Acranius – Reign of Terror

Death metal fanatics can get super pissy. This isn’t news. It’s an endless meme of a thread devolving into name-calling over the wrong genre prefix. It takes a sense of humor and humility to enjoy brutal death metal because of this. Whether it’s slam/brutal death/slamming brutal death doesn’t matter. If…

Kreator – Gods of Violence

The continuously unfolding exploits of human societies are an endless source of drama, conflict and the occasional glimpse of how things could be if altruism took over our collective behavior. Artists throughout the ages have always stood witness to the events that shape our world and have presented their messages…

Heavy Blog’s Interview with Michael Gagen (hazards of swimming naked, Echotide, ex-Arcane)

Today we’re joined by none other than Michael Gagen, guitarist extraordinaire at bands you may have heard of, like hazards of swimming naked and (ex-) Arcane, and bands you’ve probably never heard of, like Echotide, agrammeofsoma and more. We don’t know which of those bands you’ve heard of, but we…

I Feel It Coming – How Streaming is Changing Music Consumption

Over the past couple years, we’ve published two massive articles about the current state and impending trends of music consumption—my deep dive on the tough realities of streaming platforms and Nick’s bullshit-free synopsis of Nielsen’s 2016 music industry report. While both of these pieces had minimal references to metal, the research and analysis we presented outlines some staggering changes to the entirety of music, changes that continue to expand and show no sign of slowing. And though it’s been just over a year since I channeled my B.A. thesis on streaming for my deep dive, Billboard published a story that compelled me to revisit the topic and write down my thoughts as soon as possible. The facts of the story are relatively simple—because Billboard now incorporates track streams into the sales figures they consider, The Weeknd’s Starboy remained at #1 on the Top 200 for this week because it technically “sold” more albums than The XX’s I See You, landing the British indie pop trio at #2 on the list despite selling more actual albums. This story stopped me in my tracks, as it poses an equally intriguing and worrisome question – are streams and purchases comparable, and what are the implications if Billboard thinks they are?