
I already knew of OsoLuna, so when DREI AFFEN (two of the same members) contacted me about helping release their debut 12"EP I was all fucking over that. Absolutely no one was disappointed because this album if sensational and I've seen it on a ton of year end lists. Fans of screamy, crusty and metallic hardcore will be floored by this. I can also say that the band has two unreleased recordings from this recording session that will likely see the light of day in 2017 and they are as good or better than these EP tracks - I shit you not!
Facebook
ffo: Guidelines, Welcome The Plague Year and OsoLuna
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-------------------o0(4)0o-------------------
What did MOUSE FITZGERALD do after they released one of the best jazzy and mathy emo/screamo records of the past decade? Break up. Goddammit. Fans of Kidcrash, Logs and Trachimbrod need to check this out asap.
Facebook
ffo: Kidcrash, The Reptilian and North Of America
-----o-----

-------------------o0(5)0o-------------------
BYMYSIDE
'Affogare, Risalire, Ricadere'
This album is amazing. The Italian screamo band really likes other Italian screamo bands like Raein, La Quiete, Shizune and Øjne as well as Swedes Via Fondo and Suis La Lune.
Facebook
ffo: Raein, Øjne and Via Fondo
-----o-----

-------------------o0(6)0o-------------------
OLD SOUL
'Blue Heron'
I would be stupid not to include this on my list, biases aside. My Michigan friends have amassed all of their passion, talent and evolution into this stunning finale and it does not disappoint. Fans of vast soundscapes of dark, ambient black metal, post-hardcore and screamo, the bar has been forever set. I would be an ass if I didn't mention the killer double two-sided posters that come with the exceptional artwork.
Facebook
ffo: Deafheaven, Angel Eyes and Mogwai
-----o-----

-------------------o0(7)0o-------------------
NINE ELEVEN
'Sentinels'
How could a 35-minute song not be epic? I mean, c'mon, this is amazing. Split into 5 tracks, these French friends have created their best album and a truly mesmerizing scene of the apocalypse. Incredible post-hardcore/post-metal with the drummer of Amanda Woodward.
Facebook
ffo: Cult Of Luna, Sarin and MilanKu
-----o-----

-------------------o0(8)0o-------------------
TEN THOUSAND LEAGUES
'Ten Thousand Leagues'
I've been dabbling here and there for over a year with this band, and after their final and unsuspecting self titled release I am fucking blown away. Amazing screamy hardcore record that can be likened to early 2000s Level Plane screamo.
Bandcamp
ffo: Joshua Fit For Battle, We Watch Clouds and City Of Caterpillar
-----o-----

-------------------o0(9)0o-------------------
COLORED MOTH
'Fragmenting Tensions'
I had never heard of this German, progressive hardcore/metal band until they sent me their LP and my face fell open. Amazing cross of post-hardcore, screamo and instru-metal meanderings.
Facebook
ffo: Carved Up, Ruptures and Russian Circles
-----o-----

-------------------o0(10)0o-------------------
WEAK WRISTS
'Weak Wrists'
Brutal and beautiful, WEAK WRISTS deliver a knockout punch with their debut LP. My only beef? They are even better live. Wait, that's not beef.
Facebook
ffo: Cloud Rat, Circle Takes The Square and Anodes
-----o-----

-------------------o0(11)0o-------------------
GILLIAN CARTER
'Dreams of Suffocation'
Boasting a huge discography and killer live show (see here), Florida's GC have created a truly unique concoction of punk, hardcore, black metal and screamo.
Facebook
ffo: Monte Ida, Terry Green and The Caution Children
-----o-----

-------------------o0(12)0o-------------------
GRAF ORLOCK
'Crime Traveler'
Cinema-grind extraordinaire GRAF ORLOCK return with the greatest packaging/story of the band's illustrious career and one hell of pulverizing album. We also interviewed Justin from the band and the incredible Vitriol Records right fackin' heeya.
Facebook
ffo: Ghostlimb, Cassilis and Pig Destroyer
-----o-----

-------------------o0(13)0o-------------------
VIVA BELGRADO
Wonderfully balanced screamo from Spain with a growing and justified fanbase that is rabid about their VIVA BELGRADO. This band has a sound all their own but I guess I'd describe it as hopeful, screamy hardcore in the vein of Mihai Edrisch without sounding a lot like them.
Facebook
ffo: La Parade, Young Mountain and Envy
-----o-----

-------------------o0(14)0o-------------------
ITTO
'Pursuant'
After what seems like years of waiting, ITTO finally unleashed the mathy and furious mindfuck that is 'Pursuant'. A challenging and rewarding listen for any fan of hardcore, screamo and metal.
Facebook
ffo: Voyage In Coma, Yo Sbraito and Capsule
-----o-----

-------------------o0(15)0o-------------------
HERITAGE UNIT
'Everything Made Obsolete'
A very refreshing emotive hardcore record that must be highly influenced by mid-late 90s emo/screamo. This seemed to come out of nowhere and it got a lot people really excited. I can't wait to hear what they do in 2017.
Facebook
ffo: Die Princess Die, Wow Owls! and Drive Like Jehu
-----o-----

-------------------o0(16)0o-------------------
YO SBRAITO
'Secondo Aspettative Altre'
After two mediocre releases, YO SBRAITO dropped a very unsuspecting bomb with the much heavier shift in their Italian screamo/hardcore approach.
Facebook
ffo: Itto, Raein and Amanda Woodward
-----o-----

-------------------o0(17)0o-------------------
NADA SURF
'You Know Who You Are'
A poppy indie rock album on the OMSB top 20? Fuck yes. NADA SURF's intoxicating mixture of bouncy/dreamy instrumentals and angelic melodies is second to none, although the band's 2012 LP was better than this.
-----o-----

-------------------o0(18)0o-------------------
MASADA
'Masada'
Dreamy and crushing, the volatile MASADA from Germany really got my attention with this gem. Fantastic screamo that is able to make both the slow and fast very interesting, as the band suffer from/are blessed with a striking multiple personality disorder.
Tumblr
ffo: June Paik, Shizune and Причал
-----o-----

-------------------o0(19)0o-------------------
YOUTH FUNERAL
'Heavenward'
There's enough ferocity and residual fallout on this full length to blast onto the OMSB list after we heard it only a month ago. Unstoppable. Menacing. Caustic. Awesome.
Facebook
ffo: Crowning, Minerva Superduty and Loma Prieta
-----o-----

-------------------o0(20)0o-------------------
GRAND DÉTOUR
'Tripalium'
A heavenly concoction of instru-metal, epic indie rock and screamo roots. The instrumental songs can be light and airy, pretty heavy or catchy as fucking hell. Be sure to check out the "balloon video" here.
Facebook
ffo: NY In 64, The Rabbit Theory and Town Portal
-----o-----
********************************************************


Top 10 EPs

-------------------o0(1)0o-------------------
'Moments We're Lost In'
Holy hell. This EP is fucking fire. Dark, chaotic, screamy hardcore/emo-violence from Croatia. MALIŠA BAHAT kill it on nearly every track and continue to be on regular rotation at the Norman household. Do not sleep on this.
ffo: Virginia On Duty, Loma Prieta and Jeanne
-----o-----

-------------------o0(2)0o-------------------
RÊCHE
'La Vie Sans Yeux'
These Germans released a staggering debut album with their 6-song, zero filler cassette that has me still salivating all over my keyboard. Super screamy European hardcore with a lighter touch on those jangly, discordant guitars that reminds me a hell of a lot of Caught In The Fall.
Facebook
ffo: Isodora Crane, Jeanne and Cassus
-----o-----

-------------------o0(3)0o-------------------
EYELET
'Error(s)'
I've been following EYELET since their The Usual days and this 3-song EP if fucking stellar. Each song is unique and phenomenal in its own way. The pummeling screamo woven with heavenly post-hardcore is a balancing act made to look all too easy by this Baltimore quartet. The packaging is spot on. Their live show is unreal (witness here). They have a split 7" with Gillian Carter coming out in early 2017. Oh, and also they are amazing people. How much more could you ask for?
Facebook
ffo: Old Soul, The Usual and Beau Navire
-----o-----

-------------------o0(4)0o-------------------
DOWAGER
'Title Track'
DOWAGER contacted the blog about doing a premiere and all of a sudden I couldn't find my pants. This EP is fucking amazing and fans of jazzy, mathy and thick screamo aka Eyelet, La Luna and early Loma Prieta. I would strongly recommend checking them out if you haven't already.
Facebook
ffo: Crowning, Kidcrash and Sleeper Wave
-----o-----

-------------------o0(5)0o-------------------
ARKATA
'Your Lack Of Attendance' + back catalogue
This band recorded some stuff way back from 2000-2002 and the releases just seem to have surfaced as of January 1st, 2016. Everything this band dropped is fucking exceptional. The bouncy yet demonic screamy post-hardcore has a heavy Loftus vibe that I haven't heard in...well, since Loftus. Oh, and this is all pre-Loftus!
Label on Bandcamp
Label on Facebook
ffo: Loftus, The Book Of Dead Names and Swan Of Tuonela
-----o-----

-------------------o0(6)0o-------------------
YOTSUYA KAIDAN
'Tired of Tomorrow's You'
From the ashes of Ukraine's Mariesena came YOTSUYA KAIDAN and their debut 7" was fan-fucking-tastic. The four songs drip with acidic, explosive and screamy hardcore with ornately constructed packaging by the band. They also released splits with Det Ar Darfor Vi Bygger Stader and Кат.
Facebook
ffo: Orchid, The Ultimate Screamo Band and Mariesena
-----o-----

-------------------o0(7)0o-------------------
MOTHLIGHT
'Tour Tape'
Ahhhh, another great band releasing a drool worthy album and then disintegrating. This final cassette EP featured three new songs and one re-recorded track which perfectly combined melodic and catchy instrumentals with screaming, although this release focuses on the heavier side of the band. In good news, the band's end came apart partly because Thom moved to Richmond for a myriad of reasons, including to start new projects with the incestuous scene that has evolved into Level Plane 2.0. Read his interview here.
Facebook
ffo: Polina, Matsuri and Guidelines
-----o-----

-------------------o0(8)0o-------------------
SALIGIA
'The New Innocence'
Absolutely scathing hardcore/emo-violence from members of Delos, The Apoplexy Twist Orchestra, Resurrectionists and Republic Of Dreams. Not for those who are claustraphobic and enjoy; breaks, rest or relaxation of any kind.
Facebook
ffo: Kelut, Systral and Tentacles
-----o-----

-------------------o0(9)0o-------------------
CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE
'Let's Die.'
This obscure band released a killer 5-track EP that fans of sassy, screamy hardcore with vocals in the vein of Curl Up And Die and The Love And Terror Cult will likely be smitten over.
Facebook
ffo: The Great Redneck Hope, Fear Before The March Of Flames and The Jonbenet
-----o-----

-------------------o0(10)0o-------------------
BARQUE
'Coffin Cutters'
France's BARQUE destroyed me with their dark, gloomy and heavy trip through sludgy, doomy hardcore/post-metal. Those looking for beauty in the pitch black will find this new 5-track EP a welcoming point of reference.
Facebook
ffo: Lamantide, Lentic Waters and Perth Express
-----o-----
********************************************************


Top 6 Splits

-------------------o0(1)0o-------------------

COMA REGALIA / WHAT OF US aka COMA REGALIA in general
Split 12"LP + other stuff
This should come as no surprise, as I love both bands and the people in them. This 12" split was massively overlooked this year and that's just a damn shame. Not only was this an incredible split on both sides, but COMA REGALIA has also continued their legacy of releasing a ton of amazing splits with a bunch of amazing bands as this year is no exception. Besides the cassette LP of ''There's Still Time' released in mid-2016, COMA REGALIA also split with Youth Novel, Gillian Carter and Det Ar Darfor Vi Bygger Stader. Oh and also Tom from WHAT OF US played bass for COMA REGALIA with John from Ostraca and .gif from god on drums at Swamp Fest, so that just seals the fucking deal, man.
COMA REGALIA
CR: Bandcamp / Facebook
ffo: Funeral Diner and Orchid

WHAT OF US
WOU: Bandcamp / Facebook
ffo: Capacities and This Ship Will Sink
-----o-----

-------------------o0(2)0o-------------------
BLIND GIRLS / SANS VISAGE
This split came out in late December and quickly climbed my list and cracked the top five in less than a week. Both bands play screamo with strong European accents, despite the bands residing in Australia and Japan.
BLIND GIRLS
BG: Bandcamp / Facebook
ffo: Rêche and Beau Navire

SANS VISAGE
SV: Bandcamp / Facebook
ffo: Blue Friend and Danse Macabre
-----o-----

-------------------o0(3)0o-------------------
VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SÅ MYCKET / THEY SLEEP WE LIVE
An incredible split 7" that not only gave us two new and great songs by VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SÅ MYCKET but I was introduced to the fantastic THEY SLEEP WE LIVE and their epic 6-minute song. Plus, the packaging rules.
VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SÅ MYCKET
VSAVSM: Bandcamp / Facebook
ffo: Envy and Suis La Lune

THEY SLEEP WE LIVE
TSWL: Bandcamp / Facebook
ffo: Bright Calm Blue and Lonely Animals

-------------------o0(4)0o-------------------
LETTERS TO CATALONIA / ILILL
I'm a huge LETTERS TO CATALONIA fanboy so when this came out I was all over it. The band's uncanny ability to funnel emo-violence and metallic hardcore is matched only by .gif from god. ILILL are from Japan and play jangly and discordant hardcore.
LETTERS TO CATALONIA
LTC: Bandcamp
ffo: Black Nail and Celebration

ILILL
I: Bandcamp / Facebook
ffo: Suis La Lune and Indian Summer
-----o-----

-------------------o0(5)0o-------------------
EUTH splits w/CLOSET WITCH and ANKOU
I am smitten with EUTH. After getting the honour of premiering one of their new songs from the CLOSET WITCH split and then seeing them at Swamp Fest I delved heavily into their discography and was treated to a very late 2016 release of their split with ANKOU (formerly Laika). All three bands kill it on each release so I've put a song up by each band.
EUTH
E: Bandcamp / Facebook
ffo: Psyopus and Enkephalin

CLOSET WITCH
CW: Bandcamp / Facebook
ffo: Amygdala and Hive Mind

ANKOU
A: Bandcamp / Facebook
ffo: Anodes and Elle
-----o-----

-------------------o0(6)0o-------------------
THE ULTIMATE SCREAMO BAND's sophomore release is more of the same, Orchid-esque black metal screamo, and it does not disappoint. LORA's side contains sludgy, dark and discordant screamo.
THE ULTIMATE SCREAMO BAND
TUSB: Bandcamp / Facebook
ffo: Orchid and Yotsuya Kaidan

LORA
L: Bandcamp / Facebook
ffo: Cassilis and June Paik
-----o-----

JESSE MOWERY's Top Releases of 2016
Inforest- Aftermath

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