Sunday, December 23, 2012


Minus the Honorable Mentions, here's my best of the year list that was recently published at Heavy Metal at

Top Five Metal CDs of 2012:

1) Evoken Atra Mors
2) Grave Endless Procession Of Souls
3) Mgla With Hearts Toward None
4) Pig Destroyer Book Burner
5) Ufomammut ORO: Opus Primum

Honorable Mentions: Asphyx Deathhammer, Blut Aus Nord 777- Cosmosophy, Cannibal Corpse Torture, Aluk Todolo Occult Rock, High On Fire De Vermis Mysteriis, Nachtmystium Silencing Machine, Goatwhore Blood For The Master, Horrendous The Chills

 • Best EP (tie) Deathspell Omega Drought, Agalloch Faustian Echoes

 • Label of The Year (tie): Profound Lore Records, Hells Headbangers Records

 • Best Heavy Metal Book (tie): Murder In The Front Row by Harald Oimoen, Black Metal: Beyond The Darkness (Black Dog Publishing)

 • Best DVD (tie): God Seed Live At Wacken CD/ DVD, Watain Opus Diaboli

 • Best Concert: (tie) The Decibel Magazine Tour at the House of Blues, Sunset Strip; The Gathering of the Bestial Legion V at the Echoplex, Los Angeles

 • Best Newcomer (tie): Anhedonist, Sophicide

 • Best Comeback: VON

 • Best Reissue: Sleep Dopesmoker

 • Most Overrated Album: God Seed I Begin (although it’s a good album)

 • Most Underrated Album: Ash Borer Cold Of Ages

  • Biggest Disappointment (tie): Grand Magus The Hunt, Ensiferum Unsung Heroes

  • Album From Late Last Year That Deserves A Mention: Sanguis Imperem In Glory We March Towards Our Doom

 • Man of the Year: Albert Mudrian

 • In Memoriam: Jon Lord

 Special thanks…

… to Stephannie for putting up with my obsession, my brother Skull (and Lady Skull Kelly), Chris Davison, Strawb, and the soon to be joining our merry little bunch, Paul Garcia.

My Los Angeles Metal Horde (and good friends; all such wonderful people): Cosmo Lee, Aaron Lariviere, Robert Baggs, Farhaad Esfandiary, and Kimberly Galdamez.

Fellow writers (is that what I am?): Chad Bowar at Heavy Metal at, Josh Haun, Atanamar Sunyata, Brandon Duncan, Danhammer Obstkrieg, Jordan Campbell, Michael Wuensch, Ray Van Horn Jr., Steve Green, Metal Mark McKinney, and Etan Rosenbloom.

Faces in the crowd in the L.A. scene: Andy Ford, Jimmy Cabbs, Charles Elliot, Laura Christine, Elizabeth Schall, Ariella Spector and Gilad Rom, Adam Sperber-Compean, Oliver Shapiro, Ronny Marks, Biko Wright, Mika Smith, Farron Loathing, Courtney Frystak, Jeremy and Menno from LSOD, Chris Wood (Hatewar) and his scraggly haired friend from Nokturne/ Ritual Kombat that always salutes me with a beer and a hug, Jose, the long bearded guy that I see at shows all the time, the Eternal Roadie, Dan Butler, Thor Ryen, Matthew Schott, William Ganley, Mike Abominator, Rhett Thorgrimm Davis, and Jason Corpsemolestor.

The Photographers’ Pit: Anna Hummell (the girl with the camera), Adam L. Murray, and Dirt Junior.

Label and PR people: Dave and Liz Brenner, Nathan T. Birk, Kim Kelly, Chase at HHR, Chris at Profound Lore, Scott Alisoglu, Ryan Ogle, Ryan Feldman, Brian Rocha, Paula at Candlelight, Enrique at Season of Mist, Heidi Ellen-Fitzgerald Robinson, Mark at Prosthetic, Vince at Metal Blade, Loanna at Nuclear Blast, Vinny at Willowtip, Calvin at Pulverised, Jesse at Victory, Bob at Relapse, Nikki at Century Media, and Scott at Seventh Rule.

Others: Julian Hollowell, James Genenz, Rick Hernandez, Tanner Anderson, and Miguel Medina.

Always a special thanks to my students for putting up with their weird physics teacher, anyone who plays in a metal band and has devoted their life to perpetuating this art form, anyone else that I forgot, and, last but certainly not least, you for stopping by!

Cheers to you all!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Quick look at Vomitor, Kommandant, and Sanguis Imperem at the 5 Star Bar in DTLA

Another week, another Hatewar show. Australia's Vomitor closed out this metalhead's concert going for the year with Chicago's Kommandant in tow. Locals Sanguis Imperem anchored the undercard with two other locals, Invocation War and Casket, on board.

As for the openers, Casket have a ways to go, Invocation War's blackened thrash assault was good (and short), and Sanguis Imperem flat out stole the undercard with their awesome brand of dark death metal. Chicago's Kommandant had their war themed shtick fully displayed, but were booted off by the bar's management after only three songs. Vomitor were awesome, but suffered from bad sound with inaudible vocals.


Invocation War

Sanguis Imperem





Sanguis Imperem


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Atriarch et al. Doom.

Official show writeup here. Near total darkness, poor lighting conditions. I won't use a flash out of respect for what the bands are attempting to achieve through atmosphere.

Iron Mtn.



The t-shirt haul...

Incantation Vanquish In Vengeance