Sunday, 23 December 2012


Mystery Flame’s 2012 PLAYLIST

When listing my yearly playlist, first and foremost I follow the heart. So the album that tops my 2012 list is the one that touched me the most and in the most uncanny, irrational and instinctive manner.
What follows on from that is an inventory of amazing releases which, for different reasons, have been part (some a huge part) of my daily life. All of them have inspired me deeply and, in some cases, the artist contributed in making the powerful vibrations of music even more special by sharing words, smiles and ideas. Incidentally, I shall soon enlist on Wyrd’s Flight especially chosen interviews I conducted in the last couple of years which I believe are worth reading  as a piece of collective work: from Alcest to Dornenreich and Fen, from Negura Bunget to Cynic and Dordeduh, or Voivod, Rotting Christ and Bolt Thrower, you will hopefully find a common thread throughout all of them. This profound, honest human touch, this willingness to share, embrace and ritualize/spiritualize is what still moves me to write about extreme, underground Music after so many years. Let us keep the Underground alive, genuine and fertile: the ancestral forces of the universe are with us!!!

Yours truly, Alex Mysteerie a.k.a. Mystery Flame.

1. LUNAR AURORA - Hoagascht
This album goes under my skin, as if it knew its ways into my basic being. I know these sounds, I perceive them as mine. Curiously, the same family, the Königs, tops my playlist for the second consecutive year (KAMERA OBSKUR Bildfänger won my heart in 2011). Please don’t stop doing this to me… Come back soon!

2. BLUT AUS NORD - 777 Cosmosophy
Dazzling, truly from another dimension: masters.

3. DORDEDUH - Dar De Duh
And the shaman-king spoke: Music will heal the world!

4. FORMLOFF - Spyhorelandet
This Eisenwald release of crazed Norrøn avant-garde somehow eluded the trendier elitist congregations, perhaps because its Ved Buen Ende madness crosses the unhip psycho-path of the Kvarforth kind, but I find it a brilliantly engaging and intense piece of art.

5. DESOLATE SHRINE – The Sanctum of Human Darkness
This slab of Finnish lucid madness has been called the best death metal album of the year, and yet how can you call this DM when the claustrophobic dose of blackened doominess seems to slowly snuff the life out of it, creating instead a maelstrom of nihilistic avantness dabbling into Deathspell Omega’s spirit?

6. ALUK TODOLO – Occult Rock
Possibly the most dazzling album of the year, providing that kind of unique psychedelic madness Oranssi Pazuzu instilled in my brain last year. Relentlessly awesome.

Mindblowing live, mindblowing through a pair of shitty speakers: such is the force of this epic maelstrom of human outrage and passion.

8. FUNERAL - Oratorium
The solemn funeral march has become something monumental: Sindre Nedland’s added vocal layerings, the sinister orchestration and the dynamic drumming send this album to the next level.

9. A FOREST OF STARS A Shadowplay for Yesterdays
Music is often an abstract entity, but when it sounds like this, you feel every tormented thought, every fragile moment of bewilderment, every passionate heartbeat…

Captivating, intelligent, unique, full of passion and irony.

11.HEXVESSEL – No Holier Temple
As an artist, there is nothing worthier than sharing your spiritual journey with the world in a fearless, genuine and inclusive way. Sincere love and understanding of Nature distilled.

12.ATRIARCH – Ritual of Passing
A stunner of an album: the resurrected spirit of early Christian Death and Bauhaus is powerful and utterly mesmerizing. But make no mistake, these are very tough XXI century guys…

Best album ever by the Brummies for me. Nothing tops this bleak outpour of extreme metal/extreme emotions. It is too important that music like this keeps being created!

14. THE SECRET - Agnus Dei
Talking about Extreme, this album could easily be in my top 5 (this is not a fixed list): absolutely D-E-V-A-S-T-A-T-I-N-G!!!

15.KONTINUUM – Earth Blood Magic
Viking psychedelic post black? Dark indie-rock? Atmospheric prog-metal? Whatever: it’s earthy, it’s bloody and it’s magic. And it’s from Iceland.

16.KRAKOW – diin
Hordaland’s best and most eclectic produce of the year outside the BM factory. Hints of vintage Voivod and much more: I love…

17.UFOMAMMUT – Oro: Opus Primum / Opus Alter
Like river of thick, molten gold.

18. KATATONIA – Dead end Kings
Human emotions simply elevated to aural perfection. Played it to death...

19.NETTLE CARRIER – Nettle Carrier
Trim, mean, straight to the point, groovy Norwegian BM. 

20. SECRETS OF THE MOON - Seven Bells
Tense and visceral sound that manages to be memorable.

21. SITUS MAGUS - Le Grand Oeuvre
Deathspell Omega and Aosoth overlapping in a grand manner: truly Evil

22. YEAR OF THE GOAT - Angel's Necropolis
Fully retro in spirit but very much of today: one of the most seductive albums in recent times!

23. VETTER – Vetterkult
Shamanic – psychedelic – folk – ambient -noise BM in the right proportions.

24. AHAB – The Giant
Crushing depth; freezing-cold fluidity; ghostly sorrowful atmospheres that feel more progressive: Ahab have matured and sound more splendid than ever.

25. ASH BORER - Cold of Ages
Bleacker, colder, rawer.

26. BLACK BREATH - Sentenced to Life

27. WINTERFYLLETH - The Threnody of Tryumph
Always an intense, emotional folk BM experience...

28. KOHRS - Wisdom of Centuries
Drudkh-like heart-wrenching beauty translated in a crystal-clear sound with to-die-for guitars…

 29.FORGOTTEN TOMB - …And Don’t Deliver Us From Evil
Sick, Twisted and Pissed Off. That’s when these motherfuckers are at their best!

30. GERM - Wish
Tim Yatras does not give a shit. If this is Tears for Fears doing depressive black metal, it’s fine by me!

31. ENSLAVED - Riitiir
Great moments done with heart & skill.

32. THE 11TH HOUR – Lacrima Mortis
Beautifully clad musings on Death from someone who stared at her in the face.

33.ALCEST – Les Voyages de l’Âme
A point of departure that I hope will have important bearings.

34. WEH - En Natt Kom Doed
Dark neo-folk from the cold lands of the lone wolves

35.EREB ALTOR - Gastrike
Genuine Viking, old-school black metal: the (non-southern) Swedish way. Gimme!

36. DYSRHYTMYA - Test Of Submission
 Jaw-dropping extreeeeeme fusion from another planet.
37.ESSENZ - Mundus Numen
Lethal paranormal rituals: super stuff!

38.BLACK MAGICIAN – Nature Is the Devil’s Church
Pure Anglo-Saxon psychedelic prog/folk which would be heavenly if the vox were less Lee Dorrian.

39.MALNATT – Principia Discordia
Crazy, intelligent, tongue-in-cheek black metal from a country that personifies madness: Italy.

Atmospheric, melodic French BM: a pleasure to listen to!

Full-blown artistic freewill... 

42. NEKROMANTHEON - Rise, Vulcan Spectre
Blistering, raw blackened thrash that makes you grin lik ena idiod...

43. COBOLT 60 - The Grim Defiance
More old-school, flithy blackened thrash: Aura Noir beware! ;-) 

44. CRYPTOPSY - Cryptopsy
Crossing a panzer with a Lamborghini is possible.

45. CHELSEA WOLFE - Unknown Rooms: A Collection Of Acoustic Songs
Charming, a pleasure to listen to (and compare notes with).

MY 2012 TOP 6(66) EPs:

Amazing… Like, yet again, Manuel Tinnemans’ cover. The perfect package.

Davide Tiso and his companions are warning us: the best of the avantgarde is back!

3. LASTER - Wijsgeer & Narreman
Austere, Burzum and Drudkh? Certainly a thing of beauty…

4. AGRYPNIE – Asche
A gorgeous EP showcasing the more atmospheric side of a killer live band.

5. HERDER – Horror Vacui
The best stoner-doom metal tasted recently: the Dutch sextet is incredible on stage!

6.MONDVOLLAND – Pestvogel
Great Oranjie folk-tinged black metal promising even finer times ahead.

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