Summoner – Beyond The Realm of Light

Boston’s newest riff-appliance, Summoner, just dropped their third album, Beyond the Realm of Light. On the Metal Archives, they are listed as “Stoner/Doom Metal”, though, this seems a far cry from the content on this album. Every song on this record uses mid-paced to fast tempos, plenty of melody, and tons of upbeat energy. The band’s DNA consists of all the usual trappings and song ideas of traditional metal and NWOBHM but the band avoids the “vest metal” label by having an aesthetic closer to Baroness and later-Mastodon than Black Sabbath or Judas Priest. Unfortunately, this shift away from the norm is about 5 years too late and not enough to save the album from moments of sameness.

Forest Swords – Compassion

Musing on the future and musing on the present are much closer processes than we'd like to imagine. We think of ourselves thinking of the future as a special capacity, unlinking what is to come and how we perceive it from the ways in which we lead our day to day lives, the weird reality in which we live in. One of the functions of art (good art, that is) is to coupled what was uncoupled and shine a light on how what is it to come is mirrored in our present situations. Forest Swords has always excelled at this; the one man project's approach to ambiance and electronics echoes with the haunting presence of what is now and the ways in which it is constantly flowering into what will be. In the process of conveying these ideas, the project utilizes a cavernous approach to sound, populating the spaces between its thunderous drums with rust-tinged electronics, cut off synth lines and other tools which serve to portray a lonesome, barren reality still somehow filled with dream.

Best Of – Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell was nothing if not human albeit one with otherworldly pipes and a mind ripe with the ability to form words and phrases in such a way as to simultaneously connect and befuddle listeners and onlookers. By all accounts he was a contemplative person who loved his inner circle very much but he wasn’t alone in his troubles. His imperfections, those that his fans knew about anyway, bred a certain closeness strengthening the bond they had with the performer. He was one of rock’s golden but least gilded gods. We have lost another great one but his legacy speaks for itself. We will miss you, Mr. Cornell. Our condolences from the Heavy Blog Family to yours. Read on for what our staff and special contributors feel is a sampling of some of the best work over the course of Chris Cornell’s amazingly moving career.