Sometimes bands and promoters feel the need to cram their press-releases with ridiculous and nonsensical claims about being “counterculture mercenaries” who dish out “stomping alpha-wolf brutality”; how they are the “sonic equivalent of Christopher Nolan, David Fincher and John Carpenter making a Hammer Horror style movie together, set inside an…
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.
When TesseracT’s Daniel Tompkins decided to explore his own pet project by joining forces with Skyharbor’s Keshav Dhar and Randy Slaugh to create White Moth Black Butterfly, it began as a modest attempt to explore some ideas that diverged from the type of rock for which his main band is most known. 2013’s One Thousand Wings (here’s what we had to say about “Certainty” from that album) was a sonic departure, to be sure, but it still maintained something of a kinship with its flagship influences. As with anything that we’ve come to understand about Tompkins, he will expound upon ideas over time and so the re-emergence of this project in 2017 means we should expect a few new twists, turns, and embellishments on the sound he helped to create several years ago.
Djent had an explosive entrance into the world of heavy music, around the start of the decade. It was a truly exciting occurrence, with first-wave acts like Periphery, Animals As Leaders and Cloudkicker filtering the technically-driven progressive sound of acts like Meshuggah, Sikth, and those of the budding “Sumeriancore” movement, into something altogether more accessible, while still retaining much of their forebears’ technical and progressive edge. Yet, like most new sub-genres, djent quickly devolved into pastiche and gave way to over saturation—perhaps a little bit quicker than most. Djent, it seems, has had a propperly ballistic trajectory, and—in 2017—as its momentum trails off, it’s hard to get excited about this once-promising phenomenon.
Fun times! This week we discuss a bunch of new music. Leprous, Tesseract, Archspire, The Haunted, Aborted, Cloakroom, and Fox Territory. Then we have some live footage from Zeal & Ardor, Spotify suffering losses, and Rolling Stone’s top 100 metal albums. Then we discuss the Transformers movies, and what makes a good villain. Enjoy!
Some albums are a long time coming; production, schedules, lack of inspiration, and much more can all lead to a delayed release. When that happens, there are two possible results. Either the eventual release falls short of expectations which have been brewing for so long or the album is elevated by catharsis and a long wait reward. Happily, the latter seems to be the case with ZETA’s debut. Born from a collaboration between Katie Jackson, Paul Antonio Ortiz (AKA Chimp Spanner), and Dan Tompkins (TesseracT, ex-Skyharbor), the album is a retrowave trip tinged with a slew of 90’s pop influences. The wait for the album has tallied years of teasers, singles, artwork, and baited breath for a collaboration that seemed too good to be true. Finally, as of today, it has been released to the world and lo! we are pleased, for it is good.
What’s the difference between a good concept album and a shit one? Hard to say. Does it depend on the lyrical content? Thematic refrain and reprisal? Who knows. There’s even sneaky concept albums, the likes of which the layman listener wouldn’t even begin to fathom had intentions beyond riff, chorus, solo, repeat. The Cold Sun might be one of these; Loathe seem like a band bold enough to attempt such a thing on their debut full length. What isn’t up for debate is this – The Cold Sun is just about all filler. Twelve tracks. Six songs. Zero (or damn close to it) cares.
Is it possible for a post-black metal artist to sit still? Not that we would ever want them to, mind you, but it’s worth pointing out that many of the artists responsible for the creation and popularization of the genre have all moved away from the genre’s nascent sound and…
How to navigate the sheer number of festivals now available for the metal fan? With the aim of helping you sort through this vast variety, we’ve compiled the following primer. It’s by no means extensive; it’s simply impossible to write about all of the festivals we would have liked to mention. We focused on those we’ll be attending and on those who have the most attractive setlists in our eyes. That being said, do feel free to share more great festivals with us in the comments and please enjoy this, our selection of festivals for 2017.
Newcomers RIVIẼRE (please don’t ask us what that tilde is doing there, we don’t know) show us the lack of identity which the post-progressive genre is afflicted with. This comes with its share of challenges and problems. On their debut album, Heal, RIVIẼRE attempt to tap into the aesthetic of post-progressive metal and generate the melancholy, ambient vibe which the genre is beginning to be famous for. When this works, it works extremely well; the heavier or more dynamic moments on the album are straight up brilliant. But in between those peaks, where the band have to rely on “duct tape” passages to keep everything whole, Heal falls a bit flat, confused as to what exactly is required of it in the interim between climaxes.