I Hope They’re Dead Now

Most of the heavy music I listen to is escapist, which goes back to my days as an ostracized and traumatized teenager. I’d go home, turn on some Maiden, Metallica, Slayer, Priest, anything to drown out all the bad things that happened that day. And bad things happened a lot, every single day during those […]

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Satan’s Coming ‘Round the Bend

Tribute albums are so overdone that it takes an extremely special one to command my attention, let alone buy. Especially a tribute to Black Sabbath. The Nativity in Black tribute albums in the 1990s really kicked the metal tribute album fad into high gear, and anyone attempting to pull off a similar tribute album now […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #2

2. FKA twigs, Magdalene (Young Turks) Although it was completely understandable that it took Tahliah Barnett five years to put out a full-length follow-up to 2014’s LP1 – she experienced a crushing end to her long-term relationship and then underwent surgery to have six fibroid tumours removed from her uterus – the music world was […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #3

3. Opeth, In Cauda Venenum (Nuclear Blast) When Opeth decided to eschew the extreme metal element of their sound after 2008’s Watershed in favor of a more progressive rock-oriented approach, it angered a lot of their obsessive fans. Ten years and four albums later, those fans are still whining that Mikael Åkerfeldt doesn’t growl his […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #4

4. Weyes Blood, “Everyday” “True love is making a comeback,” sings Natalie Mering on the pretty single “Everyday”. “For only half because the rest just feel bad.” That dynamic between the happy and the miserable drives the song, which sounds so much like a Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition that it feels familiar as soon as […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #5

5. Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising (Sub Pop) Singer-songwriter Natalie Mering had been building toward something big over the course of her first three albums under the Weyes Blood moniker, but in spite of whatever expectations people might have had, nothing could have prepared them for the blindsiding grandeur of Titanic Rising. A combination of […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #5

5. Sleater-Kinney, “Hurry on Home” For a band as confrontational as Sleater-Kinney, they never really opened up as much as they did on the first single from their daring album The Center Won’t Hold. On the direct, minimalist-yet-noisy “Hurry on Home”, Carrie Brownstein exudes self-confidence, singing, “You know I’m dress down-able, uptown-able, hair grab-able, grand […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #6

6. Jenny Hval, The Practice of Love (Sacred Bones) For an artist as daring and non-traditional as Jenny Hval, to see her tackling a theme as banal as love is enough to make one do a double-take. She even addressed the seeming incongruity in a press release. “Love as a theme in art has been […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #6

6. FKA twigs, “Sad Day” Of course the one track on FKA twigs’ stupendous second full-length album that won me over the most was the one that is most indebted to Kate Bush. As soon as the track’s clattering beats come in underneath her plaintive singing (Skrillex was a co-producer) it echoes side two of […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #7

7. Jenny Hval, “Ashes to Ashes” Jenny Hval’s music keeps getting increasingly more hook-oriented, but don’t think that comes at the expense for her often lofty lyrical concepts. “Ashes to Ashes” is indeed one of the catchiest tracks Hval has ever written, as its gently pulsating dance arrangement underscores the pretty chorus. Delve a little […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #16

16. Lingua Ignota, Caligula (Profound Lore) Whenever I think of fellow men listening to the brutally, relentlessly confrontational feminist manifesto that is Kristin Hayter’s second album under her Lingua Ignota moniker, I cant help but default to a classic exchange on Friends where a character is trapped in a horrible one-woman show, with the woman […]

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