mjhk75

Comments from mjhk75

The album is actually called 'Shadows'. (Really good album though, whatever you want to call it!)
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May 13, 2015 on Stream Valkyrie Shadows
I was already curious to hear this album, but after reading this, I'm even more so. I wasn't sure what to think about the cover at first, but after reading the story behind it, I think it's brilliant. Not that I have anything against the typical metal album cover (skulls, dragons, Chthulhu, hurrah!), far from it, but it's nice to see something different for a change.
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May 1, 2015 on Vattnet Viskar – “Settler” (Stereogum Premiere)
As for other albums rising to the top, if we're bypassing Tribulation (which is pretty clearly the front runner for AOTY if you ask me), the other one that comes to mind for me is Elder's "Lore". Not that it's overly groundbreaking or forward-thinking, but on a pure songwriting/musicianship level I haven't heard much else this year that can touch it. Sort of reminds me of peak-era Mastodon (Leviathan/Blood Mountain/CTS), if Mastodon wrote 20-minute songs. And I discovered it through the Black Market!
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May 1, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – April 2015
From one old guy shaking his fist to another, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Metallica have one more album of first-four-level greatness in them. Not that I didn't like Death Magnetic (I did, and it was a step in the right direction), and obviously they're very different people than they were 30 years ago, but they've done it before, we know what they're capable of, so I'm hoping that "Ronnie Rising" is a harbinger of things to come.
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May 1, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – April 2015
Strange that they've got Metallica headling Saturday but there doesn't seem to be a single other metal band in the entire lineup.
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March 25, 2015 on Lollapalooza 2015 Lineup
I second that, I'm listening to the Elder album right now and it's incredible - I haven't heard any of the older stuff, so I don't know about a "massive leap forward", but I do know that this new one is awesome, in fact I'm going to buy it as soon as I finish here. Thanks for the recommendation - between the Black Market and the At The Gates tickets I just got, it's been a very good metal week for me!
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February 27, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – February 2015
I'm a Load defender too, I think that album is really underrated, there are some great songs on it. I actually think it has aged better than the Black Album - the high points on TBA are obviously higher, but it really loses steam in the back half, whereas I find Load a more consistent album as a whole.
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February 27, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – February 2015
On a sad note, I just heard that Katherine Ludwig, the former editor of Metal Maniacs magazine, has passed away after a battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. When she was editing MM back in the 80s/90s it was the best metal magazine in the world, and was a HUGE influence on me as a teenage metalhead. Such terrible news - RIP Katherine.
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January 30, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – January 2015
Speaking of depressive/atmospheric black metal, the Ulver album that Michael mentioned above (which I'd never heard until today) is phenomenal, I got about halfway through my first listen and just went and ordered the CD. (I'm not sold on Myrkur by any means, but glad I read that write-up closely anyway!)
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January 29, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – January 2015
Yeah, I don't know how it took me so long to check them out, but I'll definitely be exploring their back catalogue (starting with the three you mentioned, thanks!)
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January 29, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – January 2015
The Misery Index mention in the Fulgora write-up reminded me, I just discovered their album from last year (The Killing Gods), and it's great - death/grind in the tradition of Napalm Death, although a little more on the "death" side of the equation than ND. Probably would have made my best-of-2014 list if I'd heard it in time!
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January 29, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – January 2015
Honestly, I'm glad you decided to keep the column as-is for now. It's my favourite regular feature on Stereogum - I look forward to "Black Market Day" at the end of every month, and I think if you increased the frequency you might lose some of that "specialness" (for lack of a better word). And it's not like there's no metal coverage on the site in between Black Markets, you guys always do individual posts throughout the month whenever a notable song/album is released. In other words: keep up the good work!
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January 28, 2015 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – January 2015
I can't believe the one-man black metal band from Russia I voted for didn't make the cut.
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January 5, 2015 on The Gummy Awards: Your Top 10 Albums And Songs Of 2014
Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues Sivyj Yar - "Distant Haze Was Arising"
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December 23, 2014 on The 2014 Gummy Awards: Vote For The Best Music Of The Year
As for Michael's question of "what are we talking about when we talk about metal", I know this is a cop-out, but...I just know it when I hear it!
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December 15, 2014 on The 50 Best Metal Albums Of 2014
Well, eight of my top eleven are on this list, albeit in very different spots in most cases (I'm honestly stunned to see Triptykon so low!). I've tried and tried to get into both the Nux Vomica and Horrendous albums, but for whatever reason, it just isn't happening (I think the vocals are what's killing Horrendous for me, which is strange since I don't usually have a problem with harsh vox, but in this case I just find them really grating). For me this was the year of Panopticon - I wasn't a huge fan of Kentucky, I thought it was an interesting idea that wasn't executed all that well, so I wasn't really anticipating the new one, and was completely blown away by the huge leap they (or he, I guess) made. The metal and Appalachian elements mesh so much better this time, but most importantly the songs are just incredible. Anyway, my list looks like this: 1. Panopticon 2. Triptykon 3. Sivyj Yar 4. At The Gates 5. YOB 6. Alunah - Awakening the Forest 7. Woods of Desolation 8. Agalloch 9. Crimson Shadows - Kings Among Men 10. Pallbearer 11. Death Penalty - s/t
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December 15, 2014 on The 50 Best Metal Albums Of 2014
Wow. I mean, I can't say I'm surprised, but still, that's an even worse list than usual. Someone call Jack Black and tell him to start clearing space on his awards shelf...
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December 5, 2014 on Making Sense Of The 2015 Grammy Nominations
"It's kinda like leaving Arcade Fire off a year end list for indie releases...you simply can't leave a band like that off your top 40, can you?" - blochead, I would argue that you can leave ANY band off your list, regardless of their stature/reputation/etc, if you don't think their latest work measures up to their previous standards, or to other albums released that same year (I personally wouldn't have any problem with Arcade Fire being left off an indie rock list, only because I can't stand AF, but I digress...). Not necessarily referring specifically to this Blut Aus Nord situation, but just in general, I don't think any album should be guaranteed a place on a year-end list just because the band is considered "important" or whatever you want to call it.
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November 26, 2014 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – November 2014
I think you nailed it with your "more traditional" comment - the new album isn't as original or groundbreaking as some of their past work, so it doesn't feel as "special", which is why I think Decibel left it off their list. I'm not personally a big BAN fan, so it won't be on my list, but that's just a matter of personal taste as opposed to artistic merit - I'm not a professional critic (obviously). I was certainly surprised to see Decibel omit it.
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November 26, 2014 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – November 2014
I'd say the Decibel list is really good overall, although I'm definitely surprised to see Machine Head and Mastodon on there - I'm a fan of both bands, but in both cases I don't think their 2014 albums are their best work by any means. MH at #12 especially is way too high - not that I don't like the album, I do, but I don't LOVE it, certainly not one of the best of the year IMO. Definitely a few glaring omissions too.
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November 25, 2014 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – November 2014