Category Archive Lists!

25 Albums of 2015 (So Far) That Are Worth Your Time

25-albums-2015

Last year we ran a 5-part series listing 25 of our favorite albums from the first half of 2014 with the premise that 2014 was simply such an amazing year musically that we just had to talk about some of our favorites at the year’s mid-point and whittle down all the great releases to an impossible list of 25.

What fools were we.

2015, across the board, is truly turning out to be a banner year for music as a whole, but in particular the kind of music we cover here at Heavy Blog. Between old favorites putting out expected blockbuster releases, smaller bands making huge leaps to stake a claim for our attention, and new or obscure bands putting out releases out of left field that have completely caught us off-guard in the best way, it’s been nearly impossible to keep up with the output of superb music that 2015 has offered us thus far. We are now at the end of the sixth month of the year, and thus have decided to give this another try, albeit in a slightly different format.

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What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 5/30/15

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For those who missed our last installment, we post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to.

As is typical of these updates, there are a few inclusions of new releases that have recently received the HBIH stamp of approval via positive reviews. Jaga Jazzist‘s Starfire (review here), Maruta‘s Remain Dystopian (review here) and Secrets of the Sky‘s Pathway (review here) all received positive marks from our staff, particularly the former. It is also fitting that there are a couple of Mastodon inclusions, as they were the subject of our recent ‘For Fans Of” post which may be read here. Additionally, considering the multiple instances of Cattle Decapitation‘s excellent last album Monolith of Inhumanity, it is safe to assume that our staff is rather excited for their upcoming album The Anthropocene Extinction; lead single “Manufactured Extinct” may be streamed here. Finally, while not necessarily a “metal” release, Prurient‘s new noise masterpiece is included by a couple members of our staff, yours included. Stream the album here and be sure to check out the project’s upcoming dates with Godflesh here.

For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.

Head past the jump to see which records have been receiving regular rotation on our headphones, stereos and turntables:

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What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 5/16/15

HBIH Listening To - 600x360

For those who missed our last installment, we post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to.

As is typical of these updates, there are a number of inclusions of new releases that have received the HBIH stamp of approval via positive reviews. And So I Watch You From Afar‘s HeirsEidola‘s DegeneraterraFaith No More‘s Sol InvictusArcturus‘ ArcturianLeprous‘ The Congregation and Veil of Maya‘s Matriarch are all albums considered to be some of the strongest releases from 2015 thus far. Additionally, editors Nick and Eden have been spinning the forthcoming Jaga Jazzist album Starfire, and have been in sonic euphoria because of over the course of this past week. Expect a review in the next few weeks from Nick explaining the genius of both JJ and Starfire. Finally, there are a couple inclusions of the classic Refused album The Shape of Punk to Come, which should serve as a reminder that the Swedish post-hardcore giants are preparing to release Freedom, their first album in almost two decades. Read about the album’s details and preview the lead single “Elektra” here.

For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you!

Head past the jump to see which records have been receiving regular rotation on our headphones, stereos and turntables:

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Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s Best Of: Supergroups

best-of-supergroups

And we’re back! It’s time for another installment of our Best Of lists! In case you’re new here (hey!), our staff pick a genre, style, group, theme, whatever we feel like, and create a list around it. Despite the name, these lists are not meant to be exhaustive but merely reflect who the specific band member thought of at the moment of writing or who he truly believes to be the best example of.

This time, we chose a double edged sword: super-groups. This is a charged topic since the jury is still out on whether these groups ever actually live up the hype created around them. Bringing to the table the collaboration of big names, perhaps even “dreams teams” of musicians, understandably creates a big buzz among fans. Perhaps due to ego, time constraints or other variables, these groups however often fail to deliver on their promise. That being said, some of them don’t and the result if fantastic music, often blending the different “original” bands into a greater whole. Read on below for some of those!

And remember: it’s OK to not like thing. Let’s get to it!

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What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 4/3/15

HBIH Listening To
For those who missed our last installment, we will now be regularly posting what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that doesn’t fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to.

Kendrick Lamar‘s universally acclaimed To Pimp a Butterfly has persisted as a regular inclusion in some of our staff’s rotations, and will likely remain that way throughout the rest of the year. Another repeat addition is Leprous‘ upcoming album The Congregation, a record that many members of our staff have been highly anticipating since its announcement earlier this year. It is safe to assume that a review of The Congregation is imminent, but in the mean time, check out our review of Byzantine‘s new offering To Release is to Resolve, another album included in this update. Finally, this update has several albums from the artists featured on this year’s installment of the Decibel Magazine, which includes At the GatesConvergePallbearer and Vallenfyre and will be running until April 12th. This lineup makes attendance almost mandatory, so check the remaining dates here to see how far you will have to trek in order to attend this exceptional tour.

For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you!

Head past the jump to see which records have been receiving regular rotation on our headphones, stereos and turntables:

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What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening to – 3/21/15

HBIH Listening To

For those who missed our last installment, we will now be regularly posting what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that doesn’t fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to.

Anyone who doesn’t live under a proverbial rock knows that the biggest release in all music this week goes to the early release of Kendrick Lamar‘s hugely-anticipated follow-up to Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, and unsurprisingly, K Dot found his way onto many of our lists this week. Also of note (and in an entirely different quadrant of the musical spectrum) this week was the release of Alkaloid‘s debut album The Malkuth Grimoire (read our review here if you haven’t already), which also landed in several of our staff’s lists.

For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you!

Head past the jump to see which records have been receiving regular rotation on our headphones, stereos and turntables:

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Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s Best Of: Doom Metal

best of doom metal

You know this dance by now folks: this is Heavy Blog’s Best Of! This time, we’ll be tackling one of our favorite genres, doom! 2014 was an excellent year for this most-excellent sub-genre and you might know editor Eden Kupermintz (praise be onto him) has dubbed it as The Doom Revival™. However, we don’t limit our Best Of lists by time. Below you’ll find our own selections of what we consider to be some of the finest samples of doom out there.

Doom is a complex and varied genre to be sure. It contains both a penchant for the slow and feedback’d but also a devotion to emotional capacity and melancholy. Thus, you can find many things within it: crushing droning, sadness-lined guitar leads and abrasive vocals. We’ve tried to cover as many aspects of the sub-genre as we could, but obviously some things must have gotten through the cracks! So, as always, sound off below with anything we might have missed.

And remember: it’s OK to not like thing. Let’s get to it!

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What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 3/1/15

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During his time as weekend editor here, one of the consistently most popular features Brian Shields would run was the What We’re Really Listening To column, which would ask either Heavy Blog staff or musicians to share the music they’ve been jamming the most recently. We’ve decided that it was too fun an idea to not continue, so we’re picking up where he left off. It should come as no surprise that we at HBIH are constantly listening to music, and as an effort to recommend as many quality tunes as possible, here is a glimpse into what has been dominating our playlists for the past week.

For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net.

Head past the jump to see which records have been receiving regular rotation on our headphones, stereos and turntables:

Continue Reading…