Doom veterans AHAB are back with their The Boats of The Glenn Carrig. It’s always a strange and slightly intimidating notion to review a new album by a veteran band, perhaps one whose music accompanied you while growing up. Such is the case here, as AHAB has been operating for more than ten years. All that being said, it is the task of the reviewer to review and so he has. So, what is The Boats of The Glenn Carig like? To draw on the cliche, imagine the full weight of that mythical prey Moby Dick crashing you on you wholly, drowning you in the dark, abyssal waters from which it came. This album bears the same punch and deceptive calm before the blow, the cool mirror of water before your world crashes down on you. And crash it does.
Local music scenes are cool, and that’s a fact. Long Island has been fortunate enough to have one of the best thriving scenes, and to prove it, we have Today’s Mixtape Festival at The Emporium in Patchogue, New York. What’s cool about the festival is that there are seasonal “Mini Mixtape Fests” that happen throughout the year. For example, earlier in the Spring there was Spring Mixtape featuring Title Fight, Pianos Become The Teeth, Bane, etc. This summer, however, was much more Long Island oriented featuring bands from all over the island (including Queens and Brooklyn), as well as national and international acts. Some of those local acts include Makeshift, Commonwealth,Cryptodira, Kill Your Idols, Iron Chic, The Movielife, Incendiary, etc. Thanks to a very busy week/weekend before the show, I wasn’t able to capture a few of the bands who started both days off, but believe me that the whole fest was an awesome and fun experience.
Singled Out is our weekly column to round-up 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. Read past entries here, and go on ahead below to get Singled Out!
What connects these two releases is, more than anything, their desire for elegance in simplicity. Even though they sound far from similar, both the brutal slamming death metal album and the hardcore punk EP reviewed here try to downplay any form of real technical showmanship or complex songwriting in favor of crushing, straightforward heaviness and groove. After all, who needs a scalpel when you’ve got a chainsaw?
Local music scenes are cool, and that’s a fact. Long Island has been fortunate enough to have one of the best thriving scenes, and to prove it, we have Today’s Mixtape Festival at The Emporium in Patchogue, New York. What’s cool about the festival is that there are seasonal “Mini Mixtape Fests” that happen throughout the year. For example, earlier in the Spring there was Spring Mixtape featuring Title Fight, Pianos Become The Teeth, Bane, etc. This summer, however, was much more Long Island oriented featuring bands from all over the island (including Queens and Brooklyn), as well as national and international acts. Some of those local acts include Makeshift, Commonwealth, Cryptodira, Kill Your Idols, Iron Chic, The Movielife, Incendiary, etc. Thanks to a very busy week/weekend before the show, I wasn’t able to capture a few of the bands who started both days off, but believe me that the whole fest was an awesome and fun experience.
We’re taking another diversion from our usual Starter Kit format to focus on the work of another seminal artist. Let’s face it; if you’re a reader of this website then you’ve probably already at least heard of some of Devin Townsend’s music. He’s one of the most electrifying, prolific, and impressive musicians to ever come out of Canada and is unquestionably one of progressive metal’s leading figures in the modern age. With almost thirty records to his name spanning a number of different projects and names, Dev’s output has practically never ceased since he first came onto the scene as Steve Vai’s frontman for a number of years. Whether it’s the manic and terrifying industrial/death/thrash assault of Strapping Young Lad, his heavy take on pop music, or even his forays into ambient, new age and even country music, there practically isn’t anything that this guy can’t do at a frustratingly-virtuosic level. That being said, if you’re not familiar with this guy’s extensive back catalog, it can be quite a daunting thing to undertake. That’s why we here at Heavy Blog Is Heavy would love to guide on your quest to getting into what may be metal’s best current musician. There will never truly be a definitive way to get anyone into such a multi-faceted body of work, but these five shouldn’t be passed up.
Many of us are fans of the really weird, out-there-style of prog music. There’s something about being a bit odd that really attracts us, and I think some writers here gravitate towards that more than anything else. Lucky for me, I got hit up to premiere the teaser for this killer band Pseudo/Sentai, and then heard the record. It’s definitely out there, but in the best way possible. The premiere today is the instrumental opening track from the band’s record ‘ Quantum Cardboard’. Check out the video below!
*prognotes breaks down and analyzes your favorite metal and progressive concept albums lyrically and musically. Read other entries in this series here.
Salutations and welcome back. In case you missed our three previous installments, we are going through The Dear Hunter’s brilliant Acts series and analyzing its story, characters, motivations, and deeper meaning. So far we’ve gone through Acts I & II with a fine-toothed analytical comb, and last we left our protagonist, he was running away from his failed relationship with the calculating prostitute Ms. Leading in The City via boat. Act III takes us far away from everything that’s transpired thus far as we travel all the way to Europe on the frontlines of World War I. Faced with the gruesome horrors of war, The Boy must face both the harshest realities of life, though he’ll quickly learn that even out here he cannot escape his history.
Musically and lyrically, Act III is darker, more aggressive, and often more ambitious in scope while still offering plenty of callbacks to the previous two albums. Though most will state that they prefer Act II slightly, I’m of the opinion that Act III is a stronger album overall in several ways, not least of which because a whole lot more happens in the story. Enough setup though. Let’s dive into the gritty details that form Act III: Life and Death!
In discussing Downfall Rising, it is impossible to avoid framing Wombbath’s resurfacing within two themes within the annals of death metal history. It is first obvious to focus upon Downfall Rising’s status as a comeback record; one would hope that the impetus for ceasing a two decade hiatus was a docket of invigorating material. Death metal has had a couple of resoundingly successful comebacks in recent years, seeing as both Gorguts and Carcass dominated metal discourse in 2013 with two of the strongest releases – Colored Sands and Surgical Steel, respectively – from both that year and within their own discographies. However, the second piece in this historical examination is the platform from which these comebacks sprung. Not every original death metal band has released as many undeniable masterpieces as Gorguts or Carcass; Obscura and Heartwork are the types of albums whose impact is a singular occurrence in a genre’s life cycle. The grand majority of original death metal bands either fizzled out in the days of tape trading or released a moderately respected classic before releasing a lackluster follow-up – if even that – and then breaking up. Genre purveyors label these mild classics as deep cuts rather than essential listening; God Macabre’s The Winterlong… and Carnage’s Dark Recollections, but they are no Left Hand Path or Altars of Madness. While there are instances of these types of bands initiating a comeback, their reception has thus been fairly lukewarm. Convulse’s World Without God did little to stir excitement in 2013’s Evil Prevails, and when Massacre released the underwhelming Back From the Beyond last year, some in the death metal community revisited their debut From Beyond and questioned whether or not it has truly held up as a genre classic. All of this considered, the present question is as follows: twenty two years after Wombbath’s moderate classic Internal Caustic Torments, within which of the aforementioned categories – if any – does Downfall Rising place the band within?
Heavy Blog-sponsored tour The Proggest August Tour was sure to be one of the proggiest tours of the year, matching up against the Between the Buried and Me tour with Animals as Leaders and The Contortionist [photos] and even contesting the upcoming BTBAM tour with Enslaved, Intronaut, and Native Construct themselves or the equally proggy TesseracT toura with The Contortionist, ERRA, and Skyharbor.
Holy smokes, that’s a lot of prog! Still, The Proggest August Tour stands strong with Native Construct, who released the massive Quiet World earlier this year [review], as a headliner and Chicago’s own Outrun the Sunlight, whom we have covered extensively and are proud to call friends, out on their first tour ever. If you have yet to check out Terrapin, make sure to get in there with our review. To top it all off, our friends in Wings Denied worked very hard to make this tour happen and slayed the stages across the East and Midwest US! Native Construct played their last show on the 23rd, but Wings are continuing the tour as a headlining act with local openers, so catch ’em while you can! And listen to them, too! Mirrors for a Prince is a wildly progressive album that deserves your time [review].
All acts were joined by Chicago’s three-piece Sioum, who have a massive sound despite being only a guitarist, keyboardist, and drummer.
Please enjoy the pictures below! Yours truly even joined Wings on stage for a performance of “In Search of Sunrise”! Those pictures courtesy of personal friend Hasib Neaz!