Monday, January 26, 2015

Things I Missed in 2014 (Part 1)

It happens every year, without fail, like clockwork, as inevitable as the tide and as destructive to my psyche as a tornado.  I get through my Top Albums of the Year List, settle on the order, become happy, make my peace with my favorite albums of the year, and sit back with a nice glass of scotch to wait for the next year's bounty of metal goodness.  And then, within seconds of that ball dropping and people screaming "HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!" I find something new.  Something highly enjoyable that I should have found earlier, something worth listening to, and occasionally, something that would have changed my year end list.  Every.  Fucking.  Year.

What follows is a list of 2014 releases I've discovered in the opening weeks of 2015, along with a mini-review of each of them and links to any music I could find.  Most of these fall somewhere into the category of "Man, I'm just really happy to know these exist!" but the last one probably would crack my Top Five from last year if I re-did my list.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Intestinal Crank: Crohn's Disease and Metal Fandom

I've written before about some of the influencing factors in my getting into metal; discovering new music through internet radio and a few key friends who turned me on to bands like Thrice, Mastodon, and Opeth which turned out to be the Gatekeepers to my metal fandom.  One thing I haven't really written about is my fifteen-plus years of dealing with Crohn's Disease, and the impact that's had on my perception of metal, discovery of new bands, and even tastes in metal sub-genres.  During the last few weeks of 2014, however, as I was working on my Top Albums list, I was simultaneously dealing with one of the worst Crohn's flares I've ever had; metal and my intestines had never been so blatantly linked, but the more I thought about that, the more I realized that there's a great possibility that being diagnosed with Crohn's is a much bigger part of why I'm a metalhead than I ever gave it credit for.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Exclusive Interview - Brett Campbell (Pallbearer)

This past Thursday in Chicago, I made my way down to Subterranean on a solo mission to interview one Brett Campbell from the critically acclaimed Pallbearer.  The band was playing a sold out headlining show with Solstafir and Mortals as opening support.  It should go without saying that the concert itself was amazing in every sense of the word.  The interview also happened to turn out really well.  Despite the comedy of everything that was happening around us, we went deep into the essence of Pallbearer's sound and other fun topics.

Be sure to check out the interview after the break!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Mick's Top 15 Albums of 2014

Extreme sunburn is the new corpse paint.
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!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Durf's Top 15 Albums of 2014

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.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tom's Top 15 Albums of 2014

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.)

Angela's Top 10 of 2014

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).

Friday, December 12, 2014

Exclusive Interview: Wildness Perversion (Mortuary Drape)

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.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Seasonal Genres: Winter

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.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Seasonal Genres: Autumn

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.