Set stage: 2004, Finland. Former Ensiferum frontman Jari Maenpaa releases his debut semi-solo album under the name Wintersun. Featuring a unique blend of power metal, prog, folk, symphony and black metal, this powerful album is met with wide acclaim. Two years later, the recording process for the follow-up begins, with a release date of 2007. The follow-up releases in 2012, and is split into two, with the second part being promised for later in the year. Five years later, the follow up is no longer coming, and Jari announces a new project with basically the same line-up. What the hell happened? Let’s take a look.
Last year I took it upon myself not only to organize and compile our own staff’s AOTY list, but to take things one insane step further and compile a bunch of lists from major metal or metal-covering publications and websites into one MEGA AOTY list to rule them all. Eden and I then analyzed the list and made some (mostly snarky) comments about the metal journalism industry and how they approach these sorts of things. Though I still 100% stand by what we wrote there and the conclusions we drew from it, I was really interested in seeing how well some of them would stand up to another year to use as a data point. Thankfully, this year I had a lot of help in all of our list-making efforts thanks to fellow editor Noyan, who put a ton of work into coming up with the method we ended up using to aggregate our lists (if you haven’t already, you should absolutely read his post delving into the nitty-gritty of that methodology) and then did the actual number-crunching.
Hey. If you’ve been a regular Heavy Blog commenter for a while, you’re probably accustomed to the Disqus comment system we used to use. And if you’ve been paying some attention, you might have noticed we are no longer using Disqus. A vast majority of you will probably not care too much, and a vocal few longtime commenters might get upset. This isn’t a change we’re making haphazardly, and we’re not sure if this new solution is permanent, but I do feel that I owe it to explain to you why I decided to push for this change. Hopefully it won’t be too much of a bother for you and we can have even more fulfilling discussions.
Everybody loves talking about their year-end lists, but no one talks about perhaps the most important part: How they arrived at said lists! The bigger a staff group gets for a site, the harder it gets to aggregate their year-end lists. One possible way is to just get people together and have them argue it out, have editors yell louder than everyone else and end up with some sort of list, but that gets complicated and frustrating way too fast, no one ends up happy, and it wastes way too much time. We did something like that for our two-part year-end list for the podcast, but since our staff roster has 27 people, it’s quite intractable. As such, I resorted to science. No, seriously. Let me tell you how I computed our AOTY list.
Hey, friends. Earlier last month, we decided to discontinue The Brian Shields Memorial Tour Fund as a project due to its overwhelming logistical issues, as well our deep questioning of the viability of the project. As we decided to lay the project to rest, we wondered what to do with…
The gamut of possible dismissive, condescending or vitriolic reactions to things online is described by the word “edgy”. They who attempt to be “edgy” are looking for shock factor; their goal is to dismiss things loved by as many people as possible, as loudly as possible, to garner the all-important “emotional rise” that makes up so much of the Internet. This is not to say that all derisive criticism is “edgy”; there certainly exist a whole bunch of things so amateurish or offensive that they deserve no consideration other than the most shallow and callous. But the list of those things is much, much smaller than you think. In reality, simple empathy is all that is required in order to take something off your “shitpost list”, according it more time than a muttered grumble or acerbic comment online. Most things which you encounter are completely legitimate objects for worthy consideration or at least contemplation regarding the motivation of those who enjoy them.
Today’s musical landscape moves and changes faster than ever before, aided largely by the internet and social media. As such, new genres of music evolve at a far more rapid pace than they ever did in the pre-internet Dark Times. Post-black metal is one such relatively young and nascent genre, and it’s already seen a significant amount of creative innovation and commercial success.
Hey, friends. We’re going to try to keep this as concise as possible, for the sake of our time and your own. The future of The Brian Shields Memorial Tour Fund is that there is no future for it. As you may have noticed, The Brian Shields Memorial Tour Fund…
The following is pieced together by Heavy Blog is Heavy editor Kyle Gaddo from a series of messages exchanged between him and ex-Scale the Summit drummer J.C. Bryant on Thursday, October 27th, 2016 and Friday, October 28th, 2016, as well as messages posted publicly by Chris Letchford via the Scale…
We’re here to talk about Plini and why his music should be the blueprint for this growing genre. The reasons are many and, while chronology isn’t that good of a reason, it might do to first mention that he’s had his name on releases going as far back as 2011. His own releases, along 2013-2015, were tasteful, imaginative sojourns into well defined and enticing musical places. These set some of the main tropes of the genre, including the overall sleek yet colorful aesthetic surrounding the music. But what is it about Plini that makes him rise above the rest? In a growing genre that’s already often sounding stale and repetitive, how does he manage to make music which is distinctly his and is interesting to boot? That’s the purpose of this article, to examine Plini’s appeal and strength of delivery and perhaps, along the way, take a good, hard look at nu-prog and all it has yet to learn.