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Tag Archive: Krallice


The fact that Pyramids were able to solicit the input of renaissance man Colin Marston and Blut Aus Nord mastermind Vindsval after having released only a debut (2008’s Pyramids) is an unquestionably impressive feat. Seven years later, the band have returned with their sophomore album A Northern Meadow, a release that continues the group’s genre agnosticism. Head past the jump to spin the record, which premiered over at Stereogum yesterday:

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Melding an otherworldy blend of shoegaze, industrial, and black metal like no other band before them, Texas’ Pyramids croon through hazy dysphoric drones and Ambien-laced soundscapes that sound as if Altar of Plagues and Anathema collided in celebration of melancholia. I could pick more flowery language out of a thesaurus all day, but the fact of the matter is that Pyramids are a band you need to be hearing like five years ago.

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Welcome to the fifth part in our ongoing series of Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s “Best Of” selections where we explore a genre of music and each of our dedicated authors picks a favorite album to share a personal experience with. After mixing things up a bit with the previous list, we’ve decided to return to a genre limitation. Remember, we’re interesting in limiting ourselves as much as possible by picking a narrow genre because we believe limitations breed creativity. This time, we’ve chosen to focus on another genre who’s definition is a bit hazy: progressive black metal.

Black metal is one of the most misrepresented and ill-understood sub-genres within the metal community and outside of it. These specific albums add even more chaos to the mix by taking the basic black metal sound and either adding new influences to it or mixing up the basic formula completely: from folk-infused conceptual albums to fearlessly brutal descents into madness, this sub-genre is both abrasive and unique, musically complex and furious. Hold on tight as we spiral into the frost-bitten embrace of these albums.

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Another year has come and gone. Music was had and enjoyed by all. Some of it ruled. Some of it sucked. Some of it was okay. What follows is the opinion of one writer fortunate enough to broadcast his opinions on a site that cares about it.

So here you go.


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Gorguts – Colored Sands

Gorguts - Colored SandsGorguts

Colored Sands

01. Le toit du monde
02. An Ocean of Wisdom
03. Forgotten Arrows
04. Colored Sands
05. The Battle of Chamdo
06. Enemies of Compassion
07. Ember’s Voice
08. Absconders
09. Reduced to Silence

[Season of Mist]

The original masters of technical death metal with eldritch, unsettling and innovative songwriting have finally come out with a new album after twelve years. The band had broken up due to the suicide of drummer Steve MacDonald. Several years later, Luc Lemay (founding member, guitarist, vocalist) reinvented the band in 2009 with an all-stars lineup consisting of himself, Colin Marston of Behold… The Arctopus, Dysrhythmia, Krallice and several other amazing bands on bass, Kevin Hufnagel of Dysrhythmia on guitar, and John Longstreth of Origin fame on drums. Considering the legacy of the band and how well regarded their 1998 album Obscura is even to this date, making a new album that doesn’t disappoint fans after more than a decade of waiting is an extremely tall order to say the least. Yet here we have Colored Sands, Gorguts’s fifth album, and it’s clear that Gorguts are back again.

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The art of the instrumental is a delicate one. Taking away the vocals is a surprisingly big step, whereas before there was a ‘wall’ that would divert the focus away from the instruments a little, now every note and flourish is on display at the forefront for all to see. But, whether they use that method to craft obscenely complicated displays of musical proficiency or build a soundscape with which to immerse the listener in, the challenge is always the same — keeping it interesting without the most human and instantly connective element present.

The rules were fairly simple:

  • The track must be instrumental. No vocals, guest or otherwise.
  • Must have been released in the last 10 years. To keep it simple, this basically means any album released between 2003 and 2013. This was done to rule out some of the more obvious contenders such as ‘Orion‘ and ‘Transylvania‘.
  • Although I hate to be that guy, the band must be predominantly metal. This meant the omission of some important and influential bands that fell more under the post-rock banner such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions In The Sky.

So, with some collaboration with rest of Heavy Blog, here’s what I came up with:

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gorguts colored sands

The return of Gorguts is an exciting prospect for many, something that’s been on the hook for the last 12 years. After all, their album Obscura spawned a new breed of prog and tech death and even became the namesake for one of our favorite bands in death metal. Hint: It’s Obscura.

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Vestiges/Panopticon Split

I love a good split release. It allows me to branch out my musical taste in some ways and discover bands I wouldn’t have otherwise listened to if one of the bands involved is an established act that I’ve been aware of for some time. This year, split releases have been kind to us. Cough and Windhand released a stellar psychedelic doom split album Reflection of the Negative, Phil Anselmo and Warbeast wowed folks with their collaboration, and avant garde black metallers Smohalla and Omega Centauri came together for the post-black madness in Tellur — Epitome (more on that later this week!). The latest split that I’ve been enamored with is the atmospheric black metal release from Vestiges and Panopticon.

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If I had my say, there would be a top one hundred list, because I enjoyed so many different albums this year. I’ve changed this list fifty seven times over the past week, so this list is me finally making a decision. It’s honestly been harder choosing this list than it has been choosing classes for next semester. I must say that 2012 has shown that music has not totally gone down the drain, because there are still so many amazing bands I’m just now hearing about, and so many great albums to listen to. So, without further ado, here are the twenty best albums to come out in 2012, and the six best albums that would be twenty one through twenty six that just didn’t make the cut.

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Behold the Arctopus


01. Disintegore
02. Monolithic Destractions
03. Horrorsentience
04. Deluge of Sores
05. Putrefucktion
06. Annihilvore

[Black Market Activities]

Every so often there’s an album that can change someone’s perspective on music. For whatever reason, good or bad, this record alters the way a person thinks of music. Records like GorgutsObscura, Cynic‘s Traced in Air, or PrimusFrizzle Fry push musical boundaries and cause people to think of it in a whole new light. Behold the Arctopus‘ latest release, Horrorscension, has the potential to be one of those albums for a lot of people.

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