Best of 2015: Brendan’s (Totaly Weak and Untrve) List

Best 2015

Guys, 2015 was pretty rad, at least in terms of music (I’d also argue it was a watershed year in almost all creative and entertainment media I follow, but that’s a different discussion. Plus, I just had a really good year, in general).

The nine albums listed below earned their spots because they stuck with me all year for one reason or another. However, I wanted to give lip service to a few that ultimately didn’t make the top nine, but that still brought some great musical moments into my life. For instance, I have spent many a rainy night nodding to the cyberpunk synthwave of GosT’s Behemoth while riding the train home, feeling like a character in a William Gibson novel; I took long hikes in Oregon’s lower Willamette Valley to the sounds of Enslaved’s In Times and Misthyrming’s Söngvar elds og óreiðu; and I got to experience the sonic energy of Mutoid Man’s Bleeder (and Helium Head) live in its entirety, in what was probably my favorite show of 2015. These little moments are just a few in a year filled with them.

Anyway, enough nostalgic waxing from me. Here’s to hoping 2016 is as good of a year as 2015 (I’m looking at you Gorguts, Gojira, and Horrendous).

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Album Review: Black Breath – “Slaves Beyond Death”

black breath slaves beyond death
Artwork by the immortal Paolo Girardi

It’s a fear of every band that they may fall into repetition, becoming slaves to their own formula and sound. Despite the strength of their music, Black Breath were one such band at risk of this; there was only so far their sound could take them. Black Breath are perhaps one of the more popular purveyors of the “Entombed-core” sound, sprinkling blackened thrash and hardcore influences over a base of death’n’roll a la Wolverine Blues-era Entombed. On their latest offering, Slaves Beyond Death, the buzzsaw guitar riffs and blackened thrash sensibilities are still there, but instead of sticking with this death’n’roll-meets-thrash direction, Black breath have honed in on and developed the death metal aspect of their sound to the point that they are practically playing purely death metal on Slaved Beyond Death. Continue reading

Initial Descent: September 25’s New Releases in Brief

gloryhammer band photo

Look at that picture. How can you not get excited about a band with that kind of promo photo? That’s Scottish / Swiss power metal crew Gloryhammer, who’s leading the way in, admittedly, a lighter week of new releases than we had last week. Here’s what’s on tap:
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