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.

A Guide to Record Store Day’s Most Notable Releases

Record Store Day is less than a month away, and vinyl fanatics like myself have been stoking our anticipation with the massive list of special releases being featured this year. Of course, it truly is a massive list, and since lines at record stores will almost certainly be even bigger, it’ll behoove all of us to have a game plan prior to fluffing our sleeping bags to camp out at the door. That’s why I decided to sit down – with input from Eden – and list what we believe to be the essential release from this year’s RSD; records that truly capture the essence of that “special release” vibe that the pseudo-holiday has built its reputation upon. This won’t be a comprehensive list by any means, and I encourage everyone to comment with the releases that you’re most looking forward to snagging next month. That being said, head past the jump to see the vinyl nerd in me gush about what RSD 2016 has to offer.

Best Of – One Man Bands

Going over the twelve entries we’ve selected as the cream of the musical loner crop, it’s amazing to see not only the variety of genres present, but the fact that such enormous, impactful music can come from a single individual. From guitar porn to one man black metal to a whole slew of electronic subgenres, these artists prove that “strength in numbers” may not apply to everyone. Because while this crew may not have been the most social group on the playground, they spent their alone time producing some of our favorite music and proving that collaboration isn’t a necessity for quality tunes. So without further ado, sit back and reminisce with us over our favorite one person projects, or enjoy discovering what any one of these twelve musicians has to offer. And of course, feel free to comment with further suggestions of exceptional musicians who handily do it all.

8-Track: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden are probably one of metal’s most famous names; with their origins rooted all the way back in 1975, it was perhaps heavy metal before heavy metal properly existed, one of the harbingers of the style. To be sure, metal has done a lot since they were in their prime but somehow, whether via nostalgia or their uncontainable personal energy, Iron Maiden have managed to stay relevant. Their shows are still jam-packed and their performances are just as vibrant as they used to be. Some of them are well into their 50’s, adding a certain admirable quality to their recalcitrance against voices calling for them to slow down.

Post Valentine’s Day: The Depressing, Fitting Screamo Playlist For Singles

DISCLAIMER If you do not know what real, true screamo is, I highly recommend checking Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s very own Starter Kit on the subject before jumping into this article/”playlist”. It’ll help put things into perspective, helping to make your listening experience that much more enjoyable. Ah Valentines Day.…

For Fans Of – Emperor

It’s amazing how much ground Emperor covered over the course of just four albums. From helping to pioneer black metal to introducing symphonics and progressive elements to the BM formula, there really aren’t many more important bands within the Norweigan scene, or even the genre as a whole. Back-to-Back classics In the Nightside Eclipse and Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk may be two of the best introductory black metal albums, as they make the harshest parts of the genre accessible without losing an ounce of immaculate songwriting prowess. We now welcome you to a different form of introduction, exploring six bands that have taken influence from Emperor, added their own unique, bold twists and churned out records that more than capably carry the torch onward into a world of textured symphonics and atmosphere. Head past the jump to enter our inaugural black metal FFO; there couldn’t be a better band to commence the frost and torment.

Best Of: Headbanging

In this installment of ‘Best of’, the Heavy Blog staff get down and dirty with some of the meanest, sickest riffs around. We didn’t limit the genres here too much; unlike our other Best Of lists, we want for effect rather than intent. Does it make you bang your head so hard your neck hurts? Is the urge to air guitar irresistible? Does it connect to that visceral place to which metal always speaks on some level? Then it’s on this list. We’ve collected these albums in the hopes that you’ll find catharsis, a vent to your aggression and an outlet for your passions. It seems weird to include a long intro paragraph into what’s, at its core, a simple and direct collection of sounds. So, without wasting anymore of your time, head on below, turn your speakers loud and dive into some of the most groove inducing, neck-breaking, head-swaying tracks that metal can offer.