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're a year old now! So, we just do news like regular, then some opinion time. Also, bullshit philosophy time is back! Topics: Anthony Fantano on Meshugggah, Vader, Entombed, Red Fang, Car Bomb, Issues, Trivium, In Flames, Thrawsunblat, Ophidius, Avenged Sevenfold. This Metalsucks article on punk and comedy, then this thing about a certain luthier who is too good for pop music. Underrated album of the week: VOLA - Inamazes. Then we talk about why we got rid of review scores here at the blog. Enjoy!
With the recent release of the new Issues album Headspace, I think now is as good a time as any to contend with something that's sat with me for years. In 2014, our beloved creator Jimmy posted a review for their self-titled debut. I encourage you to read his full thoughts on the album, but if you want the long story short, he wasn't a fan of it due to bad production choices, banal lyrics and lack of strong songwriting. He gave it a 1.5/5, even going so far as to accuse the record of being "cringe-inducing." Jimmy's review has haunted me on and off ever since he posted it, as the record was my 2014 album of the year, so I think it's time that I got into Issues' corner to defend its honor by addressing some of Jimmy's gripes while throwing in my own points of positivity.
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.
SINCE THEIR INCEPTION, UK'S ENIGMATIC THE HELL HAVE DEFENDED HARDCORE AND CAPSLOCK ALIKE, UNAPOLOGETICALLY SLINGING IGNORANT HATEMOSH AND SKEWERING THE ENTIRETY OF METAL CULTURE ALONG THE WAY. IN A SCENE THAT... Read More...
There's nothing inherently wrong with using downtuned guitars to write catchy and heartfelt music with soaring vocal hooks, so long as you do it with some intelligence and creativity. Issues is one such band that openly embraces the pop metal tag, but ultimately fails at creating a fun or interesting listening experience on their self-titled debut.