These posts are written by: Eden Kupermintz

Hey! Listen to Empathy Test!

Those who would wish to view time as something clean and well defined are going to find their lives a lot harder the more we push into the 21st century. It seems our ability to reproduce and re-approach the past is only exceeded by our appetite to do so. In the process, we make not only the present weirder, filled with a pastiche of influences and movements, but also the past as we rediscover nuance in the place where once clear narrative ruled. The ongoing retro movement in music (now much bigger than “just” retrowave) is a good example. It seems just such a bringing of the past into the present but it is more than that; it also re-frames our understanding of the past and what it contained, creating something new that is neither here or there.

Empathy Test, a synthpop/darkwave duo out of London that have been active since 2013, are a great example of this.

Love Letter – Iron Maiden’s Powerslave

The year is 1984 and Iron Maiden are in an interesting position. Hot off the tails of two great releases and their first major tour, the band are starting to feel the pressures and joys of success at the same time. This is a crucible in which many bands have faltered, unable to reproduce the original sound which garnered them their first modicums of recognition. Line-ups shake, creative differences being to tear at the structure of the sound, as each member brings forth their own vision as to what the future should contain. In this situation, there were many divergent paths down which Iron Maiden’s story could have gone; they had already faced several major line-up changes and their future was anything but secure. They could have easily broken up or lost track of what made their first albums work.

But, instead, they made Powerslave.

Post Rock Post – Afformance (Again, again!)

Yes, I know I’ve just written one of these posts where I said I rarely dedicate one to the same band but it’s really not my fault that bands we’ve already covered here keep releasing amazing music. It probably is my fault, however, that the format of these posts didn’t really take that into account. I’ll say a few prayers to a delay pedal in penance. For now, let’s talk about Afformance again. These guys, based in Athens, Greece, peddle in the most cinematic and expansive kind of post rock. Thing is, they make it work, standing high above the cut in the sea of mediocrity that has unfortunately come to categorize this brand of post rock in the past few years. Just last month, they released two albums: Pop Nihilism and Music For Imaginary Film #1 and while the former is just fine the latter is where I’d like to focus today.

Hey! Listen to Endur!

Honestly, Clear is probably my favorite release from Periphery. It was really refreshing to hear them connect to all the different sides of what makes up their musical palette. An especially great treat was Spencer Sotelo’s “The Parade of Ashes”; it was clear that Sotelo has a real passion for pop metal and everything it entails. His voice also works really well with that kind of influence. And, lo and behold, we now have a full release on which Sotelo really lets that passion shine through. Endur is its name and it sounds like what would happen if Michael Jackson, Nine Inch Nails and synthwave all had a horrific teleportation accident a la The Fly. Head on below for a taste!

Post Rock Post – Salvya (Again!)

It’s rare that I dedicate two Post Rock Posts to the same band; usually, they’re all about new artists operating within or around the post rock genre. However, sometimes artists change their sound so much from album to album that I feel as if they justify another entry in the same column. Besides, this is Heavy Blog; when have we been super strict about our definitions and categories? With these things in mind, let me update you as to Salvya and how they’ve been doing. I first wrote about this Israeli band over two years ago; they were gearing up for Unrecognizable then, an ethereal album that was firmly rooted around progressive and post rock influences and a strong main vocalist. Last week, the band released Impostor Syndrome and let’s just say there have been some changes. Head on over the jump for an example.

Hey! Listen to Vaivatar!

In a period replete with an incredible number of black metal permutations, your soul often yearns for something raw and basic that lies at the heart of the genre. While there are plenty of bands out there who have released albums in that vein (think Orm or Imperium Dekadenz), it’s hard to get enough of good, black hearted or epic black metal. That list checkbox stands to be filled by Vaivatar, a Finnish band which creates a symphonic brand of black metal steeped in the influences of the second and third wave of the genre. Head on down below for hands lifted to the sky, screeches piercing forested landscapes and the distant sounds of glaciers crashing.

Path of Might – Hallowed Gate Style

Path of Might can serve as an excellent example of the blending between light and heavy; this St. Louis based band first made its appearance on Heavy Blog on the merit of their insanely thick riffs, high octane composition and overall blistering aggression. However, their most recent, Hallowed Gate Style, is a clever departure from all of this. We say “clever” because it’s not a clean break; some of the main sensibilities of the band’s original sound have been maintained, creating a heavy and muscular take on progressive stoner metal/rock.