To supplement this year's Pazz & Jop launch, Sound of the City asked a few critics to expand on the reasonings behind their voting. Up next is Toronto writer Laina Dawes, whose ballot is a study in the year's best extreme metal offerings.
I first got turned on to Tombs, whose Path Of Totality ended up topping my albums list, at 2010's Maryland Deathfest. Out of a plethora of black, death and grindcore bands playing that long weekend, I walked away from the Brooklyn band's set thinking that while their mélange of blackened metal, '80s noise rock and raw emotion (courtesy of singer/guitarist Mike Hill) wasn't my personal cup of teaI was there to check out Eyehategod and Convergeit was something unique. With Path of Totality, the trio dug in their heels a bit more and created a masterpiece of swirling rage with venerable notes of raw honesty that was backed up with some incredible production skills and the satisfaction of staying true to themselves.
Path of Totality had a firm hand in shaping not only how I listened to music as a critic for the rest of the year, but also who else ended up on this list. I admire great production workas a Black lady who spent her formative years in love with house music and rap I love me some bassand I want to feel it, my skin puckering in excitement as rhythm and, dare I say it, soul should never be buried in the background, or presented as an afterthought. I was drawn to albums in which great care was taken with how the music physically resonated with the listener.More »