Every decade has its own set of trends that define it. It normally takes hindsight to see what will make a particular decade stand out but 2020 has already made a horrifyingly immediate distinction for itself. A pandemic-induced alteration of the scene itself has resulted in delayed releases, canceled tours, musicians at near equal ratios of inspiration and burnout, Zoom as a primary means of communication, and livestreams taking the place of proper concerts. All things considered, I am glad that a top albums list could still be made with a multitude of strong candidates. It’s been a shitty year with the light at the end of the tunnel still out of sight, but we still got tunes.
It feels rather redundant to preface this year’s celebration of the music that got us through what was annus horribilis maximus unprecedentius with much of a narrative of 2020 because we were all affected. We all lived through it. Some of us in un-splendid isolation. Some of us irreversibly overhauling the way we live, work, and support our dependents. Some of us welcomed changes we had to make while mourning the root cause behind them and that each and every person on this planet we call home was affected, impacted, and touched in a negative way by the events of a global pandemic and high-profile political situations.Continue reading
After a few out-of-genre collaborations with Lume and Catchechism, REZN’s third proper album returns to their signature Electric Wizard meets Elder on Quaaludes style. Chaotic Divine (Off The Record Label) is right in line with its predecessors, for the most part, pairing the sprawling length of 2017’s Let It Burn with the broadened atmospherics and instrumentation of 2018’s Calm Black Water. However, the heightened Ambient and Post Rock influences have resulted in what is easily their most ambitious effort so far.
When LA trio High Priestess‘s eponymous debut High Priestess (Ripple Music) landed in 2018, it took my breath away with its mesmeric, Doomy hypnosis and occasional brutality. Waxing lyrical about it then, I was already eager and anxious to see if they could follow it. I needn’t have worried: sophomore set Casting the Circle (Ripple Music) maintains the impossibly high standards of that first album while enhancing the entrancing elements of their sound.Continue reading
Gimme Radio has published its top ten Gimme Metal chart for the week ending May 8th, and it is led by High Priestess, Cirith Ungol, Fit For An Autopsy, Cloak and Allegaeon. Other top ten bands include Havok, Icon of Phobos, Elder Druid, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Code Orange. Each week Gimme Radio publishes its Gimme Metal chart listing the top 40 tracks played on the station for the week. Already the best metal discovery service online, the Gimme Metal chart is a powerful tool for listeners, labels, and artists for staying up to date on the best new metal released by established greats and up-and-coming underdogs, all handpicked by Gimme’s knowledgeable DJ roster and editorial team.Continue reading
Ask a proud American to identify the EoB and they’ll gaze, either wistfully or with revolution in mind, toward a grand old building not far from Pennsylvania Avenue. 2018, however, has given birth to another EoB – the Evolution of Boom, a kind of cultural reworking of the Low-End chords which brought all manner of sounds into the realm of enjoyment for the average music listener.Continue reading
Los Angeles psychedelic stoner doom act High Priestess have had a big year! They released their acclaimed self-titled album on Ripple Music, and toured all over. Bassist and vocalist Mariana Fiel has shared her Top 5 albums of 2018.Continue reading
Serious praise has been heaped on LA trio High Priestess and judging by the majesty of this self-titled debut album (Ripple), much more is coming. As the name implies, the band peddles a mystical, dark yet melodious slow crush, but there’s a joyous inventiveness here that sets it apart from its peers.Continue reading