Remember the myth of Sisyphus, the man condemned to spend eternity pushing a huge rock up the hill then watching it fall back down each night? Now there’s a Sisyphian brand of metal emerging from the Pacific Northwest. We’ll push the rock back up the hill after the jump.
Tag Archive: Dream Theater
Obscure as he is, Ron Jarzombek is often revered as a progressive metal legend. His body of work — which includes critically acclaimed acts Watchtower and Spastic Ink — has helped influence the wave of technically-minded musicianship in metal since the 80’s, being cited as a catalyst for bands such as Dream Theater and Death. Jarzombek continues making a case for furthering musical theory and technique with his latest project Blotted Science, which he shares with drummer Hannes Grossmann (ex-Obscura, ex-Necrophagist) and bassist Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse).
The outfit has been on the backburner for some time, last seeing movement during the album cycle for their 2011 effort The Animation of Entomoloy, which saw the band scoring sequences from bug-themed horror movies with their oddly unique style of progressive and instrumental death metal. Now the band have solidified plans to record a follow-up in December, for a 2015 release, closing a much too long four-year gap.
It’s been about a month since we peeked behind the curtains to see what the Heavy Blog staff is (really) listening to. We start our three-part update after the jump.
Welcome to the fourth part in our ongoing series of Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s “Best Of” selections where we explore a genre of music and each of our dedicated authors picks a favorite album to share a personal experience with. For our fourth list we decided to mix things up a bit and discard the genre limitations all together. Instead, we chose to focus on albums that have retained their original shine, even through dozens and dozens of listenings. This is the Heavy Blog Is Heavy Best Of Albums That Never Broke Edge
We tried to select albums that have been around long enough to prove that they can survive the test of time. However, there was no specific time limitation set so you’ll find albums from all different periods of metal (and some from outside metal). This list is truly eclectic and there’s a reason behind that: we believe that truly great music, music that has enough substance to survive past the first 50 or even 100 listenings, truly crosses all genres. Keep your mind open and your ears alert as we take you down the twisted path of our staff’s favorite albums.
Look, say what you will about Dream Theater but they remain one of my favorite all time bands. Sure, their latest albums don’t really hold a candle to some of the masterpieces of the past and I still yearn for the proggier days of yesteryear but it doesn’t mean I can’t get excited about new material from the band. And what better way to get me excited than a beautifully mixed live recording, complete with choir and orchestra? That’s exactly what the band released last night, in the form of ‘Strange Deja Vu’ taken from their upcoming Breaking the Fourth Wall (Live at the Boston Opera House). Get over the jump to hear it!
It’s come to the point where even my promise to not talk about the Australian metal scene in the post itself is overused. That’s how much good music we’ve had in the recent months from there and more is on the way. Meanwhile, let’s put our Aussie goggles on and focus in on Kettlespider. With their debut release behind them way back in 2012, the band are looking towards of their promising career. Why promising you ask? Instead of referring you to the solid debut that is Avadante, and leaving you to puzzle out its interesting concept before you truly dig into the band, let me refer you to a video they’ve just released next week. Perhaps drawing inspiration from the famous TesseracT live studio sessions, the young gents have entered Black Pearl Studios to give us a live rendition of one of their tracks, “Evolution”. Head on over the jump to hear it in full!
Jazz and fusion are no strangers to the world of metal. From Dream Theater to Cynic to Animals as Leaders and well beyond, jazz music’s emphasis on technicality, compositional depth, and an ongoing exploration of sound and form have meshed easily with many parts of the metal spectrum. What is less common to see are bands that start from a place that is truly entrenched in the world of classic jazz fusion and filtered through the lens of heavier acts and influences. This is the place in which Stimpy Lockjaw exist. Forged from members of another jazzy prog metal entity, Ever Forthright (specifically guitarist Nicholas Llerandi and keyboardist Kevin Theodore), Stimpy Lockjaw seek to double down on the genre-bending, turn-on-a-dime-style technicality and composition and turn it into a massive, earth-destroying fusion juggernaut. And boy what a juggernaut it is.
Sounding modern is a double edged sword at times. Fans often clamor for rawer production, even in genres where such an expectation makes no sense. In addition, and perhaps even more so, the danger of sounding the same as a thousand different bands out there is very real. It takes a certain security in your own sound to come out of the process sounding unique. Distorted Harmony, an Israeli progressive metal band that’s been making a name for themselves in international arenas, exhibit such a security in their new release, Chain Reaction. It’s an album with a direction and a purpose and thus ends up sounding interesting and cohesive.
I’m sick and tired of all these “Best ____ Albums Of All Time”. They’re always voted on by staff, and never even consider the popular opinions of their readers, who mostly disagree. It’s like reading Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums list and seeing the top ten albums consist of 8 Beatles and 2 Bob Dylan albums. It’s stupid, and quite frankly keeps me from ever subscribing to their magazines. However, PROG Magazine are deciding to do something different.
Calling albums weird is usually bad practice. We operate within a genre that prides itself on being strange, even if many bands don’t actually deliver on the promise. However, avoiding the word when discussing SERDCE‘s fourth album, Timelessness, is impossible. That is because weird is not just an adjective for this band or a gimmick but a true commitment to exploring different paths, inroads and downright crazy intersections in the map of modern metal. Blending astoundingly touching vocals, brutal death metal instrumentals and jazz sinews, Timelessness is an album as equally rewarding as it is demanding.