Wow. It has been a while, huh? Almost 5 years, I guess. So what happened to your favorite blog? Let's just say I got kind of busy. I really don't have an excuse for 2018, but in 2019 I spent most of the year on the road for work before Cult of Sorrow released our record Invocation of the Lucifer (look at that - a shameless plug three years after release!) on Black Doomba Records in September and did a little regional touring. Hot off the heels of that release, we ended up opening for Doom Metal legends The Obsessed right before COVID hit and shut everything down, so that was awesome. Also right before COVID, my wife and I welcomed our first child and then I took a transfer to a role that had me working 60-70 hour weeks for the remainder of the year, so doom blogging wasn't really in the cards. Having spent the past 8 years driving 8 hours back and forth to Canada or flying all over the country, I had plenty of time to check out and absorb new releases, but the move to a demanding desk job for the next two years cut that time almost completely out. Then at the tail end of 2021 we had triplets, so that effectively put an end to all of my free time for the next 20 years. So that brings us to today. Why now? I don't really know. It's not a New Years resolution or anything. I'm just feeling recharged and excited about Heavy Metal again. I'm holed up in a basement office most of the day with ample time to listen to music and I have 15 minutes a week to publish something for the first time in 5 years. Cool? Cool.
So enough about me, let's get into the music. January is typically a slower month for releases and 2023 is no exception. Where I used to track up to 200 new releases per month, I'm looking at 25 this month. Easing back in at opportune time, right? Nothing really caught my ear last week, but this week we have the return of the legendary Obituary, as the Florida stalwarts release their 11th album and first in 6 years. To say that Dying of Everything is already a contender for many 2023 year-end lists isn't hyperbole, but it'll be interesting to see how such an early release impacts that end. I'm not incredibly familiar with Obituary's back catalog so I can't say exactly where this one ranks, but I can say that it's the only thing I've listened to for a week and it just gets better every time. The razor-sharp riffs fluctuate from 16th note blitzkrieg to mid-paced stomp with groove to spare. I really like the vocals coming through with clarity and force at the same time. Then you have the dive bomb solos and plenty of high hat and it's pretty much everything I need in a Death Metal album. So there it is, your Album of the Week. I'm sure those guys will be thrilled.
So where do we go from here? I can't say for sure. I'd like to get back to weekly recommendations. I'd also like to add a feature for upcoming records to keep an eye on. (In that vein, if you like Stoner Metal, keep an eye on Tidal Wave - The Lord Knows coming out next week on Ripple.) I do kind of like this freeform stream of consciousness format, too, so maybe I'll keep that going. The only thing I know for sure is that I'm back and I want to keep doing this as long as I have time. Thanks for reading and we'll talk soon!