Throwback Thursday: Happy 55th, James Hetfield!

papa-het

I think my new goal for these pieces is date-matching to Thursday, plus or minus a day or two. It’s just too damn hard lining stuff up exactly. Why am I telling you this? Oh yeah, because Metallica frontman James Hetfield turns 55 tomorrow, but we’re gonna discuss it today. Sound good? Good. Let’s jump in. Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Absu’s “Barathrum: V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” turns 25!

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I think this is the first time since I’ve started doing these Throwbacks again that I’m actually nailing an album look-back post down on its actual birthday. Progress, folks! Anyway, today we’re here to celebrate Absu. Over close to three decades, the world’s come to know these Texans as a pretty much unimpeachable institution of black / thrash metal. But on their debut full-length, Barathrum: V.I.T.R.I.O.L. — which turns 25 today — the then-quintet actually leaned more toward death metal than anything they’ve done since. Unsurprisingly, there was still a healthy amount of theatricality to it. Even less surprisingly, it’s still worth your time. Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: In Flames’ “Clayman” turns 18

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Though they’re little more than a punchline these days, it’s hard to overstate just how important In Flames were in my journey into metal fandom. As I began my crossover from nu-metal kid into “the real shit” — sometime around eighth grade — the Swedes were one of the first contemporary bands to really hook me. At their peak, they hit every note I wanted to hear: the sense of melody I’d come to appreciate from classic artists like Maiden and Priest; a heaviness that, unlike nu-metal, didn’t feel clownish; and most importantly, an almost unfairly catchy presentation of both those component parts.

And it’s thanks to that last point in particular that Clayman was the first In Flames album to hook me in. So in honor of its 18th birthday this past Tuesday, let’s take a look back at it.

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Throwback Thursday: Milestone Anniversaries for Death and Gorguts!

ITPObscura

So, can we talk about how tricky it can be finding post-worthy anniversaries for specific dates on Throwbacks like these? I tried looking back through and finding cool stuff that’s happened or dropped on June 21, and…couldn’t find much of anything I felt like writing about. Damn you, history.

BUT…break outside the strict adherence to post-date alignment, and suddenly, things got easier. After shifting the search parameters to include “+/- a day or two,” I came almost immediately upon two death metal classics: Death‘s Individual Thought Patterns, which turns 25 tomorrow; and GorgutsObscura, which crosses 20 on Saturday. THROWBACK TOPIC DECIDED.

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Retrospective: Lamb of God – “Sacrament”

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Lamb of God. Oh, Lamb of God. If you’re going to open a conversation about one of the most well-known and well-respected groove/thrash metal groups going, where should one begin? You could fill volumes with the events contained in the band’s history and discography. From the Burn The Priest days and the subsequent reasoning behind the name change all the way through the more recent drama surrounding a certain manslaughter case in the Czech Republic, there are countless events we could define as ‘critical’ to their history. Unfortunately for all you, I don’t really have time to get into any or all of that. But what I do want to focus on is the album that projected LoG to the top of my library for a significant period of time back in the mid-2000’s. And that album would be 2006’s Sacrament. Continue reading