Starting about a year ago signs of life began to stir once again on the Facebook page of Philadelphia black metal band Woe. At first, they only promised shows. Another chance at seeing a band who’s delicate blend of crust and black metal formed a uniquely progressive style all their own. This was exciting news to the wider Philadelphia area extreme music scene as the band was a long time favorite of many, sort of a source of pride. However, soon the murmurings of shows for the summer went silent, and fans were left wondering if it had all just been the hopeful ramblings of one member.
These posts are written by: Jake Tiernan
In 2012 Converge released their most recent full length, All We Love We Leave Behind. The album was a tremendous banger (for lack of a better word) from start to finish, highlighting all the greatest aspect of Converge’s sound in one gargantuan assault. It was a peak for the band, both emotionally and musically, and showed a more diverse and channelled Converge than ever previously heard before. Fans and critics alike praised the album, clamoring for more Converge, but were instead presented with about a billion re-releases. A growing curiosity over the future of new music began to arise in the face of a lack of news, and some (me) began to worry slightly about the future of the band.
There are some punk bands that still manage to subvert the grand cliches, both musical and stylistic, that overtook punk. One of those bands is Canadian hardcore/punk/experimental heroes Fucked Up, a band who has never shied away from pushing punk to its very furthest limits, effectively achieving the goals punk initially set out to accomplish. Recently I was lucky enough to talk to their drummer Jonah Falco about exactly what inspires Fucked Up to constantly push the boundaries of punk music, as well as their most recent release, Year of the Snake.
To simply sum Darkest Hour up to yet another ATG-core band would not only be insulting, but wildly inaccurate as well. The band has been different ever since their inception, as they started much more closely in line with the hardcore-metal crossover of their heyday in the mid-90’s. Eventually this would change, of course. The band began to overlay their blistering metallic-hardcore with melo-death riffs galore, showing that they were not only impassioned Integrity fans, but At The Gates fans as well. The hardcore always lingered though, driving their sound to blistering speeds and intensities that other bands simply could not keep up with. At the time it was remarkable in its own right, the perfect marriage between death metal and hardcore, but soon it led to just as many bands trying to rip them off as closely as many before them had tried to rip off In Flames.
We here at Heavy Blog are right there with you and to help ease your pain we offer you this playlist of screamo smash hits to help you really wallow in the loneliness. So put on some headphones, buy yourself some vegan chocolates from your favorite local spot, and settle into the soul crushing loneliness of it all. God knows the rest of us will be, so enjoy it while you can.
Sloth Herder never falls back on pop hooks or choruses, but instead chooses to conjure massive, misanthropic atmospheres in all of their songs. In doing so they may blast through crusty, grinding sections during one moment, then launch into sludgy, haunting post metal sections in the next. The styles may seem drastically different, and realistically are, but Sloth Herder always manages to tie it together with a slew of death metal riffs and a vocalist that wouldn’t sound out of place in a black metal band. Truly, they proved themselves to be a chameleon of sorts on their debut and on their follow up, No Pity, No Sunrise, they only continue down that path.
Below you can find the exclusive streaming link to their crushing second record, a record that I highly recommend peeping.
At the Drive-In was unlike any else I had ever heard; they had a sense of angst that was so perfectly channeled that it barely seemed angsty somehow. It was raw emotion, but wrapped in ribbons and bundles that allowed it to be easily digestible, even more so than the Dischord Material I idolized (and still do). The band was artful and careful with how they did everything and, at the time, it seemed revolutionary. Now, some 4 or 5 years after that first initial meeting, I am sitting here re-visiting their discography in full, struck not only by its timelessness but by the band’s sonic evolution from release to release. Below is an exploration of those releases, their inner workings, and why they have retained such heavy, influential status among the post hardcore community.
grindcore faces yet another renaissance as it moves further into this new territory, driven by bands such as Ed Gein, Full of Hell, and Column of Heaven, where it is almost the most coveted form of artistic expression in extreme music. For these acts’ aesthetic, poetry and more weave into their frightening sonic assaults, marking a strikingly human approach to a genre that once sat so far out of boundaries it was almost untamable. And, finding their place in this new wave of artsy-fartsy (said with all the love in the world) grind band’s is Philadelphia’s own Die Choking, a band who prides themselves on their relentless blend of death metal, grindcore, and crust leanings.
If you have checked Heavy Blog in the past day, you most likely would have seen an overwhelmingly positive review of the new Red Fang record, Only Ghosts. The record, released October 14th, shows the band at a much beefier, intricate level than they have ever been before. At times this means experimenting with new sonic textures, expanding beyond their stoner-sludge roots to incorporate a much deeper, more ambiance oriented sound. However, this does not mean that Red Fang has ditched their classic 1-2 punch of punk driven stoner-sludge, but rather enhanced it to merge with the more psychedelic leanings of their current material. The result is a record as diverse and consistent as it is ambitious and offers an exciting look into what the future may hold for the Portland natives and world renown heavy rockers.
In 2013, fresh into high school and edging out of his interest in death metal, a young Jake Tiernan was gifted a $20 iTunes gift card for Christmas by his old sister. At the time, $20 was a lot of money for him to spend on a site like iTunes, and he was naturally thrilled, questioning what he could possibly buy with his newly acquired wealth. He searched for hours, listening and re-listening to every possible Relapse Records sampler and new album to find one that particularly caught his attention until he finally stumbled upon a monster-riff unlike he had ever heard. This riff was “Blood Like Cream” by Red Fang and inspired the purchase of their last album, Whales And Leeches, and a meticulous love affair for one of stoner metal’s finest institutions. Now, almost 4 years later, that love burns strong still and provides an interesting dynamic when listening to the band’s most recent offering, Only Ghosts.