I was too busy writing about mental health last month to mark the occasion of one year since we moved Heavy Blog over to the Missive format. So, here I am, doing just that: happy anniversary to one of the best decisions we’ve ever made! Let me explain. Beyond the perhaps “obvious” advantages (the ease of editing content in a block, more straightforward planning, the redesign that came with it), the format has allowed me to rethink how I approach and consume music. I’ve spoken about this before on the blog but let me re-introduce the idea: writing about music and, in fact, just engaging with music in an active way, encourages a consumerist perspective. Music, much like other things which short your emotional circuits to elicit a powerful response (AKA drugs), comes with a diminishing return. Combine that with the cultural/social pressure to always be on the edge, to always be updated, to listen to the hot new thing, and you get a pressure that is always forcing you to hear new things and to, regrettably, forget the recent.
Now, don’t get me wrong: there are very few things which I love more than discovering new music. But sometimes (and more so in the recent few months), I’ve found myself recalling a time before I approached music with the voracious appetite that I’ve built ever since I joined the blog. There are albums which I love from the previous few years that I don’t get to listen to anymore, simply because there are albums I loved even more and so many of those. Which is a good thing, of course, but also…sometimes I wish I had the time to dally with an album, to give it its time to breathe, to really get to know it. Not because it’s the best album I’ve heard in months or because it necessarily “deserves” that time but because I love music and in spending time with different expressions of it, with the different feelings it elicits within me, is a worthwhile thing. “This album is good” is just an important of an emotion as “this album is freaking amazing!!!”
Coming back to the “new” format of posting for the blog, I have found that it really gels well with this desire of mine. First of all, the column format frees us to write about albums from whatever time period, though we tend to make sure the majority of our coverage is current. Flash of the Blade is a good example; the column has allowed me to go back to some releases I had forgotten about and give them the light of day that they “deserve”. Secondly, the pace of the content has allowed me to spend more time with new albums that I discover. I’m no longer pressured to fill time slot in with more and more music, so now I can relax a bit and spend more time on albums that I might not even write about. And, lastly, it’s simply freed up more of my time, so that I now have more of it to put towards the reason we actually do any of this: music.
So, to sum up, two key takeaways from this little introduction of mine. First, the blog’s “new” format has been an utter success for us, here in the back-end of things where the content get made. It has freed us to write about the things we truly care about, while allowing us to divorce ourselves from the grind of numbers, social media best practices, and anxiety over filling meaningless slots of schedules which no one, at the end of the day, cared about. And, of course, none of this would be possible if you reading this hadn’t stuck with us while we made our transition. Thank you for that. Secondly though, this is a good a time (get it) as any to ask you to give music more time. Not necessarily more minutes on the clock but rather to resist the impulse to always check the hot new thing and to spend some time with music that you already have or have heard in the past. Just let it sink in a little, you know? Think about what the music might be trying to tell you that you might have missed the first (or twentieth) time around.
OK! With that being said, here’s a boatload of new music. Enjoy!
Genre agnostic spotlights from the blog’s editorial staff, highlighting key releases from last month.
All the death metal that’s fit to print from last month’s offerings. Riffs, licks, and gutturals.
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.
Head on through to turn down the distortion.
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.
Odd time signatures lie ahead! Too many notes stalk these waves! Loud synths on everything! It’s prog time, baby.
Wave // Breaker
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.
Welcome to Heavy Buys, our column (mostly) dedicated to physical media and soft merch paid for out of the pockets of Heavy Blog writers.
Into the Pit
All the thrash riffs that are fit for print.
The Anatomy Of // Burn In Hell
As you might expect from a band this pissed off at their political establishment and pulsating with noise and terror, Burn In Hell’s influences straddle politically-minded hardcore punk, anthemic metalcore, and of course, Slipknot.
The Anatomy Of // Green Lung
We are incredibly excited for Green Lung’s upcoming release, Black Harvest! And to get all of you as hyped as we are, we present to you with The Anatomy Of Green Lung, which contains just the right amount of verve to perhaps explain where they get their mastery of rock n’ roll from.
*prognotes // Archspire – Relentless Mutation
Our flagship *prognotes column is back — again! Karlo continues breaking down the musical and lyrical concepts behind Archspire’s tight, ripping tech death, this time turning his attentions to their sophomore album Relentless Mutation.
Archspire – Bleed the Future
This has been a stacked year for tech death to an extent not seen in years. However, in terms of sheer heaviness, Archspire‘s fourth outing is going to be incredibly difficult to dethrone at the top. The band’s commitment to outdoing each previous release has showed no sign of letting up steam,
Cradle of Filth – Existence is Futile
Existence is Futile is a perfectly satisfying record. It’s just also rather unremarkable, which is something I’m not sure Cradle of Filth have ever really been before. There’s no real reason to fault the record, other than that Cradle of Filth have made a habit of producing far better ones.
Full of Hell – Garden of Burning Apparitions
If Weeping Choir was Full of Hell finding their self-actualization on the cutting edges of grindcore and death metal, then Garden of Burning Apparitions is Full of Hell as they optimally remain: aggressive, cacophonous, and dark. Numb your mind.
Rivers of Nihil – The Work
The Work might just be your granddaddy’s progressive death metal record, but it doesn’t have to be. There are moments of undeniable brilliance scattered throughout Rivers of Nihil‘s newest outing, along with a general sense of tonal competence and instrumental prowess that hints at something greater, buried beneath its icy tundras.
Sunless – Ylem
Urraca had Sunless establishing themselves as one of the most exciting new faces in the world of dissonant and experimental death metal, and Ylem further solidifies that claim. The riffs are furious, the experimentalism brilliantly paced, and the extended instrumental sections cap it all off to make for a record that continuously delivers.
Trivium – In The Court Of The Dragon
In The Court of the Dragon is simultaneously one of the band’s most dynamic and consistent releases. It’s hard to say if it’s their best, as the band have always pushed in different directions in each release, but it’s definitely in contention.