Monday, July 29, 2019

Russian Circles - Blood Year

At this point, there are certain things one would expect from a new Russian Circles album upon its release. The three-headed monster that is the the thick bass tone of Brian Cook, Mike Sullivan's crunchy guitar riffs, and the continued underrated brilliance of Dave Turncrantz's drumwork is a beast that has continued to stand the test of time. This tried and true formula, while evident throughout their career, has allowed the band plenty of room to move within its parameters. Each album has carved its own niche that stands alone to anything that came before or would come after. With the newest entry in their discography, Blood Year, the band takes a straightforward approach in terms of delivery; one that is more morosely heavy than blissful but still continues to push their sound in a logical (and welcome) direction.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Tomb Mold - Planetary Clairvoyance

The year was 2017 and a bunch of unassuming Canadians were about to release their first full length LP. Little did the extreme metal underground know that they were inviting in an infestation like nothing they had seen before. The aforementioned release, Primordial Maliginity garnered some press and was the start of something special. 2018 had the band change labels to the insanely powerful 20 Buck Spin and released an album that really changed how people thought of Tomb Mold in general, Manor of Infinite Forms. It was my very own #2 album of the year in 2018 with its cavernous crawls and addictive riffs and seeing 2 great shows performed by the band; one with Of Feather & Bone at Montclair, NJ's Meatlocker and one on a bill with Daeva and Horrendous at Brooklyn's Saint Vitus. Each and every time I saw the band they were in good spirits and especially complementary of NJ's premiere filthy basement venue. So when 2019 was told to be bringing more vile fruits of their labor, I was intrigued, happy and also worried that such a quick turn around could send the band careening into a ditch on the side of the road like Memoriam. Planetary Clairvoyance is the name of the game for album # 3, let's see how it compares.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Pelican - Nighttime Stories

Pelican was one of the first metal bands that I really got into.  Their instrumental post-metal was a pretty easy addition/transition from the post-hardcore bands like Thrice that I was listening to in high school, and their huge riffs and intense sonic landscapes were, ahem, instrumental in getting me into other types of metal as well.  2005's The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw is in my All-Time Top Ten, and each of their albums has had some kind of effect on me upon its release.  That said, 2007's City of Echoes is the last Pelican album I unequivocally love; 2009's What We All Come to Need and 2013's Forever Becoming certainly have incredible moments ("Ephemeral" and "The Creeper" from the former are easily two of the best songs the band has written).  So when word reached that the newest Pelican album, Nighttime Stories, would be released on June 7th, I was excited, but perhaps not as excited as I would have been a decade ago.  Was I just growing apart from one of my favorite bands, one of the bands who shaped my tastes in metal, performers of some of the best concerts I've ever attended?  Or has Pelican lost a step, losing whatever alchemy the band had in the first decade of the century and replacing it with something lesser?

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Dreadnought - Emergence

 
When I was lucky enough to interview the entirety of Denver progressive-doom outfit Dreadnought last July, there was one sentiment in particular that continued to stick with me. It's perhaps the closest thing I've ever heard a band personally divulge in an interview that best embodied the often blanket descriptor of "progressive." They operate under the ethos of "best sound wins." The label of the music is arbitrary as long as it vibes well with all of the members. After hearing doom guitars along with saxophones, flutes, keys, and clean vocals mixed with black metal shrieks, one can't deny that the band doesn't walk the walk in terms of owning this ideology. But the bar was set high with the band's prior release. 2017's A Wake in Sacred Waves intertwined the aforementioned stylings with melodic hooks that kept the experience as catchy as it was mesmerizing. Whenever a band releases what feels like their opus, however, one can't help but immediately wonder what the next step is going to be for them. The next step for Dreadnought is Emergence, an album that sees the band evolve their craft by letting all of their core-elements loose in a free-flowing expansion.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Coltsblood/Un - Split

For the longest time, I resisted splits.  The reason, I think, is that I wanted more music from bands, not less, and splits inherently feature less music from each band than an LP or (usually) an EP would.  "But Durf," you're saying, "Even though you get less music from each band, you're getting music from two bands! And besides, isn't something better than nothing?" Reader, I hear you, and I never said it was a good reason.  Like many things in my life, it could be explained by the fact that I am, quite frankly, an idiot a lot of the time.  But that is the past, because I have come around on splits.  It started two years ago with the incredible Chrch/Fister split, then continued on last year with Eye of Solitude/Marche Funébre release.  I actually purchased two Panopticon splits, one with Falls of Rauros, the other with Waldgeflüster.  They're good!  Great, even.  Basically everything I thought about splits was incorrect, and I am now more than willing to give them a listen, especially when they feature two bands that get me all tingly.  Such is the case with the new split between Coltsblood and Un.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Durf's Dilatorily Discovered Töp Albums from 2018

It happens every year, without fail:  I listen to hundreds of albums over the course of the year, find some I like, put them in an order representing how much I liked them, write some blurbs, and call it a day.  Year End lists are arguably the piece de resistance of music blogging, and I'm really happy with the work we do here at Brutalitopia in that regard.  However, in the same way I work hard and make my list, I similarly always miss things.  Always.  Trying to listen to all of the music put out in a calendar year is a Sisyphean undertaking, and there will always be stones that roll past the giant metaphorical boulder being pushed up the hill.  And that's where this post comes in.  Based on other year end lists I've read, some December-released promos I received, and other assorted influences, I started digging in to the albums I missed last year.  And after a couple weeks of listening, I've found some that I really, really enjoy, to the point that I'm making a new Töp 10 list of albums I missed last year!  ...which you knew if you read the heading of this article.  So without further ado, here are the albums I missed last year that I really enjoyed and wish I would have heard sooner!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Mick's Töp 15 Albums of 2018

It's been a much quieter back half of the year here then we typically are accustomed to, but life has taken over the driver seat for us : I was busy getting hitched, Durf was busy welcoming a new addition to his family, and as for Tom I do know those New York football Giants have been having a less than stellar year so I can only assume he's been finding some other ways to grieve. Despite all of these momentous event we had going on, we've kept up on all of what 2018 had to offer as best we could.

So without further ado, check out my Top 15 Albums of 2018 after the break!

Durf's Töp 15 Albums and 5 EPs/Splits/Demos of 2018

2018 was a pretty momentous year for me personally, as the Durfette and I packed up and moved from Chicago, IL, our home for over a decade, and moved out west to Boise, Idaho.  It's been a great move, but owning a home and finding a new job have definitely brought with them their own challenges, as has the addition of the Durfling just a few short weeks ago.  Because of this most recent addition, my year end lists are a bit scaled down this year; I won't be listing my favorite concerts (Fire in the Mountains, not even close), non-metal albums (Panopticon's The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness, Part 2, similarly a Crimson Tide-level blowout), or songs (Marche Funébre's "Darkness" or Panopticon's "At the Foot of the Mountain"), because it's taking all of the limited time I have to put together this admittedly half-assed list of what I consider to be the best EPs/Splits/Demos and Metal Albums of the Year.  I hope that 2018 has been good to you and yours, and that big things are on the horizon for your 2019.  Let me know if you agree with my selections or think I missed something obvious in the comments, but don't fucking talk to me about Prequelle.  That record sucked and I'm pretty sure Ghost blew their load in two albums and is running on fumes.  Here are some albums that didn't make me want to bash my head in with a square hammer.


Tom's Töp 15 Albums of 2018

 2018 was my first full year as a parent of two, and if that doesn't frighten you, then you must not be human. 2018 was a year that I learned to experience and appreciate more of the small things; small people and small towns included. Yep it was small except for the sheer amount of great music it produced. It was a tremendous year for heavy music of all varieties, as it provided more great albums on average since 2015. Seemingly every month had an album that would surprise and it made it harder to put a line in the sand as to what and when you wouldn't include anything on the list anymore. So after months on non-speculation here are my honorable mentions and my Top 15 albums of 2018.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Exclusive Interview - Horrendous

 We have always been big fans of Horrendous, dating back to the release of The Chills. The band is now on album #4 with the 2018 release of Idol. They have become increasingly well known for their appearance on the 2017 Decibel Magazine Tour as well as having been critical darlings for quite some time. After all of this I had yet to see them live so when they announced a string of east coast album release shows I had to make my way down to Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn to see what they had in store. We talked this short tour, Horrendous in general, Idol and what the future would bring.

Interview after the jump.