Body Count – Bloodlust

First of all, let’s be real. It’s difficult being black in America (and everywhere else in the world but especially so in the US). Being black in metal and being widely accepted by that audience is even more difficult. That said, for 25 years now Body Count have largely done that thanks to their no bullshit approach to and appreciation of the form with an assist from Ice-T who is one of rap’s living icons having had success with crossover audiences for years. That we’re in the midst of shows being picketed and canceled due to alleged racist ties of…

*prognotes – Ayreon’s “The Forever Saga”, Part II: The Final Experiment (For Real This Time)

I already took a deep breath during my intro post but, perhaps, I can be afforded one more, dear reader, in the face of the task at hand? OK, now that that’s out of the way (you’re too kind, really), we can see about getting this started. So, Ayreon’s “The Forever Saga”. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go read the aforementioned intro post. This sprawling epic begins in one place: The Final Experiment. It is perhaps the smallest album we’ll be dealing with here (because we’re cheating and skipping The Human Equation), in its scope and protagonists. However, it is crucial for the understanding of the whole, both in theme and music. What doesn’t echo elements within this album bounces off of them and is thus no less influenced by their directions and ideas.

Hey! Listen to Hexer!

Those who live during anxious times like the ones we live in now, where every day seems to flirt with global devastation, may find themselves at a crossroads between different approaches to art. Some may cling to escapism to find ideal realms away from their own or to discover some answers within their allegories. Others may boldly stare into cold truth, in spite of how difficult that might be, and scream into the darkness. Others still may find themselves torn between these two extremes and, wanting a fantasy that safely emulates the evil found in the real world, ask like…

Always Riled Up: The Knowing is in the Doing – Mike Watt: An Interview

Some artists are iconic because of record sales or bigger than life personalities but a lot of the time they reach that hallowed status because of the influence they wind up having on others and their ability to stay humble in the face of praise. A lot of the time it’s because they have their own guiding philosophy that keeps them contributing long after others have come and gone. The latter can operate in the spaces between traditional measures of success much of the time. Some even deflect the praise onto those they’ve worked with instead of keeping the recognition to themselves.

Hey! Listen To Arcadea!

The powerful foursome from Atlanta known as Mastodon have an incredibly storied history as a unit, but are interesting and developed enough individuals in order to have lived full lives outside of their main project. We’ve been lucky to see fairly recent developments in Brent Hinds teaming up with Alice in Chains’ William DuVall for Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, Bill Kelliher’s grind-punk five-piece in PRIMATE, and Troy Sanders taking on both Gone is Gone and Killer Be Killed in his spare time. Drummer Brann Dailor has been strangely absent outside of Mastodon. Outside of having been a founding member of tech-death…

Succumb – Succumb

Most music nerds can name at least one instance where an album stopped them dead in their tracks. You know the feeling. Those moments when the mind slowly pushes out all other thoughts and daily duties that regularly clutter the brain in order to make ample room for complete and total fixation on one incredible piece of music. There’s no multi-tasking in this space, no working on our various outside projects with music happily and quietly occupying the background. Instead, the music muscles its way front and center. It is music at its most alive, vibrant, and commanding of our full attention. In those distinctly transcendent moments, the music is everything.

Ecstatic Vision – Raw Rock Fury

Ecstatic Vision’s Raw Rock Fury is a good-natured record that most people are gonna want to like. It’s hard not to smile when the first track, which is all of 17 seconds long, is called “Intro” and is pretty much a swooshing noise. A cursory listen reveals these guys know their Nuggets and have been in several garages, surely. The band has made a fun enough record, at least while it’s being played. In a way it may even be the perfect record for the U.S in 2017—all flash and no substance. Whether this was intentional… well, that’s highly doubtful, though some listeners may feel otherwise. If you’re wondering whether you will enjoy this record, look at the cover and you will know. Raw Rock Fury can be judged by its cover, presumably something the band is intrinsically aware of.

This May, Myth of I and Chronologist are “Wanted Shred Or Alive”

In conjunction with The HEMISPHERE Music Movement and The New Fury, we’re super stoked to announce that we’re sponsoring a tour starting next month featuring instrumental metal up-and-comers Myth of I and Chronologist! The two Boston-born bands (although Chronologist has recently migrated cross-country to Austin, Texas) both play progressive-leaning metal that has less of an emphasis on jazzy technicality than the burgeoning nu-prog scene, but clearly stands within metal, unlike a lot of post-metal instrumental outings that blur the lines a little. If you’re a fan of Scale the Summit or the earliest works of Animals As Leaders, you have a pretty good idea of what to…