These posts are written by: Noyan

110 – I Go Away For One Week, You Won’t Believe What Happens

The first episode of 2018 has to be a shitshow right? Noyan is away moving coasts (like, literally moving several coasts, not changing apartments), so we have Simon instead. Eden’s power cuts out several times during recording, both of them have terrible opinions and hilarity ensues.

They did get around to talking about stuff like new music from Justin Timberlake, Mammoth Grinder, Judas Priest, Vessel of Iniquity and Nightmarer. They then speak about Soundcloud kinda maybe going to 64kbps and Spotify getting hit with a huge lawsuit, which leads to an in depth discussion on the tools we use to listen to music. Then, they turn to the sucky treatment by the community of the rape and kidnapping charges against Decapitated being dropped, our newsletter (sign up below!), Simon’s 2017 and personal AOTY list and albums they’re looking forward to in 2018.

Cool people time includes Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy and Master of None!

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Our Methodology For AOTY 2017

It’s non-trivial to compute a ranked list of best albums given the opinions of 31 different writers. We could go the lazy way and just have staff argue and editors decide what the AOTY is, but that’s unfair to everyone and is way too authoritarian. We could just have people pool votes, but that leads to way too many conflicts between albums with the same amount of votes (which editors need to resolve, which is unfair and upsets people), we could assign a particular value for each rank, have everyone rank their albums, and add up all the ranks. But that also has its own set of problems, and how do you set the values? As you can see, it’s non-trivial. Sure, you could just pick either of these schemes or anything else, but why do that when you can do something that is a lot more mathematically grounded? Since I’m essentially a statistician by trade (kind of), of course I’m going to try to do that. So here’s me explaining what I did, and sharing my code for anyone else interested in doing it the “””objectively correct””” way.

108 – AOTY 2017 Part II: Top 20

This week we continue our album of the year deliberations by whittling the list of releases we cared about this year down to a lean 20. Next week, we’ll finally decide on our list of ordered 10 and maybe look back on the year. Your homework is to listen to these albums and let us know what you feel. Enjoy!

The Faceless – In Becoming A Ghost

It is folly to try to judge a piece of art independently of the circumstances surrounding its conception. A lack of awareness of those circumstances is excusable, of course, but when it comes to The Faceless, that seems quite unlikely to be the case. The Californian technical/progressive death metal band, which is probably better described as Michael Keene’s project, have been through some troubles. They made one of the most important albums of the genre in 2008 with Planetary Duality, and ever since then listeners have been looking for them to make an album that’s equally impactful. 2012’s Autotheism, regardless of its quality, wasn’t what most people wanted in that sense. After yet another 4+ year gap, and many line-up changes, tour cancellations and other drama, the band, well, Michael Keene is back with his fourth album, In Becoming A Ghost. It’s his most somber and personal album for sure, but is it a good album? Partially.

106 – Colors Me Surprised

End of the year, so there’s not a lot of news! Shokran covering Linkin Park, Arkona teasing a new album, a new Portal track, Gene Simmons getting banned from Fox News. Decibel’s weird top 40 of the year. Then we discuss why I didn’t enjoy the new Xanthochroid releases and what merit they may have regardless. We introduce a new segment: “Game Changer”, then we discuss Between the Buried and Me’s Colors and how it, well, changed the game. Finally Eden plugs his love letter to Iron Maiden’s Powerslave. Cool people time, including the Korean Netflix show Stranger, then five movies Eden saw at a sci-fi festival, and the superhero simulator Megaton Rainfall. Enjoy!

Impureza – La Caída De Tonatiuh

There have been previous attempts at integrating flamenco elements into metal. There have even been successful, good attempts at doing so. However, there are few that have been successful at blending them seamlessly. This applies not just to flamenco, but any influence outside of metal. It’s either the case where a regular metal song suddenly erupts into an irrelevant genre break, or it’s barely a metal album. The latter case usually happens, for example, when jazz musicians get together and write an album that’s mostly in their own wheelhouse, with some minor metal elements. Even further, the most extreme of metal subgenres are usually spared these excesses. Enter Impureza, a band that skirts the line between progressive and technical death metal, and perfectly fits flamenco into that picture. The end result is just delightful.