Saturday, December 30, 2017

Music Criticism - Top 17 Albums of 2017

17. Fin - Arrows of a Dying Age
16. Priests - Nothing Feels Natural
15. Pallbearer - Heartless
14. Jason Moran - BANGS
13. Craig Finn - We All Want the Same Things
12. Satan's Hallow - Satan's Hallow
11. Kamasi Washington - Harmony of Difference
10. Death Fortress - Triumph of the Undying
09. Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society - Simultonality
08. Cameron Graves - Planetary Prince
07. Tchornobog – Tchornobog
06. Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up
05. Elder - Reflections of a Floating World
04. Black Cilice - Banished from Time
03. Archspire - Relentless Mutation
02. Cleric - Retrocausal
01. Myrkur - Mareridt

(Write-up below)

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Music Criticism - Bathory - "Twilight of the Gods"

I am not saying anything revolutionary when I call “Twilight of the Gods” a masterpiece. Within the metal community the album is regarded as a classic, though, oddly enough, it does not seem to hold quite the same status in the broader music world, even when compared with other black/viking/folk* metal classics. Most of the people reading this are probably wondering why I would even bother to write something like this given that everyone who has even a mild interest in metal will encounter this album on nearly every best of list that covers a remotely relevant subgenre. The reason I think such an endeavor is worthwhile is due to an odd paradox I have noted when it comes to metal. Far more than any other scene I am familiar with, the metal community holds its classics in total veneration. People will go to great lengths to present detailed overviews and write ups to subgenres, and compared to most subgenres, there is a far greater emphasis on history in the metal world. However, while the amount of overview oriented material available about metal is truly phenomenal, there is comparatively little in the way of detailed analysis of specific works.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Horror - The Cage

I suppose I should put some kind of explanation here, just in case this does end up making it's way to the outside world. Not that I hold out much hope for that, but at this point there isn't much else for me to do.

I wish I could tell you exactly how I ended up in this awful place. I really do. The last coherent memory I have is driving home at night down Route 81 with my wife Catherine in the passenger seat and my eight year old son Benjamin asleep in the back. After that there is this blur of impressions. Something about a road closure, a vague sense of nervousness, and then boom, I'm in this awful cell.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Horror - That Which Listens from the Shadows

Not every tribe of the first people made their way into the history books. While some of our cousins traded and warred with the white man when he arrived on our shores, some of fell back into the wilderness, far beyond the reach of his colonies. Centuries later, when the sprawl of the big cities pushed too close for comfort, we simply and quietly merged in with the rest of the population. I hear stories that there are still some of us living our native way of life deep within the forests of the northern U.S. and Canada, where the endless timber is still enough to conceal them from even the electric eyes floating in orbit.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Music Criticism - Them, Patti Smith - "Gloria"

The song "Gloria" holds the rare distinction of entering the canon of essential rock songs on two separate occasions. The original version by Them is a stripped-to-the bones torrent of raw sexual passion that paved the way for punk rock, and Patti Smith's version adds layers of depth to the song while maintaining its raw, primal, power.

Like much of the punk music it would influence, Them's "Gloria" is built on three chords, intermixed with a couple of open strums (when the strings of the guitar are struck without any of the frets being pressed), and, like the music of the punk bands that would follow in its footsteps, the song is a showcase for the amount of expressive power that a simplistic chord structure can produce. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Horror - Strange Things Reside in Blackriver Point

I'm guessing none of you wanna read a bunch of bullshit about who I was and what led me to end up in the situation I am about to describe, so I'll keep it to the stuff that matters.

My name's Ted. About a month ago me and the boys went on a camping trip to a place called Blackriver Point up in the Pacific Northwest. Don't bother trying to Google it, you wont find anything, and I'm sure as shit not gonna tell anyone how I heard about the place. All you "here's a video of my visiting this crazy haunted site" types can look elsewhere, cuz this place is the real deal and I won't have the blood of idiots on my hands.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Horror - The Last Days of Red and Lorraine Freemont

Alright so I'm not totally sure what I should be doing with this, but I've asked around a bit and people keep pointing me to this community. It's probably no the best place in the world for a data leak but it's not like I got Julian Assange's number locked in my phone either.

I work for the Sheriff's Department at Elder's Ridge, Montana, doing any small time administrative tasks that they need from me. Most of the time this makes me a glorified secretary but today things are a bit different.

You see, we encountered something yesterday that is well beyond the capacities of a county with a combined population of a little over a thousand people, so all of a sudden I've gone from getting coffee to being responsible for digitizing all the documents that appear to be relevant to the events what happened in Fallen Pine.

Normally I'd never dream of being one of those people who endangers an investigation by leaking crucial information online, but the thing that nobody over at the station knows is that at my last job, doing basically the same thing down at River's End, some of the boys encountered something real similar to this. The department down there isn't much bigger than ours, so of course the sheriff sent word down the line just like we did earlier today, and when the big boys responded the only thing they would tell us to do was catalog every piece of evidence for submission and immediately halt our own investigation of the case.

At first we thought the just didn't want a bunch of small town podunk cops getting in the way of the FBI investigation we were sure was coming, but all that ever happened was a couple people who weren't even affiliated with any force or agency came down and took what he had collected, scoped out the crime scene and then disappeared without so much as a peep about finding a culprit.

I knew Red and Lorraine. Not well, but I'd seen them around town, and they always seemed like nice people. There's no way they deserved what happened to them and they damn sure don't deserve to have their case swept under the rug by some pencil pushers. That's why I'm putting this up here. That and the fact that people need to know about who or whatever it was that did this.