Emma Ruth Rundle – On Dark Horses

Achieving crossover appeal among the metal community has become quite a bit easier as times trudged along. Even poppy, synth-laden genres like retrowave have found a warm spot in some metalheads’ blackened hearts. This is a more than a welcome phenomenon in my eyes; many of my flings and favs over the years have been artists who’ve repped a metal-adjacent image/sound while staying firmly rooted in their own, off-genre sound. The brooding neofolk of Marissa Nadler and King Dude’s devilish Americana immediately comes to mind, as does the early work of one Ms. Chelsea Wolfe (though her dive into post-metal has been delightful, as well). For…

Bosse-de-Nage – Further Still

Blackgaze is now established; it’s time to recognize this and move on. What does this mean, exactly, to be established? It means many things but it mostly means that bands, and journalists writing about those bands, no longer have to “apologize” for using that name. It also means, perhaps more importantly, that the genre now has tropes, tropes created from the expectations of the not-negligible number of listeners the genre now enjoys. This posits unique challenges for any bands looking to make music within the blackgaze space but it mostly affects the veteran bands that have been operating within it for a while now. Think of the latest Deafheaven record; their change in style is a direct response to the pressures and expectations now working on the band.

But they’re far from the only ensemble to face this issue; Bosse-de-Nage have been, up until Deafheaven’s explosion into popularity, one of the most associated with blackgaze or post-black metal in general.

Into the Pit – A Semi-Defense of Anthrax…Sort Of

Guys, I really tried with Anthrax. I fully intended to write a defense of Anthrax as a Big 4 band. Ask my girlfriend. Ask the editors. Ask anybody who lets me talk about the blog to them. I really wanted to do that. I had a great plan! I intentionally started the Testament column with “ANTHRAX SUX LOL” because I wanted to write, “And whoever that idiot was who said Anthrax sucks can go play in traffic!” It was going to be so great. Self-deprecating humor is disarming, even if total comment thread dopes can’t understand tongue-in-cheek humor via the written word.

I had listened to some Anthrax records before, so I had some idea of what I was in for. “Sure, there might be some stinkers here, but overall I’ll find what I need.” And then I started listening. And I kept listening. Fistful of Metal. Spreading the Disease. Among the Living. State of Euphoria. When I got to Persistence of Time, a thought occurred to me.

I still can’t defend Anthrax. I just can’t do it.

Revocation – The Outer Ones

Nothing can compare to the nuttiness that can be tech death. Blast beats plus virtuoso riffing is simply candy to the ears. The only problem, if it can even really be defined that way, is that tech death is rarely “dirty”. I mean that in the way that old school death metal or thrash bands can be dirty. Playing things a little looser and dialing back on the production qualities while also turning up the distortion is very rarely in the playbook for tech death bands. Fortunately, the fans of dirt have Revocation, a band that consistently blurs the lines between thrash and technical death metal. The Outer Ones is a great example that bands can play things a little loose while also being technical masters of their instruments.

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Listen to The Ever Living Strip Away “Fifty Metres Deep”

Back in May, a UK band called The Ever Living released their excellent full length debut, HEREPHEMINE. To be honest, this should be one of our Heavy Delinquency posts, seeing as we failed to give this album the shout out it deserved. It’s a fantastically sleek take on post metal, combining great production and sharp tones alongside harrowing vocals to create a depth and range of sound that was incredibly endearing. It seems, however, that The Ever Living shall not suffice themselves with that; these lads have decided to release an instrumental version of the album, stripping away these aforementioned vocals. The end result is an interesting rework of their sound, of which you can get a taste with the instrumental version of “Fifty Metres Deep”. Let’s get going!

Post. Festival’s Organizers Explain Why the Midwest is the Perfect Place for Post-Rock (Plus Single-Day Tickets & Set Times)

In case you missed it, we announced a couple of months ago that Heavy Blog will be sponsoring Post. Festival, the US’s only (and thus also premier) major post-rock/metal/whatever festival on October 19th and 20th at Indiana City Brewery Co. in Indianapolis, IN. The festival is shaping up to be an incredible event, featuring the likes of The Appleseed Cast, Outrun the Sunlight, Heron, This Patch of Sky, and far more. I wanted to talk to the festival organizers about what fans can expect from the weekend, about what makes holding a post-rock festival in the US a more daunting challenge than in Europe, and about why they believe the genre of post-rock is as strong as it’s ever been and only getting stronger.