Another year has come and gone, as they tend to do. I’m sure that my fellow comrades here at Brutalitopia would agree that each year since our inception has gotten better and better, with 2014 certainly being no exception. MDF was unquestionably the highlight of our year and one we won’t soon forget (read Durf’s remembrance of it here). But aside from making new friends at MDF, attending more concerts, and interviewing some of our favorite artists, 2014 brought a plethora of releases that were more than impressive, to say the least.
Check out my personal top 15 albums after the break and make sure to tell me how wrong I am in the comments!
2014 was a banner year in metal for me, primarily because I made it to my first metal festival (Maryland Deathfest); the fact that said festival destroyed all of the expectations I had en route to being one of the premier music experiences of my life certainly helped that. More than any of the albums on my list, MDF XII stands out as the top metal anything this year, as well as one of the all-around highlights of my year (though not quite topping the Durfette and I getting engaged, because that was pretty bitchin' too). It's a nice feeling, because it feels like each year these lists get harder and harder, but the reason they're exponentially harder annually is because there's always so much new music to discover, which is fantastic. I've been working on this list for the past month, and even in that time albums have been released that have either been added to it or warranted serious consideration. It kills me every year, knowing that there's at least a decent chance that I completely missed the "best" album of the year, or the album that will eventually become my favorite for the year. On the other hand, perusing year end and Best Of lists is how I find things I missed, so I take solace in the fact that maybe I heard something you didn't, and by reading this post you'll be introduced to something you'll come to love. Or you'll wonder how in the hell I'm qualified to write for a metal blog in the first place (hint: I'm not). Either way, I hope this list finds you in good health, with music in your ears, a cold beer in front of you, and friends all around. 2014 was an insanely great year for metal, so soak it all up, because 2015 promises to bring even more.
2014 has been a pretty interesting year for Brutalitopia's lone Jersey boy, buying a house, having a baby in the coming months; life comes at you fast. Such is a love for heavy metal music in its many different flavors 2014 had plenty to offer from one of the most diverse styles of music the planet has to offer, but how did "X" band fair on this list? My list will feature plenty of the usual suspects as well as the "oh, I missed those" types of albums. So sit back and read about my ramblings about my musical listenings during the last calendar year. (I linked a ton of my album reviews in here as well so for further reading on some in here give 'em a click and check them out.)
So here we are. Its almost 2015, and I just smelled my first real Christmas tree. In the meantime, I shall write this list. Whilst doing so, my friend, who is one of the best manousch guitarists in the world, has had a band member staying over. I took him to Kroger and when we came back, he decided to boil some water. He took water from the Keurig (thinking it would make the water boil faster on the stove) and mixed it with faucet water, then placing the pot on the gas stove. Holy blah blah, and what Im trying to say is, shit got absolutely insane, and the house almost burned down. The bottom of the Keurig stuck to the bottom of the pot of water, which then was placed on the stove, which then lead to OMFG THE KITCHEN IS ON FIRE.
Seriously you guys, I couldn't have made up a more retarded situation. Therefore, my list was juuuuuuuuust a little shy of what everyone has provided. But hey! Anyone wanna see my cleavage? (this is to make up for my lack of posts this year).
Mortuary Drape are one of Italy's finest metal exports and a band that is about as obscure and revered as it gets from the Mediterranean. Their occult black metal has garnered them much fanfare in the past and their first album in 10 years; Spiritual Independence, seeks out to tell fans of old that they haven't changed one bit. This old school outfit operates by many ideals that have existed since tape-trading, like getting local fan support and even handling their own mail orders across the world. So what has this revival been like? I asked founding member and vocalist Wildness Perversion for his take.
First off, an apology; I originally meant for this series to be a daily occurrence, Monday through Thursday this week. Unfortunately, starting a new job and preparing to move at the end of the week forced a bit of a delay. I have no idea how long it will take me to finish this series, but I promise that as soon as I finish each post, it will be up.
When I started this four-parter Monday, I talked about how seasons bring about different feelings and thoughts, and how the right music can hit that perfect sweet spot for the weather (that's actually the point of the entire series in a nutshell). I started with Autumn, and it only makes sense to go in order, so this post will focus on the perfect music for Winter. Bundle up and read on after the jump.
My favorite thing about living in the midwest is the dichotomy between seasons. Hoot and holler all you want about year-round 70s and sunshine, SoCal; I like my winters frigid and my summers so hot and humid you feel like you're walking through soup. I love the first crisp autumn day, when the initial hints of winter arrive on the wind, and the first warm day of spring, when the shorts and skirts announce that we've survived another winter (and we want people to see our pasty, pale legs). Each season offers its own unique features and activities as well: ballgames in the spring, beach days in the summer, Oktoberfests and haunted houses in the fall, and counting your digits to make sure you didn't lose any to frostbite when you took the dog outside for two minutes in the winter. I LIKE the differences, and most importantly, I like the different soundtracking options that present themselves for each season. Obviously, you can never go wrong listening to any genre of music at any point in the year, but we all know there's a musical sweet spot that exists, that time when your music lines up with your moment PERFECTLY, creating a near-orgasmic sensation of elation and serenity deep inside your cold, dark heart that didn't even know it could feel anymore. Over the next few days, I'll be looking at the songs, genres, and bands that hit that sweet spot for each particular season.
Love em' or hate em', Slipknot's influence over the mainstream metal/hard-rock scene has been undeniable. I'm sure I'm not the only one my age who can attribute Slipknot as being a catalyst deeper into the throes of metal. Almost a decade after I took that plunge, despite changing tastes, I still have always taken interest in Slipknot's output; not necessarily expecting to be blown away like I was in my teen years, but rather to see how the band has evolved, for better or worse. Each Slipknot release has offered something unique and has distinctly marked different chapters in their career. Enter in the fifth chapter, The Gray Chapter to be exact, which has seen the unfortunate passing of bassist Paul Gray and split with drummer Joey Jordison. Knee-jerk reactions would assume that the Slipknot machine would slowly wind down after these occurrences. The Gray Chapter, however, shows that the machine isn't winding down at all, rather it is gearing back up.
With Halloween just around the corner, 'tis the season for all that is grim, bleak, and for lack of a better word, scary. The impetus for this post came from the realization that there is some truly haunting music out there...and I don't mean haunting/scary in the sense of listening to Slayer or Cannibal Corpse for the first time as a teen just getting into metal.
What follows after the break are two tracks that add a little something extra to their formula that will tap deep into your being and likely send several shivers up your spine.
Laziness is something that's too often easy to give in to, especially when it comes to writing reviews. In an effort to rectify the late dry spell I've had with said reviews, I figured it would be worthwhile to list out some EPs that have been released this year that are more than worth your time to check out.
Check out the five selections I have for you all after the break!