Limp Bizkit are far from the most unanimously loved band to ever grace the metal spectrum. Often derided as abrasive and angst-ridden rap metal for beer-swilling frat boys, it’s perfectly understandable why they’ve never found acclaim among the purists. However, there was a time when they were inescapable commercial juggernauts with a tendency to make headlines for the wrong reasons, as well as poster boys for the much maligned nu-metal subgenre.
At the Drive-In was unlike any else I had ever heard; they had a sense of angst that was so perfectly channeled that it barely seemed angsty somehow. It was raw emotion, but wrapped in ribbons and bundles that allowed it to be easily digestible, even more so than the Dischord Material I idolized (and still do). The band was artful and careful with how they did everything and, at the time, it seemed revolutionary. Now, some 4 or 5 years after that first initial meeting, I am sitting here re-visiting their discography in full, struck not only by its timelessness but by the band's sonic evolution from release to release. Below is an exploration of those releases, their inner workings, and why they have retained such heavy, influential status among the post hardcore community.
Scottish post-rock denizens Mogwai are a band who thrive in chaos and unpredictability – much like the little furry creatures from Joe Dante’s Gremlins they’re named after. Boundary-pushers since their inception, their feats of trailblazing subsequently launched post-rock into the mainstream stratosphere without ever having to compromise their artistic vision. Mogwai’s success is well earned and proof that, sometimes, crafting consistently great and innovative music can get you far. To traverse their discography is to explore vast oceans and limitless skies of both welcome familiarity and unexpected delights. Whether unleashing earth-shattering audio assaults or elegiac passages of soothing soundscapes, their music is profoundly human and capable of eliciting an emotional response through instrumentals alone.
Canadian darlings of metal. From rebellious teens skipping school to do interviews on Much Music, to the trailblazers of monetization and fan service, Protest the Hero are one of the most celebrated bands here at Heavy Blog. Ever since the blog has been founded, we've been following their history, progression and growth. It's safe to say that of the latter, they've had more than many other bands in the scene; constantly wrong-footing their audience and themselves, indulging in new directions and approaches, Protest the Hero are one of the most varied bands in metal today. That being said, a bird's eye overview of their career might garner us more insight than living their twists and turns in the day to day. By zooming out of the nitty gritty, we might be able to trace a path, an intention or a trajectory from what might, otherwise, be construed as "simple" experimentation. Will we be able to do that or shall the evolution of Protest the Hero remain helter skelter? Join us below and let's find out!
Amon Amarth has been one of the most consistently excellent melodic death metal bands to come through the pipes in the last two decades. Over the years, they’ve honed and refined their sound from the raw death metal ferocity of Once Sent from the Golden Hall into a cleaner, more accessible melodic death metal sound. Their graduation away from raw brutality happened largely in landmark leaps at a few points in their career. Because of this, I’ve taken the liberty of dividing Amon Amarth’s career into three distinct sonic stages in order to more closely examine the Amon Amarth of yesterday and today.
Meshuggah need little introduction. Indeed, it’s not entirely unreasonable to say that at this point in time, shades of the Swedish five-piece’s work permeate the vast majority of modern metal acts in some way or another. The band’s complete and utter disregard for the traditional rhythmic playbook and unwavering focus in writing their own rulebook has rightfully earned them a reputation as one of the most (if not the most) influential bands in progressive metal history: and over two-and-a-half decades after their inception, they are showing no signs of slowing down.