As I’m writing this, I am listening to the new Bent Knee album and thinking about how much we’ve all overcome in the last few years and how much we’ve adapted. And I’m not even talking about Heavy Blog here; I’m talking about you! That’s right, you reading this. When was the last time you stopped for a second to look back at the last few years (even before COVID), and appreciate what a marvelously chameleon like creature you are? It’s not just that you might be doing something different than you did back then. It’s not even that you dress different or at different. It’s that you feel different! And also the same. And also entirely alien. It’s that, if we zoom out for a second, this nebulous idea called “an identity” completely falls away.

Some people might think that this is a negative thing but I am completely opposed to that. Our ability to be like so much sand running through a sieve, made up of a million particles that refuse to be contained by the passage of time, is what makes us so beautiful. I mean, look at Bent Knee: this isn’t a review for their new album but by God, it opens with a bunch of auto-tuned vocals and that’s the least surprising thing this album does. Is it not something that we all share, if we just get in tune (get it) with it? This ability to cast our previous narratives, the previous vocabularies of identity that chained us to who were, and just be different? For sure it’s a muscle; it’s not just something you switch on and off. It’s something you get trained in. It’s a skill you cultivate.

But, and here comes the twist you knew was coming if you’ve been reading my introductions and writing in general for a while now, what better way is there to get training in this than by listening to music? After all, when an album is one, it puts you in a specific mood; it shows you a way to be. And it’s all so evocative and serious and effective while the album is playing but then the album ends and it’s just…gone? Sure, it might linger with you for a few hours and, if the album is exceptionally good, even longer than that but at some point, it fades and you move on to be differently. Until you play the next album and then you’re different in a different way. And so on.

It’s sort of like books; those who read live a thousand lives and die a thousand deaths. But music is more unmediated than that; it creeps past the barrier between the object being observed and the subject doing the observation. It’s a more intimate expression of a different person, a different self, singing to you across the bridge of time by recording the vibrations it makes on the world. Washing over you and re-configuring you, like a wave does to the sand on the beach. Right. Enough of that I think. Here are some new modes of being that were released during, or close to, the month of October in the year 2021. Please listen to this Bent Knee album, OK?

Enjoy. I love you. Whoever you might be today, or whoever you might have been yesterday and especially whoever you are going to be tomorrow.

Columns

Editors’ Picks

Genre agnostic spotlights from the blog’s editorial staff, highlighting key releases from last month.

Death’s Door

All the death metal that’s fit to print from last month’s offerings. Riffs, licks, and gutturals.

Doomsday

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.

Kvlt Kolvmn

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.

Unmetal Monthly

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.

The Prog-nosis

Odd time signatures lie ahead! Too many notes stalk these waves! Loud synths on everything! It’s prog time, baby.

Heavy Buys

Welcome to Heavy Buys, our column (mostly) dedicated to physical media and soft merch paid for out of the pockets of Heavy Blog writers.

Features

Total Request Live: Q&A with Baroness’s John Baizley

We sat down with Baroness frontman John Baizley to discuss concerts by request, post-COVID touring, their new album Gold & Grey, and more.

A Gift to Artwork // November 2021

This month, we discuss stunning colours from Noltem, and the return of a favourite, Eliran Kantor’s brilliant cover for Archspire’s AOTY contender Bleed the Future, among others.

*prognotes // Archspire – Bleed the Future

Karlo continues breaking down the musical and lyrical concepts behind Archspire’s tight, ripping tech death, this time turning his attentions to their newest album, Bleed the Future.

Mosh Lit // Vulvodynia

Mosh Lit is back! This time, Bridget covers a complete banger by one of her favorite bands: Praenuntius Infiniti, the latest album by South African slam monsters Vulvodynia. 

Reviews

Don Broco – Amazing Things

Amazing Things isn’t the landmark classic Technology has clearly proven itself to be, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still one of the best albums of the year and indisputable proof that Don Broco are simply one of the best bands on the planet at the moment.

Glassing – Twin Dream

The versatility, the dynamic storytelling, the at-the-edge-of-your-limits raw emotion and giving everything their bodies have to offer delivery, Twin Dream represents all of the best that black metal, post-metal, and post-hardcore have to offer.

Monolord – Your Time to Shine

Your Time To Shine is the best of Monolord’s career thus far. here’s a lot of versatility in that these very talented musicians and songwriters know what they want to do and have a lot of ideas about how to get there.

So Hideous – None But a Pure Heart Can Sing

None But a Pure Heart Can Sing is like the dervish’s whirl or a drunken dance in a sweaty room with a beautiful partner: over before you can tell, leaving you dizzy, elated, with a heart full of pain, beauty, anger, despair, and resolution.

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