Metallica – Fight Fire With Fire
Orden Ogan – Come With Me To The Other Side
Blind Guardian – Imaginations From The Other Side
Agalloch – In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion
Cradle Of Filth – Heartbreak And Seance
Abigail Williams – The World Beyond
Accept – Die By The Sword
Metal Church – Metal Church
Savatage – Hall of the Mountain King
Venom – Live LIke An Angel
Midnight – In League With Satan
Bathory – Total Destruction
Kreator – Pleasure To Kill
Mayhem – Funeral Fog
Immolation – Dawn of Possession
Incantation – Rites of the Locust
Deicide – Dead By Dawn [Request]
Gravesite – Postmortem Fetal Excursion
Arch Enemy – The World Is Yours
Dawn Of Disease – Akephalos
Sylosis – Empyreal (Part 1)
Ensiferum – Elusive Reaches
Aether Realm – The Fool
Aether Realm – Tarot
Aether Realm – The Tower
Aether Realm – King Of Cups
Aether Realm – Death
Aether Realm – The Chariot
Aether Realm – The Devil
Aether Realm – Strength
Aether Realm – Temperance
Aether Realm – The Sun, The Moon, The Star
No Funeral – Infection
Livid – False Hope
Oranssi Pazuzu – Ole Mukalainen
Forteresse – Par la Bouche de Mes Canons
Gorguts – Orphans of Sickness
Voivod – Overreaction
Mercyful Fate – Come To The Sabbath
Thee After Hourz O’ Power
Mayhem is playing with Immolation at St. Andrews on November 5th. I like this legendary death/black combo; both bands are legendary and were among the most extreme and innovative during their era in different ways. Even after 17 years, few can match the brutality of Close To The World Below by Immolation. If I want to feel musically bludgeoned, Immolation is one of my top choices. Their album this year Atonement is also one of the best death metal albums in what has been an unusually brutal 2017.
As for Mayhem, I really only listen to De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas with the occasional Deathcrush here and there. If you’re gonna be a one album band, you may as release one of the best black metal albums ever. I saw Mayhem play De Mysteriis in its entirety when they headlined a show featuring Inquisition at Chicago this year. It was as perfect of a setlist relative to a band’s discography as it could get, except maybe they could have thrown in Chainsaw Gutsf*** in there somewhere. I first heard about Mayhem from the classic documentary Metal: A Headbangers Journey and if you haven’t seen that documentary yet stop reading this and watch it. It’s worth it for the Mayhem interview featuring a drunk Neccrobutcher alone and a must-watch for any self-proclaimed metal fan despite Sam Dunn’s erroneous classification of bands to subgenres (No Sam, Judas Priest is not power metal.)
Sometimes, the most emotionally provoking albums we get during the week come from material we reject. This rejected album is none other than that album that Venom Inc released this week. It’s not that the album doesn’t sound like Venom at all, because sometimes bands evolve. It’s not even that they sound washed up, because that’s just what happens older bands. It’s that Venom Inc sounds like the complete antithesis of what they were in their heyday. Here is a band that brought the punk-y, mischievous attitude to black metal now sounding utterly emasculated, uninspired and almost like mall-core. Listening to Venom Inc’s newest album is like watching your dad shopping at Hot Topic to impress 18 year old chicks.
While writing this Terrorsquid just threw some mad shade at 1st wave black metal. His claim was that some bands, specifically within the 1st wave of black metal, only get near universal praise because they’re anointed by everyone else as classics. His argument sums up to this: early black metal at times sounded atonal and noisy. The production was lousy. Most importantly, if you judge early black metal albums soley in a vacuum and take away the obvious influences that resulted, that is by the merits of its musicianship, it sounds like a primitive version of black metal now.
Now, I completely understand the sentiment that some bands only get praise because of their reputation. But then Terrorsquid named early Bathory and Venom as examples to those and I can’t let him get away with his blaspheming. First wave of black metal is the pug of metal. On the surface, they’re ugly dogs and there’s seemingly no rational reason to own one when you can instead have say, a nice poodle. Still, speaking as a lover of 1st wave black metal, there’s something about its raw, ugliness that you grow attached to if you look hard enough. More importantly for me, it comes off as genuine. Has black metal evolved from its roots? Absolutely. But I personally think there’s more to like about 1st wave if you look beyond the surface. It takes more effort to like it than other, more accessible avenues of metal, but once you fall into that rabbit hole you grow an irrational attachment to it.
Terrorsquid tells me I should shame myself for not listening to enough Agalloch. Shame on me, I guess.
I talked about Dad-metal last week and weakly defined it. That’s because it’s a fluid classification that spans different genres. The best definition is that a dad-metal band is one which was huge in their generation but just wasn’t picked up by the following generation, i.e. dads disproportionately listen to it more than the kids these days. For example, I don’t classify Iron Maiden and non-80’s Judas Priest firmly into Dad-metal because everyone loves them. It’s more of a connotation that I have only anecdotal basis on and shouldn’t be taken seriously, like Sam Dunn’s genre chart. Anyway, here’s some more bands I consider dad-metal:
80’s Judas Priest
Make sense yet? Probably not.
Thank you for reading my weekly soapbox. See you next Thursday.