Starter Kit: Max Cavalera

I’ve previously expressed my opinions, however brief, about Max Cavalera: ex-Sepultura singer, groove metal pioneer and overall Brazilian badass. While I haven’t been the biggest fan of Cavalera’s recent output of music, I nonetheless owe a great debt to this man, as without him I probably wouldn’t be into metal the way I am now. It was albums like Roots and Chaos A.D. and the first handful of Soulfly releases that helped me bridge the gap from my start in Metallica to heavier bands, while simultaneously creating a big interest in rhythmic beats and world music. I thought that I…

Binary Code – Moonsblood

Making melodic progressive metal is hard. Progressive metal is already steeped deeply in melodic influences, which should be an easy starting point. However, dipping too much into these roots can lead your creation to move away from metal, losing its rough edge and sounding forced. So too with the other end: if you increase the heaviness and aggression, you often lose the progressive sense which was supposed to make your album interesting. Textures are the masters of this fine balancing act and one of the first bands to achieve it. No one has quite reached the same level of melodic dedication spliced with a progressive wildness that can erupt at any time. Well, no one except Binary Code.

The brainchild of Jesse Zuretti caught the community’s ear in 2009, with their debut Suspension of Disbelief, a refreshing take on what it means to record progressive metal today. That album was chock full of interesting ideas and compositions. However, in the seven years of (relative) silence, the scene has done quite a lot with itself: multiple Textures releases came and went in the interim and bands like A Sense of Gravity and Gods of Eden changed what we think and feel about the music and what it means. So, with Moonsblood coming out tomorrow, does Binary Code still have things to say or has the community outpaced their melodic, rich sound?

PHOTOS: Prong—May 18th, 2016 @ Bada Brew, Crest Hill, IL

A fully primed show with five glorious bands at Bada Brew of Crest Hill, IL this past Wednesday. Three-Piece, headliner Prong shows no signs of lag from the endless daily travels for the X (No Absolutes) Tour. Bada Brew is as a small, tight venue, but still managed to support Prong’s known, powerful sound. Imagine the surprise when the band came to find out the show was filled with die-hard, longtime friends and dedicated Prong fans. A tight fit with no photo pit makes for a challenging shoot, but the kickback was unreal. The legendary Tommy Victor was in top…

Soul Curator: Reading

Like writing while listening to music, reading while listening to music is a sort of balancing act; you need to keep the part of your mind that’s liable to be distracted pacified, but you can’t overdo it or you’ll just be listening. Furthermore, the music often sets the tone in an immediate way, and so you need something that will allow whatever you’re reading its own space. You can’t have the music overthrow the tonality of the book or vice versa. And so, you’ll find that much of the music below allows your mind its own spaces and will pretty much mold itself to the vibe you’re looking for. Thus it enables you to both focus and get hyped, putting you in the mood to keep delving deeper into your source material.

I don’t necessarily recommend reading and listening to music if it’s something that takes a lot of concentration to digest, but if you’re just cracking open awesome fantasy novel or something and want something to chill to, go no further than this list!

VIDEO PREMIERE: Step Into Dark Suburbia With Dumbsaint’s ‘Love Thy Neighbour’

We often talk about the aesthetics which surround a band which go further than just their music: clothing, artwork, lyrics, videos, stage sets and more. All of these blend into what is, ultimately, an intellectual construct, the image of the band in our heads. This image is important to understanding and appreciating the music. It can tilt it in numerous directions and even cause us to pay attention to something that we might not have, otherwise. One of the bands with the most grandiose and ambitious history at creating this extra aesthetic is Dumbsaint. The post metal ensemble from Australia has been delving, for years now, deeper into a shared image base for their releases. Their three part album, told in reverse, Disappearance in A Minor Role, was a step up in this regards: it was accompanied by intriguing video-art, opening a portal into the dark landscape which operated in tandem to the music.

But this time, the band have outdone themselves. Their latest album, Panorama, in ten pieces., was released in August of last year and was a damn masterpiece. I’ve written a lot about it, so go check it out over here. With its monumental musical achievement, we also got two videos: “Cold Call” and “Rosie”. It was obvious, both from the videos themselves, and from statements from the band, that these were part of a larger story. How much larger? Panorama, in ten pieces. is a feature film, matching every single second of music found on the album. Having been privileged enough to watch the whole thing well ahead of its June 13 release, I can safely tell you that it’s amazing.

31 – Therein Lies The Beauty

Yay, I get to talk about one of my favorite bands with this week’s BALLS DEEP. It’s Dark Tranquillity, with two Ls! We got a bunch of news this week, including new material and announcements from Periphery (new album teaser), Devin Townsend Project (terrible new album artwork), Rings of Saturn (signed to Nuclear Blast), The Official Zakk Wylde “Emjoi” Set (why), Rage Against The Machine (more like Prophets of Rage), Insomnium (cool concept album), Between the Buried and Me (they’re mature now), Black Crown Initiate (grab Wes Hauch), Gojira (cool new song), WRVTH (live studio video), NAILS (should have spelled it NVILS to be cool (then it looks kind of like ANVILS (what happens when a band with a V in their name try to do the V-ification, like ANVILS–>VNVILS, that looks pretty weird (though it has that self-aware stupid quality to it that some bands seem to love (yes I’m intentionally dragging out these parantheses (wake me up inside)))))). We also discuss the passing of Adrian Guerra of Bell Witch, and briefly gibe our thoughts on the new Hatebreed which we both ended up listening to. Then the balls deep! Also, we talk about some cool stuff in the cool people section.

Deep Dive – Context Within A Discography

Picture this: a young music enthusiast (disclaimer: I am the music enthusiast), who is constantly on the prowl for new music to jam — as music enthusiasts are wont to do — finally gets around to listening to a certain band he’s heard of in a positive light quite a number of times. Said music enthusiast eventually peruses the band’s discography and searches for a starting point. Once the starting point is identified, the jamming begins: good times are had, and all is right with the world. And so I, a music enthusiast and more specifically one of Heavy Blog’s resident tech death geeks, decided to set my sights on the Australian tech death band Psycroptic, after many months of constantly being reminded that they are a band whose work was bound to match my tastes.