This is the last Missive ever. OK, sorry, it’s not that dramatic; Heavy Blog is not going anywhere (yet, because it will one day end, I hope you know that). We are simply changing up our format yet again. I actually felt bad about another change only to then realize that we’ve been doing Missives, and everything that comes with them like once-a-month posting, for over two years now (and that we’ve been changing things around every two and a half years or so). This time around, the reason for the change is mostly external; you might not know it, but two of the blog’s editors are about to become dads (namely Scott and Nick). This means that they will have far less time to dedicate to the blog (I don’t know if you knew this, but babies are a lot of work). On top of that, the rest of us (that is, Jon, Calder, and myself) have our own stuff: Jon and Calder are both doing career stuff pretty intensely. And me? Oh, you know, I have a few projects here and there.
So, the current order of things is, once again, untenable. Putting these Missives together takes a lot of work and what’s worse is that it takes a lot of work in really intense bursts. Don’t get me wrong, the Missives and the format they came with were lifesavers for us; it’s fairly certain that if we had not made that change those two and change years ago, the blog would have shut down because the weekly/daily schedules were even more stressful. But now we no longer have the capacity and the number of hands required to plan, generate, and maintain these bursts of content, because some of us are stepping back and the others are intensely overworked.
To be honest, there’s another reason which is a bit harder (for me) to look at: I miss writing. That seems like an absurd thing to say, given that I contribute about 10K words on average each month to the blog (yeah I crunched the numbers). But if you take a look at what I’m contributing, you’ll see a few things. One, I don’t write entries quite as long as I used to. What’s more, I don’t experiment with their structure all that much; I have a routine, born out of necessity, and I stick to it. Which is OK, but not something I really love. Secondly, I don’t write deep dives anymore or, at least, not nearly as much as I used to. Sitting down to write a super long post when you always have a Missive right around the corner is really hard, both because the “objective” value of getting the Missive up is high but also because it’s a different type of work, one which requires a different type of gear from my brain. And, lastly, I’m just overworked in general so the wells of creativity have been a bit drier as of late.
Alright, enough about me and preamble about the decision. What you want to know is what the blog will look like now that Missives gone. To be honest with you, we are not really sure. That is, we are stripping back much of the “meta” structure that requires editors to enforce and letting staff members run loose. Every column will become like a mini-blog (though on the same site, of course) with the freedom to post in the style, frequency, and format of their choice. Of course we’ll keep some things consistent but a schedule won’t be one of those. We’re essentially turning the blog into a, well, blog. Remember those? A site where a person or a group of people could essentially visit to just post their thoughts whenever they had them? Something like that. Reviews can go up whenever. Each column will work out its own frequency. Listen To This! posts can come back. Premieres will stick around. We’re looking into still doing a monthly round-up or even a newsletter (remember that idea?) but we might not do it and it certainly won’t be anything like this Missive.
This, hopefully, accomplishes three main goals:
- Keep the blog editors and members sane and away from burnout. This has been our goal ever since 2016 and it continues to be the beacon by which we navigate. The wellbeing of our writers comes first.
- Allow people more freedom to let creativity run loose and to cover the music they’d like, when they’d like to. To be honest, the Missives could sometimes be awkward in their timing, albums releasing in dates where we they would just fall between the cracks. No more.
- Allow editors (chiefly myself) to get back to the reason we’ve always done this for: writing about music.
I won’t lie to you, it’s probable that at least some columns or other content you were use to on the blog will disappear. And we’re also under no illusions; this path has already cost us 50% of our traffic (by the way) and this next step will probably decrease that even more. But we’re not here for that. As always, we are here to write about music. Oh, and by the way, it’s also probable that all the time and effort this will free up won’t be completely “consumed” by writing. The leftover energy will probably open us up to more, different sorts of project for the blog. We’re not ready to reveal (or even 100% pinpoint ourselves) what these projects might be but, as your local band would say, Big Things Are Coming. If you want to join us for the ride, and support us, reminder that we have a Patreon. I only plug it like twice a year so give me a break here.
Anyway. Onwards! Heavy Blog dies and lives again. Same as it has always been. Thank you for reading. Thank you for being alive. Thank you for caring about music. I love you.
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 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.
Welcome to Heavy Buys, our column (mostly) dedicated to physical media and soft merch paid for out of the pockets of Heavy Blog writers.
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.
Odd time signatures lie ahead! Too many notes stalk these waves! Loud synths on everything! It’s prog time, baby.
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 Anatomy Of: Tómarúm
Kyle Walburn of Tómarúm shares some of the influences behind the band’s progressive and eclectic brand of black metal.
Coheed & Cambria – Vaxis II: A Window Of The Waking Mind
Imbalanced as it is, there’s loads to love about Vaxis II: A Window of the Waking Mind, and the record mostly works, delivering some of the highest highs (and middest mids) of Coheed & Cambria since the Afterman records
Hey! Listen to This!
We’ve revamped our Hey! Listen to This! column so that our writers can come together and recommend all the things that have taken their fancy, but don’t necessarily need a page-long sales pitch to go with them — and less time writing means more time listening.