Michael Nelson
Website: -
Find Me On: twitter


Guys, I usually kick off the Black Market with a lengthy introductory essay, an aggregation of my thoughts on the month in metal. But August … August kinda ate me alive. That is not to say that I don’t have thoughts, or that August didn’t generate enough thoughts to inspire an essay. I do! It did! And then some! Truth is, this past month delivered a lot more than I could possibly sum up in this space, and you’re gonna read about/hear a whole lot of it below anyway. So this month, I’m gonna cut short the preamble and get right to the music.

Back in March, I wrote about the band High Spirits, and the man behind High Spirits, Chicago’s Chris Black. Black is a prolific and versatile musician who contributes to lots of bands, most notably the three acts which are more or less his and only his: High Spirits, Superchrist, and Dawnbringer.

Oh man, 1998. Sean Combs, then a celebrated producer and tolerated MC known as “Puff Daddy,” was the hottest property in rap music; his Biggie-eulogizing ’97 LP No Way Out was well on its way to selling 7 million copies. The Smashing Pumpkins, meanwhile, were the hottest property in “alternative rock”; they were set to release the massively anticipated Adore, the follow-up to the diamond-selling double album Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness. OF COURSE someone saw fit to get these two mega-gigantor superstars onto a single song. The result: a Puff Daddy remix of Adore single Ava Adore. Naturally, that thing was a fuckin’ trainwreck that got buried for a decade and a half … until now. The Diddy-remade “Ava Adore” has been unearthed for the Pumpkins’ exhaustive Adore reissue, and today, and it’s available for you to hear. Does it sound better today than it did in ’98? I very much doubt it. It removes the song’s deep, ugly insecurities, and replaces those elements with pillowy, bombastic treacle. Fortunately (or not, depending on how you view these things) Diddy saw fit not to add a verse of his own. In any case, it’s an odd and interesting relic of its era. Listen.


 +2Posted on Aug 29th | re: The Black Market: The Month In Metal - August 2014 (15 comments)

I agree 100-percent with this assessment, De Vermis and Death Is The Communion are the essential HoF albums.

 +1Posted on Aug 29th | re: The Black Market: The Month In Metal - August 2014 (15 comments)

Thanks for the kind words, blochead! I would say Clearing The Path To Ascend is absolutely a worthy selection for your first metal album in 25+ years. It’s just about peerless. And if you’re digging stuff like High On Fire, you will find this one especially suited to your tastes. THAT SAID, it’s not out till next week, so unless you’re pre-ordering, you won’t be able to buy it till next Tuesday! But yes, whenever you are able to do so: Buy it.

 +3Posted on Aug 28th | re: Premature Evaluation: Interpol El Pintor (133 comments)

Tell that to Mark Teixeira! #killedbytheshift

 +6Posted on Aug 26th | re: Album Of The Week: Ty Segall Manipulator (47 comments)

We just published a 3-page feature on Merchandise! There is A LOT about the new record in there!

 +4Posted on Aug 26th | re: Stream Yob Clearing The Path To Ascend (9 comments)

Yep, I can confirm it exists and can say that, IMO, it’s great — and more importantly, I think most ATG fans will feel more or less the same way: I don’t see how you could view it as anything less than a worthy successor to Slaughter Of The Soul. Obviously I’ll write more about it when there’s some music to share, but yeah, if you’ve been laying awake at night worrying (as I had been), you can definitely rest easy; I truly do not think you (or anyone) will be disappointed.

 +2Posted on Aug 26th | re: Stream Yob Clearing The Path To Ascend (9 comments)

Oh totally, I think the sequencing on this record is so perfect, and “Marrow” is my favorite song (and the album’s best). “Nothing To Win” is just such a barnburner, and I think Scheidt’s vocals/guitars are especially intense in that track, to say nothing of the drum performance by Travis Foster, which is like god-mode.

 +17Posted on Aug 26th | re: Stream Interpol El Pintor (74 comments)

Haha, not at all! If we’re not here to argue about stuff like the distinction between post-goth and post-punk/neo-goth, then exactly why the hell are we here?

 +3Posted on Aug 26th | re: Stream Yob Clearing The Path To Ascend (9 comments)

Yeah, I agree, “Marrow” is the one, altho “Nothing To Win” is a pretty close second IMO.

 +7Posted on Aug 26th | re: Stream Interpol El Pintor (74 comments)


 +3Posted on Aug 24th | re: VMAs 2014 Comment Party (122 comments)

Is Riff Raff invisible? WTF?