The calendar will tell you that the summer runs two-thirds of the way into September but ask anyone who goes to school and they will tell you the summer comes to a crushing finale at the end of August. Here at Heavy Blog is Heavy we did all we could to make your August as crushing as humanly possible and these were the stories that got your attention from the end of July through today. The list after the break.
1. Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s Best Of: Progressive Metalcore
There was much bloodshed, turmoil, and gnashing of teeth both inside and outside the Heavy Blog is Heavy staff tree house about the use of the word “Metalcore” to describe some of the progressive bands profiled in this month’s “Best of” feature. This argument devolved into the differences, if any, between metalcore and deathcore, and frankly was all a little bit more than any of us have the time or energy for on a Sunday morning.
Instead now would be a good time to remember some of the wonderful bands our staff members picked for this genre, however you want to describe it. From Misery Signals to two different BTBAM albums to more obscure selections like Oh, Sleeper, No Consequence, and my own recommendation of Wyoming’s native sons Picture it in Ruins, there is plenty here to prog out to for the rest of the weekend.
2. Machinae Supremacy – Phantom Shadow
Kyle Gaddo’s 5/5 review of new music from Sweden’s Machinae Supremecy comes in as the second most popular story this month on Heavy Blog. Kyle sees “Phantom Shadow” as the culmination of a long process for this band whose career reaches back more than a decade with songwriting and a concept that extends its reach beyond mere “fight songs.”
“Their first solid foray into concept album territory, Phantom Shadow reigns supreme as Machinae Supremacy’s finest work in musicianship and production,” Kyle writes. “No other album in their discography sounds as clean or as properly layered, each track hitting with a beautiful a nd precise punch.”
Anthony DiGiacomo’s 3.5/5 review of Pale Communion by Opeth is August’s third most popular posting on HBIH. Pale Communion continues Opeth’s string of all-clean singing records which Anthony identifies as an effort to recreate the vibe of 70’s prog rock “that is more than just a nod to or driving influence in the music, but rather a full on attempt at recapturing a time long past.”
Still Anthony finds something hopeful in the direction Opeth is taking. “Pale Communion has set the gears in motion for Opeth to get back to writing the kind of music that truly set them apart in the music world but requires a few more distinct and unique touches from the past to really be considered a worthy addition to their repertoire.”
4. As Blood Runs Black Get Exsanguinated (Break Up)
Noyan Tokgozoglu’s news story about the apparent demise of Southern California deathcore pioneers As Blood Runs Black got a lot more attention among Heavy Blog is Heavy readers than Noyan’s follow-up a week later of the band’s release of a new song. Funny how that works. In this fourth place story for August, Noyan not only quotes from an Instagram posted by ABRB drummer Hector ‘Lech’ De Santiago announcing the break-up, he takes a closer look at how this is a case study for the need for music fans to be cautious when contributing to crowd-funded campaigns.
“Now, nowhere does this mention the Indiegogo campaign, and since the campaign was “flexible funding”, this means that they receuved $25k of their fans’s money despite the campaign failing,” Noyan writes. “What does this mean for the fans? Maybe they’re out of luck, as the Indiegogo doesn’t have an update addressing the issue and the Instagram post doesn’t talk about it either.”
As it turns out, it does appear the album will come out but it remains unclear about the perks potential donors were promised.
Rounding out our top five for August, Aaron Lambert gives 4/5 to long-awaited new music from He is Legend. Many have doubted if we would ever get new music from this band that Aaron describes as “something of a cross between Deftones and Alice In Chains with southern-tinged Meshuggah elements and psychedelic stoner-sludge metal sensibilities thrown in here and there.”
I’ve long said that one sure sign of great art is that you find something new in it every time you expose your self to the work. That’s just what Aaron finds in this record.
“As with all of He Is Legend’s albums, Heavy Fruit is an addicting listen, and only gets better with each subsequent press of the play button. Sure, there are a few duds, such as “Something, Something, Something Witchy” and the unnecessarily tedious “I Sleep Just Fine”, but He Is Legends duds could just as easily be any other hard rock band’s gold. Simply put, He Is Legend are true innovators in heavy music, and Heavy Fruit is a more-than-worthy addition to their already fantastic discography. It’s great to have them back; now it’s time to start giving credit where it’s long overdue.”
The rest of the Top 10 for August:
6. Rapidfire Reviews: The Helix Nebula & No Sin Evades His Gaze
7. After Nearly Two Decades, Real Life Catches Up with Shadows Fall
8. THE HELL Frontman Writes Open Letter To Metalcore
9. Black Crown Initiate Unveil New Track The Great Mistake
10. Here’s What We’re (Really) Listening To