Man, 2017, y’all. We realize that it’s kind of our m.o. to be proponents of the whole “Golden Age of Metal” narrative and be incredibly positive about the consistently great level of stuff that is being put out from pretty much every part of the musical spectrum, but it’s such an easy thing to do when we are so constantly bombarded with new material that utterly consumes our attention. Even in months where one of us might not have as many new albums that really impressed them, without doubt there will be another one who could barely keep up because of all the superb releases from genres they pay close attention to. This April has certainly been no different in that regard, and we have a whole slew of top-notch albums to recommend to you all.
This week we get hyped about announcements of albums and new music. Enslaved,
This week we have a super exciting guest! I’d try to slowroll it, but obviously from the episode title you can guess that it’s Herman Li of Dragonforce. We discuss a variety of topics, including the upcoming Dragonforce album Reaching Into Infinity, success, haters, creativity, Babymetal, video games and more. Herman was a great guest! Also Eden and I discuss some news after the interview. Chuck Berry’s passing and the way the coverage has handled his problematic legacy, a bunch of new music, and Earth’s Hibernaculum and Machine Head’s The Blackening turning 10 years old. The new music includes Somnium Vox, Bloodshot Dawn, Entheos (not that one), Witherfall, Northlane, Emmure, Gorod, Enslaved, Solstafir, Beyond Creation (kind of). We also continue last week’s discussion on how the mentality focusing on new music sometimes makes us overlook albums, in this case Metallica’s latest. In our cool people section we discuss Netflix’s Marvel’s Iron Fist and Better off Ted.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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!
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!
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.