Hey! Listen to DON PIE PIE!

It’s been a veritable hot minute since we’ve told you to go read Fecking Bahamas. Go read it! Seriously, if you like the style of stuff that we do here at Heavy Blog but wish we covered math-rock and lots of it, this is the blog for you. Case in point,…

The Progress Melter – Steel Panther and the Extent of “Comedy”

This should go without saying, but women have always had the ability to excel at playing guitar, and they often have. The rock and metal scene specifically has benefited from the contributions of players like Chelsea Wolfe, Liz Buckingham (Electric Wizard), Simone Dow (Voyager), Nancy Wilson (Heart), Lori Von Linstruth (Ayreon), Sarah Longfield, Laura…

aAnd? – .​.​.​wWoof?

Comedy and metal have always made for slightly awkward bedfellows. When you consider just how fertile the ground is for humour in metal, it is slightly surprising that there isn’t more of it about. In the main, even when daubing oneself in elaborate facepaint and writing high velocity peons to…

Hey! Listen to Ghostbound!

I love that I’ve written so much about avant-garde music lately that I don’t have to once again start with an intro about how weird of a genre it is. The Lychgate review I recently wrote is a pretty good summary of how I feel about the moniker. Actually, referring to that review is a statement about avant-garde in and of itself since there’s little in common between that album and the band we have in mind today, Ghostbound. The first has more black metal on it and a lot more abrasiveness, whereas Ghostbound’s All is Phantom draws more on the epic nature of progressive rock and the dramatic thrill of bands like Marillion. But it also layers those ideas on top of frequent blast beats, prominent strings, thick guitars and much more that comes from metal and its approach to the avant-garde. In short, it’s a wild ride of an album which leaves us beggared for an exact definition.

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Let’s Take a Trip to Maeth’s “Whaling Village”

Maeth’s Shrouded Mountain, released in 2016, was an excellent addition to the progressive doom milieu. It wove drippy guitars, overladen with distortion and overdrive, amazing flute segments and ambitious track and album structures into one bewildering whole. This is why it is my very distinct pleasure to premiere their next album today. It goes by the name of Whaling Village and is comprised of three incredible tracks which further cement Maeth as one of the more important voices in this mini-scene of progressive doom metal. This release doubles down on their sound, handing us a more refined and yet, somehow heavier and more oppressive, version of the Maeth sound. It is contradiction all but also harmonious and melodic in heart wrenching ways.

Post Rock Post – Alters

Alright folks, hold on to your seats because this one is going to get wild. Allow me to introduce you to Alters, an extremely interesting band from Poland. Nominally, their thing is a blend of progressive rock and post rock. The progressive parts take a very distinct influence from one Steven Wilson, with the opening tracks to their most recent album, Dawn, sounding a lot like Porcupine Tree. “Hypnagogia” and, even more so, the self-titled track which open the album have all the unique identifiers you’d associate with this style of progressive rock. The drums are loud, the vocalist seems aloof and depressed, the guitars are influenced by classic progressive rock but with an exceedingly modern sound. So far, so good; things are pleasant and well made, if not totally original or mind-blowing.

The third track, “Klechdawa”, starts in the same manner. Indeed, it goes on in that manner until its mid-point. But then, there’s a break and everything changes.

Toundra – Vortex

Toundra have an interesting career. This Spanish post rock/metal band have been operating in the same semantic fields as bands like If These Trees Could Talk, Sleeping Bear or Afformance  making their way through the uncertain and, sometimes, downright disastrous, genre of heavy post rock. They were making music way before the current resurgence of the genre and, in Heavy Blog circles at least, were often cited as a light in the darkness, something original and fresh in a genre which seems to have lived out its welcome. Their second album, aptly titled II is a masterpiece, one of the best groovy/heavy post rock releases around. But now, when plenty of other bands are making fantastic music in the same vein, are Toundra still relevant? Following up on some releases that weren’t as powerful as the all-mighty II, are Toundra still up there with the best of them when it comes to making expansive, instrumental music?