Hey, it's that time of year again where i don't provide a list of ten hardly essential things that you all downloaded long before i did anyway.
Sometime between now and mid-january, time permitting, i intend to do three seperate posts on some stand out artefacts of the last year. If the posts never happen and this paragraph is rapidly edited out then i've descended into another fit of self-consciousness and decided agianst it.
There's a reason why most metal blogs catering to a non-niche market all have Agalloch, Electric Wizard, Deathspell Omega and Ludicra in their lists and it's because people moderate their behaviour and opinions in accordance to what other people around them are doing. Or it could be that these were just totally fucking amazing releases, but i kind of doubt it.
Regarding Deathspell Omega i listened to Paracletusa lot (probably more than most other releases this year), still waiting on an easy to purchase vinyl edition before i hail or curse it. Initial listens were utterly frustrating and i'd decided that this was basically the LP where i would stop following them. And repeated listens did not bring anything out that i could say i liked. Yes, i can definitely hear all those parts that have been written off as sounding like Botch and likewise, i'm not all that enamoured with them.
Sometime about two weeks ago whilst walking through a snow storm at 6am it clicked with me a lot more and listening to it in terms of the two major DSO records that came before it (Fas and Si Monumentum) i'm starting to appreciate it more. In this era of instant downloads and instant ill thought opinions via blog, message board and status update alike it's a brave band that will release something that neccesitates repeated listens. (And i offer the same praise to The Body for their All The Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood release.)
Which is why a top ten list of things from 2010 is about as useful as the playlist on the bottom of any of my blog posts; it just captures my thoughts from the previous two days. I'm still figuring out the importance of Deathspell Omega's newest work, it'll either be something that doesn't captivate me at all or it will become an important release to me (and it'll be one extreme or the other).
Drainland's And so our Troubles Began is one of my favourites from 2010 without a doubt. Download it here, get the demo here. Where it would sit in a top ten list i couldn't say.
Shit that was important this year:
A new Burzum LP
This is something that is worthy of a far more in depth analysis than i could attempt. This is something that needs to be discussed in terms beyond "OMG he a natsi that killed a mayhem", "this record is garbage, lol nintendo metal" or "HOLY SHIT BEST GUY EVER RETURNS TO SHOW YOU HOW IT'S DONE AND REDEFINES BLACK METAL"
Maybe in five years it can be discussed.
First, fuck the language of advertising encroaching onto grindcore records and fuck everyone who let it happen (the "who" that entails is a more complex answer than "Magrudergrind gone done fucked up"). Second, fuck almost everyone on both sides of the debate except Ryan McKenney of Trap Them who wrote the only genuinely compelling piece about Scion that i read this year.
My opinion on the subject is considerably more nuanced than the simple "fuck Scion" this reads like (but still, fuck Scion)and will appear in the tenth anniversary issue of Short, Fast and Loud magazine early next year. I was considering posting it here as well, but at 4,000 words it's far too long for a blog post even by my wordy standards. E mail me if you want to read it and buy the magazine anyway when it comes out.
The death of Peter Christopherson.
Most of my heros are dead. See earlier lengthy post about it.
Myspace being irredeemably awful
I wrote all this stuff about complexity theory and eco-cycle lenses in terms of Myspace and their failure to move effectively with the people using their services. Then i figured why even bother and just deleted it. Myspace is a largely dead concern.
The Endless Blockade and Joshua Norton Cabal Myspace pages can stay where they are for now; they're unused anyway. Slaughter Strike's page will be deleted as soon as Google redirects people to Bandcamp more often than it does to our Myspace. I'm trying out a Soundcloud page for Nameless Dread. Here's something:
Crowned and conquering child by nameless dread
I'm still figuring out if i like Soundcloud or not.
Well, shit, it feels like i had something released every three weeks this year and 2010 has undoubtedly been my most productive year in terms of physical releases.
The Endless Blockade finally died a death in 2010, i guess it's time to stop pretending we're on hiatus. The Bastard Noise split finally came out and i was pretty pleased with both that and the Unearthly Trance split as being our final major statements.
The BN split was based on taking the formula of Primitive and applying it to a section of chapters to make a linear, yet hopefully cohesive whole. The UT split was a recycling process; taking the weirder elements that the BN split threw up and putting them back into the template i set up for the writing of Primitive.
And i realise that this is very much seen as the blog of That-Guy-From-The-Endless-Blockade so i should probably announce now that after taking a year off writing power violence i recently started working on new material with Eric King that largely picks up the pace where Blockade stopped.
It's early days yet, there's probably less than ten minutes of material so far (based on new writing and finding an unused Blockade rehearsal tape with just the two of us). Anyway, the upshot of this is that there will be something in 2011 by Column of Heaven, possibly nothing more than a demo tape but there will be something.
My time is pretty constrained with full time school, two part time jobs and Slaughter Strike and when Eric says "yeah, i totally want to rehearse this week" there's only a 30% chance that he actually does want to rehearse.
Slaughter Strike continued on at a glacial pace, which i'm definitely ok with. After spending the last seven years as sole decision maker for most things i'm happy taking a collaborative approach to running a band again. In 2011 expect our full length (currently half written) and some dates in the eastern and mid-west US in august. Possibly the west coast of Canada around april/ may, but that's highly debatable at this point.
And in my post-Blockade world i tried my hand at some different stuff. Here's a download for you.
Two of the tracks are by Nameless Dread, one is for the full length coming out on Crucial Blaze the other is a remix of a Cutty Ranks song, probably never to be released and more a learning excercise than anything else. The problem with electronic music is the ability to edit things forever and never stop. After about twenty different versions of Limb By Limb i can already hear things that need to be changed with the mix. The other two tracks are just things i was pissing around with and are unlike anything else i'm known for (Nameless Dread still has a relatively industrial edge to it)