What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To // Playlist Swap – 8/10/18

Even a cursory glance of our biweekly playlist updates will reveal that there is a great deal of variety among our staff’s musical tastes. Due to this, we brainstormed the idea of Playlist Swap, where two of our contributors pick their favorite track from each of the nine albums in their grid and then send the list over to the other person to listen to and comment on. Within these commentaries occurs praise, criticism and discovery, and we hope that you experience a few instances of this last point as well. This week’s post brought editors Jonathan Adams and Scott Murphy together…

The Dark Third – Even As the Light Grows

Here’s the thing about writing reviews: it’s a constant act of parsing. What you’re trying to do when writing a review is to take something that has many elements which are either impossible to utter because of their elusive nature of just very, very hard to put into words because they’re so complex and subtle. Often times, the tools we have at our disposal (like genres, structures, post layouts and more) do a good enough job of letting us do just that and write a review. But sometimes it’s exceptionally hard. This usually happens when you’re dealing with ambitious albums, works of music which attempt to approach many issues at once or tackle one issues from multiple directions. If the music is also varied and composed of many parts then you’re in for even more of a challenge.

Grind My Gears – Summer Sludgin’ (It Happened So Blast)

At this point, it might seem like I’m trying to alienate readers with these truly awful titles for Grind My Gears features. But by the greater grace of grind, the summer months have been wildly busy for extreme music. For the most part, I’ve ignored the bigger releases and instead been dwelling in the bogs of Bandcamp tags – it’s 2018, if you’re not checking Bandcamp regularly for new music you’re a narc. Below you will find a slew of grind catering to all of my particular tastes. It might not be the grind you desire or the grind you…

Kvlt Kolvmn – July 2018

2018 has been quite the year for metal as a whole. With big releases from big bands hitting all the high notes, and several subgenres experiencing some of their most consistently impressive output in decades, it’s fairly safe to say that this has thus far been a premium year for the genre. But while metal as a whole has experienced a vast array of quality content, some subgenres seem to be contributing more than others. Black metal, in my estimation, is one of those less fruitful branches of the metal tree thus far in 2018. This makes me sad. Why…

Rebel Wizard – Voluptuous Worship of Rapture and Response

Black metal can be such an interesting genre. There are so many different ways to take the sound. You can be fairly straightforward and make the most evil sounding music possible and follow in the footprints of our Norwegian forefathers; you can just go heavy on the imagery but make fairly accessible metal a la Venom; you can get atmospheric and create a more environmental sound the completely enraptures you. Or you can tell all that stuff to fuck off and get really weird with it. Such is the path chosen by Rebel Wizard, a one man project from Ferny Creek, Australia. The latest record, Voluptuous worship of rapture and response, is just the latest example of this unique take on the genre.

Crossfaith – Ex_Machina

The buzz surrounding Osaka’s Crossfaith seemed to dissipate as quickly as it arrived. The quintet quickly amassed formidable reputation based on their exhilarating live shows and their intriguing blend of EDM and modern metalcore. Unfortunately, the excitement the band brought on the live front failed to translate to record, and their profile soon began to stagnate. Ex_Machina, therefore, perhaps seeks to recapture the attention of the metal world by appealing to a more mainstream audience. Yet, although it feels somewhat watered down in scope, it also constitutes their most focused and effective studio effort thus far. If there’s one word…