Josh Thieler’s Favorite Records of 2018

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2018 has been quite the year. It was a roller coaster personally, nationally, globally, and in the realm of metal. There are people that I loved that are gone now. There are people who are gone that I should have loved more. I failed a lot of people. I’ve struggled in so many ways. If you are curious about that, just listen to the last Slaves BC record or read any interviews I did during that release cycle. I got fatter, fitter, quit smoking, joined five or six more bands, did artwork for some bands, did PR for some others, and spent a lot (but never enough) of time with my wonderful wife and animals.

Anyway, I listened to a ton of music again in 2018. I didn’t get a chance to talk about any of it very much, but I listened to a ton. 2018 was another fantastic year for metal/hardcore/whatever. I’ve been altering this list for months and I had a real hard time narrowing it down as much as I did. Just like last year, I have compiled my favorite 50 full length metal/hardcore records, favorite 10 non-metal records, and my top 10 favorite EP’s/singles/etc.

I made this playlist with one track from each of the records that are on Spotify for you to listen to a sampling of everything below. Thank you for checking this out and here’s to a better 2019!

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Album Review: Jesus Piece – “Only Self”

Jesus Piece - Only Self

The first thing that struck me was the cover: minimal and visceral in the way the best 80s hardcore was.  Song titles right there on the front for you.  Over the past 30+ years hardcore has gone through so many permutations it’s hard to find a pure vein that stokes  the bludgeoning muscular attack of yesteryear, but Philadelphia’s Jesus Piece has it nailed with a bloody fist to wall on debut full length Only Self.    Continue reading

Initial Descent: August 19 – 25, 2018

Bummer
Bummer

In case you missed it or just need a podcast to get you through Monday, we featured our July album of the month late last week and you can listen right here. It was nearly a full house and absolutely a ton of fun was had so check it out. Alright then, a new week means new metal and lots of it…

Kansas City’s noise rock champs Bummer offer up their debut full length Holy Terror which lands on the dirty, grungy side of the genre but – lucky for me – that falls squarely in my wheelhouse and simply put, this album is everything I look for in noise rock. King Dude returns with Music To Make War To and the Dude continues his journey as one of the best dark neofolk artists around. Netherlands are a busy bunch having not long ago released an EP and now are back with their next full length Black Gaia — there’s entirely too many good things to say about this wildly experimental band from Brooklyn so I’ll leave it at: GO BUY IT. And, closing out the opening slots is the chunky, heavy as concrete, violent as a hammer to the face metallic hardcore of Jesus Piece on their debut Only Self.

Stunning openers but there’s so much more to come so hang with us for a while and explore. Continue reading

CANTO: Kvelertak, Behemoth, Tengger Cavalry and more!

 

kvelertak

I had two tests today, and I’m basically brain dead. This will be short. Here goes:

  • Leading off, Kvelertak frontman Erlend Hjelvik announced his departure from the band this morning. I’m bummed. Wasn’t nuts about 2016’s Nattesferd, of course, but those first two albums are still gold — plus, Erlend was a big part of what made these guys so great in a live setting. We’ll see what happens from here.
  • Behemoth announced its fall Ecclesia Diabolica North America tour, with support from At the Gates and Wolves in the Throne Room. Kinda feels like the Carcass / Deafheaven / Inter Arma trek a few years back; I’m here for all these guys, but none of them really make a ton of sense with the others? Oh well.
  • Apparently, Tengger Cavalry is back together, and has a new song out called “Heart” out. Cool?
  • More tour dates! Obscura, Beyond Creation, Archspire and good gawd, y’all, I need to be at this show. September 27 at Voltage Lounge, I’m comin’ for ya.
  • Decibel announced a couple of more bands for the forthcoming West Coast edition of its annual Metal and Beer Fest. Joining the ranks now are The Black Dahlia Murder, Khemmis and Trappist. It’s not a competition, but…so far, this version’s beating the Philly one pretty handily.
  • And finally, we’ve got one left over from the weekend: Philly hardcore crew Jesus Piece dropped a new tune that the kids might describe as “flames.” Check out “Neuroprison” below:

The band’s new album, Only Self, will be out August 24 via Southern Lord. Pre-orders are available on both Bandcamp, as well as the label’s website. That’ll do it for now — check back soon for more!

Keep it heavy,
Dan

Album Review: Vitamin X – “Age of Paranoia”

vitamin x - age of paranoia

Say you’ve never heard of Vitamin X.  You’re perusing the record store and you’re flipping through the “V” section (maybe you’re looking for some Vanilla Fudge, who are we to judge in this hypothetical record store?) and nestled between the Vinnie Vincent Invasion and that Vixen album you always liked you come across this album cover and you make a judgement call as to genre.  I don’t know what you’re guess would have been,  but hardcore thrash crossover punk would NOT have been mine, which makes the fact that Age of Paranoia is not only that but a killer example of the genre kind of wonderful.  It’s a ripping record that invokes everything that drew me to punk as a kid and a great surprise as we head into the halfway point of the year.   Continue reading