While it is truly the dredgs of the year, and everyone at Heavy Blog is in deep hibernation working on our End of Year content, there is still so much excellent music from 2022 that I haven't gotten the chance to talk to you about. One such example is Throwing Bricks, probably the only (or maybe one of three or so) dark, heavy, post-metal bands I've really enjoyed listening to this year. I don't know why, it just wasn't a year for me that was filled with much of that cavernous, theatrical, and emotional kind of post-metal but Throwing Bricks have managed to cut through my apathy and burn me to the core.
Maybe it's because The Burden, their release from earlier this year, is so damn heavy that it crosses paths with doom and black metal on several separate occasions. Or maybe it's just how skilled Throwing Bricks are at wrangling their riffs into position, creating an album that's more than just a bunch of chord progressions but rather lurces with an undeniable groove. Or maybe it's the spoken word passages, hitting deep with their themes of death, regret, and guilt. Or, probably, it was all of that together, blending to create one of the year's more convincing and impactful albums.
Regardless, I sprang at the opportunity to have the band submit an Anatomy Of post to us, thinking it would be very interesting to see what made them tick. The results are very interesting, speaking well to the mesh of heaviness, groove, anger, and remorse that is on display throughout The Burden. Head on down below to check their picks out and don't forget to listen to The Burden itself. You won't regret it.
Amenra - Mass VI (Throwing Bricks)
We simply can't make a list of our influences without Amenra. It's poetic, heavy, dynamic, emotional and seeing them live is just one huge cathartic experience. Their music, as well as other aspects of the band, is something we've all drawn influences from. We try to keep some light/heavy dynamics and emotional heaviness in our songwriting which is something we've most probably picked up from the Church of Ra. Whether it's Wiegedood, Oathbreaker or the Black Heart Rebellion.
Bongripper - Terminal (Jordi van Putten (Bass))
The masters of hummable heaviness. Their music is repetitive, yet unpredictable. Bongripper fills their doom with ambient, noise, postrock and black metal elements making it nearly impossible not to bump your head. We NEED more hummable riffs! Also I love the fact that Bongripper ridicules all the darkness in metal, while being the hardest band around. You don't have to burn churches and sacrifice goats to be heavy. All you need is a good riff.
Discordance Axis - The Inalienable Dreamless (Niels Koster - (Vocals))
Narrowing down my influences to just one album was a really difficult task. I settled for ‘The Inalienable Dreamless’ because it changed my perception on extreme music completely. It had a lasting impact on me and the way Throwing Bricks approaches things.
This record is truly special, it showed me that you can make heavy, fast and brutal music that’s also cathartic and very emotional. That you can make a ‘metal’ record with a pretty blue sky and ocean as artwork, released in a nonconforming way. That you can write beautiful, metaphorical lyrics that still make sense. It’s truly something I never experienced before up until that first listen.
I can’t exactly describe how, but the extreme shreeks and dissonant chords on a song like ‘Angel Present’ get me every time. I was immensely inspired by Jon Chang’s use of vocals, still trying to get to the same heights with my voice. Lastly I wanna give a huge shout out to all the Neon Genesis Evangelion references that are made. This record and that anime work together very well.
Underoath - They’re Only Chasing Safety (Marius Prins (Guitar))
Underoath, and especially this record, have had a big influence on me as a guitarist. Both in general and while writing for ‘The Burden’. When I was young, I was fascinated with all kinds of riff based metalcore and melodic death metal. Hearing ‘They’re Only Chasing Safety’ changed that all for me. There’s absolutely no emphasis on ‘metal’ riffs at all. Most of the playing revolves around chord patterns, which showed me that you don’t have to be the absolute sickest guitarist ever to still make absolutely sick music. When I got back into Underoath some years ago I was inspired all over again. It definitely influenced the more post-hardcore vibe we've got going right now.
Oathbreaker - Rheia (Jesse Stey (Guitar))
Oh man, this album hits all the right places for me. Everything on this just feels so emotionally heavy. The almost feral like vocals mixed with cleans and spoken word pull you straight in. The way the beautiful melodic riffs still hold their sludgey roar were definitely a big inspiration during the writing process of The Burden. The whole sound is held together by super tight and hard hitting drums, which makes it a killer album. It just feels so honest, and that emotional load mixed with the heavy instrumentation is what makes a record worth returning for me.
Favorite song: All of them.
We Never Learned to Live - We Never Learned to Live (Robert Constant (Drums))
The first time I listened to this album was at my friend's place. We'd been to a show together and he'd bought the record from a distro. This was only fairly shortly after I'd started playing drums and I remember being blown away by what I heard. This was what I wanted to sound like.
For such a long time I listened to this album for inspiration while learning to play the drums. When we were writing our new song 'Doubt' I instantly realized this style of drumming fitted the song perfectly. The album that had shaped my way of drumming all those years ago suddenly came back and became a big inspiration once again.