Best of 2017 (mid-year report): Zyklonius’ list

I'd Buy That for a Dollar

Thanks to the demands, deadlines and drudgery of my day job, this stocktaking listicle was delayed two weeks past its intended publication date at the half-way point of the year. In the intervening time, additional waves of releases were unleashed, a reminder of the golden era of quantity and quality we are currently living in. It has become increasingly challenging to stay on top of must-hear releases, even with obsessive research and vigilance, but the untold satisfaction of unearthing new records that hit you like a brick in the face, make being a metalhead in this day and age such a thrilling glory ride.

I had a difficult time narrowing the following list (in alphabetical order) down to only ten releases (ultimately, the aforementioned day job dictated its final length) that have made a lasting impact in my heart of hearts during the first six months of this year, thanks to their creativity, vision, emotion, pummeling ferocity, gripping melody, riff mastery, headbangability, confident musicianship and that certain je ne sais quoi that elevates some albums and the whole genre to dizzying artistic heights. Continue reading

Album Review: Black Anvil – “As Was”

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As the snow falls and the temperature drops it feels like a natural response to lay buried, hiding away from the pain that was 2016 and numbing the days away with the cold buzzing embrace of black metal. But in 2017 what is black metal? I can’t think of another genre that ignites the same level of ire over its definition, tenants, and practitioners. To corpsepaint, or not to corpsepaint? That is the question: whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of “KVLT” fanboys, or to take arms against a sea of Norwegian imitators, and by opposing, end them.

Thankfully we have Black Anvil to ring in the new year with As Was, another step in their continuous evolution and the next phase in their mission to broaden the definition of black metal and take arms against that same sea of metal oppression.   Continue reading