Hello. In previous years, this space would probably be occupied by something about the end of the year. After all, most of the other musical outlets you probably follow have probably already posted their end of year content or are about to do so. But, as you know, we’ve changed things for Heavy Blog this year and the end of year content is no different; we’re no longer posting it this month. Instead, in January, we’ll be posting a mini-Missive covering December (which is looking to have some killer releases this year, by the way) and then a second, full length one focused on our end of year content. We’re doing this for several reasons, chief among them our desire to stay sane, something that’s been guiding us throughout all of these changes.
You see, the end of the year is a lot of stress for us, usually. Beyond the fact that it’s a lot of work to wrangle all of those lists and posts into being, there’s also a pressure to thread the needle into this thin window of opportunity: before the year ends but also before everyone vanishes (from both our side and your side, the readers) into the thick mist of the holidays. It’s not exactly an environment conducive to great content and even if we do write good articles (which I’d like to believe we’ve done every year) it comes at a large personal cost for everyone involved. So, we’re not going to do it! We’re going to take our time, plan things out, really think about what we’d like to highlight from the year and then post it after the year is true and done and everyone is back to both attentively write the material and attentively read it.
This is part of our overall effort to no longer have the bidding of the industry or “the internet” shape what Heavy Blog is. That’s what this entire transformation has been about (as were all the transformations that preceded it): bringing the blog closer to the ideal vision of it that we have in our heads. And speaking of that vision, here’s another big announcement: we’re doing crowdfunding! You might have noticed that when the blog relaunched, ads didn’t relaunch with it. If I’m being honest, it started as a technical oversight; we just forgot to re-add them before we launched. But then we kind of started liking their absence. Ads, even the targeted and mostly great ads served by us as part of the Blast Beat Network, suck and we hate them. So we got rid of them!
Naturally though, the blog still costs money to run. Our WordPress account (which is massive), hosting (finally stable), and sundry other expenses (like the odd piece of merch here or there) are now being paid from what the blog has saved up and augmented by some of our personal accounts. But that’s not self-sufficient or scalable so we’ve decided to open both a Patreon account and a Ko-fi account, to allow you, our readers, to support us. Let me break down the differences and what you can expect to find on each site:
- Patreon – who doesn’t know Patreon by now? This is where you want to go if you want to support us on a monthly, recurring basis which, to be honest, is the best way to support us. Right now, there are three tiers on our page and all of them give you the same thing: the warm, tingling feeling that you’re helping us. But, as our first Patreon goal states, if we get to $50 per month (approximately what it costs to keep the lights on around here) we will flesh out these tiers and include actual rewards like access to backer only spaces (like a dedicated Discord channel), extra content (like a special podcast and curated playlists), and first rights to any merch we make in the future.
- Ko-fi – This is where you want go if you just want to throw us a couple of bucks as a one time thing. As the site says, to “buy us a metaphorical cup of coffee”. This also helps; we’ll keep that money in the blog’s savings and use it keep things running, as well as for longer term projects like more merch and [REDACTED] (let’s just say we have Ideas™). We’re not offering perks on this one nor do we expect to; this is just a way for you guys to help us out for the sake of helping us out.
And that’s it! We’ll probably post about these campaigns on our social media channels a few more times, add a button or two to the site, and then shut up about it forever. We really don’t want to replace ads with us pestering you for support, that’s not the idea behind this. More than just the money (which, until our glorious revolution finally arrives, is sadly still a necessity), supporting us through these channels tells us that you like us (aw, schucks!) and that you want us to keep doing what we’re doing.
Which is bringing you great musical content, right? So, without further ado, here it is: December’s excellent content. Hey, you remember that we love you, right? Because we really do.
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.
Heavy Blog’s better halves listen to what we’ve been blathering about and speculate what ridiculous stew of genre labels we would categorize them as.
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.
Into the Pit
All the thrash riffs that are fit for print.
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.
Fighting Fire With Fire, Part II
Eden follows up his essay on black metal and consumerism by looking at the other side of the coin, resistance and transgressive love.
Life Turns on a Dime
A Conversation with Jay Postones & Amos Williams of TesseracT
The Anatomy Of: Juan Bond
New York’s experimental mathcore natives Juan Bond will drop their long awaited debut album Womb on January 1st, 2021. we asked each member of Juan Bond to identify an album that was instrumental in their musical development and perhaps serves as a building block on which the band’s unique sound is inspired!
Wytch Hazel – III: Pentecost
Wytch Hazel and their brand of what we’ll call fire and brimstone traditional metal has returned in full force. III:Pentecost shows off the band’s ability to make their heavy metal fly high and dramatically soar over all
Tombs – Under Sullen Skies
While we’re ultimately a bit disappointed by Under Sullen Skies, we don’t think it’s a bad record. We think it’s enjoyable if you’re into the sound, but you likely won’t pick it back up again. The sound overall is good, but a lot of this particular record sounds derivative and uninspired
Aesop Rock – Spirit World Field Guide
Put all of these different parts together and you get an incredibly rewarding album. With every release of this sort, you’ll find yourself diving into the lyrics, with the ultimate goal (at least for me) being to “figure out” what the artist is trying to tell you on each track. On Spirit World Field Guide, like on all good horror, the answer is subtle and complex.
Deluge – Ægo Templo
Blackened hardcore is having a bit of a resurgence (or is it just the original surge?) these days, showing us that the combination between the abrasiveness of black metal and the emotional impact of hardcore holds a lot of fruitful ideas and music. Deluge is another such a band, with their Ægo Templo representing the height of their career which began in 2014.
Ask Metal Anything
Monthly questions from the blog’s Facebook group about…anything!
The Void Screameth
We’ve all got our pet issues, big and small, and sometimes you gotta just write it all out and digitally scream into the black void of the Internet. This is that, just written much better.