So! Here we are. Heavy Blog 3.0. Writing this intro makes me remember the famous, and cliche, adage: wherever you go, there you are. Yes, it’s 2020. And yes, this is the third iteration of Heavy Blog, once again tweaking how we think, and work, with this thing. But part of me is still the same person I was in 2014, staring into the void of the internet and, for some reason, choosing to scream some words into it. “For some reason”, of course, actually hides a plethora of reasons, chief among them the very fact that I just love metal so much. Guys, I love it so much! It’s wild to me that, six years into running this blog, metal still has the impact that it does on me.
I’ve been listening to metal for way longer than that, probably eighteen years, depending on how you count. But I’ve probably listened to fifty times the number of albums that I did during the years before running the blog. Not to mention tracks, premieres, deep dives, interviews, show reviews, and more. I’ve been around the block, that’s what I’m saying, and yet, metal still makes my heart race and my blood run hot. Oh, to be sure there’s a level of jaded familiarity settling in; I’ve expanded the genres I listen to so much, well beyond “just” metal, that it’s quite difficult these days to get excited about, say, your run of the mill progressive metal band.
And yet, there is still nothing like pressing play on a new metal album and hearing something you love. There is still nothing like letting old riffs and albums that you’ve metaphorically worn with repeated listening (thank god for digital music) and letting those tried and true emotions wash over you. There is still nothing like metal, nothing like the breadth, the scope, the depth of the emotions, perspectives, and stories that the genre channels through its tropes and themes.
I recently wrote in a Facebook group (you should join it, it’s good) that heavy metal saved my life and I meant it. All the way back when I started listening to the genre, I was going through the usual emotional upheavals that beset a teenager. But for me, they were amplified; as I’ve written on the blog before, I was graced (cursed?) with a wide and powerful range of emotions. I didn’t really know where to put my anger and confusion, not to mention my sadness and loneliness, and suddenly metal came along and said “These emotions are a part of you, embrace them!”
That was a lifesaver. It put me on a path of self-discovery, it told me that a vast and varied emotional dictionary was there for me to decipher and learn. Even now, eighteen years or so after the fact, and I am still using metal to challenge myself, to force myself to think beyond the limited scope of my immediate reactions, to love myself, to feel good about life, to remind myself that there are things worth living for. And that, no matter how many albums, tracks, notes, solos, bridges, screams, growls, sweeps, blast-beats, or breakdowns later, will always stay fresh.
Metal is in my heart and I have no choice but to scream it out. And I think that you don’t either. Below, you’ll find columns, articles, interviews, essays, and more from a few more people I know that have no choice but to scream it out. I hope you enjoy screaming with us, together, into the void, in metal’s name.
Welcome to Heavy Blog 3.0.
Hello! Your friendly neighborhood Senior Editor Nick here to briefly explain some of the inner workings of all of this! Before we get to the meat of our first issue, here’s the gist of how it’s all going to work. At the beginning of every month, we will publish a “drop” of content. This will feature all of our usual monthly columns, some high-profile reviews, and then some other, longer features.
The “Monthly Missive” is our attempt to provide you all with a handy and stylish portal to all of the content from that month’s “issue”/”drop.” Below you will find all of that content. You will also be able to use our new menu navigation system to quickly search the archives for some of our most popular columns and musical genres that we cover.
This is all very much a work-in-progress that we’ll be tweaking in the months to come, but we hope you enjoy all of this as much as we’ve loved putting it together. It truly feels like we’re going back to our roots a bit and to a time before all anyone cared about was constantly pushing out content, growth, and, of course, clicks.
Nick Cusworth, Eden Kupermintz, Jonathan Adams, and Scott Murphy
Genre agnostic spotlights from the blog’s editorial staff, highlighting key releases from last month.
Cool People Column
Music isn’t everything in life, don’t you know? Tune in to the blog’s picks of books, TV, video games, and more!
All the death metal that’s fit to print from last month’s offerings. Riffs, licks, and gutturals curated by Jonathan and Scott.
When you absolutely must have your music go low and slow, Doomsday is here for you. Get ready for fuzz.
Flash of the Blade
Music that is both fast, pissed off, and goes hard. Oh, and swearing. Lots of it.
The grimmest, coldest, most abrasive column there is. Only the most premium of perma-frost, from the heart of darkness itself.
Post Rock Post
Where the horizon is always just beyond the next hill and your heart can roam free. Delay pedals, crescendos, and dreams.
Rotten to the Core
Sure, you’re hardcore but are you this hardcore? The column with all the breakdowns, riffs, and gang vocals you’ll need.
Head on through to turn down the distortion.
Throw on your trench-coat, put on your favorite pair of sunglasses, and get ready to jack-in to the future in all its neon splendor.
You Are Still Here
How a 2016 big band album predicted America’s conspiracy crisis
To Sing of Damnation
Inside the first full-length novel published by illustrious experimental label, The Flenser.
Atramentus – Stygian
A massive and expansive album, channeling the mainstays of funeral doom into one of the most effective emotional landscapes we’ve heard to date.
The Ocean – Phenerozoic II: Mesozoic
A new direction for one of post-metal’s mainstays. But how does this sound compare to their previous paradigm shifts and can they still pull it off?
Napalm Death – Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism
One of metal’s most consistently excellent bands returns for a different, but no less scathing, serving of their blistering aggression.
Drouth – Excerpts From a Dread Liturgy
Pete challenges himself to this slab of blacekned death metal, never to look back!
Ask Metal Anything
Monthly questions from the blog’s Facebook group about…anything!