Editors’ Picks: July 2016

With so much great music out there and so much music that our staff reviews (and plenty that we don’t), it can be difficult to keep up with it all and determine which releases are the most worth your time. Harnessing the wide-ranging and diverse tastes of our editorial staff, our…

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 7/29/16

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.netthrough 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.

Family – Future History

Something is a-buzzing within the progressive stoner community. We’re barely past the half way mark and the number of great albums released in the genre is steadily increasing. In light of such a process, the definitions of the genre are being challenged, as is only natural; in times of such rapid expansion is when sub-genres are born. From the slower, smoke-drenched Boss Keloid, through the more progressive oriented Illudium, right up to the all together hectic Tardive Dyskinesia, progressive stoner metal is beginning to splinter. However, just as important to this process is a clearly defined center, an essence from which the rest of these experimenters can draw. Where should one look for such a center? How do you even define it?

Luckily, the work of the righteous is often done by others and Lady Luck has mercifully rid us of our conundrum. Through the ways of the inbox, we have been presented with Family’s Future History and within it, we have found our center. The album contains everything that progressive stoner metal is doing today and does so in a lucid, well thought out and delivered manner. However, it never strays too far from the basic trappings of the definition. That’s what makes it so perfect for our needs. It represents a snapshot of a movement, a frozen moment that is immediately understandable to anyone versed in the ideas and sounds of the emerging mode.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 7/15/16

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.

Illudium – Septem

In the struggle to describe music and its culture, the writer grasps for many words. That’s why many reviews might appear to be long-winded; it’s not only that writers usually have an ego problem which leads their tongue to wag on end. Rather, the frustration derived from the basic action of trying to put music into words fuels a constant hunt for better words. That hunt is, of course, futile. There will never be words eloquent enough to capture music within their syllables. However, that doesn’t stop the writer from trying; his brow furrows as he searches mind-caverns for shining gems that might help him along the way: soaring, dulcet, ponderous, sonorous. Terroir. Now there’s a word. It means the set of all factors affecting an environment, a feeling for a certain landscape or area. It comes to us from the vineyards, where it is used to describe the soil which feeds the crops.

When in the hell does this all have do with Illudium? Perhaps nothing; perhaps this writer has finally gone crazy, his mind-lantern lying smashed on the floor of the cave. Or, perhaps, he senses that the only way to review Septem is to locate it within its own terroir, to feel out the discrete soil-types which gave it birth. Under this assumption, the album would unveil a certain sensation, a bouquet of sounds and ideas. Septem would be, under the dubious wishes of the author to see it that way, rich soil where stoner, sludge and blues elements all mix to create juicy, sumptuous fruit. Entertain the notion for a moment as we entertain the author in his pretension.