Those of you who have delved with me into the mysterious musical phenomenon of dungeon synth (DS) should be familiar with Grimrik. His list of accomplishments since entering the current DS scene a few years ago is already impressive: [Read more…] about Dungeon Synth Explorations – Grimrik
What a show! CJ and Judge Dredd get anti-establishment in this Independence Day-themed show! However, they play Iced Earth at the end so I guess that cancels out all the earlier anti-government tracks that were played before them. Get a job you two!
Judge Dredd and CJ summon forth more mayhemic primordia in this week’s installment of Malicious Intent!! Can you handle its forbidden truths?
Judge Dredd and CJ, with special guest, Professor John Trefry of the University of Kansas’ Architecture Department, get evil by summoning forth cavernous death metal, mayhemic black metal, and, um…a track off of the new Slice the Cake album.
On October 24th of 2015, the regular two-hour program was converted into a reunion show featuring five different DJs, both old and new. In attendance were current DJs, CJ and Judge Dredd, along with Metal Al, Mark of the Beast and Mean Dean. If you missed the show by some unfortunate stroke of bad luck, we welcome you to sit back and enjoy all of the banter and metal madness that occurred during this special edition of the show. Even if you’ve already heard it, we know you probably enjoyed it so much that you want to listen again; so by all means, please do so.
For this round of the Black Metal Banchan, we’re going to take a brief detour to Southeast Asia, wherein floats a collection of islands renowned for their relaxing beaches, beautiful women, and, of course, extremely violent political scene. Yep, you guessed it!! The Philippines!
First, we’re going to explore the delightful music of a fun Filipino black metal band by the name of Deiphago. If I’m not mistaken, Deiphago are one of those super brutal “bestial black/death war metal” bands similar to Black Witchery, Blasphemy, etc. You can usually tell it’s one of these bands NOT by the excessive amount of bullets-and-spikes adornments, but rather by the fact that they almost always rock the style of corpsepaint WITHOUT the white. You don’t see Beherit, Blasphemy, or Proclamation running around on stage with any of that white clown paint nonsense on. Nope, only the black paint (except for Caller of the Storms from Blasphemy, who doesn’t wear any at all because because either he’s too cool for it and just wears sunglasses, is already black anyway, or maybe all of the above). Even Archgoat and Black Witchery go without it sometimes!
Every year, I make a fairly concerted effort to compile my list of favorite releases in a way that makes the listening experience dynamic. Overall, many of the releases that make my lists are those that command both melody and quirkiness, grimy dissonance and luster. I enjoy so many different genres that my selections even surprise me, at times. Normally I do have some non-metal releases mixed in, which you can see on my RYM profile. Here, however, I will only focus on the metalest of all the metal!
This is my final list with placements that were decided by originality and overall musical contribution to their respective genres. I quickly cut bands and artists out who I felt were not attempting to introduce new nuances to their sound in an effective or interesting way, so this list wasn’t just a typical array of albums I appreciated, but a culminating experience that caused me to revisit records multiple times over. I hope you find it interesting!
Howdy folks! The Black Metal Banchan continues! First up, we have arguably South Korea’s first “trve” black metal band- Kalpa! I’m pretty sure the band is inactive/split-up (and has been for some time now), but that doesnt mean we can’t explore their mysterious music and contemplate their grim impact on the Korean black metal scene. To tie in with this, because I’ve been discussing a lot of Korean snacks that are just Korean versions of American snacks (Doritos, Cheetos), this time we’re going to keep it real with OG Korean snacks that Koreans of all ages cherish (even the unholy warriors in Kalpa, I’ll bet!).
I will preface this by saying this is probably the most curmudgeony end-of-the-year write up that I have ever done. Fitting that it’s also the end of the first year of my 3rd decade on this hell called Earth and I’m quickly approaching 20 years of listening to Metal. So, just the natural course of things I suppose.
The older I get, the more I find myself attracted to the realer, rawer side of heavy music. More and more, I tend to avoid a lot of Metal music that is not firmly rooted in the “Real” (i.e. no fantastical elements). With some exceptions, I also tend to avoid anything that’s overproduced, and I’m glad there are bands out there who don’t believe that EVERYTHING should be quantized. I feel like that just takes away any emotion and power from music that SHOULD foster emotion and power within the listener. In fact, there seems to be quite a blowback from bands of all subgenres rejecting the still-current trend of over-digitizing music. But, of course, this rejection of quantization and over-digitization doesn’t guarantee great results.
A lot of the bands that seem to reject quantizing and over-digitizing are too often bands that are merely repeating what has been done before, and thus are trying to maintain the sound quality of some past era. Whether Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal…I keep hearing more and more retreading every year. And the fact that we have had various “retro” waves (Thrash, Death, Proto/Occult and now Doom) is all the more telling that Metal is in serious need of a creative boost.
Concerning my Metal tastes, what I’ve found most appealing in the last few years is excellent songwriting with either emotional or mental depth (or both), excellent musicianship that avoids overly complex noodling, various qualities that make a specific band distinct or unique, and for Satan’s sake, bands that sound MODERN. Obviously, all of these characteristics are pretty subjective, but such is the nature of music taste. *
Of current trends in Metal music, I am most impressed with the skronky Black Metal (aka the house that Deathspell Omega built), Post-Black Metal, and skronky Death Metal (aka the house that Gorguts built). However, I feel like these three styles are approaching over-saturation status rather quickly. I am also enjoying a lot of these bands that I hear combining Hardcore, Crust, and Black Metal in a variety of interesting ways, though many of them come off as being too derivative. Finally, I heard a fair amount of really good Grind/Powerviolence this year. While I love Grind/Powerviolence, they are two subgenres that don’t produce a lot of memorable songs and albums. Bands like Unrest, Die Choking, Cloud Rat, and of course, the godfathers of Grind themselves, Napalm Death, have proven this notion wrong this year.
To me, bands that really pushed the envelope this year include Gnaw Their Tongues, Deafheaven, Liturgy, Igorrr, Cloak of Altering, Orakle, Aevangelist, Pyramids, Howls of Ebb, and Dendritic Arbor amongst others. The thing is, I don’t even like some of these bands that much, but I fully acknowledge their unique sound and their pushing of boundaries. Despite how controversial Liturgy has been over the last 5 or 6 years, I don’t think anyone can willingly admit that their newest album sounds like anyone else in the Metal world right now.
* Now, before you call me a hypocrite, I will explain why a
couple of my choices could be designated as having “retro” qualities.
For example, Tribulation was definitely going with a “retro” vibe with
“Children of the Night”. But the thing is, their songcraft is just so
undeniably good and their unique mix of Occult/Psychedelic Rock and Death/Black Metal
really sounds like no other band out there today (although I’m sure that
will change shortly considering their recent success).
An Invisible Oranges writer basically summed up a lot my feelings quite nicely in his 2015 write up.
Without further adieu, here is Judge Dredd’s Dreaded Top 10 of 2015:
This year, I’m going to be doing something a bit different. Of course, I’ll be including my own top 10 (which, I think we can all admit, is going to be much better than everyone else’s you’ll find on this blog or any other place on the internet (ESPECIALLY Judge Dredd’s wack-ass list, but everyone already knew that :p), but this time around I’m going to take advantage of my current situation as a temporary denizen of the Far East to find out what people around here, expats and/or Koreans, are digging as well! So, prepare yourself for not just my dumb list, BUT a slew of other lists of well from the Korean underground metal community! In my opinion, you can never have too many Top 10 lists because ever since we all got high-speed internet and access to virtually any music that’s ever been recorded EVER, you’ll find a seemingly infinite amount of variety, and, more importantly, inevitably at least one hidden gem every time you browse.
It’s funny, I was actually talking to my buddy WinterTriangles about submitting his own Top 10 list for the MI blog when he told me that he actually found the whole Top 10 albums-of-the-year lists frustrating because he felt like they just end up being completely different in a couple of years after you inevitably discover all the other shit later on that you missed when it came out. However, while I do feel like this is a valid point, I’d like to argue that instead, these Top 10 lists should be like a snapshot of what your favorite jams of the year were at the time you made the list, instead of being considered like THE definitive guide to THE BEST METAL ALBUMS OF “YEAR X”. So, let the party begin!