Best of 2018: Zyklonius’ List

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Ah, 2018. What an absurd, exhausting and often infuriating ride you were, with death as my ubiquitous companion and co-pilot. You entailed on one hand a near-cataclysmic series of loved ones dying around me in rapid succession, while on the other, an ever-flowing stream of metal that helped make that maelstrom somehow survivable and acceptable for yours truly.

As you, the well-informed reader, likely noticed during the course of the year, and will see again when you read further below, 2018 was a banner year for death metal of all colors and shapes, but most and especially for the boundary-pushing kind that redefines and reconfigures the entire genre. Another type of metal that really resonated with me was one of transcendence and catharsis, of dreamlike journey, cosmic marvel and triumphant rebirth. Overall, the vast array of diverse evolutionary pathways, latest career pinnacles, and dazzling artistic growth and achievement in the field of metal was a compelling sight to behold and a wondrous thing to experience.

As further proof of the excellent and exciting state of metal today, albums worthy of inclusion in the below list continued to be released until the very final days of the year, resulting in perhaps the strongest December release-wise in recent memory.

With this succinct backdrop in mind, I offer the following 23 releases as a tribute to goddess Eris. Continue reading

Best of Q4: Manny-O-War’s List

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I feel like Q4 gets a really raw deal. Between October 1 and December 31 a bunch of albums get released. Some of them are stellar and will populate the Holy Grail of lists, the year end list. Other albums may be terrific in their own right but may not rise to the level that gets them on all the end of the year lists. Thus, I dedicated a few extra moments of my less than valuable time to put together a top 9 for the 4th Quarter of 2015. Continue reading

Album Review: Serocs – “And When the Sky Was Opened”

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I wasn’t going to write two reviews this week. It’s Thanksgiving. It’s time to sit back, loosen the belt and eat an incredibly unhealthy amount of food in honor of the Pilgrims (and eventually other people from England, Spain, Portugal, etc.) who set about destroying a beautiful, fertile country and massacring an entire population. But then I saw that no one had claimed the new Serocs album and I figured, if you want something done right you’ve got to do it yourself. Because, well, multi-national purveyors of technically proficient death metal Serocs are awesome. And their new album And When the Sky Was Opened is their best to date. Continue reading