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Tag Archive: Textures


hbih-best-of-prog-metalcore

Welcome to the second part in our ongoing series of Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s “Best Of” selections where we explore a genre of music and each of our dedicated authors pick a favorite album to share a personal experience with. For our second round, we have chosen a genre that is somewhat controversial—Progressive Metalcore. It’s controversial in that its boundaries are somewhat unclear and therefore host a slew of different bands under their wings. In addition, the word metalcore itself is enough to set many a mouth foaming.

Harnessing the aggression inherent in metalcore, the progressive end of things seeks to give it a more subtle or varied expression. Taking the normal tools of the trade; breakdowns, harsh vocals and chuggy bass to name a few, the genre further expands on them in many different ways. Sampling, peculiar structures or the introduction of unexpected genres (like jazz for example) seek to modify the basic metalcore formula. The bands on this list excel in fusing the two halves together to create an intriguing, yet still aggressive, whole.

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warforged

January started the year out with a lot of promise, with new releases from Indian, Alcest, and Periphery gaining quite a bit of attention around these parts. However, what floored us the most in the first four weeks of 2014 was the first-ever proper release from Chicago newcomers Warforged. Essence of the Land is an odyssey exploring death metal, black metal, and progressive metal influences that stunned a large number of the staff group. Opeth comes to mind with the band’s dynamic use of keyboards and acoustic guitars as cinematic gateways between stretches of technical riffing and powerfully melodic brutality, or perhaps Between the Buried and Me’s penchant for epic-length songwriting and weaving a larger picture over multiple tracks.

Essence Of The Land tells the twisted tale of a dread-inducing and brooding swamp and the unknown horrors that lie beneath its surface, making it one of those surprising death metal albums where the lyrics actually add a lot of atmosphere and weight to music. So much so, in fact, that the video accompaniment that provides visuals for ¾ of the EP contains the lyrics throughout, alongside footage of the band tearing through earth-shattering riffs.

At the heart of it, Warforged’s sound presents an assortment of progressive death metal influences that still manages to sound fresh and exciting, despite dredging the very bottom of the swampy sludge they strive to recreate. And honestly, what better way to start a new year than with a new band that are reinvigorating even one of the most well-trodden of sounds?

We spoke with the entirety of Warforged to not only get a look into the creation of one of 2014′s best releases, but to get a glimpse at what’s in store for the band’s future.

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 bear noumenon

That release date completely snuck up on me. But it’s here and I’m not complaining, so head over to the BEAR (I’m guessing it’s stylised like David Draiman is typing it) Bandcamp page to hear the new album Noumenon from Basick’s latest signees.

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bear rain

You might remember Bear (still not sure whether it’s meant to be fully capatalized or not) as the latest signing of those lovely people over at Basick Records. Well, they’ve wasted no time in promoting the band, as they just debuted a new video from the band over at Metalsucks.

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 Hacride-Back-to-Where-Youve-Never-Been-620x620

Hacride fans have been waiting nearly four years for this French quartet to release details of  the follow-up to their brilliant Lazerus album. And fortune favours the patient by the looks of it, as  Back To Where You’ve Never Been looks set to be absolutely killer if ‘Overcome‘, which you can listen to here courtesy of MetalSucks, is anything to go by.

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Dutch progressive metal outfit Textures had a critical hit with their 2011 album Dualism, and as it would appear that the group have finally settled in on a sweet spot with a consistent lineup after breaking in the United States and gaining a larger fanbase worldwide, the band has parted was with guitarist Jochem Jacobs.

Here’s the full statement made from the band via their official website:

Ladies and gentlemen, it has been a bit quiet around the TEXTURES camp lately. It is for a valid reason: After 12 years being a big part of the band, Jochem Jacobs has decided to leave TEXTURES. It is sad to see him leave, but we respect his decision fully. Since the very start of TEXTURES, Jochem has helped the band get to where it is right now and his input will always be part of our music.

Jochem Jacobs:

“I’ve been with TEXTURES from the very beginning and have had a lot of great adventures in the past 12 years, musically and socially! It was a dream coming true, I was traveling across the world with my best friends and making music!!! What more could you want?!! Strange as it may sound, my priorities changed gradually during the years…  Now the time has come for me to start doing more other stuff.  There are so many things in life that gives me goosebumps!

I’m really busy producing great bands and other music at my studio and I want to focus more on that, I will keep on rocking!!!!  Also, I will keep being involved with Textures and will continue producing future TEXTURES albums \m/”

It’s a big setback for the band, but we are fully determined to keep on making music. Therefore the search for a replacement guitarist has begun!

More news about this coming soon!

Bare with us guys! Remember that you, our fans, are the ones that make us want to move on at full-speed and create some more crazy music!

\m/

This news is a huge bummer because Jacobs was such a driving force in the band on multiple fronts, but while the band still holds fellow founding members Stef Brooks and Bart Hennephof in tow, they will hopefully continue their forward trajectory. Textures are promising rising stars in metal on a widely respected label (Nuclear Blast), so finding a suitable replacement shouldn’t be that difficult to accomplish. Even still, we wish them and Jacobs the best!

- JR

The Omega Experiment

We shared this news with you folks before our break through various small means, but this news is too exciting we couldn’t avoid giving it its own news post. Our friends The Omega Experiment have inked a record deal with Listenable Records, home to fellow like-minded progressive bands such as Gorod, Sybreed, and Betraying the Martyrs. Perhaps the most telling of this news is that Listenable Records are a fairly major starting point for many bands that grew into being powerhouses in the genre, namely Soilwork, Gojira and Textures. Obviously, The Omega Experiment are in great company!

With this new deal comes the promise of a physical re-release of The Omega Experiment’s self-titled debut album on February 25th and increased touring as the band continues work on their sophomore album, tentatively due out early 2014. Be sure to hit the band up on Facebook in the mean time! Congratulations guys, you deserve it!

- JR

 

One of the best albums from last year, Dualism is what modern progressive metal should be — versatile, melodic, and heavy. Well, everyone, especially the vinyl junkies out there, today is the day. Now Textures are released their amazing album on vinyl, and in a red and blue vinyl edition to boot. Plus, each one is numbered. 250 red, 252 blue vinyl editions. AND THAT’S NOT ALL!

If you get it while it’s fresh you get a SIGNED POSTER. They actually have pictures on their facebook page of them signing the posters so you know it’s legit. The only problem is that it will run us North Americans over $50 USD after shipping. Bummer, but if you’re a mega fan then it’s worth it, right? So get them while they last, because if you enjoy collecting modern vinyl records, this would be a killer inclusion. You can purchase it at this location.

-SS

Obscure Gems: Stam1na – Raja

Stam1na are probably Finland’s most underrated band. Their sound is hard to describe, but if I had to take a guess, I’d call them “Prog Thrash”, which doesn’t really make sense but I’ll go with it. Their songs are entirely in Finnish, which is probably the main reason for their obscurity. The vocals are Soilwork-like, but much more frantic in their delivery, and the seven-string guitars follow suit with the vocals. In a way, they remind me of old Meshuggah, but with more traditional rhythms (not too traditional though) and more melodic vocals. It’s all the more impressive since the singer Antti ”Hyrde” Hyyrynen also plays guitar. While all their albums are good in their own way, I chose Raja because it’s more focused and refined than their other albums.

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Wow, this year was an amazing year for metal. There were many great technical and progressive albums, which is what I consider to be my ‘main’ genre. A lot of my favorite bands came out with excellent albums, and there were a few surprising newcomers. Some of these I’ve reviewed myself and given a great score, so it won’t be a surprise. Some of these I didn’t have the time to review, which was a shame. Anyway, without further ado, here is my list of top 20 of 2011:

Honorable mentions:

Tre Watson – Gravestones

The reason I’m not giving this an actual rating is because Tre is a close friend of mine, so I can’t be unbiased about this. It’s a really great EP, and especially the last track is a masterpiece. Definitely listen to this.

Substructure – Monolith

These guys just came out of nowhere. They do a great blend of Born of Osiris and The Contortionist, a.k.a progressive spacecore. The reason it’s not in my actual list is because it’s quite short and a bit derivative. It’s still a good listen though.

Empirine – The Great Excursion

These guys perform a technical/progressive death blend of Opeth, Obscura and Cynic. They’re pretty incredible, and we’ve covered them a few times, so you should definitely check them out.

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