Community Post: Discog Diving
Three or four years ago, if you had asked me to name my ten favorite metal bands, I could have promptly produced an itemized list. Today, I’m not so sure. There are still bands that I hold in higher esteem than many others, but I feel that attempting to name my ten favorite bands at the moment would be a rather quixotic task. I have gazed too long into the deep abyss of the metal void, and as such, my interests and tastes have become more fluid and mercurial. In some ways, I feel that this is a wonderful way to approach music. By expending less energy on slavish devotion to only a handful of bands, my consciousness has been pried wide open. I, like many of you, find myself drowning in the flood of sludge and mercury that constantly flows from the molten heart of Mt. Metal.
However, I wonder sometimes if something is lost in the process. In developing a wider acceptance for the art of metal, I feel that in some aspects I have lost a deeper appreciation for individual bands. Attempting to consume so much metal on a daily basis leaves me with less time to explore the grander intricacies of an individual artists’ craft. This is a topic Howard Dean, Tyree, and I have discussed at length.
So what’s the point of this post? A week or two ago, I was struck by a new release from a band I had often overlooked. In my gluttonous fury to consume an every growing list of new releases, I had simply neglected a more traditional and steadfast band that has been regularly and reliably plodding along in the face of change. Folks, I was simply delighted from the moment I pressed play on Monster Magnet’s Milking the Stars, a reimagining of last year’s Last Patrol. I had to ask myself, “Why have I never given these metal stalwarts the time of day?” My only guess is that in my rush to imbibe from the fountain of ever-evolving extremity, I simply overlooked a band that wasn’t reinventing the wheel or making gigantic waves. However, I realize now that I’ve been missing out on some traditional, headbanging, and sincere metal anthems. I’m spelunking deep into the back catalogue of this established act and look forward to learning more.
Inspired by this newfound fervor to explore an established band’s oeuvre, I posed a question to the ToH writing community. What new release has inspired you to further explore an established band’s discography that you’ve simply overlooked for one reason or another? Did some post here at the Toilet inspire you to dig deeper? Here’s what my co-conspirators had to say.
Stockhausen: I had heard the name Wreck and Reference here and there, but I always passed them up for one reason or another. My appreciation for bands on The Flenser should have been enough, but it was the dark, simplistic cover for their 2014 album, Want, that was finally intriguing enough for me to get off my metaphorical butt and press play. I was met by a fascinating blend of brusque, harsh electronics, a wide range of vocalizing, and an attitude of complete detachment. I got the feeling that Wreck and Reference didn’t particularly care whether I liked this album or not, because only posers care about feelings. Backing all of the dark, brooding bluntness was a deep sense of pop structure, a familiarity that worked to drive home the cold, mechanical apathy. I was immediately hooked, and I had to dive into their back catalogue. I found their previous work on their Bandcamp page, most of it at “name your price,” and I threw a few bucks down and got to listening. Throughout their still evolving discography, Wreck and Reference will never play into your expectations; they’ll always make you work for it, but the payoff is always worth it. The only downside here is that it took me until 2014 to hop on this train. Learn from my ignorance, kids.
Pick up Want by Wreck and Reference here.
Deputy Dipshit: Skinless, and it was from you posting of one of their songs on one of the articles, W. I can’t get enough of them and I can’t believe I never paid them any mind through all these years.
Guacamole Jim: I first heard of Humanfly by way of the Toilet’s own HessianHunter. I have to admit that when I first started reading the article and checking out the music, I was less than impressed. About three songs into “A God Among Insects” I lost interest and switched to a different (and probably lifeloving) band. But I knew the Toilet and HH wouldn’t have steered me wrong, so I came back to the article later, checked out Awesome Science, and promptly blew my load all over my work computer — it was that fucking good. After I cleaned my office (and made a few weak excuses to my colleagues about how my yogurt superheated or something and exploded), I downloaded their albums and began to devour them. Of course I only listened to Awesome Science initially, but after a while I delved once again into their two earlier albums, and realized that I enjoyed them much more than I had on first listen. Hearing them through the aural lens of Awesome Science provided me with an inexplicable framework by which I was able to better understand the music and to better appreciate the artistry of Humanfly across their (all too short) lifespan.
Simon Phoenix: It’d be Diocletian for me. I didn’t care for their output initially, but then I listened to Gesundrian, and it blew my mind. So I reevaluated their discography and now I love it all.
Howard Dean: Calm Hatchery for me!
Jack Bauer: I discovered Benighted earlier this year when they released their most recent album Carnivore Sublime. To which a certain website gave an undeservedly shitty review. Benighted write absolutely quality deathgrind and try to throw a little bit of variety into their songs as well. I also discovered Aborted because they were listed in a “similar artists to Benighted” thing. So I really have Benighted to thank for their discography as well as Aborted’s, although I’m sure I would have found out about Aborted real fast with that monster of an album they released this year.
MoshOff: Arjen Anthony Lucassen. Man’s nothing short of a genious and I’m kicking myself for not listening to him earlier.
So now it’s your turn, ToH readers. What band have you unfortunately overlooked until now? Has our humble blog inspired you to explore any individual artist? Sound off in the comments.