The following article is a collaboration between editors Jonathan Adams and Scott Murphy. Before we dive in, let’s make one thing clear—we and Decibel (“America’s only monthly extreme music magazine”) agree that 2017 has been an exceptional year for death metal. Jonathan has highlighted countless fantastic death metal albums this…
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.
I’ve been meditating on why we even started Editors’ Picks; the concept itself seems odd. It’s a remnant of old journalistic structure, where the editor in a publication was this authoritative and prestigious figure, cloaked in years of experience and insight. That’s hardly the case anymore, in Heavy Blog and outside of it, as Internet structures break down the gates between individuals and editorial privileges. And that’s why it’s a good thing we have this column; it enables the unique voices which have broken through to the editorial body of the blog to speak outside of consensus.
Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure trove, others find themselves drawing a blank at the end of the month due to the breakneck pace needed to keep up to date with what’s been released. Which brings us to this Heavy Blog PSA: a weekly roundup of new albums which pares down the the day’s releases to only our highest recommendations. Here you’ll find full album/single streams, pre-order links and, most importantly, a collection of albums that could very well earn a spot on your year end list. Enjoy!
The past decade and a half has spawned a death metal olympics of sorts, becoming a competitive sport as drummers fight for the speed throne and guitarists fight to keep up. Origin completely changed the game with 2002’s Informas Infinitas Inhumanitas, forcing bands and especially drummers around the world back to the rehearsal room to practice tedious rudimentary endurance exercises. Despite their technical prowess, the band injected crafty and effective songwriting which only improved over the span of the four albums leading up to now. Unparalleled Universe is an exploratory affair that sees the band continue to reach beyond their carefully carved niche just enough to keep things interesting.
In case the title wasn’t clue enough, this week we have Max Phelps of Exist, Defeated Sanity and Death to All (also ex-Cynic) as our guest! We discuss his creative process, touring with Gorguts, and of course, the upcoming Exist album So True, So Bound, which comes out this week! We also discuss new music from Origin, Bloodshot Dawn, Rings of Saturn, Vintersorg and more! We also discuss Fredrik Thordendal’s hiatus(?) from Meshuggah and Per Nilsson of Scar Symmetry replacing him. Finally, we talk about how Spotify artist payments have been decreasing despite their financial growth. Enjoy!
This was a week of diversions. Eden is back in his land, and I’ve seen Metallica live and am super amazed by them. Also, new music by Exist, Origin, Steven Wilson, and Rings of Saturn. Then we talk about some happenings. The shitshow surrounding The Faceless missing their New Zealand tour, Chester of Linkin Park telling fans to stab themselves in the face, and the sexual assault allegations leveled against PWR BTTM and the implications of that. Then Eden recommends some music – Brutus, Subetroth, and Arcadea featuring Brann Dailor of Mastodon. We then go into a cool people section discussing Get Out, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Then, just as we’re about to finish up, Eden mentions his Re:publica experience, and we go into an extended discussion about the ethical responsibilities of the tech industry to explain themselves. Enjoy!
Even a cursory glance of our biweekly “What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To” posts (last week’s update here) will reveal that there is a great deal of variety among our staff’s musical tastes. Due to this, we brainstormed the idea of “Playlist Swap,” another biweekly segment that takes place…
We’ve been getting a lot of comments asking for us to talk about books, so we spend the majority of this episode talking about our favorite sci-fi/fantasy novels. But before that, we talk about some news as well. News involving Cilice, Arkona, Slice The Cake, Dark Tranquillity and Schammasch. We also talk about a couple of cool releases we discovered, namely Fractal Cypher and Crator. Then we do the underrated release highlight of the week, which is Defiant Imagination by Quo Vadis. And then there’s books. Many books. We cover authors like the big R.R.s (Tolkien and Martin), Robert Jordan (ugh), Brandon Sanderson, Roger Zelazny, Hannu Rajaniemi, Thomas Sturgeon, Gene Woolfe, V.E. Schwab, Greg Egan, Jim Butcher, Joe Abercrombie and more. We had a great time with this! Also, if you want to check these books out and also support the podcast at the same time, you can get an audiobook for free at audibletrial.com/heavy. Seriously. Even if you get one book, it helps support the podcast for several weeks. We really appreciate your patronage and here’s to another year of HPIHC.
Fellow tech death enthusiast Ahmed joins me this week and we geek out about tech death for over an hour! Since Eden isn’t cool like us, we don’t get a chance to do this while he’s around, so we really went deep with this opportunity! We discuss some news first, like new music/content from Opeth, Meshuggah, Ion Dissonance, Anaal Nathrakh, Astral Path, VOLA, and an interesting Patreon by The Reign of Kindo. Then we go into tech death, how it has evolved historically and geographically; what its watershed moments were, and we discuss some of the most important and influential albums in the genre. Enjoy!