Is there a better feeling in this world than having your expectations fulfilled? Especially when discovering music, where cover art, track names and recommendation set those expectations before the first note even starts, having your prognostications met is a true pleasure. This is a rare thing so, when it comes, we must cherish it and try and spread it far and wild. That’s why we’re here today to talk to you about Dvne Asheran. Recommended to this viewer by a member of the wider Heavy Blog Family, the bar was instantly set high for Asheran: the cover art is incredible, the band name and track names are on point and their previous releases all hold tremendous promise. So, right as the play button was first pressed, murmured mutters of “please, please be as good as you seem” could be heard coming from this writer’s work room followed by immediate cries of “HELL YES”.
Funereal doom and post metal, genres which often blend together in their search for bottomless melancholy expressed through slow yet abrasive music, are tempting genres for the uninitiated musician. They appear simple, composed of slow moving parts which should, in theory, be easy to manage. However, they (of course) hide within themselves a trap and, too often, musicians fall right into it, giving themselves over to repetitive music which has little merit beyond another iteration of old ideas. Cavernlight however manage to walk a very thin line between true-to-the-source homage and redundancy, making doom that’s so slow as to harbor on the funereal while managing to add enough flourishes from post metal in order to alleviate the weaknesses of their parent genre. As We Cup Our Hands and Drink From the Stream of Our Ache (hereby referred to as Cup) is not exactly a groundbreaking album but it certainly does what it sets out to do quite well.
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.
Bereft hails from Madison, Wisconsin. Which is noteworthy mainly because the State is not known as doom metal haven. But geography doesn’t mean a whole lot when it comes to talent, and Bereft thankfully have that in spades. Best prepare yourself for a harrowing trip through one of the best doom metal albums to be released this year. You’re in their world now. It’s heavy. It’s cinematic. It’s awesome.
The state of progressive or technical death metal is an interesting one as it has relatively quickly found the fancy of many modern musicians, swiftly becoming a well-canvassed style with no shortage of quality records. In no small part dominated by giants like Gorguts, Deathspell Omega, and Portal, the genre…
How to navigate the sheer number of festivals now available for the metal fan? With the aim of helping you sort through this vast variety, we’ve compiled the following primer. It’s by no means extensive; it’s simply impossible to write about all of the festivals we would have liked to mention. We focused on those we’ll be attending and on those who have the most attractive setlists in our eyes. That being said, do feel free to share more great festivals with us in the comments and please enjoy this, our selection of festivals for 2017.
Welcome back to our ongoing series of best-of lists for 2016, where we give some of the bands we covered (or just adored) in 2016 a chance to publish their own lists regarding their favorite albums of this past year. It may be officially 2017, but we’ve got one more list…
Last year I took it upon myself not only to organize and compile our own staff’s AOTY list, but to take things one insane step further and compile a bunch of lists from major metal or metal-covering publications and websites into one MEGA AOTY list to rule them all. Eden and I then analyzed the list and made some (mostly snarky) comments about the metal journalism industry and how they approach these sorts of things. Though I still 100% stand by what we wrote there and the conclusions we drew from it, I was really interested in seeing how well some of them would stand up to another year to use as a data point. Thankfully, this year I had a lot of help in all of our list-making efforts thanks to fellow editor Noyan, who put a ton of work into coming up with the method we ended up using to aggregate our lists (if you haven’t already, you should absolutely read his post delving into the nitty-gritty of that methodology) and then did the actual number-crunching.
With our general list for 2016 out of the way, we can now shift the focus from our aggregate opinion to individual ones. Both outlooks have their own merit; the former provides us with an overview of our year in music. However, the latter shines a light on something we’re extremely proud of and that’s the varied and eclectic nature of our staff these days. We used to have a very certain type of music associated with Heavy Blog and while we still have a long way to go, we feel like we’ve done a good job at expanding our palettes and the representation of different kinds of music and metal in our staff. The lists below reflect that; you’ll find black metal, avant-garde, technical thrash metal, hip hop, rap, noise, ambiance, post metal and rock, melodic death metal and much more throughout these lists.
We wrote a pretty big check to ourselves when we closed off 2015. Publishing not only a list which proclaimed the triumph of 2015 but also a whole editorial dedicated to the idea of “The Golden Age of Metal”, we set ourselves up for disappointment. Like the rest of the music establishment which, in numerous places implicit and explicit, was apparently ready to join in the social lynching of 2016, we were well positioned to find it a sobering, dreadful, faith shattering year for music in general and metal specifically. Except it was nothing of the sort and we cannot stress our amazement at metal/music journalism’s reaction so far. 2016 was an absolutely fantastic year, building on the trend of solid and often groundbreaking releases from established acts and simply astounding, out of left field releases from virtually nameless bands. Sure, it had its disappointments for us from huge bands we had expected more from (although signs of their demise were certainly forthcoming) but, overall, it was a year which will surely be remembered in our circles as one of the best years for music in general.