* SPOILERS: it’s gonna be 20 albums…buckle your seat belts.
I told myself this year I was going to take it easy – do the Honorable Mentions, get the final list out, and put 2018 to rest. On a global, national, and personal front the year’s been pretty much a disaster from the start, and the quicker I can put it in my rearview mirror the better. But the more I tweaked and played with my end of year selections (thank you Trello for making that shit so easy) the more I realized that – like always – music was the thing that propped me up and made every setback if not better, at least tolerable. And when the dust cleared from all the list building I found a huge excess of albums that didn’t make my lists but easily could have on another day. Everything is interchangeable; we are not the people we were even a moment ago, and those experiences constantly inform our perspective on the world, metal albums included. Continue reading
Photographer: Hera Vidal
Location: Whisky A Go Go, West Hollywood, CA
Date: September 24, 2018
When it comes to concerts, I try to go to at least one a year. After all, in between school and other events, it becomes rather difficult to catch them sometimes. However, when I heard that Amorphis was coming into town with three other bands I was curious about but never really dealt with before, I knew I had to see them. Thus, I decided to do the only thing I was able to do: prepare myself for a night filled with music by listening to the four band’s latest albums in order to know what to expect.
Of the four, I am most familiar with Amorphis – I had seen them once before as support for Nightwish in early 2012 – so I was expecting a good time from these guys. Seeing the others was a bonus. Continue reading
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