When you look back at the history of metal, it’s funny and somewhat weird that so-called “bedroom studio projects” have gotten so popular. It’s weird only when given the retrospective of the present, of course, now that we’re past their rise and, somewhat, fall. What makes it weird is the seeming incongruity between metal’s origins, so founded in the concept of the band and everything that comes with it, and the aesthetic of the bedroom project. Of course, given what we know now about how the internet and better/cheaper production abilities would affect metal, it seems obvious. More people can make music and they can spread that music to larger audiences. However, even knowing what we know today, it would have been hard to predict exactly how this scene would look and the various mannerisms which it today exemplifies.
Over the years, we’ve watched North Carolina’s Between the Buried and Me climb the ranks from metalcore weirdos struggling to find a place in the metal scene to prog metal masters with a legion of rabid fans and achieving worldwide headliner status. Through a series of critically-acclaimed opuses, a scene had formed itself around Between the Buried and Me as trailblazers of a new branch of modern progressive music, and one might argue that the biggest splash from the group came from their 2007 opus Colors, which turns 10 this year(!!!).
For this edition of Heavy Movies, I want to talk about the magical experience that is Jason Lei Howden’s DEATHGASM (all caps because lower case is for pussies). You see, DEATHGASM isn’t just a fantastic Heavy Movie, folks; it’s also one of the greatest horror comedies ever made. Taking cues from the metal-infused Satanic hysteria horror of the ‘80s, coupled with practical FX-laden splatter fare, it has all the ingredients you need for some blood sprayin’ bad ass cinema with tunes to match. Couple that with demons and an impending apocalypse, and you have a heroic underdog story we can all get behind. Then, throw in endlessly witty dialogue and a romantic sub-plot that oscillates between genuinely sweet and hilariously mean-spirited, and what you have is a coming-of-age tale which hilariously, yet sincerely, captures the awkward perils of teenage life.
From the first seconds of The Evening Redness, you wouldn’t be negligent in assuming that Milwaukee’s Lotus Ash have spent some time worshiping at the altar of Om. The prelude opener of “Man’s Purpose: War” kicks things off with a mystifying, monolithic chant and burly walls of wooly distorted guitars. The percolating tom work comes to full boil as things culminate in the second part of the opening duo, “But War Is God,” resembling tar in the kettle – hefty and dense, with gurgling throaty tones that parallel the vocal introduction. The organic qualities to their tone hint and anchor them to a post-metal classification, while other shades within it tell of their penchant for the doomier side of the spectrum.
Laurie Anderson is a woman who wears many hats—part musician, part director, part visual artist, all-around performance artist—and she’s made waves by combining all these mediums together in new and interesting ways. Big Science was her debut album, and is still very much considered her magnum opus. Within this album, Anderson presents herself as an artist with visions beyond the aural, using spoken word, odd instrumentation (seriously, there’s a fucking bagpipe on this album) and heavy synth use to create something entirely unique, beautiful, and highly representative of the 1980s.
For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to. For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.