These posts are written by: Jimmy Rowe

Heavy Buys: Author & Punisher, Rick and Morty, Pig Destroyer

Those of us music lovers who purchase and collect physical media understand the thrill of the hunt. Be it digging through crates, scoring a deal on that grail on Discogs, or getting in on the pre-order before the limited edition variant sells out, the rush of broadening the collection is one of the most fulfilling things about consuming music for much of the Heavy Blog staff. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is also a huge driving force due to the limited nature of many releases, and collectively, we tend to spend way too much money for the sake of getting in while the getting’s good. However, funds are not always in supply, and we often spend our free time adding out-of-press releases to our Discogs wantlist or staring longingly at /r/vinyl and /r/heavyvinyl in hopes of catching a contact buzz.

Coheed and Cambria – The Unheavenly Creatures

When Coheed and Cambria dropped their eighth album The Color Before The Sun in 2015, they made some pretty shocking waves among their incredibly rabid fanbase by giving their conceptual Amory Wars universe a hiatus. Frontman and primary songwriter Claudio Sanchez instead brought to the table some deeply personal tracks about love, his family, and his take on being at the helm of such a longstanding rock establishment without the pretense of hiding his thoughts and feelings behind characters and plot beats. This experiment went well enough; the record had some of the band’s most heartfelt material and provided more than a few Coheed classics, but the desire for more science fiction lore and progressive rock cheese was felt by basically everyone. 

Author & Punisher – Beastland

Tristan Shone’s industrial doom project Author & Punisher is easily one of the most unique acts on the current landscape of extreme music; while many acts proudly identify as a “one-man band,” Shone’s array of handmade instruments and impeccable limb independence allows him to weave songs together by himself without relying on backtracks to get the job done, borrowing musical cues from the likes of Neurosis, Godflesh, and Helmet in the process. Leaning heavily into drone and doom on initial releases, Shone’s musical palette and production know-how have broadened the dynamic considerably.

Pig Destroyer – Head Cage

New albums from Virginian grindcore legends Pig Destroyer are increasingly few and far between, so each new release is a genuine momentous occasion. This time around, in the six years since Book Burner (which was itself five years removed from Phantom Limb), the stakes grew higher for the band in maintaining their spot on grindcore’s pedestal; or the first time ever, the band have invited a bassist into the fold in John Jarvis, further expanding their lineup after additions of drummer Adam Jarvis replaced Brian Harvey prior to Book Burner and sampler/electronics guy Blake Harrison on Phantom Limb. Such a change in dynamic, both sonically and interpersonally, is bound to have an affect on the output, and when taking into account six years of artistic development and fan anticipation, the group’s latest effort Head Cage was bound to be heavily scrutinized.

PREMIERE: Experimental Mathgrind Project The Sound That Ends Creation Gets Fucky With New Single “Fucky The Drunk Clown Only Comes Around During A Full Moon”

One of my most dearly missed niche phase of extreme music was that “weird” phase of mathcore that brought us stuff like The Red Chord, Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, Silent Circus era BTBAM, and the like? Wonky breakdowns, noodly guitar tech, and brutality that flirted with death metal and grindcore was the sound of a certain kind of person’s MySpace playlist circa 2005.