Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure trove, others find themselves drawing a blank at the end of the month due to the…
Another wild year is coming to an end so it’s about time all you grinders scrubbed down your manky gears and made them all pretty looking for Satan Claus. This list won’t be exhaustive in the slightest, as there are hundreds of grind and grind-adjacent records that I just didn’t have the time to check out — there were just as many that I gave a cursory fifteen seconds listen and decided ‘NOPE’. This ‘year in review ‘will be focused almost entirely on bands that I’ve thrown into the scabby battle pit of Grind My Gears over the last twelve months, with the snarky titles and blunt force imagery used rearing their charming, cultured head yet again. If you didn’t enjoy any of it so far, you can go right ahead and browse Pitchfork’s Top 50 instead, you fucking wet blanket.
Few subgenres in metal have as many abilities to express music like doom. How many different combinations of “doom ___” can you think of? How many different variations on the sound have there been? I can think of quite a few, and I know for a fact that the sound can be quite expansive. It takes creative musicians to do it, but doom seems to have that in spades. Chalk up another entry with Burning Vow and their self-titled debut.
Post-rock is dead! Post-rock is dying! Post-rock never happened! You’ve probably heard all three of these things (OK, probably not the last one) over the past few years. In a way, those are accurate statements but only if you have a very narrow definition of what post-rock is.
It is probably unsurprising that modern progressive metal regularly reaches into the realm of science fiction for inspiration. Sleek, shiny futurism fits the atmospheric mood, the aesthetic and often the ideology firing the creative juices of these bands. As we know, the success of a science fiction concept often rests on how seamlessly the familiar and the unfamiliar are blended together by whoever is holding the pen.
For fans of post-anything metal, there was a turning point where we came to dismiss instant gratification. The point where we came to fall in love with the longform sonic journey, the gradual and subtle expanse of musical ideas, or the entrancing (and at times physical) nature of cascading, droning riffing and phantasmal leadwork. Bigger than that, it’s where we abandoned immediacy in exchange for the ambient, the psychedelic, the densely layered, or the ruminating.
Look, I know my column is filled with super subjective opinions. I write for a music blog, I get to do this. I can troll the comment threads as good as any of them! I just choose to use my skills for the power of good. And we’re talking internet good, so being snarky and borderline mean-spirited for the sake of a really cheap laugh I don’t deserve.
Robin Staps and Paul Seidel of post-metal band The Ocean give us a rundown of what has dominated their listening habits of 2018. Their lists represent the true meld of genres that The Ocean is, moving from heavy, doom-y stuff like Ancestors (one of my all time favorite bands) through obscure (to us) electronics and dreamy sojourns in foreign lands to heavy, abrasive, downright nihilistic at times, experimentations in music.
Beaten To Death are more interesting than your favorite grindcore band. I’m not sorry. Actually, I’m sorry for assuming Beaten To Death wasn’t already your favorite grindcore band.
While 2018 was truly fantastic for post-rock (expect a more in-depth post about that, soon) there was one specific type…
A dark and foreboding greeting to you, heaviest of Heavy Bloggers! Yes, I’m afraid it’s that time again. The death of the year 2018 demands a review, and we would be quite foolish not to oblige. It’s been another very solid year for doom metal. Personal favorites and genre darlings alike have returned with huge releases, up and comers have made themselves known, and a certain giant of the scene made a comeback after a far too long hiatus. What’s not to like about DOOM 2018?