Only one more day until one more day until the weekend!
Svalbard vocalist Serena Cherry has announced a new black metal solo project known as Noctule. The debut album, Wretched Abyss, is set for a May 28th release through Translation Loss. Today, a video for the title-track was released. Give that beast a watch.
Fun fact, you can stream the new split EP from -(16)- and Grime, titled Doom Sessions Vol. 3, in full over at Cvlt Nation. It’s highly recommended that you do so. It technically drops on Friday, but why the wait the extra couple of days if you don’t have absolutely have to?
The best way to wrap up yet another barely tolerable day is with a new Cannibal Corpse video. Check out the clip for the first single from Violence Unimagined, “Inhumane Harvest”, immediately below. That album drops on April 16th through Metal Blade Records.
Well that sure was one whole, entire year, wasn’t it?
Like many on this website, 2020 changed a lot of the ways in which I consume new music, and not for the better on my part. The constant thrum of anxiety coursing through my body and mind made critical music listening often difficult, and yet the albums I found this year that I love are some of the best and most affecting music I’ve heard in several years worth of doing this. I went over all of these picks in the end of year episode of our Audio Thing, which I would highly encourage you to listen to here, or wherever you consume podcasts; fair warning that it is a rather long episode, but we worked hard on it and had a lot of fun, so I’d appreciate it if you took the time to check it out. You can consider this main list a companion piece of sorts to the podcast episode. You can listen to me go into detail about the how’s and why’s of my main picks there, but I thought it would be fun to catalog them still, and I threw in some honorable mentions for good measure. Read along after the cut, and a very sincere thank you for another year of readership. I don’t do this for clout and I certainly don’t do this for money, so it means all the more that people take an interest in the things I am passionate about.
Since every minute of every day in this year of our Lord 2020 seems hyperattenuated to *gestures vaguely at all of this*, you don’t need me to remind you of anything. If you are reading this, you survived, and I hope that continues. While I count mine (and my family’s) survival as the accomplishment of the year, other things I didn’t hate were the Domestikwom EP I put out in June titled Wallowing in Misery, along with launching a full fledged website for fellow Nine Circler Chris and I’s movie podcast Cinema Dual.
I was also able to pull focus long enough to check out some albums this year, and unlike the year that spawned them, I was pretty impressed. Hopefully you find something you like or even something new. Best of luck next year. Continue reading →
At this point, what more is there to say about what happened in 2020? I could echo the sentiments of so many others, on this blog and otherwise, but I think we get the idea. I could take this time to lament about the struggles around us, our unsustainable societal structure and all that, but that rant should probably be for another time and place. For now, I’ll just say that my hope is that we can all reflect on the events of 2020 and recalibrate what we prioritize as a society… but I’m not optimistic that will happen. And to all the calendar watchers out there, 2021 won’t magically be better just because it happens to not be 2020. Want things to be better? Make change. That applies to all of us. Status quo sucks anyway.
Enough of that, let’s spin the narrative a bit. As the world continues to burn around us (literally and figuratively), I need to express unrelenting gratitude to all the artists and musicians that continued to perfect their craft over the past several months. Without concerts, and as album sales continue to serve as minimal revenue at best, pausing these pursuits in search of other enterprises would have been understandable. In a year with so much negativity, and so much time away from friends and family, the music I absorbed in 2020 resonated on a deeper level than it has in years. So, thank you, for offering an escape from the daily chaos. A (completely self-induced) pressure to absorb more and more music had taken over in recent years, and as a result my connection to individual records was hindered. A basic quantity over quality concept in listening experience, I suppose. This past year, however, that wasn’t the case. I still consumed an aggressive amount of new music, but the exploration was more curious, and more genuine, than in years past. The result? A stronger attachment to the 2020 releases… which I’m certain will resonate long after we start our 2021 discussions. If there is a bright side to 2020, it’s the realigning, or rediscovering, of our passions and finding new ways to pursue them in the day-to-day. And that’s a mentality I hope to take into the new year.
So let’s dive into my 2020 picks. As always, nine favorites and nine honorable mentions. Side note: I can’t remember a year in which it was this hard to separate a few albums from the greater pack, and that’s probably the result of offering myself the opportunity to truly embed myself in these albums. There was just so much quality presented this year, and delivered over such an expansive spectrum. Just another part of the ridiculous journey that was 2020, I suppose. Anyway…
A lot of things about this past year sucked, but the one thing that absolutely didn’t was the music. Between the scheduled releases and the surprise ones few were expecting, it’s been a stellar year of powerful, emotionally charged music, and I’ve been in a very fortunate position to be able to sit back and take it all in. So fortunate, in fact, that I couldn’t contain a year end list to just one article. So, here’s the first installment, the honorable mentions. Truthfully, any of these albums could have ended up on the “main” list on a different day, so really, this is just my way of extending the fun and talking about more of my favorite albums.