Northlane – Node

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Northlane has been fairly popular since their debut full-length Discoveries came out in November of 2011, but it seems like they’re just now finding a niche to settle into. They’ve always appeared to be a band who was capable of doing something greater with their sound, but something was holding them back. With their latest album, Node, they’ve demolished that which held them down musically. It turns out the only thing they were missing was a true-blue front-man to take the reins and lead the group to the musical promised land. Newly acquired vocalist Marcus Bridge is that true-blue front-man the band needed to propel themselves into making something bigger and better than anything they’ve done before.

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PHOTOS: Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival 2015: Slayer, King Diamond, HELLYEAH, Kissing Candice, The Devil Wears Prada, Whitechapel—July 12th, 2015 @ First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre, Tinley Park, IL

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There has been much controversy surrounding this year’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Festival co-founder Kevin Lynman said a few disparaging things about running the tour, citing that metal is no longer about danger and has instead gotten “gray, bald, and fat.” Slayer guitarist Kerry King was of the same mind, stating that even he would not pay money to attend this year’s Mayhem Festival.

Jungle Rot frontman Dave Matrise was understandably upset by King’s remarks, basically saying that the tour wouldn’t have happened without support from Jungle Rot or other bands on Victory Records.

And it seems that the festival that pushed even the mighty Ozzfest out of business is ready to do the same, as the other co-founder of Mayhem Festival, John Reese, has confirmed that 2015’s tour will be the last Mayhem Festival ever.

That said, please enjoy photographs from the Tinley Park, IL stop of the tour, featuring Whitechapel, The Devil Wears Prada, Kissing Candice, HELLYEAH, King Diamond, and Slayer. They’ll be the last Mayhem Festival photos we post on Heavy Blog.

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Aidan Cunningham of Murdock: The Heavy Blog Is Heavy Interview

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A few month ago I popped over to catch Monuments’ most recent UK headline run. In support were Basick reps No Consequence and Murdock. Now, I surprisingly enjoyed the new No Consequence album but it was Murdock who I was there to see. After waiting (im)patiently for their first full length, I was left reeling by just how good it was. If you haven’t already given time to Dead Lung then you are a fool and I will smite you. It’s a frenetic, rich sounding album that skips across genres faster than the brain can comprehend. Before their raucous set, I managed to catch Aidan, the singer/songwriter/guitarist of Murdock for a couple of words. We jumped in his van (he was very gentle) and shared some words about Basick Records, Ireland and of course, chicken shits.

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EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Hear Chemical Burn’s Raining Anvils In Full Only On Heavy Blog Is Heavy!

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Two exclusives in a day? Unbelievable! But it’s true. Not only did we bring you some tasty sounds from the upcoming Dissona record, we have a full stream of Chemical Burn‘s Raining Anvils!

Ten years have passed since the Los Angeles band released their last album, Bury Your Demons. They, however, return stronger and more determined than ever with Raining Anvils in 2015. Combining powerful grooves with tried-and-true metal riffs, the thrash trio are bringing you an album that easily eclipses their 2005 effort. For fans of Lamb of God and Max Cavalera‘s work in Sepultura and Cavalera Conspiracy, Chemical Burn are ready to bring down some hammers with their own brand of head-bobbingly solid metal.

Without further ado, please enjoy Raining Anvils which is available for you to listen to behind the cut.

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EXCLUSIVE: Jam These Excerpts From Dissona’s Upcoming Album, Paleopneumatic

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Progressive metal fans, we have a special treat for you! Our friends in Dissona are premiering a sonic teaser of their upcoming album Paleopneumatic with us and you can put it in your ear holes exclusively on Heavy Blog is Heavy!

The Chicagoland fivesome have been working tirelessly for more than two years to follow up their excellent self-titled album from 2012. If this teaser is anything to go from, however, Paleopneumatic is going to be a treat! Listen to it below the cut.

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Brian Shields Tour Fund Update [8/1/15]: Voting On Bands, Merch, More!

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Hi, everyone! Sorry we’ve been kinda quiet. Between the boys in Wings Denied setting up their Proggest August tour with Native Construct and Outrun the Sunlight (which starts soon!) and me being swamped with freelance work unrelated to Heavy Blog, we just haven’t had time to make a peep.

But we’re here! Below the cut, we have a small update on merch as we’ve received a few emails, but more importantly, we have the opportunity for you to vote for which bands we’re gonna send on tour!

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What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – Playlist Swap – 8/1/15

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Even a cursory glance of our biweekly “What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To” posts (last weeks update here) will reveal that there is a great deal of variety among our staff’s musical tastes. Due to this, we brainstormed the idea of “Playlist Swap,” another biweekly segment that takes place between playlist updates. We randomly select two of the participants from each update, have them pick their favorite track from each of the nine albums in their grid and then send the list over to the other person to listen to and comment on. Within these commentaries occurs praise, criticism and discovery, and we hope that you experience a few instances of this last point as well. This week’s post brought staff members Ahmed Hasan and Jake Tiernan together to peruse each other’s tastes:

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Black Fast – Terms of Surrender

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A crucial aspect of making a great record should be to set a tone and follow through on the promise of that tone. Bands can sometimes have a hard time adhering to the tone they establish because they want to do so much, but in the end they lose sight of what they were trying to accomplish in the first place. This is not said as an insult to experimentation and diversity, but rather to applaud maintaining a certain level of consistency in the identity of the music. A band who have a firm grasp on the role that tone and consistency play are thrash revivalists Black Fast. Their third album Terms of Surrender lets listeners know from the get go what they’ll be experiencing when they throw on this hefty slab of blackened and face-melting tunes.

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Singled Out (7/25 – 7/31): New Music From Born of Osiris, Dark Sermon, Kylesa and More!

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In case you haven’t been following, Singled Out is our new weekly column to round-up all of the singles and new tracks from the past week dropped by bands we cover. Consider this our weekly mix to help keep you all on top of the latest releases from across the metallic and progressive spectrums. We’ve got an awful lot of new music to cover this week from all over the place, so let’s forego the whole introductory setup today and just get to it. Let’s get singled out!

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Dreadnought – Bridging Realms

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The tension between theme – that is, concept, lyrics and overall tone – and the actual quality of music on an album is one that is deserving of closer attention. A passage between the two undoubtedly exists; one affects the other, adding or withdrawing from its quality as a stand alone experience. Themes can enhance or detract from music and vice verse. But should reviews focus solely on the “technical” aspect of the music alone, its delivery and expertise, or does the power of the concept deserve attention as well? This review might serve as an answer to that, for it is impossible to understand Bridging Realms but as a whole, music and theme, together. It’s a wildly varied album, presenting a mix of genres that would otherwise be scattered, purposeless and confusing. However, under the auspices of a well formulated theme, it comes together to create one of the best albums of 2015.

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