Since 2017 we’ve been wrapping up our end-of-year coverage with a Yearbook encompassing our favourite articles from the year, pieces we can be proud of and look back on in the years to come as very best of what Heavy Blog has to offer. We love sharing things with our readers, and we’d hate for people to have slept on some of our favourite pieces from the year. So sit back and relax as we showcase the highlights of our writing this year and present 20 of our favourite articles from 2020 as chosen by us. But it doesn’t end there, we’ve also included ALL of our year-end feature articles on top of that! The articles below are presented in order of category, not quality, and you’ll find a short summary of the piece, why we liked it, and a link to the full article. Enjoy!
Deep Dives & Editorials
Deep Dives are our flagship longform column. They encompass any longform article, particularly those where we’ve really gone deep with our analysis. This is our trademark, a space where we can branch out, throw word counts to the wind and dive into the music we love and the trends we see emerging.
Fighting Fire with Fire, Part II – Metal and Transgressive Love
Eden wraps up his Fighting Fire with Fire series, analyzing the ethos of black metal’s past, present, and future, while touching on themes including transgression, love, rebellion, and religion. Along the way, he recommends some excellent bands pushing the genre further, including Ashbringer, Mystras, Exulansis, Sacred Son, Feminazgûl, and more!
You Are Still Here: How A 2016 Big Band Album Predicted America’s Conspiracy Crisis
Back in 2016 Nick wrote a deep dive into Secret Society’s 2015 big band release, Real Enemies, which deconstructed America’s relationship with conspiracy theories and paranoia. Here, he reflects back on that record and all that has happened since. Rather than capturing a fleeting moment in time, in hindsight, it was a warning shot of where America is headed – and how difficult it may be to pull back from the brink.
Maps of Meaning – Michael Moorcock
Two years after launching a new ‘monthly’ column, Eden finally followed up with a second instalment of Maps of Meaning, where he analyses the intersection between literature and metal. Was the wait worth it? Of course it was, as Eden looks at the influence of high fantasy author Michael Moorcock on genres such as heavy, power and thrash metal. Covering a range of themes and bands such as Hawkwind, Blind Guardian, Eternal Champion, and more.
A Gift to Artwork / *prognotes – We Lost the Sea’s Triumph & Disaster
Aussie post rockers We Lost the Sea released a tremendous concept album, Triumph and Disaster, in 2019. Accompanying it was a children’s story book and lovely illustrations, so it was only right that we gave it both the *prognotes and artwork treatment. Enjoy as I analyse the conceptual, musical and visual elements of the record and its accompanying book, and fair warning, there are definitely some chopped onions around.
Interviews and Recurring Columns
EXCLUSIVE: Circus Trees Are Ready For Primetime With “Wasted Air”
Nick interviews and photographs Circus Trees, a post-rock trio of teenage sisters whose talents belie their age. They discuss what it’s like working and creating with family, the satisfaction of surprising new listeners with their music, and the workarounds required in a work riddled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Life Turns on a Dime: A Conversation with Jay Postones & Amos Williams of TesseracT
Joe catches up with Jay and Amos of TesseracT fame. They talk, among other things, TesseracT’s beginnings, the re-release of the absolute classic that is Altered State, the challenges of sharing a band with people located all over the globe, and the rise of Twitch.
Rounding out this section we have a selection of our favourite recurring column entries from 2020. Scattered throughout you will find interviews with eclectic post-y outfit Portal to the God Damn Blood Dimension (who give King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard a mighty run for their money in the naming department) and death metallers Aseitas, an exploration of the Westboro Baptist Church, and one of Josh’s trademark track listing reshuffles.
Post Rock Post // October 2020
Rotten to the Core // November 2020
Death’s Door // October 2020
Kvlt Kolvmn // October 2020
Cool People Column // October 2020
Into the Pit Q4
While our reviews may not be as unique as our deep dives there are still some gems to be found here. Whether it’s Scott comparing the Black Dahlia Murder to PBR beer, Josh diving deep into Kylie Minogue’s back catalogue, or Calder raving about Mora Prokaza, a black metal band that transformed into weird musicTM overnight, here are our favourite reviews from 2020.
Imperial Triumphant – Alphaville
Mora Prokaza – By Chance
Obsidian Kingdom – Meat Machine
Bring Me The Horizon – POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR
The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous
Wytch Hazel – III:Pentecost
Cinder Well – No Summer
8-Track / Playlist Swap – Kylie Minogue
And there we have it, the end of another fantastic year in music! Amidst the chaos and trauma of 2020, we can be thankful that recorded music delivered in spades. We hope you’ve enjoyed the year in music and hopefully you’ve enjoyed the best that we have to offer: we do this for you all and it means so much to us to have a voice in this community. Eden will wrap up the year tomorrow, so stay tuned for that and when you see us next we’ll be covering 2021!