Kvlt Kolvmn – 2018 in Review

Welcome once more to Kvlt Kolvmn. It’s that time again. The year has shed its final layer, curling itself into a corner and awaiting its imminent demise. Though, thankfully, not without plenty of bite left. It’s been a doozy of a year for all things metallic, with black metal being…

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Release Day Roundup – 6/8/18

Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure…

Editors’ Picks: February 2017

2017 is firing on all barrels. After an incredible January, containing several potential Album of the Year contenders, February further solidifies our firm belief that we are in the Golden Age of metal. Of course, this list contains more than metal, as befits Heavy Blog today, but just look how…

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.

The Central – Discovery Of A Rat

It is no small challenge for bands to find a way to sonically distinguish themselves from the legions of acts in their genre. There’s no shortage of ways (intentional or not) for groups to get this done, but in the past ten years or so, we’ve been hearing bands more frequently pull from unusual and atypical influences, bringing about a “What the hell is this?” line of thinking more and more often. Whether it’s a mixture of seemingly incongruent styles in the overlap of some wacky Venn diagram like this year’s fantastic Zeal and Ardor release Devil is Fine, or Between the Buried and Me’s spontaneous (and quite addictive) polka/circus/surf segues, it’s proven that there’s reward for ambitious risk-taking. As a result, it seems as though the metal community as a whole has adjusted their tastes. There’s more open-mindedness for things that stray from the path, and that’s exactly where Madison, Wisconsin grind duo The Central excel on their latest release, Discovery Of A Rat.

Break Out Your Corpsepainted Hymnal with Zeal and Ardor

Back when I was an undergrad, I came across the term “bricolage” while reading Dick Hebdige’s Subculture: The Meaning of Style for one of my communication theory classes. Though he was specifically using the term to analyze punk fashion, the term has a broad meaning covering virtually all forms of art. The concept is simple – bricolage is created by the combination of autonomous objects or practices from disparate contexts to form something with new meaning and style. Creativity is at the core of bricolage, and in my view, musicians that take this approach often produce music that’s at the very least interesting and occasionally quite brilliant. All of this pseudo-intellectual rambling is a product of me discovering Zeal and Ardor’s phenomenal new album Devil is Fine, the project of producer Manuel Gagneux and an excellent example of what bricolage is and why it can produce fantastic results. Frankly, I don’t know what made Gagneux want to combine black metal and black spirituals, but I’m wicked fucking glad he did.