What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 11/18/16

For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to. For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.

Downfall of Gaia – Atrophy

We’ve spoken about post-black metal a lot in the recent days and with good reason; it’s without a doubt one of the trends currently affecting the metal community. However, one of its least discussed aspects if how it bleeds into, and thus influences, the other genres of black metal. This osmosis can be heard on the new Downfall of Gaia record for example, a band that has never been too far from the post-black moniker themselves. Atrophy presents a further exploration of their sound which detractors might, foolishly, call “going soft”. It’s more productive, however, to understand Atrophy as an attempt to communicate with ongoing ideas and conversations within the sub-genre, sacrificing some of the hard hitting brutality of earlier releases for a more expressive and varied palette.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To: Playlist Swap // 11/11/16

Even a cursory glance of our biweekly “What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To” posts (last week’s update here) 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,” another biweekly segment that takes place between playlist updates. We randomly select two of the participants from each update, have them 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 has Nick and David going tête-à-tête with some things the two already share their admiration for and some unexpected surprises!

Promises Kept: How Oathbreaker Have Raised The Bar for Post-Black Metal

Today’s musical landscape moves and changes faster than ever before, aided largely by the internet and social media. As such, new genres of music evolve at a far more rapid pace than they ever did in the pre-internet Dark Times. Post-black metal is one such relatively young and nascent genre, and it’s already seen a significant amount of creative innovation and commercial success.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 11/4/16

For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to. For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.

Alcest – Kodama

Alcest’s Kodama is a perfect example of fluidity. Coming hot off the heels of Shelter, a divisive release which saw the band perform a sharp turn towards the more mellow side of their music, it displays an astonishing ability to borrow what it needs from the past while forging on towards the future. It is essentially a juxtaposition of Shelter unto their previous albums, borrowing what it needs from all eras of the band’s existence and creating something new from the sum of their parts. Thus, it is shoegaze, black metal, folk metal and much more, all blended with a surprising degree of poise into something that works

Heavy Blog’s Editors’ Picks: September 2016

Summer’s over, friends. Long days are disappearing, leaves are turning, and with it, the second big push for major releases this year is upon us. September into October tends to be a huge time release-wise, as it’s past the lead-up and meat of summer when people’s attentions are more scattered (or simply more interested in finding the best “summer jams”), and it’s still early enough that it gives listeners ample time to absorb and obsess over the music before everyone goes into end-of-year list mode. This September has certainly not been a disappointment in that regard. In particular, this past Friday, the 30th, was simply so jam-packed with incredible new releases across the musical spectrum that we specifically delayed compiling and publishing this post until after the weekend to allow our editors to wade through it all and revise our picks for the month. The albums highlighted here truly display the best of the best, both for the month and the year at large. Expect many of these albums to wind up either in our personal end-of-year lists or our aggregated staff list. 2016, you guys. What a time to be alive.

50 – Back Off Track

Eden’s back! This means we get to talk about stuff like Tidal, other streaming services, this article about Opeth (which gets us pretty salty), the breakup of Bolt Thrower, Portnoy playing the 12 step suite he wrote for Dream Theater, inconsistencies in promos labels send to us, then new music or news from bands like Dark Tranquillity, Downfall of Gaia, Oathbreaker, Alcest, Metallica, A Sense of Gravity, the DOOM OST by Mick Gordon, Plini, Watchtower, Riverside, Pain of Salvation, Mithridatic and Venom Prison. Finally we talk about Elvenking’s underrated The Pagan Manifesto. Enjoy!

46 – The World Is A Danker Place Now

This week we have a set of surprise guests that we announced last week! I guess that’s not really a surprise, huh? It’s Eric and Drew from TABPxDSME, in other words The Aurora Borealis Project and Drewsif Stalin’s Musical Endeavors! We have a good old time trying to talk about their amazing upcoming album The World Is A Colder Place Now. Well, we try anyway. Since Drew and I are both invested in derailing as much as possible, it goes to different places. I had a great time! Then, we talk about the news of the week. What news of the week? Stuff like Misha of Periphery doing a song for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Heri Joensen of Tyr killing whales and defending his actions, Stereogum’s monthly metal roundup, You Bred Raptors playing to an empty venue, then new music or teases towards such by Departe, Saor, Destrage, System of a Down, Anaal Nathrakh, Anciients, Alcest, Negura Bunget, Hannes Grossmann, and Allegaeon. Eden gets pretty mad about the last one!

Myrkur – Mausoleum

For very unfortunate reasons, Myrkur remains a controversial artist. Being the brainchild of Amalie Bruun, the black metal project has faced intense scrutiny for deviating from the norms of the genre, despite other artists like Ulver (whom have collaborated with her several times) or Alcest getting praised for similar irreverences. While the backlash that targets her for her gender might have dissuaded other artists, she has instead trudged on and pushed back even further. Mausoleum is partly reinvention, but also partly defiance. Taking the songs from her debut full length M and rearranging them with a haunting choir, Myrkur is firmly walking the steps towards post-black-metal greatness.