CANTO: NEMF Lineup, Bleeding Through, Kerry King, and More

Slayer-2015

1/23/2018. It’s icing outside.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
– cmb

Best of 2017: Some stuff Dan liked this year!

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

Hey y’all, it’s been a minute! More accurately, it’s been about 221,000! Over the last four months, when I haven’t been watching the world rapidly start to resemble a toilet overflowing with diarrhea, I’ve been slaving away at my first semester of nursing school. Which has meant that finally, after a solid 2-3 years in a row of telling myself, “I’m gonna listen to less music this year,” I actually did listen to less music this year! My best estimate is…probably 165 albums? Maybe 170? Still a bunch, but down more than a hundred from each of the last couple of years. MISSION [SORTA] ACCOMPLISHED.

On the other hand, this puts me in something of an odd position when it comes to picking my “Best of 2017.” I didn’t listen to as much music. I deleted my Twitter and reduced my overall social media presence by, conservatively, 75% — which, by the way, was a fucking AMAZING life decision that I recommend all of you try — so I had neither a steady stream of albums-you-must-hear-or-you-will-be-shunned crossing my radar screen, nor the urge to seek out even more obscure albums that I could shun others for not having heard. Oh, and also, most of my favorite albums this year were from outside the metal genre. Me putting this list together and claiming it to be THE BEST OF 2017 would be a little delusional.

So, that’s why I’m not doing that. Okay fine, I’ve made a list and ordered it — alphabetically, because EAT IT, BIG RANKINGS — but that’s it. This is just some stuff I listened to and happened to really enjoy this year. Authoritativeness be damned. (Or left for the folks over at Last Rites.) Let’s jump in.

A note before beginning:

This list is going to focus on the metal portion of this year’s listening. (And perhaps, in some cases, the metal-adjacent.) So, even though Ulver put out my favorite album of the year in any genre with The Assassination of Julius Caesar, you’re not going to see that thing in this post. Same with Anathema. Same with…I dunno, Steven Wilson, or The War on Drugs, or other contributions from pretty-blatantly-not-metal artists. If time permits, I’ll do a year-end Rainbows in the Dark recap. (Maybe.) But this is my metal list, and it shall be kept metal. Now, all that said…

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Best of 2017: Fábio Da Silva of Annihilation

Annihilation

We recently featured Annihilation in a Profile of rhythm guitarist and founding member Fábio Da Silva which you can check out here. Their latest album The Undivided Wholeness of All Things, released last month, is yet another testament to what is capable in brutal, technical death metal while not falling into any of the typical traps of either. Put plainly, it’s a stellar release so obviously, we are excited to bring you his best metal picks from 2017. Continue reading

Initial Descent: November 26 – December 2, 2017

Drakonis
Drakonis

Your eyes are not playing tricks on you, we did just cross into December. Amazing right? No idea where the time goes but we’re nearing that time of year to get caught up on all the amazing stuff 2017 had to offer. Oh and yes, that header pic did make me think of Halloween too but it’s actually Irish extreme / black metallers Drakonis who are releasing their latest EP The Great Miasma this week and even though it’s only three songs it fully mesmerized me with its charred undulating rhythms and dark story line. Yes, I did get ahead of myself there but I couldn’t help it so no stopping now…next up is the debut full length, Reflections in Darkness, from Throaat who have leaned harder on the dark side of black metal here but still keep their feet firmly planted in thrash and speed. Friend of and guest contributor to this very site Jonathan Petkau is releasing the debut full length, A Peace that Destroys, from his black metal project Domestikwom and not only does it tell an extremely personal story but it also successfully intertwines folk, noise and even hardcore into the black metal fabric of the album. Filling out the top slots this week is Kingdoms Disdained from Morbid Angel that not only sees the reuniting of Trey Azagthoth and Steve Tucker but also sees a return to the kind of death metal we expect from this particular band and honestly I’m glad to hear it. I did go a little long in the tooth on this opener but fear not, there is much more metal to explore right after the jump. Continue reading

Album Review: Morbid Angel – “Kingdoms Disdained”

morbid angel kingdoms disdained

Is there a place for Trey Azagthoth in today’s metal scene?  I understand the impact merging death metal with Eddie Van Halen style solos had for extreme metal in the 80s, but 30 years of twisting insanity from bands like Portal, Gorguts, and every band featuring an 8 or 9-stringed virtuoso made me wonder if Azagthoth and his 3.0 edition of Morbid Angel could continue to impress, especially after the brake screeching accident that was Illud Divinum Insanus.  Kingdoms Disdained, the new album reuniting Azagthoth with Steve Tucker on bass and vocals may not be the second coming of metal that Altars of Madness was, but truth be told it’s a damn solid death metal album, filled with great riffs and more than enough to convince the world Morbid Angel is back on track.    Continue reading