Tau Cross’ 2015 self-titled debut took many in the metal and punk communities by surprise. It shouldn’t have, given the legendary contributions of band leaders Rob “The Baron” Miller of Amebix and Michael “Away” Langevin of Voivod. That album melded thrash, crust, punk, and a little bit of old fashioned heavy metal into a storming amalgam of heaviness and speed that catapulted the band into the limelight and gave the album more than a few nods on best-of lists at the end of the year. Such an auspicious debut from wily metal veterans such as Miller and Langevin has led to immense excitement regarding the band’s next album and whether or not they could keep pace with their scorching debut. Thus Tau Cross find themselves in the midst of the eternal quandary of all bands who have released excellent debut records. So how do they fair with their new record Pillar of Fire? Not bad at all, to be honest.
One-man metal bands have traditionally been dominated by black metal acts. Superficially, this makes sense. Thematically, the hyper-isolated, frost-bitten anguish of black metal is probably best fostered in a singular, individualized setting. Further, the low-barrier recording requirements of tinny, high-treble bedroom black metal means more people can simply start projects on their own, no band-mates or professional sound set-up required. Of course, there are exceptions. But black metal’s icy grip on one-man metal has, at times, seemed so tight as to prevent other genres from getting in on the action. Thankfully, Talsur is here to bring doom metal into the one-man domain.
Djent had an explosive entrance into the world of heavy music, around the start of the decade. It was a truly exciting occurrence, with first-wave acts like Periphery, Animals As Leaders and Cloudkicker filtering the technically-driven progressive sound of acts like Meshuggah, Sikth, and those of the budding “Sumeriancore” movement, into something altogether more accessible, while still retaining much of their forebears’ technical and progressive edge. Yet, like most new sub-genres, djent quickly devolved into pastiche and gave way to over saturation—perhaps a little bit quicker than most. Djent, it seems, has had a propperly ballistic trajectory, and—in 2017—as its momentum trails off, it’s hard to get excited about this once-promising phenomenon.
There’s a lot happening in the music world, and we here at Heavy Blog try our very best to keep up with it! Like the vast majority of heavy music fans, our tastes are incredibly vast, with our 3X3s in each Playlist Update typically covering numerous genres and sometimes a different style in each square. While we have occasionally covered non-metal topics in past blog posts, we decided that a dedicated column was warranted in order to more completely recommend all of the music that we have been listening to. Unmetal Monday is a weekly column which covers noteworthy tracks and albums from outside the metal universe, and we encourage you all to share your favorite non-metal picks from the week in the comments. This week, we’ll be highlighting a few albums and tracks that struck our fancy over the past few weeks. Head past the jump to dial down the distortion:
Bodhi is a one man project from Justin Seymour, who plays for blog favorites The Room Colored Charlatan. Bodhi has all the marks of nu-prog on its latest release, including sweet guitars, an emphasis on solos and the sort of dream-y timbre that’s come to be associated with the genre. However, it all has everything good about the artists mentioned in the opening lines of the post, namely musical sensibility, restraint and a sense of composition that enunciates the musical ideas contained therein. The project also manages to create interesting “spaces” for the guitar to live in, contextualizing the flair and expressiveness of its sound.
Edguy’s Monuments does a pretty great job as far as compilations go. Not only does Edguy include an EP’s worth of new material, they also include a DVD of live performances, and a never before released track from their classic days when they weren’t the German hard rock superstars that they are today. Hardcore fans like myself will find many reasons to pick this thing up and new listeners will find this release a great starting place for Edguy. Monuments showcases the power metal/hard rock masters perfectly in currently forms and presents a unique chance to look back at the band’s impressive career.
The following article is a collaboration between editors Jonathan Adams and Scott Murphy. Before we dive in, let’s make one…
Just in time for the weekend, we have a full stream of the brand new self titled record from San Diego’s brutal death reps Pathology. With a somewhat familiar lineup back in the midst, Pathology have had their longest break from releasing a full length since inception, but slammin’ riff junkies don’t have to wait any longer. We got the goods. Definitely one of the nastier premieres we’ve had in awhile, over the jump you’ll find the West Coasts most active death outfit, burning through a half hour of typically punishing brutal death material. Put the kids to bed, hide all sharp objects, grab a hammer.
Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure trove, others find themselves drawing a blank at the end of the month due to the breakneck pace needed to keep up to date with what’s been released. Which brings us to this Heavy Blog PSA: a weekly roundup of new albums which pares down the the week’s releases to only our highest recommendations. Here you’ll find full album/single streams, pre-order links and, most importantly, a collection of albums that could very well earn a spot on your year end list. Enjoy!
We here at Heavy Blog love many things. We love it when bands take risks and aim big. We love it when disparate artists collaborate to create something magnificent that neither could dream of achieving on their own. We love scouring the internet, countless promotional emails and record stores to find that next great album that nobody knows or talks about. And most of all, when we find such an album, we love telling you all about it. Touchstone has satisfied each of these desires and more. An audacious 60-minute concept album brought to life by almost 50 musicians, indulge us as we regale you with tales of a remarkable record you won’t be forgetting about anytime soon.
Cynic are one of the greatest metal bands of our generation, regardless of their current status or one’s opinions of their latest releases. Perhaps one of the most decisive signs of that is how their tracks work both in their quiet, intimate version and the original epic ones. Thus, Re-traced in Air remains an immensely impressive album, perhaps one of the most impressive of its type (Opeth’s Damnation would be another one or Devin Townsend’s Unplugged). With their skill, Cynic birthed a plethora of progressive metal bands and can be credited as one of the progenitors of progressive metal in general. One such band, who have always worn their influences on their sleeves is Cryptodira. While we would LOVE to tell you that we have new material from these guys (“soon!”, the promise us), we do have a cover of Cynic’s “Integral” by the band. Check it out below.