Instead of reviewing a single year, I've decided to go over a whole decade. And, what started as a simple listing plus copy-paste has eventually become an extremely revealing experience. It made me realize how my musical world has expanded and evolved, as the community of fans has altered too, due to changes in our virtual playground. We began writing in music forums, and then on Myspace and finally FB, and so, words have gradually diminished.
I found out that 2005-2006 were written in Hebrew and needed translation. 2007 to 2009 were reviewed both in Hebrew (ynet alternative music forum / Indie zine) and in English (Myspace. I could never imagine myself making such an effort today). Also, those three years, I separated my favorite Israeli albums from the bests of the rest of the world, which I didn't feel the need to do later on. And, 2010 and on has been about FB where everything's instant-shallow.
2005 – It's a Thin Line between Fiction and Real
Nin – With teeth [Nothing / East / Interscope]
"With Teeth" [is my no. 1] because even though I've listened to it forever, I haven't yet managed to grasp it all. Each time I listen summons a new discovery – a new note that hasn't been there before, a deeper understanding of the lyrics, and more importantly, their perfect connection to the music. Trent Reznor seeks identity and meaning while standing on the border line between fiction and reality. It's about an intellectual, uncompromising and painfully sober quest. [Well, there was more, but I guess this would do]
2006 – Going all the way
This year is obviously about girl power as all three No. Ones have a female vocalist at the front – Amber Valentine and Julie Christmas.
Jucifer – If Thine Enemy Hunger [Relapse]
This couple feels like home to me. Gazelle Amber Valentine – guitar, and her husband Edgar Livengood – drums, taking me one step forward in life. They fight for what they believe in, they look around and ignore nothing, and provides me with new meanings for "music", "life", "together"…If Thine Enemy Hunger opens various musical windows to everything that Jucifer means to me. "And razor blades".
Made Out of Babies – Coward [Neurot Recordings]
MOoB is one of Neurot's new babies – Brendan Tobin (guitar), Eric Cooper (bass), Matthew Egan (drums) & the legendary vocalist Julie Christmas. Coward begins with a fierce-piercing roar and remains quite intense till its end. Also, I like the way Out, the brief closing in their debut Trophy, is reprised and developed here to show continuity. "We sing and scream it seems our dreams are spools of string and pigs with wings"
Battle of Mice – A Day of Nights [Neurot]
Battle of Mice =Josh Graham+Julie Chrismas+Joel Hamilton+Tony Maimone +Joe Tomino= a great supergroup who cast a spell called A Day of Nights. It sounds like a long journey taking different turns in different shades, it reveals the truth just like night vision binoculars help you through the night and it takes the time to explain. "Every time I think of pushing you down the stairs, I lick my lips. But don't be upset, it's the only way that I know how to show you that I really care."
Overmars – Born Again [Appease Me]
This one track album enables me to feel the sense of elevation while deeply sinking into the depth of my being. I have desperately waited for their new album and although at first, I did not understand their one-track concept, Overmars didn't fail me and demonstrated a classical approach to a doom piece of music. "Until the bell tolls, I am immortal."
2007 – The Israel so few of us know about
bARBARA – Peger [HCB Records]
Peger (= cadaver) is about the unpromised land and about its masters who have become slaves to their own power. It's also about the blindness and indifference of man in general, and his inferiority to animals, even to the loathed creature he has cursed as the very first act of denying self-evil.
"[…] let nature be do not/ conquer follow the serpent / moves adapting to the landscape."
It was very easy for me to recognize the power within the Peger's screaming breaths before he's totally and brutally slaughtered again, but it took me quite a while to realize how deep the cut is, and how intensive the bleeding which waters our fields….
2008 – "Violent sympathy, white rage"…"Oh yes, and women too"
MOoB – The Ruiner [The End]
From energetic "Cooker" to semi-dark prophetic "How to Get Bigger" there's no sound I can do without. MOoB have come a long way since Trophy, and have changed quite a lot since Coward. Meaning, they're exploring new paths, new fields and new airways. The major change is about the music clearly taking the lead over the incompatible frontwoman's singing (without overshadowing its stunning effect, of course). Also, the musical world of MOoB has summoned new sounds and a new attitude, into which J. Christmas' enchanting lyrics are woven. She said in an interview, that there's no clear meaning to the title. Well it's quite clear to me that the ruiner couldn't be an alien or a pet.
The Heroine Sheiks – Journey to the End of the Knife [Amphetamine Reptile]
I have a feeling this album did not get the acclaim it deserves. It demands extraordinary talent to be subtle about shoving things bluntly in people's face, and dressing it up into a cheerful outfit. I wouldn't like to meet any of Selsbers' personas, but I enjoy the intrusion to obscure territories and the creepy sense of perspective, sort of "Devil's Rejects". Journey to the End of the knife, I believe, is far too smart for you. What? Don't you like it? "Be a man"!
2008 – The Israeli Connection
"All Roads Lead to Rome", but who knows the way to Jerusalem?
Drone Lebanon/Wertham – Roma-Yerushalyim [Topheth Prophet]
Roma-Yerushalayim is a split concept album which draws a power electronics line between materialism (Rome) and spirituality (Jerusalem), where point "Rome" is represented by Wertham and point "Jerusalem", by Drone Lebanon.
DL's lucid gaze has conjured five short tracks, sampling different aspects of the issue in question – who stands to be the next instant- Messiah? […]
Wertham's confident skillful hand has painted two long beautiful and glorious tracks. The first, "La Distruzione del Tempio", […] and then crudely describe the destruction of the temple and the power behind it. The second, Aelia Capitolina, deals with the essence of that power, […]
Sunn O))) – Monoliths & Dimensions [Southern Lord]
Monoliths & Dimensions embodies the Sun O))) lore of music & myth. Its grandeur is undeniable and discernable from the moment Attila Csihar begins to slowly lay the words of" Aghartha", one by one, for the listener to walk on, until the last of reverberating sounds stands still, and he finds himself walking on water, wind and silence. Its cyclic sense swirls around the ceremony held in "Big Church", which recommences three times and silenced twice. Its visionary aspect weighs heavily and heralds clearly through "Hunting & Gathering". Its romantic 'Enlightenment' called "Alice" unfolds a harmonious fan of familiar, yet unexpected sounds concluding in a single horn ray of truth. Its innovative impact derives from futuristic insights revealed through retrospection, which makes Monoliths & Dimensions invincible!
2009 – DESSERTS – Jizz it all over…
Jizzbox – Jizzbox [Alamut]
From the gut to the gutter, jizzbox ejaculates its painful filth. It has no listeners in mind. If you happen to be there, you're hit. Be there.jizzbox had no listeners in mind, yet someone paid close attention to that raw power confession and handled it with super-special-tender care, never damaging the already damaged. And, I was gladly hit, and it has been my faithful companion ever since. I could author my reasons in many a paragraphs, but I'd rather fatefully admit that if you can't love jizzbox, you can't love me.
2010 – It's About Time!
Jucifer – Throned in Blood [Nomadic Fortress]
Total exposure; zero manipulation; Jucifer as is – my album of the year!!
Anemone Tube – Death Over China [Topheth Prophet/Silken Tofu]
I cannot argue with such an overwhelming sonic text, so coherently and beautifully authored. I cannot argue with the seriousness and thoroughness it displays. I could quite easily argue with perfectionism; but, not in this case.
2012 – Top of the Pops
Skin Area – Rothko Field [Malignant]
Mature. Confident. No hesitation. No compromise. No mistakes. Its fierce moments will stab you. Its gentle ones will tear you apart.
2013 – "Is it almost time?" 😉
(Los) Melvins –Tres Cabrones [Ipecac]
The "Three Bastards" has got that old spark which lit a big flame in my heart, and it has kept burning ever since. Thus, Tres Cabrones is, no doubt, the legitimate king of 2013.
2014 – You're yesterday!
Last Dominion Lost – Towers of Silence [The Epicurean/Silken Tofu]
Last year, no words accompanied the sounds, and as I'm planning to pay a special (post) attention to 2014 in the future, I'll just say that Towers of Silence cuts so deep into your soul that it leaves you totally out of breath.
2015 – The Sounds of Silence
Lietterschpich – For Fears [Nova Romema]
If you're new to Lietterschipch "For Fears" might not sound very communicative, but to me it sounds their most Romantic album, and besides being the best album of 2015, I'll name it Futuristic Nostalgia
Have a wonderful 2016!