Three weeks in a row! Never thought I’d get to this point again. I guess it is easier to keep up with posting when you’re working a three-12-hour-shift nursing schedule than a traditional 9-to-5. Hard to not find enough time to rag on a few album covers with that schedule.
The trouble, this week, was finding album covers that deserved to be ragged on. Since our debut post a couple weeks ago, the well of standout album covers (good or bad) has dried up a bit. Not totally, of course, but…we’ve been forced to get a bit more creative in our selections. There are even some I’m gonna be complimentary of this week! Crazy, huh?
Anyway, enough rambling — hit the jump for my album art highlights from the week of June 21-27!
It was an honor joining the Nice Circles team this year. I started a series of posts called A Headbanger’s Journey that I hope to continue into 2018. Late to the party, I bought an absurd amount of music at the end of the year, much of it from the excellent Nine Circles coverage and I’m just now coming up for breath. In 2016 I went back in time to investigate the early death metal classics of the late 80’s/early 90’s and this year, I did the same with classic punk and hardcore. Both of those genres inform my current listening and are reflected in this list. So, let’s see where the rubber hits the road. 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 →
Hello there, online metal community. How you holding up? List fatigue setting in yet? If so sorry: this is in no way going to help. My first year writing for Nine Circles resulted in listening to over 500 albums – I won’t even begin to pretend they all got a fair shake, but they all got at least one listen. The sheer glut of music that passed through my ears was like an awakening, helping me to better understand what it was music did for me, what I needed it to do for me. I found albums that mesmerized on first listen only to fade quickly, and albums I initially dismissed only to find their hooks in me months later, and it’s these surprise revelations that keep me listening, keep me writing, and keep me so engaged with this beast we call metal.
You’d think doing a Top 25 would be sufficient to cover all the bases, but it feels like it doesn’t even make a dent into the great music that sustained me over the course of the year. And so, if you’ll indulge me, here’s an extra 15 albums that warrant honorable mention. Think of them as #26-40 (hey, if Decibel can do it…), in any order you like, though they’re alphabetical below. Let’s dig in… 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.