If you’re in the northern hemisphere like most of you who read this site, then you’re no doubt enjoying the benefits of natural seasonal changes as the nightmare that was winter 2015 has given way to a beautiful spring. And if you’re in the southern hemisphere — particularly if you’re in Australia, as many of our readers are — you’re almost certainly feeling the relief of more tolerable temperatures as your summer has given way to fall and is quickly approaching winter. Either way, all over the world we’re entering the magical time of year known as Festival Season. Many of the biggest and best bands in the world (and leagues of smaller ones as well) are preparing to set out for various tours and huge outdoor festivals that will attract thousands upon thousands of individuals. The global festival circuit has become so huge and varied though that it can be nearly impossible to know where even to start if you’re looking to travel to one.
We’re here to help! Obviously there are far too many metal festivals around the world for us to provide anywhere near a comprehensive list, but we asked our staff to highlight a few festivals on 3 continents — North America, Europe, and Australia (apologies to the rest of the world as we only have so many staff members from different places). Check them all out below!
French electronic wizard Rémi Gallego (The Algorithm, to you and I) played to a huge crowd at last years Euroblast Festival where, to the benefit of those not in attendance, some fancy cameras caught his performance of ‘will_smith’. The end result is potentially one of the funniest and creepiest performance videos this writer has ever seen. See what I mean after the jump!
Welcome, one and all, to the Heavy Blog Is Heavy Album of the Year list! This year, we did something a bit different. Instead of running staff members’ top 25 or top 10 lists, we went all sophisticated and created a composite Top 50 list. We’ll leave the statistical games behind the scenes but suffice it to say that we didn’t just vote on the list and its order. More subtly, this list represents the different rankings staff members gave albums on scale of 1-25. After we’re done running the complete list, we’ll also have a section where you can peep each member’s top 10 and an Outliers list: albums that made individual top 10’s but not the final Top 50.
The albums that you see below, from 50-26, are many of which we might call “wildcards.” Many of these albums either took us by complete surprise or are in genres we don’t normally cover on the website. Rather than restrict our list to just metal releases though, we wanted this list to be a true reflection of the full tastes of our eclectic staff.
I’ll shut up now, OK? Head on over the jump for the full list. 2014 was an amazing year and we thank each and everyone of you for being with us for it. We can’t wait for 2015! Let’s get to it.
And the list marches on. We’ve covered a myriad variety of metal so far and it’s a been a blast. Some of the albums already on the list definitely enjoyed a few more spins, just to remember exactly how good they are. As we charge towards that illustrious top five, the quality is not going to stop. We’re slowly climbing our way towards albums that were either hotly disputed in the group or enjoyed an overwhelming amount of consensus. Brace yourselves, here we go again!
Without further ado, here’s an arbitrarily arranged list of awesome albums from 2014 so far. Remember: it’s okay to not like thing.
We’re sure that you’ve heard of French electronic project The Algorithm‘s sophomore album OCTOPUS4, out now on Basick Records. I can’t stop going on about it, and it’ll seriously end up on my year-end retrospective of the best albums that 2014 has to offer. This is no mere electronic record; there’s elements of progressive metal and nearly tongue-in-cheek retrofuturism that makes OCTOPUS4 a fun and engaging listen.
Basick Records have been kind enough to hook us up with five free download codes for the record, and all you have to do to enter a random drawing is send an email with the headline “will_smith” to mail(at)heavybl0gisheavy.com. We’ll choose the winners this Friday. Good luck!
The Algorithm‘s upcoming sophomore album OCTOPUS4 will probably end up on my top 20 albums of 2014 despite not actually being metal. The mish-mash of electronic music and prog is too fun to ignore, and OCTOPUS4 sees French musician Remi Gallego at his best thus far. Look no further than the oddity that is ‘will_smith‘, one of my favorites from the album, to get a feel for the insane world that is The Algorithm. Stream the track after the jump.
Remi Gallego’s The Algorithm is likely an anomaly in the listening habits of thousands of listeners; the France-based electronic act is marketed almost exclusively to those interested in tech metal and djent. Indeed, The Algorithm is overtly influenced by and born out of the djent movement and surrounding online scene — going as far as recruiting Monuments drummer Mike Malyan for live shows — but Gallego has since blossomed into a legitimate force in electronic music, bridging the gap and offering crossover appeal. The Algorithm as we know it on the sophomore album OCTOPUS4 is a far cry from the avant-garde djent style that the early demos had implied.
So apparently that attempted Kickstarter campaign to get the in-development indie PC game Pirates vs Privateers lead to nowhere despite the involvement from the increasingly popular The Algorithm, so the sophomore album from the French metal-influenced electronic act Octopus4 will no longer be exclusive to the campaign. In fact, a new single from the album, ‘synthesiz3r‘ has just been made available and you can stream it below.
Electronic/metal oddity The Algorithm isn’t content with following up a celebrated debut Polymorphic Code with a standard conventional release; the act’s sophomore full-length album OCTOPUS4 will come exclusively to backers for an impending sci-fi shoot-em-up game titled Pirates VS Privateers. Though, it might be a bit hard to get.
Basick Records are definitely one of the better labels out there right now, especially in terms of forward-thinking progressive metal. Their lineup includes bands such as The Algorithm, Uneven Structure, Dissipate and Glass Cloud, just to give you an idea. Anyways, they’re now doing a new promotion called ‘The Summer Of Discovery’, and it sounds like a pretty good deal.