Editors’ Picks – July 2017

Summer! Putting my personal biases aside, there’s plenty of things to love about it. However, it also has its disadvantages (many of them, if you ask me) and it’s a complicated time for the music industry. Releasing material early in the year has the virtue of being fresh and standing alone. Releasing music later in the year has the virtue of being fresh in the reviewer’s ear when it’s time for end of year lists and fresh in the consumer’s ear when the holiday season comes along. But summer? Summer is caught in the middle, creating a desert of sorts; music releases slow down, people take vacations, podcasts go AWOL (I need my Night Vale fix, damn it) and there’s a sort of lethargy which takes hold of the community at large. But, of course, we at Heavy Blog must soldier on, toiling under the blistering heat to pick some great albums to recommend to you fine people! What an arduous task. In all seriousness, it can be daunting, as the constant barrage of releases we are usually faced with slows down to  a more manageable battering. This, however, is when smaller bands can get their moment to shine and new music can often be discovered. Take a look at the list below for proof; except for a few entries, most of the music on this is by bands we haven’t really covered before. Thus, summer offers its own opportunities and, even if it doesn’t, we still have the internet. Can any period really be a quiet one when we have the internet? So, take a deep breath and peruse this list while we button down our hatches in preparation for September (seriously, do a little Googling of release dates to get prepared for September. Everything is being released). It has some excellent stuff from established bands but more importantly, some truly brilliant additions from bands that you might not be familiar with. Happy August. Stay cool.

Editors’ Picks: June 2017

I’ve been meditating on why we even started Editors’ Picks; the concept itself seems odd. It’s a remnant of old journalistic structure, where the editor in a publication was this authoritative and prestigious figure, cloaked in years of experience and insight. That’s hardly the case anymore, in Heavy Blog and outside of it, as Internet structures break down the gates between individuals and editorial privileges.  And that’s why it’s a good thing we have this column; it enables the unique voices which have broken through to the editorial body of the blog to speak outside of consensus.

Editors’ Picks – May 2017

This year charges on and doesn’t appear to show any signs of slowing down. As we near the six month mark (and our own Top 25 of 2017 So Far), it’s becoming apparent that 2017 hits on broader fronts than 2016 did. While the previous year was an amazing year for some very specific genres, there were others that suffered less than stellar performance. With 2017, there’s very little that’s left untouched, with great releases coming from left and right. The list below is a great example of this; it contains post rock, grindcore, jazz, psychedelic electronics, death metal, stoner and oh so much more. Each of these sub-genres have been producing great releases this year, giving 2017 the illusion of a siege. From us, the nominal besieged, a measure of elasticity is required; we must keep our ears open and listen to new places, places we might have abandoned up until now.

Editors’ Picks: April 2017

Man, 2017, y’all. We realize that it’s kind of our m.o. to be proponents of the whole “Golden Age of Metal” narrative and be incredibly positive about the consistently great level of stuff that is being put out from pretty much every part of the musical spectrum, but it’s such an easy thing to do when we are so constantly bombarded with new material that utterly consumes our attention. Even in months where one of us might not have as many new albums that really impressed them, without doubt there will be another one who could barely keep up because of all the superb releases from genres they pay close attention to. This April has certainly been no different in that regard, and we have a whole slew of top-notch albums to recommend to you all.

Editors’ Picks: March 2017

We like to joke around here pretty constantly that the amount of quality music out there in the world for us to consume and critique is magnitudes more than we can possibly manage, that we are drowning in a sea of music and are suffering mightily for it. We are all the “Why can’t I hold all these limes?” guy.

Editors’ Picks: February 2017

2017 is firing on all barrels. After an incredible January, containing several potential Album of the Year contenders, February further solidifies our firm belief that we are in the Golden Age of metal. Of course, this list contains more than metal, as befits Heavy Blog today, but just look how…

Heavy Blog’s Editors’ Picks: November 2016

Contrary to what many other sites and publications would have you believe, 2016 is, in fact, still not over yet. So while the first major wave of year-end lists has hit us this week, we’re here to tell you that there are still a bunch of recently-released albums that you seriously need to consider before settling on your own favorites for the year. It’s certainly true that by the time November rolls around the pace of high-profile and superb albums tends to drop off, especially compared to the September/October rush. There was some truly great music that came out this past month though, and the fact that all of it and any music released next month will be automatically disqualified by default from most end-of-year lists is both annoying and completely shitty for those bands. You’ll hear us talking about the problems and merits of end-of-year listmaking plenty in the coming days and weeks, but for now let’s just give a moment to some bands who will inevitably be shafted and discounted by far too many.