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IN 2020 I WILL LISTEN TO YOUR ALBUM OF THE YEAR


Lamp, broken circa 1988
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Who knows, maybe that "metal musician yearns to make a genre of music that's not full of white guys (yet)" is a San Diego thing, but I've run into that dude so often. The one I wont forget is the virtue signaling groper idiot cop caller grindcore guitarist/drummer who was overheard yearning to be in an afrobeat band. Hard to forget a thing like that.

  1. "Fetch The Bolt Cutters" by Fiona Apple
  2. "Forever Black" by Cirith Ungol
  3. "Show Pony" by Orville Peck
  4. "All Hands Around The Moment" by Richard Youngs and Raül Refree
  5. "The End of Everything" by Noah Cyrus
  6. "Eons" by Neptunian Maximalism

As an alt-country liker, I've definitely heard about Orville Peck and just haven't gotten around to listening to their music, though I did hear one song that a friend sent me but it was so long ago that I don't remember which it was. Genuinely looking forward to this!

Spoiler

Ok i made it to the chorus before thinking I should write anything, this is kind of exactly the thing I'm looking for tonight. This is pretty standard all told, but really well executed. I love his vibrato, it feels like it's whipping through the air around me. This is the kind of thing I'd listen to with my drinking buddy.

This is good too! The production on this one isn't amazing: the vocals are pushed way too far forward and while it can carry his songs, it puts an ego in the recording that's not present in the song here.

I was ready to get started on the singer and piano thing before the guitar started wiggling in the back of the song, as if to comfort me that the band was coming. This one's ok, I guess? It's a little cornier the other tracks so far, but at the same time, a comedian I like once said "love is being out of style together" so I can't get that mad at it.

This is a good one. I like how the band swells in and out with the tension in the chorus and the bridge/solo causes it to drain slowly before the chorus returns in a softer fashion, which matches that feeling of years going by as detailed in the song.

I don't love this duet. The vocal push is happening again, and this is too broad and expensive of a song to fit comfortably with the rest of these songs, especially knowing there's a song left to coming which is just reeking of Ending Ballad listening to this. It's killer for his career and so good job for that, but this doesn't feel right.

Love to be wrong! This is a wild cover of a Bobbie Gentry song that's rewritten to maybe be something trans? The instrumentation is spacious and smothering, which feels like maybe this was chosen or recorded after the Shania Twain cover, so I at least understand why it followed it on the record. I'd say I find it really interesting though I dont know if I'd say I like it as an ending, but EPs aren't albums so I'm not gonna knock it for that.

===
I was lucky to get to this after a really hard day. I was fond of half of it and not put off that far by the other half. Good for an EP I guess? Is that backhanded? Anyways I would also recommend that whoever nominated this also should listen to Daughn Gibson's "All Hell." It's place on the list can swap day by day with the album below it. They're very close, and tonight I feel like putting it above.

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Posted (edited)

ok here's a news update: I listened to clipping's album "There Existed An Addiction To Blood," had an unbelievably miserable time, and then realized that wasn't even the right clipping horrorcore album. I wrote the review and everything. So I'm going to give it some time before i listen to the correct clipping record and finish this process, to wash that whole record out of my head and give the right one a fair chance.

Edited by Lamp, broken circa 1988
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I mean if you hated that one I think there is a good chance you won't care for the other one (I think it is better but not like dramatically so) so I'm willing to withdraw the other one from consideration rather than make you sit through another album you likely won't care for. 

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@Casey since they put out two consecutive albums about vampires and werewolves

@username It's entirely your call. My position is I gave my word that I'd listen to it so I intend to, but if you want to change albums that's totally in your prerogative.

If it helps with your decision, the short version of that clipping review is that I liked midcity & CLPPNG, didn't like the sci-fi one, believe that spirit > technique, and that losing mystique is a hard thing for anyone to overcome. Favorite song was Run For Your Life, least favorite was Story 7.

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Based on that I think you'd probably still dislike Visions of Bodies Being Burned. FWIW I somehow missed clipping beforehand and came to this record clean so I had no issues with mystique, perhaps that helped. 

I was just gonna pull myself from consideration entirely as I'm now well beyond the deadline (and in truth I caught so little new music in 2020 due to... 2020), but if you'd prefer the replacement route the only other choice I'd have gone with was Zeal & Ardor: Wake of a Nation. At the very least it has the benefit of being an EP!

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  • 1 month later...

Alright! That's a wrap for 2020 there! Sorry that took so long to get done y'all. I do intend to do this again this year but I'm not going to open that up for another few weeks.

  1. "Fetch The Bolt Cutters" by Fiona Apple
  2. "Forever Black" by Cirith Ungol
  3. "Show Pony" by Orville Peck
  4. "All Hands Around The Moment" by Richard Youngs and Raül Refree
  5. "Wake of a Nation" by Zeal and Ardor
  6. "The End of Everything" by Noah Cyrus
  7. "Eons" by Neptunian Maximalism

I know nothing about Zeal & Ardor. A cursory set of googles leads me to two discoveries I don't know how to reconcile. First is, their website has the subtitle "Blues, Gospel and Soul meet harsher music." The second is that the wikipedia about the band invokes 4chan as how they found their sound. It's time to listen before deciding how I feel about those two things!

Spoiler

Well, I don't mind intro ballad as a move. The swell on the chorus is really large and interestingly dissonant, rooted in some sort of ambient approach instead of distinct chords. The song itself feels like a good prelude, sitting on an idea and slowly expanding it outwards without a real relief point.

Alright well black metal wasn't the direction I was expecting, though from the cover's upside down cross it's not the biggest surprise. Although, compared to most black metal, it's got a really clear melodic focus. It's made this really interesting almost-kind-of pop-black metal sound, where it's got hooks on top of double kicks and under growls. Kind of reminds me of Opeth's "Watershed" album in that way.

What is the metal term for a slow jam? I guess power ballad? Is there a distinction? This is whatever that is. I really like the chords in this song, and it moves at a decent clip while expanding instrumentally. It also feels like a closing track sort of? I wonder why this wouldn't be put at the end? I guess I'll find out.

This one's an interlude, so I dont have a lot to say about it. The youtube video for it has extra minutes of silence, and I'm not sure if there's a purpose to it? The bandcamp doesn't have the extra minute and a half of silence...

...but it's ended up making this song's beginning feel like it's exploding into the silence, even if it's just a vocal treatment to start. This one's interesting for a few reasons. First, it's the song that feels most like the "gospel... with harsher music" combination suggested by their website. Second, it uses a sound that's somewhat uncommon instruments for metal, with the way the drum machine drops into subwoofer sounds. I'd love for them to play more with that! That's a good idea! Also there's a segment where there's just some overdriven bass and I'm always going to be into that. This is my favorite song on here so far.

Oh, ok, the reason that one song isn't the ending is because the energy they're trying to leave listeners with is "GO FIGHT." Thumbs up for no ending ballad! This is also the song that feels most weirdly radio-ready on here. I could see this airing on a rock station in the coastal cities of the US (the lyrics would keep this from flying inland).

= = =

Overall, an interesting listen! The writer at the center of it feels academic but the application of their theories isn't as alienating as that can be sometimes. This is a really tricky feat. Given the year it was released in, I can DEFINITELY see this being someone's album of the year (or runner up as the case may be here (again, really sorry about the clipping thing))

 

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Yeah, I think interesting is probably the best word to go with. I have a thing about not picking EPs for album of the year over LPs for likely irrational reasons, but I stumbled upon the band and its title track at let's say a very appropriate time and it made an impression on me.

FWIW they apparently have a full length album releasing this year so who knows, maybe it'll pop up again in the 2021 edition of this thread...

Anyways just wanted to say good job on running this whole thing for another year even if it got delayed a little bit. I wouldn't kick yourself too much over it getting a bit off schedule, I think that has sort of been the running theme for the past year and a half or so.

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