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.
As is typical of these updates, there are a few inclusions of new releases that have recently received the HBIH stamp of approval via positive reviews. Jaga Jazzist‘s Starfire (review here), Maruta‘s Remain Dystopian (review here) and Secrets of the Sky‘s Pathway (review here) all received positive marks from our staff, particularly the former. It is also fitting that there are a couple of Mastodon inclusions, as they were the subject of our recent ‘For Fans Of” post which may be read here. Additionally, considering the multiple instances of Cattle Decapitation‘s excellent last album Monolith of Inhumanity, it is safe to assume that our staff is rather excited for their upcoming album The Anthropocene Extinction; lead single “Manufactured Extinct” may be streamed here. Finally, while not necessarily a “metal” release, Prurient‘s new noise masterpiece is included by a couple members of our staff, yours included. Stream the album here and be sure to check out the project’s upcoming dates with Godflesh here.
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.
Head past the jump to see which records have been receiving regular rotation on our headphones, stereos and turntables:
After a painstakingly long hiatus, Textures have finally entered the studio to record the follow up to 2011’s Dualism. The album will be their second release for Nuclear Blast, and their first to feature new guitarist Joe Tal, although former guitarist Jochem Jacobs will be on board as producer and mixer. Yuma van Eekelen (Exivious/ex-Pestilence) will also be on board as co-producer/engineer at both Jochem’s Split Second Sound and Bart and Yuma’s own Final Focus Studio.
I vividly remember that night 10 years ago plus a day: the headlines were plastered all over every single metal outlet, crying out the horrid fact that ‘Dimebag’ Darrell and three fans were brutally gunned down during a show. I was 17 at the time and A Vulgar Display of Power and Far Beyond Driven were my lifeblood, companions in the struggle against the society I felt was choking me down. In honor of the legacy that Darrell has left with is and to commemorate the pain of that night, Textures have released a cover version of ‘I’m Broken’, an iconic Pantera song. Head on over the jump to hear it.
It’s been about a month since we peeked behind the curtains to see what the Heavy Blog staff is (really) listening to. We start our three-part update after the jump.
Joining the ranks of the plethora of supergroups that have sprang up recently is Netherlands-based project Mourn, whose members include Robin Zielhorst (Exivious, ex-Cynic, ex-Blue Man Group) on bass, Thomas Frankhuijzen (March) on drums, Kas Kluitman on guitar, and Pieter Verpaalen (ex-Textures) handling vocal duties. When a band’s lineup reads like a who’s who of Dutch progressive metal, you’d think you know what you’re in for…but guess again. While Mourn’s musical direction is not completely out of left field compared to that of its members’ past projects (Textures do have their bouncy, groovy moments some times), it’s safe to say that no one would be expecting a Pantera 2.0 when checking this band out, which is pretty much what the band sounds like. They cite the aforementioned Pantera, Down, Black Sabbath, and Black Label Society as main influences, and that much is evident from their 3-song EP The Beaten Path which you can hear for yourself below:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.