Imagine as, late one afternoon in about mid summer, you ride your bike on your way home, an orange-red sunset illuminating your back. All around you you hear the sounds of birds chirping, the occasional car going by, and, somewhere buried in the distance, you can even hear children laughing…
There are bands whose power lies in singularity. They’ve released a few albums but, somehow, their power only grew in the years of their silence. Think yndi halda. Think Necrophagist. Think Disillusion. Maybe because we’ve had so much time with so few moments from the band, what we had was gestated over and over again in our brains, until a heady concoction was produced. Perhaps it’s just because we are drawn to the rare, enchanted with the pull of unique things. Whichever the case, If These Trees Could Talk and their two albums (and EP) have echoed much farther than one might expect. Both releases are phenomenal moments within the history of post metal defining, along with bands like Pelican, what instrumental post metal even means. Both releases are like powerful hits on a massive bell, their reverberations echoing throughout the viscous fluid that is the metal scene.
And now, the bell has been struck again.
Doom metal is one of the most diverse subgenres of metal and subsequently one of the more difficult ones to understand. The problem here – should you wish to categorize it as a problem – is that very little actually ties doom’s styles together beyond the general focus on riffs…
We Internet Metal Nerds can put as much gloss on it as we’d like but at the end of the day, metal is tied to physicality, aggression and violence. Unlike what society often thinks however, it’s tied to those things in a positive way. Metal is all about channeling and unleashing those destructive energies in a controlled way. Whether through screaming your throat out, headbanging or moshing, metal can tap into those angry places we all have inside us and defuse the knot of emotions that’s found there. Moshing is really the penultimate practice in that regard: nothing vents and provides catharsis like moshing does. There’s just something about the experience of bodily slamming into other people in timed with guttural, soaring or technical music that does the body and mind good.
But not all metal is created equal; some tracks out there spread their blackened claws and cut right through the bullshit, evoking a reaction that’s unmediated and extremely physical. In other, worldly terms, they make us lose our shit. Of course, moshing is also a collective experience and you really need two (preferably more) for this sweaty, violent tango. And so, we’re happy to present you with a list of tracks that make the Heavy Blog staff lose their shit. Meet us in the pit. We’ll be the ones nodding to the rhythm changes and eyeing the mosh with an appraising eye (until “Flying Whales” comes on and then I WILL DESTROY YOU).
It really looks like there’s a lot of great new material coming out of the humid haze of North Carolina lately, this time in the form of some savage deathgrind. If you like your songs short and sweet but ultimately oppressive and nihilistic, then you’ve got it right here with Lesser Life, a savage quartet who have just released another excellent and concise EP. Bone Deep & Numbing takes a lot more influence from brutal death metal than their earlier (and more blackened) releases, and there’s even some sludgier moments to help break things up too. While Lesser Life doesn’t really want to commit to any particular style of extreme metal, they’re unquestionably dedicated to putting out whatever’s the most intense possible idea at the time.
For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to. For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.