Even a cursory glance of our biweekly “What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To” posts (last weeks update here) will reveal that there is a great deal of variety among our staff’s musical tastes. Due to this, we brainstormed the idea of “Playlist Swap,” another biweekly segment that takes place between playlist updates. We randomly select two of the participants from each update, have them pick their favorite track from each of the nine albums in their grid and then send the list over to the other person to listen to and comment on. Within these commentaries occurs praise, criticism and discovery, and we hope that you experience a few instances of this last point as well. Our inaugural post brought staff members Simon Handmaker and William France together to peruse each other’s tastes:
Tag Archive The Contortionist
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 posts, quite a few inclusions recently received the Heavy Blog seal of approval via positive reviews. KEN Mode‘s Success (here), Jaga Jazzist‘s Starfire (here), Thy Art Is Murder‘s Holy War (here), WRVTH‘s WRVTH (here), Tempel‘s The Moon Lit Our Path (here) and Mutoid Man‘s Bleeder (here) are all excellent albums worthy of your time. Of course, perhaps the most notable of these recent reviews is Coma Ecliptic, the latest offering from Blog favorites Between the Buried and Me. While reception to the new album has been mixed, Jimmy’s in-depth review (here) details exactly why so many members of our staff are fawning over the new record. Finally, a a few members of our staff have been listening to Maïak, the topic of our most recent Post Rock Post. If you love post rock as much as we do, be sure to read the post and check out Maïak 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 receiving regular rotation on our headphones, stereos and turntables:
Seemingly in spite of the increasingly divided fan opinion regarding the group’s musical trajectory over the years, North Carolina’s shining sons Between the Buried and Me have become one of the best selling and most influential acts in progressive metal. Throughout their fifteen year career thus far, the band’s hardcore roots have slowly eroded away, showing an affinity for classic prog rock in the vein of Queen, Pink Floyd, and King Crimson (which everyone should have seen coming after the band covered all three for The Anatomy Of). This inevitability has been hinted at since Alaska, with the band adopting conceptual themes, epic-length tracks, and a subtle flair for the theatrical. This maturation comes to a head on Coma Ecliptic, the band’s seventh original studio album, as a cosmic rock opera that follows a man entering a self-induced coma in order to explore his past lives in the hope of finding something better.
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 number of inclusions of new releases that have received the HBIH stamp of approval via positive reviews. And So I Watch You From Afar‘s Heirs, Eidola‘s Degeneraterra, Faith No More‘s Sol Invictus, Arcturus‘ Arcturian, Leprous‘ The Congregation and Veil of Maya‘s Matriarch are all albums considered to be some of the strongest releases from 2015 thus far. Additionally, editors Nick and Eden have been spinning the forthcoming Jaga Jazzist album Starfire, and have been in sonic euphoria because of over the course of this past week. Expect a review in the next few weeks from Nick explaining the genius of both JJ and Starfire. Finally, there are a couple inclusions of the classic Refused album The Shape of Punk to Come, which should serve as a reminder that the Swedish post-hardcore giants are preparing to release Freedom, their first album in almost two decades. Read about the album’s details and preview the lead single “Elektra” 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:
Within the realm of progressive metal, North Carolina’s Between the Buried and Me have been one of the biggest and most widely-influential names in the game for the past decade. Their propensities for gigantic and thematic albums paired with unpredictable genre-hopping has undoubtedly left a huge mark on younger bands who are now heavily populating the prog, metalcore, and even djent scenes. Now on the cusp of releasing their seventh LP, Coma Ecliptic, the band is finding their footing as a staple in the genre and is planning on delivering yet another concept album worthy of the classic 70s groups that gave birth to the style. I had a chance to speak with guitarist and founding member Paul Waggoner about the new record, how difficult it is planning sets, musical inspirations, and much more!
It’s not every week a tech death album comes out (2015 isn’t quite 2014…yet) but this is another that is certain to divide fans. Sticking out from the rest of the pack requires more than just technique, technique which Abiotic spare no time in showcasing on their sophomore Metal Blade release, Casuistry. An all round enjoyable turn from the Florida musicians, Casuistry takes genre preconceptions and runs with them, incorporating some of the rowdier moments of their debut album. The record as a whole however, doesn’t quite know where it sits between the Abiotic of old and new.
In metal, one of the biggest problems is reaching a new demographic. Can you believe that people are averse to smelly guys screaming at them for extended periods of time? Keep reading if you want six tips to gain a respectable fanbase that isn’t filled with manchildren.
They may have just gotten off a headlining run across the states just last month, but Indiana’s The Contortionist are showing absolutely no sign of slowing down! While their last tour package was more catered to the extreme metal crowd, this time we’re seeing these guys taking out a much more mellow lineup. Support will come from the instrumental prog-rock group Chon and Canada’s Auras. Click here to check out the dates!
As many of you know, beloved Heavy Blog contributor and well-known metal community member and supporter Brian Shields passed away earlier this year from causes unknown. His impact on our scene is, to be succinct, admirable. He left an incredible impression on many members of the community, even those in well-known bands today, including Between the Buried and Me, Wings Denied, The Faceless, and Sleep Terror.
That’s why as of today, in collaboration with Zach Dresher and Alec Kossoff from Wings Denied, we are launching the Brian Shields Memorial Fund, a crowd funding campaign to help unsigned and lesser known bands go on tour across North America!
Calling it now—tour of 2015. Between the Buried and Me are wrapping up work on their upcoming album, Coma Ecliptic. Mixed by the legendary Jens Bogren, the 11-track monster will be available via Metal Blade Records on July 7th, 2015.
In support of the soon-to-be-released record, Between the Buried and Me will be going on an extended tour of North America with prog giants Animals as Leaders and The Contortionist during the summer. This follows an already announced smaller run with Chicago’s The Atlas Moth.
Tour dates and Coma Ecliptic information below!