my best of 2004 (aka, I keep getting older)

As some of you may know, well before I began my metal writing “career” (well, aside from a couple of regrettable, really badly written reviews for the excellent Chronicles of Chaos) I was spinning metal on campus radio. After a break of several years I returned to radio at CFMU 93.3 FM (the McMaster University station), co-hosting a reinvigorated Kill Eat Exploit the Weak with the charming, talented and velvety-voiced Adam Wills (whose work you see all over Hellbound).

In the earlier days of KEEW I often ended up on air on new year’s eve. Students go away for the holidays so there are always spots to fill and it was kind of fun to provide the pre-bar soundtrack for people before they rang in the new year. Actually, there was a local cab driver who like to listen to the show in his taxi so all kinds of random people heard our metal picks on their way out to celebrate.

One of the things that made the new year’s eve show especially fun for me was the chance to revisit some of my favourite metal albums of the past. At some point I made the call not to do the best-of-the-year show on December 31 but to do a best of show focusing on metal from ten years ago. It gave me an excuse to play some favourites and to rediscover the strengths of some older records that may have gotten buried over time.

I can’t be sure (my memory is vague) but I think the first of the ‘best of 10 years ago’ shows took place, well, ten years ago now. Which means I would have started out looking back at 1994. Wow. With 2014 freshly over and done here I am looking back at the albums I was listening to in 2004 while looking back to 1994. This is starting to feel like a bit like a moebius strip…

As it turns out, 2004 was a pretty damn good year for metal, at least according to my preferences, and though lots of great albums have come out in the intervening years, I’m not sure I have been as excited about a year of metal releases since. Anyway, if you’re interested in checking out my list, I’ve posted it over at its original home, the Kill Eat Exploit the Weak blog: killeatexploittheweak.blogspot.ca/2015/01/best-of-2004-metal-albums-i-was-really

I’ve also been reminded 2004 was the second year of Northern Lights Festival in Toronto put on by Inertia Entertainment and Unrestrained!. And I got to photograph it: www.flickr.com/photos/killeatexploittheweak/sets/671012.

Peace, love and carrots – and here’s hoping that metal in 2015 can excite me (and all of you) all over again.

Laura Wiebe

Laura is associate editor of Hellbound.ca and co-host of weekly metal show Kill Eat Exploit the Weak on CFMU 93.3 FM. She loves doom, prog, cats and basketball, believes in equity and social justice and is not cool with any form of discrimination, marginalization, harassment or oppression.