Heavy Blog Staff’s Top Ten Albums of 2017

Our staff has shifted quite a bit since we posted our first aggregate AOTY list back in 2014. From refocusing our content to implementing The Brooklyn Plan™ to publishing our 2017 AOTY list, our roster of contributors has fluctuated substantially in terms of numbers and genre preferences. This ebb and flow…

The Anatomy Of – Nullingroots

Yesterday, I reviewed Nullingroots’ Into the Grey, a review in which I lamented getting the word about this band out there so late in the year. Their blend of progressive and post black metal is really something to be in awe of, resulting in an exceptional album. Clearly, there’s a lot going on in the background of such a band and getting a look at their influences would probably be a varied and fascinating affair. Thus, when the opportunity to do just that presented itself, we jumped on it and here we are, posting their Anatomy Of post! The below list, compiled by vocalist/guitarist Cameron Boesch, contains some expected picks (like post black metal geniuses, Lantlos) and some which make sense only in retrospect (like the present of a thrashy riff or two on the album fitting in with the Metallica influence).

Incantation – Profane Nexus

Metal has an abiding relationship with physical and geographical spaces. From the rolling cascades of the Pacific Northwest to the dense, foreboding forests of Norther Europe, metal has long championed music that not only exists in a specific physical place but is often consumed by it. Think the ice cold tremolo knives of Norwegian black metal, or perhaps the gentler wanderings of folk metal from across the globe, or the oppressively heavy and moderately paced trudging of Bayou sludge. To these ears, these are sounds that are intended to transport and project us into a physical space that often adds further distinction to the thematic and lyrical themes of the music. The same could be said of the music of Incantation, but opposed to feeling like the American East Coast from whence the band originates, the death metal legends have composed music for decades that feels as if it is slowly emerging from a deep, hellish cave. It is reverberating, dripping filth bathed in oppressive guitar work, echoing and cavernous vocals, and a seething, roaring rhythm section that feels like an earthquake. It is a sound shrouded in slow, creeping, all-consuming darkness that feels viscerally physical, and Incantation have molded and transformed this beastly noise into something close to perfection.

Decibel’s Toxic Nostalgia – Exploring the Magazine’s Narrow View of Modern Death Metal

The following article is a collaboration between editors Jonathan Adams and Scott Murphy.  Before we dive in, let’s make one thing clear—we and Decibel (“America’s only monthly extreme music magazine”) agree that 2017 has been an exceptional year for death metal. Jonathan has highlighted countless fantastic death metal albums this…

Decrepit Birth – Axis Mundi

The journey of Californian death metal stalwarts Decrepit Birth has been an interesting one to follow: from their impetus in 2003 as a relatively straightforward brutal death metal band following the mold set in place by Suffocation, the group’s three albums across the ensuing decade have seen a dramatic shift in their music. Their…

Best of – Brutal Death Metal

Brutal death metal has the rare benefit of being exactly what it sounds like. The differences one would expect between “regular death metal” and “brutal death metal” are manifold and, by and large, pretty predictable: guitars are more downtuned; riffs are chunkier and more visceral; vocals are far deeper and even less intelligible; the whole nine yards. As far as subgenres go, it doesn’t exactly shake up its progenitor’s foundations by a relatively large amount, choosing instead to just take everything that makes death metal an already pretty brutal genre and crank that bad boy up to 11. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the ensuing auditory carnage is not for the faint of heart, but it is for anybody that feels like extreme metal just isn’t extreme enough yet. If you’ve ever felt that way—the grooves could be groovier, the riffs could be riffier, the blasts could be blastier, the gutturals could be gutturalier—then brutal death metal is the answer to all your prayers. So without further ado, let’s dive in to what our staff considers to the be the Best Of – Brutal Death Metal!

76 – Nobody Expects The German Inquisition

This week we talk mainly about Woe’s show in Hamburg being cancelled due to them sharing a stage with Inquisition, who organizers think is NSBM. That’s a cool discussion, but for those of you who just want the news, I guess we have some stuff along those lines as well. New music and stuff from Exist, Suffocation, Dragonforce, Shadow of Intent, Jamiroquai, Artificial Brain, Tombs, Bestia Arcana. Also the mini-feud between ESP guitars and Linkin Park, and hologram Ronnie James Dio being a thing. Also the new Sikth album. Then cool people time on a bunch of TV and movie stuff. Prison Break, Ryan Reynolds, Cillian Murphy and more.

Buckshot Facelift – Ulcer Island

Music has the tendency to be incredibly evocative on emotional and psychological levels. Sometimes it takes us to dark forests, barren deserts, long-forgotten kingdoms, and landscapes of mystery. In other instances, we are comforted by the familiar and nostalgic. That song that brings us back to the carefully catered soundtracks of nervous first dates, the album that comforted us as we processed the death of a loved one, or maybe that old, scratched CD filled with random songs we partied with our friends to. Music is an effective vehicle to propel us through our own psyches, exploring caverns of thought and imagination that are seldom so effectively realized. Not all of these evocations are pleasant, however. Like when music makes us feel like we’re swimming frantically away from a ravenous battery of starving barracuda. Buckshot Facelift live squarely in this final, most aggressive and discomfiting of camps. Prepare your ears accordingly.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 3/31/17

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.