Editors’ Picks – March 2018

It’s hard to believe that we’ve already made it a quarter of the way through the year, particularly because of how extensive each of our Editors’ Picks columns has been over the last three months. Every time we coalesce to flesh out which albums will make the cut, we’re always…

The Anatomy Of: As Oceans

North Carolina is an underappreciated hotbed of talent in the American metal scene, where bands like Between the Buried and Me and Corrosion of Conformity, among many others, have come up to inform the progression of their respective musical niches on a worldwide scale. It also doesn’t hurt that acts…

8-Track: Between the Buried and Me

Believe it or not, there are still folks out there who haven’t given Between the Buried and Me much spin-time; perhaps it’s due to the sprawling and technical nature of some of their later-era tracks or because of the deathcore and hardcore leanings of their early work. That’s fine and all,…

Release Day Roundup – 3/9/18

Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure…

117 – Taake On Me

This week Eden’s gone so I got Simon instead. We talk extensively about his editorial regarding the Taake incident, trangressions and more. We talk about how black metal’s problematic web of influences is way too wide, and how frustrating that is. Then we cleanse our palates with some new music by Alkaloid, Rivers of Nihil (my review here) and Augury. Finally, we talk about the new Between the Buried and Me album (Jimmy’s review here). Then we do cool people time. Simon talks about the new game from FTL creators, Into the Breach (I bought it right after and have been playing it for hours instead of editing this podcast) and I talk about Derren Brown’s new Netflix special The Push, where he tries to manipulate a person into committing murder. Enjoy!

Between the Buried and Me – Automata I

As they approach 20 years of activity, Between the Buried and Me have surely attained the status of legacy act in the realm of progressive metal with a weight to their name comparable to that of Opeth and Dream Theater; they’re world-class headliners and have crafted some of the greatest records to ever come out of the genre, and they arguably had a hand of influence in the influx of progressive metalcore acts that emerged in the mid-to-late 2000’s. With that prolific status comes its drawbacks, however; much like Opeth and Dream Theater, later-era works are the topic of much debate and are subject to higher scrutiny, and being guilty of creating an album that is just okay is damning.

Dead Empires – Designed to Disappear

The passion that drives progressive metal, especially extreme progressive metal, has to be a multicolored and multilayered thing. Otherwise, progressive metal just falls into the trap of “more variation = more good” and that’s easily disprovable; just because you’ve approach a single theme from several different directions that doesn’t necessarily mean that your album will be interesting. Instead, great progressive metal bands focus on getting across several different atmospheres and vibes on one album, changing both the destination and delivery point to create interest. Consider Opeth’s blend of anger and sadness on My Arms, Your Hearse or Howling Sycamore’s excellent and recent foray into both hallucination and internal power. These kind of varied intonations is what Dead Empires went for with Designed to Disappear and they mostly pull it off.

115 – Millennials Are Ruining Guitar Music

This week we bring some extra salt. We talk about Gibson guitars being on the verge of bankruptcy, peoples’ musical tastes getting calcified in their teen years, me being nominated for an innovative guitarist contest (and other amazing musicians, so go vote and check them out!), and discussing new or upcoming material from Ihsahn, Between the Buried and Me, and Huggsja. Then we shine a light on Crescent and Aliases. In cool people time we discuss Black Panther (spoiler warning). Enjoy!

Heavy Blog Soapbox – Saying you “Have” to See Bands Live to “Get” Them is A Terrible Argument

After one of our reviews goes live, I always approach the comments section with hesitant intrigue. For all the supportive comment that makes the hours of listening and writing worth it, there’s inevitably going to be a detractor delivering a potent cocktail of salt and shade. Sometimes the criticism is…

111 – Fidget Spinner ASMR

Ok, I’m back for real and we’re back on track! We have a bunch of new music and album announcements! Between the Buried and Me, Cynic, Obscura, Machine Head, Arkona, Zeal & Ardor, and Aviations. Also, we discuss the upcoming Lords of Chaos movie based on the book chronicling the rise of black metal, and reminisce as Century Media turns 30. Then, cool people time with Furi, All the Birds in the Sky, and Devilman Crybaby. Enjoy!