Stepping Stone: INXS’s Kick

Like many metalheads, I spent many a year condemning anything verging on pop as simplistic, saccharine drivel manufactured to appeal to the lowest common denominator of music listeners. Over time I’ve softened and come to appreciate that not all pop-infused music can be painted with the same brush. More than…

Elephant Tree – Elephant Tree

Elephant Tree released their newest self-titled album back in April of 2016 but it recently received a bigger retail release. All the more reason to talk about this tripped-out, fuzzfest. They’re not quite a metal band, but they certainly draw from metal influences. According to their Facebook page, their earlier endeavors were in London’s metal scene and it’s only recently that they’ve switched to their bluesy stoner rock sound. You can hear their metal past in the way they completely overdrive their guitarwork, using their riffs as a foundation for everything else in their songs.

All Them Witches – Sleeping Through The War

In a mere five years, Nashville’s All Them Witches have the discography of a band well beyond their years – not in terms of output, but by means of musical growth over only four full-length records. “Maturity” is a term that gets thrown around too often when talking about a band’s development, but the four-piece’s latest effort, Sleeping Through the War, seems to warrant such description – especially when reflecting on the relative purity of the group’s first album. The band has come a long way in a short time and have crafted an enigmatic and unpredictable nature, with each release since defying expectations and satisfying with wonderment. That being said, Sleeping Through the War follows suit standing as yet another hallmark for the band, and arguably their most eclectic record to date.

Hey! Listen to Julian Lage!

Full disclosure: by a certain metric, this recommendation post is coming in just over a year late. But virtuosic jazz guitarist Julian Lage is one prolific fellow, and has put out not one, not even two, but three releases in the time span between then and now. It’s not hard to see why; the man’s improvisation skills are stunning to behold, tossing out fully realized lead moments left and right with comfortable ease.

Heavy Vanguard Episode 3: Captain Beefheart // Trout Mask Replica

A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous. Got me? Ahem…I mean: welcome back to another (hopefully) enthralling episode of Heavy Vanguard! Apologies for the two-week delay in episodes. For some reason, the WordPress scheduling program doesn’t like this article very much. Today we’ve got what is possibly the…

Unmetal Monday – 6/20/16 (Rachel Ana Dobken, Karmakanic, Classixx, clipping.)

Like the grand majority of modern metal fans, our tastes here at Heavy Blog are incredibly vast, with our 3X3s in each Playlist Update typically covering numerous genres and sometimes a different style in each square. While we have occasionally covered non-metal topics in past blog posts, we decided that a dedicated column was warranted in order to more completely recommend all of the music that we have been listening to. Unmetal Monday is a weekly column which covers noteworthy news, tracks and albums from outside the metal universe, and we encourage you all to share your favorite non-metal picks from the week in the comments. Head past the jump to dial down the distortion:

Half-Life – Guns N’ Roses

Metal in the 80s was polarizing at best. Sure, there were acts that really redefined metal for today: Possessed, Death, Iron Maiden and Metallica released some of the most iconic metal music ever during this decade. But then there weas the almost-nauseating influx of glam/hair metal, with bands like Def Leppard adopting…

Hey! Listen to Electric Hoodoo!

It’s a well documented fact that rock music has roots in the blues; you can’t really step into rock without running into the staples of the genre. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses, Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and more all lapped up the sounds of B.B. King and Muddy Waters like milk in their early careers. Blues rock is still prevalent today, with bands like The Black Keys and The White Stripes taking massive influences from early blues acts. But where’s blues metal in all of this? We always think of blues rock, but not much more. Guns N’ Roses arguably footed the line between hard rock and metal, and some bands today – Elder comes to mind, as do many bands from the recent trend of throwback and “occult” metal (Graveyard, Witchcraft) – have some minor hints of blues. However, we never really think of/see metal bands adding a significant chunk of Muddy Waters to their music.
I believe that Electric Hoodoo, and their self-titled album, are an important stepping stone on the path to that blues metal sound. While they aren’t entirely metal, they are about as heavy as you’re going to get at the moment with a band so inspired by the blues.