Claire Bernadet of Purple Sage PR Picks Her Favourite Albums Of The Year

We invited artists, labels and publicists to tell us which records or artists they’ve personally enjoyed over the last twelve months. Claire Bernadet‘s – Purple Sage PR (Desertfest, Reverence Valada, Small Stone Records and Heavy Psych Sounds)  picks below.


10. Hangman’s Chair – This Is Not Supposed To Be Positive (Fear Music Satan)
Ah! Now is time for me to give a shout out to my fellow Frenchmen. France is still making a niche for itself when it comes to getting on the international doom map, but we definitely can be proud of what Hangman’s Chair have achieved so far. As their new record’s title indicates, you’ll found a ginormous amount of gloom and doom in there, topped off by powerful melodic vocals. PO-WER-FUL.


9. Go’Zilla – Sinking In Your Sea (Black Candy Records)
I listen to a lot of music all the time, from doom to hip-hop, but I’ve found myself really enjoying garage surf rock lately. Go’Zilla put out a great breezy effort, every damn lick is über-catchy and has one hell of party potential. The shot of vitamins is now.


8. Tombstones – Vargariis (Soulseller Records)
This second album from blackened doomers Tombstones is simply their best effort so far. Well, saying they play doom is quite reductive, as there is a real old school heavy metal atmosphere all along the record, but the darkest moments just nail it deep down. This album is kicky, with good surprises awaiting around every corner. Needless to say it must be played at maximum volume!


7. Cigale – Cigale
What a beautiful piece of music Cigale is… Like a celestial trip, a magic journey into the heart of the dutch forest. It just doesn’t sound like anything else out there. I’m still really saddened by their guitarist Rutger Smeets’ passing a few months ago, but it brings me joy to think he has left this wonderful legacy to us, music lovers. Pure magic from beyond the stars.


6. Lucid Sins – Occultation (Totem Cat Records)
The retro-rock wave is sustaining its momentum, but you’ll get to find the best music only if you ride the pipeline. Get off the beaten track, find a DIY label like Totem Cat and discover a band that just got it right. Lucid Sins don’t pretend, they embody the late 60’s-early 70’s psychedelia perfectly. Dirty and occult.


5. Monolord – Vænir (Riding Easy Records)
Monolord has been the best new doom act to arise in the last few years. Following their face-melting debut “Empress Rising”, “Vænir” continues their heavy and fuzzy march upon the world. Sweden has just found its new doom Kings, and so have we.


4. All Them Witches – Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (New West Records)
When I listened to it for the first time, I told myself “damn, there’s something happening in there! “. So many bands have been ripping off each other, and then ATW arrived with something unique, exploring a whole new continent of creativeness. I love the fact it blends so much heaviness with more aerial moments, as well as exotic experimentations. Captivating.


3. Elder – Lore (Stickman Records)
Lore has so many facets that you can’t just seize each one of them at first glance. You have to plunge deep into it and let yourself being carried away, like a proggy stoned-out trip in Wonderland. Nick DiSalvo is such a brilliant songwriter, I really can’t wait to see what the guys will have in store for us on the next one…


2. Graveyard – Innocence & Decadence (Nuclear Blast Records)
I got so excited when Graveyard announced that their founding guitarist Truls Mörck would be joining them again on this new album. And the formula works. Like hell. The production is fantastic, as always, and blending these “driving on the fast lane” hard rock songs with more soul-infused ballads makes it a fabulous music experience from beginning to end.

kendrick lamar

1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly (Top Dawg Entertainment)
To Pimp A Butterfly is simply the Best Album of the Year, regardless of genres. It’s bold and a revolutionary act on so many levels! I’ve always been a fan of Kendrick, but it took me a few listenings to finally grasp this new one as a whole. It’s funky, sometimes jazzy, emotional, deep yet also highly entertaining. Kendrick Lamar is without any doubt the greatest hip-hop artist of this century, and To Pimp A Butterfly, a masterpiece.

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