Machine Head – Bloodstone & Diamonds (Nuclear Blast, 2014)

Bloodstone_&_Diamonds_album_coverNo matter what you think of Machine Head vocalist/guitarist/mastermind Robb Flynn, it can’t be denied that he’s one ambitious motherfucker.  Following his band’s unfortunate descent into the deepest, darkest gutters of the nu metal ghetto, Flynn has re-molded Machine Head back into a post-thrash/groove metal juggernaut, known for penning epic-length tunes that cram more riffs and moods into eight to ten minutes of music than most bands of similar ilk bring to the table over the course of entire albums.  For those familiar with Flynn’s tendency to throw everything and the kitchen sink into his records, it should come as no surprise then that Bloodstone & Diamonds, Machine Head’s eighth full length release, is their most sprawling and wildly varied work to date.

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Full of Hell & Merzbow – s/t (Profound Lore, 2014)

a2883873483_10Few bands have captured my attention in 2014 quite like Full of Hell.  I had the pleasure of witnessing the quartet’s devastating, show-stealing live set back in August and was blown away by their combination of relentless intensity and determination to push the envelope of grind/hardcore deep into the realms of harsh noise.  It was like someone had thrown Jane Doe-era Converge in a blender with Release Records-era Merzbow and set that motherfucker to liquefy; easily one of the most simultaneously challenging and exhilarating live experiences ever.  Needless to say, when I caught wind of the announcement that they had signed a deal with Profound Lore and their debut for the venerable label would be a collaboration with the aforementioned Japanese God of Noise himself, anticipation was through the roof and then some.

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Scott Walker + Sunn O))) – Soused (4AD, 2014)

ed43c3a1Confession time: I had no idea who Scott Walker was prior to the announcement of Soused.  As those of you who read this here blog on the regular might have guessed, I’m not particularly hip to the avant-garde scene.  Furthermore, I was a tad apprehensive about another Sunn O))) collab being released this year after experiencing Terrestrials, their underwhelming team-up with Norway’s terminally overrated Ulver.  If you’re in the same boat as I, fear not; one doesn’t have to be familiar with Herr Walker’s work to enjoy Soused, and it blows Terrestrials out of the goddamn water.

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Out now: Sterilizer

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I’m typically not one to post news, but when one of my talented friends releases a new project, that’s pretty big fucking news and more than worthy of a post.  After a few years of silence on the musical front, my friend, collaborator and co-conspirator Brandon Duncan has finally unleashed Sterilizer.  It’s twenty-five minutes of technological terror that spot-welds industrial and electronic music onto a stainless steel skeleton of razor-sharp thrash; think mid-nineties Die Krupps getting sodomized by late-eighties/early-nineties Ministry and you’re halfway there.

The album is available for streaming and paid download via Bandcamp, or as a limited edition cassette with two different cover art options (male or female).  The tape is already going like gangbusters, so if you want it get on it, and pick up some of Herr Duncan’s incredible artwork while you’re at it.  And be sure to tell ‘em THKD sent ya (insert maniacal Large Marge style laughter)!

http://sterilizer.bandcamp.com/

Khold – Til Endes (Peaceville Records, 2014)

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Since releasing debut album Masterpiss of Pain back in 2001, Norway’s Khold have been constantly refining their patented brand of groove-laden, willfully primitive black metal.  While some have criticized the band for their simplicity, I’ve long been a fan of their stripped down approach; their sound is not only instantly recognizable but also infectious as all get out, the riffs slowly boring their way into your brain and taking up residence therein for days or weeks on end.  Til Endes is Khold’s sixth full-length release and it’s quite possibly the purest distillation of the band’s aesthetic to date.

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THKD’s Top 100 Metal Albums #11: Danzig – Danzig II: Lucifuge (Def American, 1990)

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How in the blue hell did I manage to get even this far into the THKD Top 100 without covering a Danzig album?!  Granted, the list is in no particular order, but given my Danzig super-fan status, you’d think I would’ve touched on one of the man’s records within the first few posts.  The bands/artists you love the most are always the most difficult to write about and let’s face it, I’ve already devoted a fairly exhaustive amount of digital ink to the goddamn mighty GD (here, here, here, here… need I go on?).  What’s left to say about my love for the man and his music at this point?

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