I could wax for paragraphs on how 2020 leapt into the toilet in March and continues to swirl, deeper in, teetering just on the edge of complete obliteration, but that would be news to no one. In a year when bands could’ve easily went into hiatus based on no way to tour or support themselves—and honestly no one would’ve blamed them—we are damn lucky to have any music at all much less any best of lists. Thankfully the bands turned it up, tuned low, and cranked it out anyway, despite the thought of any sort of monetary return. In short, metal freakin’ ruled this year and kept me sane while the world crumbled and hope was fleeting at best. My music collection grew like my headphone time at dangerous volume levels (according to my apple stats) and I loved the fact that bands sounded angrier and louder, experimented more, stretched thin genre lines to the limit, and generally laid their balls on the chopping block in a way we haven’t heard in a long time. That chopping block bit was one of ten rules I made for my 2020 list back in January and all the artists that made my list did just that in one way or another but my picks this year were also about the albums that really stuck with me for either the long haul or made a fast impression. So, keep reading and maybe one, or more, of these will hit you the way it hit me.Continue reading
I don’t think anyone expected the world to be where it was when 2020 kicked off. To even attempt to put into words the surge of feelings around a global pandemic that refuses to go away, a wretched history of systemic racism, brutality, and ignorance being exposed and reckoned with in the streets all over the world, and everything else the first six months has brought to light is reckless and futile for me right now. I continue to watch, listen, and learn as much as I can: to actively be part of a solution instead of passively being part of the problem.
In the moments between there is music, and if there’s even a glimmer of light right now, it’s in how good 2020 has been with regards to metal. So let’s see where my penchant lies as we cross the halfway mark of year that feels like forever. Continue reading
Welcome to another edition of our Saturday morning mixtape. This week: new ones from Imperial Triumphant and Steve von Till, old ones from Redbait, and lots more in between. Listen at the link below.
So many people taking the sludge route forget the immense amount of swagger that separates the truly great from the rest of the imitators out there. The pocket may be damp and muddy, but it is first and foremost deep, and if anyone is doing it better than -(16)- at this point, I don’t know them. I also don’t know a more aptly named album than Dream Squasher, which ably demonstrates that four years gone only made the riffs more gnarly, the groove baked deeper into the foundation, and the content as harrowing as the times it finds itself in. Continue reading
2020 is, and has been, a dumpster fire of epic proportions—this is not news. All I can say is; ya’ll stay safe and stay well. Now, new metal time so let’s conjure up some actual good stuff, shall we? The best sludge band on the planet, 16, is back for another all killer, no filler eighth full length. These guys can do no wrong and for as long as they’ve been excellent at what they do, they just get better and better. Kult Mogił offers up a lightning rod of classic strained death metal full of speed and adrenaline that will raise the heart rate inside of its first twenty seconds, and Exhumed & Gruesome team up for a blood spraying, neck whipping, ass kicking split release from two different spectrums of death metal—two for one type of deal. Well, what are you waiting for? It all awaits, below. Continue reading