Album review: ALTARS OF GRIEF Iris

This album is jaw-droppingly goodSeriously, this one was quite close to a 10/10. Not quite there, but damn, it truly does not get much better than this. We’ll almost certainly be revisiting this one when Album of the Year season begins. Check out my review and give this record a listen.

A bit short on Content™ this month, but I’ve been busy with a few other things that required creative energy. Three reviews scheduled for April (one of which was  written this month, so hey)  and there’s plenty of stuff to come.

Album review: KNELT ROTE Alterity

The first truly great album I’ve listened to this year, and it is a real doozy. This is a near perfect record and I simply cannot recommend it highly enough. Buy this thing right now. Do it. And read my review.

Anyway…It’s been a day since my Vice article published and I’m already restless. So, plenty of reviews lined up for the near future, though most of them will not be published until late March or April. This is quite an incredible year for metal music and there are no shortage of things to promote. More to come soon.

I wrote The Guide to Getting into Anaal Nathrakh for Vice

Photo courtesy of Metal Blade

Photo courtesy of Metal Blade

The latest installment in Vice music vertical Noisey’s “The Guide to Getting into” is up and its author is…Me.

Here’s the article.

I still can’t believe that this actually happened. First, Anaal Nathrakh is one of my top five favorite bands and has been so for almost a decade. That I got to share my passion for a band that has had such a profound impact on my musical tastes (and get paid doing so) is nothing short of surreal.

Second, huge professional milestone. The largest since I started to publish my metal reviews on Metal Injection last summer. Vice is the first major mainstream news source that I’ve freelanced for and that means a lot to me.

With luck, this is a sign of things to come. I’d like to explore more writing opportunities this year and we’ll just have to see what happens. If you’re a journalism-type and like what you see, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Album review: TENGGER CAVALRY Cian Bi

Folk metal with traditional Mongolian instrumentation! I liked this record and while it isn’t perfect, it is one of the most creative pieces of music I’ve heard in some time. It’s definitely not a gimmick, but it’s definitely a must-listen for genre enthusiasts. Read.

I briefly chatted with Nature Ganganbaigal after the review published. He seems like a wonderfully kind and open person. I’m still not totally used to artists reaching out after I cover them and it’s nice to know that my writing is resonates with some of the musicians I cover enough for them to personally thank me. Just glad to have a small role in promoting this kind of music.

ALSO: From now on all album review headlines will match the Metal Injection format since that’s where all my music critiques are nowadays. Using quotations for albums is an old habit from the format my college newspaper used. Most major media outlets don’t seem to use that format so…Time to change. I’m not going back and changing the old posts. That’s too much effort. Give $5,000 to my nonexistent Patreon and I’ll do it.

Album review: Erdve’s ‘Vaitojimas’

I was struggling to find much to write about this month, especially on the music front. Kind of chose this one on a whim and…Eh, could have been worse. Of course, I just recently found two albums I am genuinely interested in covering and will be slammed with those reviews for the rest of the month. As was bound to happen. More on that later.

Read.

Top 15 records of 2017

OK, 2017 is over. I wrote a top 15 list for Metal Injection. You should read it here. Buy the music from the bands on the list. Buy their merchandise. Go to their shows. Give them excessive amounts of money and attention because they deserve it.

Working with Metal Injection has been one of the highlights of my year. I started 2017 writing reviews for an audience of literally nobody, and the dozens to ~hundred hours I put into it bore no fruit for months. That sucked, but I pretty much knew that was how it was going to go. I’m glad to have a major platform in Metal Injection to promote my heavy metal writing and it’s nice to see my material actually get decent online circulation. Hopefully I’ll be able to expand on that in 2018.

I’m also genuinely glad to know that there’s a chance — however minor — that my writing for Metal Injection has positively impacted the metal music scene. Like everyone else that writes about this kind of music, I have a few bands that basically nobody else knows about and having a chance to rep them on a website as large as Metal Injection might connect them to a swath of new fans. With luck, anyway.

Anyway, if I had time, I would’ve liked to expand this to a top 20 list. Unfortunately, being sick and covering the Thomas Fire in Ventura County strapped me of both time and creative energy. As for the music in my list’s “Honorable Mentions,” I’m confident that the “NieR: Automata” soundtrack would’ve placed fairly high on my actual list if I had had more time to listen to it. Ah well. That’s a phenomenal game with a phenomenal soundtrack. As mentioned, you should buy it.

That’s all. See you in 2018.