Street Sects – Broken Windows, Sunken Ceilings (self-released, 2014)

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2014 will be remembered as the year that actually got me excited about extreme music again.  I haven’t exactly been bored, but it seems like this year I’m finding so many exciting young bands that are doing something truly interesting within the genre paradigm.  One such band is Austin’s Street Sects, who are releasing the second part of their “serial album” in the form of Broken Windows, Sunken Ceilings.  The duo creates what can best be described as electronic hardcore; violent, jarring and noisy as hell, like a factory full of automated machinery going haywire and collapsing on itself, the machines still trying desperately to function however imperfectly amidst the burning wreckage.

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THKD T-SHIRT SALE!

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Hey friends, now that we’re all moved it’s time to clean out the closet. I have a ton of band shirts that I never wear, sizes M, L and XL, most are in excellent condition (unless otherwise noted) and have barely been worn, some probably never worn at all. Below is the master list, all shirts are $8.00 each PPD unless otherwise noted and if you don’t like the price make me an offer! Feel free to spread the word and help a brother out. I will be happy to supply photos of any shirts you might be interested in. Message me here or e-mail me at jjhaun@gmail.com (serious inquiries only). US customers only please.

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Body Count – Manslaughter (Sumerian Records, 2014)

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It’s weird to think there’s a whole generation of kids who only know Ice-T as “that dude from Law & Order” and have never even heard the man rap, let alone heard his metal band Body Count.  In spite of being young at the time, I remember when the band released their self-titled debut and the controversy surrounding the song “Cop Killer,” which was eventually deleted from all subsequent pressings of the album.  I was only twelve when the album came out and didn’t hear it until a few years later, but it was evident that lost amidst the controversy was the fact that Body Count was an incendiary album of hardcore punk-fueled heavy metal that should’ve garnered acclaim for making mainstream heavy metal dangerous again thanks to Ice’s willingness to express himself in whatever way he saw fit without giving a fuck about who he might offend, rather than being a target for uptight and out-of-touch folks who believe the average American isn’t intelligent enough to distinguish fantasy from reality.

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Eyehategod – s/t (Housecore Records, 2014)

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Hard to believe it’s been fourteen years since Eyehategod’s last full length, Confederacy of Ruined Lives.  That album was my first Eyehategod experience; I admittedly came late to the band (keep in mind I was twelve when In the Name of Suffering came out), but it was a true case of love at first listen.  Sure, I was well-versed in metal by the time I picked up the album at my local Best Buy, but I had never heard anything quite like their ultra-corrosive Black Flag meets Black Sabbath in a dark alley blues, and I couldn’t wait for my next fix.

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Body Count – “Talk Shit, Get Shot”

Very, very few bands have ever managed to do rap metal right.  Body Count is one of those few.  Of course, it helps when you’re fronted by one of the most celebrated legit hip hop artists of all time in the form of Ice-T, pretty much the only OG gangsta rapper who’s managed to keep his credibility intact while expanding his brand to include movie and TV roles + a reality show.  The band haven’t put out an album since 2006′s Murder for Hire, but they’re poised to strike back on June 10th with Manslaughter, their debut for Sumerian Records and fifth album overall.

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The Art of the Comeback

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In the world of heavy metal circa 2013, making a comeback is harder than ever before. There are so many bands popping up out of the woodwork and so many albums being released on a weekly basis, that fans are faced with a constant avalanche of new product, which in turn means it’s difficult for any band to stand out from the pack, whether new kids on the block or crafty veterans. Furthermore, with the internet now being such an important part of spreading metal to the masses, things move so fast that even going a year without releasing new material feels like an eternity. But it is still possible for a band to rise up from the ashes of inactivity and recapture their rightful place amidst the metal pantheon, as the following trio of bands has proven.
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Shai Hulud – Reach Beyond the Sun (Metal Blade, 2013)

11183_JKTSince 1995, Shai Hulud has been one of the leading lights of metalcore. I’m not talking about metalcore as in: “Hey! Let’s rip off Slaughter of the Soul and throw in some breakdowns!” I’m talking metalcore as in the metallic hardcore that evolved out of crossover; a true fusion of the heartfelt aggression of hardcore and the compositional complexity of heavy metal (ok, I know that description sounds like it came straight from a PR e-mail blast, but it’s the fucking truth).

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Diapsiquir – A.N.T.I. (End All Life Productions, 2011)

NECRO006As an unfortunate byproduct of growing up in the asshole of the Midwest, I live in a city, but I’ve never truly experienced The City. I’ve spent pretty extensive amounts of time in places like Los Angeles, Chicago and Minneapolis, but I’ve never fully immersed myself in the everyday chaos that is living in the clutches of of a wasteland dominated by skyscrapers and surrounded on all sides by unforgiving concrete and steel. I’ve never lived in that grotesque, hyper-active human funk that I imagine city life to be; I’ve only been a long-term guest at best, a lame-ass tourist at worst. Fortunately I can live vicariously through Diapsiquir’s A.N.T.I., an album that epitomizes what I imagine existence in the bowels of urban Hell to be.

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The Black Coffins – Dead Sky Sepulchre (Black Hole Productions, 2012)

400849_425540304172964_1320979080_nAs the old school death metal revival reaches critical mass, the men are beginning to separate themselves from the mice; the bands that mean it, maaan are putting out seriously shit-kicking records in order to show they’ve got what it takes to hang with the old guard and then some.  One such group of hungry young upstarts is Sao Paulo’s The Black Coffins.  Possessing the South American penchant for filth ‘n’ fury and combining it with the gut-busting rumble of Stockholm Swe-death, these metal miscreants are putting other would-be OSDM practitioners on notice with their debut full length, Dead Sky Sepulchre.
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THKD’s Top 20 Metal Albums of 2012

2012 has been more stressful than a motherfucker; probably one of the most all-around stressful years of my life. Buying a house + assorted family and work-related issues that I wouldn’t even dream of getting into here managed to turn the year into a goddamn pressure-cooker. I’m pretty sure the only things that kept me alive were my wife’s unwavering love (and limitless patience) and an avalanche of incredible music. In 2011 I was feeling pretty jaded and dissatisfied with the state of heavy metal, this year I found myself feeling better about things than I have in years. That isn’t to say there weren’t great albums released in 2011, there were, but in 2012 I felt like there was so much greatness that I couldn’t possibly keep up with it all.

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