My favorite May release is DOLDRUM, whose USBM tone has completely enveloped me. The guitars, the BASS (!!!), and everything about their sound is perfect. It goes off in eerie directions without wandering, and the shouty vocals are exactly in my q-zone. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS.
My favorite April release is ULTHA All That Has Never Been True. They are one of my “all-time” bands doing top tier black metal, and I don’t see any 2022 album knocking it from my AOTY so I’ll just call it now! One of those “full body” experiences, and I haven’t stopped listening since they surprise-dropped it. While I’ve loved everything they’ve released, especially 2018’s The Inextricable Wandering, the new one is my #1.
NOW THIS: Area Man Attempts Harmonies On Greatest Key Change Of All Time, Earth Wind & Fire “After The Love Has Gone” (1979)
I love key changes in pop music, especially when it’s an over-the-top “Truck Driver Gear Change” (TDGC) that digs in deep. A couple years ago, I was so obsessed at the time that I created a spreadsheet compiling songs and when the change occurs (view those 315 songs here). The songs are also on my corresponding Spotify playlist here. Reply with your favorites so we can share the goosebump feels.
My Top 10 Favorite Key Changes: Earth Wind & Fire – “After The Love Has Gone” Genesis – “Invisible Touch” Dave Clark Five – “Glad All Over” Herb Alpert – “A Taste Of Honey” Lesley Gore – “You Don’t Own Me” Cheryl Lynn – “Got To Be Real” James Ingram (ft. Michael McDonald) – “Yah Mo B There” Beyoncé – “Love On Top” Pointer Sisters – “Jump” Boyz II Men – “On Bended Knee”
Welcome to the Butthole Album Art Awards! (BHAAAs)
Here are the 50 albums that best make up the hole of 2021! Click on the artwork for Bandcamp link.
This #1 BH be moving if you stare long enough. Congrats to SAMUEL MARTINS COELHO on the top prize!
Ride the snake with the centipede BH from SULPHUROUS
CREEPING DEATH and their tornado alley angel hair BH
VOLA‘s BH absolutely stalks
MANNVEIRA and the BH sirens
FERRITERIUM: Look at the BH you’ve become!
We can all feel the Atlas BH from KANKAR
INOCULATION and their Space Spider BH
VERHäANGNIS offers a very unique colon POV BH
FORHIST offers an arborist ouroboros BH or foxtail BH: a real viewers’ choice!
Congrats to VOIDSPHERE on their third consecutive BHAAA appearance!
CRYPTUM and their swampy sewer BH
AEROSOL JESUS breaking it down with the Venn diagram BH
Whoaaaaa heaven let your light shine down! –ISON
PERIHELION GNOSIS giving us the pentagram BH howdoyoudo
FECULENT:gnarly ass dm EP complete with a mygodwoujalookatthat BH
CULT OF PARTHENOPE serving up an anatomy soup BH
“BH In The Sky As I Pour Sand On Some Guy” by ZAQQOEM
SWELLING REPULSION: When the band name sells the BH alone. Don’t let the sliced worms take your eyes away from the target.
There’s one crescent BH every year and EASTERN HIGH‘s got you
Upside down you’re turning me You’re giving love instinctively Around and round you’re turning me I say to BH respectfully –ZEOLITE
There’s also a Kaleido BH every year, thanks GIZMACHI!
GATECREEPER hoisting a nugget BH cave greeting
NECRECTOMY and a trve BH hobbit-hole
My plasma globe BH brings all the frogs to the yard –MANDRAX
BLACK SHEEP WALL sportin’ a Pan’s Labyrinth BH
THE BEAST OF NOD: Now who’s attacking whom here?
ÆTHERIA CONSCIENTIA ponderin’ their BH orb
WREKAN (in very Mrs. Doubtfire voice): helloooooooooooo
VOKONIS has an absolute unit of a crest BH
Diffraction BH by LORD OF THE ISLES
MAINLINER is the name and hypnosis fingerprint BHs are their game
NEMOROUS: HE TIRED
As advertised! (STUCK)
PALUS SOMNI invites you to gather ’round the merry BH
DESTINITY has spirograph BHs for days
THRICE still at it with this vibrant BH
Hey FUNERAL NOISE, leave the poor hooded soul alone ffs
Death, taxes, and Everlasting Spew releasing a BH album (BENOTHING)
CEPHEIDE suffering an absolute monster migraine BH
The band’s name is HADIT okay?
Watch it with your MORGUL BLADE will ya?
FRACTAL GENERATOR are purveyors of the BH artwork since 2008
LACERATION dishin’ out a BH earthquake
DEPRAVITY: May cause extreme inflammation
MESARTHIM latching on with a tractor beam BH
Hey MANUEL BARBARÁ, this moon has gone too far
Slip slidin’ away Slip slidin’ away You know the nearer your destination The more you’re slip slidin’ away –ꙂꙨѮŮӜŮѮꙨꙂ
ORDINUL NEGRU presents A Handsmaid’s BH (I don’t even know anymore)
“Expressway To Yr BH” by NECROCHAOS
This is not on the list, but rather a PSA to THE VOIDS EMBRACE. You are not eligible for the BHAAAs if it’s an actual BH. Also just need this out there so I don’t get an excited DM about “what I missed”.
Here are the albums that moved me most in 2021! Click on the artwork to listen on Bandcamp!
#10 Phrenelith – Chimaera (Nuclear Winter)
#9 Cadaveric Fumes – Echoing Chambers Of Soul (Blood Harvest)
#8 Wode – Burn In Many Mirrors (20 Buck Spin)
#7 Vukari – Omnes Nihil (self)
#6 Slimelord – Moss Contamination (Sewer Rot)
#5 Wharflurch – Psychedelic Realms ov Hell (Gurgling Gore)
#4 Gosudar – Morbid Despotic Ritual (Rotted Life)
#3 Decrepisy – Emetic Communion (Chaos)
#2 Worm – Foreverglade (20 Buck Spin)
#1 STEEL BEARING HAND – Slay In Hell (Carbonized)
METAL MASS 2021
Last night we held our annual listening party, affectionately called METAL MASS (seventh annual!). We reveal our favorite albums, and then our coding-proficient friend runs the script, calculating votes with weight, to determine the consensus #1. Ferriterium took that prize this year!
Hello there! Should go without saying, but these are my FAVORITES. They are the ones that hold my highest replayability for now & years to come. Also I’m starting with #1 because this isn’t a goddamn christmas present that everyone is screaming and losing their shit about. But hey, thanks for visiting and riffling through my picks of 2020! Let’s GOOOOOO.
#1) Beltez – A Grey Chill And A Whisper (Avantgarde Music) I’ve been anticipating this one a while as their 2017 release was my damn-near #1. Their USBM-style sound is dialed in FULL and THICK. And the quickest way to my loins are the mid-tempo double kick “rock” beats widely featured here. Second track alone is one of those jaw-dropping complete songs that makes everything else following feel like a bonus treat. Their arrangements are crafted to moody perfection, as the penultimate song flat wipes you out before the closing number calmly glazes over, reaching peak tingles. This is the complete package, front to back, and that’s why it’s my favorite album of 2020! [Bandcamp]
#2) Funeral Leech – Death Meditation (Carbonized) So many great debuts this year! This death doom monster from NYC bulldozed the loins and ran it up full mast for me. It’s an absolute stunner start to finish. The second track breakdowns are the stuff of legends, and I also so love all the creepy-crawly vocal whispers (wait till to hear this shit, it’s lit). If there is another record with as much stank as this one, I have yet to hear it. [Bandcamp]
#3) Autonoesis – Autonoesis (unsigned) Here’s a truly a perfect death metal album, performed flawlessly, where every riff is memorable and causes uncontrollable hand motions and air guitars galore. A blistering experience that I cannot recommend enough, and please just bury me to the closing track – the theatrical, delicate, and levitating song does it all in its 12-minutes. It’s a standout 2020 moment. A stunning debut that has me excited for everything about this talented band’s future! [Bandcamp]
#4) Lykotonon – Only Our Eyes Are Alive (unsigned) Such a brief introduction with a 21min debut, but a side project with Blood Incantation and Wayfarer members makes it easy to wanna sample. The overall dense atmosphere and psychedelic nuances is a perfect “USBM avantgarde Krallice / Ash Borer” mash. The tricks and stops within each song still get me even after repeated listens, and the blackened death intensity felt from every strained vocal cry is very palatable. [Bandcamp]
#5) Void Rot – Descending Pillars (Sentient Ruin / Everlasting Spew) I’ve got the death doom fever HARD, and with production like Void Rot’s, it’s easy to fall prey. I just love the way it SOUNDS. It’s big, thunderous, full, and rich with the vocals looming ever so passerby and dark. That guitar tone is clearly a product of hard research, chunky as hell but also sneaking those unnerving high-pitched digs. They may wear their influences on their sleeves, but they’ve perfected the formula. And what can I say, IT MOVES ME (it my fanboy video). [Bandcamp]
#6) Black Curse – Endless Wound (Sepulchral Voice) Give me all of the blackened fury, hellish blasts, and gasping-for-air screams, but also give me some mind-boggling outros (“Enraptured By Decay” just GOES for it), tense tribal interludes (“Lifeless Sanctum”), and repetitive, beat-it-till-it-stops-moving closing tracks. Featuring members of THAT Denver collective of bands, these ambitious, creative song arrangements should come as no surprise. [Bandcamp]
#7) Heretical Sect – Rapturous Flesh Consumed (Gilead Media) Their 2019 EP was sooo good, and the blackened death-doom full length really goes the distance too! When it hits the gas around 4min on 2nd track, I’m like YES ALLLL IN. As haunting as it is rockin’, it’s a hot 37 minutes for me. The chants are SCARY and give the heebies but probably not as much as their wacky ass video. Wooooo and that jarring guitar line opens the closing track? TAKE ME AWAY. [Bandcamp]
#8) Temple Of Void – The World That Was (Shadow Kingdom) DEVOUR THE HOURS pretty much sums up this year! Look, I’m a big ToV fanboy (another video of mine), and while metal usually doesn’t boil down to HOT SINGLES OF 2020, “Self-Schism” and “Casket Of Shame” are certified rippers! The rest of the album brings the crushing death doom heat like always. This is essential 2020 listening for ANY metal fan. [Bandcamp]
#9) Solothus – Realm Of Ash And Blood (20 Buck Spin) Monstrous death doom that does it all! Super slow head draggers, mid tempo grooves, and deathly somber waves. I especially love vocalist Kari Kankaanpää’s range (BOWWWWW growls to banshees) and hot damn that second track “The Watcher” got so many replays alone. Another solid 2BS release! [Bandcamp]
#10) Undergang – Aldrig i livet (Dark Descent) Filthy death metal wasting no time gritting teeth with a lovely “entrance music” opening track. From there, it’s one perfect gnarly riff after the next. And while I enjoyed many an EP in this style (seriously so many great Bandcamp finds), I’m happy UG put out a complete and proper full-length to envelop. Also, Tomb Mold can’t put out an album EVERY year! And bonus points for ending their album with an isolated UGHHH! [Bandcamp]
HM) Siege Column – Darkside Legions (Nuclear War Now!) Hot damn this a funnnnn album. Sleazy death metal that is so danceable! Opener “Devil’s Nights Of Hell” is METAL SONG OF THE YEAR with its teasing eerie synths before breaking into a full-on SHIMMY STRUT ATTACK. Featuring the muffled-fart vocalist of Death Fortress (love them too), SC brings the riff party and the lo-fi evil! [Bandcamp]
HM) Oranssi Pazuzu – Mestarin kynski (Nuclear Blast) Mystery Science Nadblasters Theatre 8000, what more can you really say? Completely out of this world good. ‘Back and forth in your rocking chair questioning reality and your existence’ good. [Bandcamp]
HM) Atramentus – Stygian (20 Buck Spin) Impressive debut really making the case for me liking funeral doom. It sounds SO large, and I’m feeling it deep in the plums (especially those gargle and bowel choir vocals). Instead of putting me to sleep like its genre contemporaries, I kept coming back for that thundering hum. [Bandcamp]
HM) Noroth – It Dwells Amongst Us (unsigned) Sinister death debut that can pummel nads and steamroll loins with the likes of Tomb Mold and Noose Rot. Served as the perfect soundtrack for angrily washing dishes during Covid. [Bandcamp]
HM) Phthisis – Embodiment Of Decay (unsigned) Yeah I’ll some more knuckle-dragging death doom please! ANOTHER debut, and Denver is a goldmine for the metals. Hooooweeee, that third track is uncomfortable AF, sign of promising things to come! [Bandcamp]
FAVORITE NON-METAL THAT’S NOT DUA LIPA
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – K.G. I’ve caught the band’s bug fairly recently but I’ve got it bad and this one is full of earworms that I couldn’t help but latch on immediately. Rats’ Nest was a 2019 personal yearender with their dirty thrash, and K.G. continues that high energy while tossing out an endless amount of psychedelic microtonal delights. “Some Of Us” –> “Ontology” –> “Intrasport” is TRACK TRANSITION PERFECTION with the latter being the middle eastern disco dub song I didn’t know I needed, SO GOOD! [Bandcamp]
My group of friends held our annual listening party, affectionately called METAL MASS. We reveal our favorite albums, and then our coding-proficient friend then runs his script, calculating votes with weight, to determine the consensus #1. Oranssi Pazuzu took that prize this year!
2020 LOINS ABLAZE
Thank you so much for reading! Send any feedback below or at my Twitter and Facebook pages. But more importantly, follow me on Bandcamp (and buy the albums on it too!) so I can follow back and hear what you’re enjoying!