Cynic‘s debut album Focus is undoubtedly one of the most influential works in metal. It influenced countless artists and shaped the nature of progressive metal for decades to come. But where did they come from? What happened to them? In the wake of their second (and perhaps final) break-up (assuming all the drama around the break-up resolves), it’s worth examining the culture that led to the formation of Cynic, their rise to fame, and how they’ve been interspersed with the rest of the metal scene and how far their influence reaches.
Tag Archive The Faceless
I don’t know about you, but I like my progressive deathcore to be weird, crazy, and absolutely off the hook (see here for more details). There’s a time for the more modern trend of slowing it down and djenting it up, but there will always be a special place in my heart for the likes of The Faceless, Arsonists Get All The Girls, Born Of Osiris, and their cohorts.
Unfortunately, all of these bands have either moved on from these roots or fallen apart entirely. I wake in dismay every day with that fact as the first thing on my mind; every morning, I step out of bed and think “golly, I really wish we could have had more of the stuff on Akeldama, The Game of Life, The New Reign, and other similar albums”. So imagine my overwhelming joy upon discovering Recite The Raven, a band that is breathing new life into the shambling husk this genre has become.
If you want to know what the best death metal in 2015 sounds like, look no further than Pennsylvania’s Rivers of Nihil, who are just about to drop Monarchy, one of the most impressive sophomore releases to ever come out of the death metal style. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re a fan of blast-happy insanity, head-bobbing grooves or expansive and progressive song structures, this album has it all, and it’s smoking damn near every other modern band in the process. Now that the band is just about to head out on the road in support of this monolith of a record, Brody Uttley had a conversation with Heavy Blog Is Heavy while he was in his car up headed up to New York for band practice. I had a chance to speak with him about balancing brutality with progressive song ideas, handling the recording process on his own, the band’s touring plans, and much more!
Welcome back to Starter Kit, a weekly feature on Heavy Blog Is Heavy. In it, we’ll explore a different subgenre or sound, and list three releases that are the best places to start, as well as absolute essentials, in the subgenre of choice. So far, in order of oldest to newest, we’ve covered Sludgewave, Slam, and Screamo, and today, we’re taking a peek through the looking glass of odd time signatures and breakdowns at one of my personal favorite subgenres: OG Progressive Deathcore.
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), Rosetta‘s Quintessential Ephemera (here) and Symphony X‘s Underworld (here) are all excellent albums worthy of your time. Additionally, there are quite a few inclusions that were featured in our ongoing “Post Rock Post” segment, which aims to recommend quality upcoming acts that we have recently been fawning over. Town Portal (here) and In Each Hand a Cutlass (here) are both great bands doing post rock justice and more than worthy of your time. Finally, four of our contributors have Ornette Coleman albums in their grids, demonstrating preparation for the second installment of our Jazz Club segment, in which we discuss the legacy of the eminent saxophonist. This was an excellent discussion that touched upon a broad range of topics, and we encourage you to check it out 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:
Summer Slaughter Tour has succeeded at both enlisting some of the biggest names in death metal and its off-shoot genres as well as conjure a flurry of quarreling comments about whether the lineup adheres to what its “Most Extreme Tour of the Year” tagline implies. Yet, what is often undiscussed is how generally predictable Summer Slaughter has become, both in its lineups and the arguments surrounding them. Look for a breakdown of this year’s Summer Slaughter lineup and a commentary on the tour as a whole after the jump:
Baltimore, MD locals Perihelion will be hitting the road this June to dominate the east coast of the US, starting in Raleigh, NC and capping things off in their hometown over the course of two weeks. The band of youths, the five of them being around the age of 19, have their own brand of technical death metal reminiscent of the likes of Rings of Saturn, The Faceless, and some Akeldama thrown into the mix as well.
Grab tour dates and their first single, “Holy Infestation,” behind the cut!
We’re back with another list of Heavy Blog’s “Best Of!” This time around, we are bringing to you some staff picks from the world of technical death metal. We won’t spoil it for you up here, but read on to find out what we think is the cream of the crop and then feel free to leave us comments about how wrong we are.
Things definitely felt up in the air a few months ago when literally every single member but founder Michael Keene left The Faceless. How could it not be? While the band has always been known for its frequent roster changes, there’s never been a complete band change inbetween albums like this. Keene & Co. announced in February that Justin McKinney of The Zenith Passage would be the band’s second guitarist, and now it looks like the boys have a new bassist as well. Or is it an old bassist? Head over the jump to find out more.
Technical death metal is based in a duality of sorts: the music has to be both smart enough to lead the listener through the insane technicality with a sense of cohesion, yet not so out-of-this-world that it loses its audience. Combining deft, speedy guitar leads with fast-paced backing, tech death weaves its way through progressions and songs with the meticulous-yet-nimble nature of a surgeon at work, and with the same level of quick, practiced intelligence. This leads to some bands that create incredible things- tech death outfits like Spawn of Possession, Gorguts, and The Faceless have released masterpieces that engage the mind at the same time they assault the ears.
However, when bands become too entrenched in their own sonic proficiency, and forget that they are writing music for an actual audience, the results can be anywhere from decent to disastrous, and such is the case with the debut album from technical death metal band Irreversible Mechanism.