There we go. It says December up there. Cue the introspection! Unveil the resolutions! Commence the holidays. And all that jazz. December also means my anniversary with the blog is coming up (the 30th) and this will be my eighth. Eighth! Gather ye rosebuds will ye may, and so forth, and so on. Insert rambling, emotional rant here about all the blog means to me and how I love you, et cetera, et cetera. By now, I have done so many of these that I feel weird writing another one. Don’t get me wrong, I still have plenty to say; I think I’ll be making sense of everything I got to do, experience, and say during my time with the blog until the day I’ll die and there are still plenty more years of Heavy Blog in store for me. But for this year’s last missive, I don’t feel the need to do that.

It’s a strangely satisfying feeling; I feel like the blog is less in danger perhaps? Less of a flitting thing that is about to escape my grasp at any second and which, therefore, demands a constant eulogy or a constant intense effort to maintain. There are a few reasons to that I think: we are truly well versed in our “new” posting schedule and it’s really great. It has proven itself extremely fitting for what we wanted it to do, which is enable us to be less stressed about this whole thing. There’s also the Patreon, which is going really well and about go even better, once we finally get our merch line up (don’t worry, it will also be available for non-supporters, just later). And speaking of, that merch line is going to be so sick! Every time we do merch it moves me because it gives the blog a physical existence in space. It makes it a bit more concrete.

And lastly there’s the fact that even through the tremendously difficult year that 2021 has been, a year that has felt like more insult to injury following the already harrowing 2020, people have stuck with us. By “people” I mean you readers and also bands, PR firms, and other blogs. As time goes on and our lives get harder (and I am afraid they are going to be consistently getting harder for a while), it moves me more and more to see that people take precious time from their busy and difficult days to comment on our content, read it, react to it, and share it. It moves me more and more that bands reach out to us to say thanks for a post or to send us their music. It moves me more and more to read other blogs and see common thoughts and emotions there, even through the numbing pain of everything we’re going through.

See, I did end up writing some sort of emotional rant! But the fact remains: even though we declared 2020 and 2021 as “recovery years” for the blog, where we’d figure out our new path and focus on surviving, I feel like the blog has never been in a better place. Which, now that I think about it, is perhaps because we declared those years to be recovery years. Almost as if healing and rest is what we needed to recuperate and come back, better than ever. I wonder if there is some grandiose metaphor I could make here about your own lives, about the importance of taking the time to reflect, to calm down, to be gentle to yourself? Surely not. In lieu of such a metaphor, which currently escapes me, here is our December content covering the already-overlooked month of November. It’s a bit diminished, as much has already slowed down a bit. We only ran what we thought important to run.

See you in January for our End of Year content.

I love you.

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.

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.

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

Playlist Swap

Josh and Karlo revisit a Heavy Blog classic and swap their playlists! What album will cause the most suffering? What new loves will be found? All this and more!

Reviews

SEED – Dun Pageant

Dun Pageant is masterclass in writing music that envelopes the listener, offering them multiple paths towards the pulsating core of the album that, truly, defies simple definition. It is pissed off. It is hopeful. It has given up. It rages and loses and gives up and keeps on fighting. And on the way, it creates some incredibly evocative and moving music.

Plebeian Grandstand – Rien ne suffit

At four albums deep in their career, Plebeian Grandstand have finally realized their potential with the incredibly ambitious and adventurous Rien ne suffit. It’s like an art-house horror flick that insists upon itself, sure, but it’s expertly crafted and effective in the way it builds and releases anxiety, often times fixing its lens on the grotesque just long enough to become uncomfortable.

Devin Townsend – The Puzzle / Snuggles

These are not your standard studio albums with traditional songs with pesky things like structure. The Puzzle amounts to idea vomit; by Devin’s own admission, this was a dumping ground for random emotional impulses that reflected this entire weird period we’ve experienced the last two years. And honestly, it’s kind of incredible the way it worked out.

About The Author

Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.