Jan 312024

(Gonzo returns with another end-of-month roundup of recommended releases, this time shining a light on albums and EPs released by six bands in January.)

January is such a bullshit month.

It’s cold as all fuck, everyone’s burned out – financially, emotionally, professionally – and shows/tours are few and far between. To pile it on, it’s also customarily a terrible month for new music. I wasn’t expecting to unearth much during my monthly search of metal’s grimy underbelly to include in this feature.

Lo and behold, I was dead fucking wrong. 2024 has already seen so many good releases in just over three weeks that I actually had to figure out what not to include here. (Coincidentally, three of the releases are from France, so make of that what you will.)

Regardless of geography, the sharp rise in early-year quality in 2024 is making me rethink old paradigms. Is the January curse on its way out? Am I reading too much into this? Is reality a lie? Are the machines reading my thoughts? Fuck. Continue reading »

Dec 242023

For reasons explained yesterday, this is likely to be the last Shades of Black column until we reach Sunday, January 21st, when I hope I can then resume.

I barely have time for this one before the iron hand of commerce rudely forces my nose down to the grindstone again, even though the nose is already ground down to a nub. So let’s get right to it.

P.S. If you don’t see something here you wish I had included, see yesterday’s explanation and then feel free to mention the release in a comment and share a stream link. Continue reading »