Devil’s Dozen 2011 + The Bone Reader’s indie/demo list

2012 Devils Dozen 1
Posted 31 December 2011   Devil's Dozen

Well this is it!  End of the line!  Last stop of the way to 2012!  …but first, a few thoughts before we go there.  This was a year was marked by turmoil and strife as the world makes it’s way towards an inevitable fork in the road:  the next step in our evolution or a swift decent into oblivion.  One thing’s for sure:  Dire times made for a bumper crop of truly excellent music!

With all of the outstanding new bands and independent labels that stepped up this year, it was simply impossible for me to deliver a “Devil’s Dozen”.  As such, I’ve decided that the only reasonable thing to do is to man up and take a two-fisted approach:  One list featuring the smaller, micro-brew labels and self-released demos, the other from more established acts and releases on the bigger labels that we all know and love.  Hopefully, there’s enough good music in both categories again next year and this becomes a tradition!

Is it in any kind of order?  Call it “organized chaos”.  I could have continued to move things around, but hey enough with all the talk!  Get ready for Part One of The Bone Reader‘s personal Devil’s Dozen for 2011.

Questions?  Comments?  Concerns?  Get out your poison pen and the long knives and leave a comment if you dare!

Check ya on the flipside and see you in 2012 with Part Two!!

#13. Tyrannosorceress + Demo 2011


This hellacious slab comes in firing on all cylinders.  I mean first things first:  with a name like Tyrannosorceress, you’ve got my attention right off the bat.  Grinding their axe over three cuts of blackened sludgecore, these guys come in hot, fuck shit up and then get out before the blood even hits the ground.

Calling this a “demo” sets the bar high for other bands.


#12. Kannon + Engine


What it lacks in polish and refinement, this is one of those jams that slaps reason in the face with an ice cold hand before it scratches a deep-down itch.  There’s an opitated, almost dreamlike quality that pervades this recording and it’s one of the reasons I found myself hooked.

#11. Lycus + Demo 2011

Graceless Recordings

Here’s a nickel bag of some high-test funeral doom from Oakland’s Lycus.  A few keen observers have argued that they’re not doing anything new by mixing genres, but what makes the future so bright (or gloomy, if you prefer) for this band is the results in the mood and feeling they’re able to evoke.

It’s everything a good demo should be: raw, sketchy and yet completely impossible to ignore.  CLICK HERE to catch a listen.

#10.  Ssothm + II

Pissfork Anticulture

This release stands out in and of itself, no doubt about it.  However, it’s also my way of cheating and getting two bands that I’ve really gotten into this year onto this list at the same time.  For those of you who don’t know already, those two bands are Fister and The Lion’s Daughter, each of whom share band members on this project.

Although it’s quite unlike Fister‘s earlier work and well removed from the sonic outrage heard on The Lion’s Daughter‘s excellent releases earlier this year (check out Forgotten Masters or the new Hemimetabolous EP)  it’s a perfect compliment to the catalogue and repertoire that both bands are building.

However, I should warn you:  When I told Kenny Snarzyk of Fister (and label boss for Pissfork) that Ssothm had made my “best of 2011″ list, he warned me that it’s probably “too out there” for most people.  Well FUCK most people, I say.

The morale of the story??  DON’T BLOW IT, KLUTZ!  Drop what you are doing and CLICK HERE for the FREE DOWNLOAD.

#9. Haagatha + Haggatha III

Choking Hazzard Records

These guys fuckin’ slay.  Simple as that.

Don’t believe me?  CLICK HERE to blow your head off.

#8. Bong + Beyond Ancient Space

Ritual Productions

It’s BONG, you moron!  Get with the program!

…if that’s not enough to convince you, check out our review HERE.

#7.  Sandrider + S/T

Good To Die Records

This one nearly slipped under the radar being that it wasn’t released until December.  Even so, those with discriminating tastes in stoner rock will no doubt be hearing lots more from these guys in the new year and beyond.

#6. Phantom Glue + S/T

Teenage Disco Bloodbath

A blistering combination of balls-out intensity and a sort of heady nerdishness makes this another one of this year’s standouts.  Sonically, it’s among the finest, but as you can see, this bad boy is also quite impressive visually, as well.

CLICK HERE to check out our interview with the band if you dare!

#5. Orchid + Capricorn

The Church Within Records

I’d say that this is Sabbath worship at it’s finest, but that would be selling things short.  With plenty of chops and a proper emphasis on writing songs that get right inside of you, Orchid deliver some of the finest and most authentic patchouli-laced devil music this side of 1978.

Don’t be a pussy and go for the book-bound “Hardcore” edition.  Tall pint of wicked darkness not included, but our interview with Mark and Theo is RIGHT HERE.

#4. Nether Regions + Into The Breach


This is another band that hit right inside my comfort zone, straight out tha gate.  A band called Nether Regions?  Go figure.  While we never got an official measurement, Into The Breach hits with all the force of a metric fuckton of well-constructed thrashin’ goodness.

#3. Beastwars + S/T


Coming straight out of the wild of their nativeNew Zealand, these guys made their mark from half a world away.  In case you happen to be blind, this is the most visually stunning cover art of the year, hands down.  BEAUTIFUL double gatefold package that you will regret missing out on when they’re finally gone.

CLICK HERE to hear more – straight from the mouth of the Beast themselves!

#2.  Elder + Dead Roots Stirring


I’ve had my ear out for Elder since their self-titled debut, but man…  these guys swooped right in outta nowhere and dropped some serious jams.  Proper use of the word “ironic” if you note that for a bunch of young dudes, this is a remarkably mature album that deserves it’s rightful place in at the top of the hill.

Our interview with the band is RIGHT HERE.

#1.  Headless Kross + Bear


Kinda dirty, has a funny smell to it, but Bear is one of those albums that seemed to fit just right from the first moment I tried it on.  Headless Kross are a perfect reminder that making music is a lot like cooking:  any fool can through “sludge” and “doom” and a blues scale in the pot and try to hash it together…  these guys make it finger lickin’ good.



Ortega + A Flame Never Rises On It’s Own

The End Records

This one isn’t officially out until later on in 2012 but I’ll tell you all right now that if it were available today, this release would absolutely be at fighting it’s way to the top of my list.  “Epic” is a word that has begun to loose it’s meaning after years of overuse, but these three songs really stir the loins.  I’ve heard any number of bands shooting for this sort of general idea with what they’d like to do, but Ortega hits it dead on and keeps going.


Hellhorse + Decade Of Dust

Twelve Gauge Records

While it didn’t quite fit in the Devil’s Dozen, I kept coming back to this one again and again throughout the year.  It’s just too hard for me to forget this fiendish little chestnut of myopic crust.  Complete with his own bizarre manifesto, the twisted mind behind Hellhorse deserves some recognition for fucking up the program.