Best Of: Metal Christmas

I think most people dread holiday music. A fair conclusion. Typically signalling hectic retail environments, financial stress and an overall abundance of responsibility in the years most treacherous season. For many people, Christmas is eclipsed by this. It’s easy to resent the holidays when there’s so many people counting on…

Editors’ Picks – October 2017

Well, this is it, folks: October’s here to cap off the year with the final month replete with more albums than is seemingly possible to digest in the time allotted in the Gregorian tradition. Now, you’re probably thinking something along the lines of “Hey! November and December exist!” Indeed they…

102 – I’m Just A Meme

We don’t have Eden this week, so Kellan and I discuss Every Time I Die’s Jordan Buckley getting sued for stage diving into a fan, causing her to have a concussion and a fractured neck. As a result, he’s being sued, and of course the metal community reacts very poorly to this. We then discuss the Linkin Park show held in memory of Chester, featuring members of bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, System of a Down, Blink 182, Bring Me The Horizon and more. Finally, we discuss the new Trivium and August Burns Red albums. Enjoy!

Spires of the Lunar Sphere – SIREN (take the fair face of woman and gently suspending with butterflies flowers and jewels attending thus your fairy be made of most wondrous things)

The measure of the chaotic band is, ironically, how much order they inject into their basic pandemonium and how they inject it. Based on that measure, Spires of the Lunar Sphere is one of the more interesting bands operating in metal today. Their 2015 debut, Pangea Ultima, was a shocking experiment in what happens when you turn the dial on discord almost as far as it can go; it blended glitch electronics, metalcore, grind-like aggression and video game music into one challenging whole. One album is fine and all; it was certainly impressive and, perhaps even more surprisingly, highly enjoyable. But the true test is whether Spires of the Lunar Sphere could do it again (and again), proving that they actually had control over the chaos and that their first effort wasn’t a fluke. Well, was it?

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 10/13/17

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.

August Burns Red – Phantom Anthem

It can’t be easy being August Burns Red. They’ve been around for 14 years, they’ve seen the rise and fall of metalcore. They were one of the most prominent figures in bringing it to a wider audience. They’ve had many opportunities to define themselves, and many have solidified their own personal feelings about them. Does a band in this position seek to change anyone’s minds? Do they just stay the course? Should they even be criticized for doing so? Trying to analyze these trains of thought as a critic can lead one down several rabbit holes. But perhaps one should consider the perspective of the band. They’re on their 7th entry, they have nothing more left to prove, so they can make whatever they feel like. And Phantom Anthem definitely feels like that. A quality band comfortable in their shoes, making the music they want to make.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 9/29/17

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.

97 – DMCA Us Right Now

Finally the crew is back on track! This week we talk about… Stuff. The charges brought against Decapitated, Spotify removing Infant Annihilator songs, Womanowar getting copyright stricken, Phil Anselmo dragging his own racism back into the highlight, Samael’s… incredibly tone deaf video, then new music or material from: Godspeed! You Black Emperor, August Burns Red, Coma Cluster Void, Good Tiger, Veil of Maya, Through The Eyes of the Dead, Gigan, Vulture Industries, and Shokran. Then, we talk about the new album of Eden’s band, Instar! And, per a fan request, we do a mini-interview of me regarding NYN. Enjoy!

95 – Taylor Swift

We’re back! Sorry. Not much going on, anyway. First, Matt Harvey of Exhumed’s dumb statement about Nazis and Toilet ov Hell’s great response. Oli from Archspire wanting to fight Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying. Indie labels creating their own streaming services. The unfortunate news that Todd Honeycutt, the bassist for Enfold Darkness has committed suicide. Then, new stuff from Mastodon, Shokran, Soften the Glare (featuring Ryan Martinie from Mudvayne), Taylor Swift, Unleash the Archers, and Archspire. Also, Messengers by August Burns Red is 10! We also discuss me going back to Slipknot’s latest and thinking it’s not bad. Enjoy!

Within The Ruins – Halfway Human

It’s never a great feeling to see a creative band struggle to find its identity. It’s even more painful when the band is so close to getting the formula right, but just can’t seem to put in the extra effort to connect the pieces. Perhaps Halfway Human is a more apt title than it initially sounds for Within the Ruins’s fifth album. Halfway to perfection, and entirely human with its flaws. Shining beacons of brilliance stuffed in between songs seemingly written in auto-pilot make this an enjoyable, yet disappointing experience.