Wayfarer have announced two exclusive performances next January. The first is scheduled for the 22nd at Saint Vitus, and the second for the 28th at The Bluebird Theater in Denver. That Vitus date is a performance with Falls of Rauros, and having seen that exact lineup in recent years, I can confirm that you absolutely cannot miss that show if you are in NYC.
Nightwish confirmed the North American dates of the “HVMAN. :||: NATURE.” world tour. They run from May 4th through the 22nd, and basically go coast to coast. Check out a trailer for the tour right here.
Closing with Equilibrium is always a good idea, so here’s the new clip for “Met (20 Years Later)”. There are a ton of guests in that reimagining of the first Equilibrium song ever, so definitely take a few minutes to check it out below.
The news I have been awaiting quite awhile arrived today, and that’s awesome.
Referring, of course, to Der Weg einer Freiheit. Their fifth album will drop on November 19th, through Season of Mist, and it will be titled Noktvrn. Here’s an album trailer for now, but it sounds like the German black metallers will be sharing a new track and pre-order details in the near future.
And then we’ll jump over to the Grand Tetons and see what updates have emerged from Fire In The Mountains. Ivar Bjørnson has announced a batch of reconfirmations for the 2022 festival, including the likes of Yob and Wayfarer, among others. Ohhhhh how I cannot wait.
Experimental black metal project Le Chant Noir has named October 22nd as the international release date of La Société Satanique des Poètes Morts, their second album. That will be released through Personal Records, and you can stream “Priére á Satan”, the first single, right here.
Closing with the new Obscura track that dropped yesterday should make some people happy. This is the video for “A Valediction”, the title-track from their new album set for a November 19th release through Nuclear Blast. Pre-orders!
Ok, getting back on track for the rest of week. Something like that.
The highly anticipated sophomore release from Crown, The End Of All Things, is steadily approaching. Today, they released the new single, “Shades”. The official release date is set for April 16th, through Pelagic Records, with pre-orders also available at that link. I’m definitely excited about this one.
Atreyu news for anyone that might be interested. Today they released two new tracks, “Warrior” and “Underrated”, the former of which features Travis Barker, which is pretty cool. Of course, those releases also came with a new album announcement. Baptize will be out on June 4th through Spinefarm Records, and pre-orders are already up.
For those planning on checking out Roadburn Redux, and you should, another slew of bands was announced today. The list includes Primitive Man, Mizmor, Wayfarer, and more. Here’s some more info, if you need it.
And we’ll close with a new video clip from The Amenta for “Psoriastasis”. Revelator is out now through Debemur Morti Productions. Dang, solid roundup today…
We all know that 2020 was a very unpleasant year (to say the least). You don’t need me to list all the ways it was awful. We are all painfully aware of the details, and even more so as we look back at our 2020 new year’s resolutions we had made (travel more, drink less; you know). So enough of that, let’s focus on a bit of positivity and good that emerged from the past 12 months. For instance, there were so many new and wonderful musical releases that I could not even keep up. Every new album I listened to brought some joy, some goosebumps, and some pain—but in a good, cathartic way. As usual, my super indecisive self had a difficult time narrowing down the list of favorites. I managed to finally settle(ish) on a list. These selections are different (with the exception of my number one pick) from when I weighed in on the group list and different on the EOY Podcast episode—apologies for the inconsistency but, again, I’m indecisive (and also anxious).
Here are my top 13 as of this moment (because I love all things spooky, and c’mon, we’ve already had all the bad luck brought upon us) and a little list of some nonmetal favorites.
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…