What’s in a Label? // Art As Catharsis & Worlds Within Worlds

If you’ve followed Heavy Blog over the last few years, you’ve likely noticed how much we adore the output of Art As Catharsis. This year alone, we’ve seen phenomenal albums ranging from the nu-jazz-fusion of COAST to the artsy chamber pop of Lack the Low to the blackened, deathly metalcore of Bridge Burner. I’ve long…

Ne Obliviscaris – Urn

Expectation can be a curious beast. From a band’s perspective it can drive the wheels of excitement accompanying the build-up to a new release, pushing them to new heights and allowing them to reach wider audiences. Yet, it can also hang over them like a pestilence, crippling them with fear…

Thy Art Is Murder – Dear Desolation

Only three albums into their career, the angry Aussies in Thy Art is Murder are a household name not only in deathcore, but extreme metal as a whole. The fourth album can be a tough place to be in for an established band, especially if your sophomore and junior releases are as good as Hate and Holy War. Though well-established and on the path to even more exposure and success, the band are still not immune to the possibility of dropping something that may not completely meet the expectations of their fans all over the globe and tainting their reputation of quality releases. Fortunately for those anticipating their senior album Dear Desolation, there is no disappointment to worry about. With this album, the band have dug their heels deeper into the dirt of what they do best and risen to the occasion by not only meeting the standards of previous albums but also setting new ones.

Skeletonwitch – The Apothic Gloom

When I interviewed Ohio extreme metallers Skeletonwitch back in April, as they were winding their way across the country on the Decibel Tour alongside Abbath, Tribulation, and High On Fire, bassist Evan Linger briefly mentioned in regards to The Apothic Gloom, a release still shrouded in mystery but held aloft…

Winterhorde – Maestro

Extreme metal is a sub-genre that has grown considerably over the past ten to fifteen years. A multitude of albums released by endlessly ambitious bands from all over the world keeps pushing the limits of what metal can absorb while remaining engaging, creative and somehow even heavier. This much competition is very exciting for fans, but it also means that most of the tricks have already been pulled by one band or another. Winterhorde is a band from northern Israel that exists deep in the extreme realm of metal, and is one that sounds very comfortable in its own skin. They swiftly switch from genre to another without any overworked transitions and they make the whole journey sound smooth and natural. That is quite the challenge from the technical standpoint which requires a lot of dexterity from each member. Therein lies the essence of progress, where the music continuously evolves throughout an album’s span without coming off as a collection of scattered ideas.