Jan 042019

(At last, we reach the fifth and final installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music. It includes his Top 10 albums, plus a list of EPs, and one final non-metal entry.)

Here we go into the final installment. One last grouping of albums and one last collection of thudding riffs, heavy guitars, and enough drumwork to leave one’s head spinning by the time it wraps up.

This final ten is all over the place, in terms of both genre and location. My lists tend to be pretty international always, but the consistent bouncing back and forth that is happening in this part has proven to be entertaining in its own right.

This group also reveals just how much of 2018 turned out to be the year of cathartic release for me. Alongside all the genre-bending, all the experimentation, and all of the well-executed groove, I found that every once in a while this year a disc would hit that would just boil down to a half-hour-plus of yelling, and I would relish every single second of it. I’m sure we could credit that to the wider situation of the world these days but I’ve also always been a sucker for turning music into an instrument of release, and for some reason that approach won me over hard this year.

So let’s begin with the final ten, and then a grouping of EPs I enjoyed this year, my final non-metal (ish) release recommendation, and a small (ish) closing paragraph… because why would I ever stop typing after just finishing the final ten?

That’s for crazy people. Continue reading »

May 312018


(DGR reviews the new album by Dead Wretch, released on April 27th by the Albuquerque label Ipos Music.)

Hug Division Dead Wretch may be the fastest I have ever gone from clicking around with the Random Band button on Metal-Archives to purchasing an album.

Hug Division Dead Wretch is the first full-length for Dead Wretch, a one-man project belonging to musician Daniel Jackson based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, that at one point counted amongst its ranks fellow band member “Definitely Not A Copy Of EZDrummer”. It is a tongue-in-cheek black/death/grind project that despite its less-than-serious origins has grown into something that not only has an acidic sense of commentary but also the musical bite to back it up. Having spent a few years launching EPs and a handful of joking singles, Dead Wretch released its previously mentioned first full-length this year, comprising mostly new songs and three tracks re-done from the project’s first EP, the tersely titled fuck it.

While most projects like this tend to make use of the plug-and-play nature of grindcore, Dead Wretch performs a much more difficult act — that of skewering various specific subjects (at one point claiming to be from Minot, North Dakota, so they too could seem more exotic) but also offering righteous indignation and social commentary (check out “Eat Shit” for an immediate example) while backing it up with excellent music. Continue reading »