Clayton Michaels

Posted Monday, December 15, 2014 - 8:53am by Clayton Michaels

Because man cannot live on metal alone, here’s a list of my 10 favorite non-metal releases of 2014. My tastes tend to be kind of eclectic, so there should be a little something on this list to appeal to everyone.

Category: Feature Stories

Tags: Emma Ruth Rundle, Cymbals Eat Guitars, You Blew It!, Cloud Nothings, Greensky Bluegrass, Self Defense Family, Swans, Pianos Become the Teeth, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra
Posted Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 9:02am by Clayton Michaels

2014 turned out to be one of the strongest years for metal in recent memory, making the compiling of this list something of a challenge. It seemed like a particularly strong year for black metal, which comprises half of my list.

Category: Feature Stories

Tags: Best metal albums of 2014, Winterfylleth, Woods of Desolation, Opeth, Panpoticon, Giant Squid, Gridline, Primordial, Pallbearer, Pharmakon, Falls of Rauros, black metal, grind, noise, prog metal
Posted Monday, December 8, 2014 - 10:45am by Clayton Michaels

Here’s the thing about Soused, the collaborative album from avant-garde singer-songwriter Scott Walker and everybody’s favorite drone/doom merchants Sunn O))): it doesn’t really seem like that much of a collaboration. Yes, there are moments when the familiar downtuned bombast of Messrs. Anderson and O’Malley come to the fore, but if you come to Soused primarily as a Sunn O))) fan, you’ll find those moments to be disappointingly few (though they become more obvious with repeated listens). Still, there’s much about Soused to recommend, once you get used to some of Walker’s musical eccentricities.

Category: Album Reviews

Tags: Scott Walker, Sunn O))), avant-garde, drone, doom
Posted Monday, November 10, 2014 - 12:30pm by Clayton Michaels

I tend to be pretty open-minded when it comes to my musical consumption, but the one genre I’ve never really been able to get into is noise. The closest I’ve ever really come is Merzbow’s collaborations with Boris. When I try listening his solo recordings, though, I feel like I’m missing something; I have a hard time distinguishing one track from the next. But there was something about Decibel magazine’s recent Noise issue made me feel like I needed to revisit the genre, specifically the works of Margaret Chardiet, better known as Pharmakon, whose second album Bestial Burden was recently released by Sacred Bones, a decidedly non-noise label I’m most familiar with as the home of arty synth-pop chanteuse Zola Jesus. And while I still don’t know if I would say that I ‘get’ noise as a genre, I absolutely fucking love this Pharmakon record. 

Category: Album Reviews

Tags: Pharmakon, noise, industrial noise, gurlesque poetry, Sacred Bones Records, Merzbow
Posted Sunday, October 26, 2014 - 10:06pm by Clayton Michaels

One of the things that I love about music is that no matter how much time I spend listening to (and obsessing over) it, I likely won’t ever do more than just scratch the surface of what’s out there. The happy result of this is that pretty much every year there’s at least one band that isn’t even remotely on my radar that releases an album that completely knocks me on my ass. This year, that band is Portland-based psychedelic drone/doomsters Megaton Leviathan, whose recently released Past 21 Beyond the Arctic Shell has quickly become one of my favorite albums of the year.

Category: Album Reviews

Tags: Megaton Leviathan, the Cure, My Dying Bride, Pink Floyd, Nick Cave, drone, doom, progressive doom, psychedelic doom

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