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.
There’s nothing quite like a metal show. The palpitating thrum of bass, explosive blasts of percussion, the crackling sea of people united by music — it’s beautiful, life-affirming, and brutal. Although live recordings will inevitably fail to stack up to the real thing, they allow us to experience singular moments…
Some albums wear their hearts on their sleeve. Their influences and themes are displayed for all to see, proudly showing their heritage and their direction. Kepler Ten’s Delta-V is such an album (and Kepler Ten appear to be such a band). From their name to the album’s art, Kepler Ten are achingly truthful about where they come from. The font chosen, the image, the hard science fiction album name all scream classical progressive metal/rock in the vein of Rush, Dream Theater, Ayreon and more. And you know what? That’s exactly what Delta-V; it’s the tropes of progressive rock played incredibly straight, with an almost childish glee in the craft. And it totally, 100% works, for a given definition of “works”. Are you looking for jaw-dropping technically or crushing heaviness? Look elsewhere. But do you have an open road that needs travelling, a chair that you simply must dance in or a starry sky into which to gaze? Then Delta-V is the album for you.
Way before Rush were progressive rock darlings, helping to usher in the genre’s golden age, they released their first, self titled album. Rush is much more a rock n’ roll affair, albeit one which includes all the hallmarks of Rush in nascent form. It’s comprised more of riffs and groove, heavily relying on Geddy Lee’s vocals than future albums will. The self titled album is often forgotten but there’s something about Lee’s voice over thick guitars that is very rare to find. Strangely enough, a band called Lo-Pan, releasing an EP this year called In Tensions, scratch that itch and then some, doubling down with Torche influences on the rest of the instruments.
Metal and science fiction clash along various cultural axes. Their marriage begins with tone; both have a penchant for the wildly grandiose and imaginative personas, for personality writ large across a vast canvas. The juxtaposition continues along more “meta” lines, with both being adopted (or perhaps relegated to) the “geek”…
2016 has been chock full of great releases, some of which we (sadly) missed out on. We can’t post about everything or we’d be up to necks in content (first world problems, I know)! One such release is Oni’s Ironshore, a progressive album that’s extremely cohesive and endearing. Rooted firmly in complexity, Ironshore nonetheless manages to evoke melody, emotion and conviction. Listen to “Kanvas” for example: amidst breakneck keyboard work, intricate guitar lines, harsh and clean vocals, hides an honest emotional streak that runs throughout the album and ties it all together.
Seeing as the album is so intricate, we thought we’d get the band to shed some more light on the influences that make them tick as musicians. We hoped it would give us more insight into what seems like another, incredibly strong addition to the annals of modern progressive metal and boy, we got more than we bargained for! Head on below to read their in depth and enlightening list in one of our personal favorite Anatomy Of posts!
There is a dissonance to the music of Dysrhythmia not employed by the above bands, and, obviously, Neil Peart has never employed blast beats, though Rush is perhaps a great analogy for what Dysrythmia aspires to, as both bands feel collaborative and feature equal contributions to the larger sound. But these extreme metal flourishes are only one element of the music and weave seamlessly with the larger tapestry, rather than being the dominant color, resulting in an album influenced by extreme metal, as opposed to an extreme metal album.
The proliferation of a metal band is a clear sign of its growing popularity, but it could also be a reason for apprehension regarding its music’s quality. On the other hand, one can consider the longevity of a given band as an indication of quality, but that would only cast a shadow of zealous snobbery and faux-refinement. Truth is, quality in music is more likely to be a function of countless random things including, but not limited to, personal taste. There are countless examples of bands exploding onto the international scene with superb debuts only to fizzle away later and become weaker shadows of themselves. On the other hand, there are bands who start off strong but are a work in progress in terms of finding their own sound and standing out from the hordes; Colorado’s Allegaeon is one fine example of the latter.
Let’s face it: flying isn’t probably something that’s on your bucket-list—at best it’s a relatively quick (compared to pre-flight days) way to travel. It’s easier than sailing or driving, but it comes with its own army of annoyances, from the ever-popular crying baby to the sleeping guy next to you…
This week we’re joined by fellow editor Nick again! And as you can probably tell from the title, we talk about some streaming service drama! Specifically, the trainwreck that followed Frank Ocean’s new Apple Music exclusive album, the UMG salt that followed, and Spotify stirrings in relation to industry trends. But wait, there’s more industry drama! A former Victory Records employee wrote a huge expose talking about all the stuff that goes down in the label, confirming the suspicions of many. We then talk about SubRosa and their interview about the music they wrote in relation to the Mormon church’s treatment of LGBTQI individuals. We talk about a bunch of new music and music-related announcements as well. Including: poorly-realized analogies about post/weird-death metal involving Ulcerate, Coma Cluster Void, Car Bomb, Negura Bunget, Meshuggah, Mithras (and more Mithras), Allegaeon’s Rush cover, WRVTH being awesome, In Flames being terrible (seriously), Ninjaspy, Darkthrone, Emperor, Brujeria (and their tongue-in-cheek interview), Ion Dissonance, Leander Kills, The Dear Hunter and The Aurora Borealis Project x Drewsif Stalin’s Musical Endeavors. Finally, we talk about the passing of Tom Searle of Architects. Enjoy! (the episode, hopefully, not the terrible news)