The Celtic Connection – Scottish and Irish Tunes, Eh

It’s been awhile since I knocked out a Best of British feature for you, the dedicated Heavy Blog reader. This isn’t because there has been a lack of quality content coming outta the island, actually far from it. Being “British” doesn’t really mean anything anymore though. You’ve got yer English bands and then there’s everything else. Because I feel like our two nations have been poorly under represented elsewhere, I now give you The Celtic Connection. I’m gonna rant and rave about the best music coming out of Scotland and Ireland, leaving England and Wales (sorry Wales) to the side, because they get plenty of coverage as is. This isn’t me being a nationalist or picking a fight, I’m just keeping it in the family. And who else is closer to us Scots than the proud, fighting Irish. Pour yourself a beverage of whatever variety you fancy and strap in for some hearty dispatches of ginger, pale skinned sounds.

Alpha Male Tea Party – Health

OK yeah, that name is weird, let’s move on together, shall we? Alpha Male Tea Party are another stroke in the fast expanding painting that is the “bright” math-rock community, once spearheaded by acts like Adebisi Shank and And So I Watch You From Afar and now containing as diverse acts as VASA or MNHM. The joining thread seems to be first a musical and, second, a geographical one. As far as the music goes, one can expect major chords played over energetic beats, creating frantic excursions into disjointedly optimistic riffs and an overall sensation of…satisfied loss? Let’s go with that. Geographically, the main output in this field seems to erupt from the British Isles, Perfidious Albion, or however else you’d like to call that strange, strange group of disparate places.

Let A Thousand Arms Show You The Meaning Of “Erosion”

Has there ever been a more aptly named compilation that A Thousand Arms’s Erosion? Probably named, as this compilation is filled with tons of geographically diverse stoner, doom, and everything in between. You have your feedback based meditations on the farthest reaches of space/the psyche, the heavier thundering of crashing waves on cliffs and the decidedly dipped in the good leaf. Most of all though, A Thousand Arms continues its efforts to bring to the light of day more obscure and less optimally located bands, shinning a light on some names you’re bound to find surprising and, hopefully, pleasing. As the compilation, which is divided into two sides, features tons of music, we’ve taken the liberty of being your guides. Let’s get started!

Riffing on Film: Get Better – A Film About Frank Turner

Films about bands and artists are vanity projects in and of themselves. That said, they can be great ways for fans to see “behind the curtain” when a favorite performer gets big enough to the point where it becomes simply unreasonable to expect them to get out after a show and meet every fan. At the same time, tour films, behind-the-scenes documentaries, album promotional films all tend to carry the same sort of intent which is to give us, the “civilians”, a look at what life is like for the bands we love (or may not love, for that matter).…

85 – Danish Bullshit

I’m back, and so is Eden, so we have a normal episode for once! And it’s a glorious trainwreck. We talk about new music, including Myrkur, The Arusha Accord, Akercocke, Leprous, Igorrr, Fractal Universe, ZETA, The Contortionist, The Faceless, and Queens of the Stone Age. Also, Gene Simmons of KISS trying to trademark the metal horns. We have an extended discussion on bands appropriating spiritualism and eastern philosophy and then do the first part of a deep segment on Devin Townsend. Specifically Strapping Young Lad and Devin Townsend Band. This one’s a wild ride, so enjoy!

The Acacia Strain – Gravebloom

For fifteen years The Acacia Strain have used brown noise breakdowns and violent lyrical images to win fans worldwide. Whether it’s viewed as dumb narcissism or tailor made nihilism, the music has been used as a weapon to destroy venues and listeners auditory health. Any consumer of extreme music who is aware of this band should be able to tell their sound apart from the droves of down tempo and beatdown acts that infest music today. But with a constant record-tour-record cycle that has seen them shed virtually all of their original members along the way, can they continue to impress at the same level? Do they wind their collective neck in and continue to please the fans or is their room for any form of evolution in their sound? Does anyone still want to hear this anyway? Gravebloom answers all three of these questions. It has The Acacia Strain at their most destructive, venom spitting best, taking cues from the colossal closing act of 2014’s Coma Witch and toying with a sound rooted in doom and gloom; making damn sure that people will pay attention to the world’s angriest band again.

ZETA – ZETA

Some albums are a long time coming; production, schedules, lack of inspiration, and much more can all lead to a delayed release. When that happens, there are two possible results. Either the eventual release falls short of expectations which have been brewing for so long or the album is elevated by catharsis and a long wait reward. Happily, the latter seems to be the case with ZETA’s debut. Born from a collaboration between Katie Jackson, Paul Antonio Ortiz (AKA Chimp Spanner), and Dan Tompkins (TesseracT, ex-Skyharbor), the album is a retrowave trip tinged with a slew of 90’s pop influences. The wait for the album has tallied years of teasers, singles, artwork, and baited breath for a collaboration that seemed too good to be true. Finally, as of today, it has been released to the world and lo! we are pleased, for it is good.

Release Day Roundup – 6/16/17

Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure trove, others find themselves drawing a blank at the end of the month due to the breakneck pace needed to keep up to date with what’s been released. Which brings us to this Heavy Blog PSA: a weekly roundup of new albums which pares down the the day’s releases to only our highest recommendations. Here you’ll find full album/single streams, pre-order links and, most importantly, a collection of albums that could very well earn a spot on your year end list. Enjoy!