The Anatomy Of – Eternal Storm

Eternal Storm caught me by surprise and consequently murdered our faces with their absolutely fantastic debut record Come the Tide. A melodeath opus that puts them squarely in the elite camp populated by the likes of Insomnium, Dark Tranquility, and Be’lakor, Come the Tide will populate many a year-end list,…

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Into the Pit: Thrash Metal Mailbag

Hello fellow pit-sters! This month, I thought we could do something a little different. You all know I’ve been playing fast and loose with the schedule of this column, and August will be no different! Fellow thrash Josh Bulleid and I thought we’d introduce ourselves to you all a little…

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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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Hey! Listen to Piah Mater!

For many, loss of old-style Opeth is one of the great tragedies of modern metal. Though entirely justifiable, the transition of one of the genre’s most outstanding progressive voices into ’70s prog rock pastiche remains widely mourned, a full seven years since its occurrence. Regardless of whatever promises are made…

Hey! Listen To Warpstone!

Have you ever wondered what Alkaloid or modern Enslaved would sound like if they were Warhammer themed and had less jazz and black metal influences, respectively, instead swapping those for a healthy dose of classic prog and metal influences?  Probably something like Warpstone sound. Hailing from France, Warpstone are still…

An Ode to Spring – Metal, Thematics and Politics

Since the vast majority of Heavy Blog contributors fall on the left side of the map (shocking, we know), focusing on the latter seems like the way to go. Criticizing the other side of the political map is easy enough; taking a hard look at your own camp is where things get tricky. Thus, let us turn our eyes on one of the most typical leftist refusals to engage: the retreat. There are few places in the cultural world where this retreat is more obvious than in music and, more specifically, in metal. Even more specifically, the current throes which are black metal is undergoing are even more lucrative for our needs. There, leftist retreat is alive and happening right now, both because of the virility of the claims on the other side (read: the amount of black metal that’s truly awful) and because the themes of black metal have already been declared by the larger, more abstract “left” as anathema in the past.

Audrey Horne – Blackout

“What happened to Audrey Horne?” It was a question that permeated much of last year’s Twin Peaks revival, and one which lingers long after its close. Yet, while the cult TV series’ timely return has brought such bygone contemplation to the forefront of contemporary pop culture, that very same question has been pressing upon my mind with regard to the musical sphere for some time now. Having peaked with their eponymous third album in 2010, this once lively group of Norwegians (who take their name from a prominent character in David Lynch and Mark Frost’s cult television series, in case that introduction made absolutely no sense to you) seemed to degenerate—much like Twin Peaks itself—from underappreciated semi-cult act to middling pastiche with their two subsequent records. However—again, much like the origin of their namesake—Blackout sees this bunch of retro-rock worshiping ragtags return with their strongest offering in years.