Missed Connections: Looking Back on 2020 One Last Time

Best of 2020

You want more?  You got more.  Not that I exactly want to look back on 2020, but there was so much killer music this past year that I decided to take a page out of Chris’ book and talk about the ones that got away from me, regardless of how great they might be.  I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about why these albums didn’t make the cut the first time around.  It’s the same story for each one, a story about time and energy and brainpower.  This year was draining, both from being alive in the world and from having quite a bit to keep up with in the way of reviews and podcasts for a certain illustrious publication, and while I am proud of the list I put out and I’m not going to go back and amend it, I do think there needs to be more room for discussing what I feel like I missed out on.  Albums that, for whatever reason, needed more than the time I had for me to fully realize them in my mind’s eye, but now I can unquestionably say they belong among the great ones that we got in the last calendar year.

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The Third Circle of Bandcamp: February 2020 Edition

third circle of Bandcamp headerWell friends, this may be it, with nothing to do but sit at home and listen to tunes while the world dies around us. So for the three of you (or less) who actually listens to these: I salute you, and deliver unto you the soundtrack to our apocalypse. Not much else to say, I just hope there’s still people to write for next month.

Ambient synth and soundscapes from Unreqvited’s latest EP starts us off, and leads seamlessly into Jaern’s stoner doom. Then we crank it up with some excellent tech death courtesy of Xenobiotic, which flows into the intense blackened melodic death of KVAEN. Sons of a Wanted Man follow with wonderful blackgaze chased by the experimental synths and sludgy black metal of Tombs. Speeding it up, we have riffy prog from the new Intronaut, and then we wrap with a couple of atmoblack tracks from Skyforest and Cult of Fire respectively. Continue reading

Album Review: Xenobiotic — “Mordrake”

Xenobiotic - Mordrake

Sometimes you want to listen to an album that pushes the boundaries of what metal is capable of by incorporating interesting and innovative instrumentation and songwriting.  Sometimes you want to listen to an album that stirs the soul and seeks to provoke deep introspection and provide a resonant message.  Sometimes you want to listen to an album so stupid dumb heavy that you forget how to do math.  If you’re like me and you have almost no use for times tables in your daily life anymore, then Perth, Australia, natives Xenobiotic’s sophomore album Mordrake will treat you just right. Continue reading