Heavy Rewind – The Sky Moves Sideways

It’s honestly a wonder that I haven’t written about this album sooner. It contains everything I love, both within its music and along its meta-narrative. The Sky Moves Sideways was released three time: once in Europe, once in America and once as a remaster. Each album contains different versions of a proto-drone track, versions which are unique to it and were produced using an original 40 minute recording of a live band. It contains Gavin Harrison with Porcupine Tree working on early material (on the re-master), one of my all time favorite musicians. And, most of all, it’s the turning point between Porcupine Tree as just Steven Wilson and their conception as a band. Thus, it contains the psychedelia of his earlier works while still being recognizable as an album. It has a strange accessibility to it alongside some truly weird and disconcerting elements.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 7/15/16

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.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.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 5/6/16

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.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.

Gorguts – Pleiades’ Dust

Almost no other death metal band in today’s landscape has carved out such an important and impenetrable sound as Gorguts, the Canadian masterminds that have been warping brains and defying musical conventions for over two decades. You could easily lump them in with greats like Death and Morbid Angel for their sheer level of innovation within the genre, mostly due to 1998’s apocalyptic and terrifyingly avant-garde album Obscura. Oh, and it’s also worth mentioning that the band rose from the ashes a few years back after over a decade of silence and dropped Colored Sands, arguably the finest metal comeback album in history. It’s still an almost-unrivaled masterpiece of modern metal, borrowing from the lush atmospherics of bands like Porcupine Tree and Opeth while seamlessly synthesizing it with their trademark wall of dissonant aggression and even a full-on string quartet piece. The band sounded unquestionably inspired, completely focused and ended up becoming one of the more influential figures in the style as of late. Thankfully, Gorguts fans won’t have to wait for over another decade for the next batch of compositions from Luc Lemay & Co., and Pleiades’ Dust completely fucking delivers.

Obsidian Kingdom – A Year With No Summer

There’s an ingrained balance that’s inherent in certain type of heavy music; grunge was one of the first genres to tap into it but it can be seen in countless of examples even after grunge had passed from the public’s eye. This balance is created by a dominant bass guitar, a fuzzy yet solid guitar and a vocalist with emotional delivery. The drums play certain role but mainly with the kick drum, providing a certain deep, pulsing heartbeat to the concoction. You can find this sound in Soundgarden’s early works for example or some of the darker Porcupine Tree tracks. But what if a band were to utilize that vibe but instead of swinging upwards from it, to more brighter places as bands usually do, they would use it as a launching point for something even darker? Some tracks would be contemplative and emotional rock but others would delve into the realms of dark electronic, noise and drone. Lo and behold, we have created Obsidian Kingdom.

Heavy Rewind: Porcupine Tree – In Absentia

Any die-hard fan of progressive rock/metal should know this album by now: Porcupine Tree’s In Absentia—arguably the best album the band has put out to date. But while Porcupine Tree is on hiatus, and Steven Wilson’s general focus has shifted to his solo work (and a Blackfield album that he had little to no input on), one can’t forget the impact that this album has had on the rock and metal community. In Absentia was a lot of things for a lot of people. It arguably blurred the lines between prog rock and metal. It set a new standard for what Steven Wilson and his band were capable of musically. And it remains one of the seminal progressive albums of the modern era.

Heavy Rewind – Entropia

Some albums fracture: their own fame is somehow forgotten among listeners and even experts but their legacy can be found in countless acts that come after them. Whether it’s their approach to their specific genre, actual sounds and moments from the album or a method of production, the basis elements of what made up the album get recycled, reused, resurrected. This can create an interesting disparity between how important the album is and how much people know it or even still play it, so long after it came out. Entropia is one of those albums. Not only did it launch one of the longest careers in progressive metal, namely that of Pain of Salvation, it also broke numerous limits and forged a vision of what progressive metal could be, way back when in 1997.