The Dark Souls franchise may own this title, but Aldia’s got nothing on me.
Last year around this time I made a statement, hoping that I would take it easier on the album listening; however, I also said that it would be for naught, as my 2019 release calendar was looking great and I was so excited about it.
I always have a tough time with these introduction things when it comes to End of Year lists. The temptation is to sum up the year with some anecdotes about what it meant to me and how the music I loved played into it. Yet what could I say about a year that was such a mixed bag for me? On a personal note, my mental health took an all-out nosedive last year that I’m still trying to claw my way out of, yet my partner and I got engaged and are looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together (not that we weren’t already, but you get the point). The weight of the worst depression and anxiety I’ve ever faced affected my ability to connect to a lot of the music I heard last year, yet I started a column on here that lead me back to a genre of music I had not seriously kept up with for some time, and in doing so I found a little piece of myself again. Years are years are years, and life is cyclical and spiralic in nature. I won’t pretend there weren’t good things to come out of last year, just as I won’t pretend there won’t be hard times in the year ahead. But I will always have a carefully curated soundtrack to help me along the way, and below represents what helped me get through 2019. Continue reading →
By now, it has become customary for me to recall at the turn of the year how great the past 12 months were for metal and its myriad sub-genres and styles, and how difficult it has become to keep one’s head above the water in the face of the deluge of releases. I have been listening to metal for over 25 years but am still astonished and impressed on a daily basis by the boundless imagination on display, be it the ever-blossoming creativity of bands who have been operating for 20 years or the ravenous appetite of newcomers. Continue reading →
I know, you’ve come here in hopes of some diatribe about how my 2019 sucked ass or how I loathed a lot of stuff this year. But, if that’s what you came for look elsewhere. 2019 has been a good year for me on many fronts. My family continually prove to me that true beauty does exist, I have a great job that was extremely busy all year, I got to speak with a few bands I truly adore, I trimmed social media, I kept up with those who matter, and those who matter kept up with me. Oh, almost forgot, amazing bourbon was had along the way and we found a new local brewery with a top shelf IPA. One thing that hasn’t changed is the impact music has on my life and this list, my list, encompasses what raised the hair on the back of my neck. Buckle up buttercup.Continue reading →