These posts are written by: Simon Handmaker

Lunar Shadow – Far From Light

Metal has, for all intents and purposes, pretty much reached the peak of how far it can really go with the extremity and weirdness while still remaining in its musical sphere and not moving into genres like noise or purely avant-garde. Subgenre movements like brutal slamming deathcore, atonal death metal, and noisegrind have been pushing the limits of slowness, weirdness, and overall listenability into strange, bizarre, wonderful new territories, and although the experimentation is certainly welcome, after a certain line is crossed, the returns start to diminish quickly, and what we’re left with as a musical community is a handful of bands that are great in the context of a clambering race to the tipping point, but really don’t serve much purpose for a listener who wants something, you know, metal. Don’t get me wrong – I love Gigan, Jute Gyte, and probably any other ridiculous and ‘unlistenable’ band you could throw my way, but shit, what’s a guy to do at this point if he’s looking for something more reminiscent of the classic sound?

Wiegedood – De Doden Hebben het Goed II

On May 21st of 2015, fellow Heavy Blog staffer Matt and I ran a set of Rapidfire reviews: he wrote two, one on the new album from OSDM act Entrails, and one on Swedish death metal group Gutter Instinct’s new EP. Sandwiched between them was my review of Wiegedood’s first album, De Doden Hebben het Goed. To reiterate what I said so many moons ago, Wiegedood is a decent black metal band for sure, albeit one too focused at the time on hitting all the right boxes for the atmospheric black metal genre listing, and losing themselves in the process. Of course, being the optimist I am, I tacked on a hope for the future: “If the band chooses to trim down and focus on the aggression… their next album could be an absolute doozy of a record.”

Misanthropia – Omerta

Original concepts often lead to original execution, either out of the necessity to relay new information with a new combination of tools or because thinking outside the bounds of normalcy encourages a new level of creative engagement. There is certainly something to be said for this second one; it’s not rare to see albums of a novel conceptual nature end up sounding somewhat extraordinary as well. Hell, some artists even make careers out of this – The Dear Hunter’s episodic Act series of albums is, rather unconventionally, set in the era just following the first World War, and brings in many elements of musical theater, lounge, and big band to add some temporally appropriate weight, and rap trio clipping. have made quite a name for themselves out of eschewing genre trends, most recently exploring the intersection of sci-fi dark ambient, musique concrete, and hip-hop on their newest album, Splendor and Misery.