heavy metal
Ragnarök: 2013 Gloomy Awards: The Most Interesting Metal Albums of 2013

Every year a slew of great albums from the louder spheres are missed, misplaced, or overlooked on those end of year lists. Ragnarök's Gloomy Awards seeks to redress that imbalance.

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‘Evay and ‘Earty Birthday Wishes to Rise Above Records

In 1988, Lee Dorrian founded UK record label Rise Above. A quarter century later, the label is one of the ‘eavisest and ‘eartiest around, filled with as much tuning in and dropping out as doomy drop-tuning and whigging out.

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8 Oct 2013 // 12:30 AM

A Good Death

All heavy metal bands burn out eventually, but when and how they end matters most. A good death counts for a lot in the genre, because it marks the final point in a band's quest for immortality.

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A Very Dirty Lens: How Can We Listen to Offensive Metal?

Some people think that heavy metal's too filthy a lens to gaze at the world through, but most fans don't care who finds metal lewd, crude, or otherwise.

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The Sound the Earth Makes While Vomiting the Grotesque

In underground metal, ritualized hymns are brought to the boil in the catacombs of the psyche, pointing to the malevolence that awaits in the darkness of the cosmos, linking the baleful depths of the Earth directly with the ominousness of galaxies overhead.

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Nippon Riffin’: Japan’s Nastiest (and Best) Metal, Part II

We're tackling death, doom, blackened thrash and black and sludge metal, here; the heavier end of the Japanese metal scene is our destination.

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Nippon Riffin’: Japan’s Nastiest (and Best) Metal, Part I

Japan has a proud history of exporting some fantastically thunderous metal. This month's Ragnarök is a two-part exploration of the Japanese metal scene, covering its history and an in-depth look at five of the nation's very best metal bands.

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Annihilations Return: Locrian, and the Beauty in Decay

Many bands aim to evoke the feel of humanity's end, but few bring portentous visions of decay quite like experimental/avant-metal trio Locrian.

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Latitudes and Longitudes of Darkness: Four Remarkable 2013 Black Metal Albums

Black metal's compass may be spinning in many different directions in 2013, but at its best, the genre remains neither safe nor accommodating.

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The Heaviest Dose: Metal Is My Preeminent Medication

Without heavy metal I simply wouldn't be alive today. I lit the torch for my recovery, and while metal was not the sole source of illumination on the path, it stoked the flames when I couldn't see a positive outcome for all the gloom.

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Sleazed to Meet You, Don’t Forget My Name

Sometimes, no matter how detrimental to well-being, we indulge in things we know are very wrong. Welcome to hair metal. Don't forget to wash your hands after.

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New Zealand Metal 101: Filth, Squalor and Noise from the Antipodes

New Zealand has some very pretty scenery, but don't let that fool you, the nation is replete with filth and squalor. In this month's Ragnarök we look at the best of that corruption, with New Zealand Metal 101.

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Ragnarök: 2012 Gloomy Awards

Every year a slew of great albums from the louder spheres are missed off end of year lists. Ragnarök's inaugural Gloomy Awards seeks to redress that imbalance.

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The Magnificent Seven: Bazillion Points, All Metal and Punk Pens Blazing

Since it launched in 2007, Bazillion Points has released seven of the best books about metal and punk, including the very best book about metal, yet.

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Surveying the Noise: Experimental Metal and Metallic Experimentalism

The intersection where experimental music and heavy metal meet is bursting with bands constructing and deconstructing mangled hybridizations. It's time to survey some of those magnificently malformed artists.

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Splitsville: What Makes a Truly Great Metal Split?

The domain of the heavy metal full-length is a thunderously powerful realm, but so too is the sphere of its more compendious cousin, the split release. This month's Ragnarök investigates five recent releases, exploring the whys and wherefores of what makes a truly great metal split.

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If It Ain’t Got No Blastbeat, It’s Not My Revolution: Panopticon

Black metal is vicious and confrontational. But it has its bad side, too. Yet, there's a black metal act out there that provides all the necessary brutality, with none of the bigotry. It's revolutionary in both spirit and substance.

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28 Jun 2012 // 10:20 PM

Profunda Gravis Metalli

Underground metal is a strange beast. It often struggles to celebrate its successes lest it somehow betray its outsider status. Well, to hell with composure and coolness.

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Love, and Other Indelible Stains

PopMatters new metal column, Craig Hayes' Ragnarök, debuts with a love story. Like all great love stories, punk rock and heavy metal's romance began with a fair amount of mutual loathing.

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//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

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