CANTO: Emptiness, Agrypnie, Wardruna, and More

Emptiness Vide Band Photo

This is just getting chaotic at this point. Unsustainable will be the word of the year for 2021 in my life. Anyway. What did I miss in the metal world in the past 36 hours?

  • Emptiness is streaming their full performance from Roadburn Redux. That event took place back in April (yet somehow feels only like yesterday), but is available again at the Season of Mist YouTube channel. This is obviously in support of their latest album, Vide, which I really wish I enjoyed more… but I still need to spend more time with it. Stay tuned.
  • The Wardruna North American tour that was supposed to happen… this year? Last year? Whatever. It’s been moved to 2022, and they’ve added a couple new dates to the excursion. Those dates are all in October and November, so there’s some time to kill before we get there. That said, this is something I would like to take part in when the time comes.
  • German post-black metal project Agrypnie have debuted a new track and video ahead of the release of the sixth full-length effort, Metamorphosis. That album is set for a July 30th release through AOP Records (and a few others), but you can check out “Verwüstung” right now.
  • This is a fun one to toss in the mix today. Ghoul have announced a free livestream this coming Saturday, the 26th, along with the release of a limited edition “Live In The Flesh” VHS. I mean, I know tapes are making a comeback… but I didn’t see VHS tapes doing the same. But who knows!?
  • And we’ll wrap up with a new music video from Nightfall for “Martyrs of the Cult of the Dead (Agita)”. The link below is the censored version, because I guess the original was released via OnlyFans? What on Earth is even happening anymore.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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CANTO: Insomnium, Morbid Angel, Vastum, and More

insomnium8.31.5

I think I only did one of these last week, yeah? Let’s fix that.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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Album Review: Ghoul / Ill Bill — “Split”

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When Anthrax released its 1987 EP I’m The Man, you could have heard a pin drop on what was called then Album Oriented Rock radio. By then, Anthrax had cemented itself as one of thrash’s Big Four with Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth. Joey Belladonna’s vocal dexterity led the band to their greatest heights on AOR with songs like “Caught in a Mosh,” “I Am the Law” and “Madhouse.” Back then, radio was less avoidant of metal, and many of the legendary bands we know today benefitted greatly by this more tolerant era in media. Such is the case with Ghoul and Ill Bill‘s Split release. Continue reading

Album Review: Various Artists — “We All Want Our Time In Hell” (Samhain Tribute)

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The work of goth/punk band Samhain may be forever overshadowed by singer Glenn Danzig’s previous and subsequent projects, the Misfits and Danzig. However, it is not for lack of influence, with its prodigious, unconfined sound and horror aesthetics giving early shape to a legion of styles. We All Want Our Time In Hell Samhain Tribute, a new compilation album by a range of emerging and veteran punk, metal and noise bands, is deeply grounded in that history, with a glance to the future. Continue reading

Best of 2016: Dan’s List

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

So yeah, this year sure sucked in a lot of ways, didn’t it?

On a personal level…where to begin? My family said goodbye to our beloved dog, Bailey. I had a rough breakup at the end of April. I got into a deeper rut in my professional life than I’d ever experienced before, which culminated in me quitting my job and leaving New York. I also, briefly, quit Nine Circles. (You didn’t think I’d stay away for good though, did you?)

And that’s just my stuff! Beyond that…well, for starters, pretty much everyone died. Prince, Alan Rickman, Phife Dawg, Craig Sager…I mean, you kind of had to know 2016 was going to be shitty on that front after we lost David goddamn Bowie when the year was scarcely a week old. And that’s all to say nothing of the other shit: escalation of racial tensions across the country, continued apathy toward a changing climate, Christmas Eve / Day and New Year’s Eve / Day both falling on Saturdays and Sundays…it was a lot, man. Oh, and we also elected the personification of an Internet comment section to the presidency. That was neat.

In spite of all that, 2016 wound up being a goddamn banner year for metal. When I first started thinking about this list, I was envisioning maybe a Top 15 – but that quickly grew to a Top 25, and then to its current incarnation: a Top 50, with 20 “ranked” albums and 30 honorable mentions, not to mention EPs. It was just impossible to whittle it down any further; that’s how good metal was this year. Hell, I had a number of albums that featured in my mid-year list that didn’t even make it into the honorable mentions section of this one!

Make no mistake, this year would have felt exponentially shittier without all of those records. In times like these, cueing up a metal record that’s driving you bonkers, throwing your head back and howling at the moon kind of becomes essential to maintaining your sanity. And you know what? Sanity was maintained. (Well, mine at least…I dunno about America’s. All the more reason for America to start listening to more damn metal.)

This year may have thrown every possible pile of feces it could at us, but you know what? We made it through anyway. We’re still here and it’s not. And that’s nothing to turn our noses at. Here are the records that helped make that happen for me:  Continue reading