Going back to the foundation of metal in the 70s, doom metal is arguably the oldest metal subgenre. It has plenty of permutations to explore and it never seems to stop redefining itself. This year alone, there’s a healthy offering of traditional doom metal from masters and newcomers, sludge metal chart toppers, stoner metal copycats, gothic mourners, and spacey death doomers, all under the general umbrella of “doom metal”. It’s…
Foo Fighters aren’t the type of band you associate with breaking boundaries, but their career has seen them unleash eight studio albums that most of us will agree are pretty solid, with a couple that ascends to levels of greatness. Also, as far as modern rock acts go, they don’t come much bigger. Their prolific career has seen them rise to meteoric heights through the release of popular singles, hilarious music videos and a reputation for being some of the nicest dudes in the biz. We don’t just want to support these guys because they know how to appeal to our stadium-sized sensibilities with almighty, but easily digestible, melodic rock, but they’re genuinely likable and good poster boys for music in general. It’s also a testament to their talent that they were able to break out of the shadow of Nirvana and establish themselves as a huge deal in their own right, and at this point in time, you could argue that their legacy is just as magnificent.
When I found out that Ben Hopkins was outed as an abuser and rapist I was heartbroken. I was heartbroken for my friends who loved PWR BTTM. I was heartbroken for all of the queer kids and young queer adults who looked up to this band who (at the time) appeared to really care for their communities. They were activists. They were one of us. They held space for a community of people who didn’t quite fit in anywhere else. PWR BTTM stood up for us. They were just like us, and when people like us are ousted we see ourselves in them and we lash out. We grieve. We process. We take action. We compartmentalize. We move on and hope we won’t have to deal with this again until we do, because this is work that never stops.
This edition of Grind My Gears belongs to an upcoming compilation with a more than deliberate message. A glance at the artwork should give you a clue as to what that message is. Some publications and blogs keep their cards pretty close to their chest when it comes to the burning issue of the day. We don’t. That’s why I’m using my space here to help promote an upcoming compilation from newly founded label Posers Inc. Grind Against Trump won’t solve any of these issues overnight but it’s a start. This compilation of grind, violence and ‘core stands for something when most are content with simply sitting and playing the voyeur. Organiser and label founder Benjamin James took some time out from his day to day life to answer a few questions about the compilation, who it will benefit and why it is a necessary step.
Boston’s newest riff-appliance, Summoner, just dropped their third album, Beyond the Realm of Light. On the Metal Archives, they are listed as “Stoner/Doom Metal”, though, this seems a far cry from the content on this album. Every song on this record uses mid-paced to fast tempos, plenty of melody, and tons of upbeat energy. The band’s DNA consists of all the usual trappings and song ideas of traditional metal and NWOBHM but the band avoids the “vest metal” label by having an aesthetic closer to Baroness and later-Mastodon than Black Sabbath or Judas Priest. Unfortunately, this shift away from the norm is about 5 years too late and not enough to save the album from moments of sameness.
Musing on the future and musing on the present are much closer processes than we’d like to imagine. We think of ourselves thinking of the future as a special capacity, unlinking what is to come and how we perceive it from the ways in which we lead our day to day lives, the weird reality in which we live in. One of the functions of art (good art, that is) is to coupled what was uncoupled and shine a light on how what is it to come is mirrored in our present situations. Forest Swords has always excelled at this; the one man project’s approach to ambiance and electronics echoes with the haunting presence of what is now and the ways in which it is constantly flowering into what will be. In the process of conveying these ideas, the project utilizes a cavernous approach to sound, populating the spaces between its thunderous drums with rust-tinged electronics, cut off synth lines and other tools which serve to portray a lonesome, barren reality still somehow filled with dream.
Chris Cornell was nothing if not human albeit one with otherworldly pipes and a mind ripe with the ability to form words and phrases in such a way as to simultaneously connect and befuddle listeners and onlookers. By all accounts he was a contemplative person who loved his inner circle very much but he wasn’t alone in his troubles. His imperfections, those that his fans knew about anyway, bred a certain closeness strengthening the bond they had with the performer. He was one of rock’s golden but least gilded gods. We have lost another great one but his legacy speaks for itself. We will miss you, Mr. Cornell. Our condolences from the Heavy Blog Family to yours. Read on for what our staff and special contributors feel is a sampling of some of the best work over the course of Chris Cornell’s amazingly moving career.
If we were to make a word cloud out of all of the post rock reviews and op-eds in the world, how much space do you think the word “drums” would take? While such a word cloud remains an unreachable goal, we’d wager that it wouldn’t take much space at all and that’s a damn shame. When writing about post rock, most people naturally focus on the guitars; infecting these instruments with delay pedals is basically the raison d’être for the existence of the genre. However, the drum kit is often what separates good post rock bands (of which there are…
With the return of Twin Peaks only hours away, I figure it’s the perfect time to go back and give attention to…
When Sugar Ray released their breakthrough reggae-infused pop hit “Fly’’ in 1997, they were still very much a punk metal band for the most part. If you listen to any other song on Floored, then you’ll hear nothing else that resembles “Fly’’ in the slightest. The success of that single inspired the band to adopt the more mainstream approach they became known for after that, and while you could place all of their subsequent releases in the pop rock category, the truth is that no Sugar Ray album sounds the same. The beauty of Sugar Ray is that they were a band who just liked to make music, and even though their records catered for the masses during the height of their popularity, they were never without moments of unpredictability. However, before their rise to fame, they released Lemonade and Brownies in 1995, and it was pretty wild. A party-centric blend of funk metal, punk rock, soul and even a touch of country and western, with a front cover displaying a naked Nicole Eggert, the album is the very definition of mindless; however, it boasts such a carefree attitude and knack for memorable tunes that it’s pretty gosh darn irresistible as well.
For being as venerable and insanely talented as they are, I feel as though Immolation gets the shit-end of the death metal history stick. They have their following and they’re not exactly a band that’s languished in obscurity or would be considered anything near a “forgotten classic,” but they really deserve a lot more attention and respect than they get. Calling their discography gem-studded doesn’t do them justice; their almost 30-year history as a band has been almost entirely gems. Seriously, what other classic early-90’s death metal band is still putting out new albums and, more importantly, evolving their sound with pretty much no breaks? That’s impressive as fuck no matter how you slice it!