Better than a Body Slam: THKD’s Top 5 Pro Wrestlers of 2019

2019 will be remembered as a year where I was way more interested in pro wrestling than I was in heavy metal.  Whereas metal seemed to reach peek stagnation this year, pro wrestling was arguably the most exciting it’s been since the 1990s.  From the dawn of AEW to the resurrection of the NWA to the continued excellence of NJPW and MLW, it was surely one of the best years ever to be a pro wrestling fan.  As such, I feel it’s important to highlight some of the great performers that were willing to sacrifice their bodies and put their health at risk for our entertainment.  So without further ado and in no particular order, here are the five that helped make 2019 one of the finest years for pro wrestling in recent memory…

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Ceremonial Culling: THKD’s Top 5 Metal Albums of 2019

In terms of new releases, 2019 was pretty damn dire.  But in spite of the rampant mediocrity, I did manage to find a small handful of releases that were truly outstanding and can more than hold their own against the best this dying decade has to offer.  So without further ado and in no particular order, here are the five albums that stuck with me throughout the year…

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Brain Penetration: THKD’s Top 5 Release Entertainment Albums

Over the past few years, I’ve written a bit about Release Entertainment, the long-defunct sub-label of Relapse Records that was dedicated to releasing a variety of experimental music ranging from noise to dark ambient to death industrial and beyond.  It got me thinking about which entries in Release’s sizable catalog were my absolute favorites, which in turn lead me to satisfy my obsession with making lists.  So without further ado and in chronological order, here are my five favorite albums released under the Release Entertainment banner.

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Cockroaches and Creep Diets: A Beginner’s Guide to Alex Newport

Born on September 12th, 1970 in Wolverhampton, UK, guitarist/vocalist Alex Newport is responsible for some of the most unique and interesting heavy music of the 1990s and early 2000s.  Although his discography is far from vast, what it lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in quality, encompassing metal, hardcore, noise rock, industrial and beyond.  As a producer, mixer and engineer he went on to work with popular acts such as Death Cab For Cutie, At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta, but there was a time when Newport was an underground innovator, responsible for some of my favorite heavy music of all time.  So without further ado, let’s take a quick look at the discography of the man who convinced me to go on a creep diet and never look back…

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Die Krupps – A Tribute to Metallica (Hollywood Records, 1993)

One of the things I miss the most about the nineties is the willingness major record labels had to release totally off-the-wall shit.  From Reprise unleashing the Boredoms’ utterly mind-fucking Pop Tatari on the unsuspecting masses to Columbia striking a deal to market and distribute Earache’s catalog full of ear-shredding death metal and grindcore records, major labels in the nineties exhibited a bizarre fearlessness that was oftentimes downright shocking, flying in the face of the notion that they were corporate, soulless, blood-sucking musical widget factories where underground bands went to sell out, get screwed over and die.

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Oodles of Brutals X: In Space, No One Can Hear You Slam

Devourment for Relapse Records, January 17, 2019.

Well friends, it’s been nearly eight months since the last Oodles of Brutals, which means we’re long overdue for another deep dive into the world of all things brutal and slamming.  So without further ado…

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Defecrator – Abortion of Humanity (Drakkar Productions, 2019)

Born of an unholy union between members of Killgasm and Gloriam Draconis, Sacramento black/death warlords Defecrator have been pillaging their way across the California metal underground since 2014.  After nearly half a decade of existence, they have at last dropped the tactical nuke of an album that is Abortion of Humanity on the unsuspecting masses and make no mistake, this aggressive yet atmospheric slab of total annihilation was worth the wait and then some.

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