Thrown into a fit of rage. Your blood starts to boil. Your head bangs and the riffs are smashed against whatever part of your brain makes you a metalhead. Ushering in decades of death metal influence, from the seamless slams of Devourment to the standard tremolo pick death metal riff (you know the one), the hardcore band of old washes away against the new death metal landscape Homewrecker has presented. Extinction By Design sees a band not graduate from hardcore, but rather shift gears in the same sonic vehicle to come into their own. This transition has long since been on the horizon. Their incredible mix of powerviolence, hardcore, death metal and grind on Worms and Dirt, and the similarly sounding Circle of Death slowly built towards this death metal iteration of the band. This change was even more evident when we consider that side project Scorched are OSDM worship and splits albums with similar new death metal acts such as Gatecreeper. Th question, however, remains: does this album pay off by going all in on death metal ? Is this even the same band and is their new sound, well, good?
Friday! What a wondrous day, where the world just seems a little bit brighter. As Douglas Adams put it: “You will need to know the difference between Friday and a fried egg. It’s quite a simple difference, but an important one. Friday comes at the end of the week, whereas a fried egg comes out of a chicken”. Wise words indeed. In case your Friday mood hasn’t been exactly of a sunny disposition, allow me to introduce you to Totorro, a British band who have just what you need. Come to Mexico is their sophomore release and it’s a math-rock injection of summer, open arms and hope. To put a cherry on top of this riff cake, it’s releasing on Big Scary Monsters, one of our favorite labels. Head on below for your first listen!
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.
Welcome back to our ongoing analyses of clipping.’s Splendor & Misery. In case you aren’t caught up, we highly recommend reading the first part. If you’re a busy adult with many busy adult things to accomplish today (such as undermining the basic structures of our lives as we know them), here’s a summary: we’re in the future. Our protagonist, Cargo 2331, has seized the ship on which he was being ferried to a distant space war. The ship, in turn, fell in love with him (or, rather, its AI did) and now they are hurtling through space, jumping at random in order to escape their pursuers. This leaves 2331 in dire straits as his life literally flashes before his eyes every time the ship jumps and he is put into hypersleep. This is where “Wake Up” left us, with 2331’s mind slowly degrading as his history, genesis and family get left behind in the unfathomable millennia that are involved in any form of “realistic” space travel.
With cold, treble-tipped tremolo riffs, agonized rasps and Satanic imagery, black metal might seem like the farthest thing from acoustic folk. But despite their distance, acoustic guitar has slowly crept into black metal since its unholy birth, even with the strict cultural norms that once governed the sound and image of black metal. Interestingly, the use and purpose of acoustic guitars in black metal is not random, but traces patterns across the evolution of black metal, from Bathory to Panopticon.
Welcome to another Heavy Chat, and today we’re going to take things into hardcore territory. Jimmy and Spencer had a little gab about a Boston hardcore band we covered a while ago called Nihil, who are set to release their debut album Foundation in November. So without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Supergroups are almost always a tricky endeavor. It’s inevitably impossible to not have incredible expectations attached to them, especially when they involve members of some of Metal Blade Records’ biggest acts like Killswitch Engage, Cannibal Corpse, and The Black Dahlia Murder. Add to that the fact that Serpentine Dominion has been in talks for almost five years now in some shape or form, and it’d seem almost impossible for this project to live up to the expectations fans have built up for it. Thankfully, this self-titled debut doesn’t falter and delivers a concise yet brutally-appropriate slab of melodic death metal that feels like each of these three musicians’ best work in quite some time.
There are are a handful of bands that somehow always manage to top their previous output with their latest output. These rare beasts push onward and upward with their new material without compromising a core-familiarity that’s been woven throughout their music since the start. With each album release it’s becoming apparent that Dance Gavin Dance are a part of this laudable group. After their last album Instant Gratification, Dance Gavin Dance could have gone anywhere and it more than likely would have been well received. luckily they chose to go above and beyond and release one of the best albums of their entire career, Mothership.
After a month off whilst I traveled the world, we’re back with October’s edition of A Gift to Artwork, and we’re looking at In Flames. The Gothenburg Trio alum took the world by storm when they emerged at the forefront of the melodic death metal movement in the mid-to-late ’90s; however, their change in sound and direction at the turn of the century – and again post-2010 – have polarised fans the world over. Though their modern relevance continues to erode, the artistic legacy they’ve left behind still stands the test of time. Part of this legacy rests within their cover artwork as well as their music, and so today we’re going to be looking at three album covers, one from each of the three main eras of the band’s history.
It is certainly no secret that we have a special admiration for Seattle progressive metal band A Sense of Gravity. Ever since their debut album, Travail, became one of our top albums of 2014, we and many others have been eagerly waiting to hear what comes next. Thankfully you all won’t need to wait too much longer, as the band announced a few weeks ago that their sophomore LP, Atrament, will be released on November 18. We’ve already received the promo for it, and you can get a taste of what at least two of us think about it in the Heavy Pod Is Heavy Cast from a couple of weeks ago (start at 1:11:52). Surprising few people though, we like it! We especially liked the first single released from the album, “Echo Chasers,” which took some of the more aggressive, riff-focused work from Travail and pushed it even further.
Given that Travail was great in part because of its blend of massive slabs of progressive death with other, unexpected elements, that makes their selection for the second single from Atrament, “Shadowed Lines,” even better, which we are very pleased to be premiering today.
Up until now, seeing the Twelve Step Suite live was a distant dream; even when Portnoy was still in Dream Theater, chances of this being played from start to finish were slim for a variety of reasons. However, it seems that, like in all good myths, in death lies rebirth; Portnoy has thus far confirmed a series of performances of the Suite, in festivals around the world. One of those festivals is Be Prog! My Friend in Barcelona, which we will be attending as you might remember. The drummer will be joined by a as yet unannounced, progressive supergroup. We should get our first glimpse of these performers in February, when they first take to the stage as The Shattered Fortress.