It’s no secret to people that know me that I love heavy metal, and 2016 was a momentous year for it. As much as I love death metal, black metal, thrash, and other sections of metal’s rich offerings, this list ended up being dominated by some of the best heavy metal by both quality and quantity that have came out in years. It really is incredible that an album like the new Eternal Champion that may have been my album of the year if it came out in 2014 or 2015 didn’t even make my top ten cross-genre cut this year. Exclusions were many and hard to make, and I’m glad for it- I’d much rather have a bunch of tough exclusions than a few easy inclusions. It’s also no secret that I’m terrible at describing music, despite writing for a music blog, so bear with me.
After an early death in the last half of 2016, Fetid Dead will be returning in 2017 in a smaller but more focused capacity. Reviews, roundups and mixtapes will be appearing at regular intervals concerning the underground and savage ends of metal and related sounds.
May all who are still around fester restlessly!
Author: T.K. White
Band: Marsh Dweller
Album: The Weight of Sunlight
Genre: Melodic/Atmospheric Black Metal
Label: Eihwaz Recordings
My introduction to the one-man band, Marsh Dweller, is rather peculiar; I was digging around on Metallum and stumbled across him and his sole demo, I found the guy on Facebook sent and asked him if he would know where to find a copy of the aptly titled “Demo” demo. He replied and said the demo was garbage and ended up sending me a copy of this album instead. Now, what I realized was that he sent me a copy of the album just days after it had been formally announced by Eihwaz Records and there were no track premiers, no album streams—nothing—yet I found myself in the peculiarly enjoyable situation of having a copy and for that I’d like to say thank you to John Owen Kerr. Continue reading
Artist: Сивый Яр (Sivyj Yar) & Hermóðr
Album: The Unmourned Past & A Place of Eternal Twilight
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Artist: Nekro Drunkz
Album: Lavatory Carnage
Genre: Death/Thrash Metal/Grindcore
Label: Moribund Records
“Gore metal” is easily one of the most divisive and polarizing genres of metal. Most of the major camps agree that the vocals are too much, the beats too blasting, and the subject mature immature or unoriginal. It’s hard to the inherent juvenile factor that comes from something like gore metal—frequent references not only to bodily dismemberment but also scatological and biological functions sound more of the reign of elementary school students rather than metalheads. Despite their frequent enjoyment of items that are considered “low culture,” for many people gore metal steeps too low. Continue reading
In light of the recent news of Bolt Thrower’s disbanding so close to the one year anniversary of Martin Kearns’ (drummer) death, I’ve decided to create a playlist in memory of one of the most stalwart death metal groups to have pounded the drums of war. Personal favourite Bolt Thrower tracks up first followed by some killer bands playing similar styles of death. R.I.P. Martin Kearns and R.I.P. Bolt Thrower. Continue reading
Album: Hair of the Dog
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Rock of Angels Records
After their debut full-length album and a string of lesser releases, Monument have returned to the scene with the release of their second full-length effort. Like a good number of heavy metal bands who have formed in recent years, there is a clear effort on their part to revive the good old days of heavy metal. Though in this case, that strong effort pretty much boils down to trying to do their best to sound like Iron Maiden. They have a lot of those hallmarks down pretty well too: everything from a vocalist who can compete with Dickenson’s wailing howls down to a bassist who seems to adore the thumping bass work Steve Harris (though he isn’t nearly as high in the mix). Continue reading