Find Me On:
That’s a hell of a tribute, Doug.
This sucks on every level.
I think it’s more that the gimmick is starting to wear awfully thin, rather than the level of exposure they’re getting. The band was always silly, but the songs on the first album actually stuck. The second album is a mess: the production is somehow thinner despite the fortune spent on a big-name Nashville producer, and all the satanic choirs in the world can’t make up for lackluster songwriting. The band leans on the Satanic gimmick twice as hard this time around when they should have focused on the actual songs. Nothing here hits half as hard as “Ritual” or “Stand By Him”, and that’s what all the critics are railing against.
I saw last week’s set online, and our site already covered it in depth — we had advance warning that little would change, so I steered myself elsewhere. I only included the footnote as part of my thought process for choosing Htda over the other headliners. There are no right or wrong choices here, only one compromise or another.
Needs more Bill Ward…
This is legit Sabbath, all things considered.
I can listen to “Order of Death” for days on repeat. I think I have, actually. The whole soundtrack for Hardware is pretty incredible stuff, worth seeking out now that it can be snagged for free.
Poptones should probably be here, but this is a solid, solid list. “Don’t Ask Me” is appropriately horrible but it wouldn’t be fair to ignore that side of Lydon’s persona/career–dude is a walking disaster despite all the greatness he’s pumped out over the years.
With a day job in Hollywood, I have to wonder how much of the Coachella lineup is simply haggling and negotiating on the part of booking agencies. If it’s anything like the film/tv world (and I have to assume it is, since half these larger bands are repped by CAA and WME rather than smaller indie-centric booking agencies), every detail of “billing” is included in an artist’s contract. In a movie, negotiating to have your name on a separate title card is considered a major coup for an up-and-comer. Obviously clout and the wants and needs of the festival will be the two biggest factors, but you have to assume the infinite intangibles that fall under “negotiation” are partially responsible here. The deciding factor why Phoenix wound up over New Order might boil down to the way things shook out between their agents and/or lawyers and Coachella’s.
I love High Violet. As an album it *might* be their best. It’s consistently brilliant, solid all the way through, and entirely cut from one cloth–it does one thing, repeatedly and excellently. That said, it has the least “highlights” of any of their later records for that same reason. It’s also nowhere near as explosive as some of their best material, and I think that’s what’s missing in this list.
Personally I don’t need them to be explosive; the quiet bits are often my favorite. It’s hard to pick clear “bests” with a band like this, and opinion will always be divided–but for my money they’ve never been better than on “Slow Show”.
I think a lot of folk not inclined to listen to “metal” in the traditional sense could (and should) find a lot to like here. Rarely do you hear a band pull in disparate genres into such a cohesive whole — nothing feels forced. The heavy parts feel like an extension of the mood set by the lighter bits. Brilliant stuff, worthy of a larger audience, even if it seems deliberately designed to avoid reaching a lot of ears.
Criteria for inclusion can get tricky when the catalog is this messy. I didn’t include Labyrinth because Bowie wrote less than half the tracks (4 of 10, plus lyrics on a fifth), and the rest is straight soundtrack work by Trevor Jones. It was a judgment call, and I’d be lying if I said exhaustion/laziness after writing 26 other blurbs wasn’t a factor. Bowie’s contributed to a million soundtracks and this one didn’t seem enough like a proper Bowie “album” (maybe an EP) to include here. Buddha of Suburbia, on the other hand, was an actual album. Most of the material is based off the soundtrack contributions he made to the mini-series, but every track was reworked and expanded to create a concrete album, and he wrote the entire thing. There’s a certain contingent of fans who adore this thing, most likely because Bowie himself seems so fond of it, but I don’t really get the appeal beyond it’s status as “most obscure”.
Might be the best upside to the death of Ludicra yet. But while we’re here… they should still bring back Ludicra!
Listening late… this absolutely rips. Between these guys and the like-minded False, black metal in America is alive and seething.
DUDE. Seriously now.
I’m sure you’ve cooked up a whole justification for why YOU don’t need meds, but anyone reading any of your last 10 comments can see how desperately you need them. You’re waging an unnecessary war of words against no one (everyone?), and digging a deeper hole with each increasingly delusional post. Take a breather before you hurt yourself, man.
I think they’re mostly talking about shipping rates for vinyl.
I’m glad to see such a rowdy response for Ceremony! I had a feeling it would happen due to the controversy around that song in the first place. But I have to disagree about the ‘overwhelming consensus’. Ceremony is the most contentious NO song by a mile: there literally is no consensus. Sure, we all like it as a song, but there’s no prevailing narrative amongst fans regarding the song’s validity. A large contingent of fans still refuse to acknowledge it as anything more than a Joy Division cover, basically disavowing it from the NO catalog. It’s a great track worthy of discussion; in this case it was simply edged out by a handful of other great tracks.
For what it’s worth, I love Ceremony. It clocks in around 13 or on my expanded list, just under Sunrise and Shellshock. Personally, I’ve always found Dreams Never End to be the more satisfying song, despite the fact that it’s not nearly as popular and you’ve got Hooky singing in place of Bernard (some folks simply cannot abide the weird Ian-sounding vox). Just a personal preference in the end, and it was one of the harder cuts to make. Trimming these things to 10 songs is brutal!
Firstly, fuck Plaguewielder. But it’s fitting for a black metal post to have false debates. :-D
This is unreal. By FAR my favorite list so far. Personally I can’t imagine Goatlord anywhere but last, but the top of this list is absolutely spot-on.
To the uninitiated: let this be your sacred text. Follow it’s teachings and discover the necro fucking glory of Darkthrone for yourself.
As a massive fan of all things Darkthrone, all I can really say:
Ugh. It’s the misplaced specificity that kills me. Just call it “Norwegian metal” for crissakes.
Times is the best by a mile to my mind, though Silver and Enemy absolutely fucking rule on their own terms as well.
But Pain of Mind in last… I know it’s barely Neurosis, and nothing like we’d get from them later, but I much prefer them as raw punks to the bulk of the boring post-2000 material that came before. But that’s just me :-)
Those are all great recommendations. I need to check a few of those out still, but I can speak to the quality of Pseudogod – loooooove that record.
Death is in the eye of the beholder, sure, but Torture is easily the best CC album. It’s not even close. Tomb of the Mutilated and The Bleeding are classics, no question. But the hits are laced with filler, and… Chris Barnes, man. Vocally speaking, Barnes doesn’t hold a fucking candle to Corpsegrinder. “Hammer Smashed Face” sounds a thousand times better live, and the current incarnation of Cannibal is the best lineup they’ve ever had, with the strongest batch of songwriters, and the production on Torture is the best they’ve ever sounded, with the biggest/best variety of songwriting, yadda yadda. There’s no “effort to create an illusion” of anything.
Your argument against Pallbearer is that they vaguely sound like other doom bands with clean singing, and that Enslaved are better than everything that’s come since because they did it first? I bet your lawn is pristine and well-protected from the neighborhood kids.
20-fucking-12! So much to say! Here’s an apology up front: I plan to ramble.
2012 was the year of doom, and not in the Mayan sense. In my mind, this is the first time since Sabbath held the throne way back when that doom has ever completely dominated the metal landscape. The prominence of female-fronted retro doom acts got a lot of attention, but there were a million other variations that catapulted the genre forward, out of the gutter and into the (almost) mainstream. Atriarch’s fusion of doom, goth, and black metal was easily one of the best albums of the year (besting their brilliant debut in almost every way) and Pallbearer’s simple twist of mixing clean vocals on top of epic funeral doom made for the strangest animal of all: an uncompromising, seriously deep metal album with legitimate crossover appeal. It’s amazing how far actual songs can take a band.
Now, within doom, you’ve got a million subgenres, right? Besides the female retro-doom thing that’s been discussed everywhere else (in the metal world), the REAL trend is the out-of-nowhere resurgence of funeral doom and death/doom. For the uninitiated, funeral doom is essentially ultra-slow, ultra-heavy doom played with epic song structures. Vocals are typically guttural bellows, and haunting melodic lead guitars are pretty common. Death/doom is similar, and there’s a huge amount of crossover, though most death/doom is more of a straight hybrid of doom and death metal: so ugly, chromatic riffs that sometimes pick up the pace to a mid-tempo death metal march. A few years ago you’d get a handful of funeral doom records in a year, maybe. Hardly any were getting attention, and none would have come close to topping a year-end list. Death/doom was, for all basic purposes, completely extinct since the early ’90s. This year we saw ancient bands resurrected in new forms (members of Disemboweled reforming as Inverloch), old unknowns taking center stage (Indesinence), and long-time death metal bands turning in some of the doomiest work of their career (Incantation and Asphyx). As with everything else that kicked ass this year, Profound Lore led the charge with Indesinence, Evoken, Aldebaran, Bell Witch, and Pallbearer (funeral doom with trad-doom vocals). But there were plenty of other gems from both genres that came out to slightly less acclaim, all worth seeking out: Hooded Menace brought melody and groove to their brand of death/doom, Ahab drifted into cleaner waters than before without sacrificing the weight of their funeral doom past, Anhedonist spiraled downward forever in a filthy, subterranean blend of straight death metal and murky doom, Inverloch were all discordant crush, as impenetrably dense as anything from their old band, Disemboweled, and even genre progenitors My Dying Bride bring more death than they have in years and it’s surprisingly good.
And that’s just the doom side of the year! Death metal had a banner year with oldsters like Cannibal Corpse topping just about everything they’ve done before and new, younger bands like Horrendous proving that songwriting can set you apart from the pack. Black metal had an awful lot of brilliant releases but less from the heavy-hitters than normal, so they generally flew under the radar. Also, 2012 saw a lot of the black metal elite drifting from their roots even more than usual: Deathspell Omega’s latest is closer to prog than black metal and the final installment of Blut Aus Nord’s 777 trilogy can barely be called metal at this point (much closer to black metal influenced goth/industrial). That said, all of the black metal on this list is absolutely essential, particularly Winterfylleth and Ash Borer. It didn’t quite make the list, but I highly recommend the False/Barghest split released by Gilead Media. And the last few releases I’ll mention are just personal favorites that have been overlooked most everywhere else: Hells Headbangers is my favorite metal label, just edging out my general love of Profound Lore. They specialize in the kind of cult releases that the world really ought to hear, but rarely do. Hells Headbangers released some of my favorite unsung releases of the year, including: Pseudogod (Russian black/death), Deiphago (insane Portal-sounding war metal from the Philippines by way of Costa Rica), Mongrel’s Cross (Australian black/thrash), and this last is just an updated reissue of a compilation of early tracks but it is seriously better than anything else that was released this year anyway: I speak of Midnight’s “Complete and Total Fucking Hell”, which you should buy immediately on vinyl.