Editors’ Picks – March 2018

It’s hard to believe that we’ve already made it a quarter of the way through the year, particularly because of how extensive each of our Editors’ Picks columns has been over the last three months. Every time we coalesce to flesh out which albums will make the cut, we’re always…

The Anatomy Of: As Oceans

North Carolina is an underappreciated hotbed of talent in the American metal scene, where bands like Between the Buried and Me and Corrosion of Conformity, among many others, have come up to inform the progression of their respective musical niches on a worldwide scale. It also doesn’t hurt that acts…

Release Day Roundup – 3/16/18

Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure…

117 – Taake On Me

This week Eden’s gone so I got Simon instead. We talk extensively about his editorial regarding the Taake incident, trangressions and more. We talk about how black metal’s problematic web of influences is way too wide, and how frustrating that is. Then we cleanse our palates with some new music by Alkaloid, Rivers of Nihil (my review here) and Augury. Finally, we talk about the new Between the Buried and Me album (Jimmy’s review here). Then we do cool people time. Simon talks about the new game from FTL creators, Into the Breach (I bought it right after and have been playing it for hours instead of editing this podcast) and I talk about Derren Brown’s new Netflix special The Push, where he tries to manipulate a person into committing murder. Enjoy!

Rivers Of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name

How bands find balance in the spectrum of emotion can be interesting to observe. Many choose to narrowly focus on a narrow band of this space of possibilities, emphasizing heaviness, anger, misanthropy. Especially, given the nature of death metal, it’seasy to pigeonhole a group like Rivers of Nihil into that niche. To be fair, they’ve flexed their muscles before. Even on their debut, The Conscious Seed of Light, they’ve aimed for something a bit more. In Monarchy they really shot high with these ambitions, yet it didn’t always land. The Pennsylvanian quintet have been tweaking the formula for years now, but it’s always felt like they didn’t have the depth to fully achieve the sound they wanted. Where Owls Know My Name changes that in a magnificent way. This is a complex, intricate, beautiful album that not only plays with the paradigm shift Fallujah introduced to the genre years ago, but goes even further beyond that. All the while being uncompromisingly heavy and intense. If this sounds too good to be true, well time to strap in.

Death’s Door // February 2018

Hello, Hellions. Welcome to Death’s Door, February Edition. Wipe your feet on the mat, pull up a bone chair and feast on the flesh of the unbelievers while I complain about the worst month of every year. Yes, that would be February. The Corporate Holiday has passed, the fresh stench…

116 – Rivers of Annihilation

This week on Heavy Pod Is Heavy Castm we bring even more extra salt. The news is ripe for it! Well, we also talk about new music and stuff. More of Matt (Trivium) streaming, Trivium’s new live video, and Paolo beefing with Phil Labonte of All That Remains. Then, Chris Barnes of Six Feet Under peddling right wing conspiracy theories. Within the Ruins changing vocalists. But also new music from Dimmu Borgir, Ihsahn, Barren Earth, Rivers of Nihil (love the album!), and Sectioned. Afterwards, we do an extensive segment on the movie adaptation of the Jeff Vandermeer noverl Annihilation, and Eden goes deep. Enjoy!

Inanimate Existence – Underneath a Melting Sky

Sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward. Counter intuitive, yes. But as I’ve progressed through life I’ve found this to be true. Perhaps related to a career, where one has to go back to the drawing board to re-learn concepts long forgotten from some slept-through college lecture. Or in one’s personal life, where sometimes rehashing old wounds is the only way to progress past them. Music often falls into this same trajectory. Sometimes the alteration of sound works against a band rather than for them. While I am an enormous proponent of progression and change in music, how a band decides to engage in new musical and thematic concepts matters. Some do it right (Artificial Brain, Ingurgitating Oblivion), while some do not (latter-day Metallica, Morbid Angel). Yes, the parenthetical suggestions used to prove my point here are infinitely debatable, but I would make the argument that not all of these bands’ forays into uncharted territory worked in their favor. So it’s nice to see a band keep to their progressive trajectory, but pull from their back catalog elements that make their sound more enjoyable. Inanimate Existence are one of those bands, and with Underneath a Melting Sky have further perfected their sound by staying adventurous while simultaneously plundering the most essential elements of their past records.

Virvum – Illuminance

A few months ago, Simon wrote an excellent piece about the fast-growing phenomenon of post-tech death, succinctly describing how early progenitors such as Cynic and The Faceless all the way to recent up-and-comers Wrvth and Fallujah have combined progressively-minded atmospheric and melodic sensibilities with the relentless and intricate attack of traditional tech…