Visitors – Crest

Layering one’s music is, fundamentally, a balancing act. Especially now that technology has developed to the point that a laptop carrying a backing track can be comfortably carried on stage and their operation is simple enough for even drummers to handle, almost nothing is off the table. However, the temptation…

Vein – errorzone

Growing up in the late ’90s and early ’00s meant being exposed to some of the greatest examples of bad metal. Like, genuinely really bad metal. Some of it was great though, of course. Everyone loved it at the time too, or so one would think, given the absurd amount…

8-Track: Between the Buried and Me

Believe it or not, there are still folks out there who haven’t given Between the Buried and Me much spin-time; perhaps it’s due to the sprawling and technical nature of some of their later-era tracks or because of the deathcore and hardcore leanings of their early work. That’s fine and all,…

Glassjaw – Material Control

Glassjaw has never really died. They’re like a phoenix, if said mythical flaming bird also suffered from an incredibly hectic demeanor and a haphazard attitude towards its own existence. Ever since kicking off the underground music scene of the early 00’s, Glassjaw continued to treat their career and musical progression like they did their by-now legendary live shows. Arms flailing, music appearing and then disappearing for undefined periods of time, submerged in the rumors of hiatus and demise only to resurface from time to time with a voice of thunder, Glassjaw has spent the last fifteen years basically being a nightmare for all but the most die hard of fans. But to be honest with you, it was worth it. It was worth having that name in the periphery of the scene but also, somehow, at its center, waiting for a reconciliation, for Glassjaw and the rumor of Glassjaw. It was worth it because, at the end of the process, we got Material Control.

Marilyn Manson – Heaven Upside Down

Following a disappointing run that had lasted nearly a decade, Marilyn Manson made a fairly compelling (if not completely convincing) comeback with 2015’s The Pale Emperor. This not-quite-return-to-form also seemed to coincided with a stabilisation and cleaning up of the troubled shock rocker’s personal life, and it caused a stir among those who had all but written off the former “antichrist superstar,” leaving many wondering whether that album would prove to be a one-off glimpse of his former greatness or if he was capable of pulling-off a similar feat in the future. Although hopes remained high, alarm bells began to ring when it was announced that the follow-up to that record would be titled “Say10” and was slated for release on Valentine’s Day. Thankfully, that potentially embarrassing set of circumstances never came to fruition. The release was pulled with little fanfare or explanation—eventually emerging eight months later under the considerably less sophomoric title Heaven Upside Down, on the nondescript date of October 6 (although the first single being released on September 11 seems hardly coincidental). It eventually emerged that Manson was unhappy with the release in it’s earlier form and three extra tracks—it’s beginning, central and ending numbers—were added in the interim before its eventual release. The one-time “god of fuck” appears to have made the right call because, while Heaven Upside Down remains a far cry from the output of his glory period, it also provides further evidence that there’s still more than a little bit of Satanic gas left in his proverbial tank. Unfortunately, it also proves to be a release underpinned by a number of regrettable circumstances and uncomfortable revelations.

Otherwise – Sleeping Lions

If there’s one album that could launch a band into the stratosphere this year, it’s Sleeping Lions, the third outing from Las Vegas mob Otherwise. Mark my words: this album is prepped and packaged for the radio airwaves, plus almost every track sounds capable of inciting an arena-sized singalong, but that’s not always a bad thing. Their previous album cracked the Billboard 200 at number 50. This could surpass that. If they catch their big break with this record, the general population of rock enthusiasts will find something to appreciate about Otherwise. Generic? Absolutely. But it knows what it is.

Rotten to the Core – devthbed, Justice for the Damned & Vein

We’re at a point where a hot shit, flavour of the month band can become old hat moments after they are touted as the next big thing. It’s so easy to lose track of who’s who, what’s hot and not and generally what the hell is happening in music and it’s always gonna be impossible to hear everything good out there. That’s where Heavy Blog, and others like us, come in. We have our core features focusing on specific genres—what’s up Grind My Gears fans?!—but today I’m lumping together bands who’s only similarity is their shared suffix. They’re all “core” in some form or another. To make things more digestible, I’ve even added a strapline for each, covering their sound in one fantastically humorous sentence. Please, enjoy and rock responsibly.