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Tag Archive: Enslaved


Do you like Enslaved? You should. If you do, you probably already know about their new album slated for a March 15th release, entitled In Times. If you didn’t know, you do know. As the follow up to the genre-defining masterpiece that was RIITIIR, Enslaved stand poised to defend pop-punk…wait no, progressive-black metal and continue their journey into brave and forward thinking experimentation in the genre. More info including tour dates below.

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Welcome to the fifth 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. After mixing things up a bit with the previous list, we’ve decided to return to a genre limitation. Remember, we’re interesting in limiting ourselves as much as possible by picking a narrow genre because we believe limitations breed creativity. This time, we’ve chosen to focus on another genre who’s definition is a bit hazy: progressive black metal.

Black metal is one of the most misrepresented and ill-understood sub-genres within the metal community and outside of it. These specific albums add even more chaos to the mix by taking the basic black metal sound and either adding new influences to it or mixing up the basic formula completely: from folk-infused conceptual albums to fearlessly brutal descents into madness, this sub-genre is both abrasive and unique, musically complex and furious. Hold on tight as we spiral into the frost-bitten embrace of these albums.

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Dark Fortress – Venereal Dawn

Despite the fact that Venereal Dawn is Dark Fortress’ seventh album, the listening experience that these Germans provide is not remotely indicative of that. It is instead made to appear as if the band is a young, ambitious group for whom a large dose of Ritalin would have been beneficial during their time in the studio. For across Venereal Dawn’s nine tracks, a clear lack of musical focus and ideas leads to an album that desperately wishes to dazzle with a variety of sounds without being entirely competent in doing so.

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Enslaved Studio

Not a lot of bands get to a point in their lifespan where they are putting out their 13th album. Very few are as good as famed Norwegian progressive/black metal  Enslaved, because their past two albums, RIITIIR and Axioma Ethica Odini were pretty much their best. Needless to say, news of them entering the studio to work on a new one is very exciting. Check out the details after the jump – they’re doing some interesting things with this album. View Full Article »

Coffinworm – IV.I.VIII


Indianapolis, Indiana’s Coffinworm uncompromisingly embrace the primitive, the raw, and the just plain ugly in the face of a technologically advancing age of music. Their sound is a potential palette cleanser if one ever feels bombarded with the squeaky clean and wants to get a little dirty. After two well received releases in 2010’s When All Became None and 2012’s Great Bringer of Night, the band return with IV.I.VIII, another potent fist in the face of all things holy.

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Amon Amarth

Typically when a tour rolls through the US, we pick a single staff photographer to attend a date and gather photos. This time around, we were able to get two different photographers in two different cities to capture the latest Amon Amarth North American headlining tour, which features support from Enslaved and Skeletonwitch. Regular contributors Nick Budosh and Maclyn Bean attended the tour stops in Silver Spring, MD and New York, NY respectively. and you can view the galleries below.

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For some death metal bands starting out, the goal is to have the most extreme “brootal” sound possible and hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. There are some great extreme death metal bands out there that are a lot of fun.

For others, the goal is more complex; it’s to create a sound that is both heavy and accessible and ultimately that has its own unique identity. Hailing from the Chicago burbs, Cimmerian definitely fits among this second group. Vocalist and lead guitarist Dean Nagel founded the band with a friend who eventually moved on. He then added his brother Tim on bass and friend Evan Dale on guitar and backing vocals.

Cimmerian already has a full-length out, Infinite Perdition, and has just released a single ‘Among Ghosts, We Slept’ off the upcoming record, Hollowing.

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black crown initiate

Every now and then there’s a new band whose name keeps popping up in various places on social media so often that I’m practically obligated to find out what all the fuss is about. In the past few weeks, I had been hearing more and more about progressive death metal group Black Crown Initiate. They’ve popped up on my Facebook feed a time or two, and a friend of the site even made a recommendation to me personally. I’d always forget, though. This morning, I finally decided to give the group a go.

Good thing I did, because Black Crown Initiate have all the potential to become greats in progressive metal. The group’s new EP Song of the Crippled Bull plays as a single track and pulls from all over the extreme prog spectrum. There are bouts of Opeth in opening track ‘Stench of the Iron Age,’ and the beginning of ‘Ghosts She Sends’ reeks of blackened Gojira, as well as a real Enslaved vibe once the clean vocals kick in during ‘The Mountain Top’. There’s a striking balance between brutality and forward-thinking progression across the EP, and is certainly worth the $3 price tag. Stream Song of the Crippled Bull below.

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Scandinavian progressive metal tends to have a certain grandiosity and bombast about it that seems unparallelled by the rest of the world. We’ve been singing the praises of this particular subsection of music for some time now, what with Ihsahn, Enslaved, SHINING, Vintersorg, and more coming out over the years with strong records that capture the region’s unique musical nuance. One band in particular that has engrained themselves as a part of the growing attention brought to the region is Norway’s Leprous. Breaking out with the critical hit of their sophomore record Bilateral in 2011 and gaining notoriety as Ihsahn’s designated live band, they became a band to watch in 2013 as they prepared their follow-up, Coal. It’s certainly one of our most anticipated records this year, and we’re proud to present the band’s first single from the album, ‘Chronic,’ below.

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There’s something in the water out there in Scandinavia that makes prog metal so wild, fun, and thought-provoking, a la Ihsahn, SHINING, Enslaved, and up-and-comers Leprous. Leprous have had us captivated since the release of their third record Bilateral. We featured Leprous on our list of albums to look out for in 2013, and the good news is finally starting to come in.

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