Sunday Sesh: Farewell, For Now
“Roland of Gilead walked through the last door, the one he always sought, the one he always found. It closed gently behind him.”
I always knew this day would come, but that assurance does little to make the actual deed easier. I’m a believer in direct and forward communication, if delivered tactfully, so I’ll come right out with it. Dear Toilet ov Hell community, this is my last post as an editor for this blog. After four and a half years of writing about obscure death metal bands with 50 Facebook likes, extolling the virtues of films in which the principle characters are men in rubber suits, and exploring all manner of esoterica in a deeply self-indulgent fashion, I’m finally bidding a fond farewell to the blog that has occupied such a prominent place in my life. Four and a half years and 690 or so posts later, I’m laying my metal blogging career to rest. Maybe for just a time. Maybe forever. We’ll see where time and change take me.
The truth is, friends, that I’m tired. I’ve said nearly everything I can possibly say about metal, not because there isn’t more to say, but because I’ve reached the boundaries of my own abilities. I know only so many combinations of words in the English language that can accurately describe a blast beat, and I’ve sadly reached the edge of my knowledge; perhaps, were I a polyglot, I could find more, but I am a man of limitations. The truth is, dear readers, that I need to set time aside for other personal and professional goals. Many of you who have been reading since the beginning are well aware of my career trajectory because you’ve humored my own indulgence here, week after week. Well, challenges remain for me to tackle. This year I aim to both earn a Road Safety Professional Certification and my Professional Engineering License. Both will require hours of study. I’ve also long dreamed of writing my own book, and this year I challenged myself to begin that task in earnest. Doubtless whatever I produce will pale in comparison to Richter’s own efforts.
The truth, however, is that I’ll miss doing this. I believe structure and consistency are crucial for thriving, and through all the changes my life has taken in the last several years, this blog has been a consistent throughline, a waypoint that helped me stay the course. That’s a damn weird thing to say about a place named after a memorable shitpost from a once-notorious metal blog troll, but it’s a testament to Joe’s carte blanche approach to content and community. Four and a half years ago, I bought into Joe’s dream that metal fans needed better content, and I’m proud to say I’ve been a part of a site that has delivered on that dream.
Sure, it hasn’t all been perfect. We’ve lost some writers. I’ve hurt some people with careless comments. We’ve probably, inadvertently given indefensible bands coverage or perhaps lacked perspective on certain issues. For these mistakes, I’m truly sorry. But we’ve done our best, and I’m proud to say I’ve been part of a community with integrity. That’s worth something.
And really, a community of integrity is what’s made it worth sticking in these four and a half years. This comments section remains a bizarrely humane place in the sea of refuse that is the internet. Our Facebook Social Club routinely provides the laughs. I message or text a lot of you multiple times a week. I’ve made too many friends over this period to call out any of them, but to everyone who’s ever sent me a kind message or bought me an album on bandcamp or even left a supportive comment on some dumb article I’ve written here, thank you. To all the musicians and label heads who’ve transcended business contacts to become friends, thank you.
And thank you to all the wonderful writers here who’ve inspired me so much over the years. Again, I’d be remiss if I missed someone, so I’ll just offer a blanket appreciation. This site has published some of the most thoughtful reviews, smartest interviews, and funniest features anywhere in the blogging world, and you fine folks have consistently raised the bar for my own craft and that of music blogging more widely. A special thank you to my fellow editors, Joe, Pat, and our dearly departed (from blogdom) Masterlord; thank you for helping me be the best I can.
So, before I bid my farewell, I’d like to circle back to the reason this started. I signed onto this blog because I thought we deserved better content about good metal. There are a number of articles I doubt I’ll ever finish now, but I loathe leaving you all empty handed. I had fully intended to tell you that The Monolith Deathcult wrote the silliest extreme metal album of last year, and I love it. It’s a wonderful return to the bugnut bombast of Triumvirate. I really should have told you that 2018 was the perfect year to get into Drawn and Quartered. Not only did the band release one of the most harrowing death metal albums of the year in the stompingly good The One Who Lurks, but my good friend Loic from Krucyator Productions resuscitated their classic debut To Kill Is Human, allowing you to experience the band’s full evolution if you’ve never done so before. Last, I wanted to shine a light on a noteworthy late year release: Fiend‘s Seeress. Tapping into the haunting twilight of A Storm of Light and the jagged (yet catchy) edges of Prong, Fiend delivers a rollicking doom-ride you don’t want to miss!
Ha, leave it to me to blow 1000 words saying goodbye, but I suppose it’s fitting. You’ve all been so good to me, so it would feel wrong to walk through that door with a simple tip of my big enough cowboy hat. I’ll still pop up in the comments from time to time, and you may even see a guest article from me in the future, but for now, this is enough. Thank you for everything.
So long, Toilet ov Hell. This is Wes, signing off.