Hey! Listen to Vredehammer!

In spite of its primal origins, modern black metal has largely become associated with atmospheric and ethereal textures. Then there’s Vredehammer who hit like seventeen Mack trucks riding a fiery avalanche into battle. Ironically, the Norwegians’ long-awaited third album Viperous, which dropped last week, sees the band experimenting by adding…

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Sepultura – Quadra

Quadra is Sepultura’s best album since Roots (1996). That might seem like a trite assessment, since the same has often been said about each of their albums since at least Kairos (2011), and has also arguably been true of all of their albums since Roorback (2003). Nevertheless, the fact remains…

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Hybrid Nightmares – Obelisk

There has always been a tension between the more irreverent and serious sides of Hybrid Nightmares. On one hand is the clearly black metal band’s refusal to “restrict themselves to any one style of metal” and insistence that they “are able to capture a sound that transcends genre”; on the…

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The Anatomy Of – Cancer

We here at Heavy Blog are proud to have been saying “what the hell is in Australia’s water?” for at least five years now. The music scene over there has been blowing up for at least that long, if not longer, creating some of the most innovative, crushing, intriguing and just plain excellent music in the world. To these by-now hallowed annals we can add Cancer, a black metal band that’s all about ambiance, abrasive tonality and depressing atmosphere. Hot off of their second release, Into the Heartless Silence, Cancer seem poised to add to the growing plethora of excellent black metal being made today, offering their own version on the formula with their own off-kilter and disharmonious touches to composition.

Naturally, hearing more about what makes such a band tick, since they seem to fuse black metal with a whole lot more influences operating in the background. And, indeed, when you look at the picks that John Pescod (vocals) included below and their write ups, you find classical black metal influences alongside more discordant and twisted takes on the classic genres. Thus, without further ado, we consign you to the able hands and vocal chords of Pescod, for a dive into what makes a modern black metal band work. Don’t forge to also head on over to the band’s Bandcamp below to listen and order the album. You won’t regret it.

Dimmu Borgir – Eonian

By now, Dimmu Borgir are no strangers to the extravagant and grandiose accompaniment of Gaute Storaas. After the departure of Mustis and ICS Vortex post In Sorte Diaboli, the band has reached for Snowy Shaw to supplement this loss but have since found themselves void of some of the worlds…

The Anatomy Of: Hoth

Last week, I had the extreme privilege of receiving Hoth’s new record, Astral Necromancy. It is a wondrous album that takes up a unique niche in metal: blackened melodic death metal. It’s a unique blend of death metal stylings and black metal themes all set within an established space opera…

Bleeding Through – Love Will Kill All

For those of you who’ve hung around the metalcore scene since the early 2000s, you have my respect. You’ve been through some real shit. Whether it’s the cringey downward spirals of the scene’s power players into mediocre, wannabe radio darlings or the lackluster output of quality records this side of the decade, things just ain’t the way they used to be. For everyone who jumped ship, word of a new Bleeding Through record may or may not be enough to pique your interest. We’ve seen Killswitch Engage, Underoath, Atreyu and a few other less-notable acts return with relatively disappointing efforts, so you wouldn’t be amiss to be little apprehensive about busting out the dingy sweatbands and studded belts, but if Love Will Kill All has any say in it, you might find yourself sitting on a little Facebook Marketplace goldmine.

Hoth – Astral Necromancy

Concept albums are such a hard thing to follow up. An artist spends so much time developing a universe and playing on themes that it’s often hard to come back from especially if the artist is not known for that kind of songwriting or storytelling. Luckily, that isn’t a problem…

Half-Life: Bleeding Through

If you’re not convinced that we’re currently deep in the middle of the metalcore resurgence, then the simple fact that tomorrow sees the release of the first Bleeding Through record in over six-years should lay those doubts to rest. You’ll have to wait until then for Jordan to tell you just how good Love Will Kill All is, but this seems like as good an opportunity as ever to look back upon the career of a band who were foundational to the dominant heavy metal movement of the new millennium, and who certainly carved out a strong following for themselves, yet who—in retrospect—feel somewhat overlooked compared to their peers, especially considering the sheer quality and consistency of their output. You might say, that their genre’s Testament and, if new single “Fade Into The Ash” is anything to go by, it would also seem they haven’t lost any of that edge in the more than half-decade interim.

125 – Bands That ICS Vortex Isn’t In

Me and regular co-host Cody get together and discuss stuff. Cattle Decapitation being nice to students who were discriminated against, Limp Bizkit signing to Napalm Records, The Ghost Inside deciding to continue after their tragic accident, Metallica having some fun live despite Kirk, and Elliot Coleman doing a song for Dragonball Super. Then some recent music, like Alkaloid, Dimmu Borgir, Ihsahn, and Childish Gambino. Then we do a cool people section with God of War, and extended spoiler discussions of Westworld and Infinity War. Enjoy!