Antigama – Depressant Poland has been a hotbed of excellent extreme metal acts for over three decades now, perhaps owing to the country’s extremely high level of level of religious practice. That scene that has produced such greats as Vader and Behemoth has also spawned more niche, underground acts like…
Happy Halloween, 2017, from your nefarious friends at Kvlt Kolvmn! Hard to imagine a better day for this column to land near, what with all the ghouls, spirits, demogorgons and Eleven’s traipsing around with their sugar receptacles and real world terror encroaching from every corner of this planet. God, what a miserable year in so many ways. Thankfully, that misery has not extended into the world of black metal, which continues to drop sensational releases month after month. October is no exception. This month saw the release of several exceptional albums that not only continued to solidify the importance of black metal’s existence as one of the premier subgenres within the metal universe, but also its ability to offer complex, fierce statement of countercultural urgency. That last component is important for one particular album that screams thoroughly against some of the prevailing philosophical dogma that runs rampant in the darkest corners of the subgenre. Despite the most truly reprehensible portions of its collective ranks, black metal can indeed speak the language of justice. But enough talk. Let’s metal.
Hello heaviest of Heavy Bloggers! Welcome back to Doomsday, our monthly roundup of All the Doom that’s Fit to Print.™ October is a special time of year, particularly in America: the weather is turning colder and gloomier, horror movies show up in earnest in theaters and cable networks across the country, and the general anticipation of Halloween fills the air. October 2017 was particularly special for doom heads as both Bell Witch and Primitive Man unleashed career-defining tours de force upon the world. But wait, there’s more! Lots more! Grab your earplugs, it’s Doomsday.
There’s nothing quite like a great sandwich. Whether it’s cookies either side of creme, cold cuts stuffed in slices of bread or earnest, driving hard rock with heart stuck between two slabs of dirty, bludgeoning death. We’re going with the latter on this weeks Celtic Connection with Scottish and Irish produce, as per. It tickles my pickle that I get to cover three bands with nothing shared other than their red haired heritage. Sure, the two Scots acts may share the same rough area but they couldn’t be any further apart in terms of taste, style and fans. Throw in some low end loving Irish folks and hey, we’ve got a party on our hands.
The nihilist music market is a hot market and every despondent soul has a favourite hot property at the minute. The worlds of sludge, doom and core have bore witness to a smattering of acts capable of sapping the complete energy of a room; using just the atmosphere they create with their instruments, implements and voices. As mentioned, there’s enough history with this area of music that there’s always someone threatening to unsettle and threaten with their music. Helpless definitely aim to create a misery of their very own with Debt, a brief but bloody record showcasing the serrated edge of sludge bass and hellish vocals. The music does impose, but the band occasionally take second stage to the wall of noise.
Only three albums into their career, the angry Aussies in Thy Art is Murder are a household name not only in deathcore, but extreme metal as a whole. The fourth album can be a tough place to be in for an established band, especially if your sophomore and junior releases are as good as Hate and Holy War. Though well-established and on the path to even more exposure and success, the band are still not immune to the possibility of dropping something that may not completely meet the expectations of their fans all over the globe and tainting their reputation of quality releases. Fortunately for those anticipating their senior album Dear Desolation, there is no disappointment to worry about. With this album, the band have dug their heels deeper into the dirt of what they do best and risen to the occasion by not only meeting the standards of previous albums but also setting new ones.
Some things just go really well together. Ham and cheese. Cookies and milk. Frodo and Samwise. Alcohol and an unusually horrible following morning. The metal world, intent on constantly reinventing and expanding itself, tends to mix differing sounds into new amalgamations of metal mayhem in hopes of finding similarly delightful pairings. Some of these ventures are more successful (Full of Hell and Merzbow) than others (here’s looking at you, Metallica and Lou Reed). But few things pair as well in the metal world as black and death metal. All the key ingredients for hate-filled success are there: unparalleled intensity, blast beats, tremolo insanity, thematic cohesion, and harsh, unrelenting vocal deliveries. With all of these commonalities between the two metal subgenres, you’d think that their fusion would be relatively easy to pull off. Based on a lot of recent death metal releases that incorporate black metal into their sound, however, it would seem that this isn’t always the case or even the norm. Outside of the success of bands such as Behemoth, there are surprisingly few examples of blackened death metal seeping deeply into metal culture. Excommunion is here to change that with their fierce new record, Thronosis.
How does one incorporate elements of poppier, more upbeat music into metal’s mix and perhaps even its external themes like album art, lyrics and delivery?
While many bands have taken a pass at this question, none of have solved it quite as well as Ninjaspy. In 2013, the Canadian band released their short (and excellent) debut EP, coupling it with a home-brewed, Ninja themed comics that elaborated on and worked together with the album (NOTE: we’ll not be referencing the obvious similarities between Ninjaspy and a certain Australian band who shan’t be named. A simple look at a timeline will give you all the facts you need). Their music incorporated elements of reggae and surf right into heavier influences from hardcore and modern metal. The result drew comparisons to System of a Down, SikTh, Limp Bizkit and others.
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.
There’s nothing quite like a metal show. The palpitating thrum of bass, explosive blasts of percussion, the crackling sea of people united by music — it’s beautiful, life-affirming, and brutal. Although live recordings will inevitably fail to stack up to the real thing, they allow us to experience singular moments…