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Aaron Lariviere
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 0Posted on Dec 16th | re: The 50 Best Metal Albums Of 2014 (77 comments)

There’s still a grid view in the bottom left corner–at least on the non-mobile version of the site. Imperfect, but better than nothing!

 +1Posted on Dec 16th | re: The 50 Best Metal Albums Of 2014 (77 comments)

I think Coffinworm ended up somewhat overshadowed by a lot of the other big releases in a similar vein, especially Indian and Thou. Even Lord Mantis, which I also liked quite a bit but not nearly as much as the new Coffinworm, got way more attention due to the controversy over the cover art and lyrics. It’s a shame Coffinworm got overlooked; they were definitely on my personal list!

 +2Posted on Nov 26th | re: The Black Market: The Month In Metal - November 2014 (57 comments)

Chiming in late, but I wanted to throw out a couple of gems that didn’t make the cut this month:

HIDEOUS DIVINITY: righteous, ripping tech death of the best sort. Dissonant and organic in turns, with stunning compositional chops, I’m kicking myself for not voting higher for this one, though we wound up with a lot of last minute additions this month, so that’s life. Stream the full album here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-lWTL4j-Vs

CONVENT GUILT: awesome aussie trad metal, rough around the edges, packed with hooks, this doesn’t feel retro so much as legitimately old, like the metal that time forgot. Shadow Kingdom has a knack for uncovering stuff like this, similar to Johnny Touch in some ways, but this easily stands on its own merits. Here’s a couple tracks on bandcamp:
http://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/guns-for-hire

STARGAZER: speaking of Aussie metal, here’s some deep southern weirdness from this long-running progressive black/death/whatever band. Featuring members of Mournful Congregation, Cauldron Black Ram, and Johnny Touch, here’s some new noise. Not sure if Profound Lore is doing this next album or if they’ve switched to Nuclear War Now, but either way it will be interesting.
https://nuclearwarnowproductions.bandcamp.com/album/a-merging-to-the-boundless

HORNCROWNED: relentless blasting madness from these Columbian black/death dudes. You need a strong stomach and a tireless ear to get through the entire album as it never lets up, but sometimes that’s just what I need.
http://horncrowned.bandcamp.com/album/defanatus-diabolus-adventus

ZOM: rounding out the fairly killer selection of black/death this month, is ZOM, who are easily the best of the bunch. These guys are Irish, signed to Dark Descent, and absolutely awesome. Again, this is totally worthy and in any other month probably would have been on the list. Either way: buy this!
https://soundcloud.com/clawhammerpr/04-conquest

STOIC DISSENSION: This is nowhere even close to new, but I just stumbled across it and figure it could use some attention. These guys play something approximating psychedelic black/doom, and the album itself is a monster. The first track meanders for a bit before it gets really good, but the later tracks are stellar. Worth a whirl.
http://stoicdissention2.bandcamp.com/

Happy thanksgiving!

That he can just shit out a song at this level of natural quality is pretty amazing, gotta say.

 +7Posted on Oct 2nd | re: The 10 Best KISS Songs (33 comments)

The fact that I immediately scanned for “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” probably says a lot about my relationship with Kiss.

 0Posted on Oct 1st | re: Primordial - "Where Greater Men Have Fallen" (3 comments)

This is already one of the best things I’ve heard all year.

 0Posted on Oct 1st | re: The Black Market: The Month In Metal - September 2014 (59 comments)

Yeah, being perfectly candid, the new Dawnbringer broke my heart a little. I have endless love for Nucleus and In the Lair of the Sun God, but the new one leaves me cold. It grows on you with time, but the retro-schtick takes precedence over the actual songs by and large. I prefer Dawnbringer when they keep the intensity at “11″ and the retro vibes around “6″. Meanwhile the last High Spirits record was surprisingly good, so more than anything I’ve just learned Chris Black works in mysterious ways.

 +1Posted on Sep 30th | re: The Black Market: The Month In Metal - September 2014 (59 comments)

It’s totally worth it. And I say this as someone pushing, uh, my mid 30′s, with one kid at home. Go while you can!

 +3Posted on Sep 30th | re: The Black Market: The Month In Metal - September 2014 (59 comments)

Yep. I was standing approximately two dudes away from Tompa through Sacrifice’s set. He was in total fanboy mode, headbanging, fistpumping, just lost in the music, along with the rest of the crowd. I’m sure he was already a fan, but I have to wonder if that Sacrifice set (which was legit amazing) led to the existence of this bonus track? Rad either way.

 +3Posted on Sep 30th | re: The Black Market: The Month In Metal - September 2014 (59 comments)

Couple good ones that didn’t quite make the cut this month:

MAUSOLEUM GATE – Finnish trad metal that’s rough around the edges in the best possible way. Think Cirith Ungol but somehow… older.
http://cruzdelsurmusic.bandcamp.com/album/mausoleum-gate

ANTROPOMORPHIA – For those who crave death (metal), this is the best I have to offer. These guys have been around for a million years, but only have a few releases to their name. This is tremendously good OSDM that doesn’t really bow to the dominant trend of Swedish sounding guitars. I hear more Asphyx, maybe even a little of the vaguely black/occult vibes of Necrophobic. The song title will either make you giggle or groan, but it’s not really indicative of the music.
http://youtu.be/VWGFBZ4yNag?list=PLy8LfIp6j3aL7disTVCb8r5OoiIoJcEO-

MYSTICUM – The song itself isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but anyone familiar with the one and only (amazing) album from these guys knows that they put out one of the single best Norwegian black metal albums of the ’90s, and did so without the help of a human drummer. Fast forward almost 20 years, and they’re back with a track that has a fairly similarly shitty drum sound, which is still pretty fun. This is B-grade black metal at best, but interesting for a certain type of history buff.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvvyFc3IQ1o

CENTINEX – Of note for the same basic reasons as Mysticum, Centinex were a long-running Swedish death metal band who fell off the death metal train a while back and recently climbed back aboard. Meat and potatoes swedish death: totally solid, traditional, un-groundbreaking death metal with expectedly Swedish riffs. (I like meat and potatoes, for what it’s worth.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0SSrraoh8Y

SEMPITERNAL DUSK – Dark Descent death metal: a rip-roaring good time if you prefer music devoid of joy. Totally solid, though not the most exciting of the Dark Descent bands, I still recommend this to fans of the genre.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmFVEldhvlk

And probably a half dozen others I’m forgetting off the top of my head. Antropomorphia is probably my favorite of these, but I’m a sucker for that sound.