For those who missed our last installment, we will now be regularly posting what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that doesn’t 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.
Anyone who doesn’t live under a proverbial rock knows that the biggest release in all music this week goes to the early release of Kendrick Lamar‘s hugely-anticipated follow-up to Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, and unsurprisingly, K Dot found his way onto many of our lists this week. Also of note (and in an entirely different quadrant of the musical spectrum) this week was the release of Alkaloid‘s debut album The Malkuth Grimoire (read our review here if you haven’t already), which also landed in several of our staff’s lists.
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!
Head past the jump to see which records have been receiving regular rotation on our headphones, stereos and turntables:
Last week, I sat down to chat with Zack Kelly, producer/drummer at If These Trees Could Talk. We chatted about the upcoming album, how the unique post rock style of the band came to be and about the upcoming re-issues of their two previous releases, Red Forest and Above The Earth, Below The Sky. I also made sure to tell you that it’s a crime not to know this band intimately and I still stand behind that. Now, you have a chance to get acquainted with both releases, as we have an exclusive stream of both of them to coincide with their release today. Head on over the jump for the links!
Hey gang! If any of you don’t know who If These Trees Could Talk are, please remove yourself from these premises and go flog yourself to repent. Trees are one of the most original and damn right innovative names in post rock, so with the announcement of a new album, signing to Metal Blade and a re-issue, yours truly had no other choice but to sit down with Zack Kelly, drummer/producer and overall mastermind, and chat a bit about the future. Head on over the jump for more details on the new release, vinyl, and eggs. Yes, eggs.
We know 2014 is not over yet but you’ll forgive us if we gaze past its dying moments and into the bright flame that is 2015 (wow, that was metal as fuck). A lot of us honestly believe that we are living in a Golden Age of Metal, going by number AND quality of releases in the past 3-4 or years. Keeping that in mind, it seems as if 2015 is gearing up to be just as badass and filled with amazing music as 2014. In order to get you prepped for all the goodness that is about to descend on us, we’ve compiled a list of releases we are currently expecting in 2015.
Just to make something clear: an “expected release” is any release which is confirmed or very highly likely. Your mileage may vary though, so it’s quite possible some of these won’t actually come out in 2015. However, we did all we can to research these and make sure that they are either confirmed or extremely likely due to the band being in the studio, signing to a new label or hinting towards a close release. We haven’t bothered with “mythical” albums that might see release, such as Tool (yeah right) or Necrophagist (please). So, enjoy! Head on over the jump for the full list and let us know in the comments if there’s anything we missed.
If These Trees Could Talk is one of the best post-rock bands of recent years. It’s no secret I’m a fan of the genre and thus I’ve been expecting more news about them for a while now. Luckily, good news has now surfaced: apparently the band have signed with Metal Blade records! That makes me very happy as Metal Blade are an excellent label, with a history free of bullshit and laden with good releases. Head on over the jump to read the full press release. Rejoice!
For this installment of our ‘Post Rock Post’ feature, we’re introducing you to a lovely instrumental band called Audrey Fall, based out of Latvia. This past January they released their debut album Mitau, and it’s truly a stunning gem of a record. With beautiful music ranging from soothing ambiance to oppressive heaviness, the entire LP is packed full of emotion and likens the group to a heavier If These Trees Could Talk. There’s a great level of balance to be found here between the softer sections and the heavy moments, but they offset each other perfectly throughout this record’s whopping 58-minute run time. Mitau is a seamless blend of both post-rock and post-metal, so fans of either genre do not want to miss this one. Stream the entire album here:
We’ve had a plethora of great post-rock albums come out so far this year, and now it seems here’s yet another one for us to enjoy. Sleeping Bear are a young band hailing all the way from Kiev, Ukraine and they’ve recently released their self-titled debut record. Their music sounds a good bit like If These Trees Could Talk which is a very good thing, and once you start listening, it becomes immediately apparent that this album is a quality piece of work with a ton of time and thought that went into it’s creation. Best of all though, it’s completely free to download via the group’s bandcamp page:
Tides of Man
Young and Courageous
01. Desolate. Magnificent.
02. Mountain House
04. Young and Courageous
05. All The Years
06. Eyes Like Strange Sins
07. We Were Only Dreaming
08. Hold Still
09. Keep Me Safe
11. Measure Your Breath
It’s been quite a while since Tides of Man have released an album, and in that time the Florida-based band have undergone a drastic transformation. 2010’s Dreamhouse was a fantastic piece of progressive rock tinged with post-hardcore that fit right alongside the likes of Coheed and Cambria or Chiodos, but shortly after the record’s release the band parted ways with frontman Tilian Pearson and began the search for a replacement vocalist. Not being able to find a good fit though, they eventually decided to halt the search and carry on as an instrumental outfit. With vocals being such a central element to their previous work, this change called for an appropriate evolution of the band’s sound, and the result of this reinvention is Young and Courageous.
And So I Watch You From Afar – All Hail Bright Futures
All Hail Bright Futures is an odd proposition for a metal fan. A mix of upbeat post-rock, twisting math-rock ideals and an entirely liberal approach to incorporating instruments such as flutes and steel drums alongside their own personal moments of ‘metal’ heaviness may be a description enough to put more than a few of you off them instantaneously. However, for those of you still able to see the riffs through the trees, as it were, there’s a vast amount of fascinating and varied ideas on offer here that would satiate any fans of forward thinking metal music.
And So I Watch You From Afar waste no time in making a statement of intent early on and the combination of the chirpy, opening build-up of ‘Eunoia‘ and the frankly sublime ‘Big Thinks Do Remarkable‘ do that in a rush of synth-drenched leads, gang vocals and a complete ADD approach to post-rock. The entire concept could be described in rough terms as all the most sugary sweet sections of Torche meeting the sheer uplifting emotional left-hook of If These Trees Could Talk and Pelican, most obvious in tracks such as ‘Like A Mouse‘ and ‘AMBULANCE‘ that manage to sneak in some heavier sections that segue seamlessly in with the rest of the track.
All Hail Bright Futures is a record out on it’s own, few bands could take the energy of heavy music and infuse it with twee, jangly pop sections. And So I Watch You From Afar may have changed, but they’ve changed for the best and produced a record that could even put the most po-faced black metaller in a cheery mood. – DL
Gifts From Enola, the four-piece post-rock band from Harrisonburg, Virginia, has called it a day and are disbanding after completing an impressive seven year career. The band released a statement via their website explaining why they decided to hang up their instruments after a somewhat successful career. This comes as a surprise since they just recently came out with a new album A Healthy Fear about six months ago that was well received by most people and were still in the process of touring it. But as the explanation says, being a touring band is no easy task and there’s nothing glamorous about breaking the bank to be able to play a handful of shows.