Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Visigoth - Conqueror's Oath

Salt Lake City's Visigoth hit the metal scene hard with their debut The Revenant King back in 2015. It was chock full of love for bands that deem themselves epic in the scale of their music, whether it be Cirith Ungol, Brocas Helm, Slough Feg, and even a cover of Manilla Road's 'Necropolis' to boot, the only track to clock in under the 5 minute mark. 2018 sees the band back with a renowned fervor with Conqueror's Oath. How does the sophomore album set up for the band?

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Atlas Moth - Coma Noir

Chicago-natives The Atlas Moth have always had a special place within my rotation of music that I choose to listen to. Unlike the vast majority of other bands, I don't listen to The Atlas Moth because I want to cure an itch for x-genre specific stylings. Rather, I listen to the band because I'm in a need of something that grooves but also leaves plenty of room for my mind to wander and even relax. Combining elements of stoner metal and psychedelia, their music is certainly layered, but never so-much so that it's overwhelming. Quite the contrary, The Atlas Moth harness a sound that is heavy-hitting but even more so sedative. The band's latest effort, Coma Noir, manages to keep this allure in-tact while also embracing more of a straightforward metal approach to the songwriting. No strangers to change, The Atlas Moth's sound continues to evolve into a new yet comfortable direction with their Prosthetic Records debut.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Eye of Solitude / Marche Funébre - Split

I used to not be too big on splits.  I think that 's because I thought I wasn't getting enough music; usually a track or two from each band adds up to around 20 minutes, and I tend to want more, because I am a greedy American.  Lately though, I've been coming around, helped by some longer splits; there was the fantastic CHRCH/Fister split from last year, in addition to this year's Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard/Slomatics release TotemsGiving splits - or at least doomy splits - a chance was beginning to pay off!  So obviously when the new split from Eye of Solitude and Marche Funébre hit the ol' Töp inbox, I was going to check it out.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Tribulation - Down Below

I don't think "fitting" is the right word, but I find it humorous that in my Top Albums of 2017 list, I mentioned how Tribulation hadn't fully clicked with me while praising the latest album from Cloak. And now for my first review of 2018, I'm here getting to ready to gush about how on board I am with Tribulation. It's a strange world we live in, but that's what keeps things interesting, right? Anywho, Tribulation's latest endeavor, Down Below, is bringing in the new year in a big way. The band's rock sensibilities shine through with gravelly vocals casting an eerie ambiance over the otherwise upbeat and spirited guitar rhythms and riffs. Even though they are accurate descriptors, "black n' roll" and "goth-rock" are terms that are being used too liberally and make it easy to look past what Tribulation has achieved with Down Below.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard/Slomatics - Totems

Hello and Happy New Year from the Töp!  I hope your New Year's Eve revelries were full of all the drunken debauchery (or sleep) that you could ever have wanted, and that the first week of 2018 has been all you ever wanted.  We here at Brutalitopia Midwest HQ in Chicago rang in the new year with aplomb, and have been hungover ever since; it's nice to have an excuse besides laziness to pin on such a long delay between posts!  But now we're back, and ready to go with what promises to be another killer year for metal.  Our first review out the gate is a split from two of the UK's finest stoner bands, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard and Slomatics.  It's called Totems, and I'll go ahead and spill the lede and say it's one groovy fucking trip.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Mick's Töp 15 Albums of 2017

 Howdy, fellow Töpians! As 2017 comes to an end, I'm reminded that despite the constant craziness of the real world, music is always something that can unite us. As much as writing about the music we love is a special kind of therapy, it's also been something that's fostered a community of amazing people. If you've ever checked out our infinitesimally small carving of the interwebz, we all humbly thank you. Your continued readership is what keeps us going.

So enough with the sentimentality and on to my top 15 albums of 2017!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tom's Töp 15 Albums of 2017

2017 was a difficult year for the United States, in that it felt like it was in a constant flux and almost a battle for good and evil. Standing by the sidelines may be tough to do but getting distracted in your own life may be the best medicine for the darkest annals of an ever present society. Having a 2nd child is also a welcome distraction and hell there was music too; oh boy there was much music to be had.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Durf's Töp 15 Albums of 2017

Why hello again!  It seems like it was just yesterday that we were all here, talking about my Töp Non-Metal Albums, EPs, and Songs of 2017.  What's that you say?  It WAS just yesterday? My, what a long day it felt like!  While I truly enjoy writing about genres other than metal, and love foisting songs onto people, today's list is the big to do.  When I started writing for Brutalitopia, my first post was a year end list.  We write for Brutalitopia because of our love of and passion for metal, and it's incredible to have the opportunity to get to listen to SO MUCH metal over the course of the year.  Some of it falls away after a listen or two, some of it sticks around for a bit longer, and even fewer stick with me for the whole year, bouncing into and out of my head at work, and entering regular rotation into my commute or gym soundtracks.  These are the albums I've listed here: fifteen metal albums that have remained a vital part of my year since the first (or, admittedly, second) time I listened to them.  I hope that you'll enjoy this list, that it will perhaps introduce you to a band or album that you haven't yet heard that you then grow to love, like I do.  So, without further ado, here are my Töp Fifteen Metal Albums of 2017.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Durf's Töp EPs, Non-Metal Albums, and Songs of 2017

It's crazy to think another year has come and gone so quickly, even if parts of this year did feel like they were taking forever...  But we're here, at the end of another year, which means it's time to talk about all the music we loved over the past twelve months.  This is the first of two posts I'll have on the matter; this one deals with non-metal albums, EPs, and songs, while the metal list will come out whenever Mick deems it time.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Exclusive Interview - Ethan Lee McCarthy (Primitive Man)

This past Friday, Mick and I ventured forth to Chicago's Cobra Lounge, one of the city's truly great, unheralded venues, for one of the most extreme shows we've ever seen.  After a couple stellar craft beers from All-Rise Brewing, we were fortunate enough to bear witness to the heavy ugliness of Denver's Primitive Man and the glacial doom of Seattle's Bell Witch.  I had been set to see both bands before, before being stuck at work and then stuck on my honeymoon, so the show was a culmination of years of waiting.  And I gotta say, it did not disappoint.  Bell Witch was profound, playing the first half of their monstrous track/album Mirror Reaper.  There is a lot of quiet in the album, and it would be easy to lose the audience, but (short of one or two drunkards) Bell Witch held the audience in the palm of their hand, everyone swaying with rapt attention.  As great as Bell Witch was, Primitive Man was the highlight for me.  One of the heaviest, nastiest sets I've ever borne witness to, the trio was louder than they had any right to be, absolutely pummeling their instruments and the audience.  I've seen a fair share of heavy bands at Cobra Lounge, but it wasn't until Friday that I actually worried about the structural integrity of the place.

After the show, though, is when things got real good, as Mick and I had the absolutely delightful opportunity to speak with Ethan Lee McCarthy, the guitarist, lyricist, and vocalist from Primitive Man.  In our chat, we covered the Denver music scene, the best Chicago pizza, and why Kansas City is just fronting about how cool it is.  It was a blast to chat with Ethan, and I hope you enjoy it.  Primitive Man and Bell Witch are on tour now; you really owe it to yourself to see them.