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.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Exclusive Interview - Dreadnought

Denver's Dreadnought are no strangers to us here at Brutalitopia. Their previous effort, A Wake in Sacred Waves, was my top album of 2017. By harnessing a wide array of instruments, the band is able to capture the ambitiousness of the progressive rock legends of old along with the heaviness of modern day doom. Also throw in the dichotomy of black metal screams and clean vocals, and you have one, for lack of a better term, unique sounding band. I had been dying to catch the band live for quite some time; and especially after Durf's glowing review of their performance at this year's Fire in the Mountains festival. Fortunately, I was able to catch them this past week as they past through Chicago on their current tour. I initially thought I was only going to be talking to frontwoman Kelly Schilling, but the whole band ended up wanting to partake. What ensued was a fun conversation about everything from the band's beginnings to what lies ahead for them.

Read the interview after the break!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Exclusive Interview - Bell Witch

About two weeks ago, a can't-miss tour rolled through Boise in the form of Yob and Bell Witch.  Yob is one of the best bands of our generation, and Bell Witch is no slouch themselves, diving deep into doom metal that drips with atmosphere and substance over three full-length releases.  I had the opportunity to sit down with Dylan Desmond and Jesse Shreibman, who comprise all of Bell Witch, before they went onstage.  We discussed their latest album, last year's Mirror Reaper, what's next, and the intense critiquing of cover art.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Skeletonwitch - Devouring Radiant Light

Skeletonwitch’s original claim was being a bit different from bands of the re-thrash movement of the late oughts, with vocalist Chance Garnette leading the fracas with black metal rasps and tremolo picked frets to back him; equal parts chaos and melody. Garnette was easily the most recognizable member of the band; then he was replaced. Devouring Radiant Light ushers in a completely new era for the band, even though The Apothic Gloom was their first proper material with ex-Iron Thrones and current Wolvhammer frontman Adam Clemans.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Fire in the Mountains - A Review, Photo Journal, and Thought Piece

Metal festivals are all alike; each metal festival is metal in it's own way.  Tolstoy said that (or something quite similar), and this quote found its way into my head during my two days at Fire in the Mountains, a metal fest situated about thirty miles outside Jackson, Wyoming.  This year's edition of Fire in the Mountains marked my sixth ever music festival, and third metal specific fest after the twelfth and fourteenth editions of Maryland Deathfest.  Fire in the Mountains was appealing to me for its lineup (Panopticon, Falls of Rauros, Wayfarer, Krallice, and more), its location (the Grand Tetons are RIGHT there), and its proximity to my home (six and a half hours, give or take).  So with my trusty sidekick (my buddy Bryce) in tow, I headed toward the mountains to see whether a new festival was establishing itself or coming in DOA.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Between the Buried and Me - Automata II

When we last heard from legendary prog-metallers Between the Buried and Me, it was way back on March 9 of 201...8.  So fourteen weeks ago.  Wow, the world seems super different now.  Feels like it's been years.  Anyway, three months ago, the touring stalwarts released Automata I, their eighth album.  Mick handled the Töp's review, and he liked it, closing with the line "BTBAM hasn't faltered yet."  I agree with his assessment.  So now, Between the Buried and me is preparing to launch Automata II (out July 13th via Sumerian), which is their second eighth studio album (we'll get to that).  The first half of Automata was welcomed by BTBAM diehards; will the second get the same treatment, or will the band finally falter?