PHOTOS: Baroness, Heiress—March 29th, 2016 @ Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC

Baroness returned to Vancouver playing at the famous Commodore Ballroom to play an amazing set covering their four albums. With each song came clever lighting that matched which album the song was from. Mostly being 2016’s Purple and pasts Green/Yellow. Purple is like a new train of thought for Baroness. You can feel with each song how they have grown and progressed as a band with a heightened level of technicality, groove, and melody. Which only seems natural to any fan who knows of the bands past. Their live show is no different. Every aspect of the production exceeded expectations. The setlist was well rounded and the stage presence of the band was top notch, but don’t take my word for it. The photos speak for themselves.

Joining Baroness for a mini-tour of the west coast was Heiress of Seattle who put on an intense and loud show that would appeal to any fan of Baroness’ earlier works. After seeing them live I honestly cant think of many bands that could have complimented Baroness better. Kudos to Heiress!

Sumac – What One Becomes

Given the huge cult followings of metal pioneers like Isis and Botch, it’s honestly quite puzzling why Sumac didn’t completely explode last year with their debut LP, The Deal. It felt like some of frontman Aaron Turner’s most inspired and chaotic material ever, constantly ebbing-and-flowing between angular/dissonant hardcore and pummeling…

Kvelertak – Nattesferd

Norway’s Kvelertak experienced an explosive arrival to the metal scene in 2010 with the release of their universally acclaimed self-titled debut. Buzz spread almost overnight as their would-be niche black n’ roll experience found worldwide audiences and the attention of major label Roadrunner Records. The unabashedly catchy blend of black metal, hardcore punk, and cheesy classic rock riffs was a new experience to such a wide audience, and Kvelertak was quick to become a landmark album not just because of its novelty, but because of its genuinely exciting songs. So where are we now, six years and two albums later?

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 4/22/16

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.

Hey, Listen to Wet Teeth!

Columbus-cum-New York sludge multi-instrumentalist Dan Wilburn has a fairly stacked resume despite being a dude whose name doesn’t immediately ring many bells (yet): following a stint playing with post-metal acolytes Mouth of the Architect, he’s been a gun-for-hire running sound for some of our favorite bands, including Cynic and Intronaut. If you’re reading this site at all and make it out to shows, then there’s a solid shot you’ve been in the same room as Mr. Wilburn and not even realize it.

North – Light the Way

In the wake of The Ocean’s highly successful Pelagial, a new strain of post metal was born, one which flirts with the antics of stoner and doom. Feeding off the latter of that seminal 2012 album, this style of music utilizes delay-ridden techniques in conjunction with fuzzy feedback and hoarse vocals to create its emotional impact, blending both atmosphere and visceral assaults. North, fresh off the tour with Intronaut and the aforementioned band (a tour being wrapped up next month), belong to the lower end of such a style. Their Light the Way attempts a blend of more ephemeral guitar lines that might echo So Hideous or Junius and feedback drenched chords that belong on a Earthship or Lo! album, or any of the sister projects that make up The Ocean Collective.

But does it work? Yes and no: every track, on its own, is a solid and well thought out unit, expertly weaving between the two styles. However, something about the album structure doesn’t click and the tracks tend to blend together. It takes several listens to tell them apart and, even then, one finds himself drifting into a a sea of sameness as lead after fuzzy riff crashes down upon him. Let’s start with the good however.

Baroness – Purple

Re-invigoration is a theme that is often utilized when making, speaking or consuming music. Something about the creative energies released by music demands it. The duality is clear; music both regenerates us but also requires attention, energy and, most of all, self-searching and growth. Understanding this can grant us great insight into the rise and fall of many bands: it’s not enough to make great music, it’s also necessary to keep reinventing and exploring it. Thus, we come to Baroness. Being a veteran band, and with consideration of events other than the music, the biggest question that surrounded Purple was can they pull it off? Can a band so known and recognized for its distinct sound bring something new to the table?