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.
When I first saw the animated music video for “Blackened Call” I was not aware of Finnish artist J.P. Ahonen or his popular web comic Belzebubs. As such, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of a cartoon black metal band romping about the woods, “Call of the Wintermoon” style. I’m more than a bit ashamed to admit that my first thought was “Oh great, a corpse-painted version of Gorillaz,” yet there was something about the combination of quirky comic book visuals and frostbitten yet catchy and melodic black metal that made me want to see/hear more.
Last week Finnish black metal band Horna had several shows on their upcoming US tour cancelled due to an article posted by the online metal tabloid/shithole known as Metalsucks. MS did their usual stellar job of regurgitating widely known information (they’ve finally figured out how to use Metal Archives, apparently) and then patting themselves on the back for their hard-hitting journalism.
On November 16th, 2016, the online metal tabloid known as Metalsucks published their “manifesto” in which they very publicly announced “We will not tolerate racism, misogyny or any form of bigotry or hate speech” (because apparently it took them ten years of running a website, not to mention a good chunk of their adult lives to figure out these things are shitty).
It’s been two long years since THKD featured any interviews; perhaps due to laziness on my own part, or perhaps because I hadn’t heard any new bands that intrigued me enough to seek them out for an interrogation. But from the moment I heard Ashes Shall Be Made of Them, the second album from Canadian death-dealers Ye Goat-Herd Gods, I knew that I wanted to dig deeper. Having struck up a correspondence with guitarist/songwriter Jeanie Keebler over the course of reviewing the album, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to pick her brain. She graciously agreed and in the process revealed to me a story that’s as much about staring death in the face and overcoming adversity as it about simply loving heavy metal. Read on as the mastermind behind Ye Goat opens up about the making of the album and beyond.
With the dawn of the THKD YouTube channel, I decided to do something a little different this year. I’ve split my year end top 20 metal albums list in two; half of them can be found below, the other half on YouTube. So, once you’re done reading this list, head on over to THKD TV and check out the rest of the list… if you don’t mind watching a semi-drunken nerd rant and rave about heavy metal for thirty minutes. But enough of my rambling; as I’ve been saying for almost a decade now, long-winded intros are bullshit. Let’s get on with it.
In an effort to look beyond the digital promo pile, I recently put out a call on social media for any bands or labels that were interested in coverage to get in touch. I mostly heard crickets, but I was also lucky enough to hear from Whammer, a new “blackened crust grind” band from Colorado, who sound lean, mean and pissed the fuck off on the demo tracks they graciously sent me to check out.