Into the Pit – Riffs vs. Melodies: A Conversation

This month, I thought I’d do something a little different. Eight months ago, I met the most wonderful woman. We’ll call her Hilldawg. She’s the best thing ever in so many ways. One of those myriad ways is not only does she support my work with Heavy Blog, but she’s also a metalhead herself. We’ve had great times just introducing each other to music we love. Some of it is slammin’ (like when she told me Roots Bloody Roots is her favorite record and I remembered Sepultura was a band), some of it is less so (I’ll never get her into Municipal Waste). But we appreciate each other’s particular tastes.

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Naberus – Hollow

It’s important for bands to keep up momentum, both on a smaller and larger scale. When Naberus dropped their impressive debut record, Reveries, in 2013 they managed to create a respectable amount of buzz within their local Melbourne and Australian scenes. Following that, however, the band’s trajectory seemingly stalled, and…

Bleeding Through – Love Will Kill All

For those of you who’ve hung around the metalcore scene since the early 2000s, you have my respect. You’ve been through some real shit. Whether it’s the cringey downward spirals of the scene’s power players into mediocre, wannabe radio darlings or the lackluster output of quality records this side of the decade, things just ain’t the way they used to be. For everyone who jumped ship, word of a new Bleeding Through record may or may not be enough to pique your interest. We’ve seen Killswitch Engage, Underoath, Atreyu and a few other less-notable acts return with relatively disappointing efforts, so you wouldn’t be amiss to be little apprehensive about busting out the dingy sweatbands and studded belts, but if Love Will Kill All has any say in it, you might find yourself sitting on a little Facebook Marketplace goldmine.

Hoth – Astral Necromancy

Concept albums are such a hard thing to follow up. An artist spends so much time developing a universe and playing on themes that it’s often hard to come back from especially if the artist is not known for that kind of songwriting or storytelling. Luckily, that isn’t a problem…

8-Track: Amorphis

Amorphis has had an eclectic career, to say the least. The Finish melodeath pioneers have been responsible for some of the most memorable and the most forgettable melodic death metal the genre has to offer. While modern times may have seen them become overshadowed by their countrymen in Insomnium and Children of Bodom, yet few have traversed a stylistic spectrum as wide as Amorphis. The near three-decades since their inception has seen the band go through significant line-up changes, all while incorporating sizable aspects of folk, progressive, doom and even power metal into their ever-evolving sound. Now with thirteen studio records under their belt, finding an entry point into their oft-overlooked yet not inconsiderable career can be a daunting task. So, in celebration of the release of their new record Queen of Time, here’s a look at 8 of the most definitive and rewarding moments of their career.

The Crown – Cobra Speed Venom

Swedish death metal veterans The Crown are back with their 10th full length album, Cobra Speed Venom, almost thirty years since their formation in 1990. Despite their longevity, the band seem to have remained largely unknown relative to their contemporaries such as In Flames, At the Gates, Soilwork and more.…

Death’s Door 2017 // Death Metal’s Year in Review

Welcome to the final installment of Death’s Door in the Year of Our Nefarious Overlord 2017! Wipe your feet on the mat, remove that stupid holiday-induced smile from your face, and prepare yourself for ultimate year-end audio brutalization. Because, quite frankly, 2017 was one of the best years for death metal in decades. A bold statement indeed, and thankfully one with plenty of data in the form of amazing records to back it up. The overwhelming number of releases in this dirtiest of metal subgenres, coupled with the breadth of quality releases in each of the branches of the death metal tree, all accumulate to create one of the most impressive lists of death metal albums in a given year since the early 1990s. 2017 presented us with exceptional records at such an alarming clip that it was often a full-time task to keep track of them. Death metal this year was in equal measure mind-numbingly technical, socially forward-thinking, compositionally adventurous, and reverent of the past, generating albums that displayed with full clarity all that makes this music the metal behemoth that it is. What a time to be alive. In our final segment of Death’s Door for the year, we will be highlighting the trends and movements within death metal that we found to be the most significant, as well as our own personal top 15 death metal records on the year. Prepare yourself. Madness awaits.

Love Letter – Himsa

It’s hard to believe that there was a time before the steady stream of blasé lyric videos, but at the turn of the millennium, music video purveyor MTV had to “bring back” the music video. The artform was essentially replaced by trashy reality television and cartoons by the late 90s, but eventually came MTV2 – a quality sequel (well, for a few years) nobody really deserved. So I guess it only made sense that they also resurrected their metalhead favorite from the 80s and 90s soon thereafter – Headbangers Ball. After all, this era had a ton to offer. The NWOAHM movement was all the rage, metalcore was hitting its stride, and melodeath was pretty much the coolest shit ever. Given that the combo of Kazaa and my dial-up setup wasn’t doing me any good – true story: I waited days (plural) to download Meshuggah’s Chaosphere only to find out that some jerk just relabeled of Neurotica tracks (some truly evil bastards out there), this couldn’t have been better timing for a dude who had recently gotten his license and began to fall in love with hanging out at the record store – the internet, for me, sucked for digging up new tunes.