The Central – Discovery Of A Rat

It is no small challenge for bands to find a way to sonically distinguish themselves from the legions of acts in their genre. There’s no shortage of ways (intentional or not) for groups to get this done, but in the past ten years or so, we’ve been hearing bands more frequently pull from unusual and atypical influences, bringing about a “What the hell is this?” line of thinking more and more often. Whether it’s a mixture of seemingly incongruent styles in the overlap of some wacky Venn diagram like this year’s fantastic Zeal and Ardor release Devil is Fine, or Between the Buried and Me’s spontaneous (and quite addictive) polka/circus/surf segues, it’s proven that there’s reward for ambitious risk-taking. As a result, it seems as though the metal community as a whole has adjusted their tastes. There’s more open-mindedness for things that stray from the path, and that’s exactly where Madison, Wisconsin grind duo The Central excel on their latest release, Discovery Of A Rat.

The Anatomy Of – Painted In Exile

Coming out of the void of potential and inactivity, Painted in Exile released one of the more powerful and emotional progressive metal albums of 2016. Drawing heavily on many clear influences within progressive metal, The Ordeal nonetheless also contains much of the theatrical, the jazz-y and more. Thus, inviting the band to write an “Anatomy Of” article for us was somewhat obvious, an organic attempt at delving the musical depths which we recognized behind their release.

Thomas Giles – Velcro Kid

It should be of surprise to absolutely no one that Between the Buried and Me frontman Tommy Rogers doesn’t like to sit still. While his 2004 solo debut Giles was hardly a serious effort, but 2011’s Pulse (the first under current project Thomas Giles) painted Rogers as a capable and serious musician in his own right across several genres, including progressive rock, industrial, electronic, and folk. Pulse was a portrait of an artist trying different things, but its follow-up Modern Noise was where Rogers truly appeared to find his artistic voice as a more focused and stylistically cohesive record.

Painted In Exile – The Ordeal

We make much ado about cohesion over here at Heavy Blog; it’s a quality that often separates good albums from great one, as well-made music transcends tracks and becomes an album. However, whether it wasn’t possible due to lack of ability or to the circumstances surrounding an album’s release, it’s possible to have great albums without it. Take Painted in Exile’s long awaited album, The Ordeal. It is a progressive metalcore release in a style that has fallen out of fashion in the years we have been waiting for it, calling back to the heyday of Between the Buried and Me’s Colors and The Great Misdirect. Unlike those albums, however, The Ordeal is more far-ranging, almost scattered in its approach to variation and growth throughout the release. The result is a challenging and borderline confusing album which, somehow, still manages to be endearing and moving.

PREMIERE: Infinite Earths – Act 2. Amalgam of Madness

Upon first listen, it’s clear that up-and-coming Floridian progressive death metal act Infinite Earths are familiar with their state’s history with the genre. Their upcoming EP Into The Void eerily captures the sound and spirit of the 90’s era region-specific developments from acts such as Death, Atheist, and Cynic. Even the…

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.