For a while late last year and earlier this year, I was involved in a project that a group of friends and I came up with called The Monolith. In its initial stages, the basic idea was this: three blogs — The Number Of The Blog, No Clean Singing, and Heavy Blog Is Heavy — would come together to create a hub dedicated to the best of music and film centered around this community of underground music fans. There was a board of five editors when I left, but now there remains the two forces which are now the heart and soul of The Monolith, my good friends Quigs Quigley (of the now defunct The Number of the Blog) and former Heavy Blog editor Chris ‘Disinformasiya’ Grenville.
In its early phase, I dropped off the project for several reasons. I’ve recently taken up an internship for my major, which cut back tremendously on my day job as well as my time working on this very website. I needed the ad revenue that this site gets to stay afloat, and I was right. Without my work on this site I probably would have had many uncomfortably hungry days. Most importantly though, Heavy Blog is my ‘baby’ of sorts, and I just wasn’t ready to give it up yet. I like the way things are ran here, and the thought of losing control frankly scared me. I was also in a bad state of mind at the time and was being a bit of a pessimist, but that’s neither here nor there.
However, in the past few months that Quigs and Chris have been developing The Monolith, it has grown with great promise and ambition, and I am beyond excited that they are finally unveiling this new site that I had once thought would never see the light of day, and as it stands right now, totally exceeds expectations. Features that were thrown around in passing that I thought wouldn’t work are now apparently blossoming behind the scenes, and I couldn’t be happier to be wrong.
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No doubt one of the greatest albums we’ve had the fortune of hearing this year, Spawn of Possession‘s Incurso really is at the peak of modern death metal and tech death. As much as I hate to give over the top praise to things, Spawn of Possession certainly deserves all the acclaim they’ve been getting. Resident tech death expert Noyan made the claim that it was the greatest tech death album he’s ever heard.
Relapse Records have been kind enough to hook us up with two copies of Incurso to give away, and if you haven’t picked the album up yet in some form, here’s your chance to own a copy. We’ve been doing a lot of random drawings to win that require no work on your part, and while that’s fine, we want to add a little competitive edge this time around. As you can see above, Incurso features some brilliant artwork from the prolific death metal artist Par Olofsson. We wanted to see what you could do to the cover!
We want you to recreate, reimagine, or reinterpret the artwork for Incurso in any medium you wish. Your entry doesn’t have to be good, just creative or amusing. Bonus points if you create something with physical materials. You can enter with MS Paint or photoshop, but why not stretch your creativity? Recreate the scene with popsicle sticks, macaroni, glitter, a photo — anything, as long as you can tell what it’s supposed to be! Here’s an example of how far you could take this thing:
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Ah, the south of England — where the old and the rich, much like the salmon of Capistrano, flock to breed and die. Needless to say, it’s not the most fertile ground for metal but the few bands that seem to get out of here tend to make a pretty impressive racket, you only need to listen to the creaking b-movie fuzz of Electric Wizard or the subterranean crawl of Moss to hear that. And whilst the slow paced life style may lend itself to the sparser tempos, every now and then a group comes along and kicks up a fuss in a particularly high gear.
Take Portsmouth’s Bloodshot Dawn, for example. A blinding whirlwind of death and thrash that recalls the stuttering brutality of Decapitated as much as it does the dizzying guitar acrobatics of Arsis and that’s just the surface of it all, dig a little deeper and you’ll find hints of Revocation, Hate Eternal and even latter day Death to contend with. The band released their debut earlier in the year but it fell into to my hands, complete with it’s ominous Par Oloffson artwork, when it was being given away for free to subscribers of Terrorizer magazine — an interesting way of getting your music out there and definitely something that other bands should look into. As far as debut’s go, Bloodshot Dawn is a cohesive and punctuated effort with some ridiculously accomplished solo’s and lead guitar lines, something that could easily contend with any more well-known and modern death metal release in terms of polish and sheen. For instance, check out ‘Godless‘ — that intro may veer towards deathcore for those of you who love a kneejerk reactions but by the time the blasts kick in, you’re in flavour country.
You can also head over to the Bloodshot Dawn bandcamp page to listen to the self-titled and maybe even pick yourself up a copy for the low price of five English pounds, which is quite a lot of bang for your buck considering that it’s basically 11 tracks of some of the best unsigned metal this side of Mutant. So whilst the south may be no good for much more than fornicatin’ and deterioratin’, Bloodshot Dawn set out to make it a hell of a lot more bearable!
I’m not the biggest fan of Wretched on Heavy Blog’s staff, but I have to appreciate how insanely awesome Wretched are for actually including on-screen tablature in the playthrough of their new track ‘Repeat… The End Is Near.‘ Finally, a guitar playthrough that can actually be useful for me — well, if I was skillful enough to play Wretched songs, anyway. For you Wretched fans with enough skill, open up the video on full-screen 1080p and get crackin’.
Wretched’s new album Son of Perdition really snuck up on is, it seems! None of us knew they had a new album on the horizon until earlier this week. Sometimes we drop the ball. It’s due out March 27th on Victory Records. Be sure to take a gander at the excellent album art for Son of Perdition by prolific artist Par Olofsson after the jump!
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Spawn of Possession may be one of the most overlooked and underrated tech death bands out now—at least from where I’m sitting, where every time I’ve listened to them I had a great experience, but I’ve ultimately been very lazy about these Swedes. I always said that the best time to get into a band you’ve been lazy about is by riding the hype wave surrounding a new release, and while I’m catching up on 2006′s Noctambulant, I’m already excited about their upcoming album Incurso.
Incurso will be Spawn of Possession’s Relapse Records debut, so if there’s anything that will break them out in the metal scene (if they weren’t already), then this is it. The album artwork (above) was done by the much sought-after Par Olofsson, whose work you’ve seen with the likes of The Faceless, Abysmal Dawn, Immolation, and just about every other gorgeous death metal cover you’ve seen in the last five years or so.
Here’s the tracklist:
2. Where Angels Go Demons Follow
3. Bodiless Sleeper
4. The Evangelist
5. Servitude of Souls
6. Deus Avertat
7. Spiritual Deception
8. No Light Spared
Incurso is due out March 13th in North America on Relapse Records. Get excited, because unless Necrophagist pulls a miracle and releases their much anticipated new album, this has potential to be the best tech death album all year.
So you can now add Awaken To The Suffering to the ever growing list of great artwork produced by Par Olofsson, a list which now includes work for The Faceless, Revocation, Brain Drill, Abysmal Dawn and other upcoming monolithic projects (*cough*).
Best of all, I think this proves that the ever-unpredictable Victory Records’ signing of Pathology wasn’t just a one-off occurrence and instead was a real foray into the world of slamming death metal, which is hardly a cashcow in any sense of the word. In fact, I would be very interested in seeing the overall sales figures for Legacy Of The Ancients just so I can complain when Design The Shiteline outsell it.
Either way, the business talk means nothing when you can slam like this and we can all look forward to some more mid-tempo madness on 13th September.