Donuts & CANTO: Brujeria, Brendon Small, Full Terror Assault and more!

brujeria 2017

April 26, 2017

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

    • Leading off, Brujeria have announced a fall tour with, for some reason, Voodoo Glow Skulls. Whom, you may recall, aren’t even remotely metal. Either way, dates are here.

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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

Best of 2016: Corey’s List

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

You don’t hear from me much these days because I decided the internet is more of a hindrance to my life than an enhancement. I also think opinions, including my own, are pointless. Regardless, I still like metal. So here is 2016 metal I really like just in case one or two of you out there were curious. Top nine and then nine honorable mentions because I like being thematically consistent. Continue reading

Initial Descent: September 18 – 24, 2016

Neurosis
Neurosis

Anyone complaining that there hasn’t been a great week for metal thus far in 2016 needs to go immediately and start over, but there won’t be any complaining after this week. Mostly due to Neurosis‘ highly anticipated eleventh full length Fires Within Fires finally seeing the light of day. But that’s not all; Fatalist are back with their insanely good Swedeath saturated The Bitter End, Predatory Light further their black metal chaos on Predatory Light, Trap Them punch you in the mouth with their fifth album Crown Feral while Witchskull breaks out the bluesy doom on The Vast Electric Dark. Switching gears a bit, Dysrhythmia bends time on their progressive instru-metal album The Veil Of Control — let the dissecting begin. And last but not least, Insomnium‘s epic fifth full length Winter’s Gate is a blast. As stated, its another stacked week here on Initial Descent and literally, there’s something for everyone. So hit that ‘continue reading’ link. Continue reading

Album Review: Insomnium – “Winter’s Gate”

Insomnium - Winter's Gate

Not ones to shy away from a challenge, melodic death metallers Insomnium traverse a single 40 minute track on their seventh full length Winter’s Gate. But before there’s any dismissal purely based on length, this is an album full of emotion and beautifully tumultuous atmosphere that goes by in the blink of an eye. Not lost in the shuffle, however, is the band’s top shelf melodic death metal. Here, they are just as proficient with black metal influences and progressive song writing as well. It’s a sprawling epic, but one well worth investing the time to experience. Continue reading