PHOTOS: Devin Townsend Project, Between the Buried and Me—September 23rd, 2016 @ House of Blues, Chicago, IL

It’s been almost seven years since Between the Buried and Me and Devin Townsend Project last toured together. At the beginning of 2010, both of these bands hit the road with the ever-so-airy Cynic soon after they had released Traced in Air. Between the Buried and Me themselves had unleashed…

Hey! Listen to Dioramic!

Progressive hardcore isn’t really a thing; you could probably find three or four bands which match the description. However, on the off-chance that you can get around to discovering such a band, it possess great appeal. On one hand, you have the harsh, full speed ahead vocals of hardcore and the signature, bittersweet cleans. On the other, you get odd time signatures, varied instruments and compositions to offset the simplicity which sometimes plagues hardcore. That’s exactly the sort of mix you have with Dioramic, a band with three albums to their name and one great album. Technicolor is just a cut above the rest; it’s not that the other two are bad, they just don’t have the seamless integration and flow of Technicolor. Here, metalcore, hardcore and progressive metal all blend together, synths side by side with harsh vocals and gang choirs.

Best Of: Guitar Solos

In this edition of Heavy Blog’s Best Of, we’re taking on the mighty guitar solo. For as long as metal has existed, solos have been a staple of the genre. They might serve as a platform for the freedom of musical expression, or as trophies of technical excellence. Many of…

Fountainhead – Reverse Engineering

We sometimes ask ourselves, what does it mean to make good progressive metal or, put more broadly, to make good progressive music? One way of looking at it is to take bands like Opeth or Enslaved, where we determine the way they meld crushingly heavy extreme metal with beautifully mellow…

We Can Finally “Visualize” A New Abiogenesis Track

“Visualize” is an absolute monster of a track, blending the best things that modern, progressive metal has to offer. The names that ought to be conjured in your mind while we speak about this track are Persefone, Gods of Eden and their ilk. Right off the bat, you know what to expect: you have your intricate guitar riffs. You have your jazzy, weird-ass breaks. You have your excellent, complex drumming. But you also have amazing synths scattered above the guitars and serving a fantastic supporting role. More than an afterthought, they add a depth and a flair to the track, creating this neon-blue, sharp sensation which coalesces beautifully with the guitars. Head on over to one minute and thirty seven seconds for a beautiful bridge/solo from the guitars that works amazingly with the synths to get what I’m talking about.

The Jazz Club Vol. 5 – Gateway Drugs: Jazz Albums for Metalheads

After we provided a general introduction for the genre in our last Jazz Club, Jimmy and I tossed around the idea of writing an adjacent piece catered specifically to metal fans. As with any genre, it’s easier to crack into the overall style with a handful of bands or albums that incorporate elements from genres that the listener is already familiar with. There are some pretty strong links between jazz and metal, which made it easy to select a well-rounded list of albums to recommend for metal fans who want their jazz to have an added edge. Some of these releases lean more towards one genre than the other, but they’re all excellent in their own right and provide a solid, metallic gateway into jazz.

31 – Therein Lies The Beauty

Yay, I get to talk about one of my favorite bands with this week’s BALLS DEEP. It’s Dark Tranquillity, with two Ls! We got a bunch of news this week, including new material and announcements from Periphery (new album teaser), Devin Townsend Project (terrible new album artwork), Rings of Saturn (signed to Nuclear Blast), The Official Zakk Wylde “Emjoi” Set (why), Rage Against The Machine (more like Prophets of Rage), Insomnium (cool concept album), Between the Buried and Me (they’re mature now), Black Crown Initiate (grab Wes Hauch), Gojira (cool new song), WRVTH (live studio video), NAILS (should have spelled it NVILS to be cool (then it looks kind of like ANVILS (what happens when a band with a V in their name try to do the V-ification, like ANVILS–>VNVILS, that looks pretty weird (though it has that self-aware stupid quality to it that some bands seem to love (yes I’m intentionally dragging out these parantheses (wake me up inside)))))). We also discuss the passing of Adrian Guerra of Bell Witch, and briefly gibe our thoughts on the new Hatebreed which we both ended up listening to. Then the balls deep! Also, we talk about some cool stuff in the cool people section.

Hey! Listen To Element Of Chaos!

Much like their Italian peers in Destrage, Rome’s Element of Chaos is quirky as hell and completely unafraid to shift genres at the drop of a hat, all while maintaining a constant heavy edge. Though the band formed in 2007, they’ve flown under my radar until the band just released A New Dawn, an impressive and interesting take on prog-metal, metalcore, and even full-on video game music thanks to the album’s absurdly bombastic keyboard performances. The bulk of their sound is rooted in the chuggy riffing that’s come to be synonymous with so many modern prog bands, but there are also plenty of moments that harken to new-age Between the Buried and Me and Mr. Bungle as well, particularly one of the album’s most interesting and visceral moments, “Mutant Circus Manifesto.” With plenty of unbridled fury and cyclonic keyboard work that’d make bands like Last Chance to Reason and HORSE the Band nod their heads in approval, this is definitely some new metal to keep your eyes on.