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Top 10 2017 by Yannick

Another year comes to an end and while it has, arguably, had the lowest of lows in the history of mankind in some areas, it has also stood for acceptance and social evolution in many other areas. However, what is truly relevant at least on this platform is the music…and it has definitely been another strong year with many brilliant releases. I’m here to give you my personal top 10, which will, again, include a majority of records that I didn’t get to review.

#10 While She Sleeps – You Are We

I’ve seen WSS live twice over the past few years and while I was always impressed by their energetic and spot-on performance, their albums never really convinced me. However, with You Are We the quintet have definitely hit a new level and managed to put themselves not only on my radar but gained my deep appreciation.

#9 Paramore – After Laughter

What started out as a crush on the lead singer all those years ago when Misery Business was released, developed into a real fascination with their music by the time they released their self-titled record five years ago. Naturally when they announced a new record, I was fairly excited and looking forward to their evolution; and After Laughter did not disappoint: not only was the music fresh, but the songs were also lyrically very honest, at times even too much.

#8 Taylor Swift – Reputation

Well. How do I put this? After buying the previous record when Shake It Off was released, I realized that it’s actually great pop! When the first single off the new one was released I felt a bit disappointed but I decided to give the record a chance anyways…and I was rewarded. It’s debatable, but I would say that this is her best record to that. Give it a shot, seriously!

#7 Adventurer – Sacred Grove (review)

When I first discovered Adventurer, around three years ago, I was immediately enamored with their chaotic yet highly melodic sound, reminiscent of The Fall Of Troy. Naturally, I was super hyped for their, at the time already announced, full-length album…but it took until fairly recently to be released. And the wait was definitely worth the while! You can read more thoughts on it in my review.

#6 Andrés – Strange Memories On This Nervous Night

By far my biggest surprise-discovery this year was Andrés! His tongue-in-cheek lyrics, his charismatic performances and his pure talent simply shine in every corner of his debut solo album! I had the chance to meet him earlier this year in London and I’m confident in saying that the future will hold some big things for this dude. Get on the hype train before it’s too late!

#5 Wolf & Bear – Everything Is Going Grey

Let’s not kid ourselves…pretty much every Blue Swan release will usually make it on my top 10. The second one on the list, so far, is the debut album of Wolf & Bear, a band that is fairly similar to Dance Gavin Dance in terms of their setup (they even share the same bassist), but are different altogether in their song structures and sound. This one has been on heavy rotation for quite a while on my playlist.

#4 Asking Alexandria – Asking Alexandria

Another, so to speak, surprise entry: the fifth full-length by Asking Alexandria was just released five days ago, but I can safely say that the return of their original singer was the best thing that could happen to the band. A re-vitalized sound, a very open-minded songwriting and a lot of weird, but good, stylistic choices make the self-titled album a force to be reckoned with and put the quintet back on the map.

#3 Trivium – The Sin And The Sentence

When Trivium released their screamless Silence In The Snow, I accepted their change of direction and was ready to follow them down that path. But when the first teaser for their eighth studio album was released, I knew that I might have lied to myself at the time. Because THIS is what I first loved about the band: a perfect blend of heavy and melodic with loads and loads of details to be discovered with every subsequent listen. TSATS is the epitome of what this band is about and I can only recommend it to everyone!

#2 Julien Baker – Turn Out The Lights

This one is a bit weird for me…since I haven’t even listened to it more than ten times. But I feel like it deserves a spot this far up simply for what it did to me on every single listen. Julien Baker‘s debut album already affected me deeply, but Turn Out The Lights is one a whole new level. It is not for everyone, but for me it was a very cathartic experience that I believe should be had by everyone.

Eternity Forever – Fantasy
Hail The Sun – Secret Wars
Happy Hour – What’s Your Poison
Push Over – Demo

I know, I know, I’m kind of bending my own fictitious rules here…but this year saw the release of quite a few really solid EPs, that I think deserve a quick shout-out! Two of those feature one of my favorite vocalists, Kurt Travis, and they are both very different. The, sadly, already defunct Eternity Forever is one of the dreamiest things I’ve gotten to hear all year and Push Over is a fun project with Thomas Erak, of TFOT. Happy Hour is another very DGD-y band, but they managed to stand out to me because of some very unusual elements like a reggae part in one song. Another band that I have fairly high hopes for. And last, but certainly not least, is Hail The Sun‘s new release Secret Wars, which has them going back to their roots, so to speak and just delivers on every single level. What a treat!

#1 A Lot Like Birds – Divisi (review)
Sufferer – Sufferer
Eidola – To Speak, To Listen (review)

While last year had a clear winner, this year I will have to settle for a three-way tie. I’ve written reviews about two of these, so I will just say a few words about the one that eluded me. In the past I’ve dealt with anxiety quite a bit and, while I never dove into real depression, it has definitely made many aspects of my life fairly difficult and it was a real struggle to overcome the hard times. While I have managed to rid myself of the majority of those things on my own, Sufferer is a record that, I feel, can serve as a form of self-therapy to some people out there. (note: of course it does not replace actual therapy) It certainly put a lot of things into perspective for me and, besides, it is just a phenomenal work of musical art.

All in all, I really enjoyed the dynamic this year. I was a bit more active, writing fifteen reviews, and I managed to cover all the local releases that were relevant, to me. However, looking into the future at the moment is a bit weird since, aside from a new Dance Gavin Dance record, I have very few albums I’m actively looking forward to…maybe 2018 will be the year of surprises!

Top 10 2015 by Yannick

This year has been a lot different than all my previous years at El Gore since, as you might have noticed, I’ve stopped the weekly content as I have lost a lot of my passion for writing reviews. However, I really wanted to share my top 10 with you guys, since it’s been a pretty good year for music, especially post-hardcore. So, without further ado, I present to you my little list for 2015!

#10 We Are Harlot – We Are Harlot

I must admit that I was fairly bummed out when Danny Worsnop left Asking Alexandria, but when I heard the record of his new band, all that went away! It’s a truly solid hard rock debut and I’m curious to see what the quartet has in store for their next release!

#9 Oranges -Taxonomy

A very promising newcomer in the post-hardcore genre, that is signed to the almighty Blue Swan Records, who just released their debut that is very reminiscent of the early 2000 emo stuff. Definitely worth checking out!

#8 Sleeping With Sirens – Madness

It is no secret that SWS‘ previous record Feel was by far the weakest one in their catalogue. But this new record improves their track record by a long shot, since Madness might even be considered their strongest one!

#7 Trivium – Silence In The Snow (review)

Trivium is one of those bands that never rests on its laurels, always striving to further improve and refine its style. Their new record simply dropped all screams and still manages to sound so much like Trivium, that it’s scary. Check it out!

#6 Lamb Of God – VII: Sturm und Drang

I have a weird history with Lamb Of God…every time they release a new album, I almost can’t listen to their previous one anymore. It is no different with number seven, since it does something that the band has never done: feature clean vocals! Other than that it’s simply on your usual LoG level!

#5 Counterparts – Tragedy Will Find Us

Without a doubt, the kings of melodic hardcore have yet again released a record that has all the ingredients to make it a good one: melancholic lyrics, a heartfelt vocal performance all throughout and great instrumentals!

#4 I The Mighty – Connector (review)

I The Mighty were one of my favorite newcomers in 2013, and I was very excited when they announced a follow-up to their debut…needless to say that it hit all the right spots for me, making it a superior album in all aspects.

#3 August Burns Red – Found In Far Away Places (review)

Ever since Constellations, August Burns Red has continued to impress me more and more with each record, and while FIFAP doesn’t surpass its predecessor, it’s still a very strong record and you should absolutely give it a listen!

#2 Eidola – Degeneraterra (review)

Another Blue Swan Records being in this top 10 shouldn’t come as a surprise. But what Eidola managed to achieve with this second full-length is something that one must experience oneself…it’s a journey from start to finish. A definite must for post-hardcore fans!

#1 Bring Me The Horizon – That’s The Spirit (review)
Dance Gavin Dance – Instant Gratification (review)
Slaves – Routine Breathing (review)
Secrets – Everything That Got Us Here

It’s seems to be a recurring theme by now…since I literally can’t decide on just picking one numero uno. These four records should be in every music-lovers collection, since they do everything right. Give them a shot at all cost!

I’m really excited to see what 2016 holds in store for music and me, and I hope to see you guys there!

Top 10 2014 by Yannick, Part 2

#5 Secret Band – Secret Band

Starting part two off with another major surprise album. The band basically features all the members of Dance Gavin Dance, except the clean vocals, and holy shit does it rock! Utter craziness from start to finish…just the way I like it.

#4 Stolas – Allomaternal (review)

Continuing in the same spirit: Stolas managed to convince me as soon as I heard the first single of their new album. And the end product is just as amazing. A must for post-hardcore fans!

#3 Miss Fortune – A Spark To Believe (review)

Hands down my newcomer of the year, Miss Fortune have released an absolutely fascinating debut record. Here’s hoping that the band will go on, despite recent band-internal drama.

#2 Slipknot – .5: The Gray Chapter (review)

Must I say anything? How could this not be very high up on the list? However, it didn’t take the cake for me this year, despite awaiting this moment for six years.

#1 Issues – Issues (review)
Chiodos – Devil (review)
Slaves – Through Art We Are All Equals (review)
Hail The Sun – Wake (review)

Déjà-vu? I couldn’t decide last year, and it’s no different this year either…that’s why I don’t add scores or percentages to my reviews. I would consider all four of these records to be masterpieces in their own way. And I can strongly recommend them to anyone who might have some spare cash, each one of these is well worth your money. Trust me. If I did have to pick an absolute winner, it would probably be Slaves though; I can’t even count the number of times I’ve gone through that one.

That’s all I’m going to bore you with for this year. I hope to welcome back many of you, dear readers, next year! Until then: get drunk, stay safe and get laid! My personal highlights on the horizon are new albums by Lamb Of God, Devildriver, Pierce The Veil, Jonny Craig and Bring Me The Horizon! On the local level, the year starts with Lost In Pain‘s second album, for which I have high hopes as well! Well, read you soon!

Top 10 2014 by Yannick, Part 1

2014 has been a truly eventful year, both in the musical department and the El Gore internal department. Our team has gone down from five to two people, which explains the lack of movie reviews in the past few months and the disappearance of the weekly Trash Mondays. Personally, it motivated me to work even harder and I managed to write sixty-nine reviews, a personal record, and thus ensured weekly content. But enough of tooting my own horn, back to the thing that matters: music. I can’t recall a year in the past decade that had so many great releases, so it’s been really difficult to compile the following list, despite upgrading it from five to ten. Either way, enjoy!

#10 Cosmogon – Chaos Magnum (review)

There have been many truly solid Luxembourgish releases this year, but for me personally this one just had everything I needed: catchy riffs, almighty groove and the necessary raw energy to make me bang my head at many shows.

#9 The Ghost Inside – Dear Youth

I’ve known about TGI for quite a while, but I never really cared about them. What a fool I was: after seeing them live this year, I could not await the release of this most recent record. The opener alone is worth checking this one out!

#8 La Dispute – Rooms Of The House (review)

There is seriously not much I can tell you here, except that you should check out my review or simply give the album a shot. But be warned: it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

#7 Betraying The Martyrs – Phantom (review)

The second full-length by the Frenchies is everything its predecessor was, and then some. I had high hopes, and they were not disappointed…making me even more anxious to see them live next year in February!

#6 Masked Intruder – M.I.

I had never heard of the US pop punk quartet, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw them live this year and they rocked so hard that I went ahead and bought both their albums. Good stuff!

Come back tomorrow for part two!

Luc Von Gore’s Top 10 DVD editions

Today’s post is going to be something different, something new. As I am a huge movie memorabilia and special edition fan I am going to post my favourite Box Sets. Before I start I have to explain a few things. The design, appearance and the making-up of the DVD set is in the spotlight. The movie itself just as the image and sound quality come second even though I try to chose uncut films I appreciate. And last but not least I am aware that there are tons of other nice  editions, so if you are not satisfied with the list, just put you favourite ones in the comments below. To conclude, please note that it is not me in the videos. Enough talking, here we go.

#10 The Fly: Ultimate Collectors’ Edition Box Set [DVD]

Do I recommend this edition –> unsure: This edition made it on the 10th place because it contains all 5 Fly movies, numerous extras and has a great sound and image quality. Furthermore I think that the package looks quite interesting but after I did some research I found out that the Box Set itself is made of cheap plastic and that everything has to be handled with care in order not to break anything. In the end, the box looks good but I am not really sure if I am ever going to buy it or if I just stay with the “normal” DVDs. Check it out and make your own decision.

#09 The Big Lebowski 10th Anniversary Edition

Do I recommend this edition –> yes: A limited edition bowling ball case of The Big Lebowski. It just looks perfect, nothing more to say.

#08 Sleepaway Camp Survival Kit

Do I recommend this edition –> only for fans: Here it is all about you being a 80ies slasher  fan or not. The survival kit contains Sleepaway Camp, Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers and Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland. From Amazon: “This very cool box set of the cult classics – The Sleepaway Camp Trilogy has a cute “first aid” motif with bloody handprints on the slipcover. The red paint used on the slipcover for the blood actually FEELS STICKY, like real blood! Open the slipcover up and you have pictures of first aid items like band-aids, first aid cream, gauze, antiseptic wipes and the like with the DVD’s right inside. Utter PACKAGING GENIUS! Also included is a “Sleepaway Camp Diary” that gives the history of all three films and includes addresses for cool Sleepaway Camp fan websites. All three of the features are presented in widescreen with audio commentaries, still galleries, theatrical trailers, outtakes, behind the scenes, deleted scenes and MUCH, MUCH GORE!!!” And that’s where I 100% agree!

#07 Alien Quadrilogy Deluxe Alien Head Limited Edition Box Set [DVD]

Do I recommend this edition –> only for hardcore fans: I was never an Alien fan and I never will be but just have a look at this amazing, detailled Alien head DVD holder.

#06 Planet Terror (uncut) 2Disc Limited Coll.-Edition

Do I recommend this edition –> yes: First of all, Planet Terror is, even though quite modern, one of my all-time favorite grindhouse flicks and this limited and numbered Tin Box does justice to this epic movie on every single level. The flick, with a run-time of 101 mins is completely uncut, the sound and image quality are pin sharp. The extras on the second disc are really interesting and informative. The Planet Terror blood pack just like the odored DVDs are quite useless but the adding of the famous BBQ sauce recipe is a stroke of genius and the sauce is really delicious. If you are a fan of the movie, this is the only edition you should buy! Oh, yeah here is the recipe (sorry but I was to lazy to translate it into english):

4 Portionen
1 Tasse – Tomatenketchup
1 Tasse – Sonnenblumenöl
1/4 Tasse – brauner Zucker
1/2 Tasse – feingehackte Zwiebeln
1/4 Tasse – Worcestershire-Souce
1 TL. – Senf (normalen Schärfe)
2 TL. – Paprikapulver
1-2 TL. – Chilipulver
1 – Messerspitze Zimt
3 – Knoblauchzehen, feingehackt
3- Spritzer Tabasco
Sanft von 1,5 Zitronen
Salz und Pfeffer nach belieben
Alle Zutaten in einen Kochtopf geben,
Erhitzen und mindestens 30 Min. leicht köcheln.
Vor Verzehr abkühlen lassen.

#05 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray + 3 DVDs)

Do I recommend this edition –> yes

#04 Dawn of the Dead: The Ultimate Edition

Do I recommend this edition –> yes There are tons of different editions of Dawn of The Dead out there but this one is by far the best! Disc one is the original unrated director’s cut with George Romero, Tom Savini, and Chris Romero commentaries, theatrical trailers and radio spots. Disc two is the extended edition, some footage, a Richard Rubinstein commentary and some other stuff. Disc three comes with The Dario Agento cut (which was released in Europe) and some commentaries by the stars of the movie. And last but not least Disc 4 contains The Dead Walk and the Document of the Dead documentaries, just as a feature-length one shot during the making of Dawn of the Dead, some home movies and a tour through the Monroeville mall. And now comes the best, you can buy this epic edition on Amazon for only $15.35. What are you waiting for? Buy it now!

#03 Cannibal Holocaust Limited Deluxe Statue Edition

Do I recommend this edition –>only for fans

#02 Battle Royale 1 – Limited Ultimate Edition (5DVD+Blu-Ray+Blu-Ray 3D) (7Discs) – Uncut

Do I recommend this edition –> yes:  Quite the same as with the Planet Terror edition. This Box Set (fabric covering and hot-foil embossing) is utterly perfect. It consists of 7 Discs (Blu-ray and DVD) incl. 3D Blu-ray. Features are: Behind the Scenes of Battle Royale – Making of Battle Royale – Takeshi Kitano Interview – Shot of the  Special Edition – 42 students – Royal problems – Special Effects comparison – Behind the Scenes – At the Set – Trailer, TV-Spots & Commercials – the music of Battle Royale – Promotion & Premieres – The correct way to make Battle Royale [Birthday Version] – The correct way to fight in Battle Royale. Furthermore this edition comes with a  certificate, a poster, 8 postcards, a comic (36 pages) and a booklet (24 pages) and is limited to 5000 pieces! A well-deserved second place.

#01 Japanese DVD-BOX “GODZILLA FINAL BOX” Complete Set 2005

Do I recommend this –> for hardcore fans only: Are you blind? No? So, you know why I recommend this one. If you are not convinced yet, here is the content: Godzilla head with base, booklet, 31 discs in total: Original 30 discs + 1 optional disc (Final Wars) to complete the set covering all 28 episodes (Godzilla 1954 to Final Wars 2004) and 3 archives bonus discs. All are only in Japanese language without subtitle or translation with fucking 16kg in total. I hope I made everything clear now?! Godzilla is the mother/father of all movie monsters and this edition excludes all possibility of doubt about it.