Veil of Maya are a band that are adored by metalheads for their off-kilter breakdowns, technical riffs and overall brutality. So, what happens when you throw clean vocals into that mix? Well, it would seem that many fans turned away from the band because of the addition, but it also seems like it has caused more people to talk about Veil of Maya than ever before. On the Raleigh, NC date of their Matriarch Tour, I sat down with guitarist Marc Okubo and drummer Sam Applebaum to get their thoughts on fan reactions to their new music, bringing old songs back into their setlist and how it feels to be lumped in with the djent crowd.
Tag Archive Meshuggah
The Jersey boys in Symphony X have been well at it for over twenty years now, releasing some of the most challenging and musically-proficient material in the progressive metal scene along the way. There’s no denying that records like The Divine Wings of Tragedy and V: The New Mythology Suite have laid the groundwork for shredders worldwide, and have probably even gone on to influence plenty of bands in the power metal scene as well. Now on the cusp of releasing their ninth LP, Underworld, the band are working on synthesizing their entire discography while still trying to push their sound to previously unexplored heights. That being said, it’s a definite success and shows the band at their most inspired and consistent in quite some time. I had a chance to speak with guitarist and founding member Michael Romeo a few days ago about taking their time between releases, their upcoming summer tour, balancing technicality and songwriting, and much more.
It’s been a while since we’ve posted about Dodecahedron on the site, but we promise it’s not our fault. The band released their massive self-titled debut back in 2012, and since then have been relatively scarce. They’ve done touring here and there, but their debut is their only release, which makes it hard to really delve into the band’s history. However, some of the greatest bands in history have had long stretches between their debut and their followup record (Tool, Meshuggah, Karnivool, to name a few), and went on to release massively successful albums. It seems Dodecahedron took note, because that’s exactly what they’re planning on doing now!
It’s been more than 15 years since sludge metal gods Neurosis toured as extensively as they are currently preparing to do. Wait, I think I missed something in that sentence. Holy shit, Neurosis is touring the US. Words honestly fail to grasp how monumental this is, both in light of how long it’s been since a tour of this capacity for the band, but also when taking into account what’s been going on with Scott Kelly and his wife.
For some bands, it’s hard to pinpoint an exact musical group that they owe their sound to. Many artists mix and match sounds from various genres and styles into a soup that can befuddle those who try to figure out their influences. With others, however, it’s immediately obvious: less than a minute into Sol Agnates, the new album from Chilean progressive death metal band All Tomorrows, it’s clear that they wear their biggest influences, Gojira and Meshuggah, proudly on their sleeve. Check the album out after the jump to see what I mean.
Editor’s Note: This is a review for only the audio portion of TesseracT’s Odyssey/Scala.
Few bands in the more modern, groove-oriented scenes of metal have garnered the same level of respect and hype with only two albums quite like the UK’s TesseracT. 2011’s One will probably viewed as one of the cornerstones of djent in the next decade, and 2013’s Altered State succeeded in distancing the band even further from most of their heavier counterparts and peers. The band had ditched screaming and growling altogether and instead let then-new vocalist Ashe O’Hara croon along with the band’s typical ambient Meshuggah-lite style. Now that the band has reunited with original singer Dan Tompkins and toured the world over in support of their last two records, TesseracT has decided to commemorate the end of this period in the band’s history with both a live DVD and CD. Odyssey, being the audio portion of the package, shows a band essentially putting on a clinic on staggering tightness and delivering over a solid hour of generally their best material, though not without a few hiccups.
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.
As is typical of these updates, there are a number of inclusions of new releases that have received the HBIH stamp of approval via positive reviews. And So I Watch You From Afar‘s Heirs, Eidola‘s Degeneraterra, Faith No More‘s Sol Invictus, Arcturus‘ Arcturian, Leprous‘ The Congregation and Veil of Maya‘s Matriarch are all albums considered to be some of the strongest releases from 2015 thus far. Additionally, editors Nick and Eden have been spinning the forthcoming Jaga Jazzist album Starfire, and have been in sonic euphoria because of over the course of this past week. Expect a review in the next few weeks from Nick explaining the genius of both JJ and Starfire. Finally, there are a couple inclusions of the classic Refused album The Shape of Punk to Come, which should serve as a reminder that the Swedish post-hardcore giants are preparing to release Freedom, their first album in almost two decades. Read about the album’s details and preview the lead single “Elektra” here.
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!
Head past the jump to see which records have been receiving regular rotation on our headphones, stereos and turntables:
If you’re in the northern hemisphere like most of you who read this site, then you’re no doubt enjoying the benefits of natural seasonal changes as the nightmare that was winter 2015 has given way to a beautiful spring. And if you’re in the southern hemisphere — particularly if you’re in Australia, as many of our readers are — you’re almost certainly feeling the relief of more tolerable temperatures as your summer has given way to fall and is quickly approaching winter. Either way, all over the world we’re entering the magical time of year known as Festival Season. Many of the biggest and best bands in the world (and leagues of smaller ones as well) are preparing to set out for various tours and huge outdoor festivals that will attract thousands upon thousands of individuals. The global festival circuit has become so huge and varied though that it can be nearly impossible to know where even to start if you’re looking to travel to one.
We’re here to help! Obviously there are far too many metal festivals around the world for us to provide anywhere near a comprehensive list, but we asked our staff to highlight a few festivals on 3 continents — North America, Europe, and Australia (apologies to the rest of the world as we only have so many staff members from different places). Check them all out below!
You likely haven’t heard of France’s Livhzuena, but we’re here to tell you that you should probably perk your ears up at this post and give them a bit of a listen. Following in the massive footsteps of country mates Gojira, the band play their own special mix of “neckbreaker music,” influenced by the aforementioned Gojira, Meshuggah, and Opeth alongside several other subtle influences. A delectable concoction of groove, thrash, death, and melody, perfectly seasoned to taste.
The fearsome French five-piece are gearing up to release their first LP, Dark Mirror Neurons, on May 22nd, 2015 to follow their 2013 two-track self-titled EP that garnered a great deal of attention from press and a growing number of clamoring fans. The band began work on the upcoming record back in 2014 at Slab Sound Studios, but with all the work finally finished, the release via Klonsphere/Season of Mist is upon us in just a few short weeks.
Without further ado, we present to you the opening track of Dark Mirror Neurons, “Mars,” playing exclusively here at Heavy Blog is Heavy.
We’ve written a lot about Intronaut over the past couple weeks, and why wouldn’t we? They’re one of the best progressive metal bands on the scene today, and we are chomping at the bit to hear their new album. They’ve been hard at work writing new tunes which they’re currently laying down to tape in the studio , and lucky for us, they played one of those new songs on Monday night at the House of Blues in Anaheim opening for Meshuggah. Surprisingly good fan-filmed footage of the song can be viewed after the jump, and hold onto your pants, because it rules.