Best of 2018: Chris’s Honorable Mentions List

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We’ll save the long-winded rhetoric for the final list.  There’s fifteen albums listed here that are categorized as “Honorable Mentions” because that’s typically how these list things work.  But in reality it’s a disservice to relegate the incredible music contained herein to a tier of “also ran.”  I spent much of the year thinking about what I needed music to do for me, and hunting for the songs, the bands, and the albums that worked – selfishly – for me.  All of the albums listed below work on me and for me: pushing me to move further, holding me back when I’ve gone too far.  I can’t ask for much more than that.  Last year I titled my honorable mentions albums #40-26, but in truth a number can’t define the reinforcement and excitement this music provided.

So let’s dive in and talk about them for a spell. Continue reading

The Be(a)st of 2018 – J’s List

 

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Every year is an interesting trip around the sun.  New music comes and goes like the ebb and flow of time, and some albums hit us harder than others.  2018 for me was a very rich year in metal, yielding tons of great material from all over the heavy landscape.  There was a lot I enjoyed, so sorting the wheat from the chaff for this year has been enjoyable and fairly difficult, which is a testament to all the bands putting out great albums this year.  Below is my top 15 list for this year with a brief explanation with each album as to why I picked them.  Feel the misery (wait, that wasn’t this year?!).  Continue reading

Nine* Circles ov…What “Didn’t” Make My 2018 End of Year List (But Could Have)

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* SPOILERS: it’s gonna be 20 albums…buckle your seat belts.

I told myself this year I was going to take it easy – do the Honorable Mentions, get the final list out, and put 2018 to rest.  On a global, national, and personal front the year’s been pretty much a disaster from the start, and the quicker I can put it in my rearview mirror the better.  But the more I tweaked and played with my end of year selections (thank you Trello for making that shit so easy) the more I realized that – like always – music was the thing that propped me up and made every setback if not better, at least tolerable.  And when the dust cleared from all the list building I found a huge excess of albums that didn’t make my lists but easily could have on another day.  Everything is interchangeable; we are not the people we were even a moment ago, and those experiences constantly inform our perspective on the world, metal albums included. Continue reading

Album Review: Master – “Vindictive Miscreant”

Master - Vindictive Miscreant

It’s all right there, before a single note is played.  It’s there in that extra syllable Paul Speckman injects at the end as he bellows “You’re nothing but a vindictive miscreant!” It’s a burst of disgust, dripping with vitriol tagged onto “miscreant,” a venomous punctuation before the guitars burst in.

It’s all right there, but what is it?  It’s Master, doing what they’ve been doing for 30 odd years, and not losing a step with new album (in case you couldn’t guess) Vindictive MiscreantContinue reading

The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Crypteria’s Austin Burleigh and Kevin McCombs on Their New Album and Much More

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Floridian death metal. Those were the three words I was presented with when a friend sent me the Bandcamp link to Crypteria’s recently released full length debut, Crypteria. Based on my roots in this particular branch of death metal I was hooked after just one spin and the infection has grown ever since. So obviously, I had to know more and reached out for some insight and to find out what led them to exploding off the starting line with such a, pardon me here but, banger. Guitarist Austin Burleigh and bassist Kevin McCombs answered the call – the results of which can be heard below. Before you leave, don’t forget to hit the links contained within to grab a copy for yourself but don’t blame me if it rules your listening habits for awhile. Continue reading