Reel Good Sh1t: Best Music Vidyas Of April

Back once again for the renegade master… Oops, wrong meeting. Yes, it is time for my round up of the smartest music videos I’ve seen this month. Whether it’s sleek and shiny or gruesome and garish, I’ll watch it with both eyes peeled and all of my senses involved. This time around it’s the turn of the full band performance video. Stipulations of entry into this list include all members of band accounted for on film and at least five close up shots of instruments being played. These are great tracks this time around too whereas last month I chose a great video for an awful track. Yes. It was Babymetal. I digress, away we go!

Todd Jones of Nails: The Heavy Blog Is Heavy Interview

With extreme music, it seems as if there is an almost constant quest to further push the boundaries of just how much misanthropy and hate is included, with many bands often pushing it to somewhat cheesy levels. However, there are those rare few bands whose sound is so intense, so raw, so heinously abrasive that it is impossible to deny that deep down, on some level, they really are just about as misanthropic and nasty as they claim to be. Nails is one of those bands, and though the interview below shows front man Todd Jones at times joking, it is undeniable that his brutal honesty and straight forward honesty shows just how serious Nails is about their message of complete and total musical annihilation. I had the extreme pleasure of sitting down with Todd at Choosing Death Fest in Philadelphia and talking to him about all things extreme music, and what it truly means to be “one of us”.

Hey! Listen to Mirrors For Psychic Warfare!

There have been a few recent HLT articles I’ve done about bands that sort of take the metal aesthetic and reshape it in really cool and funky ways. Forndom and Goatpsalm both take a folky approach to metal, and then add a sort of mysticism to it that sounds like some pagan sacrifice in the woods of Scandinavia.

Mirrors For Psychic Warfare—the side project of Neurosis frontman Scott Kelly and frequent collaborator Sanford Parker (Buried At Sea, ex-Nachtmystium)—does something similar to the latter artists, in that their sound very much relies on buildup of sound using a sparse amount of instrumentation and a slow but steady beat, much like a Neurosis album.

ETHS – Ankaa

Once upon a time, there was a band called ETHS. This band did pretty much whatever the fuck they wanted, blending nu-metal with all sorts of influences. Did that mix work? Not really. The band were, somewhat rightfully, written off as another in the wave of post nu-metal hybrids that didn’t really hold water. However, it now appears that ETHS are back and that everything has changed. Nu-metal is no longer their mainstay and in its place, something much darker has seized center stage. Now, their latest album is called Ankaa, and its a brooding, massive piece of deathcore turned every other adjective from the dark spectrum of English. It has electronic breaks, oriental singing in Arabic, French nearly-spoken word, guttural growls, screams and whatever else you bloody well desire. This makes it a veritable monolith, eschewing cohesion for a narrative all of its own.

Soul Curator – Albums To Write To

Look on Spotify, and you’ll see a billion and a half playlists dedicated for study help and productivity and the like. (Approximately one billion and a half; no more, no less.) And that’s great and all that some people have found music that works for them, but I’ve never been able to focus with classical music or smooth jazz or any of that “calming” stuff. It’s about balance for me, between something too distracting and too calm. I, like many other modern humans, can get diverted to other things pretty easily. But to make something boring to distract one track of your mind while leaving another one to work doesn’t really pan out well. I need something that figuratively tackles that other part of my mind that wants to go and look on Facebook and pins it there. The following list contains a few albums that I like to listen to for this very purpose. And trust me, these have worked; I’ve written an innumerable amount literary analysis just to these albums alone.

Post Rock Post – Let The Khost Take You Home

The structure is exquisite; instead of relying on the rise-fall-rise structure so common in post-rock, or relenting into a monolithic, single track structure, Stella Maris just flows. It’s easy to let your mind go and suddenly find yourself at the end of the album. So much has passed but any attempt to parse it into separate tracks or moments is futile. This is why you might feel me struggling to describe this album as I write this. There’re are really no words for how calm, silent and full I feel when it ends. Like yndi halda’s Under Summer, it is post-rock at what I’ve always felt was its best. Instead of pretenses to grandeur, instead of a mimicry of emotions produced by tried and true musical tools, it simply is.