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Dead1

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32 minutes ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

I never said I thought you thought it sucked.¬†ūü§∑‚Äć‚ôāÔłŹ Was just making a random and possibly unneccessary observation that maybe some of these mainstream end of year lists aren't completely useless after all. We both know I love to argue, but believe it or not I'm not always trying to argue with you Surge. I think you're a fairly astute individual and more often than not I agree with you. I haven't perused too many 2022 lists yet so your telling me Undeath was this year's critic's darling was new information.

Clearly, it's getting on all kinds of big platforms even like Pitchfork, Stereogum, etc. They must have all got the same memo.

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26 minutes ago, navybsn said:

And Undeath-Frozen Soul-Squishabugg-200 Stab Wounds are all the same band. Saw them all on the same bill this year and besides the backdrop on the stage, I couldn't tell them apart. All decidedly mediocre at best.

I've been thinking something kind if similar for awhile...I can't say I haven't enjoyed my fair share of bands from the "hardcore kids just discovering old school death metal in 2020" scene, but it blows my mind how fast that whole thing got so massively oversaturated already. I've hit the point where I like the bands I like, but, at least for the moment, I don't think I need to hear too many new ones

31 minutes ago, markm said:

Clearly, it's getting on all kinds of big platforms even like Pitchfork, Stereogum, etc. They must have all got the same memo.

It's the - "we missed the boat on the breakthrough album...quick, hype the follow up" - overcompensation they always do

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2 hours ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

Now I know where the Last Rites staff got half their albums from.

 

So, we're opposite here. I love lists of all kinds. It's fascinating how these more visible metal online platforms are both varied and have continuity in their picks just like the really big platforms do with all music. I know you avoid these sites, but they typically have a handful of albums that you see over and over and seem to be mutually agreed upon by the metal press as being the go to metal albums of the year for those in the know. And, I feel compelled to at least a few tracks from most of them. But, it's no different than the big allmusic platforms that pick many of the same artists from list to list. It's how I often find my way to some of the  non metal modern music and music that ends up in my collection and music I can tolerate when the wife and I are in the car together. 

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2 hours ago, markm said:

So, we're opposite here. I love lists of all kinds. It's fascinating how these more visible metal online platforms are both varied and have continuity in their picks just like the really big platforms do with all music. I know you avoid these sites, but they typically have a handful of albums that you see over and over and seem to be mutually agreed upon by the metal press as being the go to metal albums of the year for those in the know. And, I feel compelled to at least a few tracks from most of them. But, it's no different than the big allmusic platforms that pick many of the same artists from list to list. It's how I often find my way to some of the  non metal modern music and music that ends up in my collection and music I can tolerate when the wife and I are in the car together. 

 

Yes I'm fortunate now that I don't have to compromise my listening choices to make a woman in the passenger seat happy anymore. Don't have to be mindful to balance my time between watching a chick flick or listening to metal in the evenings anymore. My WAF considerations are a thing of the past! On the other hand Honda Motor Company stopped supporting my phone last year and they didn't ever support my DAP either, even via usb so I can't take advantage of my freedom. I need to throw some stuff on a thumb drive and see if that works. I even bought one especially for this purpose, but haven't gotten around to loading it up yet because I can't remember which box I packed it in last time we moved. 

I do read those kinds of blog published lists when someone takes the time to post them on the forum, or at least drop a link, but I don't go off hunting for lists that I know won't have any goat metal on them. I've been looking over my own lists this afternoon of all the best albums from the last 12 months that I wanted to make sure I'd remember to listen to again at the end of the year come list season. And here we are, December 15th already.

As of right now I have working lists containing 45 black metal albums, 30 death metal albums and 24 hybrids: black/thrash, black/death, blackened speed or some type of hardcore/crust/punk. That's 99 albums so far, and I'll probably find a few more 2022 keepers over the next month. So I really have no need to mine these mainstream type lists for ideas, I do alright on my own. Between Youtube and the forum here and M-A and Bandcamp and wherever else, I feel like I've cast my net wide enough to catch more than enough to never have to worry about going hungry. If I miss something then I miss it. I figure it can always be a nice surprise for me if I stumble over something good that I've missed from this year, in another year or two. 

But we are opposites yes, in that I know what I'm looking for and I know where to find it. I don't feel the need to spread my musical intake out and make sure it's balanced by listening to a certain number of albums each from a whole slew of different and widely varied sub-genres, both in and out of metal like you do. I'm sure a little of this, and a little of that, and a little of the other thing makes good sense for a lot of people, and despite my incessant ribbing Marky Mark, I totally understand that variety is the spice of life approach. But my night scope is more finely focused.

Some years I might pick up a very small handful of new albums (2 - 5) that are outside my box and not from one of my main go-to sub-genres, but that's enough variety for me. Those outliers add up after several years and come in handy for when I want to listen to something different. But still, black and death metal are always going to be my preferred genres. I'm aware that many people seem to think that pretty much all black metal sounds quite similar after awhile, but I disagree. I feel like I curate a good variety of black metal each year so I don't always feel like I'm listening to the exact same thing all the time. My death metal choices are all in a similar vein (evil, cavernous, crushing) but that's what I like and it works for me.

This year I did also have my big Killing Joke epiphany a few months back, and I got into some older post-punk and noise rock 'classics' for the first time ever over the summer too. So I guess I get most of my outside of the box or non-extreme metal stuff from years past, which is why you won't usually see much if any of that kind of thing on my year end lists. If I was to include older albums that I just got this year on my year end list I would not be at all surprised to see Killing Joke's 2003 S/T at #1 this year. I honestly love that album and played it many more times than any of the black and death metal I got this year - and in my world it was a very good year for black and death metal.

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5 hours ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

I happen to like the new Undeath record quite a bit. It won't be in my death metal top 10 I don't think, but it's certainly list worthy. 

Blows me out you like Undeath given you sledge similar sounding DM bands as mainstream garbage.  And Undeath certainly aren't what you claim to like in DM - "evil, cavernous, crushing."  They sound like a nostalgia tribute act on safe mode.  

 

Undeath are IMO mediocre.  They're not terrible but they certainly don't bring anything particularly interesting.  There was only a small handful of passages and riffs that I found interesting on it and even then they were only OK and not mindblowing.

I'd still rather listen to some older stuff that absolutely slays.

-----

Oh and new Immolation is yawn fest cookie cutter stuff. Immolation last kicked butt with Majesty and Decay.  And then like every good Nuclear Blast production line band, they just churn out cheap versions of Majesty and Decay.

 

It's a risk free steady cashflow model.

 

All the bands on Nuclear Blast (and to some degree Century Media) do this - Arch Enemy, Kreator, Immolation, Kataklysm, Soilwork,  Belphegor, Exodus, Accept, Aborted, Blind Guardian, Testament, Overkill, Krisiun, Dimmu Borgir, Witchery, Memoriam, Lamb of God etc etc etc etc etc .

It results in mediocrity.  Sometimes something is worth repeat listening but most of the time it's just interchangeable.

 

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2 hours ago, SurgicalBrute said:

I've been thinking something kind if similar for awhile...I can't say I haven't enjoyed my fair share of bands from the "hardcore kids just discovering old school death metal in 2020" scene, but it blows my mind how fast that whole thing got so massively oversaturated already. I've hit the point where I like the bands I like, but, at least for the moment, I don't think I need to hear too many new ones

 

What's funny is they're not really very good.  Even Gatecreeper lacked in memorable riffs.

 

I've noticed a trend out of America to focus on non-descript bands without much soul or memorability but they have some sort of hollowed out nostalgia vibe.  And not just death metal but other genres as well eg Haunt and Sumerlands (though I like Eternal Champion).

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1 hour ago, Dead1 said:
6 hours ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

I happen to like the new Undeath record quite a bit. It won't be in my death metal top 10 I don't think, but it's certainly list worthy. 

Blows me out you like Undeath given you sledge similar sounding DM bands as mainstream garbage.

I too am quite taken aback that the Goatmaster is fond of Undeath. They're like.... as far from "goat worthy" as you can get whilst still being an extreme metal band. On that note, they're also one of the least "extreme" death metal bands I've ever come across. I would've thought for sure they'd fall into the "poser mainstream garbage" category for him haha.

I think they're alright. I mean, I have both their albums, mainly because I figured if everyone and their dog was raving about them then there must be something of substance there, but I don't really hear it. They're remarkably unremarkable.

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Sinister are one of those tolerable if completely mundane bands.  Yet they do an all right job covering some classic - or the classics make up for Sinister's usually nondescript song writing.

 

 

 

And then a question:

WHY THE FUCK DO DEATH METAL BANDS STRUGGLE WRITING INTERESTING AND MEMORABLE MUSIC TODAY? 

There are exceptions - I still think Blood Incantation's Hidden History of the Human Race is phenomenal.

Even stuff that's good like Witch Vomit and Tomb Mold is lacking in that memorable song writing department.  

I'm not talking melodic shit either - early Carcass, Death, Autopsy and Entombed were not melodic.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dead1 said:

Blows me out you like Undeath given you sledge similar sounding DM bands as mainstream garbage.  And Undeath certainly aren't what you claim to like in DM - "evil, cavernous, crushing."  They sound like a nostalgia tribute act on safe mode.  

Undeath are IMO mediocre.  They're not terrible but they certainly don't bring anything particularly interesting.  There was only a small handful of passages and riffs that I found interesting on it and even then they were only OK and not mindblowing.

I'd still rather listen to some older stuff that absolutely slays.

I've noticed a trend out of America to focus on non-descript bands without much soul or memorability but they have some sort of hollowed out nostalgia vibe. 

First of all I never said they were mindblowing, or the best band to come down the pike since Bolt Thrower, Grave and Incantation. I did say they weren't among my top 10 death metal albums from this year. The only reason we're even talking about them today is because apparently their record is on everyone who's anyone's year end list. But I have absolutely enjoyed their album this year, I don't find it to be mediocre, I think it goes pretty hard and I have it playing right now as I type. They're from right up the road here in Rochester NY, maybe that could have had something to do with why I liked them. Rise From the Grave doesn't score particularly high on the filth meter and it certainly doesn't reinvent the wheel or break new ground (not that those things are important to me) but it really doesn't sound like mainstream garbage to me either.

Unlike let's say Gatecreeper which I couldn't even make it all the way through one time. Or that god-awful Obituary S/T from a few years back, I couldn't make it through that one either. Or that bouncy bullshit Pig Destroyer record everybody seemed to be high on a few years ago, now that was some mainstream garbage. Believe me, I can think of a lot of other things that have sounded like mainstream garbage to me from the last several years and this year's Undeath record isn't one of them. But you know how it goes man, to each his own. You know what they say: one man's treasure...is another man's Z-grade turdburger.

And as I've said 100 times, I'm just not as enamoured with a lot of that older 90's classic death metal as a lot of you guys (and other off-line friends) seem to be. I mean don't get me wrong, there were some incredible death metal records made 30 years ago, I'm not disputing that. But for the most part in my normal day to day listening I really do prefer the newer stuff from this century. I think memorability as well as preferred production values are largely in the minds of the beholders. I remember when several of us were making all those year by year best albums lists back in July and August (which you unfortunately declined to participate in with us) and I found myself revisiting a lot of old classics that I hadn't heard in awhile. I remember thinking quite a few of them were better than I'd remembered. But then I really haven't listened to any of them since then. 

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11 minutes ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

First of all I never said they were mindblowing, or the best band to come down the pike since Bolt Thrower, Grave and Incantation. I did say they weren't among my top 10 death metal albums from this year. The only reason we're even talking about them today is because apparently their record is on everyone who's anyone's year end list. But I have absolutely enjoyed their album this year, I don't find it to be mediocre, I think it goes pretty hard and I have it playing right now as I type. They're from right up the road here in Rochester NY, maybe that could have had something to do with why I liked them. Rise From the Grave doesn't score particularly high on the filth meter and it certainly doesn't reinvent the wheel or break new ground (not that those things are important to me) but it really doesn't sound like mainstream garbage to me either.

Unlike let's say Gatecreeper which I couldn't even make it all the way through one time. Or that god-awful Obituary S/T from a few years back, I couldn't make it through that one either. Or that bouncy bullshit Pig Destroyer record everybody seemed to be high on a few years ago, now that was some mainstream garbage. Believe me, I can think of a lot of other things that have sounded like mainstream garbage to me from the last several years and this year's Undeath record isn't one of them. But you know how it goes man, to each his own. And you know what they say: one man's treasure...is another man's Z-grade turdburger.

 

Funny thing is Undeath is pretty much nostalgia - it's borderline Cannibal Corpse worship (and to be honest I always found CC to be one of the weaker DM bands from the 1990s).  But Undeath don't have even the immediacy or pulverising brutality of Cannibal Corpse in their heyday.

As for Pig Destroyer, that was not a straight DM or grind album.  It was essentially an amalgamation of different styles of metallic hardcore from the 1990s but with modern production.  And it was still memorable and absolutely brutal at times.

Obituary S/T - I don't mind it now but it hasn't aged as a classic.   I think I was juts excited to hear Obituary play faster again.

Gatecreeper - yep they're overhyped and generally meh.  Much like Undeath they don't seem to know how to write memorable riffs or play like they mean it.

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2 hours ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

 

Yes I'm fortunate now that I don't have to compromise my listening choices to make a woman in the passenger seat happy anymore. Don't have to be mindful to balance my time between watching a chick flick or listening to metal in the evenings anymore. My WAF considerations are a thing of the past! On the other hand Honda Motor Company stopped supporting my phone last year and they didn't ever support my DAP either, even via usb so I can't take advantage of my freedom. I need to throw some stuff on a thumb drive and see if that works. I even bought one especially for this purpose, but haven't gotten around to loading it up yet because I can't remember which box I packed it in last time we moved. 

 

This year I did also have my big Killing Joke epiphany a few months back, and I got into some older post-punk and noise rock 'classics' for the first time ever over the summer too. So I guess I get most of my outside of the box or non-extreme metal stuff from years past, which is why you won't usually see much if any of that kind of thing on my year end lists. If I was to include older albums that I just got this year on my year end list I would not be at all surprised to see Killing Joke's 2003 S/T at #1 this year. I honestly love that album and played it many more times than any of the black and death metal I got this year - and in my world it was a very good year for black and death metal.

It's not all for the wife, when I'm working or chilling on a Sunday morning, I like contemporary indie folk rock, post/pop/whatever punk,  alternative, experimental and singer songwriter kind of softballs. Some amazing female vocalists putting out very nice music, not that I listen to it every day. I'll just throw it into the meatgrinder of pretty female vocals on a playlist. I spend so much time working on a computer writing reports and such and extreme metal doesn't work for me when I need to focus. 

If I can't get something on disc or I don't get something on disc, I'll often download bandcamp MP3s, onto a thumb drive. I'm just so visual, I need to see it or I'm like to forget all the shit I have on the drive. But, it works fine driving, and it's nice to not be fumbling through disks. 

I dig that S/T KJ album as well. 

14 minutes ago, Dead1 said:

Funny thing is Undeath is pretty much nostalgia - it's borderline Cannibal Corpse worship (and to be honest I always found CC to be one of the weaker DM bands from the 1990s).  But Undeath don't have even the immediacy or pulverising brutality of Cannibal Corpse in their heyday.

As for Pig Destroyer, that was not a straight DM or grind album.  It was essentially an amalgamation of different styles of metallic hardcore from the 1990s but with modern production.  And it was still memorable and absolutely brutal at times.

Obituary S/T - I don't mind it now but it hasn't aged as a classic.   I think I was juts excited to hear Obituary play faster again.

Gatecreeper - yep they're overhyped and generally meh.  Much like Undeath they don't seem to know how to write memorable riffs or play like they mean it.

I think Spiritworld/Deathwestern is a fun metallic HC banger...with a bit of the metal meets HC vibe that Integrity's Howling for the Nightmare gave me a few years ago. 

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37 minutes ago, Dead1 said:

Sinister are one of those tolerable if completely mundane bands.  Yet they do an all right job covering some classic - or the classics make up for Sinister's usually nondescript song writing.

WHY THE FUCK DO DEATH METAL BANDS STRUGGLE WRITING INTERESTING AND MEMORABLE MUSIC TODAY? 

There are exceptions - I still think Blood Incantation's Hidden History of the Human Race is phenomenal.

Even stuff that's good like Witch Vomit and Tomb Mold is lacking in that memorable song writing department.  

I'm not talking melodic shit either - early Carcass, Death, Autopsy and Entombed were not melodic.

See now we do agree on some things. Cannibal, not completely worthless but not one of the better 90's Morrisound bands afaic. I never really warmed up to them nor had I ever even thought about buying any of their albums until that most recent one last year whatever it's called, which I now haven't listened to since the month it came out. Sinister, solid enough but completely unremarkable. Tomb Mold, I really wanted to like them a lot more but the truth is they bore me. Witch Vomit like you said, they sound good to me but then I can't remember any of the riffs, it's all just one big blur.

I don't hear what everyone else seems to be hearing on that Blood Incantation album though. Live I thought they were stellar, they had total command of that room. And there were some good moments on the 2nd record, but overall they got just a bit too proggy or experimental or whatever for me on Hidden History. If I had the chance to do over I wouldn't buy it again. Guess I'm about due for a revisit to see if anything's changed. After list season maybe. But that's how it seems to go. Same exact album - one guy says "phenomenal" the other guy says "meh."

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I didn't expect to like Hidden History but for some reason it really stuck with me.  I still don't get why I like it.  It does have a great sound but I usually zone out on proggy stuff.

----

At the same time I have no idea why I can't gel with a lot of modern DM.  It all comes across as a bit tame.

I do think production is one of the aspects.  Modern DM seems to often stuck with this cavernous albeit warm and embracing sound - basically as pioneered by Incantation.

It's like a nice blanket on the couch on a winters day snuggled up to the wife.

It can be suffocating at times but I actually don't like when it gets to that point.

There is the more visceral production that goes down the HM2 path which is the problem because they all end up sounding like Entombed/Dismember clone #5659127.

 

And then the third production style - Nuclear Blast DM Production Template 101...

 

The other thing is composition.  For some reason modern DM bands just can't write catchy memorable tunes anymore.   I want a Zombie Ritual or Eaten or Stranger Aeons or Tools of the Trade or Hung Drawn Quartered or Dead But Dreaming or Slaughter of Innocence or whatever.

 

In fact that's what blows me out about the critics raving on about Undeath and Gatecreeper - these guys really struggle with writing memorable tunes.  They're not even an exercise in ripping your head off like Napalm Death's From Enslavement to Obliteration.

 

It's Mehcore or Mehmetal.

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New promo Hellripper track "The Nuckelavee" from the album Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags which is to be released two months from now Feb 17th.

Now here's a random thought. Or a random question I guess for my marketing degree expert Surge. Or anyone else who knows. What's the point of bands releasing tracks two and three months before the album? Obviously I take this to mean the album is mixed and ready to go (they don't just mix and master one track at a time, right?) so why hold it back for so long? Are they still working on their art and packaging, or waiting for the backlogged plant to press the discs, or just trying to drum up some hype or why not just release the damn album to the public? I could see maybe releasing a track a week or two before the album, but why two months or longer? Seems only fairly mainstream bands/labels do this, I like that the smaller bands and labels just wait and quietly slip their shit out there without saying anything like little easter eggs to be discovered by their fans. I love saying "Oh look, the new so-and-so album's out, I didn't even know they were working on one."

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2 hours ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

Are they still working on their art and packaging, or waiting for the backlogged plant to press the discs, or just trying to drum up some hype

I'd assume probably some combination of all of these. It may also be a way to gauge interest in the album, and possibly the bands booking for their touring schedule may factor into it as well...there's also the very real possibility that record companies just completely set in their ways and this is just a case of "how it's always been"

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19 minutes ago, FatherAlabaster said:

It's also to do with booking promo cycles with different publications and choosing a release date that they think will maximize sales. This stuff is scheduled months in advance. 

That's one of the advantages of having a label. Label A&R, Label PR, spend years working out the best times to release new music and it may be different for every band, but it's all calculated in the hope of maximising interest.

Sometimes with labels it will also be held up in the legal department because they have to check every piece of artwork, every letter, every word on the covers. I'm pretty sure it was Testament a few years back had their album release date cemented in and 3 week out from heading to the printers it got changed because the legal team at the label realised there was something written in the liner notes that they did not think should make the final print. The printing had to be delayed by a month just to make legal happy so the band release an extra lyric video to keep the fans interested.

Another possible reason for such a time difference is that is that band or the label want to release vinyl at the same time as the CD. With only three (last I remember reading) factories in the world producing vinyl there is a massive backlog of albums to be printed. MegaDave's last album was held back for several weeks because they wanted to release on all media at the same time but couldn't get the vinyl done as quick as the CD's. So pre-releasing songs can be a way of extending the release date until all the ducks are in a row.

 

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Decided to checkout the current 2022 Vortex list 

1 Wormrot
2 Messa
3 Immolation
4 Imperial Triumphant
5 The Antichrist Imperium
6 Desolate Shrine
7 Worm
8 Daeva
9 Aeviterne
10 Artificial Brain
11 JID
12 Phobophilic
12 Billy Woods
14 Tomb Mold
15 Undeath
16 Sigh
17 Veilburner
18 Old Nick
18 Silurian
20 Mournful Congregation
20 Ancient Death
22 Blut aus Nord
23 Watain
24 Altars
25 Falls of Rauros
26 Tchornobog / Abyssal
27 Dysgnostic
28 Doldrum
29 Kendrick Lamar
29 Darkest Era
31 Rejoice! The Light Has Come
32 Sonic Assault
33 Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean
34 Critical Defiance
35 Cosmic Putrefaction
36 Miscreance
36 Cloud Rat
36 Suppression
36 Scarcity
40 The Chasm
41 Aenaon
42 Septicflesh
43 Hammers of Misfortune
43 Autopsy
43 Defect Designer
46 The Spirit
46 Full of Hell

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38 minutes ago, Thatguy said:

Two in their top 10 will be in mine, otherwise not a bad list, but not what I would pick.

They're still wankers though. I mean, Watain but not Meshuggah?

Not a fan of either band but I could at least listen to a Watain album probably. Meshuggah's a lost fucking cause. They're still bleedin' wankers though, I'll drink to that.

Only albums I have on their shitty list are: The Chasm, Autopsy, Phobophilic, Supression and of course the band everyone loves to hate: Undeath. Don't think any of those will be making my final list though, unless I were to take it out to a top 50. The Chasm has the best shot.

I don't hate the new BaN either, just haven't spent any time with it.

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    • Full length number 19 from overkill certainly makes a splash in the energy stakes, I mean there's some¬†modern¬†thrash bands that are a good two decades younger than Overkill who can only hope to achieve the levels of spunk that New Jersey's finest produce here.¬† That in itself is an achievement, for a band of Overkill's stature and reputation to be able to still sound relevant four decades into their career is no mean feat.¬† Even in the albums weaker moments it never gets redundant and the energy levels remain high.¬† There's a real sense of a band in a state of some renewed vigour, helped in no small part by the addition of Jason Bittner on drums.¬† The former Flotsam & Jetsam skinsman is nothing short of superb throughout "The Wings of War" and seems to have squeezed a little extra out of the rest of his peers.

      The album kicks of with a great build to opening track "Last Man Standing" and for the first 4 tracks of the album the Overkill crew stomp, bash and groove their way to a solid level of consistency.  The lead work is of particular note and Blitz sounds as sneery and scathing as ever.  The album is well produced and mixed too with all parts of the thrash machine audible as the five piece hammer away at your skull with the usual blend of chugging riffs and infectious anthems.  


      There are weak moments as mentioned but they are more a victim of how good the strong tracks are.  In it's own right "Distortion" is a solid enough - if not slightly varied a journey from the last offering - but it just doesn't stand up well against a "Bat Shit Crazy" or a "Head of a Pin".  As the album draws to a close you get the increasing impression that the last few tracks are rescued really by some great solos and stomping skin work which is a shame because trimming of a couple of tracks may have made this less obvious. 

      4/5
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