EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Come Sit By The Fire With This SCHIERMANN Playthrough Of “Northern Lights”

In what will likely be our final premiere for the year, we bring you this subtly festive exclusive by progressive instrumental guitarist Chris Schiermann, better known by his project name in SCHIERMANN. Having just released his debut album, SCHIERMANN, you’ll get six tracks of delightful proggy goodness reminiscent of all…

For Fans Of – Nova Collective

It’s been a while since we’ve written one of these columns, and that’s not because we dislike them. Past a certain point it starts to become more difficult to find important bands representing or making waves in a certain genre or sub-genre and finding a group of similar or tangentially-related bands to recommend. Up to this point though we haven’t really written one of these posts as essentially a response or plea to listeners. Sometimes bands who execute a certain style or sound garner a lot of critical and popular praise to the point of being credited with some sort of innovation or something radically different from anything else out there when the reality is far from that. It’s rarely the fault of the bands themselves though as they don’t give themselves that kind of credit, but once in a while it’s important for someone to politely correct consensus thinking and offer a little more context, and that is exactly what we’re going to do here and now with the debut album from metal/jazz fusion band Nova Collective.

The Jazz Club Vol. 5 – Gateway Drugs: Jazz Albums for Metalheads

After we provided a general introduction for the genre in our last Jazz Club, Jimmy and I tossed around the idea of writing an adjacent piece catered specifically to metal fans. As with any genre, it’s easier to crack into the overall style with a handful of bands or albums that incorporate elements from genres that the listener is already familiar with. There are some pretty strong links between jazz and metal, which made it easy to select a well-rounded list of albums to recommend for metal fans who want their jazz to have an added edge. Some of these releases lean more towards one genre than the other, but they’re all excellent in their own right and provide a solid, metallic gateway into jazz.

Hey! Listen to Monobody!

Although jazz has diminished in visibility since its twentieth-century inception and pinnacle, a handful of excellent artists are continuing to honor one of the greatest artistic movements in American history. These bands include Heavy Blog favorites BADBADNOTGOOD and Trioscapes, as well as Innercity Ensemble, Fontanelle, Little Women and Merkabah, all of whom pay homage to the genre’s…

Mestis – Basal Ganglia

It’s easy to see why solo projects from already prolific musicians like Mestis exist. Guitarist Javier Reyes is already actively involved in projects that receive great fanfare in Animals as Leaders and T.R.A.M., but he has seldom held the spotlight to himself thus far in his career. Reyes is unfortunately an underrated and understated musician who has up until this point stood in the shadow of double-bandmate Tosin Abasi; no matter what output Animals as Leaders makes, many fans will unfairly assume it was because of sole founding member Abasi’s guitar wizardry. It may or may not be the intended case, but Mestis’ debut release Basal Ganglia could be seen as Reyes’ attempt at breaking away from this mentality and showing the world that he is just as creative and talented in his own right.

Thank You Scientist – Maps of Non-Existent Places

So far, 2012 has been a glorious year for underground music in the eyes of many, and will likely be looked upon fondly in retrospect. Genres such as prog and death metal, the latter especially, have enjoyed a creative outburst and have given us a plethora of releases that look capable of enduring the test of time and becoming trademark classics. However, one other genre that has not received as much recognition this year, despite producing equally timeless masterpieces, is jazz fusion, specifically the metal-y kind of jazz fusion. With diverse, original, and downright awesome releases from the likes of Diablo Swing Orchestra, Trioscapes, and T.R.A.M., this niche subgenre has quickly started rising as of late, although overshadowed by its bigger brothers.

Javier Reyes Announces Solo Project Mestís; Signs To Sumerian Records

Javier Reyes is at it again, this time with his new project Mestís’ debut EP Basal Ganglia. Javier Reyes is handling guitar, bass, production and mixing duties while Matt Garstka of Animals As Leaders holds down the fort with drum programming, Hector Barez of Calle 13 and Bio Ritmo compliments Garstka’s work with percussion, and David Stout…