Dec 282018


(For the second year in a row we asked Australian musician Brendan Sloan, the man behind Convulsing (whose new album Grievous has made a fair share of year-end lists itself), if he would allow us to share his YE list of music. As was true last year, this is the most musically diverse list we’ve published — the selections aren’t all metal, but they are all very interesting.)


I’ve been counting these down on Instagram, so some of the review text is pulled directly from there, but I’ve tried to modify it to fit this format.

Here’s my weird Advent Calendar of important 2018 releases. Continue reading »

Dec 292017


Editor’s Intro

If you haven’t yet discovered the music of Australia’s Convulsing, you should carve out some time and allow it to carve you up. 2016’s Errata (reviewed here) was amazing; Convulsing‘s side of this year’s split with Siberian Hell Sounds (reviewed here) even more so.

I’ve benefited not only from Convulsing‘s music, but also from the musical recommendations of Convulsing‘s lone gunman Brendan Sloan (also a member of Dumbsaint), whom I follow on Facebook. And so this year I invited him to share with us (and you) his year-end list of favorite releases. He has chosen a Top 17 (plus a list of EPs, splits, and Honorable Mentions), and they aren’t all metal, but they are all interesting. He went further and hand-picked individual songs from each release as examples, and I’ve embedded streams of them within his list. So settle in for some good reading and some good listening.


The last few years I’ve been the most clever person of all time and listed a “top 14 of 14, 15 of 15, 16 of 16”, but this year is genuinely the only one where I’ve struggled to actually pare it down. 2017 has been a monster year for music, and here are the reasons why. Continue reading »

Nov 282017


This is a rare kind of round-up, relative to what I usually pull together. Most obviously, there are only three bands featured in this one. And the other difference, which is related to the first one, is that while I’m including only one song by each band, each of these songs is more than 20 minutes long.

Wait! Don’t leave! I promise you won’t become bored — though your emotional well-being will be assaulted and your sanity may be severely tested. Yes, 20 minutes is a long time to arrest your constantly flitting and dithering mind and apply a little focus. It will be worth the effort.


Actually, Taarna’s track, “Sanguine Ash“, is almost 30 minutes long. Continue reading »

Nov 272016



I spent time yesterday pawing through a lot of recent releases and advance tracks by black metal bands. After some self-struggle, I picked a group of songs to feature in this post. And then late in the afternoon I got additional recommendations from various sources, and that tossed all my plans up into the air. When the dust settled, I revised my picks to include these:


Convulsing was one of the recommendations that took me by surprise (thank you to starkweather and DaNasher). This is a one-man band from Sydney, Australia, whose new album Errata was released just yesterday. It caught the ears of certain listeners because the man behind Convulsing, Brendan Sloan, is also a member of Dumbsaint, who have a following. And word has been spreading. When you hear the album, I think you’ll be convinced that word will continue to spread, and damned fast and far, too. Continue reading »