Interviewing the locals • Metal’s Best of 2013 • with Primal Waters’ Chris Schoenberg

     I’ve never really written out a year end list before, but it was f***ing great! I’ve been listening to all my favorite albums from the year today, and my heavy metal co*k is almost bursting. Well it looks like I’m a thrash guy, at least this year. These are really in no particular order.

Toxic Holocaust – Chemistry of Consciousness

Dirty, punky, uber-thrashy, heavy metal! Toxic Holocausts’ recipe just f***ing works for me. Dirty guitars, Joel Grind’s gravelly, distorted voice yelling through simply worded choruses that make me want to pump my fist and try to whip my head right off my neck. The tempos rip, and then they split them in half just to double them again a few measures later. Kick ass thrash punk riffs and a few sweet guitar solos thrown in to get the proper grip on your balls. If you haven’t yet watch the video for “Acid Fuzz”, awesome song….and the video just puts it over the top, I mean Jesus gets barbecued by a fire breathing dragon!

Warbringer – IV: Empires Collapse

I first learned about Warbringer this year when I heard “Hunter-Seeker” streaming before this album came out, and I was hooked, as I typically am when I hear kick ass thrash. For the most part Empires Collapse feels kind of old school, there are some breakdowns that sort of remind me of Slayer, but they also use some tremolo picking and other techniques like you’d hear in a lot of modern metal. The vocals are a little cleaner than most of the albums on this list, but they are definetly not clean singing. Warbringer even brings the pretty, with acoustic guitars after the thrash like at the end of “Horizon”, or a sweet harmonized guitar part in “The Turning of the Gears”, in fact there is sweet guitar s*** all over this f***er, like the shreddy guitar solo and bridge part in “Black Sun, Black Moon.” You even get a party song in “Iron City”!

Revocation – Self Titled

Ok, obviously this record SLAYS, but I think the artwork sucks. The middle thing in the circle is cool, but why did they just surround it with tan? Anyways, the music is top notch. It sounds f***ing incredible, the guitar tones are just f***ing perfect for every part, the drums sound fantastic, it’s just so heavy and so clear. The playing is also just unreal. Super technical and with so many styles of riffs, I don’t even know what metal sub-genre to call them! I love how Revocation just changes gears and feel at the drop of a hat. And when Dave David “Davey” Davidson rips in to one of his guitar solos….ooh..I get a special little tingle. Dat tone.

Lord Dying – Summon the Faithless

I don’t even remember exactly where I first found these guys, but their whole new album was (still is?) streaming, and I had that page open for a long, long time. Big fuzzy guitar tones, songs that pound and gallop and groove. Its a little hard not to think of High On Fire, but I don’t ever remember loving High On Fire like the way I get a big ol’ metal broner for Lord Dying’s Summon the Faithless. Plus absolutely kick ass artwork. Did you see the video for “Dreams of Mercy”? Brutal song that you can sing along to “To reach any height! Almost any height!” and a darkly hilarious video.

Skeletonwitch – Serpents Unleashed

Blackened thrash with lots of really neat doo-dads. Haha! But seriously. Skeletonwitch brings it again with Serpents Unleashed. I’ve read a lot of people saying that this is their best one to date, and they might be right, but its hard for me to say because all their albums are great. Ultra-tight, ultra fast, awesomeness. There are even some parts that could be interpreted as catchy! Chance Garnette’s voice is just too f***ing good. When I’ve got this one on the ipod it usually goes through the whole motherf***er a couple times before I change it. There are parts that make you want to look towards the skies and sacrifice lambs, virgins, or anything that bleeds to the metal gods, and right as you are about to put flame to flesh, Skeletonwitch lays down the speed and you have no choice but to circle headbang.

Chris Schoenberg,
Primal Waters