It is folly to try to judge a piece of art independently of the circumstances surrounding its conception. A lack of awareness of those circumstances is excusable, of course, but when it comes to The Faceless, that seems quite unlikely to be the case. The Californian technical/progressive death metal band, which is probably better described as Michael Keene’s project, have been through some troubles. They made one of the most important albums of the genre in 2008 with Planetary Duality, and ever since then listeners have been looking for them to make an album that’s equally impactful. 2012’s Autotheism, regardless of its quality, wasn’t what most people wanted in that sense. After yet another 4+ year gap, and many line-up changes, tour cancellations and other drama, the band, well, Michael Keene is back with his fourth album, In Becoming A Ghost. It’s his most somber and personal album for sure, but is it a good album? Partially.
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.
So, we mentioned the Sacred Son artwork controversy before. The chill artwork for the very real black metal album drew some ire, so we got the man behind the curtain to join us and tell it all. And it was a good time! We talk about the artwork (of course), but also the project itself, Dane’s views on the black metal scene and more. Eden and I then discuss new material from Augury, First Fragment, Cavalera Conspiracy (check out my retrospective), Leander Kills and The Kindred. We also discuss Metalsucks’s legal assessment of the Decapitated case, Marilyn Manson’s onstage accident, and Between the Buried and Me reacquiring the rights to their older material. Then we have a cool people section about some stuff, including the Netflix documentary Long Shot, Total War: Warhammer II, Annihilation (the movie), Blade Runner 2049 and the upcoming Dune movie.
Wow, both Eden and I are together again! And it’s a long episode! It’s like back in the old days. This week we have some news, some new music, some old music, and some other random stuff. Spawn of Possession call it quits, Nolly leaves Periphery, Hip-hop/R&B has surpassed rock, Trent Reznor puts his foot in his mouth. Then we have stuff from Trivium, Dyscarnate, First Fragment, Primus, Caligula’s Horse, Adimiron, Ne Obliviscaris. We talk about Fractal Cypher, and Roadrunner United and Nuclear Blast All-Stars. Finally, cool people time regarding Pyre, PUBG, Total War, and more. Enjoy!
By the way, the teaser for the NYN album Entropy: Of Chaos And Salt is finally here, so check it out!
Welcome to our latest edition of Death’s Door. Wipe your feet on the mat, etc. There’s a lot to discuss this month, though frankly, I had my doubts at certain points about whether or not there would be. You see, July tends to be a musical doldrums for yours truly, with lots of leftover releases that didn’t make it into the prime Spring and early Summer release calendar clogging streaming services with mundane/barely serviceable drivel. Obviously, this makes for some not-so-great listening experiences. Thankfully, July pulled through regardless, delivering unto us another fantastic batch of death metal releases that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of 2017. So much so, in fact, that we are foregoing our new tracks section to focus exclusively on the great records released this month. So prepare yourself for some good stuff and thank your lucky stars, because hell hath no fury like a month without good death metal.
While tech death has seen a consistent stream of high-quality albums over the past few years, it’s stood for a little while now that the genre presently seems to lack a globally identifiable vanguard of sorts. Meanwhile, bands that have traditionally occupied this role have since gone down a series of different paths: Necrophagist lay…
As has been discussed on the podcast twice now, the French Canadian death metal scene has continued to be unbelievably innovative and prolific for over two decades now. Propped up by a roster of key musicians who often have multiple projects to their respective names, it goes without saying that the scene has birthed entirely new approaches to tech death. Just last year, we were treated to stellar releases from both long-established acts (Gorguts) and equally excellent debut albums (First Fragment) — but it appears the scene insists on being the gift that keeps on giving well into 2017 as well.
Enter Samskaras, a two piece featuring multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Eric Burnet of Derelict alongside drummer Alexandre Dupras of Unhuman. At its core — as one might expect — the debut EP Asunder is built on the same fundamentals underlying most of the French Canadian scene, both in its approach to technicality as well as its sense of melody.
Eden is out doing shady things, and I am yet again ridden with the darned cold, so this week we get Ahmed again and of course, we discuss tech death again. It’s relevant to recent happenings though! Mainly Relapse reissuing Necrophagist’s classic Epitaph. We also talk about the upcoming…
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…
With our general list for 2016 out of the way, we can now shift the focus from our aggregate opinion to individual ones. Both outlooks have their own merit; the former provides us with an overview of our year in music. However, the latter shines a light on something we’re extremely proud of and that’s the varied and eclectic nature of our staff these days. We used to have a very certain type of music associated with Heavy Blog and while we still have a long way to go, we feel like we’ve done a good job at expanding our palettes and the representation of different kinds of music and metal in our staff. The lists below reflect that; you’ll find black metal, avant-garde, technical thrash metal, hip hop, rap, noise, ambiance, post metal and rock, melodic death metal and much more throughout these lists.