Even a cursory glance of our biweekly “What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To” posts (last week's update here) will reveal that there is a great deal of variety among our staff’s musical tastes. Due to this, we... Read More...
For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to. For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.netthrough your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.
Seriously, what is it about the UK and black metal recently? It’s like there’s something in the water there that’s making metal musicians kick some real ass. Last year we were given Barshasketh’s Ophidian Henosis, an album that has almost singlehandedly gotten me back into black metal, and if that’s not enough, this year we have Wode, a Manchester-based band that, like Barshasketh, brings their own incredibly interpretation of the black metal genre with just their self-titled debut.
The last few years have proven to be excellent years for other forms of black metal. In earlier editions of “Hey! Listen To This!”, I mentioned a great black metal group, Barshasketh, whose 2015 album Ophidian Henosis was one of my favorite albums of the year. While Barshasketh plays a sort of standard—albeit ear-catching—black metal, there are other bands that are doing different things with the genre that still stay within the bounds of standard black metal. France’s Hegemon is one of these bands, with a specific nod to their latest release, 2015’s The Hierarch.
I’ll admit, I’m not huge on black metal as some of the other people on staff here at Heavy Blog. It’s not so much because of the genre’s imagery (though I can completely understand why people are turned off by that), but because of the traditional black metal sound. Most black metal that I’ve listened to is a bit stale—it’s a little too repetitive for my taste, with what seems like unending minutes of tremolo picking—and the general lo-fi recording makes it hard for me to digest. (I’m not against lo-fi music, but when its a genre that can be very compositionally unconventional (like black metal), I like to actually hear what’s going on.) However, there are always exceptions to every rule. Barshasketh is a New Zealander/Scottish band whose latest album, Ophidian Henosis, was one of my favorite albums of 2015.