30 Dec 2016

2016 Top 10 - Part III: The EP Top 5

Arguably I haven't listened to that many EPs in 2016 - And the best ones seem to have been classified as demos, which is another Top List entirely! For a relatively short list there is still something for everyone. A little metal, a little funk, a little something-something. The choices for Top 5 EPs of 2016 are as follows:

1. Iotunn - The Wizard Falls
This is without a doubt the best EP I have heard in 2016, and maybe even in the last 5 years. Iotunn is extravagantly talented in musicianship as well as songwriting, but they allow some room for small impurities that work tremendously well in creating an easily recognisable sound and style. The Wizard Falls lands somewhere between progressive metal and traditional power metal with bits of thrash thrown in for speed and flavour, and in doing so the Danish group has created a unique mix that excites and satisfies.

2. Teleport - Ascendance
I'm not going to tell you to forget about Vektor or Voivod, and the comparison - though warranted - is too obvious. These Slovenian sci-fi thrashers go all out on the lore of their own universe, and since 2010 they've maintained an exceptionally high level of performance and songwriting across several demos and now the Ascendance EP. They're certainly giving other upcoming thrash acts a run for their money.

3. Com Truise - Silicon Tare
Lounging around on night-time beaches in a mix of silver moonlight and dirty neon, Com Truise returns with an EP that remains intimate with the dreaming slow-burning synth funk chills that coloured his earlier releases, but continues his slow motion drift through space toward a more modern, popping sound. Com Truise remains at the top of his, and the genre's, game, evolving slowly but surely to avoid going out of style. With synthesisers and effects, Silicon Tare is a spellbinding hypnosis of instrumental synthpop-turned-funk.

4. Nite Funk - Nite Funk
It's basically a toss up between Nite Funk's debut EP and Com Truise's Silicon Tare EP for that elusive number three spot. In the end it comes down to the length - There's simply not enough of Nite Funk's lustrious night-time funk rhythms! The self-titled EP is the perfect mix between confident and engaging beats, synth bops and dreamy vocals - The image it conjures is that of a noir metropolis, flamboyantly clad drug dealers racing down Ocean Drive in white sports cars bathed in neon.

5. Dynatron - The Rigel Axiom
Perhaps it seems cheap to include the same musician twice on the year-end lists - And while The Rigel Axiom does resemble Dynatron's album Aeternus, it feels irrevocably like its own thing, and not just second rate runoff from the album making process. Awash with flaring, cosmic purpose, The Rigel Axiom EP comes off to a ponderous start, the held-back attitude remaining throughout the release as a reminder that in order to fully achieve the perfect synthwave atmosphere, one musn't go completely overboard. Dynatron demonstrates with devastating certainty that he is no mere trailblazer, but a trendsetter within the scene.

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