CANTO: Gaerea, Panopticon, Emptiness, and More

Much to share today! So let’s get right to it…

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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Best of 2020: Corey’s List

Best of 2020

At this point, what more is there to say about what happened in 2020? I could echo the sentiments of so many others, on this blog and otherwise, but I think we get the idea. I could take this time to lament about the struggles around us, our unsustainable societal structure and all that, but that rant should probably be for another time and place. For now, I’ll just say that my hope is that we can all reflect on the events of 2020 and recalibrate what we prioritize as a society… but I’m not optimistic that will happen. And to all the calendar watchers out there, 2021 won’t magically be better just because it happens to not be 2020. Want things to be better? Make change. That applies to all of us. Status quo sucks anyway.

Enough of that, let’s spin the narrative a bit. As the world continues to burn around us (literally and figuratively), I need to express unrelenting gratitude to all the artists and musicians that continued to perfect their craft over the past several months. Without concerts, and as album sales continue to serve as minimal revenue at best, pausing these pursuits in search of other enterprises would have been understandable. In a year with so much negativity, and so much time away from friends and family, the music I absorbed in 2020 resonated on a deeper level than it has in years. So, thank you, for offering an escape from the daily chaos. A (completely self-induced) pressure to absorb more and more music had taken over in recent years, and as a result my connection to individual records was hindered. A basic quantity over quality concept in listening experience, I suppose. This past year, however, that wasn’t the case. I still consumed an aggressive amount of new music, but the exploration was more curious, and more genuine, than in years past. The result? A stronger attachment to the 2020 releases… which I’m certain will resonate long after we start our 2021 discussions. If there is a bright side to 2020, it’s the realigning, or rediscovering, of our passions and finding new ways to pursue them in the day-to-day. And that’s a mentality I hope to take into the new year.

So let’s dive into my 2020 picks. As always, nine favorites and nine honorable mentions. Side note: I can’t remember a year in which it was this hard to separate a few albums from the greater pack, and that’s probably the result of offering myself the opportunity to truly embed myself in these albums. There was just so much quality presented this year, and delivered over such an expansive spectrum. Just another part of the ridiculous journey that was 2020, I suppose. Anyway…

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CANTO: Amenra, Gaerea, Harakiri For The Sky, and More

What a freaking day. But it’s all good… back on trails tomorrow.

  • Amenra have signed on with Relapse Records and are preparing for a new full-length album sometime in 2021. This is one of my favorite projects going, so I’m excited about this news.
  • We have a whole slew of new tracks and/or videos to share. Let’s start with Katla, who released a new track from their upcoming EP, Blótar gömlu goðin. This one is called “Farg”, which refers to a heavy burden. As a heads up, that EP is only available with premium editions of the upcoming full-lengh, Allt þetta helvítis myrkur, which is out on November 13th.
  • And then we have Harakiri For The Sky, who are releasing their next album, Mӕre, early next year through AOP Records. Check out the video for “I, Pallbearer”, from that upcoming release.
  • Finally, Gaerea, who released a new music video for “Urge”. That track is taken from Limbo, which dropped earlier this year through Season of Mist. And if you haven’t checked it out in full yet, you’re missing out.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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Receiving the Evcharist: Gaerea and Escorpion Negro

Receiving the Evcharist 2018

Receiving the Evcharist is our weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations. Drink from the cup of heresy. This week’s offering: Gaerea’s Limbo and Baja Brewing Company’s Escorpion Negro.   Continue reading

Initial Descent: July 19 – 25, 2020

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Gaerea

If you’re reading this, I highly recommend doing your research on all the new metals we’ve got this week and particularly the lead off four albums. I’m not Australian but CRIKEY this is a good week. How good? Read on… Gaerea had a great debut album two years ago but now, on their sophomore effort, they have an excellent album that’s equal parts dark black metal and thundering melodies—they truly have found their calling here. Next up is a trio of death metal delights: Exhibit A is of the technical / brutal persuasion from Defeated Sanity which is a barnburner of epic proportions, if you can get past the production. Exhibit B is of the technical (not tech) variety from Ahtme and is a blast from start to finish, plus that crazy album art. And, Exhibit C is of the “all in but the kitchen sink” variety from Writhing and while it is very short, it’s a whole lot of ass kicking in six minutes. So, four down and tons more to go. Explore, explore and the more you will know. Poet and didn’t know it…and all…whatever. Continue reading