The most important music I’ve heard this year

That none of the albums I’m about to list are in fact “new” – none of them belong to this year – speaks volumes.  But I’ve only just caught up to them, so for the five people who care, here they are, each with a link (hopefully):-


1. Breath Of Life – Whispering Fields!/album/Whispering+Fields/9293043

After a semi-successful ethereal-electronica diversion (Silver Drops) and a good rock album whose ten great songs were unfortunately eclipsed by one embarrassing error (Everlasting Souls), Isabelle & Co finally delivered the flawless violin-topped-rock album we’ve been waiting for since Lost Children.  Most maddeningly catchy track: “Cutting Wings”.

2. Pretentious Moi

Fifteen years in the making, the album (there probably won’t be another) by the UK goth supergroup in which Tim from Manuskript finally fulfilled his potential, and coaxed Rachel from Die Laughing out of retirement.  An abundance of unforgettable smoke-scratched riffs and bitter lyrics here.  Catchiest track: the one linked to

3. Screaming Banshee Aircrew – Sugar

If this is to be their last album, they went out on a musical high – and in a thoroughly understandable blaze of anger and frustration.  Those March Violets-like vocal countermelodies remain irresistible but the lyrics and riffs which demand your attention and/or submission make this unforgettable.  Personal fave: see the link

4. Aesma Daeva – Dawn Of The New Athens

Another essential album from the best symphonic/progressive goth-metal act in the world – where do they keep finding these heavenly voiced singers from?  So much (wonderful) detail in these short songs that the only criticism is that they don’t seem eager to return to long-form composition (imagine what the current lineup could accomplish with a Frigid Beauty tyoe album). Link to whole album!/album/Dawn+Of+The+New+Athens/4609158

5. King Crimson – The Road To Red [Boxed Set]

No links available to the actual previously-unreleased music in this vast box.  But – like the Lark Tongues box that preceded it – this is the sort of data overload everyone should experience.  A full review will be written on this page sometime, but ’til then…


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