The year is about to end and it’s time to draw a résumé of 2016. Among the releases of this year were a number of EPs and quite a few of them struck me as particularly outstanding. These are Noise Vortex Top 5 EPs of 2016.
5. Mylingar – Döda Vägar
The first item on this list is the debut EP, Döda Vägar, by swedish Mylingar. Named after fearsome souls of unbaptized children from scandinavian folklore, Mylingar deliver an oppressing and dissonant EP with five blistering tracks. The hidden grooves in these songs are your only lifesaver to hang on to in the rough and murky waters of Mylingar’s battering sound, constructed by heavily distorted guitars and pummeling drums. Little details like the pestilent cough at the end of the opening track and the audio sample at the beginning of the last track are special little treats to round off the package. Fans of Portal and equally cavernous and disturbing death metal should give this a listen.
4. Cadaveric Fumes – Dimensions Obscure
Next up we have Dimensions Obscure by french death metal outfit Cadaveric Fumes. Formed in 2011, the band has not yet released a full album and instead delivers their second EP and one of my favorite death metal releases of 2016. Clad in sci-fi vibes and what sounds like a subtle Supuration influence, this EP consists of four absolutely riveting tracks full of memorable riffs and captivating melodies. At some points I also felt light, psychedelic hints shine through that reminded me of Morbus Chron’s Sweven. I’m definitely looking forward to hear more from this band.
3. Voivod – Post Society
Entering the top 3 we have Post Society by canadian thrash veterans Voivod. True to their virtues the band came through with four tracks overflowing with angluar and progressive thrash riffing, punk drumming and dirty, raspy vocals, singing of futuristic and dystopian cityscapes. Admittedly, this was my first real experience with Voivod, but it definitely piqued my interest in the band and constitutes one of my favorite progressive releases of this year.
2. Imperial Triumphant – Inceste
The second place on this list is Imperial Triumphant’s new EP Inceste. This New York based avant-garde black metal outfit featuring (ex-)members of bands such as Pyrrhon continues to be one of the most overlooked and underrated bands in modern black metal. As I mentioned in my review of this EP, the band’s unsettling and overwhelming sound continues do draw me in and their blend of Deathspell Omega and Pyrrhon influences, combined with their own radical ideas, makes for a fascinating experience. In addition to that, this EP deals with a very striking core theme: The works of the controversial french author Marquis de Sade. The band does a great job presenting that theme and offers us an insight into their own interpretations of his works.
1. Botanist/Oskoreien – EP III: Green Metal/Deterministic Chaos
Admittedly, this is a split, but Botanist’s contribution to this constitutes the band’s third EP3, Green Metal. Even though the creator of the project, Ortrebor, has said that big leaps in Botanist’s development are reserved for albums, this EP already presented a major step forwards in terms of songwriting and sophisticated composing. The beautiful, dark and at times sorrowful songs on this constently highly atmospheric EP completely abstain from deploying guitars and instead replace them with hammered dulcimers, the core feature of Botanist’s sound. Though viewed by many as a “gimmick” band, Botanist know how to push the boundaries and use unusual means to achieve a unique and memorable sound. Of course I do not want to omit Oskoreien’s contribution either. Five years after his debut album, Oskoreien completely redefined his sound on this EP and went for a depressive, droning interpretation of black metal. Just like Botanist, Oskoreien does not utilize any guitars for his part of this split, though it might sound differently. Funnily enough, I was speculating if Oskoreien had a new release in the works as I wrote my review about this EP and as it turns out he just released a new album this month.
This wraps up my Top 5 EPs of 2016. The recap for album releases of this year as well as a post about the future of Noise Vortex are in the works and will be released before the end of the year