Plebeian Grandstand – Rien ne suffit

Every year, there are releases that solidify the following statement: “This has been a great year for music.” Rien ne suffit is an example of this. I co-host a radio show at my local university called The Funeral Directory. It’s a metal specialty show on Monday nights. We do it for the love of aggressive music, and partially because we don’t trust anyone else to create the playlists. If you’re like me, you listen to a lot of metal, and perhaps you wrongly assume that certain bands are household names at this point. “Everyone knows Imperial Triumphant”, you might … Read more

Matt’s Albums of the Decade, Part 4: #20 through #1


Part 1: 190-101
Part 2: 100-51
Part 3: 50-21

20. Enslaved – Riitiir (#2 of 2012)

It’s not hyperbolic to suggest that Enslaved’s entire nearly-twenty-year career was building up to the release of Riitiir. The opening bludgeon of “Thoughts like Hammers” evokes the swirling chaos of their mid-era experimental albums Mardraum and Monumension before settling into more comfortable territory akin to their Vertebrae prog-black sound. Tracks like “Veilburner” and “Materal” are comparable to their previous best work on albums like Axiōma ethica Odini, while the new heights they achieve with epic songs like “Death in the Eyes … Read more

Matt’s Albums of the Decade, Part 3: #50 through #21


Part 1: 190-101
Part 2: 100-51

50. Prince – Art Official Age (#3 of 2014)

I was very, very late to board the Prince train, only taking a real interest in his voluminous work with the 2014 dual release of this album and the tamer Plectrumelectrum. These releases came a whopping four years after his previous album 20 Ten, which is shocking because there had never been any time between 1978 and 2010 (32 years) where the Artist had allowed more than two years between releases! As fresh as ever, Mr. Nelson updated his mellifluous style with modern … Read more

Matt’s Albums of the Decade, Part 2: #100 through #51


Part 1: 190-101

100. Crib 45 – Marching through the Borderlines (#7 of 2014)

Burdened with an unfortunate name held over from their very early days as a nu-metal troupe, this Finnish post-metal powerhouse should not be underestimated. Crib 45 unloads riffs with glacial pacing and neutronium density, like the slow-burning but massively climactic quasi-title track “Borderlines” or the multilayered vocal conclusion of “Into the Abyss”. Teemu Mäntynen’s intense vocal delivery provides the acrid bite that takes otherwise standard, though well-composed, post-metal fare into another dimension of quality.

99. Serpent Column – Mirror in Darkness (#8 of 2019)

Is Serpent Read more

Matt’s Albums of the Decade, Part 1: #190 through #101


At the beginning of this decade, I lugged around not one but two binders of physical compact discs which I had purchased with money in order to listen to music I enjoyed. This rapidly became consolidated onto an iPod, which held thousands of albums, some of which I had purchased with money, giving me access to anything I already enjoyed at any time. Then a few years ago, I lost this device, which permanently changed my listening habits. I switched to carrying around an older iPhone with very limited space, so even with the streaming power of Tidal (yes, TidalRead more