The Clearing Path are more than able and willing to rise to the challenge of esoteric black metal. This one man project, spearheaded by one Gabriele Gramaglia, hails from Italy and makes the type of black metal which straddles the line with death via sheer technicality and tone. The project’s second full length release, Watershed Between Firmament And The Realm of Hyperborea (a name which instantly refer back to the intro paragraph of this article and the ideas of radical esoteric-ism), is a twisting exploration of these ideas, constantly offering up something new. Where-ever it goes, it’s coated in this impenetrable sheen of bewildering musical composition and a vast, cavernous approach to production. This creates an album that’s abrasive in ways far beyond the fact that the vocals are growls/shrieks.
These posts are written by: Eden Kupermintz
If the purpose of Stepping Stone is to shine a spotlight on the bands and artists which started us on our way to metal, then Ronnie James Dio is one of the biggest stones in our path. Whether just by listening to his music at an early age or being influenced by his vocal style, the number of artists who have owe a debt to Dio is immeasurable. He is one of the largest names in a scene obsessed with the cult of personality, with plenty of drama and lore to back that figure (Ozzy vs. Dio, the “horns” and more). But I’d like to focus on a different story for this Stepping Stone, on mine rather than on the grandiose depiction of grand narratives within our scene and community. I’d like to take you back to the days when I was jut discovering metal and the power it had and what that power meant for the teenage version of Eden.
It’s funny how quickly cliches can be born; what seemed only yesteryear to be innovation and cutting edge now appears…
In certain circles, such as the ones the blog runs in, The Safety Fire are legends; their blend of alternative rock, progressive metal and sheer musical genius will always have an echo. And so, as Good Tiger release their second album, We Will All Be Gone, the comparisons are inevitable; while the first release by the project enjoyed the grace of being the first, the sophomore release is well and truly chained to a narrative and that narrative will get compared to The Safety Fire no matter what anyone does. Which might be a shame, since the projects are so different in their approach to progressive metal and aim to accomplish different things, not to mention the obviously massive influence of one Elliot Coleman, a legendary figure in and of himself.
It’s been a while since we’ve posted an 8 Track post, so let me remind you what this is all about. The idea is to choose 8 tracks from a band’s career that exemplify their growth and their style for those who might not be aware of them at all or just aware of a very specific part of their career; as such, the series works well for big names, especially those with diverse discographies. Thus, Coheed And Cambria are a natural choice for this type of list. They’re a huge band but also one with a deep back catalog containing work that might not necessarily be familiar or appealing to modern day fans. This also makes this post especially difficult; do you curate it heavily and risk the bias of an editor showing through in the choices, potentially missing parts of the band’s career, or do you let the staff run wild and risk the post lacking a clear narrative?
The trajectories bringing together doom and black metal have been in full swing for a while now. There’s something about the blend of doom’s heavy approach and its bouts of aggression and black metal’s abrasive vocals that just sets people going. The resulting music, including bands like Downfall of Gaia, מזמור or Woe, is a mix of terror, feedback, screeches and unbridled misanthropy that speaks to the core parts in us which enjoy metal in all its forms. Lethvm is very much of this sub-genre or, rather, mix of sub-genres; their 2017 release, This Fall Shall Cease is a study in bleakness, fueled by different elements of the genres we listed above. Let’s head on over the jump for your first taste of their brand of corrosion.
Something is golden in the Kingdom of the Scots. And the Irish. And the English. For the past decade, the “old country” has been giving us more and more excellent releases revolving around the genres of post rock, math rock, alternative rock and the such. More than that, bands from the area have been painting these genres in brighter and more unique color than their compatriots in other places. Examples? VASA, Town Portal, Alpha Male Tea Party and more and more. Well, here comes another; A Sudden Burst of Colour have recently released a single titled “I Am The Storm” and it’s all of the above; it’s a bit of post rock, a bit of math rock and a whole lot of groove section goodness. We’re here to tell you to check it out!
This is certainly an “off brand” post for Heavy Blog to be running but, if you’ve been following the blog for a good measure of time, you should know that we love music in all its forms. One of the greatest joys these brings us is connecting with people from all over the world in their love of music, whatever genre or style they might be playing. Thus, we get sent a lot of stuff, from a lot of backgrounds, geo-locations and styles. Recently, one of our contacts from Australia, Lachlan R Dale (you know him as Art of Catharsis, one of the best and most eclectic underground labels in Australia and, indeed, the world, and bands like Hashshashin and Serious Beak) got in touch with us with something special, something of a pedigree unlike anything else we’ve run on the blog.
There’s a special place in heaven reserved for albums who don’t waste their listeners time. Skipping over intro tracks and getting right to the point, these albums want you to know exactly what they’re about, no frills or special announcements necessary. This works especially well for anything extreme, as the sheer shock of an album just exploding into over the top life can be a magnificent feeling. This is very much the case with Novareign’s Legends. These power metal enthusiasts hailing from California waste no time with their debut album, immediately diving into a mass of riffs, powerful vocals and galloping bass. The rest of the album rides on the momentum of these initial notes to create one of the best releases in the traditional metal revival that’s been going on for the past few years (and on which we posted in length not two hours ago).
When comes the time for experimentation to cease? Should some bands stop mutating their sound at some point and settle in? And if the answer is “yes” to either of these questions, how can they know when it comes? These questions probably don’t have an answer and all we can do is try and look at examples of different choices and timings and glean something from the tale. Long Distance Calling is a fantastic, if somewhat beguiling, example. Through their career, they’ve been known from not being afraid of changing things up. Their latest release, Trips, was an immense departure from their established sound, with influences from brit-rock and pop coming in with the addition of Petter Carlsen on vocals. But now, Carlsen has departed and it seems as if Long Distance Calling, perhaps borne aloft by their insatiable desire for new, have rather gone backwards.