Aenaon – Hypnosophy

When looking through a tag in music curation services, encountering “avant-garde black metal” means clicking play will either result in something incredible or terrible. Few artists have the combination of self-irreverence, self-respect, sense of the fundamentals and how to think outside of them to be able to pull off the latter. As if that’s not enough, take a black metal band, add a saxophone, power metal-esque clean singing, a blues/jazz tint – does it sound potentially disastrous already? Several bands this year alone have attempted this formula and failed. Well, good news is, the Greek masterminds Aenaon have totally nailed it with Hypnosophy.

Jørgen Munkeby of SHINING’s Guide To Playing Sax In Metal

When I wrote my article on incorporating sax into metal a few weeks ago, I was not subtle in my praise for the man and the machine known as Jørgen Munkeby. As the individual behind Shining and the player responsible for so many of modern metal’s great sax solos, it would be near impossible to get far in discussing the instrument’s use in the format without landing squarely on him. So I was just a little bit more than flattered when Jørgen shared the post himself and praised it. I figured that would be the end of it, but I was wrong in the best possible way, because Jørgen took this whole thing one step further and contacted us out of the blue with a list of seven excellent tips he feels are crucial to any aspiring sax player who wants to doot some brutal-sounding shit.

Standing In Solidarity Against Bigotry

I know it’s not always easy to stand up and say something. It’s awkward. It could get you ostracized—or worse. But you have a choice. Those who are on the receiving end of bigotry don’t have the luxury to make this choice. You do. The more people let bigotry slide, the more it gains ground. No one feels like they can stop it by themselves. That’s just it—they can’t. As a group, however, by standing in solidarity, we can slow its tide, one voice at a time. It truly makes a difference and it’s the only way we can eventually make metal as open to anyone who wants to be part of our family.

The Saxophone: A Heavy Blog User’s Guide

It seems that as more heavy and progressive bands seek to experiment and differentiate themselves from the herd, they’ve been turning more often to adding in outside influences and instruments, with jazz and sax being at the forefront, which, at face value, is great! Like any other tool though, you have to know how to wield and implement it properly or it simply doesn’t work, and that seems to be what we’re faced with currently: a glut of saxophone solos and parts in metal and prog that exist primarily for the novelty of hearing a saxophone in unexpected places rather than using them in ways that actively connect to and enhance the music around them. This isn’t so much a guide to music and bands that use sax particularly well or poorly (though I will use examples from time to time), but more so a crash course in what the instrument can actually do and some best practices for using it. School’s in session, and you can call me Professor Sax (please don’t actually do this; Mr. Sax will suffice).

Marty Friedman Debuts “Meat Hook,” Features SHINING Frontman Jørgen Munkeby

Ex-Megadeth lead shredder and renowned guitar virtuoso Marty Friedman is preparing to release his upcoming solo album Inferno on May 27th, 2014. Incomplete without a selection of special guests, the record will feature appearances from Children of Bodom’s Alexi Laiho, Revocation’s Dave Davidson, and more. The latest unveiling, “Meat Hook,”…