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

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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

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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, Q2: Manny-O-War’s List

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Well, here we are again. Another three months past and I am still raving (maybe raging?) about what a ridiculously solid year this has been for metal. Yet, I sit here attempting to include metal that is technically going to be released in the third quarter. You think Blood Incantation isn’t going to end up on year end lists? Ryan Page of A.M.S.Gtotally blew the doors off his production formula and his 2016 release will be battling it out among the top candidates as well.  Further, Brooklyn-based Anicon are set to release their debut (which kills). Over in the prog world, Fates Warning, after working hard for over thirty years will soon put out what might be their best album to date. So, this year is bonkers. And lest we forget the upcoming Inter Arma release… So strap in! Continue reading

The Nine Circles Podcast: Episode 39

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We got us a good ol’-fashioned CONCERT POD here, kids! The guys talk about their different experiences with the Decibel Magazine tour (seeing TribulationSkeletonwitchHigh on Fire and Abbath) as well as their shared experience at Behemoth‘s Blasfemia Amerika tour stop in New York City! Plus, a recap of Sig:Ar:Tyr and some of the albums we’ve been listening to over the past few weeks!

All that and much, much more in Episode 39, so check it out!

Also available on:

Keep it heavy,
Dan

Many Faces of Manny: “Babymetal”

 

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A few weeks back I tweeted some of my feelings about the phenomenon that is Babymetal. I figured I would take this month’s column to discuss the band in more than 140 characters and to shed light on the connection between their approach and specific aspects of Japanese culture. It may be a very westernized take on the very Japanese export or it could be my college studies (Gender & Women’s Studies with minor focus on Queer Theories) forcing my brain to read between the lines. What I do know, from scouring the internet and from private messages I received, I am not even close to alone in my thinking. In fact, my opinion might constitute the majority, despite many fellow concerned citizens reluctance to speak up. Continue reading