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.
THKD’s year end extravaganza will be published on Monday, December 17th at midnight both here and over at the THKD YouTube channel. But as a prelude to the madness that’s about to be unleashed, I’ve decided to list out five noteworthy albums that were just a hair shy of making the cut. So without further ado and in no particular order…
Good melodic death metal is in painfully short supply these days. Sure, there are a small handful of stalwart bands that continue to soldier on, but to say that the subgenre could stand to be infused with some fresh blood is an understatement. Fortunately, Ye Goat-Herd Gods have emerged from the frozen Canadian wastes to rescue us from the dearth of new and interesting melodeath sounds with their mighty second album, Ashes Shall Be Made of Them.
Hailing from Edmonton Alberta, Canada, The Black Sorcery play a pummeling brand of bestial black death metal that keeps with their home country’s unrivaled tradition of bringing the pain when it comes to the style (see also: Blasphemy, Revenge, Conqueror, etc), yet they also do a great deal to differentiate themselves from the hordes of bands that owe their careers to the seemingly bottomless well of inspiration that is Fallen Angel of Doom.