An Ode to Spring – Metal, Thematics and Politics

Since the vast majority of Heavy Blog contributors fall on the left side of the map (shocking, we know), focusing on the latter seems like the way to go. Criticizing the other side of the political map is easy enough; taking a hard look at your own camp is where things get tricky. Thus, let us turn our eyes on one of the most typical leftist refusals to engage: the retreat. There are few places in the cultural world where this retreat is more obvious than in music and, more specifically, in metal. Even more specifically, the current throes which are black metal is undergoing are even more lucrative for our needs. There, leftist retreat is alive and happening right now, both because of the virility of the claims on the other side (read: the amount of black metal that’s truly awful) and because the themes of black metal have already been declared by the larger, more abstract “left” as anathema in the past.

Hey! Listen to Malady!

Who has the arrogance to accurately trace the proliferation of genres? Who has the hubris needed to claim that they have accurately described the narrative surrounding even one style of music? Apparently, a lot of people as music journalism is obsessed with “understanding” (read, limiting) genres and telling us their…

The Knells – The Knells II

“Someone, I tell you, will remember us, even in another time.” -Sappho Golden ages have a lasting impact on the community which goes through them. Germany is still enjoying the benefits of the The Miracle on the Rhine, science fiction is still heavily influenced and obsessed with The New Wave of Science Fiction,…

Dan Briggs of Between the Buried and Me – The Heavy Blog Is Heavy Interview [Part One]

Over the years, we’ve watched North Carolina’s Between the Buried and Me climb the ranks from metalcore weirdos struggling to find a place in the metal scene to prog metal masters with a legion of rabid fans and achieving worldwide headliner status. Through a series of critically-acclaimed opuses, a scene had formed itself around Between the Buried and Me as trailblazers of a new branch of modern progressive music, and one might argue that the biggest splash from the group came from their 2007 opus Colors, which turns 10 this year(!!!).

Hey! Listen to The Mute Gods!

Likely one of the most enjoyable albums of the year, The Mute Gods’ Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth is brimming with melody from front to back, with outstanding keyboard arrangements and gorgeous bass licks. This album pays more direct tribute to 80s prog, an era that is maligned but provided some of the giants of the genre (Yes, Rush and Genesis) with some of their biggest hits and served to introduce the MTV generation to some of the most talented musicians on the planet. Tonally, Tardigrades is most like Yes’s 90125 and even has a sort of synthesized new age feel that marked the band’s collaboration with later soundtrack wunderkind Trevor Rabin.

A Hard Day’s Night Writing Symphonies of Sickness – How the Fab Four Tell the Tale of Extreme Metal

When four young lads first got together in Liverpool, they had no idea that some enthusiastic yelping and screaming, two guitars, bass and drums could spark a revolution. They didn’t suspect that four working class chaps could form a rock ‘n’ roll band and make a set of records that would influence countless bands and encompass multiple styles, and write songs that people would still be enjoying decades later. This band, of course, is Carcass. Yes, there was that OTHER band, The Beatles, who did all those things, too. But this is an extreme metal blog, and in this existentially hellish alternate universe, Carcass may well be The Beatles.

As Carcass prepares to undertake a tour with “love ‘em or hate ‘em” blackgaze critical darlings Deafheaven, some of you may be wondering how we got here. Well, keep in mind that The Beatles’ own John Lennon spent a lot of time with more out-there avantish types in the 70s, too. He cranked out some borderline unlistenable noise with Yoko Ono which is, frankly, far less palatable than Deafheaven; but there’s admittedly a lot of screeching in both. If you’re surprised that Carcass made this choice, well, shows how much you know about Carcass.

Wait—John Lennon and Deafheaven what?

Connecting the Dots: Cynic

Welcome to another edition of Connecting the Dots, and today we will be focusing on one of the most influential extreme metal bands of all time – none other than the legendary Cynic! Evidence of their influence is clear from the artists we speak with, for members of Ne Obliviscaris,…

Unmetal Monday – 6/20/16 (Rachel Ana Dobken, Karmakanic, Classixx, clipping.)

Like the grand majority of modern metal fans, our tastes here at Heavy Blog are incredibly vast, with our 3X3s in each Playlist Update typically covering numerous genres and sometimes a different style in each square. While we have occasionally covered non-metal topics in past blog posts, we decided that a dedicated column was warranted in order to more completely recommend all of the music that we have been listening to. Unmetal Monday is a weekly column which covers noteworthy news, tracks and albums from outside the metal universe, and we encourage you all to share your favorite non-metal picks from the week in the comments. Head past the jump to dial down the distortion:

Hey! Listen to Motorpsycho!

It feels weird, writing a Hey! Listen to This post for a band that’s been around since 1989. Saying that Motorpsycho references classic pieces of stoner and psychedelic rock would be a mistake, since they were an integral part of the continuation of that music into the 90’s. Nonetheless, it’s pretty much impossible to resist the urge for comparison. Their latest album, Here Be Monsters, was released a few short months ago and is veritably swimming in classic references. Pink Floyd, Yes, early Rush and Genesis and countless other names from the Golden Era of progressive/psychedelic rock all live side by side, creating a heady and moving elixir of emotions and nostalgia. However, this is much more than just fan service; Here Be Monsters is a complete and impressive album, spanning an impressive range of ideas and sounds. Check out “Lacuna/Sunrise” below and let’s circle back afterwards.