I’ve been waiting for this one too, and glad to see you got one of my favourite metal writers to do it. Can’t say I fully agree with the rankings, but that’s no surprise – if you asked 100 Maiden fans to rank these albums, you’d probably end up with 100 different lists. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, No Prayer is Maiden’s most underrated album. Certainly not a classic, but far from their worst – WAY better than Fear of the Dark, for one thing. Oh, and the DiAnno albums should be lower. And Powerslave should be #1. See what I mean? :)
I missed commenting on the original story (which was a great read BTW, comments-section drama aside), but I’m a parent of two myself and wanted to add my thoughts, hope no one minds if I comment here.
First off, to be honest, I have to admit that I personally don’t think smoking “ungodly amounts of weed” is a good look for any parent. I’m sure I sound like a cliche, but I imagine that Tom (and any other parents out there) would agree that raising kids is HARD work; you seriously need to be on top of your game, especially when they’re young (I don’t know how old Damian’s kids are; mine are pre-school age). I can’t imagine how consuming large amounts of any mind-altering substance, even one as relatively mild as pot, wouldn’t have at least SOME effect on your ability to function as a parent. (I may be overly sensitive here because, without getting into detail, my twins are in a position where they need even more attention than the average kid, but anyway). Having said that, there’s obviously no way in the world that a couple of paragraphs about weed in an online feature are justification for labeling someone a negligent parent or suggesting that (god forbid) they should have their kids taken away. Hell, for all we know he left Vapor Central and went straight to a PTA meeting.
Also, as heart-explodingly awesome as my kids are, as Tom said in his comment, they can definitely be a source of stress and anxiety. You’re making decisions every single day that will potentially affect them for the rest of their lives; you’ve got to have some outlet for dealing with that or you’ll just go batshit crazy. My stress-reliever of choice tends to be music (a good nap always helps too), but just because I don’t smoke pot, I’m not comfortable sitting in judgement of someone I don’t know at all just because he chooses to do so – god knows there have been times over the past few years where I could have used a joint!
“I love this song and most of the new album” – very glad to hear this, especially in light of your comment about Heaven Is Whenever (which I actually liked more than most people did, but would still agree was their weakest album to date). I’m not put off by the production either, slickness doesn’t bother me as long as the songs are good (see also: the last few Against Me! albums). I’d say this song is just good, not great, but I’m still really looking forward to hearing the whole album.
Right, except it’s a really good song, and a really good album, and that’s a really stupid reason to just dismiss it out of hand.
Almost every song on the album deals, directly or indirectly, with the trans issue. The word “transgender” is RIGHT IN THE TITLE, for crying out loud. The fact that the music is straightforward and hooky makes it much more likely that it will reach a larger audience. That’s not a “huge and powerful statement”? You would have preferred they make a sloppy, noisy album that nobody but old punk scenesters would want to listen to? Fuck outta here.
From the Grantland piece on LJG from last week (which I thought was quite good, the subsequent Essay Vanderbilt fiasco notwithstanding):
“If this were a world where rock radio programmers didn’t blanch at heavy-riffing singles in which the chorus asks, “Does God bless your transsexual heart?,” Blues would be blaring out of car stereos everywhere for the next 18 months.”
I think (or at least hope) it still will, this is definitely a driving-around-howling-choruses-out-the-window-jabbing-fingers-in-the-air kind of album, I’ll be doing just that on the way home tonight (well, maybe not the window part, since it’s minus-20 Celsius out there, but anyway).
“Tornoto”? Come on now, don’t make me sic Rob Ford on you…
“Offensive” might be pushing it, I assume Tom just meant that Neko has a higher profile or more name recognition than Isbell. But yeah, Isbell’s new album is just as “seriously great” as Neko’s, if not even better.
1. Carcass – Surgical Steel
2. Kvelertak – Meir
3. Chvrches – Bones of What You Believe
4. Avatarium – s/t
5. Jason Isbell – Southeastern
6. Skeletonwitch – Serpents Unleashed
7. California X – s/t
8. Paramore – s/t
9. RVIVR – The Beauty Between
10. Pusha T – My Name Is My Name
They write catchy songs which are enjoyable to listen to. It’s not rocket surgery.
Apparently it was originally conceived as a Leif Edling/Mikael Akerfeldt side project, before Akerfeldt bailed:
I’m kind of glad he did actually, the woman they ended up getting has a great voice.
Speaking of incredibly solid doom records, I’m a little surprised that I haven’t been seeing the Avatarium album on more best-of lists (not just here, but in general). I guess maybe it gets overlooked because it’s more straightforward or “traditional” (for lack of a better word) doom, as opposed to something a little more unorthodox like Subrosa, but what a great album – just massive riffs, and the singer is incredible. I definitely like it better than the Windhand album (and maybe even Subrosa).
Definitely one of the better metal lists I’ve seen so far this year – and glad to see that order has been restored to the world, i.e. Windhand isn’t 31 spots ahead of Carcass like it was on the main list! :)
History will not look kindly on you putting Windhand at 17 while arguably the best album from one of metal’s greatest bands languishes way down at 48. Switch those two, then replace Windhand with either Subrosa or Avatarium, and MAYBE you’re getting close (although Carcass should still be higher than 17)!
Is it OK for Arcade Fire to have a dress code at their concerts? Yes. Is it OK for me to think they’re the most unbelievably annoying, pretentious band in the world? Also yes.
1. “This guy” is not a journalist, he’s a critic. A critic’s job is absolutely not to “report on a non-bias point of view”; it’s to give his critical opinion of a piece of work, which you clearly don’t realize.
2. No need for the quotation marks around “misogynistic and homophobic.” Em’s lyrics are not quote-unquote misogynist and homophobic, they’re just misogynist and homophobic, period.
3. “If you don’t enjoy “misogynistic and homophobic” lyrics then you will not enjoy the album”. Conversely, if you enjoy the album, then you do enjoy misogyny and homophobia, which is probably not something you want to be publicizing too much, at least not if you want to be taken seriously.
If the Da Mafia 6ix tape doesn’t show up within the next 6 hours or so, my Halloween is going to be very disappointing.
I’m sure this wasn’t the intention, but the main effect this list had on me was to make me curious to give Lulu another (i.e. a second) listen, just to see if my take on it would be any different now. Other than that, great write-up, although since I go back and forth between Metallica and Maiden as my all-time favourite band, I obviously have my own list – I’d have Justice at #2 (possibly #1 depending on the day) and Load higher than St. Anger (yes, SA is heavier and more aggressive, but Load still has better songs).
I’m having a Speakerboxxx/Love Below kind of reaction to this album, in that I really like the first half, but having listened to the second half once, I never need to hear most of it again. (Note: “Kush Coma” is the “Hey Ya” in this analogy).
I know why Carcass didn’t get the AOTW nod, and I know it already leaked more than six weeks ago, but seriously, if you have even the remotest interest in metal, just go buy it; if any album deserves your financial support, Surgical Steel is it.
Also out today is the awesome new Gorguts album, which to a certain subset of your readers (and possibly your staff, if my take on Michael Nelson’s tastes is correct) is the real album of the week.
I don’t think it’s their best album (that would be Arise), but it’s still a beast, and it includes probably my favourite Sepultura song in “Nomad”. I saw them with Pantera and Biohazard at Maple Leaf Gardens on this tour, and again when they were headlining clubs with Fudge Tunnel and Nailbomb, and they killed both times; too bad they’ve never really been the same since (Roots is nowhere near “truly great” status in my books).
Not that I was expecting otherwise, but wow, this is REALLY bad.
All ten entries on this list should be “4th of July.” OK, maybe nine.
Well, I’m not a music writer, but I’ll admit to liking Chinese Democracy too, there’s no way it was ever going to get a fair assessment from critics given its (and Axl’s) long and sordid history, but there are definitely some really good songs on it. Although I still have trouble thinking of it (and of this new song, which isn’t bad but just kind of meh) as a Guns N’ Roses album, it’s definitely an Axl solo project in my mind.