The saddest thing about progressive music is how much of it sounds the same; in a genre that has experimentation and innovation baked into it, you’d expect to find more people taking risks. Alas, the tropes of the genre have solidified well and good, pretty much staying the same as they were at the end of the 90’s, when the genre had its heyday. Nowadays, a lot of the interesting stuff has been excised from progressive metal and into other genres; it’s almost as if, once you reach some point of innovation, you find that you’ve moved on from the genre. That’s why it was so refreshing for me to find out about Andy Hauck, a musician from Nevada, of all places. His take on progressive metal draws a lot of inspiration from artists like Devin Townsend and Periphery, channeling plenty of modern progressive metal into his sound.
Scenes are a funny thing, right? They’re basically just another form of narrative, an attempt by human brains to quench their hunger for patterns. Reality is often a lot more complicated but narratives (with scenes among them) give us a pretty little diagram that we can refer to when trying…
Welcome back to our “Best of” column! This isn’t the first time we’ve celebrated twenty year milestones, but this installment is a bit more meaningful for all of us here at Heavy Blog. This list comes a week after we passed 20,000 likes on Facebook, a testament to how much…
Unfortunately I don’t have a fun or a dab-inducing dank reference for the episode title this time. Just a regular old episode. We discuss new music. Mike Shinoda’s EP, Justin Timberlake’s album, Cyclamen’s new album, Misery Index’s single, Judas Priest’s new song, yndi halda’s EP, and August Burns Red’s Messengers Remixed. We also talk about Matt Heavy from Trivium streaming his practice and gaming sessions, and how Best Buy and Target are trying to get rid of CDs. Devin Townsend is quitting DTP, and we discovered this Metallica show that was filmed in Antarctica. Finally, cool people time. The new Netflix cyberpunk show Altered Carbon is amazing. Also Celeste and Subnautica are cool games.
Strap in for another ugly one.
Some artists/bands are known for being able to make music that sounds huge. “Huge” in this case referring to music that has an awe-inspiring presence, as if it is either being performed in perfect sync on stages surrounding you in every direction or as if you were in a sphere of sound that encases your whole body. Music like this has a way of giving your ears a sense of depth instead of it being as cut and dry as left, right and center channel. With their last album, Peripety, the self-proclaimed Deathgaze group Kardashev showed that they wanted entrance into this particular section of the musical lexicon. With the release of their new EP The Almanac, they prove that they not only deserve to be included in this group, but placed close to the front of those who lead it.
A bunch of news and content! I’m just going to list it. Kiss’s Gene Simmons talking about his $2000 box set, Super Deluxe roasting Taylor Swift via Limp Bizkit, Machines of Man, Machine Head, Linkin Park’s tribute show to Chester (and our picks for vocalist), Sutrah, the Sacred Son artwork controversy, and the new Winds of Plague single. Also how ridiculous this Friday’s releases have been. Then we do a deep segment on producer Jens Bogren, including his work on Ihsahn, Leprous, Vildhjarta, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Devin Townsend, VOLA and more. Finally, cool people time. The cool horror/sci-fi game Echo, Kingsman: The Gold Circle, mother!, Hannu Rajaniemi’s The Causal Angel, Sunless Skies and more. Enjoy!
Due to the way we’ve decided to divide up the time zones, correspondence with an international audience from the humble southern continent of Australia often feels akin to looking into the past. Yet, despite this perceived futurism, Australian culture often trails its American and European counterparts by some distance. So it is that, while the northern thrash revival has come and (more-or-less) gone, the Australian metal scene is currently experiencing the biggest genre boom it has undergone since thrash metal originally emerged in the mid ‘80s. Back then, we brought our own quality acts to the fold, most notably in the form(s) of Mortal Sin and Hobbs Angel of Death, and the Allegiance in the ’90s. Yet, while the style had effectively remained dormant since then, the last five-to-ten years have seen an explosion in the amount of world-class thrash metal bands to have emerged from these southern shores.
Prepped and pumped from day one, armed with the knowledge of where the best food and spots were, we entered Poble Espanyol. The setlist promised to be stacked with some of my favorite acts and my expectations were high. I was worried about being disappointed but it was just a nagging voice in the back of my head; my spirit was frivolous and I allowed myself to imagine crazy scenarios of far fetched and perfect set-lists, incredible and soul lifting shows and what have you. Those rampant expectations were all met and exceed, as the second day proved to be one of the best musical experiences of my life. Venue, company, performance, crowds, bands, all combined in that perfect, harmonious way which is usually resolved for dreams and erupted on to the scene. But let us start in the beginning and chart this journey towards the end, an unbelievable catharsis at night.
It’s hard to believe that there was a time before the steady stream of blasé lyric videos, but at the turn of the millennium, music video purveyor MTV had to “bring back” the music video. The artform was essentially replaced by trashy reality television and cartoons by the late 90s, but eventually came MTV2 – a quality sequel (well, for a few years) nobody really deserved. So I guess it only made sense that they also resurrected their metalhead favorite from the 80s and 90s soon thereafter – Headbangers Ball. After all, this era had a ton to offer. The NWOAHM movement was all the rage, metalcore was hitting its stride, and melodeath was pretty much the coolest shit ever. Given that the combo of Kazaa and my dial-up setup wasn’t doing me any good – true story: I waited days (plural) to download Meshuggah’s Chaosphere only to find out that some jerk just relabeled of Neurotica tracks (some truly evil bastards out there), this couldn’t have been better timing for a dude who had recently gotten his license and began to fall in love with hanging out at the record store – the internet, for me, sucked for digging up new tunes.