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.
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.
I’ve had almost a week now to reflect on last Sunday’s Danzig show. This was only my second time seeing my favorite musician in the universe after being a fan for twenty-five years (ok, third time if you count Samhain), so yes, it was a big fucking deal. It might not have been quite as meaningful as the first time I saw him, but it was still pretty goddamn exhilarating to hear songs I’ve been listening to since junior high played live.
I’m sure some of you have noticed that I’ve been doing less writing of late and focusing more on making YouTube videos. I’ll get back to writing eventually, but I’ve decided that I need to challenge myself with a new medium, as well as expand the THKD empire beyond blogging. It’s been a fun, refreshing change of pace and I hope you’ll come along on this journey with me while I try something new for a while.
With 2018 beginning to wind down, I’ve started to reflect upon all the great releases I’ve enjoyed throughout the year. This in turn lead me to compiling a massive playlist on Spotify; it’s about 99% metal, but there are also a few non-metal surprises lurking around in there.