Here’s the thing about black metal, particularly black metal in the vein of the second wave: there’s so much of it. So if you’re going to play it, or pay homage to it, you’re going to have to do something to stand out because when you get down to it most people are going to be perfectly content to go back to the 5-10 albums that made them love the genre in the first place. And for about a song and a half the new self titled album from Barshasketh appeared to tread similar ground. But like the best the genre has to offer, there are strange and sharp hooks on Barshasketh that come out and refuse to let go, resulting in a real grabber of an album as well as a fitting use of the eponymous title. Continue reading →
Another week, in the middle of winter, has passed. It’s cold. It’s raining, again. Lots of stuff broke this week. I am not amused.
Thankfully WOORMS was there to spice it up a bit with Slake, aka: a twisted journey through nervous wrecks of unhinged sludge and doom with an enormous amount of originality and personality – YES. A self titled album generally signifies some sort of statement or change and in Barshasketh’s case it’s simple: between the drumming and atmosphere, Barshasketh is the most fully realized their second waveish black metal has ever sounded. Musmahhu’s Reign of the Odious was designed and built to pummel, and it does that very well with gnarly but cleanly produced death metal. So, if nothing else, gnarly and cleanly exist, together, in the same sentence. Last up top is Green Elder and Horse Cult with an AMAZING Split of some of the most beautiful Appalachian folk you’ve ever heard, highly recommended for listening and just life in general.
It’s hard to say how I will look back on 2015. On a personal level, the last twelve months have been significant. Thanks to the efforts of our Nine Circles team, I have been given the opportunity to explore deeper into the metal universe, uncovering more obscure bands that have significantly impacted my musical life for the better. My position within metal’s audience has undeniably reached a new level, and I have no reason to not be excited about what’s to come. So from that standpoint, 2015 has been a phenomenal year.
That said, looking at metal from a higher perspective, when you compare the last couple of years, it would be difficult to say that 2015 was especially exceptional. The peaks of this past year just don’t quite measure up to those of the preceding year in my opinion. But still, a number of great albums surfaced that I have enjoyed immensely. Overall, this past year has been solid across all genres of metal. So, without further delay, here are my personal favorites from 2015.
If you listen to our podcast regularly, you’ll know I’ve already run down my Top 15 albums of the year. If you don’t… firstly, what the hell’s wrong with you? And secondly, you can find my picks here (Nos. 15-11), here (10-6) and here (top five). I try to avoid being redundant — thanks, journalism school! — so I didn’t want to rewrite these picks out here again on the blog. Instead, this post will cover nine honorable mentions for 2015. These may not have made the final cut, and they certainly aren’t the only honorable mentions I’ve got from this year, but they’re all well worth your time. Here’s what I’ve got: Continue reading →
It’s that time again! Episode 26 sees Dan and Corey begin their End-of-Year metal countdowns! This week, it’s albums 15-11 from their favorites lists, including stuff from Vattnet Viskar, Amorphis, and more! Plus some news from Maryland Deathfest, and a little sportsball talk as the guys revel in the glory of their beloved Portland Timbers soccer team.
All that and…really, not all that much more in Episode 26, but check it out anyway!