Heavy Vanguard Episode 9: Krzysztof Penderecki // “Threnody To The Victims Of Hiroshima”

Normally, Heavy Vanguard has been about the album format, and giving significant releases of that size some much-needed attention. Today, however, we’re slightly tweaking that formula and instead covering a single composition: “Threnody To The Victims Of Hiroshima” by legendary (at least in modern classical circles) Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. For…

The Metal Industry’s Top 30 Albums Of 2016

Last year I took it upon myself not only to organize and compile our own staff’s AOTY list, but to take things one insane step further and compile a bunch of lists from major metal or metal-covering publications and websites into one MEGA AOTY list to rule them all. Eden and I then analyzed the list and made some (mostly snarky) comments about the metal journalism industry and how they approach these sorts of things. Though I still 100% stand by what we wrote there and the conclusions we drew from it, I was really interested in seeing how well some of them would stand up to another year to use as a data point. Thankfully, this year I had a lot of help in all of our list-making efforts thanks to fellow editor Noyan, who put a ton of work into coming up with the method we ended up using to aggregate our lists (if you haven’t already, you should absolutely read his post delving into the nitty-gritty of that methodology) and then did the actual number-crunching.

Heavy Blog Staff’s Top Ten Albums of 2016

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.

Heavy Blog’s Top 50 Albums Of 2016

We wrote a pretty big check to ourselves when we closed off 2015. Publishing not only a list which proclaimed the triumph of 2015 but also a whole editorial dedicated to the idea of “The Golden Age of Metal”, we set ourselves up for disappointment. Like the rest of the music establishment which, in numerous places implicit and explicit, was apparently ready to join in the social lynching of 2016, we were well positioned to find it a sobering, dreadful, faith shattering year for music in general and metal specifically. Except it was nothing of the sort and we cannot stress our amazement at metal/music journalism’s reaction so far. 2016 was an absolutely fantastic year, building on the trend of solid and often groundbreaking releases from established acts and simply astounding, out of left field releases from virtually nameless bands. Sure, it had its disappointments for us from huge bands we had expected more from (although signs of their demise were certainly forthcoming) but, overall, it was a year which will surely be remembered in our circles as one of the best years for music in general.

Heavy Blog’s Editors’ Picks: November 2016

Contrary to what many other sites and publications would have you believe, 2016 is, in fact, still not over yet. So while the first major wave of year-end lists has hit us this week, we’re here to tell you that there are still a bunch of recently-released albums that you seriously need to consider before settling on your own favorites for the year. It’s certainly true that by the time November rolls around the pace of high-profile and superb albums tends to drop off, especially compared to the September/October rush. There was some truly great music that came out this past month though, and the fact that all of it and any music released next month will be automatically disqualified by default from most end-of-year lists is both annoying and completely shitty for those bands. You’ll hear us talking about the problems and merits of end-of-year listmaking plenty in the coming days and weeks, but for now let’s just give a moment to some bands who will inevitably be shafted and discounted by far too many.

VIDEO PREMIERE: New Zealand Death Metal Act Setentia Go “Beyond Myopic Blame”

There must be something happening in New Zealand; the same musical climate that gave rise to post-death metal favorites Ulcerate has now birthed the equally powerful six-piece Setentia, whose debut album Darkness Transcend crept up as a late addition to the already impressive year in music. Darkness Transcend holds its own…

Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones

Constantly defying expectations and obscuring the lines between numerous subgenres of extreme metal, France’s Deathspell Omega are without a doubt one of the most consistently exciting and forward-thinking acts in the modern black metal landscape. Though their approach to songwriting and meticulous structuring of riffs has almost nothing in common…

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Dischordia – “The Ruin”

There’s so much room for creativity in death metal, and Oklahoma-based Dischordia are definitely trying their damnedest to live up to that. Featuring discordant (heh) melodies and ruinous grooves, they’ve created something unique and worth listening to, especially for fans of something like Gorguts or Artificial Brain. Featuring guest vocals…