Tag Archive Devin Townsend

Starter Kit: Devin Townsend

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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.

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What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 8/22/15

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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:

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Best Of: Concept Albums

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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.

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What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – Playlist Swap – 8/1/15

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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:

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Caligula’s Horse Have Signed A Worldwide Record Deal With Inside Out Music

Caligula's Horse Band Photo

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.

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What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 5/30/15

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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.

As is typical of these updates, there are a few inclusions of new releases that have recently received the HBIH stamp of approval via positive reviews. Jaga Jazzist‘s Starfire (review here), Maruta‘s Remain Dystopian (review here) and Secrets of the Sky‘s Pathway (review here) all received positive marks from our staff, particularly the former. It is also fitting that there are a couple of Mastodon inclusions, as they were the subject of our recent ‘For Fans Of” post which may be read here. Additionally, considering the multiple instances of Cattle Decapitation‘s excellent last album Monolith of Inhumanity, it is safe to assume that our staff is rather excited for their upcoming album The Anthropocene Extinction; lead single “Manufactured Extinct” may be streamed here. Finally, while not necessarily a “metal” release, Prurient‘s new noise masterpiece is included by a couple members of our staff, yours included. Stream the album here and be sure to check out the project’s upcoming dates with Godflesh here.

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.

Head past the jump to see which records have been receiving regular rotation on our headphones, stereos and turntables:

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What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 5/16/15

HBIH Listening To - 600x360

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.

As is typical of these updates, there are a number of inclusions of new releases that have received the HBIH stamp of approval via positive reviews. And So I Watch You From Afar‘s HeirsEidola‘s DegeneraterraFaith No More‘s Sol InvictusArcturus‘ ArcturianLeprous‘ The Congregation and Veil of Maya‘s Matriarch are all albums considered to be some of the strongest releases from 2015 thus far. Additionally, editors Nick and Eden have been spinning the forthcoming Jaga Jazzist album Starfire, and have been in sonic euphoria because of over the course of this past week. Expect a review in the next few weeks from Nick explaining the genius of both JJ and Starfire. Finally, there are a couple inclusions of the classic Refused album The Shape of Punk to Come, which should serve as a reminder that the Swedish post-hardcore giants are preparing to release Freedom, their first album in almost two decades. Read about the album’s details and preview the lead single “Elektra” here.

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!

Head past the jump to see which records have been receiving regular rotation on our headphones, stereos and turntables:

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Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s Guide To The 2015 Festival Season!

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If you’re in the northern hemisphere like most of you who read this site, then you’re no doubt enjoying the benefits of natural seasonal changes as the nightmare that was winter 2015 has given way to a beautiful spring. And if you’re in the southern hemisphere — particularly if you’re in Australia, as many of our readers are — you’re almost certainly feeling the relief of more tolerable temperatures as your summer has given way to fall and is quickly approaching winter. Either way, all over the world we’re entering the magical time of year known as Festival Season. Many of the biggest and best bands in the world (and leagues of smaller ones as well) are preparing to set out for various tours and huge outdoor festivals that will attract thousands upon thousands of individuals. The global festival circuit has become so huge and varied though that it can be nearly impossible to know where even to start if you’re looking to travel to one.

We’re here to help! Obviously there are far too many metal festivals around the world for us to provide anywhere near a comprehensive list, but we asked our staff to highlight a few festivals on 3 continents — North America, Europe, and Australia (apologies to the rest of the world as we only have so many staff members from different places). Check them all out below!

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Paul Waggoner of Between the Buried and Me: The Heavy Blog Is Heavy Interview

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Within the realm of progressive metal, North Carolina’s Between the Buried and Me have been one of the biggest and most widely-influential names in the game for the past decade. Their propensities for gigantic and thematic albums paired with unpredictable genre-hopping has undoubtedly left a huge mark on younger bands who are now heavily populating the prog, metalcore, and even djent scenes. Now on the cusp of releasing their seventh LP, Coma Ecliptic, the band is finding their footing as a staple in the genre and is planning on delivering yet another concept album worthy of the classic 70s groups that gave birth to the style. I had a chance to speak with guitarist and founding member Paul Waggoner about the new record, how difficult it is planning sets, musical inspirations, and much more!

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What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 4/18/15

HBIH Listening To

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.

A number of albums in our rotations this week have recently received rave reviews from our staff, including Murdock, Tangled Thoughts of Leaving, Dance Gavin Dance, Native Construct, Chaos Divine, Royal Thunder,  ChonAlkaloid and Minsk. All of these simply provide further evidence for 2015’s unbelievable level of musical quality, so take a moment to read our reviews and spin some of our favorite albums of the year thus far. Keep on the lookout for upcoming reviews of other playlist inclusions SighTribulation and Leprous.

Among our repeat inclusions are Cherry Bomb – the latest offering from Odd Future figurehead Tyler, the Creator – as well as two  albums from the artist that will be featured in our popular new “For Fans Of” segment. Also present is the self-titled Monobody record that we highlighted recently and which you should absolutely check out if you have not already.

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!

Head past the jump to see which records have been receiving regular rotation on our headphones, stereos and turntables:

Continue Reading…