Best Of: Global Metal

As in everything, the trajectory of global culture has affected the ways in which we perceive and consume metal. While we won’t have the time to go in depth on concepts like “the West”, “globalism” and “cultural appropriation”, it’s safe to say that metal is too often viewed with a Western-tinged lens. Thus, Europe (western/northern Europe, that is) and the US are often viewed as the focal points of the community and, sometimes, as the only grounds in which events worth consider occur. However, the reality is far from that and is much more positive: metal, like any cultural community which has, is or will one day thrive, is a global phenomenon.

Best Of: Guitar Solos

In this edition of Heavy Blog’s Best Of, we’re taking on the mighty guitar solo. For as long as metal has existed, solos have been a staple of the genre. They might serve as a platform for the freedom of musical expression, or as trophies of technical excellence. Many of…

8-Track: Slipknot

When voting on which band to do one of these 8-Track lists on, many of us immediately voted for Slipknot. They don’t really get a lot of love from us and we think it’s a shame. Their latest record, .5: The Gray Chapter, was superb and they’ve always been a…

Best Of – Mosh

We Internet Metal Nerds can put as much gloss on it as we’d like but at the end of the day, metal is tied to physicality, aggression and violence. Unlike what society often thinks however, it’s tied to those things in a positive way. Metal is all about channeling and unleashing those destructive energies in a controlled way. Whether through screaming your throat out, headbanging or moshing, metal can tap into those angry places we all have inside us and defuse the knot of emotions that’s found there. Moshing is really the penultimate practice in that regard: nothing vents and provides catharsis like moshing does. There’s just something about the experience of bodily slamming into other people in timed with guttural, soaring or technical music that does the body and mind good.

But not all metal is created equal; some tracks out there spread their blackened claws and cut right through the bullshit, evoking a reaction that’s unmediated and extremely physical. In other, worldly terms, they make us lose our shit. Of course, moshing is also a collective experience and you really need two (preferably more) for this sweaty, violent tango. And so, we’re happy to present you with a list of tracks that make the Heavy Blog staff lose their shit. Meet us in the pit. We’ll be the ones nodding to the rhythm changes and eyeing the mosh with an appraising eye (until “Flying Whales” comes on and then I WILL DESTROY YOU).

For Fans Of – Eyehategod

For Fans Of is a column that takes one very well-known and popular band that our writers and readers are fans of, and then our staff write about a small group of lesser-known bands that do similar things and who we think you all might like as well and give…

Best Of: Metal Albums 2010-2015

Usually in our Best Of columns we try to tackle either something genre-specific or something conveying a very specific idea. Today we’re doing something a little different though. Given that we’re now officially more than halfway through the 2010s, it seems fitting to take a hard look at some of the albums that have defined the current generation of metal. Since this site was formed in 2009, this list encompasses the vast majority of the music we’ve had the pleasure to experience and review in real time. And as a site who strongly believes we’re currently in the throes of a new Golden Age of Metal, what better way to prove that than with this brief shortlist of phenomenal music we believe best encapsulates that notion.

8-Track: Blind Guardian

Blind Guardian is a band so synonymous with the term “power metal” that they basically defined the genre for countless bands that exist to this day. With a career spanning more than thirty years, the band began as a thrash metal in 1984 known as Lucifer’s Heritage, but began their…

For Fans Of – Sleep

For Fans Of is a column that takes one very well-known and popular band that our writers and readers are fans of, and then our staff write about a small group of lesser-known bands that do similar things and who we think you all might like as well and give a listen to.

Whenever we discuss the topic of discussion for our next For Fans Of segment, one of the first things we consider is what genres we haven’t picked veteran bands from yet. FFO: Emperor came about due to the desire to cover black metal, and this time around, the colossal riffs of doom metal became the theme of the nominating process. And while there’s no shortage of bands deserving of the inaugural doom FFO, there’s really no contesting our final selection of stoner-doom legends Sleep, one of the pinnacles of the genre with an amount of influence approaching that of Black Sabbath. From the the heavy stoner imagery to the even heavier riffs to the band’s demise creating to equally incredible bands (High on Fire and Om), there really is no way to understate just how important these Cali potheads were for the genre and metal as whole. As we all wait for the recently reunited band to (hopefully) release a new full-length, check out some of the newer doom bands that have capably carried the pot leaf flag into new and exciting territory.