The word “aesthetics” is perhaps one of the most maligned and misused term in the modern age. To wide circles of the population, it has come to mean one of two things. It is either the Internet-popularized term (often presented as “a e s t h e t i c…
A bunch of news and content! I’m just going to list it. Kiss’s Gene Simmons talking about his $2000 box set, Super Deluxe roasting Taylor Swift via Limp Bizkit, Machines of Man, Machine Head, Linkin Park’s tribute show to Chester (and our picks for vocalist), Sutrah, the Sacred Son artwork controversy, and the new Winds of Plague single. Also how ridiculous this Friday’s releases have been. Then we do a deep segment on producer Jens Bogren, including his work on Ihsahn, Leprous, Vildhjarta, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Devin Townsend, VOLA and more. Finally, cool people time. The cool horror/sci-fi game Echo, Kingsman: The Gold Circle, mother!, Hannu Rajaniemi’s The Causal Angel, Sunless Skies and more. Enjoy!
There’s a lot happening in the music world, and we here at Heavy Blog try our very best to keep up with it! Like the vast majority of heavy music fans, our tastes are incredibly vast, with our 3X3s in each Playlist Update typically covering numerous genres and sometimes a different style in each square. While we have occasionally covered non-metal topics in past blog posts, we decided that a dedicated column was warranted in order to more completely recommend all of the music that we have been listening to. Unmetal Monday is a weekly column which covers noteworthy tracks and albums from outside the metal universe, and we encourage you all to share your favorite non-metal picks from the week in the comments. This week, we’ll be highlighting a few albums and tracks that struck our fancy over the past few weeks. Head past the jump to dial down the distortion:
I’m back, and so is Eden, so we have a normal episode for once! And it’s a glorious trainwreck. We talk about new music, including Myrkur, The Arusha Accord, Akercocke, Leprous, Igorrr, Fractal Universe, ZETA, The Contortionist, The Faceless, and Queens of the Stone Age. Also, Gene Simmons of KISS trying to trademark the metal horns. We have an extended discussion on bands appropriating spiritualism and eastern philosophy and then do the first part of a deep segment on Devin Townsend. Specifically Strapping Young Lad and Devin Townsend Band. This one’s a wild ride, so enjoy!
Long before I started watching wrestling in the mid-’90s, it was synonymous with metal. Whether it was dude’s with long hair who were evident fans of the genre, the theme rockin’ theme music they used or performances by bands at the shows, metal and wrestling have always been bedfellows that go together like spaghetti and meatballs, Beavis and Butthead and Nicki Minaj and terrible music. Given the long-standing relationship between each medium, we here at Heavy Blog thought it would be fun to examine their similarities and the components which connect them to establish why it is they’ve remained so interconnected throughout the years. Now, without further ado, LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!
We’ve covered a fair bit of ground with our Starter Kit series, where we select a handful of key records that highlight a niche musical style or penetrate the prolific status of a staple genre. Unfortunately, this format doesn’t lend itself to covering proto-genres—microcosms of musical history comprised of a specific set of albums released in a fixed period of time. But these movements are crucial to the evolution of our favorite genres, particularly when it comes to the trajectory of sludge metal. What’s become a multifaceted and often refined style was once a disparate lineage of bands from different genres who all applied the “sludge factor” in different measures. While you won’t find a dedicated section for proto-sludge at your preferred music store, the following albums an artists laid the framework for the modern sludge landscape. So whether your sludge purveyors of choice come from the atmospheric, blackened or progressive sects of he genre, they’re all indebted to the groundbreaking statements these albums made.
One of the biggest misconceptions about rock and metal fans is that we’re all dreamer slackers with daydreams of musical superstardom. However, in the 90s, that didn’t stop Hollywood from churning out a slew of comedies which adhered to this notion. That said, the history of heavy movies is beleaguered by stereotypes anyway, so why should the 90s have been any different? The good news is that the decade did produce some hilarious efforts – a few of which went on to become cult classics – and that’s all that matters. Hollywood assumptions about subcultures aside, at least the cinema itself was entertaining.
Heavy metal isn’t only for blasting out of the speakers to annoy your neighbours, or for sitting around listening in your basement wearing corpse paint as you plot a church burning or a night of smoking cigarettes in a cemetery. Throughout the years, cinema has given us some delightful gems featuring bands and fans of our beloved genre thrust into a variety of situations — often hilarious, horrifying, or both.
On previous albums, Black Anvil’s blackened thrash always seemed to fall into a state of limbo. Triumvirate hit the black-thrash-for-the-masses nail on the head, but for what little progressive tendencies they exhibited (to be honest, this is definitely more Metallica-level progressivism than it is Dream Theater), it lacked the dynamism to make it truly interesting. They might as well have gone the route of a band like Skeletonwitch and cut the fat entirely in favor of a more lean and mean approach. In comparison, Hail Death felt like an overcompensation. More Watain-like in terms of progressive arrangements, the experimentation was worthwhile, but the record was hampered by too many forgettable moments, leading to inflated songs that felt like they were long for the sake of being long. While both albums are still damn good in their own right, it felt like the band had yet to find the balance that would showcase them at their best. As Was mostly reconciles this imbalance, and also brings some interesting new elements into the fold.
If this is all we as metal fans get out of the Immortal dispute, then this is more than acceptable olive branch. While the album certainly could have been enhanced with the natural chemistry that Abbath had with his former band, it still feels like the most well-rounded album that he’s released since 2003’s masterpiece, Sons of Northern Darkness. It’s got a great mixture of rawness, accessibility, brutality and cheese, and is 2016’s first essential release for all fans of extreme metal. A must have for fans of unending grimness.