Embracing the Descent: February 24 – March 2, 2019

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Welcome to a fresh new thing called Embracing the Descent where we will briefly discuss somewhere between one and a handful of the current week’s new releases. Every now and then we might look back a week but for the most part we’ll try and keep it current and somewhat regular. That’s the plan anyway. Now, there will be bias because let’s face it: listening to 40-60 albums each week ain’t happening so we’ll be highlighting a select few that stood out for whatever reason. Almost like a grab bag of sorts. We don’t know how we’ll land on the albums we highlight, how many albums we will highlight, or who will be highlighting them… But we figure everyone likes a good mystery. So without further ado, let’s jump into a few from this week and don’t forget to check out the full listing from Monday’s Initial Descent. Continue reading

CANTO: The Black Dahlia Murder, Ghost, Der Weg einer Freiheit, and More

Der Weg Einer Freiheit

2/28/2018. Two months in the books.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
– cmb

Best of 2017: Corey’s List

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2017 was an interesting year. While the trend of decreased album coverage continued to pave the way for increased show coverage, I still managed to get my hands on several dozen records that left an impact with me. Naturally, trimming that population down to my Best of 2017 list was daunting as any preceding year. While we did see some familiar names return with impressive new work over the past twelve months, my personal listening experience arguably covered more ground than ever. This theme was undoubtedly tied to the aforementioned increased time spent on the live setting. I was exposed to artists and styles I was previously unfamiliar with (there’s a reason I rarely skip openers). Of course, this meant that I missed some albums I was told I simply couldn’t. But in return, 2017 ended up being one of the more important years I’ve had in covering music. The live performance has a crucial impact on how an audience reacts to an artist, and that, at least in part, explains how I came up with the list below. Continue reading

Best of 2017: Some stuff Dan liked this year!

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Hey y’all, it’s been a minute! More accurately, it’s been about 221,000! Over the last four months, when I haven’t been watching the world rapidly start to resemble a toilet overflowing with diarrhea, I’ve been slaving away at my first semester of nursing school. Which has meant that finally, after a solid 2-3 years in a row of telling myself, “I’m gonna listen to less music this year,” I actually did listen to less music this year! My best estimate is…probably 165 albums? Maybe 170? Still a bunch, but down more than a hundred from each of the last couple of years. MISSION [SORTA] ACCOMPLISHED.

On the other hand, this puts me in something of an odd position when it comes to picking my “Best of 2017.” I didn’t listen to as much music. I deleted my Twitter and reduced my overall social media presence by, conservatively, 75% — which, by the way, was a fucking AMAZING life decision that I recommend all of you try — so I had neither a steady stream of albums-you-must-hear-or-you-will-be-shunned crossing my radar screen, nor the urge to seek out even more obscure albums that I could shun others for not having heard. Oh, and also, most of my favorite albums this year were from outside the metal genre. Me putting this list together and claiming it to be THE BEST OF 2017 would be a little delusional.

So, that’s why I’m not doing that. Okay fine, I’ve made a list and ordered it — alphabetically, because EAT IT, BIG RANKINGS — but that’s it. This is just some stuff I listened to and happened to really enjoy this year. Authoritativeness be damned. (Or left for the folks over at Last Rites.) Let’s jump in.

A note before beginning:

This list is going to focus on the metal portion of this year’s listening. (And perhaps, in some cases, the metal-adjacent.) So, even though Ulver put out my favorite album of the year in any genre with The Assassination of Julius Caesar, you’re not going to see that thing in this post. Same with Anathema. Same with…I dunno, Steven Wilson, or The War on Drugs, or other contributions from pretty-blatantly-not-metal artists. If time permits, I’ll do a year-end Rainbows in the Dark recap. (Maybe.) But this is my metal list, and it shall be kept metal. Now, all that said…

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Things That Probably Disappointed Me In 2017 – Corey’s List

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Back in January, I introduced you all to a small handful of projects I was anticipating for the year ahead, setting the expectation that I would probably be disappointed as always. Well, now that December is fully upon us, it’s time to go back and review how I reacted to each of those releases. I made sure to avoid reviewing any of these albums (which wasn’t hard… I don’t write as much these days) just to prevent any spoilers. I guess I should remind you of my 2017 introductory post before moving ahead. All caught up? Great. Now… let’s see how it all went and decide whether or not I was disappointed.

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