Nightbringer – Terra Damnata

In some circles, USBM has long been a dirty acronym. Much reviled for its less-than-trve-kvlt aesthetic, black metal originating from the United States has seldom been considered an equal with its European peers. Over the past decade, several bands have begun to chink away at the wall of cynicism surrounding USBM to varying degrees of success. Nightbringer is one of these bands. If you have not heard their music before, think the bombast of Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk-era Emperor, coupled with a slightly less insane mix of Deathspell Omega’s freneticism, the sonic oddness of Dodheimsgard, and the chilling atmosphere of Blut Aus Nord.

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Ashenspire are Restless Giants

Down for some avant-garde metal? Who isn't? Well, Ashenspire definitely are, and I'm glad to bring you their new song, "Restless Giants", from their upcoming debut Speak Not of The Laudanum Quandary. This is a fun one, so strap in and just enjoy the ride.

Aenaon – Hypnosophy

When looking through a tag in music curation services, encountering "avant-garde black metal" means clicking play will either result in something incredible or terrible. Few artists have the combination of self-irreverence, self-respect, sense of the fundamentals and how to think outside of them to be able to pull off the latter. As if that's not enough, take a black metal band, add a saxophone, power metal-esque clean singing, a blues/jazz tint - does it sound potentially disastrous already? Several bands this year alone have attempted this formula and failed. Well, good news is, the Greek masterminds Aenaon have totally nailed it with Hypnosophy.

Hey! Listen To Balance Interruption!

Let me just say out front that I don't think many people, myself included, would pin me as the person here most likely to write up a recommendation post about a black metal group. It's not that I don't enjoy some black metal or blackened music, but it is definitely not within my musical wheelhouse and area of expertise. And yet, here I am, about to recommend an obscure experimental black metal band to all of you! The reason I am doing so is because this band, Balance Interruption, prominently features an instrument I do know an awful lot about and have written about here at great length: the saxophone. It is the inclusion of this instrument that not only makes this band an interesting novelty within experimental black, but turns it into one of the best examples of how intelligently including a non-traditional instrument and influence can completely lift a band's music from pretty good to really damn great.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 9/23/16

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.