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.
Massachusetts prog metal band Caricature — who you may remember as the band who previously dedicated an entire half hour epic to a special feline friend this year — have just released their new EP Unborn earlier this month. Featuring past and present members of Heavy Blog favorites System Divide, Binary Code, and Last Chance To Reason, it’s a melodic groove-minded record for fans of acts such as Gojira, Periphery, and Devin Townsend Project. Expect propulsive songwriting and a plethora of soaring, memorable choruses.
2016 has been chock full of great releases, some of which we (sadly) missed out on. We can’t post about everything or we’d be up to necks in content (first world problems, I know)! One such release is Oni’s Ironshore, a progressive album that’s extremely cohesive and endearing. Rooted firmly in complexity, Ironshore nonetheless manages to evoke melody, emotion and conviction. Listen to “Kanvas” for example: amidst breakneck keyboard work, intricate guitar lines, harsh and clean vocals, hides an honest emotional streak that runs throughout the album and ties it all together.
Seeing as the album is so intricate, we thought we’d get the band to shed some more light on the influences that make them tick as musicians. We hoped it would give us more insight into what seems like another, incredibly strong addition to the annals of modern progressive metal and boy, we got more than we bargained for! Head on below to read their in depth and enlightening list in one of our personal favorite Anatomy Of posts!
It only makes sense that we come to an epiphany about “Voodoo Child” while listening to Minneapolis psychedelic sludge outfit, Maeth. After all, their latest release, Shrouded Mountain, is the sonic equivalent to knocking down a mountain and building it back up again. This record finds the band flexing their post-metal muscle, making the ebbs and flows of their signature aural growth and decay feel more effortless and natural than ever. By tightening things up and leaving behind the shorter transitory interludes from prior albums in favor of merging everything into what could be a singular song, Shrouded Mountain runs efficient, but overflows with atmosphere and.
In a strange pairing, France’s metal behemoth, Gojira, in all their massive, whale-wailing glory, took to the road across North America alongside the UK’s djent giants (djiants?) TesseracT. Though many of us weren’t keen on either Gojira’s [review] or TesseracT’s [review] latest releases, a live performance is a different matter,…
The title is a dig, you say? Not at all! It’s not because this week our topic discussion revolves around how metalheads gravitate to specific genres outside of metal and how that’s influenced by metal journalism. Totally. Here, let’s talk about some new music, releases or news instead. We shitpost about stuff that came out recently, like stuff by Meshuggah, Allegaeon, Opeth (salt interview part 1, part 2, part 3), Disillusion, Metallica, Testament, Logan Mader’s Once Human, Dark Tranquillity, Protest the Hero, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and more. Maybe. Then we talk about this “interesting” article about Reign in Blood turning 30, and highlight a few bands. Namely Starkill, Mammoth, Elarcos and Raptorbaby. And the week’s underrated release is Ønskediktet by Ørkenkjøtt! Enjoy! By the way, this is that article about Kendrick Lamar – “Why Did Everyone Claim to Enjoy Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’?”
Adversity and struggle are the genesis of a significant amount of great art, and Long Island mathcore band Car Bomb are no exception. Whether it’s touring and playing shows relentlessly and constantly, as seen in their excellent documentary [Why_You_Do_This], or losing the majority of their gear and rehearsal space in a flood, Car Bomb are the poster children for authentic, working class modern metal. 2012’s second full length album w^w^^w^w was a masterclass in weird, angular mathcore, and now, after an agonizing four year wait and much teasing, the band have released it’s follow up, entitled Meta. Can it live up to the acclaim and hype? Could it possibly be better than w^w^^w^w?
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.
Sure, metal can certainly terrify listeners with occult imagery and sheer gore, but delving deep into one’s own personal neuroses can often take someone down a much darker path. Inexplicable sadness is often a much more relatable and ubiquitous demon than anything you’d see smeared across a Cannibal Corpse cover (not that there’s anything wrong with that). For that reason alone, it’s become a much more prevalent topic amongst death metal’s most notorious and now unjustly-reviled subgenre. You couldn’t have picked a better title for deathcore’s most anticipated EP of the year, and you probably couldn’t have picked a better batch of current bands to tackle the theme of depression either. Thy Art Is Murder, The Acacia Strain and Fit For An Autopsy are collectively as soul-bearing as they’ve ever been, and they’re still churning out brain-melting breakdowns in the process.
I actually enjoyed the “don’t really bother to put stuff in the description” format as it makes my life easier, but hey, I guess I can make an effort once a week. Just kidding, we have new music or related stuff from: Oddland, Orphaned Land, Mephistopheles, Jimmy Pitts and Equipoise, Imperium Dekadenz, Drudkh, Inquisition, Periphery, Gojira, Hadal Maw, Iron Maiden, Exotype, Ayreon. We talk about the split between Obscura and Tom Geldschlager getting heated (check out his new song by the way!), this interesting article on language in metal, Insomnium cancelling their show in Turkey, and the recent trend of sexual assaults at festivals. Then we do the long-awaited Balls Deep on In Flames, hence the episode title (it refers to the band, not us)!