Blessed Black Wings – High on Fire (Metal Monday)


Band: High on Fire

Origin: Oakland, CA

Year: 2005

Label: Relapse

This rocks.

I considered leaving it at that. Blessed Black Wings is a terrific album. Every song is catchy as hell, recorded to give the sludge a rich and visceral texture, and full of simple, sweaty fun. This is metal that commands you to let go of your inhibitions and enjoy the ride.

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Age of Winters – The Sword (Metal Monday)


Band: The Sword

Origin: Austin, TX

Year: 2006

Label: Kemado

Ever want to soundtrack your weekend D&D campaign to try and attain that delicious shag-carpet-and-lava-lamp authenticity? Need an album to permanently occupy the tape deck of your airbrushed van? Do you just really like getting high and listening to some Sabbath, but your brother lost your copy of Master of Reality? Well, then gear up.

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Kvelertak – Kvelertak (Metal Monday)


Band: Kvelertak

Origin: Stavanger, Norway

Year: 2010

Label: Indie Recordings

If there is a general accusation I would level against metal, it’s that a lot of bands don’t seem to be having much fun with it. It can be easy to look at the slavish devotion of a group of performers to whatever sub-subgenre they represent and think, “guys, why are you taking this so seriously?” That’s why Kvelertak feels to me like such a breath of fresh air. They seem devoted to having a really good time.

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The Hunter – Mastodon (Metal Monday)


Band: Mastodon

Origin: Atlanta, GA

Year: 2011

Label: Reprise

Mastodon was the first “big” metal band I ever saw live. They played the Roseland Theater (a venue that is widely believed to be haunted) with Red Fang (Portland locals) and The Dillinger Escape Plan (who I didn’t much care for at the time) back in 2011, a show I went to with some high school friends. My memories of the concert mostly consist of being too scrawny to survive the mosh pit and of becoming dehydrated enough to begrudgingly buy a $4 bottle of water at the concessions stand.

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They’ll never wake us in time


I’ve been hooked on Low again lately and reconsidering one of my favorite songs. “July” is such a perfect apotheosis of Low’s sound from the 90s, the guitar/bass/drums drifting into the backdrop as the vocal melodies take front and center, accompanied by an antiquated violin sample and a xylophone. This song always reminds me of old relationships past. That breakdown near the middle where Alan & Mimi just list off the months breaks my heart. Time gets away from us, doesn’t it?