Community Building: Why We’re Changing Our Commenting System

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.

The Method To The Madness: How We Arrived At Our AOTY List

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.

Coming Back From the Edge – The Difficulty of Sincerity

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.

Promises Kept: How Oathbreaker Have Raised The Bar for Post-Black Metal

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.

Every Piece Matters – Why Plini Represents The Best Of Nu-Prog

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.

On Extended Ranges and Low Tunings, 4 Years Later

A few years back, I wrote a piece on the negativity towards extended range guitars in metal. You can find that piece here. The extended range guitar, which is loosely defined as anything that has more strings/frets/range than your average 6-string-24-fret-standard-scale guitar. We all know the deal. Four years ago, with the peak of djent and generally a new strain of progressive metal, extended range guitars were emerging in the mainstream of metal. Of course, just like any other change in the metal scene, a large amount of people reacted rather negatively to this. There was a portion of the scene that embraced this, and that lead to a variety of creative and innovative bands like Native Construct (8 strings), Dissipate (9 strings), Coma Cluster Void (10 strings) and so many more. After these years, are people more accepting of the movement now? What changed? Let’s take a look at it.