Maybe it's the quarantine or just my usual propensity for the odd flaring up but I'm in a real avant-garde right now. Lychgate is providing my fix quite well but I'm hungry for me; something about the unique a... Read More...
Heavy Pod Is Heavy Cast! This is a week of salt, sadness, and questions. The Safety Fire are coming back? The new Lychgate is awesome? Devin Townsend reacts to Fountainhead? Then a bunch of discussion about metal's self-image in the mainstream spurred by the recent article about Atypical star Keir Gilchrist being in a death metal band. Then we have a series of trains of thoughts about the evolution of an artist's rendition of music through time, Sumeriancore bands, and more. Then, cool people time with Picard, Void Bastards and Samurai Jack. Enjoy!
I love that I've written so much about avant-garde music lately that I don't have to once again start with an intro about how weird of a genre it is. The Lychgate review I recently wrote is a pretty good summary of how I feel about the moniker. Actually, referring to that review is a statement about avant-garde in and of itself since there's little in common between that album and the band we have in mind today, Ghostbound. The first has more black metal on it and a lot more abrasiveness, whereas Ghostbound's All is Phantom draws more on the epic nature of progressive rock and the dramatic thrill of bands like Marillion. But it also layers those ideas on top of frequent blast beats, prominent strings, thick guitars and much more that comes from metal and its approach to the avant-garde. In short, it's a wild ride of an album which leaves us beggared for an exact definition.
Metal, usually black metal, that's made under the avant-garde auspices tends to have this grandiose flair to it which seems to come from opera and from the theater, in vocals and instruments both. In that sense, Lychgate are perhaps not the best example of the genre. While enough touches of the avant-garde style exist on The Contagion in Nine Steps to merit the moniker (like the synths on "Republic", which open the album or the vocals on the selfsame track), those touches are enveloped in so much sounds from atmospheric black metal and doom that they often lose definition. But this might not be a bad thing; it makes The Contagion in Nine Steps a more approachable album than, let's say, Dødheimsgard's A Umbra Omega and less overbearing than album like Aenaon's Hypnosophy.