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 →
Looking backward, what’s interesting isn’t so much how the albums I selected back in January as part of Nine Circles’ 2017 Metal Forecast held up (or didn’t), but how what I was looking for in music at the beginning of 2017 changed and mutated as the year went from bad to worse, from televised and networked insanity to personal tragedy and a gaze into the abyss that was closer than I had ever anticipated at this point in my life. Revisiting the three albums that actually came out in 2017 now it’s striking how different the things I first imagined would be the draw fell to the wayside as new priorities and impact points made themselves evident.
I’m revisiting my initial post for what I was looking forward to from 2017 to see if those picks stood the test of time and if they were all I had hoped for. I don’t plan on going into too much detail as some of these may or may not be included in the impending EOY festivities. This year was definitely not the year we figured it all out and in fact it created more questions than any year I can remember. I do think 2017 was at least as good as 2016 on the metal front and in some cases was better, everyone will feel differently here but that’s my two cents. Metal was indeed my safe place to get away from all the bad this year held and I ran to it often. Without further ado, let’s see how these fared… Continue reading →
Alright so, I hope you took my advice last week and really listened to something you found. And, I hope you’ll do the same this week as we have much more to get into here on Initial Descent. We all have to have an outlet — a way to just bang it out, you know? And a way to escape and have a little fun from time to time. Well, we’ve got just the thing in our lead off spot with the full length debut, Nightmare Future, from the mega-super-group Expulsion — a raucous good time with members of Repulsion, Exhumed, Phobia and more, get it. Moving on is the split 12″, Procession of the Equinox, from the absolute masterminds of current folk/atmospheric black metal, Twilight Fauna and Evergreen Refuge — a monster of an album that is a must own. Next up is NZ’s Vesicant with their bombastic blackened death metal debut Shadows of Cleansing Iron and closing out the opening spots is Boris with Dear, this amazing band triumphantly returns with their personal brand of rock, drone and experimental soundscapes and again, a must own. So, we are already loaded for bear but as usual this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg — keep reading and keep listening… Continue reading →
Over the course of a few albums you begin to take the measure of a band by the steps they take on their musical path. Some bands are explorers, never content with where they were, always looking to try something else, move further. Some find their place and stick to it, content to tread the same rhythm over and over again (lest you think that’s always a bad thing, I’ll simply leave you with a “Hey! Ho! Let’s GO!). But between the balance of standing in place and grasping for something just out of reach is the band that refines, that chances upon something and digs deeper, finding the hidden corners and unexplored nuances of the terrain they commit to. And it’s this thin space that Twilight Fauna and Evergreen Refuge have been residing in over the course of multiple albums and side projects, and their latest split Procession of the Equinox demonstrates how subtle shifts and expansions of sound can reap huge rewards. Continue reading →