Tag Archive Periphery

Editorial: What’s In A Name?

heavy editorial is heavy

Metal does not exist in a vacuum. Unlike what many people would like to believe, there is not much which is inherently radical about metal. Sure, it prefers an aesthetic, both in music and visual representations, which was once outside the norm but a lot has changed since the 80’s-90’s. While the shock value of those non-musical aesthetic choices was greater in those times, it’s not as if metal invented or revolutionized those artistic styles in anyway: gore and goth, dark industrial and body horror were genres long before metal adopted them for its self expression. And while it’s true that metal is and was a unique and distinct musical classification, a hegemony within it has been around for years. The image of a style which etches rebellion on its flag, constantly pushing the aural limits and redefining what is considered music, is relevant for a tiny, tiny fraction of the bands within it. Most bands, most music in general, conforms to accepted boundaries and takes little risks; metal is no different.

Let’s get something out there: that’s perfectly fine. This is not intended as a criticism but as a preface to our main question for this editorial: if metal is mostly conservative, in an amount that is more or less similar to other musical genres, where does the fascination with authenticity stem from? Non-metal music and styles have their share of discourse and interest in being authentic as well (just think of the 90’s rap feuds) but no where does this obsession reach the heights that it does in metal. The distinctions between “true” and “poser”, “kvlt” or “hardcore”, “true death metal” and the likes can be found everywhere. Being non-authentic is the insult one can levy against another member of the metal community. But why? If we say that there isn’t any inherent radicalism, that metal is no more revolutionary than any other genre, how then can we explain this phenomena? We will attempt to answer this question by looking at a recent case that is a bit more subtle than a YouTube comment calling Periphery “poseurs”[sic].

 

Continue Reading…


25 Albums of 2015 (So Far) That Are Worth Your Time

25-albums-2015

Last year we ran a 5-part series listing 25 of our favorite albums from the first half of 2014 with the premise that 2014 was simply such an amazing year musically that we just had to talk about some of our favorites at the year’s mid-point and whittle down all the great releases to an impossible list of 25.

What fools were we.

2015, across the board, is truly turning out to be a banner year for music as a whole, but in particular the kind of music we cover here at Heavy Blog. Between old favorites putting out expected blockbuster releases, smaller bands making huge leaps to stake a claim for our attention, and new or obscure bands putting out releases out of left field that have completely caught us off-guard in the best way, it’s been nearly impossible to keep up with the output of superb music that 2015 has offered us thus far. We are now at the end of the sixth month of the year, and thus have decided to give this another try, albeit in a slightly different format.

Continue Reading…


What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 6/13/15

HBIH Listening To - 600x360

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.

Considering the multiple inclusions of Miles Davis’ masterpiece Kind of Blue and an inclusion from Orentte Coleman (whose passing we are deeply saddened),  it was a very fitting week to publish the inaugural installment of our Jazz Club feature, where members of our staff will dissect a new jazz album that we find noteworthy and excellent. Our first post discussed The Epic, the spectacular band leader debut of saxophonist Kamasi Washington; read our piece here. This week was also a popular one for Leprous‘s newest album The Congregation, which was included by half off the staff members who participated in this playlist update. The Congregation will without doubt be one of Heavy Blog’s favorite albums of the year, further evidence for which may be read in our review of the album here. Additionally, there are inclusions from a handful of other recent albums which we reviewed positively, including Starfire by Jaga Jazzist (here), The Moon Lit Our Path by Tempel (here) and Settler by Vattnet Viskar (here). We may definitely exhausted this sentiment by this point in the year, but 2015 has truly been an exceptional year in music, and we are still looking forward to an abundance of incoming releases.

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:

Continue Reading…


Periphery’s Jake Bowen Releases Debut Electronica Album, Isometric

Jake Bowen

The six members of Periphery are a friggin’ factory of music; they always seem to be churning something new out every time you think they’re out of ideas. Whether it’s Mark Holcomb’s more metal side project Haunted Shores, Spencer Sotelo’s stint in From First To Last or Misha’s hundreds of online demos, there’s always something to keep an eye out for. Well now we’ve got ourselves a whole new album of entirely electronic music from axeman Jake Bowen, entitled Isometric. The album just dropped yesterday and features ten songs of laid back, ambient bleeps and bloops. Check it out below!

Continue Reading…


What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 5/30/15

HBIH Listening To - 600x360

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 few inclusions of new releases that have recently received the HBIH stamp of approval via positive reviews. Jaga Jazzist‘s Starfire (review here), Maruta‘s Remain Dystopian (review here) and Secrets of the Sky‘s Pathway (review here) all received positive marks from our staff, particularly the former. It is also fitting that there are a couple of Mastodon inclusions, as they were the subject of our recent ‘For Fans Of” post which may be read here. Additionally, considering the multiple instances of Cattle Decapitation‘s excellent last album Monolith of Inhumanity, it is safe to assume that our staff is rather excited for their upcoming album The Anthropocene Extinction; lead single “Manufactured Extinct” may be streamed here. Finally, while not necessarily a “metal” release, Prurient‘s new noise masterpiece is included by a couple members of our staff, yours included. Stream the album here and be sure to check out the project’s upcoming dates with Godflesh 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:

Continue Reading…


Summer Slaughter 2015 – The Most Divisive & Predictable Tour of the Year

Summer Slaughter 2015

Summer Slaughter Tour has succeeded at both enlisting some of the biggest names in death metal and its off-shoot genres as well as conjure a flurry of quarreling comments about whether the lineup adheres to what its “Most Extreme Tour of the Year” tagline implies. Yet, what is often undiscussed is how generally predictable Summer Slaughter has become, both in its lineups and the arguments surrounding them. Look for a breakdown of this year’s Summer Slaughter lineup and a commentary on the tour as a whole after the jump:

Continue Reading…


PHOTOS: In Flames, Periphery—May 6th, 2015 @ The Emporium, Patchogue, NY

In-Flames-Periphery-All-That-Remains-Tour

On May 6, 2015, Periphery, All That Remains [not pictured], and In Flames rolled through Long Island on their current US tour. By now, you’re probably used to Periphery headlining/being direct support/third to last on the bill, so having them open a tour is a bit odd, almost like a flashback to 2008 or so when they first started touring and hadn’t become the djent juggernauts they are today. But no matter where on the bill they’re placed, their performance is nothing short of amazing.

Next up was All That Remains, probably the largest metal act out of Springfield, MA. They’ve got some fanbase, because after their set, there was nothing but sweat and spilled beer, and everyone just went outside to get some air.

Finally, In Flames, the quintessential melodic death metal band from Sweden took the stage. In Flames are probably one of the happiest live bands on Earth, smiling at every possible moment the camera was pointed at them. Excellent performers to boot and crowd interactions next to none, In Flames are, to this day, a force to be reckoned with. Grab the photos of Periphery and In Flames below!

Continue Reading…


Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s Guide To The 2015 Festival Season!

fest guide

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!

Continue Reading…


Veil Of Maya – Matriarch

vom-matriarch-review

We are in an era of radical change in areas that range from the social, the political and the area most relevant to this particular piece of writing, the musical. We are seeing well-established bands starting to make music that is well outside of their previous comfort zone as well as their fan’s comfort zones. However, there are those who, instead of throwing everything out of the window and starting from the bottom, are simply interested in adding new layers and expanding upon established ideas or improving in areas that were lacking in one way or another.

For these bands, it’s about adding new shades to accent the older colors. The change does not always have to be radical to be appreciated, but for some bands, it seems that even the smallest of alterations in sound is earth-shattering for listeners in both negative and positive ways. One such band is Veil of Maya, who decided that adding clean vocals to their notoriously heavy sound was something that had to happen for the band to move forward. In this moving forward, they have produced their fifth album, Matriarch. Did their decision help or hinder the progress they have attained four records into their career? The answer to this question lies beyond a simple “yes” or “no.”

Continue Reading…


What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 5/3/15

HBIH Listening To - 600x360

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.

Numerous inclusions have received the Heavy Blog stamp of approval in one form or another. The Raven Autarchy‘s The Obscene DeliveranceKatatonia’s Sanctitude and The Crinn‘s Shadowbreather all received glowing reviews, and our pseudo-review of the excellent new collaboration between Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld – Never were the way she was – saw editor Nick Cusworth gushing over his current album of the year. This coming week, expect reviews for And So I Watch From Afar‘s Heirs and Leprous‘ The Congregation, both of which appear in this update and are current Heavy Blog favorites for 2015.  In the meantime, stream Heirs here and read our interview with Leprous frontman Einar Solberg 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:

Continue Reading…