I don’t think anyone expected the world to be where it was when 2020 kicked off. To even attempt to put into words the surge of feelings around a global pandemic that refuses to go away, a wretched history of systemic racism, brutality, and ignorance being exposed and reckoned with in the streets all over the world, and everything else the first six months has brought to light is reckless and futile for me right now. I continue to watch, listen, and learn as much as I can: to actively be part of a solution instead of passively being part of the problem.
In the moments between there is music, and if there’s even a glimmer of light right now, it’s in how good 2020 has been with regards to metal. So let’s see where my penchant lies as we cross the halfway mark of year that feels like forever. Continue reading
Sometimes you want those blast beats and cavernous riffs to pound your skull from the inside…and sometimes you just want to float away on layers of keyboards, odd time signatures, and a plethora of instruments you’ve never heard of. ‘Round these extreme parts we tend to only look at progressive music when it’s attached to the word “metal” but there’s been some excellent releases this year where the “prog” takes command of the music and allows its freak flag to shine.
Sometimes they’re not even Opeth.
So for this edition of Nine Circles ov…. I wanted to take a look at 9 prog releases from the Year of Our (Dark) Lord 2019 that have kept me moving in strange waters when I tired of the bludgeon of more extreme music. Continue reading
On March 24th, 1999 the heavens parted and the world was gifted the glory of Crack the Skye, the fourth album from Mastodon and their second outing on a major label. It’s a sprawling prog-rock opus, sparing no expense to craft majestic riffs and killer hooks that ten years on continues to reveal nuances and intricacies folks are still talking about. Continue reading
And here we are. A few more pages of the book before it closes.
Two thousand and seventeen years after we decided to start again at zero it feels like a reset is needed more than ever. And this doesn’t even take into consideration the collective chaos and suppurating hate that seemingly fills the space between the molecules in our media, our politics, and our increasingly hostile behavior toward each other. That poison surrounds but has yet to work its way into my bloodstream. It’s a selfish ask, entirely due to my own weaknesses, insecurities and inability to take the steps needed to be just a little better each day: as a husband, a father, a writer, a musician, but most of all as a human being. It’s been a challenging year, and I have a long road ahead if I want to keep on having challenging years, let alone any years.
More than ever it was music that kept my head above water, allowed a glimmer of land to guide me ashore. Continue reading
It’s always an interesting experience when what you think an album will sound like and what it actually sounds like end up being vastly different. When I took the promo for Jordablod‘s debut album, Upon My Cremation Pyre, I thought based on the logo, promo pictures, and label associated with them, I had this band pegged for that ugly blackened death metal that is commonplace now. Not that I would have minded if that were true, but I think the fact that Upon My Cremation Pyre was almost the opposite of what I was expecting contributed a lot to why I love this album as much as I do. The sense of having the rug pulled out from under me made me appreciate all the unique touches the band puts here even more. Continue reading