104 – Ayreon Brotherhood

Yay normal episode! This week we have a bunch of weird/grim news to talk about. Jay-Z suing journalists, Taylor Swift suing journalists, Marilyn Manson pointing a fake gun at an audience after a shooting, Jesse of Brand New being accused of sexual assault. Then some new music, like Impureza and Bloodshot Dawn. Then we talk about what we've been listening to lately, and have an extended discussion about Eden's recent editorial on the aesthetics of abrasive vocals in metal. Then cool people time on The Evil Within 2, Wolfenstein 2 (spoilers!) and Endless Space 2. Enjoy!

88 – Streaming & Salt

Those of you who like controversial topics, we've got them this week! Jay-Z gaming the RIAA with Sprint to make his latest album go platinum, Spotify creating "fake music" to game their own algorithms for profit (read this article!), Soundcloud laying off 40% of their staff, and the all-female music festival in Sweden. These take up a good bit of our time. We also discuss metal though! The new Archspire song (we manage to make this controversial too), new music from Stargazer, Contaminated, and Blind Guardian's new live album. Speaking of live, Eden went to Be Prog! My Friend and somehow thinks we care about his adventures there, so let's listen to him talk about Leprous, Mike Portnoy playing Dream Theater songs with Haken, Anathema, Jethro Tull (lol), Devin Townsend, Animals as Leaders, etc. We then reflect on how well Vildhjarta's Masstaden has aged. Finally we discuss something actually fun, a.k.a. Spider-Man: Homecoming! Also Ratchet & Clank, I guess. Enjoy!

87 – Honorary French

Eden is away colonializing, so we have fellow writer and regular substitute-Eden Ahmed back on this week! We have some really interesting discussions. We discuss how Jay-Z's new album has a poor business model with its Tidal exclusivity. Funny thing is, in the day between the recording and release of this podcast, he managed to put his foot in his mouth and decided to release the album for free for non-Tidal subscribers! The salt during the episode is still interesting. We then discuss a questionable Hatebreed shirt, and the Nevermore stand-in Dead Season and their awesome new album Prophecies. Then we continue the deep segment on Devin Townsend, discussing Ziltoid, Deconstruction, Z2 and Transcendence. Spoilers: Ahmed is a MASSIVE Devin fan. Finally, we go into an extended freeform discussion about tunings in tech death which goes off the rails in many ways. Along the road we talk about the upcoming Wintersun album, the recently released Igorrr album, Andy McKee and more. Enjoy!

Don’t Forget The Fans: The Changing Music Industry and Music Exploration

I don’t think that I’d be out of my bounds when I say that most metal fans explore their genre. When you like a sound, you want to follow it as much as you can. Additionally, you can crave different sounds, and explore new things that the music world has to offer. That’s the beauty of music—you’re able to create an amalgam of things you like. In a way, you piece together your own auditory universe. And today, it’s easier than ever to explore music. The advent of the Information Age has created, catered to, and revolutionized our tastes in more ways than we realize, and with streaming services like Spotify and music-oriented websites like RateYourMusic, discovering new bands and songs has never been more convenient. I, for one, love that this is true; Spotify has been crucial in my exploration in music, to the point that it’s my go-to for all new tunes I want to try out. But I have my doubts that this sort of freedom—or, rather, ease to explore—will last.

Deep Dive: Streaming Platforms 101

Tidal may have stirred up significant controversy last year, but critics of streaming platforms have been vocalizing their dissent since Spotify first launched just under a decade ago. The discourse surrounding streaming platforms is essentially identical to the Napster debacle of the nineties, albeit with a fresh cast of vexed musicians, an upgrade in technology and a blurrier definition of fair compensation. What the issue boils down to is this: music producers and consumers are still grappling over what the exact value of music should be in a perpetually advancing digital age. And while streaming services attempted to solve this issue, it succeeded more at complicating things further and creating a new element of the debate. In order to illuminate a highly divisive issue, our latest Deep Dive will discuss the history of streaming platforms, evidence for and against them and their utility within music consumption.