The Obelisk is 12 Years Old Today


Happy 12th birthday to this weird, rinky-dink little project called The Obelisk.

I was not thinking longevity when I started this site, the first post going live on Jan 31, 2009 according to the oh-so-detailed-and-no-I-didn’t-make-it Wikipedia page. Maybe I should’ve been.

My first two years in college, I was in business school. I couldn’t hack it. I was more miserable than usual. Changed majors. When I had jobs, I worked in offices. I knew good people, but it always felt like I was pretending to be someone else. Putting on a costume of someone invested in making a boss more money, like it really mattered to me.

Even working for magazines. I had great times and took advantage of many awesome opportunities, but there was always a kind of nagging feeling behind it that I didn’t belong there. Apparently I belonged here.

I don’t think I’m giving away state secrets when I say this last one has been the hardest year running this site. It was the hardest year for everything. And I’m not the only one who’s greatly missed the connection to the ethereal that live music represents in my life, but knowing that doesn’t do much to get me through the afternoon. I haven’t been sick, if that even matters anymore — and I’m not sure it does — but I’ve watched as a global pandemic has reshaped our experience of art and culture, as well as things like work and interaction. Though honestly, I felt a little ahead of the game on that last part anyway. I was on the couch in my pajamas before it was cool.

It leads me around to what I want to say to mark 12 years of this site, and it’s what I always want to say: thank you.

As the roiling shitshow that was 2020 has given over to the only-slightly-different roiling shitshow that 2021 seems to be thus far, I want to emphasize how much your continued support of this work in progress means to me. Me. I am a person. My name is JJ. I live in New Jersey. Hi. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for every single read, share, like, comment, email, whatever it is. Thank you.

Thanks to my wife, The Patient Mrs., and to my son, The Pecan. Thanks to my mother and sister and mother in law, to Slevin and Behrang, and everyone else who at one point or another has allowed me the time to find myself in this. Thank you to the record labels, the promoters, the PR professionals, the bands, artists and fans who are like, “hey man you should check this out it’s rad okay thanks.” All of it supports this site. Thank you.

I’ll keep it short. I don’t know what 2021 will bring. Maybe by this time in 2022 we’ll all be back at gigs like nothing ever happened. Doesn’t seem likely, but that’d be cool. But in this mysterious and often troubling future, your ongoing support of this site means the universe to me. There are many, many days where it’s what gets me out of bed in the morning, and some days where I don’t even leave bed because I roll over at 4AM and post something for Europe from my phone.

But either way, this has become a deeply personal work for me, and from the depths of everything I am, I want to express my appreciation for your being a part of it.

Thank you.

JJ Koczan


18 Responses to “The Obelisk is 12 Years Old Today”

  1. Jose Humberto says:

    Always a pleassure to see this awesome site having a Bday


  2. Congrats!!! says:

    Much appreciation producing for THE coolest Heavy Rock/DOOM website, on the whole world wide web, for the past 12 years. I should know…I was born in 1969…Black Sabbath and Black Flag are my two favorite bands…and I’ve been listening to Saint Vitus since their first album came out on SST in 1984.

    Keep up the great work. Much respect to you Mr. JJ Koczan.

    Thank you.

    Stay Heavy,


  3. SabbathJeff says:

    Dude! Congrats! Gratitude reciprocated. This is a prodigious binary-coded birth-day: one could posit you’ve ascended to the top of the staircase (while we’re all down in Hell, where the riffs are better! A win-win.) Earth is better with your writing, recommendations, opinions, and daily presence showing up for the underground heavy. Thank you for your years of dedication to the riff. The scene, (and my record collection!), wouldn’t sound the same without you.

  4. Ted says:

    Thanks JJ, for all the hard work and thought that goes into everything you do. Even in this technological age, Africa is behind the (metal) times, so much appreciate the info and recommemdations. Have yourself a blessed, raging 2021.

  5. William Hughes says:

    Thank you.

  6. Dave says:

    Thank you for all your work and introducing so much great music to me over the years!

    I also really enjoy reading your image ALT texts.

  7. Mark says:

    Congratulations on 12 years! Thanks for all the recommendations, righteous riffs and ruminations.

  8. miller says:

    Happy Birthday The Obelisk! Congratulations for 12 years of bringing the music to the people JJ!

  9. Cory F says:

    Congratulations on 12 years and thank you for everything that you do, JJ.

  10. J. says:


    You’re pretty much my only lifeline to new (and old) music. Can’t thank you enough.

  11. Craig Campbell says:

    Impressive, JJ!
    This is the blog that is a touchstone for me. Maybe more of a gateway for so many amazing bands and artists. You’ve earned the right to hang on the couch and wear your pyjamas! Thank you got your energy and effort!

  12. Bruno says:

    Happy birthday to the site and many many thanks to you JJ for all your work on it, can’t even begin to think of how many bands you’ve turned me on to and I haven’t been around for all the 12. Anyway, keep it going as much as you cAn full in the knowledge that there’s an awful lot of people reading and enjoying your words. Cheers from Scotland man

  13. Coby says:

    Thank you for all you do!

  14. Pyre Fyre says:

    You rule JJ!

    Happy birthday to The Obelisk!

    May better times be ahead of us!

  15. Able Stivers says:

    Congratulations – amazing as always. Here’s to at least another 12. Love your work!!

  16. Erich says:

    Nice job man! Keep up the great work & Thanks!!

  17. KINGMELECH says:

    Great site, turns me on to some great bands. I read this site everyday. Happy Birthday

  18. Jason Aili says:

    Thank you for all of your amazing suggestions, insights and commentary on the world of current heavy music. Your website is a daily visit to keep up on the constant barrage of amazing new bands, albums, etc. Hope that you are able to enjoy life more day to day. Focus on the Pecan, the lovely wife and all of the good things that life has to offer. We all have struggles, that is what makes the bright days shine that much more. God bless, take care, be happy, rock on!!

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