Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure trove, others find themselves drawing a blank at the end of the month due to the breakneck pace needed to keep up to date with what’s been released. Which brings us to this Heavy Blog PSA: a weekly roundup of new albums which pares down the the day’s releases to only our highest recommendations. Here you’ll find full album/single streams, pre-order links and, most importantly, a collection of albums that could very well earn a spot on your year end list. Enjoy!
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.
For fifteen years The Acacia Strain have used brown noise breakdowns and violent lyrical images to win fans worldwide. Whether it’s viewed as dumb narcissism or tailor made nihilism, the music has been used as a weapon to destroy venues and listeners auditory health. Any consumer of extreme music who is aware of this band should be able to tell their sound apart from the droves of down tempo and beatdown acts that infest music today. But with a constant record-tour-record cycle that has seen them shed virtually all of their original members along the way, can they continue to impress at the same level? Do they wind their collective neck in and continue to please the fans or is their room for any form of evolution in their sound? Does anyone still want to hear this anyway? Gravebloom answers all three of these questions. It has The Acacia Strain at their most destructive, venom spitting best, taking cues from the colossal closing act of 2014’s Coma Witch and toying with a sound rooted in doom and gloom; making damn sure that people will pay attention to the world’s angriest band again.
Rough week! We have some news to discuss, and Ben of Hadal Maw to interview, but technical issues keep getting in the way. Also, bonus points if you can tell me what artist the episode title is referencing. Beyond having a neat conversation with Ben about the Australian scene and his writing process, we discuss some news with Eden, mainly new music from No Sin Evades His Gaze, Ulsect, The Acacia Strain, Artificial Brain, Alpha Brutal, Orm and Slugdge. Also Violet Cold got signed, maybe? Enjoy.
As you may have noticed, over the past month or so we’ve been interviewing a series of Australian artists, and we’ll continue to bring those to you this month. Today we’re lucky enough to be joined by Andy Marsh, guitarist in Australian deathcore outfit Thy Art is Murder. The band have been making waves on the international scene for some time now and are one of Australia’s more successful exports. Vocalist CJ McMahon has recently reunited with the band and a new record is on the way, so we spoke to Andy about that, their split EP with Fit For An Autopsy and The Acacia Strain (available here), Australia and more. Enjoy!
2009 was a landmark year for me when it came to music. Releases from Every Time I Die and The Black Dahlia Murder were the soundtrack to my first experience of living on my own and, slotted somewhere between the two, Homesick by A Day To Remember became a “guilty pleasure”. The dyed in the wool metal head in me was conflicted. Torn even. I knew that the pop driven choruses and “she left me, boo hoo” lyrics were something I should have already got past but the songs were just too catchy to ignore. What business did a pop punk band have dropping savage, infectious breakdowns all over their material? Why do I still listen to this band, unironically? Because A Day To Remember are metal as fuck and I’ll fight you after class on the football field if you disagree.
I know that when I’m needing to unwind properly I have to listen to the nastiest stuff I can find. Doesn’t make a difference which scene it comes from. I know what it is I want as soon as I hear it. Bandcamp is a beast of a platform for…
In true soap-opera-that-outlived-its-course fashion, we’re replacing the actor who plays the part of Eden with David Wu of Cyborg Octopus! Yeah, he’s been here before, exactly 10 episodes ago!First, we talk about how artists feel about criticism, delve into the creative process a bit, and while we cover some of the same ground we did before, we end up in a different place! Then, we do the news, talking about Oathbearer, An Endless Sporadic, Metallica, Dance Gavin Dance, The Depression Sessions (The Acacia Strain, Thy Art Is Murder, Fit For An Autopsy), Virvum, Ninjaspy and Devin Townsend. Also, check David’s new channel he alluded to last time, RiffShop!
Sure, metal can certainly terrify listeners with occult imagery and sheer gore, but delving deep into one’s own personal neuroses can often take someone down a much darker path. Inexplicable sadness is often a much more relatable and ubiquitous demon than anything you’d see smeared across a Cannibal Corpse cover (not that there’s anything wrong with that). For that reason alone, it’s become a much more prevalent topic amongst death metal’s most notorious and now unjustly-reviled subgenre. You couldn’t have picked a better title for deathcore’s most anticipated EP of the year, and you probably couldn’t have picked a better batch of current bands to tackle the theme of depression either. Thy Art Is Murder, The Acacia Strain and Fit For An Autopsy are collectively as soul-bearing as they’ve ever been, and they’re still churning out brain-melting breakdowns in the process.
Deathcore has come a long way since its early days. Bands such as Whitechapel and The Acacia Strain have been doing it for over a decade now, and even Despised Icon are back at it again. It’s not a resurgence of the genre so much as it is a continuing sort of staying…