Here at Heavy Blog, we’ve been quite vocally critical of musical crowdfunding. More often than not, the campaigns seem to stretch into infinity, forever unfulfilled. However, the basic concepts of fan supporting their beloved artists directly is one which we find highly appealing, seeing as how we’re fans who’d love to do that as well. Thus, it’s always refreshing to see an example of a crowdfunding campaign done right and, what’s more, one which produces an incredible album. Such is the case with sleepmakeswaves and their latest release, Made of Breath Only. This marvelous piece of high tempo post rock, bursting with the joie de vivre we’ve come to expect from these Australians, was successfully made possible by fans of the band (this writer included) and feels inherently made for them.
There are few genres in music that better simulate the chaos, malice, and militancy of war than metal. In particular, death and black metal have a peculiar knack for unleashing torrents of sound that bring these elements to terrifying life. In general, these two subgenres (which most of you must now be aware that I am quite fond of) bring to the listener a heightened level of audio decimation. Mixtures of blast beats and monstrous fills vie for supremacy against a cacophony of incendiary guitar work that either blazes or plods through songs about death, existential malaise, spatial emptiness, and…
Another homegrown project we are immensely fond of comes straight from our dear editor-in-chief, the aforementioned Eden Kupermintz, and our good friend Greg Greenberg (Seven Circles), who, with guitarists Doug Van Bevers and Nick Maini and drummer Travis Orbin (ex-Periphery, Darkest Hour) form Instar, a beautiful fusion of post-rock, math-rock, jazz/metal fusion, and spoken word. Those who are at all familiar with Eden know that he is an ardent lover and connoisseur of sci-fi and a writer himself, and he lends his own illustrative prose and mellifluous voice to give the project a distinctly cosmic post-y feeling. The last time we mentioned the band on this site it was to recommend their debut EP, which featured Eden on one track and other guest vocalists on the other two. Eden has since joined the project as a full-fledged member, and if the lead track from their upcoming album Ex Nihilo Cycles “Stepping Stones” is any indication, Instar is prepared to take an enormous leap for their first full-length release.
“We’re going back to our roots” is something that a lot of bands say. So often, that the phrase has almost lost its point. It’s more interesting, though, when uttered by a band that aren’t backed into a corner. While many bands say this to reinvigorate interest after a series of releases that meet lukewarm reception or are creatively bankrupt, Vintersorg are clearly not one such band. In fact, they’re pushing along steadily, and frontman Andreas Hedlund also helms Borknagar, so he has a lot of room to explore his writing. Still, he has chosen this direction for his tenth album, making a sequel to their debut. It’s an odd choice, but it works!
Metal newbies would have you think metal just started borrowing from shoegaze’s sounds a few years ago. While Deafhaven popularized the fusion in 2013, the genres have been bedfellows for quite a while. Jesu, as far back as 2004, brought the psychedelics of shoegaze together with abrasive industrial metal, a juxtaposition rarely touched upon by newer metalgaze bands who usually gravitate toward aesthetics of black metal and sludge metal. Brazil’s Isaurian brings a new vibe to industrial shoegaze metal (that’s a mouthful). Where Jesu went ugly and violent, Isaurian dials it back to a gothic melodicism.
There’s a lot happening in the music world, and we here at Heavy Blog try our very best to keep up with it! Like the vast majority of heavy music fans, our tastes are incredibly vast, with our 3X3s in each Playlist Update typically covering numerous genres and sometimes a different style in each square. While we have occasionally covered non-metal topics in past blog posts, we decided that a dedicated column was once again warranted in order to more completely recommend all of the music that we have been listening to. Unmetal Monday is a weekly column which covers noteworthy news, tracks and albums from outside the metal universe, and we encourage you all to share your favorite non-metal picks from the week in the comments. This week, we’ll be highlighting several albums that struck our fancy over the past few weeks. Head past the jump to dial down the distortion:
Swedish progressive black metal masters Vintersorg are back with their tenth album, which is a direct sequel to their debut from 1998. The brainchild of Andreas Hedlund (Borknagar) and Mattias Marklund, Vintersorg have been forging ahead in their own brand of mellow, beautiful darkness. The prospect of them revisiting their older sound with a new take almost two decades later is quite exciting, and we’re excited to share it with you!
Fun times! This week we discuss a bunch of new music. Leprous, Tesseract, Archspire, The Haunted, Aborted, Cloakroom, and Fox Territory. Then we have some live footage from Zeal & Ardor, Spotify suffering losses, and Rolling Stone’s top 100 metal albums. Then we discuss the Transformers movies, and what makes a good villain. Enjoy!
Since their inception, BABYMETAL has always been a gimmick driven by an insane marketing campaign. The fusion of a power/death…
For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to. For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.
Hailing from Istanbul, Turkey, death dealers Persecutory don’t make music for the weak. Their debut album, Towards the Ultimate Extinction, is the audio equivalent of having your skin peeled from your bones over forty-two grueling and relentlessly crushing minutes. Sound like your cup of tea? You’re in luck, as we are proud to bring to your emaciated earholes an exclusive premier of this black hole of a record.