We’re a wee country, Scotland. We like to think we’re world beaters at anything we try our hand at. Doesn’t matter whether it’s football, politics or metal, it’s not in our people’s nature to half ass anything. Last week we got to hear brand new music from one of the country’s more elusive acts and today, we give you the brand new, still warm to the touch it’s that hot off the press music video from Serenity Came Calling. Newbies should head over the jump for crushing yet silky tones a la Northlane and bruising metalcore a la Wage War. No half measures.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a progressive metalcore kick as of late. Having a very particular and rarely reached sweet spot when it comes to metalcore, 2017 has proven a welcome surprise for the subgenre as several releases have been able to find that rarified zone technical skill, engaging songwriting, and total headbang-ability. So here we are, back at it again with another effective salvo of metalcore jams, this time from Southampton, UK metalcore destroyers Deference. Their second EP, False Awakening, incorporates many of the elements that make metalcore great, and points to a very promising future for the young quintet.
This week we have a super exciting guest! I’d try to slowroll it, but obviously from the episode title you can guess that it’s Herman Li of Dragonforce. We discuss a variety of topics, including the upcoming Dragonforce album Reaching Into Infinity, success, haters, creativity, Babymetal, video games and more. Herman was a great guest! Also Eden and I discuss some news after the interview. Chuck Berry’s passing and the way the coverage has handled his problematic legacy, a bunch of new music, and Earth’s Hibernaculum and Machine Head’s The Blackening turning 10 years old. The new music includes Somnium Vox, Bloodshot Dawn, Entheos (not that one), Witherfall, Northlane, Emmure, Gorod, Enslaved, Solstafir, Beyond Creation (kind of). We also continue last week’s discussion on how the mentality focusing on new music sometimes makes us overlook albums, in this case Metallica’s latest. In our cool people section we discuss Netflix’s Marvel’s Iron Fist and Better off Ted.
Metal is a deeply saturated genre of music. The overwhelming glut of new albums that cross one’s path on a regular basis make it nearly impossible to absorb all of the new music being released. You can listen to hundreds of metal albums in a year and still kick yourself in the teeth for missing nearly every album on most metal publications’ year-end lists. Given this current state of affairs, it is not at all difficult to miss out on some really great music. Which is a shame, as well as the only logical explanation I have for why Swiss progressive metalcore aficionados Scars Divide aren’t absolutely annihilating the metal world right now.
In the spirit of Rick James, nostalgia is a helluva drug. Each of us has our poison. Movies from our childhood, specific foods, sights or smells that bring us back to a different, seemingly simpler time. Even our politics can (unfortunately) be influenced by our individual or collective sense of nostalgia. But this piece isn’t about that. Mainly, it’s about metalcore. Of all musical stylings, there is perhaps none that bring me back to my formative years of musical development more than this sub-genre. Though I do not find myself listening to metalcore very frequently in my current album rotation, I will occasionally stumble upon an album, single, or EP that scratches that nostalgia itch. Mirrors’ debut EP Fools Paradise does just that.
As you may have noticed, over the past month or so we’ve been interviewing a series of Australian artists, and we’ll continue to bring those to you this month. Today we’re lucky enough to be joined by Andy Marsh, guitarist in Australian deathcore outfit Thy Art is Murder. The band have been making waves on the international scene for some time now and are one of Australia’s more successful exports. Vocalist CJ McMahon has recently reunited with the band and a new record is on the way, so we spoke to Andy about that, their split EP with Fit For An Autopsy and The Acacia Strain (available here), Australia and more. Enjoy!
Today we’re lucky enough to be joined by the mastermind behind technical death metal band Infinite Density, Brendan Brown, also of Ne Obliviscaris and Vipassi fame. This year marked the release of Infinite Density’s debut album, Recollapse of the Universe, and it’s one of the best releases we’ve heard all year. Bearing strong thematic and musical similarities with bands such as Wormed and Inanimate Existence, the album showcases a varied vocal approach, massive grooves, ear worm melodies and a few nice surprises along the way too. It’s definitely going to sit pretty high on this writer’s end of year list, and we’re super excited that Brendan has made himself available to talk us through the album itself, how it came about, the Australian scene, and maybe even a word or two on his other projects.
As much virtue as there is in charting previously unexplored sonic territory, there is an equal amount of reward and praise to be found in the act of taking something that’s already been done and improving on the formula in small but substantial ways. Not every new album needs to…
Eden’s back! This week we have a whole batch of news! New music from First Fragment, Devin Townsend and Haunted Shored, Gorguts, Gojira and Inter Arma. Industry stories like Bandcamp’s success, Babymetal on Colbert, Northlane selling gear to make ends meet and Cult of Luna’s statement about leaking. New videos from Behemoth and Dethrone the Sovereign. Upsetting news including the arrest of Puddle of Mudd singer, Adam Young of Sockweb being arrested for assault and kidnapping, former singer of Fair to Midland in a sad situation. Finally, some random news including Disillusion teasing a return and Whitechapel being confused about whether they have clean vocals on their upcoming album or not. Then we talk about what “journalism” means in the metal scene. Enjoy!
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…