What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 3/3/17

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.

Soen – Lykaia

Third albums. What a goddamn mystery. We’ve spoken about the unique challenge posed by them before on the blog but there’s never been any concise solution offered to their peculiar problem. Should bands double down on their established sound and “dig deeper” (like TesseracT’s Polaris for example) or throw everything to the wind and experiment wildly with their sound (like Karnivool’s Asymmetry for instance)? Both options entice with their advantages but both also hold pitfalls. Too often, bands simply don’t choose and try to walk a golden, middle round. This “secret” third option is extremely difficult to pull off but also hedges the band’s bets, since failing it carries less hazards. At worst, it leaves an album a little bit forgettable. Otherwise, this third choice skirts many of the potential disasters of the other two options. This “best worst case scenario” is exactly what Soen’s third release embodies.

Heavy Blog Primer – Our Most Anticipated Albums of 2017

Though it may seem like we talked ad naseum about how fucking spectacular 2016 was in terms of new music, the fact remains that we saw more fantastic albums drop than we could seemingly keep up with. But just when we thought our palates were satiated, here comes 2017 with an excellent early roster of release announcements, some we’ve expected for a while and others that came out of nowhere. The following is a surely incomplete list of all the albums worth craving as we ring in the new year. Some of these albums have been fully announced with pre-order links and all that jazz, while others are merely probable assumptions based on various updates on social media. Regardless, these are all phenomenal projects worth looking for in the coming year. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and we encourage you to comment with some albums you’re anticipating so we can share in your excitement.

55 – Patreon Shitshow feat. Riley of Allegaeon

So, you all may have seen the absolute unbridled rage against Allegaeon’s Patreon from last week. I thought this was pretty unfounded and ridiculous, so I invited Riley McShane of Allegaeon to talk about how he views this situation, and whether some of the accusations made in the articles are founded or not. We ended up having a great chat about the band’s situation and crowd funding. I recommend listening to this one, regardless of what you think about the situation! Then Eden and I talk about news and stuff. The new Metallica song, the new Shokran video, the upcoming Soen album, the new Thy Catafalque album, the new Disillusion video, the new… I got tired of going “the new X”. Instead, listen to this really dumb but amazing mashup of the Space Jam tune with the new Meshuggah album by Analog Staple. Oh, also, Dominic Forrest Lapointe joined First Fragment. Balance Interruption is an awesome saxed-up black metal thing. Alkaloid are on Season of Mist, officially making it the best label ever. Facebook added integration with some music services. Our underrated album of the week is Rad a Trest by !T.O.O.H! – I wrote about them years ago. Then we talk about how song order is a really hard thing to pick.

Oddland – Origin

Oddland are a bit of an oddball (heh) in the gamut of progressive metal. Rising from the fertile grounds (for metal, at least) of Finland, they garnered quite a bit of hype with scene insiders. Their The Treachery of Senses (2012) was an interesting take on the darker, Tool influences that have been running strong through the scene for more than a decade now. However, with only one album and then a prolonged silence, fans and critics were unable to fully flesh out a firm idea of what the band was about; the album certainly sounded great, but what was the approach behind it all? Luckily, Origin marks 2016 as the year where the gaps in the Oddland tale are finally filled in. The album builds firmly on the strata of dark progressive but also gives us further insight into what Oddland want to bring to table, what they want to modulate and very within the scene.

3 – Images And Words

They say third time’s the charm, but I like to believe we’re always charming. There were a bunch of cool new releases that we talk about this week, including Sikth, Good Tiger and Haunted Shores. We also listened to some older stuff, which you can check out after the jump. We…