Album Review

Top 20 Metal Records Of 2016

I did it! I made another list. I didn’t think it would happen, but it happened. No more lists, though. This is the last one for 2016.

Lots of black metal this year. And I mean lots. But it’s all A+ Amazing. I didn’t hear too much doom (or rather too much premium doom) this year, but, again the doom that was good was really fucking good. There’s tons of weird shit in here that pushes the limits of metal that you should come to expect from my metal lists. Also, I gotta say I’m surprised at the amount of color found on these album covers. 10 of them feature full multi-colored artwork and even more toss in some non-greyscale-but-still-monochromatic flair.

I did something that some of you may find treasonous. I have 2 records tied for first place. So, technically, this is a Top 21 list, but whatever. I spent way too long (like, weeks, maybe even months?) trying to decide which of the two I loved more and just couldn’t settle on one answer for more than a few days. And when I was putting this post together I realized “fuck it, there’s no reason I need to choose one over the other” and thus the Tied For Number 1 spot was born. I’m happy about it and you should be too.

As usual, I try to keep the big names/labels off the list because I’m definitely not a metal blog and I’m sure you all know that The Body, Ash Borer, SubRosa, Cough, ColdWorld, and Primitive Man put out truly outstanding records this year. You don’t need another site to tell you how good they are.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for listening. Thanks for making incredible music.

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Album Review

Book Of Sand – Mourning Star (Music Ruins Lives, 2012)


Book Of SandFits And Starts (Music Ruins Lives)

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It’s been at least a couple years since I’ve written about Book Of Sand (How Beautiful To Walk Free), or his previous doom project Light (A Million Dead Beneath The Ice and Life Is Meaningless & Goes On Forever, so I’ll forgive you if you don’t remember him. But only partially because this dude has always been the fucking best. Don’t forget it. His new one, Mourning Star, is packed up all sexy-like courtesy of MRL and might be his best one yet. Black metal doesn’t even begin to describe this beast. This dude is a master genre bender, using black metal as a melting pot to throw in everything from doom to neo-classical. There’s so much going on that it’s hard to get your brain situated, raw discordant riffs starting off mostly in synch until they devolve into a sloppy mess of noise, furiously relentless drums, tortured screams, drunken lurching doom, slow & massive, burnt & charred Americana guitars, caked in ancient dust and disintegrating before your eyes, atonal strings turning a blackened nightmare into a ghostly eulogy, xylophones plinking away in some distant room in the corner of a rotting mansion, at times atmospheric and ephemeral or in your face and undeniable, but always churning your stomach, brutal, tasteful, and wholly fucking original. Book Of Sand is at the top of his game, Mourning Star giving you everything you want from 21st century black metal. He’s fucking doing it and you fucking need it.