Donuts & CANTO: Entombed, Arch Enemy, Gojira and more!

entombed alex hellid live
Entombed guitarist Alex Hellid

May 23, 2017

Good morning, it’s time to metal. Here’s some news you might have missed from yesterday:

    • Leading off, the battle for the rights to Entombed‘s band name appears to have been decided in favor of the non-“A.D.” contingent of the band — a.k.a. everyone other than possible-Tolkien-dwarf L-G Petrov. Hopefully that’ll be the end of this almost-as-stupid-as-the-two-Queensrÿches saga.

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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

CANTO: Goatwhore, Nails, In Flames, and more

nails you will never be one of us album cover

“The festival was over and the boys were all planning for a fall. The cabaret was quiet except for the drilling in the wall. The curfew had been lifted and the gambling wheel shut down. Anyone with any sense had already left town. He was standing in the doorway lookin’ like the Jack of Hearts.”

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
– cmb

CANTO: New Gojira video, In Flames/Battlecross tours, and a new track from Opeth

gojira

“Rooted within the pitch-black heart, entrenched behind weary eyes, in the faraway song the cold sea sung in the calm whisper of winds afar. It lies, calls and awaits deep in the primeval dark, embodiment of despair that never leaves or severs the ties.”

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
– cmb

The Nine Circle ov… Chicago Open Air

COA

Wait, wasn’t this like… a month ago? Yes. Yes it was. But you see, while Chicago Open Air delivered it’s moments, I never felt the obligation to cover the festival in writing. It was a decent experience but not an event that will end up going down in history. Some of the bands performed well, many of them I skipped, and basic logistics were a nightmare at the venue, so I mean… not the best. But my time in Chicago (first time, mind you) was awesome. So I decided I would use this particular piece of rotating content to cover some of my highlights from the weekend. Continue reading