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
Two days in a row. But not from me. That would be asking too much.
“Ein Bier… bitte.”
I found At The Gates in a roundabout way. It was 1998 or 1999, I think, and I was still in high school and living in a shitty little town in South Arkansas. At The Gates was already history by then, having broken up after releasing their landmark achievement, 1995’s melodic death metal masterpiece, Slaughter of The Soul. While I had other European imports like Emperor and In Flames handed to me by friends (and friends’ older brothers/cousins), I heard At The Gates by association, via poking around the other way we found new music: mIRC. Through the bustling community of metal listeners in Dalnet’s #mp3_deathmetal and similar channels, I became acquainted with At The Gates, Dark Tranquillity, Dissection, and a number of other bands I still love to this day. But, even from that initial first listen, nothing left a mark on me quite the way Slaughter of The Soul did. Continue reading
This past year’s been a good one for me as far as music writing goes. Following the early 2015 demise of a site I wrote for with some friends, I wormed my way into regular contributor gigs at three online metal blogs/pubs, all of which I was already a fan. It’s been a good year for metal, too. I’m not gonna lie and say 2015 blew my dick off the way 2014 did… because it just didn’t. But that’s not to say I didn’t hear some killer new shit this year, as well as find out about a handful of new, promising acts with which I wasn’t yet familiar. Continue reading