I'm already foreseeing an all-metal Pazz & Jop ballot, with plenty of competition for every spot. There are just so many good records this year...
Judas Priest's Angel Of Retribution, High On Fire's Blessed Black Wings, Immolation's Harnessing Ruin, Bleed The Sky's Paradigm In Entropy, Lost Soul's Chaostream, Napalm Death's The Code Is Red...Long Live The Code, Meshuggah's Catch 33, and All Shall Perish's Hate.Malice.Revenge., and the summer's barely begun (and I've probably forgotten some!). Plus, new stuff coming from Pelican and Khanate!
Dude. Seriously. Dude. You can take all your internet sensations (M.I.A., Crazy Frog, whatever else those assholes in England are wasting their time with), all your indie pinups (White Stripes, Bright Eyes, blah blah blah) and hang 'em in your ass. This is metal's year.
The record you gotta hear, though, maybe even more than all those others I just listed, is the new Hate Eternal, I, Monarch.
Most of the death metal hype is falling on Nile's Annihilation Of The Wicked at present, which I just don't get. Nile play too damn fast, like nimble fingers is a goal in itself. Okay, lots of times it is, but I much prefer a death metal band that's willing to slow down and let the riffs really get their claws into my chest. Suffocation came back last year with Souls To Deny and totally had it down - the record was just as good as Effigy Of The Forgotten or Pierced From Within, I swear. Decapitated did it on their last two records, Nihility and The Negation: technical brilliance coupled with total flesh-gouging heaviosity. Lost Soul did it all over Chaostream. And on I, Monarch, Hate Eternal blow all the fucking doors and windows open. This is some next level shit: totally crushing, and fucking mind-roastingly complex. Street date is 5/28, and they're touring before and after that date with Krisiun, Incantation, and All Shall Perish. (Oh, and Jungle Rot, too, so get there 20 minutes late or so.) The NYC date is 5/26, and I can't fucking wait.