If you’re in the northern hemisphere like most of you who read this site, then you’re no doubt enjoying the benefits of natural seasonal changes as the nightmare that was winter 2015 has given way to a beautiful spring. And if you’re in the southern hemisphere — particularly if you’re in Australia, as many of our readers are — you’re almost certainly feeling the relief of more tolerable temperatures as your summer has given way to fall and is quickly approaching winter. Either way, all over the world we’re entering the magical time of year known as Festival Season. Many of the biggest and best bands in the world (and leagues of smaller ones as well) are preparing to set out for various tours and huge outdoor festivals that will attract thousands upon thousands of individuals. The global festival circuit has become so huge and varied though that it can be nearly impossible to know where even to start if you’re looking to travel to one.
We’re here to help! Obviously there are far too many metal festivals around the world for us to provide anywhere near a comprehensive list, but we asked our staff to highlight a few festivals on 3 continents — North America, Europe, and Australia (apologies to the rest of the world as we only have so many staff members from different places). Check them all out below!
You likely haven’t heard of France’s Livhzuena, but we’re here to tell you that you should probably perk your ears up at this post and give them a bit of a listen. Following in the massive footsteps of country mates Gojira, the band play their own special mix of “neckbreaker music,” influenced by the aforementioned Gojira, Meshuggah, and Opeth alongside several other subtle influences. A delectable concoction of groove, thrash, death, and melody, perfectly seasoned to taste.
The fearsome French five-piece are gearing up to release their first LP, Dark Mirror Neurons, on May 22nd, 2015 to follow their 2013 two-track self-titled EP that garnered a great deal of attention from press and a growing number of clamoring fans. The band began work on the upcoming record back in 2014 at Slab Sound Studios, but with all the work finally finished, the release via Klonsphere/Season of Mist is upon us in just a few short weeks.
Without further ado, we present to you the opening track of Dark Mirror Neurons, “Mars,” playing exclusively here at Heavy Blog is Heavy.
Gojira are a band that many associate with killer death metal that has tinges of groove from the likes of Pantera and Machine Head. Their signature sound is recognizable by many and applauded by even more. The band’s last album,L’Enfant Sauvage, was a massive success, and saw the band delve into some slower, more groove-oriented territory as opposed to earlier works. While it may have been a little different, the Gojira signature sound was still there. Now, the band have some great news for us: they’re beginning work on their next album, and in the band’s own studio to boot!
As we’ve stated before, our inboxes here at Heavy Blog are very often hit-or-miss. Many bands waffle on too long about this or that, others barely give us an inkling if their music is worth listening to, and still others give us nothing to listen to at all. I took a chance on an email nudge today and, boy, are my ears happier for doing so. Adimiron is definitely worth a listen.
With their debut album Regression, released on the mighty Metal Blade Records, Theories flit between nurturing a warts’n’all grind aesthetic and hammering out some serious melodeath inspired songwriting. This shuffling betwixt styles is a gamble as it meshes two very unique genres. These Seattle grinders succeed in bettering previous attempts with a less than subtle amalgamation of violence and melody. Do they stack up against the current crop of artists, especially those also signed to Metal Blade? Yeah, they do. Does the album check the requisite boxes for becoming an all time classic debut? Not quite, but it still kicks ass.
Simplicity is one of the most underrated aspects of music. Being able to take a minimal amount of sound and turn it into a fully-fledged experience is a true virtue, and it takes a lot of talent to pull it off well. Notable examples in this category include Russian Circles and Gojira– bands that both exemplify the writing skill necessary to set a great precedent of what can be done with incredibly simplistic arrangements.
Southgate pulls off this style with apparently relative ease. A combination of this simple sensibility and slightly-blackened melodic death metal, they manage to create a headbanging, pulsing rhythm while also invoking an almost naturalistic post-rock vibe. Tremolo-picked progressions lead the way through the tunes, occasionally letting either huge, atmospheric chords or punchy breakdown-esque riffs lead in their place.
These types of posts are normally reserved for young and upcoming acts but today is a little bit different. Trepalium have been plying their trade for more than a decade now and have some serious history in that they have supported their fellow countrymen (and envirometal messiahs) Gojira and also released albums through labels like Seasons Of Mist. You have to go back to 2012 for the last time we featured them here! Anyway, check a full album stream and some more words after the jump!
Job For A Cowboy are easily one of the most divisive bands out there. People constantly think of their beginnings as a MySpace-born deathcore band and fail to recognize the last string of releases in recent years. However, their newest effort is nothing like their first record, combining prog and death metal to create our Album Of The Year. A couple weeks before Sun Eater dropped, I got to speak with Nick Schendzielos, their bassist, about metal, the industry, and even Mudvayne.
Every once in a blood moon a band comes along who stands on the shoulders of giants, embracing the traditional metal foundation built by bands like Iron Maiden and Metallica while infusing a modern and original approach in style, content, and production values. Mastodon comes to mind, whose simpler riffs and classic flair would come off as derivative and boring in the context of any other band. There’s an intangible aura about them that gives their songs and aesthetic a limitless appeal. Gojira and Meshuggah both follow suit in their own way, dripping with an “it” factor; a charisma that cannot be taught. Enter the UK’s Sylosis, a band carving their niche into the annals of metal history with each successive album, slowly and patiently honing their craft with surgical precision. Their latest effort, Dormant Heart picks up right where Monolith left off, albeit with a more dynamic, concise, and exacting vision.
Tasmanian technical death metal veterans Psycroptic are about to drop their self-titled album early next year and have decided to get the ball rolling now with a brand new music video! While it may be just a performance video at its core, the film quality helps recapture some of the low-budget videos that American death metal bands were releasing in the early-to-mid 90s. Check it out after the jump!