Soul Curator // Writing Sci-Fi

Some may claim this to be all-too similar to a previous Soul Curator that I did on writing. And, yes, while the action this playlist is supposed to score is the same, I feel that writing science fiction is something completely different from the standard mode of writing. In a way, you need to make yourself leave Earth. You need to be able to break rules and then glue them back together again. The Albums To Write To Soul Curator included albums that (for me, at least) kept the mind focused and eliminated distraction; this, however, stands on different grounds. The key to writing great science fiction (or any imaginative fiction, for that matter), is to be able to tap into the fantastical parts of your mind. Whether you come up with something that is grounded more in reality or doesn’t adhere to anything this planet has heard of is completely up to you. And these are albums that can help you reach that mode of thinking.

Tesseract – Errai

Since their inception, Tesseract haven’t been averse to revisiting older works and manipulating them into a more contemporary framework. They’ve been redoing grooves, experimenting with acoustic versions of old songs, and always trying to further distance themselves from the djent scene that they helped propel five years ago. With their most recent full-length, 2015’s Polaris, the band showed that they were straying even further from their metal roots. There were still plenty of moments that’ll open up pits the world over, but Tesseract could almost be argued as a progressive/alternative rock band at this point. Now looking at Errai, an EP with four reworked Polaris tracks, it’s evident that Tesseract are arguably at their best when they’re at their most distant.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 7/29/16

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.netthrough 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.

Hey! Listen to Votum!

Technically, I’m cheating. Votum has already been featured on the blog. However, the rule that states that these Hey! Listen to This posts should feature completely new bands has always been loosely defined. After all, we covered them previously in 2011! It stands to reason that many of you have never read that review. And, even if you did, it wasn’t very favorable and with good reason. Their previous material is a bit weak compared with the quality of music they’re pushing nowadays. Earlier this year, in February to be exact, they released :Ktonik: and it’s a major step upwards for them. Thus, the time is ripe to refresh your memory about these guys and the solid, moving and progressive metal which they make.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 6/17/16

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.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 6/3/16

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.

Sacred Geometry – Mapping Metal’s Connection With the New Age

A month or so ago, I wrote a post titled “The Occult in Modern Day Metal”. In it, underneath countless of apologies for the simplifications I was about to present the readers, I took a brief look at how the occult has lent words, images, ideas and themes to the metal genre. Charting three main movements, I attempted to offer an initial direction for asking questions, a jumping point for something much more extensive. Perhaps where I’d left the most gaps was with the last part; the post was getting long, the hours were getting late and the subject matter was growing more complex. This should come as no surprise to those versed in the source material itself (and my writing/sleeping habits, if we’re being honest). You see, that final part dealt with the New Age and its ties to progressive metal. The thing is, however, that New Age is one of the most loosely defined, scholarly debated and impossible to understand spiritual movements to have ever existed. It’s right up there with Zen Buddhism, Sufism, Swedenborg-ism (I swear that’s a real thing, you can Google it) and other obscure, esoteric belief systems.

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.

Beyond the Veil: C’est La Voice, or How Melisma Works

Welcome back to Beyond the Veil! In today’s rather short instalment, we’re actually going to shift gears a tad and traverse grounds that have otherwise remained unexplored in this column. So far, we’ve mostly focused on guitar related concepts, particularly within the realm of prog metal and tech death, but this time around we’re going to talk about a concept that pertains more to vocals — namely, a technique called melisma.