Profile: James Andrew Lee of Kingston Upon Hull Bruisers Mastiff

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Mastiff

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

Best of 2018: Chris’s Honorable Mentions List

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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

The Be(a)st of 2018 – J’s List

 

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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

Nine* Circles ov…What “Didn’t” Make My 2018 End of Year List (But Could Have)

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* 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

Receiving the Evcharist: Cult Leader and Speculoos Cookie Beer

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: Cult Leader’s A Patient Man and Angel City Brewing Company’s Speculoos Cookie Beer.   Continue reading