Abbath – Outstrider

Writing about a new Abbath album without mentioning Immortal would be tantamount to writing about Bruce Dickinson’s solo albums (The Chemical Wedding still holds up!) without mentioning Iron Maiden. It’s simply not done. It’s uncouth. Almost a quarter century after co-founding Immortal, Abbath struck out on his own in 2015 to assemble a…

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Kvlt Kolvmn – February 2019

February is such a dump of a month. It’s snowed well over a foot in the last two weeks in my home state, and we’ve nothing to show for it but mud splatter, sidewalks covered in ice left by feckless neighbors, and frigid temperatures. February is the microcosm of all…

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Editors’ Picks – February 2019

February; or, as I like to call it (I literally just invented this), “The Bastard Month.” It’s not just the weird length which makes this month hard to pin down; it’s no longer “The First Month of the Year,” but nor is it close to its half. It’s not Midwinter…

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Release Day Roundup – 2/15/19

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…

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Saor – Forgotten Paths

When you throw off what black metal might like to think of itself, or the image certain members of it would like to present rather, the essence of the genre seems to be rooted in love rather than hate. Perhaps more than almost any other genre of metal, black metal…

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152 – Why Are We Like This?

Heavy Pod Is Heavy Cast!

New year, new music! We discuss new material from Jinjer, Dream Theater, Born of Osiris, Saor (and an extended discussion on nationalism), In Flames, Soilwork, and Astronoid. Plus Genghis Tron being on streaming services and Al Mumin’s repsonse to The HAARP Machine’s crowdfunder failing. Then, cool people time with Informer, Darkest Dungeon and more. Enjoy!

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Non-2018 // 2018

The fatal flaw, to me, of end-of-year music journalism content, is that lists discussing stuff from the past year often forget to mention that a lot of music discovery happens later. Now, no music writer is outright saying this – and of course everyone knows that people find albums in…

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Firtan – Okeanos

There are few genres in music that have a deeper and more fundamental connection to nature and history than black metal. From its earliest thematic inception, the most evil of metal’s subgenres has sought to restore through music and philosophy a way of life that, for the most part, has…

An Ode to Spring – Metal, Thematics and Politics

Since the vast majority of Heavy Blog contributors fall on the left side of the map (shocking, we know), focusing on the latter seems like the way to go. Criticizing the other side of the political map is easy enough; taking a hard look at your own camp is where things get tricky. Thus, let us turn our eyes on one of the most typical leftist refusals to engage: the retreat. There are few places in the cultural world where this retreat is more obvious than in music and, more specifically, in metal. Even more specifically, the current throes which are black metal is undergoing are even more lucrative for our needs. There, leftist retreat is alive and happening right now, both because of the virility of the claims on the other side (read: the amount of black metal that’s truly awful) and because the themes of black metal have already been declared by the larger, more abstract “left” as anathema in the past.

Kvlt Kolvmn – September 2017

Black metal. What does it even mean anymore? The internet kerfuffle over Sacred Son’s album artwork for his eponymous debut once again presents the age old question of what is and isn’t “trve”. For myself, I consider this argument to be a bit superfluous. Technology advances, society shifts, tastes develop and refine, and the definition of whatever is pure in art alters itself with the times. Sure, there are specific tropes that make black metal what it is, but that in no way means that this subgenre does not have room for development while maintaining the sinister core of what makes black metal, well, black metal. I would go toe-to-toe with anyone who claimed that Leviathan, with all its genre-mashing opulence, was any less fundamentally evil and true to the spirit of black metal than, say, Bathory or Mayhem. This may be sacrilege to some, but I’m sticking by it. There is plenty of room in this style of music for madcap experimentation and growth, and stifling that because an album’s art doesn’t include corpse paint is beyond ridiculous. Now that I’ve offended just about everyone, on to the delights of September! Once again, Scott and I have curated a list of black metal records for you that both fall into the traditional format of the subgenre, and also transcend its confines into more experimental territory. As always, please argue, caterwaul, and protest in the comments and provide us with the albums you found the most intriguing in the month of September. Enough exposition. Let’s get down to it.