Just last week, Devin Townsend took part in a challenge presented by Toontrack, in which he’d have to record a demo of an entire song in only two hours while it was streamed online. While he may have already come into the challenge with plenty of ideas, templates, and backing tracks beforehand, it was absolutely insane to see this man lay down a solid four minutes of fairly dense layering in such a short and hectic period of time. It also gave us a peek into his creative process and how he fleshes out his ideas into a complete whole. Head on over the jump for some more thoughts as well as a full stream!
Tag Archive Devin Townsend
What is this? A podcast? Indeed! Welcome to the first episode of Heavy Pod Is Heavy Cast, the official podcast of Heavy Blog! This podcast is hosted by me, Noyan and fellow editor Eden! In our podcast we will talk about what we listen to, what’s been happening in the metal world in the past week or so, and we will discuss more long term topics as well.
In our first episode, we talk about our weekly listening, Protest the Hero’s new subscription model, the new Born of Osiris album, the exclusivity of the black metal scene and the demand for originality and authenticity by bands, among other things. If you have any issues you’d be interested in hearing us talk about, leave them in the comments section below, we’d love to hear from you. We can cover pretty much anything related to music that you’d like, so don’t be shy!
So, check it out here or on iTunes (post will be updated when iTunes approves the podcast)! And see after the jump for show notes and related links. Also, I apologize for my audio quality, as this was our first time and some things went wrong, we’ll do better next time!
Episode 1 – Trvth or Dare:
Even a cursory glance of our biweekly “What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To” posts (last week’s update here) 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 randomly select two of the participants from each update, have them pick their favorite track from each of the nine albums in their grid and then send the list over to the other person to listen to and comment on. Within these commentaries occurs praise, criticism and discovery, and we hope that you experience a few instances of this last point as well. This week’s post brought staff members Eden Kupermintz & Nick Cusworth and Noyan Tokgozoglu together to peruse each other’s tastes:
Intronaut have long been a blog favorite, and with the release of their newest album The Direction Of Last Things just about a month away, we’re all incredibly excited for them. Many of us have heard the album, and we are telling you right now that it will be one of the best albums on this year, and will rival Prehistoricisms in both musical and lyrical contents. Its sheer musicianship is unbelievable, and the band seem to have dialed in on what they excel at, and have gone above and beyond the expectations we all had for them. I got to chat with Sacha about the new record, as well as about his guitar company and what good music he’s been jamming lately, so check it out after the jump!
Reading, PA’s Black Crown Initiate have very quickly become blog favourites with the release of their stunning debut The Wreckage of Stars last year, and they have rocketed to fame within the death metal scene astonishingly fast soon after, bolstered by both their musical creativity and relentless touring schedule. The recognition is well deserved — both Wreckage and preceding EP Song of the Crippled Bull are easily some of the finest releases in progressive death metal in the past several years, and yet it’s plainly apparent that the band clearly has more great things in store. Fellow Heavy Blog staffer Elizabeth Wood and I got to sit down and have a conversation over nachos with Black Crown Initiate vocalist James Dorton and guitarist/vocalist Andy Thomas after a stellar set (here’s a taste of what that’s like) supporting Cattle Decapitation at Toronto’s Hard Luck Bar, and we talked about the current state of things, what’s in store for the band, their influences, growing as a touring band, and — of course — beards!
We’re taking another diversion from our usual Starter Kit format to focus on the work of another seminal artist. Let’s face it; if you’re a reader of this website then you’ve probably already at least heard of some of Devin Townsend’s music. He’s one of the most electrifying, prolific, and impressive musicians to ever come out of Canada and is unquestionably one of progressive metal’s leading figures in the modern age. With almost thirty records to his name spanning a number of different projects and names, Dev’s output has practically never ceased since he first came onto the scene as Steve Vai’s frontman for a number of years. Whether it’s the manic and terrifying industrial/death/thrash assault of Strapping Young Lad, his heavy take on pop music, or even his forays into ambient, new age and even country music, there practically isn’t anything that this guy can’t do at a frustratingly-virtuosic level. That being said, if you’re not familiar with this guy’s extensive back catalog, it can be quite a daunting thing to undertake. That’s why we here at Heavy Blog Is Heavy would love to guide on your quest to getting into what may be metal’s best current musician. There will never truly be a definitive way to get anyone into such a multi-faceted body of work, but these five shouldn’t be passed up.
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.
Two releases in this week’s grids have been receiving a great deal of buzz among our staff, especially River of Nihil‘s latest offering Monarchy. Kit’s glowing review (here) and perfect score reflect our staff’s immense love of this album and its guaranteed spot among our year end lists. Another heavily spun album among our staff is Destrier, the latest offering from Agent Fresco. In a HLT post (here), Ahmed provides in-depth commentary on why this release caught our staff off guard and has been dominating their playlists for the past couple of weeks.
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. (Note: Our contributors have been having trouble with scrobbling through Last(.)fm, causing several of them to sit out of this week’s playlist update.)
Head past the jump to see which receiving regular rotation on our headphones, stereos and turntables:
Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s Best Of series takes musical genres and categories and highlights our staff’s personal favorites. You can read more entries from this series here.
Concept albums! The definition of what constitutes a concept album exactly varies depending on the person you’re talking to, but in most cases there’s a general agreement that a concept album must contain at least one single, pre-meditated unifying theme or story, with each track contributing to that theme or story in some way. Most concept albums exist as solitary, standalone units, while some bands (see The Dear Hunter or Coheed and Cambria) spend huge parts of their careers built around a long-form concept that they explore over multiple albums. Though the “modern” concept album as we think of it has its roots in the experimental classic rock era of the late 60s and 70s, really the idea of conveying a single story through song is as old as the medium itself. Music’s primary use for centuries was as a storytelling tool for bards and aspiring musicians of all stripes. Thus the albums listed below aren’t so much splendid or revolutionary for the way in which they present their music, but they are nonetheless exceptional and oftentimes have become highly influential for how their use of story and music bring out the best of each band’s respective talents as songwriters and storytellers.
Even a cursory glance of our biweekly “What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To” posts (last weeks update here) 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 randomly select two of the participants from each update, have them pick their favorite track from each of the nine albums in their grid and then send the list over to the other person to listen to and comment on. Within these commentaries occurs praise, criticism and discovery, and we hope that you experience a few instances of this last point as well. This week’s post brought staff members Ahmed Hasan and Jake Tiernan together to peruse each other’s tastes:
You read that right! Blog-wide beloved prog darlings Caligula’s Horse have indeed signed a worldwide record deal with Inside Out Music. This label is the home of our benevolent overlord, Devin Townsend. They also hold current favorites Leprous and The Safety Fire. Check out what the band had to say in a statement posted to Facebook below.