Last year, my interest was piqued by a surprise release from Woodsplitter, an instrumental solo project from Ben McLeod, guitar player of one of my favorite “new” bands, Nashville’s All Them Witches. Inflamed examines metal guitar through a variety of lenses: post, prog, death, stoner, doom, and even krautrock; showcasing an impressive variety and a refined level of comfort as each track seems to pare down to the core of what makes these sounds appeal to so many. His newest venture, Egyptian Overload explores an even wider swath of sounds and textures, plus the addition of saxophone. I asked Ben a few questions about the project, the rawness of his latest record, and future plans.
During the mid-2000s, the UK hardcore and metal scene underwent a re-energisation of sorts due to the emergence of several bands who have since spearheaded the genres to modern popularity. Bands like Enter Shikari and Bring Me the Horizon resonated with mainstream crowds since their inceptions and have since established themselves as global institutions. On the other hand, Architects instantly occupied the forefront of an underground charge and, over the years, have also crossed over into popular realms. However, bubbling underneath the surface was (and still is) a whole scene of innovative, vital artists whose records define the country’s musical output at its finest, with albums that will undoubtedly stand the test of time among aficionados of heavy music. One such act is Devil Sold His Soul who, in this writer’s humble opinion, are one of the best bands the UK has ever birthed.
Welcome back to our interview with Flesh of the Stars! For those just seeing this for the first time, we ran the first part, which focused on their new record Anhilla, on Friday. This time around, we’re gonna be discussing Matt’s obsession with synthesizers and electric pianos, and the band’s thoughts on the…
Back in the middle of February, Chicago-based doom band Flesh of the Stars put out their third LP, Anhilla. It’s a phenomenal record that fuses elements of classic progressive rock, doom metal, and a lot of movie score influences into a very moody, atmospheric sound. Since I live in Chicago, we got in…
A few months ago, I received an email about a post-rock compilation. Naturally intrigued, I started to dig deeper. Apparently this compilation was focused on the idea of “global” music, featuring bands from all across the world. As I kept digging, I soon came across A Thousand Arms, the label behind the compilation but also a repository for merch and other album releases from some of my favorite bands including We Lost the Sea among others. Naturally, I was intrigued and I started speaking with C.J who manages the label alongside another partner. What exactly was the motivation for this compilation? What is A Thousand Arms exactly, if not a label in the traditional sense?
These questions led me to finally sending C.J. a few questions over email as an interview, to try and get some answers. His answers are posted below, unedited, and represent an interesting look into a part of the music industry fans might not always get a glimpse of. Read on for musings on post rock, post metal, global communities, live music and much, much more!
Sometimes, I get to do really cool things as a music journalist. Sometimes, I get to do amazing things and this is one of them. Arjen Lucassen, AKA Ayreon, has been a musical hero of mine every since the first notes of The Human Equation played in my ears, right after I had purchased the album in Paris (I was there seeing Iron Maiden and Dream Theater. Good trip). It was a split earphone cable arrangement and I was listening to it with one of my best friends, who had insisted I get it. Sure enough, I wasn’t disappointed; vocal lines by some of the my favorite singers (James LaBrie, Devin Townsend, Mikael Akerfeldt, Devon Graves, to mention just a few) echoed in my ears, set to amazing, progressive instrumentation. An obsession was born; over the next few years, I bought every single Ayreon album I could get hold of and start following him fervently.
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of catching up with Cade Gentry (bass), Alex Linden (vocals/guitars) and Zach Johnson (vocals/guitars) of doomsters Bereft (who just released a great new record titled Lands). Like any legitimate conversation that takes place in Wisconsin, we met for a couple of beers at a local tavern and discussed important things like which chain makes the “best” shitty pizza, how Def Leppard may or may not suck, and the merits of quality TV like Forensic Files and Designing Women. Most of our time was spent talking about how these regular dudes came together to put out one helluva heavy-ass record (seriously, check it out).
If you’ve followed Heavy Blog over the bast few years, you’ve likely noticed our affinity for Australian post-rock quartet sleepmakeswaves. We highlighted them in our Taxonomy on modern visionaries in their genre; listed their latest album Love of Cartography as our sixth favorite album of 2014; and even wrote them a Love Letter. With their latest album Made of Breath Only on the horizon, William France – one of our very own Aussies – spoke with bassist and keyboardist Alex Wilson about the upcoming record, the band’s politics and crowdfunding.
There are some punk bands that still manage to subvert the grand cliches, both musical and stylistic, that overtook punk. One of those bands is Canadian hardcore/punk/experimental heroes Fucked Up, a band who has never shied away from pushing punk to its very furthest limits, effectively achieving the goals punk initially set out to accomplish. Recently I was lucky enough to talk to their drummer Jonah Falco about exactly what inspires Fucked Up to constantly push the boundaries of punk music, as well as their most recent release, Year of the Snake.
Tangled Thoughts of Leaving is one of the most interesting post metal bands out there. From the far reaches of Perth in Australia’s wild west, their heavily improvised and experimental sound draws from sounds as diverse as jazz, drone, prog and much more. A very difficult band to categorise, their…