If a poster was created of famous devil-worshippers then Aleister Crowley’s face would no doubt be near the front and center. Despite not actually being a Satanist, Crowley’s “wicked’’ deeds placed him in league with the Dark Lord in the eye’s of the public back in his heyday. However, he was a practitioner of Thelema, a spiritual philosophy of self-empowerment that’s often lumped in with the glorification of evil much like Satanism has been throughout the years. And like old Beelzebub, Crowley and heavy metal fit together like a hand in glove, and his influence in heavy music can be traced all the way back to the genre’s earliest years.
It was truly impossible to keep up with all the great music released in 2016, so prepare to see us talking about releases from last year a bit more in the next few weeks/months. Time is arbitrary anyway, right? Back to the matter at hand; stoner metal had an even better year than many other genres. Countless releases in just as many styles graced the smoke-filled skies of the sub-genre, running the gamut of infectious riffs and honey-drenched vocal stylings. Shining bright in these constellations is Netherlands and their poppy, insidious stoner-punk. Like a blend between Floor, Black Sabbath and Witchcraft, Netherlands (who hail from Brooklyn by the way) produce hip moving stoner of the highest degree, aimed to be heavy and oppressive but also pop-y and dance-able.