Scholar of the First Sin: Hera’s Best of 2018

EOY 2018 Header 9C

Yes, that title is a Dark Souls reference, and it’s a title I would like to have some day.

Anyway, it’s that time of year where we all just want to enjoy the last vestiges of holidays before the new year begins and we all decide to make lists. Whether it is for presents, things to throw out, or just a general shopping list for Christmas, we are bound to make one.

However, here in the hallowed halls of 9C, we are making one better: It’s time for EOY list season!

2018 was an impressive year for music in general. The sheer amount of releases this year was mind-blowing – so much so that I decided to make it into a top 20. That’s right: I expanded my list because 10 ain’t gonna cut it. However, there were a lot of albums left out from this list because they weren’t being as heavily played as they were supposed to be or they came out too late for me to actually put on this list (sorry Within Temptation!). I also decided to cut EPs from this list, as they deserve their own separate thing that won’t be explored until I have some more time. Let’s get started… Continue reading

Column: The Path To Paradise Begins In Hell – Symphonic Death Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

On last month’s column, I discussed some of the genres to look forward to as I descended forwards and ascended backwards into my timeline as a metalhead. I also mentioned going into some deep cuts, but have decided to forgo that completely as I want to continue exploring genres and their gateway albums. With that in mind, it’s time we move forward into a hybrid genre that fully led me down a rabbit hole.

Back in my peak symphonic metal days – that would be early 2009 to late 2012 – I didn’t dabble into any other genre except when someone recommended me an album or a song to listen to. Of course, I did, but didn’t move forward with those recommendations, hoping that, once I got comfortable with my metal listening habits, I would take the time find out what I really liked and pursue that. However, Pandora would throw a wrench in my routine by slowly introducing a dose of death into the music.

It’s time we explore my foray into symphonic death metal.   Continue reading