Seeing the line “Featuring members of Extol” is a surefire way to get one interested in a band’s music. The Norwegian prog metal geniuses have always put out interesting material, so it only makes sense that the offshoot of the band would also be interesting. Enter Mantric, unsurprisingly a Norwegian prog metal band. Originally formed as an Extol 2.0 when the band split, they kept working on material similar to Extol, and the original band’s reformation without the members in Mantric did not affect them, as Mantric are now putting out their second full length album Sin. While Nordic progressive metal is almost always carries a cool sound and is generally intriguing, perhaps what made Extol so special was carried by the members that got back under that banner, as Sin is intriguing yet never fully reaches its potential.
Tag Archive Enslaved
Recently, editor and writer Noyan Tokgozoglu came forward to the Heavy Blog family with an interesting idea: “Post your top 10 AOTYs with 2-sentence reviews of them.” As any reader knows, meticulous lists are an integral part of the Heavy Blog ethos, and where to better exercise that than in such a creative activity?
So we started piling on entries of our top ten albums from 2015 so far, seeing what different people had in common and what were more unconventional choices. Some albums definitely ran far ahead in the pack, like Wrvth’s self-titled technical death metal/post-rock/skramzy opus, Elder’s sun-baked and subtly Odyssean progressive stoner rock release, aptly titled Lore, Eidola’s post-hardcore/prog rock concept album Degeneraterra, and the storied return of one of the world’s best progressive/avant-garde metal bands, Arcturus, by way of their semi-self-titled, Arcturian.
Perusing through these lists, it’s easy to see why any of these albums made it into any spot. 2015 has been an absolutely phenomenal year for music from all sides (and we’re not even done!), and every album in every spot shines out in a slightly different way. Take your time, read the entries, and enjoy our list.
Our dear friend James Knoerl (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAME) recently went on tour as the live drummer for Heavy Blog favorite act Native Construct, who recently released the powerful Quiet World to great critical acclaim.
With a stellar lineup of Wings Denied and Outrun the Sunlight at their backs, the rising progressive giants shredded their way through the Eastern US and some of the Midwest, dominating several stops along the way, including Chicago [photos]. Photographer/videographer Jonathan Earley captured some spectacular footage of drummer James Knoerl (happy birthday, jame) during the performance of “Passage” at Michigan’s Token Lounge. Footage edited by Outrun the Sunlight’s Austin Peters.
Check out the footage below!
Look, we know you can’t get enough of Between the Buried and Me. Honestly, we can’t either. With a phenomenal new album in their ever-growing discography, a second leg of touring for it already under their belts [photos], and pretty much no sign of stopping any time in the future, it seemed pretty obvious that a third leg was inevitable.
We’re bringing you a sweet, sweet confirmation that that is indeed the case! Between the Buried and Me will be on the road again with black metal masters Enslaved and fellow progressive titans Intronaut and Native Construct! If you can’t read the tour dates on the poster above, grab them below!
The above image, courtesy of our very own Mark Valentino, is of a tour poster that was hanging around last night during the show at New Jersey’s Starland Ballroom. It depicts a Between the Buried and Me headlining show at New York City’s Irving Plaza, with support from Enslaved, Intronaut, and Native Construct.
Last year we ran a 5-part series listing 25 of our favorite albums from the first half of 2014 with the premise that 2014 was simply such an amazing year musically that we just had to talk about some of our favorites at the year’s mid-point and whittle down all the great releases to an impossible list of 25.
What fools were we.
2015, across the board, is truly turning out to be a banner year for music as a whole, but in particular the kind of music we cover here at Heavy Blog. Between old favorites putting out expected blockbuster releases, smaller bands making huge leaps to stake a claim for our attention, and new or obscure bands putting out releases out of left field that have completely caught us off-guard in the best way, it’s been nearly impossible to keep up with the output of superb music that 2015 has offered us thus far. We are now at the end of the sixth month of the year, and thus have decided to give this another try, albeit in a slightly different format.
Most of my favorite albums of the year thus far all role squarely within the stoner/doom/psychedelic genre, and once Ecstatic Vision release their debut album Sonic Praise, it seems I’ll have yet another to add to my list. Ecstatic Vision is the band that former A Life Once Lost guitarist Doug Sabolick started after ALOL disbanded, and though it’s quite a departure from the heavily Pantera-influenced groove metal style ALOL was known for, it’s no less awesome. The band has released the first cut from their forthcoming debut, entitled “Don’t Kill the Vibe,” and it’s totally trippy and totally awesome. Give it a spin after the jump.
Grab these photos of the stop in Chicago at Thalia Hall, where the party man himself Andrew W.K. performed earlier this year.
For those who missed our last installment, we will now be regularly posting what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that doesn’t 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.
Anyone who doesn’t live under a proverbial rock knows that the biggest release in all music this week goes to the early release of Kendrick Lamar‘s hugely-anticipated follow-up to Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, and unsurprisingly, K Dot found his way onto many of our lists this week. Also of note (and in an entirely different quadrant of the musical spectrum) this week was the release of Alkaloid‘s debut album The Malkuth Grimoire (read our review here if you haven’t already), which also landed in several of our staff’s lists.
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:
Not a lot of bands get to their thirteenth album, and very few get there while still garnering respect. Fortunately, Enslaved are one such band. Most of their albums are very well received and their most recent two releases, Axioma Ethica Odini and RIITIIR are regarded as exemplars of the genre of progressive black metal. As such, their thirteenth album, In Times, has big shoes to fill. Unsurprisingly, Enslaved have done it again and created a great album. There’s a catch though, while the album is great on its own, as a follow-up to their previous excellent releases, it loses a bit of steam.