Vainaja – Verenvalaja

Somewhere, in darkest Finland, three men have been busy stirring the doom metal cauldron. Stirring it with reckless disregard for what their experiment will do to any who lend their ears to it. Total. Fucking. Evil. That’s what’s been brewed up in that thick, crusty metal container. Vainaja are conjurers of the wickedest type; their penchant for the diabolical and the devilish coming to boiling point on this release.

Underling – Bloodworship

When it comes to experiencing new music, two things are certain: you can never judge a book by its cover, nor should you ever trust what the artists themselves say about their music until you’ve heard it for yourself. Underling — a Bay Area supergroup featuring members of Fallujah, Arkaik, and Battlecross — are proof enough of both of these rules, as their debut album Bloodworship looks like and is marketed as an atmospheric black metal record. Coming from a group of established death metal musicians, this should be somewhat of a departure on paper at the very least. However, when considering the record’s scope as a whole, Bloodworship is a far cry from the distant reverberations of Wolves in the Throne Room. It’s actually much more than that.

For Fans Of – Emperor

It’s amazing how much ground Emperor covered over the course of just four albums. From helping to pioneer black metal to introducing symphonics and progressive elements to the BM formula, there really aren’t many more important bands within the Norweigan scene, or even the genre as a whole. Back-to-Back classics In the Nightside Eclipse and Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk may be two of the best introductory black metal albums, as they make the harshest parts of the genre accessible without losing an ounce of immaculate songwriting prowess. We now welcome you to a different form of introduction, exploring six bands that have taken influence from Emperor, added their own unique, bold twists and churned out records that more than capably carry the torch onward into a world of textured symphonics and atmosphere. Head past the jump to enter our inaugural black metal FFO; there couldn’t be a better band to commence the frost and torment.

Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s Editors’ Picks for January 2016

Welcome to our new monthly post, Editors’ Picks! In the recent two years, our editorial body has grown quite a bit: from basically two guys running everything, we now have around seven people managing the blog in an editorial capacity, including two (count ’em, two!) Editors in Chief. We thought we’d harness that unique body of editors and use their over-reaching perspective to shed light on specific releases each month. The way it works is simple: each editor gets to pick one album released in January (or in its proximity, as we just said). We write short pieces about them and link you to the album, allowing you to check it out yourselves. There’s no genre restrictions: expect to see some gnarly stuff on here as most of our editors have a very wide range of musical appreciation. Without further ado, let’s dig in into this month’s offering!

Best Of: Reunion Albums

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. There are three possible reactions that fans have when their favorite, long dead bands reunite for a comeback album. On the far ends…

Arcturus – Arcturian

Arcturus are one of the first names that pop into one’s mind when avant-garde metal is mentioned. The brain-child of keyboardist Steinar “Sverd” Johnsen, the band has been home to many prominent artists in the Norwegian black metal scene, including Ulver, Mayhem, Borknagar, Emperor and Dimmu Borgir. All four of their previous…

Dorothy in Corpse Paint – Listen to Carach Angren’s “There’s No Place Like Home”

Somewhere over the burning church, Dutch melodic/symphonic black metal outfit Carach Angren have set forth the first track from their upcoming fourth full-length record, both titled There’s No Place Like Home. Brutality mixes well with more melodic parts in this new single, so make sure you peep it before it disappears. Head on…

Epica – The Quantum Enigma

Some bands are as big as the genre they occupy. Their names are nearly synonymous with the style of their music and to name them is to invoke the strong points, and clichés, of said genre—Epica can certainly be counted in this category. Symphonic metal owes them a great debt as…