After the Burial‘s Road To Metalfest tour was a progcore dream tour! Featuring support from Within The Ruins, The Contortionist (who had Last Chance To Reason‘s Michael Lessard filling in on vocals!), and Glass Cloud, the trek took the bands to and from the annual New England Hardcore & Metal Festival. Needless to say, the Eastern US got rocked — hard. Our regular contributing photographer Maclyn Bean shot the stop in West Chester on April 22nd, and photos from the show can be viewed below!
Scale The Summit‘s latest album The Migration is due out this summer, and I can’t wait. The band’s music is always picturesque and active, which is something I don’t typically find in some other instrumental acts. Their music is always adventurous; I’d often find myself playing Minecraft with Carving Desert Canyons and The Collective acting as the soundtrack, and let me tell you, it made that game epic. Unfortunately, the band has had some lackluster album art in the past that didn’t really pop out much. This isn’t the case with The Migration and the beautiful fantasy landscape emblazoning the cover. The Migration‘s cover — which was illustrated by Duncan Storr — seems to play heavily into the album’s title, depicting the migration of some sort of tree beast. I get the feeling that this would make a pretty sweet Pokemon, myself.
Major bummer, everyone: Jonathan Carpenter, vocalist and keyboardist for The Contortionist, has left the group to focus on his personal life, as he got recently got engaged and is expecting a child:
“It’s going to be a jarring change of pace for my life, not being on the road most of the year. Making songs with the band and then performing them in front of the best fans has been a once in a lifetime experience. I wouldn’t trade the perspective I’ve found in the past few years for anything. I got to meet so many amazing people and see a good chunk of the world. I absolutely intend to keep creating and playing music in the future, albeit in a more personal pursuit.”
“I will miss seeing everyone in the TC family very much. I wish the best to all of my band buds and everyone who supports live music and all this heavy banger music we’ve been making. I feel very excited for my future with the love of my life and our pups, and our little one on the way.”
“Music has always been one of my passions and that’s what drew me to this band in the first place. The music comes first, and I know that the talent of the band will rise above this member change and they will find a new arrangement that will blow your minds.” - Jonathan Carpenter
The Summer Slaughter 2013 lineup has officially been announced and will include The Dillinger Escape Plan, Animals as Leaders, Periphery, Norma Jean, Cattle Decapitation, The Ocean, Revocation, and Aeon, with more bands to be announced. I am so excited that I am going to faint.
If you’re like myself, then you love you some hardcore music. Everything from The Chariot and Every Time I Die to Terror and Converge, when the feedback kicks in and the sound turns up, your blood gets pumping and all you want to do is mosh. I saw Intronaut on Sunday (interview coming soon!), and there was one of two opening bands that go by the name of Carnivores At Grace. They play a mix of hardcore and sludge, and it works really well. This trio of dudes really go hard with their music, and while watching them live I couldn’t help thinking to myself, “Wow. These guys are really freaking good.”
Hello, everyone! Welcome back! We left you last month with a week-long retrospective of the year in the way of our own personal best-of lists. With 2012 a thing of the past and a new year of promising releases coming up ahead, we felt it appropriate to open our posting cycle in 2013 with a look forward. Throughout the week, several writers will be giving you breakdowns on what records you can look forward to in the coming year. To get you started in planning the year ahead, here are five albums that you need to keep an eye out for:
Cynic – TBA Third Album (Season of Mist)
The progressive metal legends will see a return in 2013 with the follow-up to 2008′s Traced In Air. It doesn’t really feel like it’s been nearly five years since their critically acclaimed comeback, as the band have tied us over with several tours and EPs. Granted, the extreme metal roots that the band started with (the core being members of Death for crying out loud!) have nearly vanished, but Cynic have been leaning much more into a new-age psychedelic jazz fusion sort of sound that is both thrilling and thought-provoking.
Having returned to the studio in December, drummer Sean Reinert promises, “a bold new sound for CYNIC and marks a gigantic leap in the band’s progression. We’ve had a lot of time to let this material develop and gestate, and it finally feels ready to be unleashed on the world. I’ve been in trio mode with Malone and Masvidal flushing out a zillion and one details, and couldn’t be happier about what’s happening with these songs. They are truly alive!”
And with song titles like ‘Endlessly Bountiful’, ‘Moon Heart Sun Head’, and ‘True Hallucination Speak,’ you can guarantee that the band will be back in full force with their shamanistic aesthetic.
Nowadays, it seems everyone is interested in the newest, most interesting music. The Contortionist have upped the amount of complexity in their new album to 11. Between the Buried and Me have a 15 minute song on their latest album that is a journey across genres spanning countless riffs. But why do we always look to what’s newest for the most mindblowingly advanced music? Is it correct to think that the newest thing is always the most advanced when it comes to music? Today I am here to argue that this is not necessarily the case. First I’ll start off with a small history lesson, and by the end of the post I’ll get to some music that is still ahead of the times.
There’s a steady handful of bands that we at Heavy Blog hold to a collectively high regard as not only musicians, but as all around amazing people, and Maine’s rising stars of prog Last Chance To Reason are one of those bands. Last year, they released a top-10 of 2011 worthy record Level 2, a concept album dripping in existentialism and, as drummer and founding member Evan Sammans put it, a metaphor for the human condition. When I spoke to them late last year, they mentioned that they were already at work on their followup, tentatively titled Level 3. Now, nine months later, the band has completed the writing process and is hitting the studio starting this week to record the new material.
The band are — as of this writing — headed to Florida to record their third album at Audiohammer Studios with producer Eyal Levi (Dååth, Whitechapel, Six Feet Under), and will begin the recording process later this week. Here’s a few statements from the band:
Drummer Evan Sammons says, “We’ve been working on the new album diligently and now we’re headed to Audiohammer to begin tracking with Eyal. We’ve been sending material to Eyal and talking about production techniques and ideas for the album’s tone and things are really clicking. Touring with great bands over the past couple years has really inspired us to up the ante for this release. We’ve grown as songwriters and are embracing our strengths as musicians. We’re doing a concept piece again and we’ll be making sure the music and production suits the story.”
Vocalist Michael Lessard added, “Having Eyal involved has been nothing short of excellent. He understands where we are going with the concept of this album and has only helped strengthen that vision.”
Of course, this is absolutely exciting news! They’ve got new guitarist Mike Abdow involved this time, but unfortunately the band is evidently still without a keyboard player, which likely means that Level 3 will have considerably fewer electronic aspects than Level 2. Even still, LCTR are a phenomenal band and will surely rise to the occasion once again.
It’s actually been a while since I’ve heard Level 2. I think I’ll go and listen to that now. Level 3 (or whatever they end up calling it!) will be out early 2013 on Prosthetic Records.
It seems like a handful of genres out there have their own dedicated line of apparel, but they’re mostly centered around the Hot Topic-friendly brands like Arkaik and Rockett brands aimed at the hardcore/metalcore crowd (not to imply there’s anything particularly wrong with those brands). It hasn’t really occurred to me until now that there’s very little (if anything at all) out there in terms of clothing lines that operate with fans of prog in mind, but now that changes with the creation of Thought Space Apparel, a new clothing company ran by Aaron Wilmot and Last Chance To Reason frontman Michael Lessard.
The ambitious project — which promises “a line of high quality shirts that invoke creativity, knowledge and passion” — recently got its feet off the ground via Kickstarter and has since met and is currently pushing past its initial $700 goal. With the funding now in place and initial designs available for pre-order, Thought Space is showing strong forward momentum. Plans are even being made to release special merch for the bands Last Chance To Reason, White Arms of Athena, The Contortionist, and Dead Letter Circus through the clothing line, and that’s just the plan for the foreseeable future!
While the funding is now a guarantee, you can make sure this brand takes its initial steps with more strength and possibility, as meeting $1000 will add even more designs to the Summer line launch. Throw some money their way and buy a shirt, either through Kickstarter (be sure to select the $25 backing) or their official Big Cartel page. At the very least, go check out the stellar designs and help spread the word.
It must have dawned on the people behind the upcoming Shockwave Fest Tour that the logistics of bringing around 13 bands on one tour was a massive headache, because four bands (Revocation, Vildhjarta, Dirge Within, and Forged in Flame) are no longer on the bill. Most people seem the most heartbroken over Revocation, but I could take or leave them. The main drawing point for me was seeing Vildhjarta on their first ever North American tour, so this was a major bummer.
dear north americans, we can confirm that we are off the Shockwave Festival due to reasons beyond our control. the festival will probably do an announcement about it soon since the word is already out and we´re not the only band that is affected when the bill has been scaled down.
we have looked forward to an opportunity to play in north america for a long time and will do our best to get us on another tour as soon as possible. hope to see you soon ♥
Major sads. Hopefully we’ll still be able to catch them Stateside later this year.
In the mean time, not all is lost on Shockwave Fest. Heavy Blog favorites Last Chance To Reason and Cattle Decapitation are still on the trek, which makes it worth it alone. Check out tour dates and other information on the Shockwave Festival Facebook.