These posts are written by: Jimmy Rowe

The Contortionist – Our Bones

Two years out from Clairvoyant, The Contortionist offer an update on their musical journey with the scant but worthwhile Our Bones. Four tracks (three originals and a cover) that provides some insight on the continued expansion of the band’s sound. Fans of Clairvoyant will be satisfied with the moves made on Our Bones, with the only complaint being that there just isn’t enough new music to go around.

Periphery – Periphery IV: HAIL STAN

It’s 2019, and Periphery are untethered by third-party oversight and have complete creative freedom. One would expect, given their memey and not-so-serious aesthetic and progressive-leaning musical nature, that they must have not had much oversight from their previous label Sumerian Records to begin with; after all, much of the music that Periphery were releasing under Sumerian had a paper trail of demos from the Bulb Soundclick demo era of the band, and the output was always super consistent in terms of quality and musical direction, so it was easy to just assume that the band called their own shots.

Ceremony of Silence – Oútis

The murky and amorphous style of extreme metal that has taken root in the wake of acts like Gorguts, Portal, and Deathspell Omega has seemingly become the predominate driving creative force in the underground extreme metal zeitgeist in recent years. The emphasis on weird, Lovecraftian atmospheres has infected both black and death metal, with acts like Imperial Triumphant, Artificial Brain, Pyrrhon, and Dodecahedron, to name a few, land on year-end lists with wonky, dissonant riffs, and a flair for the experimental. The trouble at this point is that when working within such an esoteric sound, it becomes difficult to carve out a niche and break out from the pack. Up and coming bands, take note: murk chords and blastbeats aren’t cutting it anymore.

Fallujah – Undying Light

Major lineup changes, particularly from the replacement of a member fundamental to the band’s sound like a founding vocalist, can cause a clear divide in not only a band’s fanbase, but the narrative of the band’s discography into distinct eras. Bay Area progressive death metal act Fallujah have just entered their own new era of music following the departure of vocalist and keyboard player Alex Hoffman in 2017.

Equipoise – Demiurgus

Like Unique Leader before them, The Artisan Era is fast becoming the go-to label for all things prog and tech death, cultivating a roster of “who’s who” among up-and-coming names in the genre such as Warforged and Inanimate Existence while simultaneously attracting longstanding names in the genre by pressing releases for acts like Augury and Spawn of Possession. Chances are, if there’s a new band wearing The Faceless and Necrophagist influences on their sleeves and they’re worth the time and attention, The Artisan Era is backing them, their logo becoming a seal of quality.

Bring Me The Horizon – amo

t’s not often that we put our cart before the horse with our Editor’s Picks and run a pick before we’ve had a chance to go more in-depth in a review, but SPOILERS: British rock act Bring Me The Horizon’s latest record amo (sixth overall) wound up as my pick for January 2019, and as we never received a promo copy, we haven’t had much of a chance to dissect it and let its diverse sounds sink in at the point of publication in order to dedicate a formal review. At the time, I just knew that I liked it. A lot. Now, going on two weeks since release and the album spinning nearly nonstop, it has had the opportunity to sink its hooks in deeper.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Heavy Comp Is Heavy: Volume Six

For the last six years in a row, we at Heavy Blog have continued a tradition of reaching out to friends, family, and other independent and unsigned artists in the online metal community and curate a free Christmas compilation as a gift to you, dear readers.

Featuring over 20 tracks from artists such as Sul ad Astral, Frontierer, Sectioned, Instar, Closet Witch, The Central, and more!

Thomas Giles – Don’t Touch The Outside

Don’t Touch The Outside, Between the Buried and Me frontman Tommy Rogers’ fourth proper full-length under the moniker Thomas Giles, takes the retrowave and electronic influences on previous outing Velcro Kid (2016) and imbues those new wave vibes with some of the wilder experimentation and genre diversity which made Pulse (2011) and Modern Noise (2014) so incredible.