I could wax for paragraphs on how 2020 leapt into the toilet in March and continues to swirl, deeper in, teetering just on the edge of complete obliteration, but that would be news to no one. In a year when bands could’ve easily went into hiatus based on no way to tour or support themselves—and honestly no one would’ve blamed them—we are damn lucky to have any music at all much less any best of lists. Thankfully the bands turned it up, tuned low, and cranked it out anyway, despite the thought of any sort of monetary return. In short, metal freakin’ ruled this year and kept me sane while the world crumbled and hope was fleeting at best. My music collection grew like my headphone time at dangerous volume levels (according to my apple stats) and I loved the fact that bands sounded angrier and louder, experimented more, stretched thin genre lines to the limit, and generally laid their balls on the chopping block in a way we haven’t heard in a long time. That chopping block bit was one of ten rules I made for my 2020 list back in January and all the artists that made my list did just that in one way or another but my picks this year were also about the albums that really stuck with me for either the long haul or made a fast impression. So, keep reading and maybe one, or more, of these will hit you the way it hit me.Continue reading
It’s the beginning of the end. Of the year. This shitty, terrifying, mind-screw of a year. But you know what? It’s also the beginning of list making, which by now (if you’ve been reading me over the last four years) you realize I relish even as I qualify and condition every list I make. As per usual I kicked it off with a list of great albums that – for various reasons – didn’t make my main lists, but that didn’t make them any less special. Every album does that for me: even the ones I don’t connect with tell me something about how I connect with music, and sometimes that’s just as important as finding an album that does make that connection. Continue reading
Nucleus is an album that, by all accounts, should not have happened. Not only has it been seven years since Deeds of Flesh put out any new music, it’s also been two years since the tragic passing of vocalist/guitarist/songwriter and Unique Leader founder Erik Lindmark. His legacy is gigantic, and his mark on the extreme metal scene cannot be calculated, and to try to put together an album without him would take an army of talent. Fortunately, that’s exactly what happened when the band teamed up with friends old and new for a fitting tribute to a fallen brother.Continue reading
It’s that time of year where we reflect on our metal choices over the past twelve months to separate the wheat from the chaff. BUT, as this week’s list of new metal will show you, DO NOT finalize any lists until you’ve seen what lies in wait. Or you can be content with your choices, tune out and miss the next two weeks, and then decide you fucked up. Free country and all. Anywho, a band we thought we may never hear from again, DEEDS OF FLESH, return in all their extreme death metal glory with a stunner, Heads for the Dead pump their brand of death metal full of gory fun, Heretical Sect mix black, death, and doom metal to complete success, and Folterkammer puts out a very unique album that showcases black metal as a backdrop with dark vocals and even darker atmospheres at the forefront. So yea, see? Tried to tell you. And, there’s a ton more lingering just below so get in there and do your thing.Continue reading
Good morning and welcome again to our Nine Circles weekly mixtape. This Saturday, we’ve got a track from one of my all-time favorite albums to bust out as the weather gets colder, a track from the new Dark Buddha Rising album, and the lead single from the forthcoming new Emptiness album. All that and more at the link below.