Liturgy – H​.​A​.​Q​.​Q.

For a six-year run leading up to and through The Ark Work (2015), Hunter Hunt-Hendrix’s output as Liturgy made him public enemy number one in the black metal community. Some of this wasn’t entirely his fault, namely the unexpected “indie seal of approval” bestowed on Aesthethica (2011). The album’s response…

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Apprentice Destroyer – Permanent Climbing Monolith

I’ve always gravitated towards multi-instrumentalists with an array of sonic interests. Artists who extract unique ideas from a kernel of creativity always tend to mix flavors with each side project. A great example is the collective work of Kevin Hufnagel and Colin Marston (who just released another excellent Dysrhythmia album),…

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Hey! Listen to Freighter!

Many bands would like to claim to be wild. There’s something inherently attractive about savageness, especially in metal. But very few bands actually feel unleashed, regardless of the states of mind that might have possessed the members as they were writing/recording the music. Wildness is more than just being experimental…

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Howling Sycamore – Seven Pathways to Annihilation

That title, coming from this band, is honestly terrifying. We’re still reeling from Howling Sycamore’s debut release, a supergroup comprised of some of death metal’s best and making a weird type of avant-garde progressive metal, and here they stand before us with a promise of annihilation. Interestingly enough, Seven Pathways…

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Pound – ••

As a music critic, I’ve always strived to go beyond curation by attempting to contextualize the artists and albums I review. Of course, finding and recommending noteworthy new music is still an important part of the job, especially in today’s saturated music market. But the opportunity for deeper analysis has…

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Pyrrhon – What Passes For Survival

One of the main narratives of 2017 on our end has been the glut of highly experimental extreme metal releases pushing the limits of what was previously thought possible within the genre. Dodecahedron took the avant-garde dissonance of Deathspell Omega to the next level; Artificial Brain conjured up impossibly grand visions of a lifeless future with…

Heavy Vanguard: Pan.Thy.Monium // Khaooohs and Kon-Fus-Ion

We’ve been dragging our feet a bit in talking more about avant-garde metal; since we at Heavy Blog cover the likes of Gorguts and Dodecahedron quite a bit, Scott and I wanted to find something that wasn’t as well-known but still well-regarded. So, Scott found Pan.Thy.Monium—a side project of Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity) that checks a lot of avant-garde ticks off with their final album Khaooohs and Kon-Fus-Ion.

Heavy Vanguard: Naked City // Torture Garden

We’ve talked about John Zorn before on Heavy Vanguard (and everywhere else too), but not much about the project he’s most famously associated with: Naked City. Founded in 1988 and featuring a handful of the New York Downtown scene’s best players (Wayne Horvitz, Henry Cow’s Fred Frith, Bill Frisell, Joey Baron, and, later, Japan’s own Yamatsuka Eye) Naked City was on a quest to test the limits of a rock band format through a sort of free jazz/grindcore hybrid that played through nearly every style of music ever, all within a matter of seconds, referred to as “miniatures”.