What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 9/9/16

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.net through 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.

From Deicide to Self-Destruction: How a Death Metal Pioneer Fell Behind the Pack

Way back in 2012, Paul Mazurkiewicz (drummer for Cannibal Corpse) sat down with Billboard (via Metal Injection) and was posed an interesting question: who are death metal's Big 4? Now, boiling any genre down to a definitive group of four is realistically impossible - as important as the Big 4 of thrash are to the genre, bands like Sepultura, Overkill, Kreator and Destruction deserve just as significant a portion of credit. So too was the case with Mazurkiewicz's naming of Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Deicide and Suffocation as the Big 4 of death metal, which leaves out a whole slew of bands seminal to the genre's evolution (Death, Bolt Thrower, Obituary, Autopsy, Carcass and innumerable others). Yet, in terms of balancing popularity, influence and an active status, it's hard to argue with Mazurkiewicz's picks; all four bands are nothing short of genre pioneers who played pivotal roles in defining death metal from its post-thrash transitional stage. However, when we fast forward to the genre's current landscape, it's clear time hasn't been as kind to the infamous blasphemers from the Sunshine State as it has for the rest of DM's Big 4. Despite being near the top of the pack in terms of influence and album sales, Deicide has experienced a noticeable fall from grace from their prime in the early-nineties. But the question is - why? What caused these luminaries to become lost?

Abnormality – Mechanisms Of Omniscience

Abnormality listen to Decapitated. Probably a bunch of other stuff too. It's just the most obvious point of reference on their new record, Mechanisms Of Omniscience. A record with all the content but falling short on the creativity.

24 – In The Nick Of Time

The title is a pun you see, as this week instead of Eden we have another editor, none other than Nick Cusworth! We go on many tangents this week, but we also talk about relevant new music stuff! New music from Schammasch, Vektor, Amon Amarth and The Fall of Troy! Also some streaming service shenanigans from Tidal, Soundcloud and Last.fm (they did a Decapitated live show), and then we talk about our big editorial about growing your brand as a band, and tie it all together with a discussion about metal in mainstream culture.

Abbath – Abbath

If this is all we as metal fans get out of the Immortal dispute, then this is more than acceptable olive branch. While the album certainly could have been enhanced with the natural chemistry that Abbath had with his former band, it still feels like the most well-rounded album that he’s released since 2003’s masterpiece, Sons of Northern Darkness. It’s got a great mixture of rawness, accessibility, brutality and cheese, and is 2016’s first essential release for all fans of extreme metal. A must have for fans of unending grimness.

Tomas Lindberg of At The Gates: The Heavy Blog Is Heavy Interview

After nearly two decades of silence and side projects, Sweden’s melodic death metal maestros At the Gates dropped 2014’s seamless At War With Reality and have been assaulting the entire globe with a touring schedule as relentless as the riffs ever since. With a confidence and chemistry most full-time bands would kill for year after years of relentless practice, At the Gates really do seem like one of the most proficiently savage and insanely-catchy bands to ever emerge (and then re-emerge) from this subgenre.