Yule Log of Happiness 2016

Dear 2016,
As much as you sucked we can all agree that having something good to look forward to has always been a valid reason to get out of bed and bang your fucking head.
Tensions mounted as international talents invaded our inner city strongholds. Bands like Baroness, The Sword, Ghost B.C., Trivium, Black Tusk and Orchid swept through town; whiplashing necks and whetting appetites for regional delicacies such as those provided by close-to-homegrown acts Witchstone, The Weir, Shooting Guns, Chron Goblin, Nosis and Black Mastiff. Sliding into the pyroclastic flow of Sled Island, familiars such as Calgary’s Numenorean and Chieftain held their own against a tsunami of vitriolic vibes pushed forth by a moist Deafheaven and thorny SubRosa.
Leaning towards dusky psych-rock horizon energizing new releases from the flute-proponents Witchcraft and Blood Ceremony, and upstanding burners like Black Thunder, Dead Ranch and Red Fang reinvigorated the spirit and made crosstown traffic more bearable. Big Business, The Lennon Claypool Delirium, Mike + The Melvins and Boris poured on the material filling devices and synapses with visions of heavy rock candy and the ability to command the elements.
A messy and perilous year all told, 2016 put hardcore pundits up front and center stage as musicians and fans intermingled within an antithetical atmosphere of increasing acceptance and fractious debate. The one thing we could all agree upon? Black Sabbath. The End came to The Saddledome early in 2016, but sadly the stadium survived the children of the grave unscathed. Not so for our neighbours to the north. It may have been Calgary’s official Year of Music, but that doesn’t mean local locos weren’t going to road-trip it up to Edmonton, or other Albertan destinations, to partake of some heavy metal manna. This was very much the case, when the elder statesmen in Iron Maiden wrecked Rexall Place with their Book of Souls performance back in April. I don’t know if anyone’s caught the throbbing LED heart Bruce Dickinson wrenched from that giant animatronic Eddie puppet, but, damn, that’s one Helluva souvenir.
Christine Leonard.

Best new releases:

  • Baroness : Purple

  • Claypool Lennon Delirium : Monolith of Phobos

  • Witchcraft : Nucleus

  • Black Sabbath : The End (EP)

  • Black Tusk : Pillars of Ash

  • Giza : Hasheroid

  • Prong : X (No Absolutes)

  • Blood Ceremony : Lord of Misrule

  • Mike & The Melvins : Three Men and a Baby

  • Sumac : What One Becomes

  • Anciients : Voice of the Void

  • Red Fang : Only Ghosts

  • Helmet : Dead to the World

  • Public Animal : Palace Arms 

  • The Switching Yard : Yet Again

  • Iggy Pop : Post Pop Depression

  • Russian Circles : Guidance

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