End of the year, so there’s not a lot of news! Shokran covering Linkin Park, Arkona teasing a new album, a new Portal track, Gene Simmons getting banned from Fox News. Decibel’s weird top 40 of the year. Then we discuss why I didn’t enjoy the new Xanthochroid releases and what merit they may have regardless. We introduce a new segment: “Game Changer”, then we discuss Between the Buried and Me’s Colors and how it, well, changed the game. Finally Eden plugs his love letter to Iron Maiden’s Powerslave. Cool people time, including the Korean Netflix show Stranger, then five movies Eden saw at a sci-fi festival, and the superhero simulator Megaton Rainfall. Enjoy!
Ten years later, Colors holds up, and is widely considered the act’s best album and a modern progressive metal classic. Colors is one of our all-time favorite records around these parts, so there was no question that this tour couldn’t be missed. We were able to catch the trek, which also featured Toothgrinder, Polyphia, and The Contortionist, at its penultimate sold-out show at The Neighborhood Theater in Charlotte, North Carolina, and it was as glorious and powerful as expected.
So, we mentioned the Sacred Son artwork controversy before. The chill artwork for the very real black metal album drew some ire, so we got the man behind the curtain to join us and tell it all. And it was a good time! We talk about the artwork (of course), but also the project itself, Dane’s views on the black metal scene and more. Eden and I then discuss new material from Augury, First Fragment, Cavalera Conspiracy (check out my retrospective), Leander Kills and The Kindred. We also discuss Metalsucks’s legal assessment of the Decapitated case, Marilyn Manson’s onstage accident, and Between the Buried and Me reacquiring the rights to their older material. Then we have a cool people section about some stuff, including the Netflix documentary Long Shot, Total War: Warhammer II, Annihilation (the movie), Blade Runner 2049 and the upcoming Dune movie.
Do you enjoy no nonsense, riff filled death metal? Do you like sub bass drops and beat downs? Do you also believe that the ruling class of the world is made up of scaly, lizard people? Well, even if you only answered yes to the first two questions, you will almost definitely enjoy the devilishly wholesome offerings of Brisbane’s Reptilian Civilian. Five guys hanging out and playing sick death metal with plenty of tech and slam, these chaps deliver on the promise of every tag you’ll find their music under on Bandcamp. Slamming brutal technical deathcore with a global conspiracy theme? Yes, this will be fine.
In 2015 Native Construct’s fantastic debut Quiet World took the community by storm. We at HeavyBlog loved it so much that we placed it at #3 in our Top 50 albums of 2015. It truly was a great album, flush with brilliantly executed genre-transitions, vibrant compositions, a grandiose concept, technically accomplished playing and a flair for originality. If you loved that sound as much as we did and you’re aching for something similar, then look no further than Others By No One’s debut EP Book 1: Dr. Breacher. Check it out below!
Until this review, the name In the Presence of Wolves was unfamiliar. Now, during the course of this review, it is hard to imagine a band this good not being known by a wider audience for the fantastic music they produce. The Philadelphia, PA based group plays progressive metal that sound like a cross between a livelier, more energetic version of the modern-prog Between the Buried and Me, Coheed and Cambria and progressive metal/rock up and comers (as well as blog favorites) Thank You Scientist. If any of these bands tickle your fancy, you owe it to yourself to check out In the presence of Wolves. If that’s not enough to convince you, perhaps a breakdown of this concept EP’s tracks will lead you be a tad more curious.
Icaria remembers to have fun and, thus, we are fortunate to have an exclusive stream of their upcoming debut album, Transcendent, here on Heavy Blog Is Heavy. This five-piece progressive metal outfit from Atlanta packs a serious punch with their flashy compositions, tight production, and relentless intensity. The band sounds like a cross between Periphery on their most recent poppier albums, Coheed and Cambria, and just a hint of shreddy power metal. It’s an absolute blast. There’s nothing mind-bending here and nothing that will change the face of progressive metal but that is not a bad thing. Icaria is making thoroughly enjoyable metal that has a lot of pop appeal but still maintains its musical integrity and complexity.
Even a cursory glance of our biweekly “What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To” posts will reveal that there is a great deal of variety among our staff’s musical tastes. Due to this, we brainstormed the idea of “Playlist Swap,” another biweekly segment that takes place between playlist updates. We…
As incredible as the tour was, the pairing of Coheed and Cambria and Between the Buried and Me in 2013 had caused a bit of head scratching. Certainly, the Vinn Diagram of audiences on that trek had quite a bit of overlap given both acts’ prog leanings and love of conceptual universes, but you could really feel the divide in the room between fans of either band.
Chances are, if you’re on this website in the first place, you’d likely find yourself in the center of that Vinn Diagram because you know that catchy post-hardcore and technically-minded prog metal compliment each other well. And if that is indeed the case, then you’re going to love Philadelphia’s In The Presence of Wolves.
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.