Looking at the influences that made Soldat Hans happen sheds a bit more light on where the band members come from when approaching these issues; many of the acts listed below tap into this same desire to feel, face and excise such emotions in a healthy and productive way. Especially noteworthy is the wide range of artists presented below. Most of them have some melancholic or even depressive edge but they take different approaches in expressing these edges. Thus, we get a glance into how a diverse sound such as Soldat Hans was forged and the many places in other music from which it came. Enjoy and don’t forget to spin Es Taut when you feel up to it; it’s a ride you should experience at least once.
Two pretty wildly different bits of post-rock culture have stuck in my mind from this past month. The first is certainly of greater significance and weight. You may have missed it, but March marked the 20th anniversary of one of the most seminal albums of post-rock history and of that…
It’s been a little over 4 years since both Eden and I joined Heavy Blog as fresh-faced, innocent souls who had not been completely tarnished by the world, and in that time the two of us have bonded over many things (understatement of the day). Although we share a lot…
Welcome to Death’s Door, nerds. We’re freshly past Our Lord and Infernal Master’s designated holiday, and I’m so hopped up on candy and the blood of the non-believers that I can’t even function. Despite my shot adrenal glands and ever-expanding waistline, there’s a whole lot of premium death metal to cover, as has been the custom in this most nefarious year of 2017. Praise be. October is typically a fantastic month for premier releases, especially in the world of metal. In that regard, this October did not disappoint. Melodic death metal in particular saw a glut of fantastic releases, while death-doom and progressive death metal both unleashed releases that are poised to transform the way we think about death metal as a whole. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, 2017 is one of the finest years for death metal of nearly every shape and type in recent memory. This is legitimately the second golden age of death metal, and I hope and pray it continues in perpetuity. Regardless, let’s celebrate the health of the music we love while it continues to fester and rot in new and unexpected ways. Our picks this month pull from many different sectors of the death metal world. Post your picks in the comments and let us know what you loved/what we missed. Let’s do this.
I’ve written before, as I’m sure I will again, about the therapeutic nature, if not outright necessity, of music. The healing properties and medicinal purposes of this art is fairly well-chronicled but we can never be reminded of that enough. In my own experiences, and where I find myself in life, a lot of that healing or mental well-being is cultivated in listening to varieties of post-fill in the blank music. I listen to it at night when I need to calm my brain down, when I need to be able to focus on work, or I feel something that I can’t express. Others will inevitably have their own preferred niche, genre, or style. None of them are invalid options.
This year charges on and doesn’t appear to show any signs of slowing down. As we near the six month mark (and our own Top 25 of 2017 So Far), it’s becoming apparent that 2017 hits on broader fronts than 2016 did. While the previous year was an amazing year for some very specific genres, there were others that suffered less than stellar performance. With 2017, there’s very little that’s left untouched, with great releases coming from left and right. The list below is a great example of this; it contains post rock, grindcore, jazz, psychedelic electronics, death metal, stoner and oh so much more. Each of these sub-genres have been producing great releases this year, giving 2017 the illusion of a siege. From us, the nominal besieged, a measure of elasticity is required; we must keep our ears open and listen to new places, places we might have abandoned up until now.
A few years ago, long time Heavy Blog friend/staff member, Geoff Smith, turned me on to Secrets of the Sky. I immediately fell in love with their super dark version of post metal, spliced with plenty of doom and other stuff I am generally known to enjoy. I got to listen to their sophomore album, Pathway, and review it for the blog, further deepening my connection with them. Thus, when I had heard that Clayton Bartholomew (who’s also ex-Lycus by the way) had left the band, I was crushed and very fearful of the future for that niche brand of sound that I had gotten used to. Luckily, my fears were short lived as Bartholomew began gathering musicians around him again in the form of Mountaineer. The project promised to scratch all those places that I needed scratch with Secrets of the Sky’s demise. Finally, only a few weeks ago, their first album dropped and lo and behold, the promise has been kept.
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.
Last year, my interest was piqued by a surprise release from Woodsplitter, an instrumental solo project from Ben McLeod, guitar player of one of my favorite “new” bands, Nashville’s All Them Witches. Inflamed examines metal guitar through a variety of lenses: post, prog, death, stoner, doom, and even krautrock; showcasing an impressive variety and a refined level of comfort as each track seems to pare down to the core of what makes these sounds appeal to so many. His newest venture, Egyptian Overload explores an even wider swath of sounds and textures, plus the addition of saxophone. I asked Ben a few questions about the project, the rawness of his latest record, and future plans.
The ambient and lo-fi intro to the new Vasudeva record, No Clearance, gives way to a whirl of feedback before diving into the Minus the Bear-style instrumental rock of “Take Away”. It’s given to all of the positive aspects of the sort of danceable post-rock and at its outset avoids the pitfalls given to this. The clean production highlights agile guitar lines over the top of a very solid rhythm section. The track hints at the kind of soaring highs the band are capable of. The “Whatever, bye” at the end of the track is a nice touch.