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.
It’s a widely accepted fact that British metal legends Judas Priest helped define the sound of heavy metal as we know it today. But what isn’t as widely acknowledged is how they also helped define the visual aesthetics of heavy metal; indeed, Priest is as much responsible for what metal albums look like as they are for what metal albums sound like. Although they’ve never had a single unifying theme to their artwork (ala Iron Maiden’s Eddie or Motorhead’s Snaggletooth), no less than seven of their album covers do have something very important in common: ass-kicking robots.
My wife recently surprised me with tickets to the Smashing Pumpkins reunion tour, and as such I’ve naturally been compelled to revisit their catalog. For the longest time I’ve proclaimed that the band’s 1993 breakthrough Siamese Dream was my favorite Pumpkins album, but right now I’m thinking it might actually be Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.
Destroyer 666 released one of the year’s best pure metal albums back in 2016 with Wildfire and it appears that they have no intentions of slowing down, because they’ve released what is sure to go down as one of 2018’s best pure metal EPs in the form of Call of the Wild, a four song fist to the face that’s guaranteed to wreck your neck in under twenty minutes.
It’s only February, which means most labels are just starting to trickle out what will eventually become an unstoppable avalanche of new releases. Not so for Nuclear War Now! Productions; the California-based label is in the process of unleashing a fifty megaton payload of heavy hitters that are poised to set the bar for underground black and death metal for the remainder of 2018. Read on for THKD’s breakdown of this quartet of poser-slaughtering platters…
Ah, the intro. This is the part where most writers attempt to regale you with an account of the myriad ups and downs they experienced throughout the year. However, most writers fail to understand one very important fundamental truth: no one cares. So without further ado and in no particular order, here’s a list of fifteen albums that grabbed a hold of my crank and kept on yankin’ in 2017…
The early eighties was a rough time for Alice Cooper. After releasing a string of commercially unsuccessful albums that he to this day can’t recall making due to heavy substance abuse (Special Forces, Zipper Catches Skin and DaDa), the shock rockin’ son of a preacher opted to take a three year break from writing and recording music.