It’s high time I finished my 2018 favorites list (or at least the thorough reviews).
Every year, I try to get into a new style that pushes my appreciation of extreme music just a little bit further. In 2017, I took a deeper dive into grindcore with some classic Napalm Death and Agoraphobic Nosebleed. This past year, I attempted to grasp the appeal of the super-dissonant side of death metal. Portal are probably the best known band in this style right now and are still well beyond me, but I think I’m more invested at wrapping my head around Gorguts at this juncture, as their melodic sensibilities are more pronounced and I’ve been a Colin Marston fan ever since I first heard “You Will Be Reincarnated As An Imperial Attack Space Turtle”.
That said, after 2018, I think Anachronism might have been the band I was looking for this whole year. After hearing the first couple tracks of Orogeny, which I believe to be their second album, I was pretty sure Anachronism would be a great gateway into the thick, murky, dissonant ends of the death metal spectrum. Orogeny ended up exceeding my expectations on every front and was one of the strongest albums I heard this year. (Also before the cut I need to tell you that this album shares a name with the magic system in N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth Trilogy, which you absolutely must read if you’re up for some heavy-hitting fiction.)
Continue reading Scriv’s Favorite Albums of 2018: Anachronism, Orogeny
Alright, let’s say you’ve got an album by a band called Rivers of Nihil (spooky), and they’ve got a real spiky logo (at least it’s legible) and the album cover is a Dan Seagrave (he’s done all their album covers)–you, and most everybody else, will probably conclude that this is a metal album. But from the very first chord, if you’re even remotely familiar with the genre, you can further guess that Where Owls Know My Name isn’t going to be just another metal album (and if you’re not, you’ll come to the same realization around when the first saxophone solo kicks in). Even then, you still might not expect how beautifully written, how emotive, how powerful an experience it ends up being.
Continue reading Scriv’s Favorite Albums of 2018: Rivers of Nihil, Where Owls Know My Name
Buckle up: this is the one that almost got away from me, and it’s my favorite non-metal album of the year.
Continue reading Scriv’s Favorite Albums of 2018: Mitski, Be The Cowboy
I’m probably past the point of providing an unbiased review of a Nine Inch Nails release. Over the years, I’ve immersed myself in Trent Reznor’s music to such a degree that I feel I can address his work in totality, with a scope encompassing the ongoing life cycle of Nine Inch Nails, and, to a degree, industrial music in general. Given that, I regret to report that Bad Witch is kind of a lackluster release, and presents a less-than-fulfilling conclusion to the trilogy of EPs that began with Not The Actual Events and continued with Add Violence.
Continue reading Album Review: Nine Inch Nails, Bad Witch
Since The Faceless started falling apart and Meshuggah had a brand-new genre label foisted upon them, Beyond Creation have been my go-to band for technical death metal. The Montréalais quartet don’t sound like every other tech death band, and honestly, given how samey tech death tends to be, that’s enough to get me interested. But Beyond Creation went beyond getting me interested and got me well and properly hooked.
Continue reading Scriv’s Favorite Albums of 2018: Beyond Creation, Algorythm
Summer as a season of explosive energy is one of the oldest big moods. Summer blockbusters, summer vacation, summer camp, summer jams–it’s a time to cut loose, go on adventures, be maximalist. In particular, the summer jam is an exciting concept; it unifies us, but also acts as a statement of our individuality, for while we might all go nuts when the latest huge hit drops in July, we’ve also got our standby songs to sing along to at the top of our lungs while driving with the windows down. This week, our panel of contributors shares their summer jams on a playlist, and writes about their picks.
Continue reading Going Around: Summer Jams
Turns out I had a little more to say about each of these albums than I though. It also turns out that rapid-fire publishing nine posts over eight days isn’t a great idea, so I’m clumping most of my favorite albums of 2017 into this post on this final day of the year. Here are my takes on weirdo-pop icon Fever Ray, prog theatrics from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, a slab of supermassive riffs from Ground, a lightning-fast thrash assault from Lich King, and Igorrr, dear god, Igorrr, what have you wrought?
Continue reading The Rest of Scriv’s Favorite Albums of 2017
It’s not every day that an album like Melodrama arrives. It’s not even every year.
Continue reading Scriv’s Favorite Albums of 2017: Lorde, Melodrama
Trent Reznor absolutely succeded with this EP; he wanted to make something difficult, and, well, here it is. But it rules, and if you like industrial music, it’s immediately clear that it rules.
Continue reading Scriv’s Favorite Albums of 2017: Nine Inch Nails, ADD VIOLENCE
Distinguished readers, here is the 2017 album that took BloodLetterPress by storm, the one that we’ve had playing at most of our in-person meetings this year, the latest offering from the man we’ve come to view as the voice of a generation. Neil Cicierega, perhaps best known as the creator of Lemon Demon, Potter Puppet Pals, and countless other internet follies, has graced us with a third mashup album.
Continue reading Scriv’s Favorite Albums of 2017: Neil Cicierega, Mouth Moods