Archive for the Music Category

Upcoming Shows 2022

Posted in Best / Worst, Lists, Music on March 30, 2022 by slateman

I can’t believe it, but I have an upcoming shows list for 2022! How remarkable! OK, so it’s only four shows, but – who cares!!!

30 Apr – Testament / Exodus / Death Angel – Sayreville, NJ
12 May – Amorphis – Baltimore, MD
24 Sep – Elton John – Washington, DC
14 Oct – Wardruna – Washington, DC

2022 In Music

Posted in Blog, Lists, Music on December 30, 2021 by slateman

Just some upcoming music release dates for personal reference!

07 Jan – Wilderun: Epigone
04 Feb – Korn: Requiem
11 Feb – Amorphis: Halo
11 Mar – Ghost: Impera
25 Feb – Hammerfall: Hammer Of Dawn
25 Feb – Svartsot: Kumbl
25 Mar – Eucharist: I Am The Void
25 Mar – Abbath: Dread Reaver
08 Apr – Hällas: Isle Of Wisdom
08 Apr – Joe Satriani: The Elephants Of Mars
22 Apr – Faun: Pagan
22 Apr – Wardruna: Kvitravn – First Flight Of The White Raven
03 Jun – Kreator: Hate Über Alles
24 Jun – Alestorm: Seventh Rum Of A Seventh Rum
29 Jul – Arch Enemy: Deceivers
12 Aug – The Halo Effect: Days Of The Lost
19 Aug – Soilwork: Övergivenheten
?? TBA – Megadeth: The Sick, They Dying…And The Dead!

With help from Metalstorm’s Upcoming Release List.

Second Half Of 2021 In Music

Posted in Blog, Music on June 20, 2021 by slateman

Just some upcoming music release dates for personal reference!

25 Jun – Suidakra: Wolfbite
25 Jun – Dream Theater: Images And Words Live 2017
02 Jul – At The Gates: The Nightmare Of Being
30 Jul – Lantlôs: Wildhund
20 Aug – Wolves In The Throne Room: Primordial Arcana
27 Aug – Thyrfing: Vanagandr
27 Aug – Obscurity: Skogarmaors
03 Sep – Iron Maiden: Senjutsu
17 Sep – Carcass: Torn Arteries
01 Oct – KK’s Priest: Sermons Of The Sinner
08 Oct – Havukruunu: Kuu Erkylän Yllä
22 Oct – 1914: Where Fear And Weapons Meet
22 Oct – Dream Theater: A View From The Top Of The World
29 Oct – Thulcandra: A Dying Wish
05 Nov – Omnium Gatherum: Origin
12 Nov – Eucharist: I Am The Void
19 Nov – Khemmis: Deceiver
19 Nov – Exodus Persona Non Grata
26 Nov – Hypocrisy: Worship

Einherjer: North Star – Disappointing

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Music, Reviews on March 6, 2021 by slateman

My first spins of Einherjer’s latest record were underwhelming, but we all know that happens from time to time. It takes a few plays to really sink in and become the classic album it endeavors to be. However, while this isn’t uncommon, subsequent plays only reaffirmed my dismay.

The band’s breakup following 2003’s AotY contender, Blot was succeeded by a reformed union and 2011’s Norrøn, a solid, if flawed, record. With diminished expectations, I proclaimed the follow-up, Av Oss, For Oss, 2014’s Album of the Year. The pristine blend of viking, retro rock and melodicism, it was well deserving of that year’s crown.

Unfortunately, its follow-up, 2018’s Norrøne Spor left me with a tinge of disappointment. It’s hardly unfair – the successor to an AotY record is always held to a higher standard than any ol’ record. Thus, 20201’s arrival of North Star theoretically should be held to a somewhat-reduced level of scrutiny! Even with that, this new record only issues forth several memorable songs to mingle with its entirely-forgettable ones. To contrast with Av Oss, For Oss, this new record’s closer is simply unlistenable to mine ears. A few songs are worthwhile, but the true test is by re-listening to the back catalogue.

I’m not even talking classic Einherjer here. I listened to the last one – the so-so Norrøne Spor had some real bangers and ones I’ll return to. Both Spre Vingene and Døden Tar Ingen Fangar are catchy, riffy and metal-as-fuck. Moving backwards more, my aforementioned AotY still stands up, with memorable sections, headbangy choruses and viking-up-the-ass atittude.

Unfortunately, this new one only has a few I might ever wish to return to: The Blood And The Iron, Higher Fire and maybe one or two others. It’s heart-breaking and makes me wonder if the truly great album from Einherjer is the exception, not the norm. *shrug*. AotY this is not. :(

15 Years Of Scrobbles

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Lists, Music, Personal on February 10, 2021 by slateman

I started using Last.FM back in 2005 and in the 15+ years since, it’s consistently been part of my music-playing experience. Though numbers from before then are omitted, as are hundreds from the old iPod days, I’ve still clocked in almost 80,000 plays and today I’m sharing my top-10 most-played bands. It’s no surprise that Moonsorrow sits atop the heap – they did just recently become my favorite-band ever! This means the entries go as follows:

Finland – Finland – Sweden – Norway – Finland – Sweden – USA – Finland – Norway – Sweden.

Remarkable. Oh, and Slayer sits comfortably at #11. All my stats can be found here.

En Minor: Quite Surprising!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Music on September 9, 2020 by slateman

When The Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out is an overly-lengthy and unsurprising title for a Phil Anselmo project. I avoid most of his work, not that I have any issue with him or his vocals. The last time I saw him was with Down back in 2002 and haven’t loved any of the project’s later material, though I was hoping to see them perform the classic NOLA for the 25th anniversary this summer. :(

However, this new record is spectacular. It may be more of a passive listening experience, but it’s moody and brooding, catchy and totally chill. With a rather subdued 2020 lineup of releases, it’ll likely land pretty high on the Album of the Year charts. It will assuredly not pass Havukruunu, unfortunately. But that’s OK. Totally digging this.

2020 – Music To Come

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Lists, Music on January 5, 2020 by slateman

I still haven’t even written up my AOTY for 2019, but the year itself was a bit disappointing. So, while I delay in getting that online, I’ve gazed forward and feel like 2020 may be more of the same. For now, here’s a brief ‘coming-soon’ list, none of which feel like possible contenders for this year’s coveted award. For now, it’s just a list for me.


10 Jan – Brothers Of Metal: Emblas Saga
07 Feb – Sepultura: Quadra
14 Feb – Ihsahn: Telemark
21 Feb – Demons & Wizards: III
28 Feb – The Night Flight Orchestra: Aeromantic
06 Mar – My Dying Bride: The Ghost Of Orion
13 Mar – Burzum: Thulêan Mysteries
20 Mar – Hällas: Conundrum
03 Apr – Testament: Titans Of Creation
10 Apr – Joe Satriani: Shapeshifting
17 Apr – The Black Dahlia Murder: Verminous
24 Apr – Katatonia: City Burials
08 May – Naglfar: Cerecloth
08 May – Lamb Of God: Lamb Of God
29 May – Alestorm: Curse Of The Crystal Coconut
07 Aug – Carcass: Torn Arteries
TBA – Lantlôs: Wildhund

Borknagar: Up North – OMFG

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Music, Video on September 27, 2019 by slateman

I am not a lyrics person; I simply don’t care. This is why foreign-language songs or raspy, indecipherable songs are fine with men. I just don’t give a shit.

However, earlier in September, Borknagar offered up the second sample taste from their newest record: True North. I sat outside, overlooking Via Mergellina and the shadow of Vesuvius and listened. And was moved to tears.

WAT? That’s not metal! What is this of which you speak? Well, the song, titled Up North, talks about the circle of life. It talks about residing…well…up north. It speaks of how things are just right up there. Of the few things I’m certain in life, this I could relate to. ”

“Where the sun cast shadows at night, Where the day and evenings are bright, The place where I belong, Up north!

Where the pine trees meet the sea, Where the stormy sky will sing for me, The place I wanna be, Up north!”

Yes, please. I don’t know…moving to Sweden was such a jump and it was the perfect place at the perfect time in my life. And every day I long to return. In my core, I think of it daily: there is something simply right up north that I can only convey through a multitude of words. Yet this song sang to me. It sang to my heart.

Somehow, I hope to get back there. And every time I listen to this song, it brings me back to that place – that feeling. It’s both utterly wonderful and crushingly sad. But…it is what it is. And this song may be my favorite of 2019. The music, the vocals, the lyrics and the profound sensation I feel when listening. Just remarkable.

Mini-Review: Tool – Fear Inoculum

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Music, Reviews on August 29, 2019 by slateman

Surmising several listens briefly: I like Fear Inoculum more than the last two albums combined. Tool holds a special part of my musical life – from getting into them back during Undertow to the game-changing Ænima. I saw the band four times and bought Salival at its midnight release back when Tower Records still existed. But their last two efforts left me desiring more, though Lateralus left more of an impact than its successor. The last time I saw them, I emerged bored by the second half, after a tremendously-exciting first half. And there we ended it – more than a decade ago – and with no real hopes or expectations for this long-gestating follow-up.

The first single released earlier in the month was promising and I don’t particularly like tracks 5 or 6. However, the remaining four songs are remarkable. They are familiar, yet new. The tracks sound wonderful and have a spectacular, heavy feel. But just like the prior album, something was missing. And it was easy to identify: Maynard. Part of what drove me to the band two-and-a-half decades ago was his fiery nature. He would unleash and it was amazing. But now, he’s rarely not monotone. He’s skilled – no doubt – but it gets boring. One song has this amazing buildup. Each bar comes with the promise of this culminating bomb! You feel the excitement…you wait for the inevitable…and you leave disappointed at the cliff from which you fall.

While I am highly critical of Maynard, he is quite adept at his craft, minus the aforementioned lack of fire. Just two or three perfectly-placed “AHHHHhhh!”s would make this album all but perfect. But it speaks to how good the rest is that it’s a solid record even without kick-ass Maynard. The songs are reminiscent of the past, which feels so familiar. That mix of new and nostalgia make me thrilled to put it on yet again – barring those two skippable tracks. I’ll have to look into the added digital ones. For now though, even on release day, I can proclaim this a superior record to the prior two.

Upcoming Metal Releases

Posted in Blog, Music on August 29, 2019 by slateman

Just a quick toss-up with upcoming release dates for personal reference. Still no easy AotY release.

13 Sep – Korn (The Nothing)
13 Sep – The Hu (The Gereg)
27 Sep – Borknagar (True North)
27 Sep- Opeth (In Cauda Venenum)
04 Oct – Insomnium (Heart Like A Grave) (1 Dec in Rome)
18 Oct – 1349 (The Infernal Pathway)
25 Oct – Alcest (Spiritual Instinct)
25 Oct – Mayhem (Daemon)
01 Nov – Blind Guardian (Legacy Of The Dark Lands)