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.
Head past the jump to see which receiving regular rotation on our headphones, stereos and turntables:
Pacing is one of the most important aspects of the musical arts. Often, unfortunately, it goes ignored or unutilized, but proper pacing can be an incredible strength for a piece of music. No matter the genre in question, a good command of an album’s pace and speed can be a huge strength, and, in some cases, the difference between the release being a success and it being a failure. Artists like Dreadnought and The Mars Volta, to name bands in very different places on a musical spectrum, have both mastered the art of pacing an album properly and use it to lend a huge sense of strength and progression to their music.
Fusion music is one strange beast. There are two radically different ends of the spectrum, where a fusion album can be absolutely amazing, or it can be absolutely horrible. The key to any successful album is to make sure that you tread a fine line between absolute wankery and pure musical proficiency to create something that’s both filled with emotions but also complex and different. The Pneumatic Transit, fronted by Jeff Zampillo formerly of Exotic Animal Petting Zoo fame, has been talking to me about making this album for years now. It’s been a dream and a passion for him, and it’s great to finally see it hit the light of day as a complete piece. The album has been out for a month now, and after multiple listens, it’s become clear that his new band has begun on a great path to being one of the better fusion bands out there.
Welcome to a new feature on Heavy Blog, “The Anatomy Of”. Taken from the Between The Buried And Me album of the same name — in which the band pays tribute to artists/bands that they feel have most inspired their songwriting — it’s a feature in which we hand off the metaphorical microphone to bands so they can talk about their influences.
This week in “The Anatomy Of”, we’ve got every member of the newest, hypest thing coming up in progressive metal. Rising from the ashes of the now-defunct The Safety Fire, Good Tiger features guitarists Derya “Dez” Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles joining forces with all-around tech metal drummer Alex Rudinger, former Tesseract vocalist Elliot Coleman, and bassist Morgan Sinclair (who, among other things, toured with Architects). The new project was unveiled through an Indiegogo campaign last week, and has already earned 167% of their requested funding as of this writing.
So what makes Good Tiger tick? The band have deconstructed their sound and each member has traced their personal inspiration back to the records that have ultimately informed not only how they write and perform music, but how they’ve become passionate about the craft in the first place.
2014 is now “last year”. Let that sink in as we get our schedules restarted and refueled for the year to come. It was impossible to expect anyone to encompass every single release during 2014, a crazy year for metal where every day seemed to push the bar a little higher. During the inevitable rush of posts, some albums got lost along the way. We’ll be doing our best to correct the error and present to you over the coming few weeks reviews for albums that we missed. Who cares if they’re “so last year”? Some of them are simply brilliant and no better example exists than Rishloo‘s Living As Ghosts With Buildings As Teeth. As far as progressive metal goes, it came along right at the end of the year in order to smash all expectations and standards.
Let’s keep it brief, okay folks? This is the second part of our Top 50, Album of the Year list. At the end, you’ll find our Top 10, while tomorrow we’ll have individual staff members’ top 10 lists and our Outliers section: albums that were placed on individual top 10’s but didn’t make the Top 50 list.
The albums you’ll find here were ones that had broad consensus among our large group of staff writers and editors as truly excellent representations of the worlds of metal and other heavy music this year. No doubt you’ll find things to quibble with, but we’re proud of this list and the entries therein.
If you haven’t yet, check out Part I of this list, listing numbers 50 to 26. Alright, OK, no more words. Let’s get to it!
It is with a grave heart that we write Isaiah “Ikey” Owens, founding member of The Mars Volta and keyboard play for Jack White passed away yesterday from an apparent heart attack. A representative confirmed the cause of death a few hours after the news struck. We send our thoughts and condolences to his family and friends and hope they know no more sorrow.
So we had a lot of fun last week posting some of the last.fm 3×3 collages of what we’re really listening to. We’ll get a prog metal celeb’s take after the jump.
Do you sometimes wish that The Mars Volta hadn’t gone completely off the deep end? Do you find you crave that heady mix of blues, rock and metal? Is Stolas‘s Living Creatures worn out from replays? Look no further than Eidola for your math rock with a tinge of the blues, swing with a few screams thrown in or just general aural insanity. Mixing all these elements, the band’s The Great Glass Elephant is a demanding listen, but one which rewards the avid listener. You can listen to the whole thing right here after the jump!
In case you aren’t familiar with recent developments, Killer Be Killed — featuring Soulfly‘s Max Cavalera, The Dillinger Escape Plan‘s Greg Puciato, Mastodon‘s Troy Sanders, and former The Mars Volta drummer Dave Elitch — actually lives up to its “supergroup” status, measuring up to be the sum of its parts. I said as much in my review over at Metalsucks, concluding that their debut album is “a proper culmination of influences that represents each member’s artistic lineage and talents in a manner that does each legacy act justice.” In short, the album doesn’t suck. We’re closer to Down than Hellyeah on the metal supergroup spectrum here.