2017 saw the debut release, Atrophy, from Ontario’s Minors which was an explosion of sludge fueled hardcore that seemed just as intent to cause harm as it was to drag earlobes through the mud and muck. The band’s sophomore outing, Abject Bodies, will hit the masses later this month and it’s another exploration into just how heavy handed sludge and hardcore can be. And particularly so since this quartet has tightened up their already bulletproof approach. Hints of Primitive Man and Converge come flying from the speakers on “Consumed” while a track like “Flesh Prison” relies on caustic grooves and relentless pacing. It’s this back and forth that the band excels at even better this time out but the production and overall delivery here will leave jaws firmly planted on floors the world over. Ahead of Abject Bodies street date we had the chance to ask guitarist Nick our set of Profile questions so read on to see what he had to say and be sure to grab a copy from the links contained within while you’re here. Continue reading
One thing that can never be said about the UK’s Mastiff is that they’re not heavy or not heavy enough. And somehow, on their second full length — and first for APF Records — Plague, the band is at their absolute heaviest, musically and lyrically. Their concoction of hardcore, grind, and sludge seethes with aggressive and downtrodden misanthropy complete with enough frustration and hatred for the status quo to last ten lifetimes. If it sounds dark and menacing that’s because it is and was built that way. Experiencing Plague is the closest thing to actually living through one and coming out the back side scarred and bruised for life – such is the power of Mastiff. We recently asked guitarist James Andrew Lee our set of Profile questions and he was an absolute champ with his answers that shine a light on him, the band and its background. Head below to see what he had to say and DO NOT miss out on Plague — we’ve included some handy links specifically for that purpose. Continue reading
We’ll save the long-winded rhetoric for the final list. There’s fifteen albums listed here that are categorized as “Honorable Mentions” because that’s typically how these list things work. But in reality it’s a disservice to relegate the incredible music contained herein to a tier of “also ran.” I spent much of the year thinking about what I needed music to do for me, and hunting for the songs, the bands, and the albums that worked – selfishly – for me. All of the albums listed below work on me and for me: pushing me to move further, holding me back when I’ve gone too far. I can’t ask for much more than that. Last year I titled my honorable mentions albums #40-26, but in truth a number can’t define the reinforcement and excitement this music provided.
So let’s dive in and talk about them for a spell. Continue reading
Every year is an interesting trip around the sun. New music comes and goes like the ebb and flow of time, and some albums hit us harder than others. 2018 for me was a very rich year in metal, yielding tons of great material from all over the heavy landscape. There was a lot I enjoyed, so sorting the wheat from the chaff for this year has been enjoyable and fairly difficult, which is a testament to all the bands putting out great albums this year. Below is my top 15 list for this year with a brief explanation with each album as to why I picked them. Feel the misery (wait, that wasn’t this year?!). Continue reading
* SPOILERS: it’s gonna be 20 albums…buckle your seat belts.
I told myself this year I was going to take it easy – do the Honorable Mentions, get the final list out, and put 2018 to rest. On a global, national, and personal front the year’s been pretty much a disaster from the start, and the quicker I can put it in my rearview mirror the better. But the more I tweaked and played with my end of year selections (thank you Trello for making that shit so easy) the more I realized that – like always – music was the thing that propped me up and made every setback if not better, at least tolerable. And when the dust cleared from all the list building I found a huge excess of albums that didn’t make my lists but easily could have on another day. Everything is interchangeable; we are not the people we were even a moment ago, and those experiences constantly inform our perspective on the world, metal albums included. Continue reading