We’ve spoken about post-black metal a lot in the recent days and with good reason; it’s without a doubt one of the trends currently affecting the metal community. However, one of its least discussed aspects if how it bleeds into, and thus influences, the other genres of black metal. This osmosis can be heard on the new Downfall of Gaia record for example, a band that has never been too far from the post-black moniker themselves. Atrophy presents a further exploration of their sound which detractors might, foolishly, call “going soft”. It’s more productive, however, to understand Atrophy as an attempt to communicate with ongoing ideas and conversations within the sub-genre, sacrificing some of the hard hitting brutality of earlier releases for a more expressive and varied palette.
Even a cursory glance of our biweekly “What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To” posts (last week’s update here) will reveal that there is a great deal of variety among our staff’s musical tastes. Due to this, we brainstormed the idea of “Playlist Swap,” another biweekly segment that takes place between playlist updates. We randomly select two of the participants from each update, have them pick their favorite track from each of the nine albums in their grid and then send the list over to the other person to listen to and comment on. Within these commentaries occurs praise, criticism and discovery, and we hope that you experience a few instances of this last point as well. This week’s post has Nick and David going tête-à-tête with some things the two already share their admiration for and some unexpected surprises!
We’re back! And thanks to everyone who listened to our first episode: it really means a lot to us. And a big special thanks to one Greg Greenberg for making some bitchin’ intro music for us! (I forgot to add that last week—my bad.) This week, however, we’ve got something…
Laurel Brauns never really managed to emerge from the fog of singer-songwriters clinging to the U.S. West Coast. True to the genre, her 2001 debut album, Swimming, was recorded in basements and released to little fanfare. But there’s a peculiar magic wreathing the album that makes Laurel stand far above the litany of artists straining to be loved. Her album is a simple one. It’s a young woman and a guitar, spiced with violin, mandolin, and cello provided by her musically inclined friends. Nothing revolutionary. The reason Laurel Brauns is a fantastic singer-songwriter is simple as this: she is a fantastic singer and a fantastic songwriter. Her singing is the best I’ve ever heard.