As is Christmas tradition, we at Heavy Blog Is Heavy have yet again reached out to some friends and family in the online metal community to put together a small gift to our readers in the form of Heavy Comp Is Heavy! This year, in our fifth year, we’ve collected eighteen tracks from several genres in order to promote musical discovery for small and independent acts from 2017 and beyond.
These posts are written by: Jimmy Rowe
Ten years later, Colors holds up, and is widely considered the act’s best album and a modern progressive metal classic. Colors is one of our all-time favorite records around these parts, so there was no question that this tour couldn’t be missed. We were able to catch the trek, which also featured Toothgrinder, Polyphia, and The Contortionist, at its penultimate sold-out show at The Neighborhood Theater in Charlotte, North Carolina, and it was as glorious and powerful as expected.
Welcome to Heavy Blog is Heavy’s feature, “The Anatomy Of.” Taken from the Between The Buried And Me album of the same…
If you’re into extreme metal in any capacity, the name Dallas Toler-Wade may no doubt ring a few bells. You may best know him from his two-decade tenure as vocalist and guitarist for seminal death metal band Nile before his departure earlier this year. Now, his project Narcotic Wasteland — whose self-titled debut album dropped in 2014 — is back as a full-time unit rounded out by drummer Phil Cancilla (Hank 3), guitarist Edwin Rhone, and bassist Chris Dupre.
As the group are gearing up for the release of sophomore album Delirium Tremens (due October 13th through Megaforce), Dallas himself was kind enough to give us a rundown of the most influential bands and albums that shaped his growth as a music fan and as a musician. Get a look into The Anatomy Of Dallas Toler-Wade’s musical development below.
Anyone else remember the good ol’ days of mathcore and grindcore on Myspace circa 2008? Chaotic hardcore, grindcore, and deathcore blended in a menagerie of inaccessible weirdness. The Dillinger Escape Plan, Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, Psyopus, See You Next Tuesday, and The Number Twelve Looks Like You were among some of the highlights. They just don’t make metal like that much anymore, and what’s troubling is that only one of those five bands will be active come 2017 — No. 12 — and they’ve broken up once before already.
Few bands in the modern prog scene are as controversial as The Contortionist. Despite their growing success, the ongoing transition in sound from trailblazers of progressive deathcore to settling into a niche of post-rock and prog influenced alt metal has proven to be divisive among their otherwise dedicated fanbase. Although there were clear and deliberate steps away from deathcore between their celebrated debut Exoplanet and its well-received follow-up Intrinsic, the true turning point for The Contortionist came in 2014’s Language, and it’s no wonder given the lineup overhaul that occurred at that time. Vocalist and keyboard player Jonathan Carpenter and bassist Chris Tilley amicably left following the Intrinsic touring cycle for personal reasons, with the band picking up Last Chance To Reason’s Michael Lessard (vocals), ex-Scale The Summit’s Jordan Eberhardt (bass), and keyboardist Eric Guenther. With the band now half-consisting of new members and a trajectory towards prog already heavily hinted at, it’s no wonder that Language wound up being such a departure.
To the uninitiated, it may appear that on the surface, the field of cinematic and symphonic metal is thinning. Following Wintersun’s embarrassing crowdfunding flop that was The Forest Seasons, an album through which Jari Maenpaa and Co. mishandled and squandered the good graces of fans of the sound by releasing an admittedly inferior album to the one that was promised for half a decade ago, it might not be immediately obvious who would pick up the mantle of epic prog/power/black/folk/whatever. The sound of Wintersun is highly ambitious, after all, and it could be forgiven if it was assumed by some that the breadth of scope offered (or promised, anyway) by Wintersun was unique to them.
As incredible as the tour was, the pairing of Coheed and Cambria and Between the Buried and Me in 2013 had caused a bit of head scratching. Certainly, the Vinn Diagram of audiences on that trek had quite a bit of overlap given both acts’ prog leanings and love of conceptual universes, but you could really feel the divide in the room between fans of either band.
Chances are, if you’re on this website in the first place, you’d likely find yourself in the center of that Vinn Diagram because you know that catchy post-hardcore and technically-minded prog metal compliment each other well. And if that is indeed the case, then you’re going to love Philadelphia’s In The Presence of Wolves.
There’s no shortage of folk influence in the world of metal, but the vast majority of it is undeniably Eurocentric,…
Back in March, I spent the better part of an hour speaking with Between the Buried and Me bassist Dan Briggs to discuss his myriad of projects and his development as a musician and evolution as a bass player. The first half of our talk was published last week, wherein we discussed collecting vinyl, the prog aesthetic, and the records that inspired him to first pick up a guitar — and eventually, bass and keyboards. In this second half of our interview, we discuss his new project Nova Collective and its place in the genre of jazz fusion. We also discuss the process of revisiting their modern classic Colors, and where the band goes from here.