Anyone feel oppressed by the ridiculous heat blasting through the Northeast? It almost makes you want to take a month off of writing for a website. I kid, but in truth I needed some time because the amount of quality metal that has been coming out this year has been INSANE. Label faves like Season of Mist and Gilead have been routinely hitting it out of the park, but great music has been crawling out of every nook and cranny, and it’s dizzying to be caught up in the middle of it. I had a list of about 14 I wanted to throw on here, but in keeping with the nature of the column I stuck to nine, all released this year before 7/1, and all on Bandcamp, because dammit let’s support artists with dollars, not fractions of pennies (plus it makes the formatting nice).
So here’s a glimpse of where my head is currently at. We’ll see where these land come end of year, but right now they’re red hot and in constant rotation in my ears. Onward. Continue reading →
It’s a thing of true joy when bands do unexpected things or further explore smaller nuances of albums past and actually stick the landing. And while Uhtcearu’s direction on third full length, Madness & Creation, is more subtle than Lord Dying’s recent about face, it is a bit of a different look. This time out melodic black metal takes a backseat to the band’s progressive side as well as a more straightforward black metal approach and as a result we’ve got ourselves a different, more well rounded, and stronger version of Uhtcearu.Continue reading →
This is one of those weeks that could’ve easily seen double digit albums in the top slots. It’s. That. Good. This year just keeps on giving so let’s cut the chit-chat and get to it…
Following up on the STELLAR EP, Don’t Waste Your Time, is Idle Hands with their full length debut Mana and honestly you just don’t know how much this brand of goth metal is needed until you know so get acquainted with it, this is a freaking masterpiece of soaring anthems drowned in mellow sadness. Next up is the godfathers of death metal, Possessed, with their loooooong awaited third full length Revelations of Oblivion and if initial impressions hold true, this will be one for the ages and one that furthers the intimate brand that Seven Churches laid bare. And then, Spirit Adrift completely seal the deal of trad metal meets majestic doom on third full length Divided By Darkness and it’s a sweet ass album full of old soul metal energy. Last up top but certainly not least is Wisconsin’s melodic black metallers Uhtcearu with their third full length Madness & Creation which finds the band in a forward thinking, progressive frame of mind. Now, don’t get your panties in a bunch as this slight addition works EXTREMELY well so if you were a fan of the last two, this one will blow your mind but if you’re a newb then this is a great jump off point.
Us writer types always say the current year was an amazing year for metal. And I’m saying it here, 2017 was a killer year for metal. Just when you thought death metal would reign supreme black metal would come through to take over and then charred hardcore would take its place only to have doom metal rear its head. This was a year I thought I nailed and this list would be easy come year’s end. But, no dice on that whatsoever as there were even more favorites than last year. I set out to keep the typical nine full lengths and nine eps but had to scrap that when I failed to make extreme cuts because the quality was too high. Music has and always will be extremely personal to me and I’ve always loved best of list season as it gives me a chance to catch up on what I’ve missed. You’ll find a few albums here that I covered at length earlier in the year as well as others I didn’t get a chance to. But my final picks lived and died on the impact made on me, whether deeply personal or just a ton of fun that I couldn’t stop listening to. Just like I have for as long as I’ve been reading these best of lists, I truly hope you find something here that hits home with you or something you missed that you wish you hadn’t. Music, metal in particular, keeps me going and offers me a place to hunker down and just be me, to shut out the world in general and enjoy listening to artists that keep me entertained and allows me those fleeting moments of peace. Thank you all, you got me through another year and I’m eternally grateful. Let’s get to it shall we… Continue reading →