This past year, I was fortunate enough to attend 35 different metal performances. There were a couple of duplicates (This Will Destroy You), but for the most part each performance was unique and left an impression in its own way. So, in going back through the past year and finally deciding to tally these shows, I thought it’d be a worthwhile idea to go over some highlights. You’ve obviously seen the more detailed concert reviews the days and weeks following various shows here, but the goal here is a high level recap of my favorites. This has proven more taxing than I would have anticipated, however. Looking back now, I don’t think there was a single show that I did not get at least something out of. Regardless, in no particular order, here are nine (ten?) performances that stood out to me last year. Continue reading →
Welcome back to part two of my best of 2017 series. Last time I talked about my favorite shorter releases from the past year in an effort to shine light on some things that might have otherwise not gotten the respect they deserved. Now comes the meat of the series: my favorite full-length albums. Figuring out this list was a pretty exhausting process, not only because I listened to significantly more full-lengths than I did shorter releases this year, but because I wanted to make an effort to challenge myself when it came to thinking about what really stuck with me. In 2016, my criteria for what I chose to include on my year-end list was more simplistic, and no disrespect is meant to anyone who writes 50 or 100 album lists of everything they thought was cool, but for this year, I wanted to really think about whether or not an album had a genuine impact on me versus just listening to it and thinking it was good. As such, I ended up with a slightly shorter list this time around, and some albums and artists I liked did not end up making it on here, but I feel like this list is the most real representation of my “favorites” than ever. Without further ado… Continue reading →
And here we are. A few more pages of the book before it closes.
Two thousand and seventeen years after we decided to start again at zero it feels like a reset is needed more than ever. And this doesn’t even take into consideration the collective chaos and suppurating hate that seemingly fills the space between the molecules in our media, our politics, and our increasingly hostile behavior toward each other. That poison surrounds but has yet to work its way into my bloodstream. It’s a selfish ask, entirely due to my own weaknesses, insecurities and inability to take the steps needed to be just a little better each day: as a husband, a father, a writer, a musician, but most of all as a human being. It’s been a challenging year, and I have a long road ahead if I want to keep on having challenging years, let alone any years.
More than ever it was music that kept my head above water, allowed a glimmer of land to guide me ashore. Continue reading →
Australian post-metal / doom stalwarts Hawkmoth just released their second album Godless Summit via Black Bow Records and is the first part in a planned two part opus. In a matter of just four tracks this album goes from lonely and desolate landscapes to crushing emotional heaviness and back again with ease but it’s the restraint the band shows throughout that really pushes Godless Summit past its predecessor, Calamitas. It would’ve been easy to relent and just explode into a cacophony of doom in several places throughout but they keep it together and consistent for an intense yet even listen. The band, collectively, sent us their best of 2017 list so let’s get to it.