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.netthrough 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.
In just one more week, Revocation are about to drop an absolute bomb on the metal world in the form of the fantastic Great Is Our Sin. Coming off of their excellent 2014 album Deathless, this new record is an all-out assault on eardrums the the world over, sporting some of the band’s meanest and most mosh-friendly tunes to date. Take this and add a heap of atonal/experimental death metal flourishes, loads of d-beats and more solos than you’ll know what to deal with and then cap things off with a Slayer cover. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, that’s exactly what Great Is Our Sin is, and it’s an immediately essential piece of modern metal. I got a chance to speak with Revocation’s frontman and overall guitar wizard Dave Davidson this past Monday about the album’s songwriting process, working with Marty Friedman, upcoming tour plans and a lot more.
Despite the many contrarians and detractors that initially wrote them off for inspiring the djent movement, Periphery have become an institution in progressive metal as they approach the release of their fifth full-length album Periphery III: Select Difficulty. Each album so far has rocked rotation in their respective years of release, with last year’s double album Juggernaut taking up two spots on our year-end list of favorites. Admittedly though, despite the fandom around these parts, Heavy Blog staff approached Select Difficulty with a bit of apprehension; after dropping two full-lengths, are we ready for new material from Periphery, or would they be overstaying their welcome? Believe it or not, between the band’s six songwriters, there’s plenty of good ideas knocking around a year later. In fact, Select Difficulty may be the group’s best collection of songs since their self-titled debut.
I actually enjoyed the “don’t really bother to put stuff in the description” format as it makes my life easier, but hey, I guess I can make an effort once a week. Just kidding, we have new music or related stuff from: Oddland, Orphaned Land, Mephistopheles, Jimmy Pitts and Equipoise, Imperium Dekadenz, Drudkh, Inquisition, Periphery, Gojira, Hadal Maw, Iron Maiden, Exotype, Ayreon. We talk about the split between Obscura and Tom Geldschlager getting heated (check out his new song by the way!), this interesting article on language in metal, Insomnium cancelling their show in Turkey, and the recent trend of sexual assaults at festivals. Then we do the long-awaited Balls Deep on In Flames, hence the episode title (it refers to the band, not us)!
So, we’re back, unsurprisingly. This week we cover a lot of news, and go deep on politics! Specifically, Brexit and how it affects the music industry, the whole hubbub about complaining about SJWs in metal (not gonna link that article) and the counter-hubbub, David Maxim Micic’s Stock Challenge where he made an EP with just free stock plugins, Steven Wilson’s cover of Prince getting removed from streaming services, this relatively older article about Spotify’s research on metal fans being more loyal listeners, Phil Bozeman of Whitechapel complaining about elitism on their new video, more info about the Agalloch breakup, Cavalera Conspiracy performing Sepultura’s Roots in its entirety live on its 20th anniversary, Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschlager and his copyright troubles with Obscura, Einar from Leprous joining Haken onstage, Wardruna/Enslaved/Skuggsja’s Norse By New York event, and Incendia management’s music PR event. We also talk about new music from Fountainhead, Periphery, Soilwork, Thank You Scientist, The Dear Hunter, Ringworm and Myrkur. Finally, we talk about hype culture and how it poisons everything. Enjoy!
We’re back to our normal setup! And just like many artists who make a comeback past their time, we’re hella edgy this week. Since we skipped a week, this week is all news and discussion surrounding recent events! Like what, you ask? Well, Meshuggah’s 25 year package, Sepultura working on their new album, Manowar’s calling it quits, some random Christian band going full /r/atheism, Bandcamp’s dig at Apple Music, Justin of Sikth being replaced by Joe of Aliases, Lee leaving After the Burial, Dragonforce releasing a “best of” album, Pain of Salvation remastering Remedy Lane. New music or teases thereof by: Periphery, Revocation, Whispered, Metallica, Last Chance To Reason, Whispered, Thank You Scientist, Starofash, Stam1na and Machine Head. The passing of Nick Menza of Megadeth. The end of Temples Festival. Finally, discussing this trendy “best of 2016 so far” list, some Apple Music playlist that tries way too hard, and Gojira’s upcoming album Magma.
Make sure you don’t cut yourself with the edge on this episode!
Yay, I get to talk about one of my favorite bands with this week’s BALLS DEEP. It’s Dark Tranquillity, with two Ls! We got a bunch of news this week, including new material and announcements from Periphery (new album teaser), Devin Townsend Project (terrible new album artwork), Rings of Saturn (signed to Nuclear Blast), The Official Zakk Wylde “Emjoi” Set (why), Rage Against The Machine (more like Prophets of Rage), Insomnium (cool concept album), Between the Buried and Me (they’re mature now), Black Crown Initiate (grab Wes Hauch), Gojira (cool new song), WRVTH (live studio video), NAILS (should have spelled it NVILS to be cool (then it looks kind of like ANVILS (what happens when a band with a V in their name try to do the V-ification, like ANVILS–>VNVILS, that looks pretty weird (though it has that self-aware stupid quality to it that some bands seem to love (yes I’m intentionally dragging out these parantheses (wake me up inside)))))). We also discuss the passing of Adrian Guerra of Bell Witch, and briefly gibe our thoughts on the new Hatebreed which we both ended up listening to. Then the balls deep! Also, we talk about some cool stuff in the cool people section.
Akron natives and Heavy Comp Is Heavy alums A Sense Of Purpose proudly tout themselves as “False Metal” on their Facebook page. This alone is just about all you need to know to determine if you’re going to appreciate A Sense of Purpose or not, which is a blessing more than a curse; the band are lighthearted and self-aware of their place among the metal spectrum, aligning themselves among the contemporary metalcore scene where Periphery, August Burns Red, and Erra reign supreme.
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…
Genres can really only be so much on their own: even with metal, where there’s microgenres within subgenres within larger subgenres within genres, there’s still only so much that can be achieved by sticking within one certain area and refusing to branch out. It’s why so many bands within metal opt to either bring multiple genres together into a much more diverse combination, a la Agalloch’s combination of dark folk, doom, and post-black metal, or to evolve and switch from one genre to another, such as The Contortionist’s transformation from deathcore to progressive metal. Never ones to stifle their own creativity, metal musicians constantly are expanding and adding new elements into their toolkit, either by way of growing said kit or by switching out some of the older appliances within.