Festival Primer 2017

How to navigate the sheer number of festivals now available for the metal fan? With the aim of helping you sort through this vast variety, we’ve compiled the following primer. It’s by no means extensive; it’s simply impossible to write about all of the festivals we would have liked to mention. We focused on those we’ll be attending and on those who have the most attractive setlists in our eyes. That being said, do feel free to share more great festivals with us in the comments and please enjoy this, our selection of festivals for 2017.

Heavy Blog Primer – Our Most Anticipated Albums of 2017

Though it may seem like we talked ad naseum about how fucking spectacular 2016 was in terms of new music, the fact remains that we saw more fantastic albums drop than we could seemingly keep up with. But just when we thought our palates were satiated, here comes 2017 with an excellent early roster of release announcements, some we’ve expected for a while and others that came out of nowhere. The following is a surely incomplete list of all the albums worth craving as we ring in the new year. Some of these albums have been fully announced with pre-order links and all that jazz, while others are merely probable assumptions based on various updates on social media. Regardless, these are all phenomenal projects worth looking for in the coming year. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and we encourage you to comment with some albums you’re anticipating so we can share in your excitement.

Itzamna – Chascade

When we say “multi-instrumentalist”, what do we mean? Certainly, at the basic level of the term, there is the technicality and skill involved in mastering and playing multiple instruments. However, composition and songwriting are also large aspects of the phenomenon described by the term “multi-instrumentalist”. We expect a kind of eclectic approach mingled with a far-flung direction, a tone and voice that would single out the “multi-instrumental” artist in our minds as a discrete, musical unit.

Clément Belio’s career, so far, has both cemented and called into doubt the “multi-instrumentalist” label. His album from 2014, Contrast, was more of an experiment in homage, in variance around familiar themes. It was brilliant, to say the least, but perhaps lacked that innately emotive spark that would cement his direction and musical interest. Thus, we waited with baited breaths for his next release, not quite sure of what to expect. Would the next release continue the line which Contrast sketched out? Would it even be metal, when you take into consideration Belio’s extensive, musical education and background?

Deep Dive – The Occult In Modern Day Metal

“The occult” is a term that gets thrown around quite a lot these days. It’s mostly used to describe a certain aesthetic, one laden with candles, burly cloaks and pentagrams. It can also be used to connote an eerie or bizarre, a sense that something is off. That shouldn’t be surprising; after all, “occult” comes from the Latin “occultus”, something hidden or secret. However, the occult is also a field of study, a body of knowledge and a sociological term which underwent plenty of historical permutations to finally end up with the meaning and context is bears today.

*prognotes – Uneven Structure’s Februus

Have you seen/read The Fountain? If not, you really should. The movie (and the comic book) depict a greyscaled story of consciousness, birth, death and spirituality. It’s a sub-genre that’s existed on the fringes of science fiction ever since Philip K. Dick wrote Valis and perhaps even before, with the darkly eerie works of H.G. Wells. In any case, these tales draw on the concepts of self-realization, actualization and psychological distress while casting all of these onto a darkly astral landscape. The aesthetic is usually austere, with the colors being utilized to stress extreme moments of passion, realization and growth. From out of the blackness rise spires of color across fantastical palettes, symbolizing inner explosions and revelations.

This is exactly the type of aesthetic that informs, creates and makes possible Uneven Structure’s 2011 masterpiece, Februus. It’s an album which follows the birth and psychodrama of some sort of unspecified entity, from its first steps through adversity and, finally, to freedom and grace through power.

Singled Out (7/18 – 7/24): New Music From Uneven Structure, Bring Me The Horizon, Nile, The Black Dahlia Murder, and More!

In case you haven’t been following, Singled Out is our new weekly column to round-up all of the singles and new tracks from the past week dropped by bands we cover. Consider this our weekly mix to help keep you all on top of the latest releases from across the metallic…