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!
Two perfect scores, a 3/5, 3.5/4, and a 4/5, a better than average outcome in This Week in Reviews after the jump.
With Post-black metal experiencing a kind of popular renaissance, the amount of bands either jumping on the genre bandwagon or being thrust into mainstream recognition is at an all time high, and to some the genre is reaching it’s saturation point. Writing Lotus Thief off as just another post-black metal band, however, would be a grave mistake. Elements of the genre certainly do exist on Rervm, their debut album, but serve as more of a creative launch point than a genre template or set of stylistic rules. This presents an album that’s as sprawling and varied as the story it tells, and one that seamlessly blends genres into a greater whole. The one constant are the ethereal, beautiful female vocals layered atop the varied instrumentation.
I’ve gotta say, my favorite Gojira stuff is their older material, namely The Link and Terra Incognita. Their live DVD The Link Alive where they played material from it is pretty great, but it was a rather limited pressing, and the audio CD version of it had only 500 copies made. Imagine my delight when I saw that they’ve uploaded this excellent live album for purchase and streaming on Listenable Records’s Bandcamp. It’sa great primer for older Gojira material for those not familiar with it.
Atmosphere is key in many genres of music and in metal specifically. At the end of the day, there’s only so much emotional weight that your instruments can generate based on established tools, even with the endless variations available to the modern artist. Where albums truly rise above the norm is in the spaces between those compositions, in the way the entire thing comes together as a whole. One could cite The Ocean‘s Pelgial or Gojira‘s From Mars to Sirius and one would do well to do so in this context. Hadal Maw‘s Senium definitely draws on those two albums to create a monolith: a towering pillar of death metal and atmosphere that swallows the listener whole.
Don’t worry, I won’t go raving about Australia again (oops). Hadal Maw are a little known death/groove outfit that have been slowly picking up momentum towards the release of their first full album, Senium. I could list Gojira, Goreguts and a slew of other bands as influences, or you can simply head on over after the jump and listen to the two tracks these monsters have out so far. See you there.
Mastodon have announced the second leg of their U.S. headlining tour in support of their excellent new album, Once More ‘Round the Sun, which the Heavy Blog Staff decided was one of the best albums of the year so far. The tour will once again feature the mighty Gojira and the fun-as-hell Kvelertak as openers. The tour kicks off in mid-October on Boise, ID and will finish up in Atlanta, GA in early November. Click the jump for dates.
We’re back! Yesterday, we kicked off our mid-year list with some truly crushing albums, ranging from the heavy to the progressive to the down right insane. As this list keeps going, it’s going to become quite clear just how good 2014 has been to us. Seriously, can any of you remember a year filled with more amazing and exciting records? And in the first half of it, as well? We’re not planning on stopping any time soon!
Without further ado, here’s an arbitrarily arranged list of awesome albums from 2014 so far. Remember: it’s okay to not like thing.