Friday, January 6, 2023

Mick's Töp 15 Albums of 2022

In terms of my output to this blog, this past year felt like a 2021 redux. Not only did I devote an embarrassing amount of time digging through my video game backlog (Elden Ring is 100% deserving of all the praise it’s received) but I also traveled quite a bit more than usual to play more dodgeball while my body can still handle it. Yes…dodgeball. No…it’s (mostly) not like the movie. This double whammy left me with virtually no energy to write reviews. I can’t promise 2023 will see any fewer video games or less dodgeball but I’ll do my damndest to prioritize throwing together some more writing for around these parts. That all being said, 2022 had plenty of gems that are worth checking out!


Thursday, January 5, 2023

Tom's Töp 10 Concerts of 2022

2020 seems like a long time ago, with the world coming apart at the seams and one of the few things we tend to take for granted is our ability to do what we want with our free time, one of those magical things is being able to go to a concert with like-minded individuals and experience music live. This immersive experience which I missed from March of 2020 through the fall 2021 edition of Decibel's Metal Beer Fest was a long time, something sorely missed, as my closest connection to live music was sharing memories with friends via late Friday night Zoom conferences conducted through March of 2020 and every week thereafter until this recent Maryland Deathfest, where the aptly named Heavy Metal Happy Hour got to be an in-person event as it was eventually intended to be.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Dreadnought - The Endless

While crafting a sound that leverages the heavy-hitting aspects of doom metal with the forward thinking nature of progressive metal is no easy task, Denver's Dreadnought has managed to accomplish this in rather impressive fashion over the past nine years and four albums. With that much material under their belt, I felt fairly certain of what to expect for their upcoming fifth album, The Endless. You know what they say about assumptions, though. Indeed, what an ass I was for thinking the band would try to re-hash already tried formulas for their latest venture. The Endless showcases Dreadnought in a different light; one that, while not totally unsurprising, leans more into the subdued and tranquil facets of the band's repertoire.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Durf's Weekly Workout # 31: April 22nd, 2022

Well that didn't take long.  Second week back, and life just got real hectic.  The good news is that I managed to get the music blurbs done, so all you're missing out on is this part up here where I ramble on.  But you're here for the music anyway, so it's all good.  On to the tunes!

Friday, April 15, 2022

Durf's Weekly Workout # 30: April 15th, 2022

Well, that was a much larger break than I was anticipating!  When the Durfette and I moved our family to Tennessee last October, I thought I'd step away from this column for a couple of weeks, maybe through the end of the year.  So much for that.  The learning curve of my new job coupled with figuring out life with two kids under three in a new state absolutely torpedoed any chance I had of keeping up with Durf's Weekly Workouts, and while there were a couple of weeks in there where I probably could have made something happen, enough time had already gone by that I didn't really want to pick it back up unless I thought I could realistically keep it going every week.  And since you're reading this now, that means I think I'm at that point!  Hopefully this is the beginning of a trend of DWW being a much more common Friday occurrence around these parts, but I suppose time will tell.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Best of 2021 Playlist on Spotify

How much of a bummer is it that our first post of 2022 is still about 2021?  We swear we're working on it. Anyways, here's the boilerplate message about our 2021 Spotify playlist:

Still catching up on the unholy goodness that 2021 had to offer? We're here to help. If you have yet to view any of our year-end lists, and have no intention of doing so, we've compiled our favorite tracks from each of the albums that made the cut onto a Spotify playlist.

You can get to that playlist using this link.

If you want to know the playlist but for some reason don't want to follow that link above, then read on after the break!

Friday, December 31, 2021

Mick's Töp 15 Albums of 2021

2021 was an interesting year. It cleared the lowest bar possible of being better than 2020, but still was another year of adjusting to whatever the “new normal” is supposed to be. I work from home and do have a job that I love, but the monotony of not leaving my house basically ever has surfaced more moments of existential dread than I typically like to allow in one calendar year. My wife and our two cats have continued to be my foundation. Having each other has certainly meant the world in navigating through these weird times. I fell deeper into some hobbies which mostly were video game related (shocker, I know) but the tradeoff was that I wrote about music less. Durf really put the team on his back by coming up with the Durf’s Weekly Workout column, but it was personally a slow year around these parts. All in all, 2021 was like beating Dark Souls (which was also something I did for the first time this year); there were plenty of moments that felt like I was beating my head against the wall, but seeing it through was ultimately worth it. And since I didn’t write a ton this year, please allow me to word vomit a bit about the albums that carried me through.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Durf's Töp 15 Albums of 2021

Yeesh, what a year.  Yeah, I know, I say that pretty much every year, but this year I mean it.  In the span of really ten short months, the Durfette and I welcomed the Durfling 2, I got a promotion at work, the Durfette got a new job, we both decided we wanted to get the fuck out of Idaho, I got a new job, we sold our house, bought a new house, moved to Tennessee, and that's just off the top of my head.  It's been a year.  Not to mention that until shit got real bonkers around August/September, I managed to actually write something nearly every week for this her blog, which was a lot of fun.  I'd love to be able to tell you that Durf's Weekly Workout will make a triumphant return sometime soon, but I can't commit to that, and I just can't lie to you terrific folks.  The new job takes a lot of my time and energy, and I'm still trying to figure out how to make sure my family doesn't get shortchanged, and until I do, I need to do other things than tell you how wicked lifting to Suffering Hour is (it's pretty fuckin' wicked though).  But hopefully it will be back at some point.  But for now, let's talk about sixteen albums from this year that were phenomenal.  I listened to more music this year than potentially any year previous, so you know these sixteen are the choicest of choice cuts.  As always, the amount written about any album does not speak to my thoughts or feelings about it; that's what the numbers are for.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Tom's Töp 15 Albums of 2021

2021 was another year in the Covid-19 abyss, one that I had the displeasure of experiencing myself a few weeks ago, with minimal issues luckily. It is an ever-present threat to getting things back to as normal as humanly possible, lurking around every corner, making its presence known. Unlike the majority of 2020, 2021 saw the return of many live shows, including my foray back to them in the form of the Philadelphia portion of Decibel's Metal and Beer Fest back in September. My family and job helped form the foundation of the year as did my ongoing series of Heavy Metal Happy Hours that I run weekly on Zoom, if you were a part of even one of them, just know you have helped me, and I certainly hope it has helped you too. So anyway, a little less about me and more about the music that made 2021 pop, this is a veritable cornucopia of the year with everything from hardcore to goth, death and thrash metal as well. It accurately reflects my spastic sense of music and reality.

Friday, October 1, 2021

All We Love, We Leave Behind : The Töp's Monthly Playlist, September 2021

It's been a fairly quiet month around here at the Töp, at least in terms of blog activity. Durf has been navigating a cross-country move while Mick and Tom have been all to busy sulking over the horrid starts to their Chicago Bears and New York Giants' seasons. With no energy left to give, there were no squabbles about stolen tracks this time around. Hopefully, October will see them being more at each other's throats once again.

As a reminder of what this post is all about : Affectionately named after the Converge album, this monthly post will feature a collaborative playlist pinpointing tracks from this year that have been in heavy rotation for us. You may see some end up on our year-end lists. Some you won't. But rest assured they'll make for some eclectic listening. We'll try to keep the tracks as recent as possible, but you can at least bank on them being from this current year. Each of us will present 6 tracks because three 6s = well... you know.