Category Archives: Lists

Albums of the Year- 2020

It’s been a tough year… No, that feels like an understatement. Worst year ever? Maybe. It’s somehow felt like the longest and the shortest 12 months in human history, a hurry-up-and-wait of terror and tension and “what the fuck is going on”. A calendar of unprecedented chaos. Like every shitty year before this one though, 2020 was somewhat saved by some superb […]

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Albums of the Year- 2019

Moderate Rock’s 2019 was, apparently, a mood. This year’s Album of the Year list sits under a storm cloud. Oh sure, there are glimmers of light, but there is also doom, gloom, big riffs, nasty noise, and a record that sounds like it wants to pull you through a portal into a nightmare dimension. Downer jams galore. The list does […]

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Sifting #3- ZAO

Zao are a mess. Ok, that’s harsh. The West Virginia outfit are a pioneering hardcore band responsible for some of the most intense sounds the scene has ever produced. But they’re also the flaky dudes with an exhausting former members section that once broke up in the middle of a show, and untangling the band’s history and discography can be […]

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ALBUMS OF THE YEAR- 2018

Here we are again. Another December’s end, another Album of the Year list, and another note to say that there’s no way this particular list is definitive. But then, with so much music released in 2018 and so many different ways to hear it, I’m not sure that any list, even those that stretch to a top 100 releases, can […]

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ALBUMS OF THE YEAR- 2017

Things can only get better, right? Wrong. Things, it turns out, can get so, so much worse. I know we mostly share the same tyrants and everybody has their shit to deal with but my 2017 was fucking horrible. It ain’t over either- little weight is going to be lifted because the calendar has ticked over to another day. While […]

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ALBUMS OF THE YEAR- 2016

Albums of the year lists usually come easy around here. Oh sure, there’s some always some debate, ‘hmm, should that be at 7 or 8’, but by the time December rolls around, it’s normally become pretty clear exactly who will make the cut. Not so in 2016. This year there could have been a Top 50. So please, seek out […]

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SIFTING #2- EVERY TIME I DIE

Every Time I Die should never have worked. The band emerged from deepest, darkest Buffalo, New York at the turn of the century with an English teacher on vocals, a circus strongman on guitar, a revolving door of bassists, and a guy called Ratboy on drums. Sure, they played a whip-smart and wicked fast version of metallic hardcore but they […]

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Sifting #1- THRICE

At first the rumble was low- a hopeful rumour here, a one-off benefit show there. Then the noise built- there was a summer of sneaking onto festival bills and a photo of what looked decidedly like a recording studio. Now it’s confirmed– the hiatus is over, an album is due this year, Thrice are back. But before new Thrice finally […]

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ALBUMS OF THE YEAR- 2015

It’s that time of year again. Again? Man, I can hardly keep up. Below are Moderate Rock’s albums of 2015. 11 because Spinal Tap: 11. NO DEVOTION- ‘Permanence’ 10. FAILURE- ‘The Heart Is a Monster’ 9. ROLO TOMASSI- ‘Grievances’ 8. BARONESS- ‘Purple’ 7. FOALS- ‘What Went Down’ 6. CASPIAN- ‘Dust and Disquiet’ 5. SABREPULSE- ‘Paragon’ 4. DISASTERPEACE- ‘It Follows’ 3. VESSELS- […]

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ALBUMS OF THE YEAR- 2014

It’s all about what stays with you, right? You could be listening to some of the busiest, best new metal of the year or losing yourself in wordless soundscapes, but unless it sticks somehow, makes some kind of mark, it might not be remembered later that day, nevermind six months after the fact. This year, for me, these are the records […]

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