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:
The folks over at the Summer Slaughter social media camp have certainly outdone themselves as far as building anticipation goes. Through a stint of prolonged vaguebooking throughout the month of April in the form of statuses featuring names of songs and lyrics by bands that could quite possibly fit the bill, an unofficial line-up has begun to formulate itself in the heads of fans. Head on over the jump for the events as we understand them.
With album releases, come album release tours. Veil of Maya have announced that they will be embarking on The Matriarch tour with Revocation, Oceano, Gift Giver & Entheos starting in May. Make sure to check out the dates for the tour after the jump.
The Contortionist are basically unstoppable. Having opened for Periphery in the fall of last year, the band continued to play more shows with Intervals, snagging Polyphia on the way for another set of dates ending in Chicago. All in support of their third album, Language [review], which caused much contention in listeners.
This time around, The Contortionist stopped by Mojoe’s of Joliet with Revocation, who also released a phenomenal album in 2014 [review], Fallujah, who did much the same [review], the always-stellar TOOTHGRINDER, and Chicago locals Oceanwalker.
Please enjoy the photos!
California Atmospheric Death Metal rising stars Fallujah hope a new record label will help their careers blast off. Details after the break.
2014 was a phenomenal year for live music (of the heavy kind) in Australia, however it seems as though the best show was saved for last. Just a few weeks ago, Thy Art is Murder, accompanied by Psycroptic, Revocation, Fit For an Autopsy and sloom pioneers, Disentomb, toured around Australia on a quest for aural decimation. Not only did both Brisbane shows sell out, there was such a large fan response that a third show had to be organised to cater to those who missed out. Metal bands selling out the same venue three times in a row, in the space of two days is literally unheard of here. Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to photograph the very last night of the tour, thanks to my good buddies in Psycroptic.
It looks like the tour announcements for 2015 just keep rolling in, and this time it’s one of the most diverse lineups yet. Indiana’s progressive metal powerhouse The Contortionist are going out on their second headlining run across North America in support of their third LP, Language.
Earlier this year, they were opening for Periphery and continued that tour with Intervals and Polyphia in tow, with their final show in Chicago.
Welcome, one and all, to the Heavy Blog Is Heavy Album of the Year list! This year, we did something a bit different. Instead of running staff members’ top 25 or top 10 lists, we went all sophisticated and created a composite Top 50 list. We’ll leave the statistical games behind the scenes but suffice it to say that we didn’t just vote on the list and its order. More subtly, this list represents the different rankings staff members gave albums on scale of 1-25. After we’re done running the complete list, we’ll also have a section where you can peep each member’s top 10 and an Outliers list: albums that made individual top 10’s but not the final Top 50.
The albums that you see below, from 50-26, are many of which we might call “wildcards.” Many of these albums either took us by complete surprise or are in genres we don’t normally cover on the website. Rather than restrict our list to just metal releases though, we wanted this list to be a true reflection of the full tastes of our eclectic staff.
I’ll shut up now, OK? Head on over the jump for the full list. 2014 was an amazing year and we thank each and everyone of you for being with us for it. We can’t wait for 2015! Let’s get to it.
Tasmanian technical death metal veterans Psycroptic are about to drop their self-titled album early next year and have decided to get the ball rolling now with a brand new music video! While it may be just a performance video at its core, the film quality helps recapture some of the low-budget videos that American death metal bands were releasing in the early-to-mid 90s. Check it out after the jump!
In This Week in Reviews, one of the lowest scores in recent memory but also som real winners. We’ll run it all down after the jump.