Aaron Lariviere

Comments from fb789819835

If anything, it's just a symptom of our collective taste, but I cant' help but wonder if we were reading the same list last month. Last month had some black metal, sure, but it was by no means a majority. If anything, traditional heavy metal styles were vastly overrepresented, which had more to do with the randomness of releases in a given month: Aktor = psychedelic trad Lucifer = trad doom Slugdge = melodeath (pretty far from standard death, fwiw) Brothers of the Sonic Cloth = stoner doom Enforcer = trad / speed metal Sacral Rage = progressive thrash / speed metal Elder = psychedelic sludge Tribulation = a hybrid of everything, but not particularly blackened And much of the ostensibly "black" stuff was nowhere near standard black metal, either: Gehenna = sound like Motorhead Enslaved = sounds like Opeth Dodheimsgard = sounds almost nothing like black metal, or any other metal This month: no argument, we found a lot of amazing black metal. Last month, I didn't see what you see, clearly. The only other broad explanation I can offer is that black metal as a genre is still in the process of exploding its own frontiers: there are probably more good bands releasing interesting variations on black metal right now than ever before. The interesting stuff is what tends to get featured here.
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March 31, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – March 2015
I completely support Mike's blind hatred of nu-metal and agree that those bands are at least partly responsible for "ruining metal" for a while. That said... I think you have to level more blame on Metallica, both for the travesties of Load and Re-Load, but just as much for the Black Album, which probably shifted the lay of the land more than anything else in the history of metal. Metallica giveth, and they taketh away.
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February 26, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – February 2015
Ian nailed it regarding Enslaved. Killer, killer band overall, with something for everyone at some stage in their career. Personally, I'm a Mardraum guy, which has to be one of the most chaotic black metal albums I've ever heard. The riffing is savage and graceless, jagged edges everywhere. The last couple albums (starting with Axioma) aren't really my thing largely due to the vocal juxtaposition, but the music is as strong as ever.
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February 25, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – February 2015
Killer song, album, and band. Mithras crush all, but this might be even better.
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February 4, 2015 on Sarpanitum – “By Virtuous Reclamation” (Stereogum Premiere)
Fear, Emptiness, Despair all the way! This is one of those unenviable, not-actually-possible to correctly rank bands just because it boils down to which version of the band you like best and how much you value the important early records over the finely tuned later ones. I think the most fun with a band like this is to read someone else's list which is invariably completely different from anyone else's picks. For me, I like the death metal stuff in the middle best, though I don't think I could make the argument that those albums are objectively "better" than stuff like FETO on the one end or Time Waits for No Slave/Smear Campaign on the other. But yeah, my list has Fear Emptiness Despair up top, FETO 2nd, and Harmony Corruption and Utopia Banished close behind followed by Scum and Diatribes, then the rest of the later stuff in almost any order (since they're virtually interchangeable). I'd say Inside the Torn Apart is probably the worst thing they ever did, but it's still totally decent and listenable. Damn, I gotta go spin some Napalm Death.
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February 4, 2015 on Napalm Death Albums From Worst To Best
Or to put it another way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ansBui-_w80
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February 4, 2015 on Napalm Death Albums From Worst To Best
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!
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December 16, 2014 on The 50 Best Metal Albums Of 2014
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!
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December 16, 2014 on The 50 Best Metal Albums Of 2014
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!
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November 26, 2014 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – November 2014
That he can just shit out a song at this level of natural quality is pretty amazing, gotta say.
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October 7, 2014 on Sun Kil Moon’s “War On Drugs: Suck My Cock” Is Streaming On Monday
The fact that I immediately scanned for "I Was Made for Lovin' You" probably says a lot about my relationship with Kiss.
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October 2, 2014 on The 10 Best KISS Songs
This is already one of the best things I've heard all year.
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October 1, 2014 on Primordial – “Where Greater Men Have Fallen”
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.
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October 1, 2014 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – September 2014
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!
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September 30, 2014 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – September 2014
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.
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September 30, 2014 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – September 2014
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.
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September 30, 2014 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – September 2014
Atma's only real weakness is the production. I'm not sure what went wrong there, but I think it's one of the only truly awful sounding doom records that I absolutely adore. The songs are strong enough to overcome that one impediment, but next to the rest of their classics, it just doesn't sound as good (in my humble opinion). Meanwhile, this new album is worth holding your breath for. I'll stand behind Mike's enthusiastic assessment 100%: this thing really is likely the best album of the year.
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August 11, 2014 on Yob – “Unmask The Spectre” (Stereogum Premiere)
It might not be necessary, but it's fun to do, so I'm gonna go ahead and make this an official monthly contribution: here are a few of my personal favorite BONUS TRACKS that missed inclusion by a few votes: JOHNNY TOUCH: http://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/inner-city-wolves The worst band name paired with the best trad-metal band, and they're from Australia, so it's somehow acceptable. The production is pure '80s trash, but like, legitimately poorly recorded, but the riffs are as real as reality and twice as tight. Really good stuff, out on Shadow Kingdom records, which should mean something to the diehards. EXORDIUM MORS: http://exordiummors.bandcamp.com/ Through a bizarre chain of amazing events, I happened to see these guys play their album release show in Auckland, New Zealand a few weeks ago, and it was beyond fantastic. The album itself is also pretty fucking fantastic, a blend of black thrash and heavy metal theatrics with some native NZ eclecticism. The first 6 tracks are technically all part of one monstrous 30 minute song, and when I saw them live they played the entire album as a solid chunk of Southern Hemisphere insanity, and I really dig this. Dunno what else to say. ACCEPT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbUXHTWZ9vk You know them for the classics like Balls to the Wall and Fast as a Shark, but Accept are still here, and still kicking ass with their replacement vocalist, who does a mean Udo impression without trying too hard. The last two albums kicked ass, and this one seems solid enough. This video is probably the single greatest example of a "band shredding in a desert", featuring helicopter shots and freakish solos that last longer than you could possibly imagine. If i can come up with any more tracks, I'll post em here soon. See you next month!
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August 1, 2014 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – July 2014
Wait til you see High on Fire live...they're a band full of road-dog touring musicians, but they've got the songs and the chops to back it up. Truly one of the best in the business. That last album with Kurt Ballou manning the decks was such an unhinged explosion of sound. And congrats on finding your watershed moment, welcome to the ranks, infinite hails, et al ;-)
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July 13, 2014 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – June 2014
More evidence, for the sake of fun: way back in 2010 Keep of Kalessin competed in (and won) a major musical reality competition in Norway, as seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CLIabrWBDQ As a rough analogue, that'd be like (early) Abigail Williams winning America's Got Talent. We clearly live in different worlds.
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July 1, 2014 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – June 2014