Holy hell, a week went by and I posted nothing. I’ve been keeping my head down and writing my ass off and being generally overwhelmed, which means I’m putting up a hell of a lot of links here in one fell swoop.
For Angry Metal Guy, I reviewed Marching for Liberty by Wisdom, which is power metal of LARP-level ridiculousness. “Those who favor an understated or reserved interpretation of power metal should look elsewhere, as Marching For Liberty is an example of the genre with hyper-drive engines fully engaged.”
For About Heavy Metal‘s latest batch of short reviews, I reviewed The Mountain by Haken, which drawn on a wider range of influences than their previous releases with “huge, orchestral passages to jazz-influences progressive to even some folk-inspired moments.”
I wrote about a bazillion reviews for Exclaim! recently, as every single metal record in the world was released in September 17th or thereabouts. Without Solace by Anion “plays like arterial blood just starting to clot.“; Nations to Flames by A Storm of Light “becomes eerily robotic, even post-apocalyptic“; the new self-titled record from Satyricon seems the band with “too little power left in its shrivelled, undead form“; Valkyria by Faroese folk metallers Týr features a strong narrative backbone and is about a “Viking warrior’s relationships with women“; Ginnungagap by Seidr is “a spiritual journey through vast nothingness, pregnant and vibrating with the potential of creation;” the self-titled debut from American Sharks “deliciously [muddes] their influences into a smirking, smart-alecky patois“; Soma by Windhand “is as deep and rich as blackstrap molasses, slowly oozing through the cavernous grooves and slow evolution of each song“; Aruagint by Sarke “is a grim, grooving piece of blackened thrash“; Ajastaika by Vorna “represents a fluid and powerful unity between melodic and acerbic black metal tendencies“; and Eldir Nótt by Fyrnask “is a rare album — penetrating and complex — one that attempts to translate flesh into sound.“
I also wrote a new Sound Advice column for Torontoist, featuring Greg McEvoy’s folk rock debut Sea of Yards. “Throughout the EP, thick, rough strands of folk are woven through a smoky, slightly psychedelic style of rock. The aesthetic will be deeply comfortable to fans of Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young. McEvoy tempers his affection for blue-jeans-and-hemp-rope rock with an extra dose of day-dreaminess. It’s easy to chalk this up to introspection, but there’s an oddly extroverted quality here. This music isn’t about navel gazing; it’s about cloud gazing.”
One of my absolute favourite parts of my job is writing previews and sneak peeks of awesome things that are going to be happening, and this week the two things I had the chance to write about are firmly in the mega-awesome category.
First, the David Bowie Is exhibit opened at the Art Gallery of Ontario on September 25th 2013 and runs until November 27th, and it is mind-blowing. Corbin Smith and I got to go to the media preview, and my brain fell out. Also I got to see the riding crop Bowie used in the role of Jareth in Labyrinth, an important part of my sexual awakening, so I feel more complete and self-actualized as a person as well. I wrote about it for Torontoist.
Also for Torontoist, I previewed a horror lecture series that starts tonight: The Black Museum Lurid Lectures for the Morbidly Curious. The first lecture, by Jamie Love, is called “Arcane Arcade” and looks at the history of horror in video games, which is extra awesome.
Craig Hayes wrote a piece for PopMatters called “A Very Dirty Lens: How Can We Listen To Offensive Metal?” which wrestled with some important and difficult questions about the separation of art from the artist, and how it is possible or not. I contributed a few thoughs, as did a hell of a lot of other smart people, like Leticia Supple, Dean Brown, Beth Winegarner, Dr. Owain Smolović Jones, Cheryl Prime, Lav Nandall, Adrien Begrand, and more. It’s smart and complicated and definitely worth your time.
Harley is in heat. Therefore she has to wear a diaper. It is hilarious.