Welcome to Connecting the Dots, the column where we give a brief rundown on a central band along with a host of other projects their members, both past and present, have been involved in. Today we’ll be focusing on progressive sludge powerhouse Mastodon and the myriad of projects they’ve been involved with.
It hasn't been too long since we told you about Turin's Ultra-Violence, a band approaching thrash metal from a clever and convincing perspective. The secret to the formula was injecting it with plenty of heavy metal influences, found on emotional outros, killer bass lines and larger than life choruses. Seeing as the band hail from what we'd consider a "musical periphery" and don't exactly conform to many of the habits of the more mainstream and settled scenes of metal, digging into their influences presented us with a tantalizing opportunity. And thus, we are proud to present to you today a host of interesting picks from Loris Castiglia (vocals/guitars).
If the story of 1980 to 1984 was how NWOBHM (and more specifically, Iron Maiden) awoke metal from its dormancy to tear the boundaries of popular music, then 1985 - 1987 is about the coronation of thrash metal atop the metal throne, and the subsequent underground rumblings of a closely linked cousin, a blood brother faster, more brutal, and more astonishing -- death metal.
Every once in a great while we have calendar years that see iconic releases across a range of styles. It is rare that we see this happen in just one particular style. 1987 was one such year, though, as the entire spectrum of heaviness saw iconic records drop like so many tears from the eyes of mainstream pop music stars that these albums would devour. At the time, it didn’t seem like this was any different of a year for music until fans started to take a look at their growing record collections and what would spin out from the influence of so many landmark albums.
Metal, like any current history, is a neverending story -- a songbook perpetually revising its denouement in the storm of new releases shattering our ears and expectations by the month. But as exciting as it is to experience the history unfolding before us, that work is already done by listeners and blogs like this one on a daily basis. Vitally important and critically overlooked, I think, is the history of metal -- the first chapters yellowing in the forty-odd years since they were bound in black and leather. This post, then, will serve as a continuation of this article detailing the early days of metal, and particularly the incredible importance of Iron Maiden’s The Number of the Beast to the fledgling genre.
Welcome back to our Taxonomy series, where we break down umbrella genres like progressive metal, post rock and doom metal and outline all of the progressions and subgenres that have matriculated over the past few decades. The dissection of thrash metal you'll find below contains a detailed dissection of the most crucial genre in extreme metal style. Thrash led to incredible innovations over the years, and in turn, a multiplicity of styles has made its way back into the genre's core traits to form some of the most forward thinking metal coming out today. Seriously, many of the bands mentioned below have released records less than a year ago, and in some cases, less than a month. There's a ton of ground to cover here, so without further ado, let's riff on some of the best thrash you can use to mosh in your bedroom.