Dream Theater – The Astonishing

While here at Heavy Blog we usually err on the “for its own merit” side of the album/career debate, choosing to focus on an album’s singular traits rather than its place within a band’s discography, this would be a mistake here. While The Astonishing, one of the most anticipated albums of the year, is certainly a departure from everything Dream Theater has been giving us in the past few years, it’s also a return to several key sounds from the beginning and middle period of their career.

8-Track: Every Time I Die

Where to begin with Every Time I Die, Buffalo’s favorite party animals? A career that has thrown out more filthy guitar licks and jarring breakdowns than a kegger at the Red Bull headquarters can’t quite be summarised in eight tracks; not quite anyway, but we’ve given it a go for our latest installment of the 8-Track feature here at Heavy Blog. Over seven albums and fourteen awesome music videos later, this mathcore/metalcore/hardcore/riffcore band have amassed a following that is just at home at Warped Tour as it is in that shitty venue in your hometown where people are scared of entering.

As usual, we’ve picked tracks that we feel best showcase this band across the years. We disagree on the best and worst albums and we can’t even agree on the best tracks from some of these albums, but we tried. We gave it our all, just like this band do with every show and every release. If you haven’t heard Every Time I Die before, this is a great god damn playlist for you to get stuck into. Enjoy.

Deep Dive: Streaming Platforms 101

Tidal may have stirred up significant controversy last year, but critics of streaming platforms have been vocalizing their dissent since Spotify first launched just under a decade ago. The discourse surrounding streaming platforms is essentially identical to the Napster debacle of the nineties, albeit with a fresh cast of vexed musicians, an upgrade in technology and a blurrier definition of fair compensation. What the issue boils down to is this: music producers and consumers are still grappling over what the exact value of music should be in a perpetually advancing digital age. And while streaming services attempted to solve this issue, it succeeded more at complicating things further and creating a new element of the debate. In order to illuminate a highly divisive issue, our latest Deep Dive will discuss the history of streaming platforms, evidence for and against them and their utility within music consumption.