What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 9/23/16

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. 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.

47 – Might As Well Call Us SeasonOfMistCast

Yeah, we love pretty much everything on Season of Mist. So what? This week we talk about new music from Thy Catafalque, Brain Drill, Opeth, Snowy Shaw, SHOKRAN (teaser here), Noctem, Victor Wooten’s new band Octavision, Oxiplegatz, Exotype, Sleep Token, Hannes Grossmann, and Watchtower. Then we go over some news, like Darkthrone’s Fenriz getting elected for city council, Persefone announcing a new album, Sikth reissuing Death of a Dead Day, and Enslaved announcing a rarities collection. Then we discuss two albums that have been on our minds: Insomnium’s Winter’s Gate, and Misery Index’s The Killing Gods. We introduce our new segment, “Underrated release highlight of the week” – this week we talk about Arkona’s Yav. Finally, we talk about our process for discovering and ingesting new music. Enjoy! Also cool people time has some cool stuff.

Fountainhead – Reverse Engineering

We sometimes ask ourselves, what does it mean to make good progressive metal or, put more broadly, to make good progressive music? One way of looking at it is to take bands like Opeth or Enslaved, where we determine the way they meld crushingly heavy extreme metal with beautifully mellow…

Skuggsjá – A Piece For Mind & Mirror

Many words have been spent on the blog thus far in regards to Skuggsjá, a project comprised of Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) & Einar Selvik (Wardruna). However, the music has always taken somewhat of a backseat as we focused on the cultural narratives which spawned it and gave it context. While these are obviously important it would do us well to remember that this is, first and foremost, a creation of music. It’s also a damn good at that, blending folk, folk metal and black metal into an energetic and cohesive whole. Even though many styles are utilized on the album, it doesn’t feel like a hybrid creation, a crossing of genre bounds. Instead, each musical element present speaks to and draws from the same place: a dark, oppressive, majestic place which invokes harsh environments, blistering cold and vast depths.

23 – This Title Took Me Some Time To Come Up With

In contrast to last week, we have so much news that it takes up a big chunk of our time! What kind of news? News like Perturbator’s perturbing image of nipples getting perturbed, the guitarist of Every Time I Die losing his first match in his wrestling career, Enslaved celebrating their 25th year, Axl Rose joining AC/DC, the singer of Puddle of Mudd having a breakdown onstage, and rumors about The Human Abstract, Mortician having their logo appropriated by a fashion label, then we discuss new music or videos from Caligula’s Horse, Babymetal, Wormed, Circle of Contempt, Black Mountain and Thrice. We also talk about this super cool genre map that we discovered. Then we go into our weekly discussions, this time about fallacies that prevent people from growing up and remaining content with their musical taste and… that’s it? We did spend a lot of time on these topics! But come back next week for more!

21 – Hollow Years And Lyrical Pioneers

Episode 21! This week there’s a bunch of new music and bizarre happenings to talk about. New music from Leander, Cyclamen, Shokran (kind of), Otep and Eximperitus (Eximperituserqethhzebibšiptugakkathšulweliarzaxułum). Happenings include Rotting Christ’s temporary name change to be able to play in South Africa without offending religious sensibilities (Behemoth got off easy!), Iron Maiden’s ridiculous vehicular issues and some confusing “new” releases (Ghost Brigade and Vulture Industries) by Season of Mist. We also talk about an After the Burial interview, the upcoming Ihsahn album Arktis and the Skuggsja album that finally released. Then we go pretty deep on lyrical themes in metal!

Midgard Calling: The Role of Norse Culture in Metal

Metal has, sadly, played a distinct and central role in this conflation of ideas between “viking” and “norse”. By endlessly drawing from a single pool of images to describe these historical people, the same pool available to all of popular culture, it has reinforced, elaborated and cemented the image of the Norse as the ironclad marauder. The viking, in actuality a probably destitute and desperate person pushed from the liminal spaces of their society, forced to risk their life in order to sustain themselves, is depicted as a blood-hungry savage, intent on killing. In reality, vikings prefered quick sojourns on land with as much loot as possible while minimizing combat. Regardless, metal has chosen to view them as some omnipresent, ever threatening and efficient mercenary force, intent on as much damage as possible while holding a certain aloof and superior view towards mainland Europeans, hunting them like dogs. Fortunately, not all hope is lost. There exist several artists and bands within metal and its adjacent genres that work not only to represent Norse culture correctly but also to disseminate it to people around the world. These acts draw on the myriad atmospheres, influences and themes found in Norse texts to create a different image.

17 – Mixing It Up With Eyal Levi

Welcome back to HPIHC! This week we have a very special guest! The guitarist of Daath, famed producer and now businessman Eyal Levi! He joins us this week to inform us about a lot of production-related questions we’be been discussing for a while, and also how he’s taken a step ahead of the paradigm by building his own service (Nail the Mix) and innovated the process of teaching people about production. Then, Eden and I go into our usual discussions about news, including Skuggsja’s London exhibition, The Iranian metal band Confess facing execution for their lyrics, the 36th anniversary of the Black Sabbath album, and, well, our usual weekly Tidal shenanigans. Finally, we do our opinion time, this week tackling “good for its time” albums and, on a related note, Metallica.

Rhine – An Outsider

Formed as a solo project in 2011, Seattle based progressive metal band Rhine return on February 5 2016 with their sophomore release, An Outsider. Apart from drum tracking and mastering, founder Gabe Tachell was the record’s driving force; he designed the cover artwork, wrote and performed all of the music…