Maybe it’s time to cancel the podcast? If the allegations of Tidal committing fraud are true, then our days may be numbered. Well, if they’re not, in the meantime, we have stuff to discuss. New material from Babymetal, Obscura, Aegaeon, and live Animals as Leaders. Then we discuss the titular story, and Spotify’s attempts at curation by “hateful content or conduct”. Finally, we talk about the amazing Extreme Meme Megamashup. Yes. Then cool people time with Arrested Development, Santa Clarita Diet, and more Infinity War, and Frostpunk. Enjoy!
Australia’s musical scene seems to know no bounds, and, thanks to the talents and efforts of people like Lachlan of Art as Catharsis, they are spread to the outside world. Case in point: I have the pleasure of introducing you to the entirety of Reductio ad absurdum, the upcoming EP from Sydney trio Instrumental (Adj.). The three have made quite a few waves on the Internet when they released their surprising and fresh debut A Series of Disagreements. It was short, but it overflowed with clever musical ideas and precise execution. It was jazzy, progressive, aggressive, mathematical, and, most of all, I couldn’t get enough of listening to it.
In what will likely be our final premiere for the year, we bring you this subtly festive exclusive by progressive instrumental guitarist Chris Schiermann, better known by his project name in SCHIERMANN. Having just released his debut album, SCHIERMANN, you’ll get six tracks of delightful proggy goodness reminiscent of all…
Do you like exclusively clean vocals? Do you like progressive rock with a bit of a groovy, even djent-y edge to it? Will you listen to anything that comes out of the San Francisco Bay Area music scene? Well then, have I got the band for you! They’re called Sea in the Sky and though they liken themselves to Periphery, CHON and Polyphia, I hear flashes of swancore bands like Dance Gavin Dance, Stolas and Hail the Sun. They’re releasing a new album on September 29th called Everything All at Once, but luckily we can listen to two singles from it right this very moment!
The purpose of this post is not to give you a play by play description of the festival; this isn’t a show review first and foremost. The idea instead is to give you a feeling for what attending the festival is like, whether by describing the location, some of the shows, the overall air or even the food on offer. The purpose of this post is to see as many of you as possible at the next year’s festival. This institution is well needed in the metal scene and it’s a pleasure to be able to support it in my own way. There’s only one condition: you have to say hello next year if you do come. I’ll buy you a beer, promise. Let’s get to it, shall we?
Djent had an explosive entrance into the world of heavy music, around the start of the decade. It was a truly exciting occurrence, with first-wave acts like Periphery, Animals As Leaders and Cloudkicker filtering the technically-driven progressive sound of acts like Meshuggah, Sikth, and those of the budding “Sumeriancore” movement, into something altogether more accessible, while still retaining much of their forebears’ technical and progressive edge. Yet, like most new sub-genres, djent quickly devolved into pastiche and gave way to over saturation—perhaps a little bit quicker than most. Djent, it seems, has had a propperly ballistic trajectory, and—in 2017—as its momentum trails off, it’s hard to get excited about this once-promising phenomenon.
Before we begin, yes: this is the second band with “fox” in its name that I’ve told you to listen to in the past two weeks. Why? How? There is no answer; god is dead and the universe is infinitely weird and we should rejoice. Cosmic rejoicing aside, let’s get to our subject at hand and it is the delectable fusion/instrumental metal of Fox Vibes. Delectable how? In the sense that the excess which so often plagues this genre and its brethren (think the infinite leads of nu-prog or the unnecessary forced time changes of most fusion metal bands) is completely absent from their EP, Mantra. From start to finish, these are cleverly and sparsely composed ditties, fun excursions into the world of captivating and sweet metal. Go listen already, will you?
Those of you who like controversial topics, we’ve got them this week! Jay-Z gaming the RIAA with Sprint to make his latest album go platinum, Spotify creating “fake music” to game their own algorithms for profit (read this article!), Soundcloud laying off 40% of their staff, and the all-female music festival in Sweden. These take up a good bit of our time. We also discuss metal though! The new Archspire song (we manage to make this controversial too), new music from Stargazer, Contaminated, and Blind Guardian’s new live album. Speaking of live, Eden went to Be Prog! My Friend and somehow thinks we care about his adventures there, so let’s listen to him talk about Leprous, Mike Portnoy playing Dream Theater songs with Haken, Anathema, Jethro Tull (lol), Devin Townsend, Animals as Leaders, etc. We then reflect on how well Vildhjarta’s Masstaden has aged. Finally we discuss something actually fun, a.k.a. Spider-Man: Homecoming! Also Ratchet & Clank, I guess. Enjoy!
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.
For all the ubiquity it enjoys today, our current, ‘mainstream’ iteration of progressive metal was hardly all that visible before the turn of the last decade outside of a few relatively tight internet circles. The community around it remained constrained to a few forums, as current ringleaders such as Misha Mansoor and Acle Kahney quietly uploaded bedroom recordings to relatively small audiences.