The Black Market

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – February 2015

By Michael Nelson / February 25, 2015
At the very end of January, a few days after last month's Black Market was published, Tom interviewed Wes Borland -- the guitar player in Limp Bizkit who dresses like he accidentally went onstage with the wrong band -- and Tom, bless his heart, confronted Borland directly on my behalf, asking… More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – January 2015

By Michael Nelson / January 28, 2015
Coming into the new year, the five guys who curate the Black Market -- Ian Chainey, Aaron Lariviere, Wyatt Marshall, Doug Moore, and me -- had a few long discussions on what we might do to improve this feature in 2015 (and beyond). We considered expanding its scope, increasing its frequency, changing its format and/or… More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – November 2014

By Michael Nelson / November 25, 2014
If you care about metal, you really should subscribe to Decibel, because as far as I'm concerned, it's not only a source of great writing -- not only a place to discover new music and have new light shed upon familiar music -- but a barometer for the genre. It's the authority, the standard,… More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – October 2014

By Michael Nelson / October 31, 2014
If you go to the Facebook page of the old-school German thrash metal band Kreator, you'll see updates posted from every city the band has visited on their current North American tour: Baltimore; Worcester; Montreal ... And if you read the comments associated with those updates, you'll see a whole lot of keyed-up fa… More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – September 2014

By Michael Nelson / September 30, 2014
In July's Black Market, I wrote a long essay on the ways in which metal bands catfish their fans, and in that piece, I mentioned a number of contemporary examples of this phenomenon, including the "Scandinavian" black-metal auteur Myrkur and the Chicago-based USBM artist Blake Judd, who is best known for his band Nachtmystium. More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – August 2014

By Michael Nelson / August 29, 2014
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… More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – July 2014

By Michael Nelson / July 30, 2014
If you watch MTV's Catfish -- and admit it, you do -- you've surely experienced a particular reaction to each episode's respective narrative as it unfolds, usually during the initial interview segment of the "investigation": How on Earth does the person being catfished not realize he is being catfished? How does a person become so… More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – June 2014

By Michael Nelson / June 30, 2014
Last week, Grantland published a thoughtful, compelling piece by Steven Hyden titled "The Sad But True Fate Of Pop-Metal." In his essay, Hyden used the new Mastodon album, Once More 'Round The Sun, as a jumping-off point to lament the paucity (if not void) of contemporary metal in mainstream consciousness, especially relative to the… More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – May 2014

By Michael Nelson / May 29, 2014
The No. 1 question of Maryland Deathfest 2014 was whether you were going to see the young Swiss duo Bölzer. The Baltimore-based festival spanned four days, four venues, and more than 80 bands, but the only soul-crushing conflict came on Saturday night at about quarter to 10, when Bölzer were doing a set at Ram'… More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – April 2014

By Michael Nelson / April 30, 2014
In last month's Black Market, we spent a lot of space celebrating the triumphant returns of numerous kings: Agalloch, Triptykon, Thou, Eyehategod ... even the mighty Metallica came back to us with their strongest material in decades. We witnessed a similar wave in April, but this time, the old gods were not so beneficent:… More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – March 2014

By Michael Nelson / March 31, 2014
I spent the second week of March at SXSW, and I spent a pretty good percentage of my SXSW at metal shows. In truth, most of the people I talked to at the festival seemed to agree that this year's metal lineups were pretty lackluster, but even so, every day the genre offered numerous act… More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – February 2014

By Michael Nelson / February 26, 2014
The Black Market bros and I had a few long conversations regarding what was and wasn't appropriate for inclusion in this installment of our column. February may be the shortest month, but this year, it produced a pretty vast array of exciting metal. More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – January 2014

By Michael Nelson / January 30, 2014
Earlier this week, Mötley Crüe found themselves a "trending topic" for the first time this millennium when they announced they would break up next year -- after some three and a half decades as a band -- following, naturally, a lengthy farewell tour. Even accounting for Mötley Crüe's contemporary relevance (or lack thereof), this i… More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – December 2013

By Michael Nelson / December 30, 2013
In the essay that preceded our list of 2013's 50 Best Metal Albums, I said -- with some emphasis -- that in my opinion, we were concluding what had been metal's strongest calendar year of this millennium (so far). I was using "this millennium" as an arbitrary endpoint -- if I were to extend… More »

The 50 Best Metal Albums Of 2013

By Michael Nelson / December 10, 2013
In our May Premature Evaluation of Deafheaven's Sunbather, I compared the album to Agalloch's 2010 LP, Marrow Of The Spirit. In my opinion, Marrow is the best metal album of the millennium (so far), the apotheosis of what had also been, I believed, the best metal year of the millennium (so far) -- perha… More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – September 2013

By Michael Nelson / September 27, 2013
Last night, Black Market bro Doug Moore and I -- and about 800 other people -- squeezed into the 500-capacity Gramercy Theatre to see Carcass. It was the second-to-last show of the UK band's extremely limited North American "tour" (five shows total) in support of the magnificent Surgical Steel, Carcass's first new album i… More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – August 2013

By Michael Nelson / August 29, 2013
At the beginning of August, I drove eight or so hours -- solo -- from my home in Brooklyn to Toronto, Ontario to see At The Gates: a Swedish death metal band whose most recent LP, the all-time classic (and one of my favorite records ever) Slaughter Of The Soul, will turn 20 next year. More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – July 2013

By Michael Nelson / July 30, 2013
I was in high school the first time I saw Carcass live, in 1992, on the Gods Of Grind Tour, when they were playing American clubs with Entombed, Cathedral, and Confessor. Carcass were touring behind their 1991 LP, Necroticism: Descanting The Insalubrious, which is now recognized as one of the best heavy metal albums ever… More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – June 2013

By Michael Nelson / June 27, 2013
Earlier this month, I spent a Saturday afternoon at the Brooklyn metal-themed bar Duff's: a cluttered dive situated in the basement of an apartment building, illuminated even in the daytime only by red Christmas lights, a 13" CRT television blasting a gnarled VHS copy of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and the white-on-chrome glow… More »

The Black Market: The Month In Metal – May 2013

By Michael Nelson / May 31, 2013
May has been a pretty intense month around here. Memorial Day Weekend brought Maryland Death Fest to Baltimore, and attendance was mandatory for any metalhead who wanted to keep his cred pass. (Absences were excused in cases of need; acceptable excuses included: unavoidable domestic or professional demands; financial concerns; injury; disability; agoraphobia; and/or inability… More »

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