ozzy - diary of a madman

Ozzy Osbourne: Diary of a Madman (1981)

It’s Dealer’s Choice for Day 15 of the #mayvinylchallenge, so I clicked “Random” on my Discogs collection and lo and behold: the second solo album from Ozzy Osbourne. It’s easy to understand how Diary of a Madman gets lost in the shuffle of early Ozzy when just a few months earlier Blizzard of Ozz hit us with massive classics like “Crazy Train,” “I Don’t Know,” “Goodbye to Romance” and the stellar “Suicide Solution.” What I find fascinating about Dairy though is how in a few short months to tone already began to change: the songs are darker, heavier, and less commerce minded. Overall it makes for a sinister and great listen.

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howling giant - the space between worlds

Howling Giant: The Space Between Worlds (2019)

Rock is dead. There, I said it. Of course there are plenty of caveats, but the days where rock ruled the radio and modern pop world are gone. So when Day 14 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks to highlight a hidden gem or a band you can’t believe is not huge, well…I can believe it. But that won’t stop me from talking about the stoner rock goodness Howling Giant have been bringing to the table for a while now, and how their first full length The Space Between Worlds shows a band primed for whenever the tables may turn on what is deemed “popular” in music…

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couch slut - take a chance on rock and roll

Couch Slut: Take a Chance on Rock and Roll (2020)

There are a lot of fantastic independent labels I could have spoken about for Day 13 of the #mayvinylchallenge, and if you take anything away from this entry, it’s that you should support the labels that bring you the music you love. So shower some love on Castle Face, Drag City, Touch and Go, Dischord, RidingEasy…in the meantime I went with a small indie label I’ve been subscribing to for three years: Gilead Media. I’ve reviewed a number of their releases over the years for Nine Circles, and today it’s time for a quick word or two on Take a Chance on Rock and Roll, the stellar 2020 release from Couch Slut.

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Meanwhile, Over at Nine Circles…(March 2021)

Don’t ask me how, but in the midst of a massive change in my role at work and a ton of doctor appointments, I got the metal itch again. So my lack of new entries here doesn’t mean I’ve completely neglected writing…I’ve just been writing over at Nine Circles. So if you’re interested in some of what I’ve been digging in the more extreme world of music, there’s quick summaries and links after the jump.

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baptists - bloodmines

Baptists: Bloodmines (2014)

How many seconds into Bloodmines, the second full-length from British Columbia hardcore outfit Baptists did you become aware this was recorded and produced by Kurt Ballou?  It’s unmistakable, and that’s a huge plus if you’re a massive fan of the man’s work as a producer.  If you’re not, I don’t know if anything is going to change your mind here, because this sounds like like any number of hardcore bands recorded under the Godcity banner.  Make of that what you will. Continue reading “Baptists: Bloodmines (2014)”

belus - apophenia

Belus: Apophenia (2017)

The first thing I noticed about Belus was the drumming.  Listen to how the drums practically skip over the melodic black metal riffing on “Chasm,” the opening track of the band’s debut album Apophenia.  It’s a marvel of work, on par with the first time I heard someone like Brann Dailor explode on Remission or even (gulp) Lars play on And Justice for All.  It immediately serves to move Belus apart from what the glut of other melodic black metal bands are doing, and makes Belus one of the best modern US black metal releases in some time.  Continue reading “Belus: Apophenia (2017)”