Circle Pit: Albums We Missed Q3, 2018

purgatory

From time to time we get together as a team and discuss some of our favorite albums we missed covering at release time and there’s been plenty of these discussions so far this year. Whether due to time slipping away from us or whatever the case may be, we miss them. Well, now that we’ve just passed the end of September, we are proud to bring you some overlooked highlights from the third quarter. So, without further delay, let’s jump right into it. Albums we missed in Q3, 2018. Here. We. Go. Continue reading

Blood Red: Hoop-Tober 5.0 – Week Three

blood red hoop-tober 2018 week 3

Between all the new music that dropped this week and the fact I’m heading upstate for Columbus Day weekend to do some metal activities (picking apples) we’re keeping it brief for Week Three of the annual Hoop-Tober horror marathon.  Julia Ducournau’s Raw is an excruciating film about impending womanhood that just happens to feature some of the most gut-wrenching scenes of gore I’ve seen so far in the marathon.  Then it’s a slew of anniversary films, starting with the original 1958 The Blob, which holds up surprisingly well as a fun family flick with an early Steve McQueen performance. Kuroneko might stand as the best film I watch during this marathon, a particularly cutting ghost/revenge story that also doubles as insightful commentary and criticism.  I wish I could say Martin holds up as well as I thought it would – my first revisit of George Romero’s “vampire” movie had its moments but overall isn’t something I’ll be revisiting much.  The same sadly goes for Dracula Has Risen From The Grave, which is a great title with another killer Christopher Lee performance as the Count, but sadly doesn’t hold a candle to the earlier Hammer films.

And just like that I’m almost halfway through the marathon, with plenty of gore left to go, so you know the drill: time to shut up and get to those review excerpts and links are below.   Continue reading

The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Folk Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

Last month, I discussed my love for industrial metal, and how one song shaped my entire adolescence before I fully landed in the German camp of industrial metal. Since writing the column, the song “Bye/Die” has become more prevalent as of late, as I am knuckles-deep into grad school and I haven’t had time to breathe. Thus, what better way to fully curse being a full-time student and being split in various camps than by humming a song about hoping some entities – in this case, my institution and select members of my immediate family – would fuck off and die?

If you can’t tell by now, humans have a tendency to categorize things because we like heuristics (shortcuts), and I am doing this because I like to organize what I know into small piles of easy-to-access information.

Also, for that one person who suggested other bands to check out: I do not consider Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson metal. They may be industrial and metal-like, but they are not metal to me. Like I have stated previously, labels are subjective, and while they do tend to crossover, I came to Nine Inch Nails later in life. As to the others, I might check them out, but we shall see.

Speaking of coming to things later in life, the next genre I want to explore is one that I came into because of fandom. While I never thought to involve myself into another fandom after what happened with symphonic metal, I watched from the sidelines while people talked about bands in this genre.

It’s time we talk about folk metal. Continue reading

Blood Red: Hoop-Tober 5.0 – Week Two

blood red hoop-tober 5.0 week 2

We’re keeping the midnight meat train rolling, and staying consistent with how this ran last year.  Week Two of the annual Hoop-Tober horror marathon was a significant rise in quality, with four of the five films I watched being genuine delights, and only one clunker to be had.  I’m lamenting it took me so long to get to John Carpenter’s fantastic adaptation of Christine, immediately putting it up with my favorites of his work.  Lake Mungo is a sad and truly eerie example of found footage done right, being a documentary of a young girl’s drowning and subsequent appearances in photos and videos.  Neil Jordan should be getting a lot more love for what he brought to the werewolf genre with the lush and lurid The Company of Wolves, embedding all sorts of subtext about budding womanhood years before the (also excellent) Ginger Snaps.  I stand with Dan and most assuredly did NOT fall under the spell of the retro Summer of ’84, excellent music aside, but was quickly picked back up and fell 100% under the traumatic spell that was Hereditary.

And with the coming of October, it’s time to get even more serious with this marathon, so enough talk: review excerpts and links are below.   Continue reading

Blood Red: Hoop-Tober 5.0 – Week One

blood red 5.0 - week 1

It’s become a tradition to have the first week of the annual Hoop-Tober horror marathon be a bit of a mixed bag.  Last year I had a fantastic Stephen King adaptation in Andy Muschietti’s It; this year I had to deal with the drudgery of Tobe Hooper’s adaptation of King’s short story The Mangler.  And it was a double dose of not-great Robert Englund performances: besides starring (under tons of makeup) in The Mangler, I also had to reckon with perhaps the worst Freddy Krueger entry with A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.  It wasn’t all terrible, though.  Between the slam dunk that is Panos Cosmatos’s psychedelic revenge nightmare that is Mandy, the uncomfortable indie black comedy of Prevenge and the gruesomely fun throwback that is the 1988 remake of The Blob I was able to salvage the opening week of the marathon quite nicely.

And I’m already working my way through a killer second week, so enough of the opening jibber-jabber.  Let’s get to the review excerpts below.   Continue reading