59 – AOTY 2016 Deliberations, Part 1: Vape In

So we’re doing a two-part series on picking the podcast’s official albums of the year 2016. We start with the blog’s list of 400+ albums that are worth consideration this year, whittle it down to 86 albums we care about, and then start cutting them. The objective is to get to a ranked list of 10 items and an overall list of 20 albums. We get down to about 45 this week until the cuts really start to hurt. This was real fun to do, so I hope you all enjoy too! The lists will be posted below.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 12/2/16

For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not 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. 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.

Trees of Eternity – Hour of the Nightingale

All music has themes but metal is a genre which wears its heart on its sleeve. Thematics color everything in metal, from audience reception and marketing to the actual composition and execution of the music itself. It can affect production, tone, scales, and much more in an effort to align everything with a perceived image or to jar that image by deviating from the norm in just the right way. Take goth metal; a sub-section of doom, it relies on the theme of autumn, death, depression and nature for its impact. We haven’t even mentioned bands yet and album art, track names and that certain goth sound has already sprung into your mind. Sometimes, these themes become even more powerful and, by some twist of fate or by a pecuilar predestination, reflect in the musicians themselves: they might reflect the ideals of the music in their actions or in the facts of their lives.

And sometimes, that reflection has a bitter edge.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 8/26/16

For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not 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. 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.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 6/3/16

For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not 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. 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.

Heavy Blog’s Editors’ Picks: May 2016

So, April has come and gone and now spring is here in earnest. While there was definitely a slow down in the SHEER VOLUME of releases from April, there definitely wasn’t a decline in quality. May brought us some of our favorite albums from 2016 so far and some which are certain to feature on high spots in our end of year lists. Speaking of which, next month we won’t be doing an Editors’ Picks or rather, we will but it will be a special, Worth Your Time in 2016 so far edition. In the meantime, let’s dig in to this month’s selection, featuring some heavy, some sad and, mainly, a whole lot of excellent.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 5/20/16

For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not 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. 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.

Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts

Often, when you look back at things, two phenomena which seemed unconnected were actually just two instances of a third, unknown actor. Thus, even if they seemed to be related or following on each other’s footsteps, we couldn’t know at the time that something more was beneath the surface, a direction or reason guiding their disparate trajectories. With the release of Katatonia’s latest album, The Fall of Hearts, it has become apparent that this is the case with their previous two releases. While Dead End Kings and Dethroned & Uncrowned were obviously connected, the second being an acoustic rendition of the first, it appears that their relationship is much more than just causal. The Fall of Hearts consolidates these three releases into a new chapter in the life of Katatonia, coalescing the styles found on both into an album.

You see, Dethroned & Uncrowned was much more than just an acoustic covers album, or so we have been saying for a while now. The fact that a lot of the instruments and vocals were re-recorded, the differences in composition and the complete feeling that the album had, led us to view it as a separate release. The Fall of Hearts confirms that, as it blends the style heard on that album with the one of its progenitor. Thus, it is an album which continues to dig into the acoustic elements of Katatonia’s dark themes while incorporating plenty of heavy moments. This makes The Fall of Hearts an outstandingly complex and subtle album, one which requires multiple listens before you can crack its bleeding, aching heart. In the stead of the more straightforward approach that once informed Katatonia albums, this one ducks and weaves, fades and returns, runs and then is still.