Fountainhead – Reverse Engineering

We sometimes ask ourselves, what does it mean to make good progressive metal or, put more broadly, to make good progressive music? One way of looking at it is to take bands like Opeth or Enslaved, where we determine the way they meld crushingly heavy extreme metal with beautifully mellow acoustics, the way they structure their songs, and the way they navigate the open seas of their sound with such ease as a prime example of what it means to be progressive. Another perspective could be to take bands such as Between the Buried and Me, Ne Obliviscaris or Cyborg…

Hey! Listen to Mona Borland!

When I was starting to get really into mathcore, there were a few bands that I owe a lot to: Dillinger Escape Plan (but really, no shit, right?), Botch, Converge, Psyopus—you know, the essentials of the genre. On top of that, bands like Enter Shikari and Hands Like Houses were putting out material that, while not anything like Dillinger or their ilk, were nonetheless piquing my interest, what with their use of electronics and the like. Don’t get me wrong, I still like those bands, but I haven’t really listened to them as much lately. Taste can grow like a…

Ringworm – Snake Church

When comparing music to movies, it is often stated that metal is most comparable to horror. Both rely heavily on the realm of shock value, drawing in adrenaline junkies who wish to be subjected to the truly uncomfortable. And of course, there are your slow burn horror movies and metal bands that like to create an atmosphere to fuel your terror. Then there are those who do not care much for the long lasting scare so much as they do about the initial impact. These are the slasher movies of each genre, movies that revel in their ability to cause as much gore and destruction as possible in their allotted hour and a half time slot. At the center of all these slasher movies is the unstoppable juggernaut of a villain who every viewer secretly roots for as they disembody teenagers who simply want to camp and have promiscuous sex.

Harakiri For The Sky – III: Trauma

To be frank, atmospheric black metal is a genre that’s really, really easy to get right. Throw some folksy, naturalist guitar leads over tremolo chords and blast beats, slow it down for a meditative clean section every now and then, let the vocals act as more of a percussive guide to the music’s flow than anything else, and boom: you’ve got atmospheric black metal a la Weakling, Wolves in the Throne Room, Saor, and countless others. Conversely, it’s also a genre with a lot of forgettable bands; everyone is so focused on creating such a specific sound that experimentation gets thrown to the wayside in favor of the old paint-by-numbers experience.

Hey! Listen To Engorged!

“I have come here to chew bubblegum, and kick ass…And I’m all out of bubblegum.” And with that famous line, Engorged proceeds to kick the listener’s ass. The quote sums up Engorged perfectly. The album doesn’t pretend for a second to be serious death metal. It’s filled from end to end with samples from different zombie movies that lighten the mood and provide an amusing direction for the album to follow. But as you’ve been warned, Engorged has completely exhausted their supply of bubblegum, and is ready and willing to kick your ass with ugly, nasty, death metal.

Sioum’s Arthur Zdrinc Trials Through “Tribulation” In New Drum Playthrough

Sioum are relatively new additions to our Heavy Blog pantheon, but, boy, are we glad they’re there. The Chicago post-metal trio are on the cusp of going on their first tour with Exterminate All Rational Thought [dates here] after the release of their massive sophomore album Yet Further [review]. Drummer Arthur Zdrinc felt it right to share a drum playthrough of a passage from the first track, “Tribulation,” before hitting the road in just a few short days. “Tribulation” is not the most technically demanding song on Yet Further, but the challenge is in its forward momentum. To keep that…