Heavy Blog’s Top 25 Albums of 2018 (So Far)

Midpoint. Half in, half out. Shadow. A divide. Balance. The semantic milieu surrounding stuff that’s divided 50/50 is incredibly rich; it opens some of the greatest cultural creations of all time (“Midway upon the journey of our life / I found myself within a forest dark” – Dante’s The Inferno) and…

Dead Empires – Designed to Disappear

The passion that drives progressive metal, especially extreme progressive metal, has to be a multicolored and multilayered thing. Otherwise, progressive metal just falls into the trap of “more variation = more good” and that’s easily disprovable; just because you’ve approach a single theme from several different directions that doesn’t necessarily mean that your album will be interesting. Instead, great progressive metal bands focus on getting across several different atmospheres and vibes on one album, changing both the destination and delivery point to create interest. Consider Opeth’s blend of anger and sadness on My Arms, Your Hearse or Howling Sycamore’s excellent and recent foray into both hallucination and internal power. These kind of varied intonations is what Dead Empires went for with Designed to Disappear and they mostly pull it off.

114 – Deep Down, Every Genre Is Melodeath

I’m sick this week, so excuse the voice and rambling. But hey, rambling makes for a fun podcast! Specifically, we ramble about promos that get sent out way too early, bands that lose their spark over time, and those weren’t even really topics we intended to discuss! But we also talk about new music, like Tesseract, Augury, Augury, Barren Earth, Howling Sycamore, and Glorior Belli. We also speculate about The Safety Fire and Psyopus making comebacks. Finally, Apple Music surpassing Spotify in the US. In cool people time we talk mostly Altered Carbon, light spoilers included. Enjoy!

Release Day Roundup – 1/26/18

Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure…

Howling Sycamore – Howling Sycamore

Howling Sycamore is a supergroup which does interesting things within the avant-garde milieu but also does much that doesn’t immediately fall into the definition. Comprised of the cream of the crop of progressive metal, namely Jason McMaster (Watchtower), Davide Tiso (Ephel Duath), and Hannes Grossman (Necrophagist, Obscura), Howling Sycamore’s self-titled debut is a whirling mass of influences, ideas and composition drawn from the diverse world of progressive metal. These ideas, however, have been fed through a mirror darkly and now carry a distinctly sinister vibe that is wholly avant-garde. The result is an album that is often bewildering and scattered but which also feels convinced of where it’s heading, as paradoxical as that might sound.