Heavy Blog’s Editors’ Picks: April 2016

We knew it was coming. April marks the beginning of spring release season, when the number of marquee albums starts going sky high and incredible albums are suddenly dropping left and right. And yet looking back at this past month it’s just utterly astounding how much amazing music came out even from the get-go. April 1 was a humongous day for releases, and it simply did not stop after that. Narrowing down this huge wealth of albums to a select few was nearly impossible, but thankfully we also have our “short”-list to include everything else we completely loved, all of which are included in our Spotify playlist for the month, which is embedded here and on our front page. And with that, let’s get to our editor picks for April!

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 4/22/16

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.

PHOTOS: The Black Dahlia Murder, Fallujah, Disentomb, Cryptodira—April 14th, 2016 @ Amityville Music Hall, Amityville, NY

When big bands play smaller, intimate venues, it’s always a treat. On April 14th, 2016, at Amityville Music Hall, we had just that. Opening the show was Cryptodira, who are anything but strangers to Heavy Blog. Performing a near-new song setlist, they get their friends/fans/those of the like hyped up…

Episode 26 – Someone Stop Chris Barnes

Straight out of the gate with the terrible new Six Feet Under track! We’re doing it live! But wait! There’s more! More music from Schammasch, Haken, Plebeian Grandstand, Be’lakor, Lacuna Coil, Gojira, DESPISED ICON and Toyomu, who remade Kanye’s The Life of Pablo without hearing it! What else is there? Drama! Adult Swim are trolling Metalocalypse fans! Disillusion are back! Muse drones are crashing and burning! St. Vitus bar is being interviewed! Singer of The Story So Far kicks a fan off the stage! Sumerian and Basick are both 10 years old! We discuss the upcoming releases from Fallujah and First Fragment! There’s even more! BALLS DEEP: August Burns Red! Then we talk about albums that we were late to the party on, including WRVTH, Good Tiger, Opeth and Rivers of Nihil! Excitement! We have a pretty extensive “cool people time” section as well!

Fallujah – Dreamless

Bay Area death metal act Fallujah have become a controversial act of sorts; the group’s emphasis on glossy atmosphere and flashy prog as well as their open love of shoegaze and dreampop have caused the group to become maligned by some genre purists. The fact of the matter is that Fallujah do not fit neatly into specific genre boxes, and this gets trickier with their latest record Dreamless, a cinematic experience that takes them to new heights while further alienating them from those expecting an unadulterated genre entry.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 4/8/16

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.

Episode 22 – Hallowed Be Thy Cast

Not a lot of happenings this week, so we talk mostly about new music! Specifically, from Schammash, Fallujah, Amon Amarth and Ihsahn! There were a few happenings as well, like Evan Brewer of Entheos on why he left The Faceless, an interview with the Iranian metal band Confess, who were on trial for blashpemy, Riverside’s upcoming triple album, Kickstarter’s acquisition of subscription service Drip, and the important news item we embarrassingly forgot last week, the passing of Keith Emerson. Then we talk about festival culture, using music as a tool to focus, and our weekly balls deep segment on Iron Maiden!

Looming Phenomenon: The Birth Of Post-Tech Death

Here, in the crucible of these bands and albums, a new genre is being formed, one that is emotionally stimulating and resolutely metal, equal parts intelligent and brutal, shaped by a constant musical dialogue between the simple and complex. Post-tech death is a treat for any fans of tech death and anybody who likes the concept, but wishes it wasn’t so sterile at times. Taking the best parts of the genre and twisting them to create original, engaging music, it’s a genre that is forward-focused and evolving, unique and fulfilling. And best of all, it’s just getting started.

Progress, Erase, Improve? The Case For Progressive Death Metal

My fingers itch to start this article with yet another semi-apologetic defense of the use of sub-genres but I’ll resist that urge. By now, I’m sure most of you are aware of the way I approach such things and why I find them useful. If you’re not, head on over to my Taxonomy of Progressive Metal piece to get a good idea. Funnily enough (or not) we start here as well from Progressive Metal; in this case, we’re going to take a look at a vanishing category, a branch in the extensive history of the genre that, somehow, disappeared. That category is progressive death, a style which first flourished in the mid 90’s but was then swept away in favor of both revisionism and the laziness that permeates most human interactions. Instead of retaining its clearly distinct and unique attributes and standing out as another pillar within metal, it was somehow sublimated, swallowed into a category with which it had a few conjoining points, consumed like in a weird osmosis.