As 2013 draws to a close, we’ve been giving the site over to artists to let us know what they’ve been listening to. It’s proven to be a diverse year for artists and albums alike. You can check out part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, and part 4 here, and part 5 here. However, we also want to let you know what got us going this year. You can read what Chris Colgan, Zach Shaw, Matt Brown,Chip McCabe, Kodi McKinney, Bram Teitelman and Kristen Bayusik liked, but here’s MI contributor/photographer Nathan Katsiaficas’ favorites and honorable mentions.
This band gets a lot of hate. I myself have hated some of their albums in the past, at least initially, but their records never cease to grow on me, and none more so than 2013’s Sempiternal, which is so big a progression musically for the band that it’s hard to really quantify it, even in relative terms. In short, BMTH have grown up on this record, gone (for the most part) are the genre clichés that so often crop up in the lyrics of modern metalcore bands, abandoned for lyrics with deeper meanings (generally) that manage to still be accessible to the average listener. Much if not all of the record deals with frontman, Oliver Sykes’ beliefs, which is refreshing since for once, this isn’t a Christian pushing his beliefs through lyrics, but rather an atheist exploring his experiences with being pressured to believe in a god. Catch them on tour in the US in February/March of 2014!
So it’s easy to forget this came out this year, I almost did so myself…But as the first record after the return of original frontman, Jesse Leach, it’s a pretty big deal. For me, Howard was great and all, but KSE had begun to sound stagnant, with the Howard-era albums all sort of sounding the same….It’s great to see Jesse breathing new life into KSE on Disarm the Descent, almost offering an answer to a“what-if” scenario of where KSE would be musically if Jesse hadn’t left. It’s hard to imagine anything but continued growth in future releases from the band, and I can hardly wait.
To say this record was a long time coming would be an understatement. It had been 5 years since Misery Signals put out Controller, and I think I can speak for a lot of fans in saying that expectations were really, really high for it. I would have stuck this higher on the list had it met all of mine, but alas, the record, although showcasing some progression, did not meet what I would expect. It’s not that it wasn’t good, it was a great record, and would’ve been great if put out 2 years after 2008’s Controller, but it just didn’t feel like it fully made up for the 5-year wait. For one thing, despite clocking in at almost 43 minutes in length, it felt too short. My biggest gripe though was that musically, it just didn’t do a good job of fully showcase the band’s growth from their previous release. The standout track on this record for me, “Everything Will Rust”, is definitely the exception to this, but I can’t really say that for much of the rest of the record. That being said, it was still awesome and merits listening to if you haven’t checked it out yet. If nothing else, hopefully it’s an indication that the band will be more actively touring as well as writing and recording in the years to come.