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.

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THKD’s Top 10 Metal Albums of 2018 (print edition)

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.

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Ye Goat-Herd Gods – Ashes Shall Be Made of Them (self-released, 2018)

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.

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The Black Sorcery – …And the Beast Spake Death from Above (Hammer of Damnation, 2018)

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.

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Behold Darkness – Unholy Filth (Psalm 88, 2016) & Behold Darkness / IT – split (Psalm 88, 2015)

coverEarly last year, I discovered Psalm 88, an offshoot of Berkeley, CA-based cassette label Acephale Winter Productions.  While all of the sub-label’s initial batch of wares were impressive in their own right, the one that impressed me the most was Behold Darkness’ I, a gripping nineteen minutes of frozen-soul black metal that was easily the most complete sounding of the four releases reviewed.  Indeed, it was a recording I found myself continuing to revisit on the regular, which is really saying something when one considers how often I burn out on the music I choose to review due to the sheer number of repeat listens involved.

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Malsanctum – Metamorbid Fetishization (Iron Bonehead, 2015)

malsanctum - coverOf all the trends that have to come to prominence within the metal underground over the last several years, the murky/cavernous death metal thing is surely the least interesting (pro tip: if you really want to piss some people off, refer to this junk as “caverncore”).  In fact, I’d say my interest in bands shitting out non-riffs from underneath a pile of wet blankets is exactly zero.  But there are exceptions to every rule, and the mysterious Canadians known as Malsanctum have proven that there is something to be said for this sub sub genre with Metamorbid Fetishization, their debut(?) release on Germany’s ever-prolific Iron Bonehead Productions.

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Cuff – Transient Suffering Through the Ergosphere (Gore House Productions, 2014)

GHP024 - Cuff - Transient SufferingJust when I think I have Gore House Productions all figured out, they start throwing wicked curve balls late in the year.  First came the oddly progressive debut full length from Swine Overlord, then the “party slam” of Party Cannon; now we’ve got Canada’s Cuff, who’ve unleashed what might be the be-all-end-all of goregrind whatthefuckery in the form of Transient Suffering Through the Ergosphere.  I don’t typically expect a goregrind album to make me stop and ask myself what the hell I just listened to when its run-time is up, but that’s exactly what’s happened with my first exposure to Cuff.

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