Best of 2021: Corey’s List

Best of 2021

Is that it? Am I the last one? Dang. Again. Wait, maybe one more to come… Anyway, I guess I’ll start this off on my soapbox as always, by noting that I truly cannot comprehend where we are as a society. Well, I suppose I can, which is even more frustrating. If 2020 wasn’t a brutal enough year (not in a good way), 2021 seemed to serve as an appropriate encore. Seemingly everything we experience in life has been weaponized for political gain in one way or another, a global pandemic has been widely accepted as an endemic thanks, in part, to widespread misinformation, and, just as bluntly, climate disasters resulting from human activity are on the brink of running rampant for the duration of humanity’s remaining existence… however brief that may be. And those are just my three favorite, non-personal, items to discuss in our corner of the universe. It sucks, and I’m burnt out. Optimism has completely faded at this point, and I’m ready to run screaming into the woods. But hey, cheers to 2020, right?!

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Best of 2021: Chris’s List

Best of 2021

The beginning is the end. Literally, in this case. I started this post with the entries for my list a few weeks ago, wrote my 1,000 word review (sorry) on my Album of the Year and concluding paragraph right before Christmas, and now here I am in the vaporous ether before the new year pondering the introduction.

And there are no words left.

I’ve wrangled with the why, trying to make sense of the music I consume and what it says, and I hit a point where trying to find an answer was…pointless. Not because it’s unimportant to know, but in the last two years the rest of the world became so much harder to deal with, life became so much harder to deal with, something in my brain went into emergency mode and just shut down the logic circuits, sending one single message over and over again:

“Stop thinking, stupid. It’s just music.”

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CANTO: Wolves in the Throne Room, Obscura, Omnium Gatherum, and More

Wolves In the Throne Room

Apparently there’s a lot going on today?

  • So let’s start with Wolves in the Throne Room, who have announced an early 2022 North American tour with Uada and Full of Hell. Those dates run in January and February, starting and ending in the Pacific Northwest. Tickets go on sale this coming Friday.
  • And then we have a few new tracks and/or videos to share. The first of which comes from Obscura. This is the third single taken from A Valediction, titled “Devoured Usurper”. As a reminder, that album drops on November 19th through Nuclear Blast.
  • Extreme metal collective Apes have signed on Translation Loss Records, and have announced a new EP titled Lullabies For Eternal Sleep. In conjunction, they also gave us this vicious new music video for “Cornwall”, the opening track from said EP.
  • And then we have another one from Season of Mist Underground Activists. Necrofier dropped a new video for “Betrayal of the Queen”, which is taken from their debut full-album, titled Prophecies of Eternal Darkness. That drops on October 22nd.
  • And last but certainly not least, we’ll wrap up with Omnium Gatherum, one of our longtime favorites. The video for “Reckoning” can be found below. That’s another new one off of Origin, which is out on November 5th through Century Media.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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CANTO: Wolves in the Throne Room, Mastodon, LLNN, and More

Wolves In the Throne Room

I bought a CD today, which is weird thing. It was Iron Maiden’s Senjutsu, however, and that’s less of a weird thing.

  • I’m leading off with Fire In The Mountains, because those updates make me happy. Curator Ivar Bjørnson has announced that Wolves in the Throne Room will be returning to the Tetons next year, and Steve Von Till is officially back on the lineup following 2020’s postponement. All very, very good things.
  • It appears that Mastodon are up to something, and my hope (as well as assumption) is that a new album titled Hushed And Grim will soon be announced. They dropped various pieces of (alleged) album art throughout their socials, but I’m only going to share one example.
  • Swedish horror metal collective Opera Diabolicus have revealed new album details along with a new single. You know how these updates work. Death on a Pale Horse will be out on November 26th through Season of Mist, and you can listen to “Darkest Doom on the Brightest of Days” right now.
  • And we’ll wrap up the Monday-ist Tuesday with the latest video from LLNN, for “Desecrator”. I nerd out about camera stuff, and this very much falls into that category. Unmaker is out on September 24th through Pelagic Records.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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Rivers of Nihil’s Jake Dieffenbach on upcoming album “The Work,” finding a green thumb, musical directions, and much more!

Later this month, progressive / technical death metallers Rivers of Nihil will drop their fourth full length, The Work, and by all accounts this album will be a crowning achievement for them as well as their fans and fans of extreme metal in general. 2018’s Where Owls Know My Name really blew the lid off for them and received mountains of praise, as it should have. The Work finds the band at an even higher creative peak and, somehow, heavier than ever. We’re foaming at the mouth over it and before long, you will be too. With that said, head inside for an in depth discussion with vocalist Jake Dieffenbach via The Nine Circles Audio Thing.

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