JJ Anselmi
Author Archive

JJ Anselmi

J.J. Anselmi is the author of Heavy: A Memoir of Wyoming, BMX, Drugs, and Heavy Fucking Music (Rare Bird), and he loves to beat the shit out of the drums. You can find more of his writing at jjanselmi.com

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Excerpt from the final chapter of HEAVY: A Memoir of Wyoming, BMX, Drugs, and Heavy Fucking Music by JJ Anselmi   Excision   The surgeon draws an ellipse on my forearm with black marker, injecting anesthetic at several different points. When my skin is numb, she delicately traces the marker

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Morality Crisis is one of the weirdest groups around, and the Minneapolis trio’s latest, MASH, only solidifies that status. But, unlike many bands that strive for the bizarre, Morality Crisis’ music never feels contrived. MASH is also American in the best possible sense, deftly interweaving an array of sounds that

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Recitation’s debut LP, Carrion, is quite possibly the heaviest album of 2015. Since releasing a self-titled EP last year, the Danish trio has taken a more nihilistic turn, progressing from psychedelic doom into hopeless sludge. Consisting of one 27-minute song, Carrion is damn close to perfect. The track begins with

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Phemüt’s debut LP, The Memory Of Spring, is a vacuum of hopelessness. To listen to the album in its entirety is to have any optimism you might have for your own life and/or the future of our species slowly but relentlessly winnowed into nothing. “The Symbology Of Ruin” wastes no

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Nightfell’s latest, Darkness Evermore, is an aural tapestry of isolation and nihilism. From the opening of the album to its close, the band displays a refreshingly wide range of attack. Consisting of Tim Call of Aldebaran on drums and vocals, and Todd Burdette of Tragedy and His Hero Is Gone

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There are certain things that will never go out of style in the realm of stoner metal — good riffs, guitar and bass tones that find the perfect balance between presence and attack, and fat-as-fuck drumming — and Spelljammer is keenly aware of this. Ancient Of Days, the Swedish trio’s

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Cursed Graves’ debut LP, California Noise, is damn near perfect. Hailing from San Diego, the trio has only been around for a few years. But, listening to California Noise, you’d never guess. The album wastes no time, beginning with the nihilistic beach punk of “Opus Dei.” Guitarist Blake Cox plays

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The latest installment of Ivan Weiss and Sam Stephenson’s Big, Bent Ears: A Serial in Documentary Uncertainty covers Nazoranai, an improvisational group consisting of Oren Ambarchi, Stephen O’Malley, and the legendary noise artist Keiji Haino. The fifty-minute documentary combines interviews with each member of Nazoranai with pieces of their amazing

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With The Road Home, which consists of Jay Munly and Noah Landis, Scott Kelly expands that calm into a chasm of meditation and despair, which is perfectly captured on 2012’s The Forgiven Ghost In Me (recorded by Noah Landis and released on Neurot Recordings). Watching the group live is akin to staring into Camus’ existential abyss: the abyss stares right back into you.

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When I hear ‘super group,’ I expect half-assed songwriting and a generic compromise between each member’s other bands. It’s because of this connotation that the phrase doesn’t fit Chicago’s Anatomy of Habit. Each member is an underground legend, but Anatomy’s Relapse debut, Ciphers + Axioms, is a brilliantly composed journey

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Sacramento’s Bog Oak has only been together for about a year and a half, but you’d never guess by listening to their first EP, A Treatise on Resurrection and The Afterlife. Their songs exhibit a mature sense of structure, and each track directly feeds into the next, which are both

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Banner Photo via: Aquarium Dempseys Next to Sunn O))), The Body is the most physically intense band I’ve ever seen. The Portland duo is also one of the most prolific bands I know of. Last year alone, they released two collaborations — one with Thou and the other with The Haxan

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