A Perfect Circle was never the same following the re-election of George W. Bush. Although the band had remained largely apolitical and introspective up until that point, the controversial ballot saw them abandon an impending hiatus to deliver one last hurrah, in the form of 2004’s overly political, covers collection…
Welcome back to our “Best of” column! This isn’t the first time we’ve celebrated twenty year milestones, but this installment is a bit more meaningful for all of us here at Heavy Blog. This list comes a week after we passed 20,000 likes on Facebook, a testament to how much…
Yay normal episode! This week we have a bunch of weird/grim news to talk about. Jay-Z suing journalists, Taylor Swift suing journalists, Marilyn Manson pointing a fake gun at an audience after a shooting, Jesse of Brand New being accused of sexual assault. Then some new music, like Impureza and Bloodshot Dawn. Then we talk about what we’ve been listening to lately, and have an extended discussion about Eden’s recent editorial on the aesthetics of abrasive vocals in metal. Then cool people time on The Evil Within 2, Wolfenstein 2 (spoilers!) and Endless Space 2. Enjoy!
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.
Following a disappointing run that had lasted nearly a decade, Marilyn Manson made a fairly compelling (if not completely convincing) comeback with 2015’s The Pale Emperor. This not-quite-return-to-form also seemed to coincided with a stabilisation and cleaning up of the troubled shock rocker’s personal life, and it caused a stir among those who had all but written off the former “antichrist superstar,” leaving many wondering whether that album would prove to be a one-off glimpse of his former greatness or if he was capable of pulling-off a similar feat in the future. Although hopes remained high, alarm bells began to ring when it was announced that the follow-up to that record would be titled “Say10” and was slated for release on Valentine’s Day. Thankfully, that potentially embarrassing set of circumstances never came to fruition. The release was pulled with little fanfare or explanation—eventually emerging eight months later under the considerably less sophomoric title Heaven Upside Down, on the nondescript date of October 6 (although the first single being released on September 11 seems hardly coincidental). It eventually emerged that Manson was unhappy with the release in it’s earlier form and three extra tracks—it’s beginning, central and ending numbers—were added in the interim before its eventual release. The one-time “god of fuck” appears to have made the right call because, while Heaven Upside Down remains a far cry from the output of his glory period, it also provides further evidence that there’s still more than a little bit of Satanic gas left in his proverbial tank. Unfortunately, it also proves to be a release underpinned by a number of regrettable circumstances and uncomfortable revelations.
So, we mentioned the Sacred Son artwork controversy before. The chill artwork for the very real black metal album drew some ire, so we got the man behind the curtain to join us and tell it all. And it was a good time! We talk about the artwork (of course), but also the project itself, Dane’s views on the black metal scene and more. Eden and I then discuss new material from Augury, First Fragment, Cavalera Conspiracy (check out my retrospective), Leander Kills and The Kindred. We also discuss Metalsucks’s legal assessment of the Decapitated case, Marilyn Manson’s onstage accident, and Between the Buried and Me reacquiring the rights to their older material. Then we have a cool people section about some stuff, including the Netflix documentary Long Shot, Total War: Warhammer II, Annihilation (the movie), Blade Runner 2049 and the upcoming Dune movie.
It’s been a while, but we’re back, so welcome to another edition of Connecting the Dots, and today we will be focusing on mathcore masterminds The Dillinger Escape Plan! Whilst they’re soon going to be shutting up shop (R.I.P), we can remain eternally grateful to the incredible records they’ve released during their two-decade career, their vicious live performances, and the incredible other musical projects they leave in their wake. Without further ado, let’s dive into the amazing projects these musicians have been a part of.
We’ve already vilified ourselves for missing Street Sects’s 2016 monster End Position, and if you haven’t heard it either, feel free to go spin the record now and share in our shame. The duo of multi-instrumentalist Shaun Ringsmuth and vocalist Leo Ashline came through with an exceptional dose of hyper-aggressive synth punk on End Position, making a bold statement in a genre defined by intensifying punk and its offshoots’ many disparate mannerisms. Not only was the album a debut that far exceeded the benchmark for a successful freshman full-length, it received well-deserved praise from the fickle beast that is the indie blogosphere. Perhaps the album’s success can be attributed to endorsement of well-respected “dark music” label The Flenser, or it could be due to the growing acceptance of heavy music as part of “normal” music consumption. However, there’s one undisputed factor for End Positions’s success, being the album’s undeniably impressive blend of industrial music and hardcore punk in a way that synth punk hasn’t seen done this well before. Seriously, if you haven’t heard this record, stop reading and go listen to it now; I won’t be offended, I promise.
When I started The Devil’s Roots, it was with the intention of exploring the myriad of Satanic belief systems metal encompasses in order to distinguish their differences and find out if there is anything that unifies them. Since then, I’ve discovered that even though each school does contain a specific set of individual ideas, most do share the common theme of valuing free thinking. Like the multiple branches of Satanism itself, for the most part the Dark Lord is a metaphor for autonomy and the rejection of religious establishment having any impact or influence on our lives. A few extreme right-wing interpretations aside, I think the Devil’s influence in metal has been a positive one; His name is used to inspire individuality and symbolic poetry which has made for some pretty stellar music. And the fact that artists have used it to rifle a few feathers has only added to metal’s irresistible rebellious allure.
In America during the 1960s, times they were o’ changing. Rock n’ roll was huge, Beatlemania was runnin’ wild, the Civil Rights Movement was changing the world, hippies were doing drugs and having sex all over the place, and other countercultures that opposed televangelism and conservatism in favour of individualism and free thinking were suddenly more popular than ever. Times like these also afforded men like the Church of Satan’s founder Anton LaVey to become mainstream celebrities, both feared and adorned, and if there’s one man that was essential in the emergence of Satanic philosophy becoming known in the public consciousness, it’s Lavey.