Friday, January 29, 2016

Baroness - "Purple"

To say that Baroness has been through some things since their last album is a bit of an understatement; after a catastrophic bus crash in England following the release of Yellow and Green in 2012, half of the band amicably left, and lead singer and guitarist John Dyer Baizley had to relearn how to play the guitar after suffering numerous injuries. The band soldiered on, refusing to quit, enlisting new members, and now returns with Purple, an album title that (intentionally or not) brings to mind the physical and emotional bruising the band has been through over the past three years. But like a boxer after being knocked down, bruised and bloody, to the canvas, Baroness got up ready to start swinging. "We didn't want to make a mellow, sad, dark thing," said guitarist Pete Adams. "We needed to be up-tempo. We needed to be melodic, and it also needed to be aggressive." Purple needed, in other words, to be a Baroness album.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Mick's Top 15 Albums of 2015

Writing a year-end list is serious business. Constant power-naps on couches  I couldn't afford were necessary. 

Here we are again, friends. Another year has nearly come to its end and with it another year-end list from yours truly. Let's hop to it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tom's Top 15 Albums of 2015

2015 will be a year for the record books in the Campagna household. Why the New York Mets made it to the World Series, I bought a house, and of course my wife and I welcomed out little boy Connor into the world. Aside from those wonderful feats, there was metal to be had in 2015 and it was a damned fine year with so many huge bands putting out great records; listing them is a chore unto itself, but ultimately no one pays me for this so this list is what you make of it honestly. Make sure to check out the albums I did a full review for by clicking the link in the album title and also listen to a selection from each album by clicking the song below each write up.

Durf's Top Albums, Songs, and Concerts of 2015

 The only thing more taxing than winning the NBA Championship is growing a sweet-ass beard and coming to terms with this year's amazing releases.

Another year in the books, and what a pretty solid year it's been.  Personally, it's been a wonderfully fulfilling year, as the Durfette and I got married and settled into the domestic bliss that is Sunday brunch home brewing.  Musically, it's been another year of outstanding releases and phenomenal concerts.  Unsurprisingly, the deeper one goes into this rabbit hole of heavy music, the more there is to sift through and enjoy, and the good news is that this cornucopia of options means its easier than ever before to find music that you fall in love with and play repeatedly.  The bad news is that sometimes you miss things.  As I began putting my year end list together, there are a number of albums that could potentially be here, had I not discovered them only recently - Horrendous' Anareta, Tribulation's The Children of the Night, Sunn O)))'s wonderful Kannon, Baroness' Purple - and I must admit, the lack of a complete encapsulation of the year is bothering me more this year than it ever has in years past.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Brutally Short #3: Sloth, Dragged Into Sunlight/Gnaw Their Tongues, Morier, Bloodlust, Demenseed

Sloth - Slow as Shit (self produced)
Dragged Into Sunlight / Gnaw Their Tongues - N.V. (Prosthetic)
Morier - Two (self produced)
Bloodlust - Cultus Diaboli (Iron Blood and Death Corporation)
Demenseed - Granite Forest (self produced)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Exclusive Interview - Kevin Starrs (Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats)

This past Saturday, I made my way down to Wrigleyville in Chicago to catch up with Kevin Starrs, frontman of the UK's Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. I was lucky enough to see them live at their very first U.S. performance at Marlyand Deathfest XII two years ago. But considering that they are still relatively new to touring the states and their new album "The Night Creeper" is fantastic, all signs pointed to seeing them play live again as being a good move. In the short but sweet interview I had with Kevin, we chatted about the band's current tour, Uncle Acid's sound and imagery, and the band's anonymity.

Check out the interview after the break!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Scale The Summit - V

While instrumental music in the overarching realms of rock and metal over the past decade or so has given birth to some truly phenomenal bands, it's easy to cave by classifying these bands as simply "instrumental". If you asked a metal fan who some of their favorite instrumental bands are, it might not be a surprise to hear them mention bands as stylistically divergent as Animals As Leaders and Explosions in the Sky in the same breath. One band which has woven a unique patch in this instrumental tapestry, however, is Scale the Summit. The band's technical prowess blended with warm and organic rhythms has cemented them a spot in the upper echelon of the current progressive metal scene. Without fail, Scale the Summit reveals a new depth of complexity and honing of craft with each release. SPOILER ALERT: Their newest release, V, is the band's fifth album (shocker), which takes the listener through familiar, yet welcome territory. Like a mixing pot with their four previous albums thrown in, V represents a cumulative pinnacle for Scale the Summit.

Horrendous - Anareta

Horrendous are a death metal band that seemingly came from nowhere and have brought forth a strong resurgence of death metal new and old from the northeast. Their debut The Chills was a fine slab of death metal that hinted at things to come and then Ecdysis changed things up and unleashed the fury and power of death metal riffing that could easily be found somewhere within 1991. Luckily merely a year later they have blessed us with Anareta, which changes things once more and shows the band evolving on the songwriting front as well. Well how does it stack up against the others?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Concert Review - Foo Fighters Live at Wrigley Field

There's something about growing up with a popular band, hearing their singles on the radio, watching as their lead singer becomes a ubiquitous media presence, that sort of makes you take them for granted.  You begin to lose sight of everything you love about them, and start focusing on the things you don't.  They change, or try something new, and resentment grows.  It happens in every relationship.  I've been a Foo Fighters fan for going on fifteen years, and I'll admit to having those feelings.  "Is this really one of my favorite bands?" "Are they even trying anymore?"  "Why does Dave Grohl always talk about his love for metal despite only making ONE fucking Probot album?!?"  It just seems it's a part of human nature to focus on the negative parts of things you hold so dear.  Fortunately, sometimes there are moments that grab hold of you by the ears, pull you in close, and scream in your face "YOU'RE A FUCKING MORON; YOU KNOW YOU LOVE THIS SHIT AND THIS IS WHY!!!!"  Grohl and his fellow fighters of foo's concert at historic Wrigley Field two Saturdays ago was just such a moment.