There’s something beautiful about stumbling onto an album. Though it’s merely a byproduct of passionate people busting chops to get the word out for bands they love, the romantic in me makes it feel like destiny. Whether it’s a blind recommendation from a friend who knows your tastes, a social…
New York-based post-black metal duo Mavradoxa made a quick turnaround with the follow-up to their 2016 debut, Sojourners, a record that wore its love for Agalloch and on its metaphorical and literal sleeves. Lethean Lament picks up right where Sojourners left off, and despite the brief period between releases, Lament is a fuller, more developed, and polished version of the band, one that also benefits from a much-improved mix. Essentially, Lethean Lament is what you’d expect from a quality post-black metal record: adventurously long tracks, gush-worthy cleans, charred in-your-face passages, and some tasteful string arrangements thrown in for good measure. At a glance, it’s a superbly-composed love letter to the the genre, skillfully pairing elegant and embellished passages with malicious affronts, while sharpening the effects of each against one another.
Here on Half-Life, we go through a band’s discography and see where they stand today compared to where they started. Pallbearer is one of metal’s rising stars and their progression has been so fun to watch. Every record has its own identity and set of surprises. To take on this project, I enlisted the assistance of my talented colleagues, Jordan Jerabek and Bill Fetty. We hope you enjoy!
Let’s state facts: Clrvynt’s preface to “The Director of ‘Maryland Deathfest: The Movie’:’Metal is the Fucking Worst'” (this is literally how the post’s title was formatted by the way, I didn’t change it) is bullshit. Running an article filled with borderline/not-really-borderline-at-all misogyny, homophobia, and very palpable hatred for a huge swath of the community you’re part of is a terrible thing to do. However, if you’ve already decided to do that, don’t cop out by writing a six-line preface nominally denouncing the opinions contained therein. At least own the fact that you’re giving shitty opinions a stage and have some honesty.
Last year, my interest was piqued by a surprise release from Woodsplitter, an instrumental solo project from Ben McLeod, guitar player of one of my favorite “new” bands, Nashville’s All Them Witches. Inflamed examines metal guitar through a variety of lenses: post, prog, death, stoner, doom, and even krautrock; showcasing an impressive variety and a refined level of comfort as each track seems to pare down to the core of what makes these sounds appeal to so many. His newest venture, Egyptian Overload explores an even wider swath of sounds and textures, plus the addition of saxophone. I asked Ben a few questions about the project, the rawness of his latest record, and future plans.
Man, 2017, y’all. We realize that it’s kind of our m.o. to be proponents of the whole “Golden Age of Metal” narrative and be incredibly positive about the consistently great level of stuff that is being put out from pretty much every part of the musical spectrum, but it’s such an easy thing to do when we are so constantly bombarded with new material that utterly consumes our attention. Even in months where one of us might not have as many new albums that really impressed them, without doubt there will be another one who could barely keep up because of all the superb releases from genres they pay close attention to. This April has certainly been no different in that regard, and we have a whole slew of top-notch albums to recommend to you all.
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.
Welcome back to our interview with Flesh of the Stars! For those just seeing this for the first time, we ran the first part, which focused on their new record Anhilla, on Friday. This time around, we’re gonna be discussing Matt’s obsession with synthesizers and electric pianos, and the band’s thoughts on the…
I’ve been on a post black metal binge right now and let me tell you, I regret absolutely nothing. The stylistic fringes are doing some great things right now, perhaps feeding off of the general momentum black metal seems to have in 2017. As part of this slew of new bands, UK based Asira have carved something of their own niche within my rotation. I’ve seen black metal tinged with almost everything but progressive rock is a new one for me. That’s exactly what Efference does though: into the dream-y tremolo riffs and weighty blastbeats, it injects raw, treble focused solos that best belong on a Led Zeppelin album. Alongside, it also includes clean vocals and ambient sections which remind one of King Crimson or Yes. Yeah, I know, right? Head on below for your listen
Rough week! We have some news to discuss, and Ben of Hadal Maw to interview, but technical issues keep getting in the way. Also, bonus points if you can tell me what artist the episode title is referencing. Beyond having a neat conversation with Ben about the Australian scene and his writing process, we discuss some news with Eden, mainly new music from No Sin Evades His Gaze, Ulsect, The Acacia Strain, Artificial Brain, Alpha Brutal, Orm and Slugdge. Also Violet Cold got signed, maybe? Enjoy.