As fascinating and as forward-thinking the metal world is a lot of the time, sometimes it’s hard to beat a combination of infectious energy and rough cut riffs. Call Of The Void embody that statement shamelessly and their debut record Dragged Down A Dead End Path finds the band refining and honing those ideals with some impressive results. The basic gist of their sound takes the head-moving underlying groove of Trap Them and stirs in a lethal dose of the grinding car-crash that is Gaza. Through the entire duration of Dragged Down… you’re subjected to a selection of headstrong riffs, that are more concerned with blunt force than any real finesse or subtlety, d-beats and gruff vocals in two distinct ways; tracks like ‘Napalm Lungs‘ and ‘The Liar’s Heart‘ take the direct grind route and, on the other hand, ‘Endless Ritual Abuse‘ and the brilliantly titled ‘I Hope You Two Fuck‘ place the focus on mid-tempo stomps. It’s a familiar approach and not one would displace any disbelievers in the style any time soon, but it’s not one that you could ever fake and the sheer amount of honesty on display here is infectious. Call Of The Void are callous, loud and, although it sounds like an antonym, sagacious, let’s hope they don’t change any time soon. – DL
Despite the graceful bowing out in their swan song Danza IIII, the spirit of The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza still lives on in the whacky guitar antics of guitarist and songwriter Joshua Travis‘ new band Glass Cloud, which also features former Of Mice and Men frontman Jerry Roush. Without even taking into account the smart but catchy tunes, their live show is a must-see what with Josh’s charismatic stage presence and Jerry’s penchant for commanding a crowd. While on tour supporting Silverstein, resident photographer Chris Collins captured Glass Cloud’s set, which you can view below.
Oh how the mighty have fallen. All That Remains still holds a special place in many of our hearts, as This Darkened Heart and The Fall of Ideals remain among some of the greatest material to ever come out of the New Wave Of American Heavy Metal/metalcore scene. Those days are unfortunately long gone, and things don’t look promising. The band stumbled through Overcome and For We Are Many, but the band’s latest pitfall A War You Cannot Win sees the band making yet another grab for radio-friendly rock hits that are formulaic and absolutely boring, falling even further away from the sound that first put them on the map. Gone are the powerfully heavy yet uplifting anthems of ‘Six‘ and ‘The Weak Willed.’ Instead, we’re left with boring uninspired songwriting that we’ve heard done better in previous albums at best and hamfisted paint-by-numbers mediocrity bordering on butt-rock territory at worst. One thing you can still count on All That Remains for is ripping guitar solos, and fortunately lead guitarist Oli Herbert hasn’t stopped contributing harmonic leads and shred, but it’s usually not worth sitting through the songs to get to them. Pass on this, and stick with the pre-Overcome discography and wonder where it all went. - JR
Hello! This is Kyle Bishop, singer, songwriter, and piano player of the shitty band, Numbers. For some reason, HBIH thinks my opinion matters, and asked what I’ve been listening to this crazy year of 2012. So, without wasting anymore of your time, here are a few!
T’is that beautiful time of year again. A season of good will, understanding and compassion towards your fellow man — a time for giving, loving and appreciating. The cold may have rolled in and the trees may have shed their once vibrant foliage, but the world finds solace in the love and company of others. It’s a time to reflect on the memories of the year and plan ahead for the next.
But most of all it’s a time to listen brutal fucking metal and drink a fuck tonne of Advocaat, because 2012 was full of great releases and now’s your chance to catch on releases you may have missed or may have never even heard of. My first draft of this list was composed of 30 albums, which then shot up to 37 when I realised that I had forgotten to include EPs. Everything from new bands that came out of nowhere to blow my mind (We Are Knuckle Dragger, Bloodshot Dawn, Oddland, Exotic Animal Petting Zoo etc) to the old guard continuing their brilliant legacy (Gojira, Aborted, Napalm Death, Deftones etc) all unfortunately fell by the wayside in the ruthless culling exercise that produced this list. And I regret cutting every single one of them, but alas, if I was talk about every album this year that was great, I’d probably lose your attention pretty quickly. Who am I kidding? You’ve most likely already skipped on to the list and you’re not even reading this bit. I could write anything I want here and no one would notice. Anythingatall.
Some of you may be aware of who I am. AlucardXIX on youtube, amongst other websites. The guy who does all the Veil of Maya covers, the mind behind Encircle, and another writer on this here great ol’ blog. 2012 was both an interesting and disappointing year to me, musically. Some absolutely astounding albums came out this year, and some serious let downs as well (The Faceless, The Contortionist). Originally it was hard for me to pick a top ten; I thought about all the albums I’ve heard that I abandoned after a few listens, albums I loved at first listen and then wondered how I even thought that to begin with. I thought I could barely muster together 10 albums to begin with, but remembering back to the beginning of the year, I managed this humble fifteen:
For our year end best-of retrospectives, we reached out to a few friends of the site who were active bands in 2012 to contribute their personal lists and rundowns of what they enjoyed throughout the year. Kicking off our guest lists is Cyclamen and WithYouAtHome mastermind Hayato Imanishi, whom you may already be familiarwith if you read the site regularly. Check out his selection of records below!
Heavy Blog’s favorite label Basick Records’ most recently announced signing Dissipate are releasing their new EP Tectonics next week, but you can get a head start in getting acquainted with Tectonics this week at Metal Underground, who have the exclusive stream. If you’re unfamiliar with the type of business Dissipate involve themselves in, think of the chaotic musical abstractions from the likes of Ion Dissonance, The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, and Car Bomb with added melodic and atmospheric Deftones flair thrown in for good measure. We’re looking at a new obsession in the making with Dissipate.
01. The Sentinel
03. Finish It
04. Lower the Blade
06. Third Revelation
07. Recursive Patterns
08. Spirit of Poison
09. Magic Bullet
11. This Will Do the Job
12. The Seconds
Criminally underrated and hellishly overworked, Car Bomb are a band that to be respected. Between their first album Centralia and their indie documentary Why You Do This chronicling the unglamorous and often degrading life of an independent band on the road, Car Bomb have painted themselves as a dedicated force in extreme cerebral metal. Through it all, they persevere, because for them, the most important thing in their world is to make this music and live this life. Even if you don’t necessarily like the music, you have to respect their dedication to their craft. It’s nothing short of inspiring. After Centralia and the documentary, as well as leading single ‘Third Revelation’ featuring none other than Gojira frontman Joe Duplantier, it was safe to say that the long awaited sophomore release was going to be picking up a fair share amount of buzz.
Take one part Car Bomb, one part The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza and one part Ion Dissonance — smash them together and what do you get? Ask Basick Records.
Dissipate — Basick’s latest signing, who peddle some very tech-y and math-y ‘core’, definitely have the right influences when it comes down to it, but it’s the music that really speaks for itself. The above track ‘Motion‘ gives us our first insight into the bands upcoming EP for the label, Tectonics, with it’s stuttering and crushing rhythms and a surprising ending that finds vocalist Joshua Foster switching effortlessly between his gutteral shouts and crooning cleans. Definitely a band to keep an eye on and Basick continue to maintain their winning streak of signing some of the best underground groups around.
Tectonics is set for release on November 19th in Europe, 20th in North America.