Hello, and welcome back to the article about the previous year that always comes long after the previous year has ended! Joking aside, based on the number of comments and messages I received asking if we were ... Read More...
To be honest, this list makes me feel happy because it mentions Iced Earth's Something Wicked This Way Comes. Early Iced Earth is criminally underrated in the contemporary progressive/power/heavy metal community; while their later works leave a lot to be desired, their early albums are downright incredible. Add more common, but still excellent choices like Dream Theater and Metallica to this list and you've got yourself one sweet Anatomy!
Looking at the influences that made Soldat Hans happen sheds a bit more light on where the band members come from when approaching these issues; many of the acts listed below tap into this same desire to feel, face and excise such emotions in a healthy and productive way. Especially noteworthy is the wide range of artists presented below. Most of them have some melancholic or even depressive edge but they take different approaches in expressing these edges. Thus, we get a glance into how a diverse sound such as Soldat Hans was forged and the many places in other music from which it came. Enjoy and don't forget to spin Es Taut when you feel up to it; it's a ride you should experience at least once.
If the purpose of Stepping Stone is to shine a spotlight on the bands and artists which started us on our way to metal, then Ronnie James Dio is one of the biggest stones in our path. Whether just by listening to his music at an early age or being influenced by his vocal style, the number of artists who have owe a debt to Dio is immeasurable. He is one of the largest names in a scene obsessed with the cult of personality, with plenty of drama and lore to back that figure (Ozzy vs. Dio, the "horns" and more). But I'd like to focus on a different story for this Stepping Stone, on mine rather than on the grandiose depiction of grand narratives within our scene and community. I'd like to take you back to the days when I was jut discovering metal and the power it had and what that power meant for the teenage version of Eden.
What I like about progressive stoner is that it melds groove and intricacy with the distortion coated vibes of stoner metal. It keeps things interesting, helping the often bogged down genres surrounding doom and stoner remember dynamism and variety. Which is exactly what Stonebirds are all about; these guys play a version of progressive stoner which relies on big guitar tones, thick bass and a drawl on the vocals reminiscent more Chris Cornell than Ozzy Osbourne. Their recently released Only Time, while not a trendsetter per se, an interesting take on the track structure that often becomes too stale even in this, more diverse, version of stoner. Check out "Sacrifice" below as an example.
Last week on Voices of The Void, we discussed the idea of fachs in the metal world. If you haven’t read up on the Dio fach, do yourself a favor and get caught up. After Dio established his voice as uniquely metal, new personalities quickly hit the scene with new vocal ideas. The next big metal voice was Rob Halford, frontman of legendary metal gods, Judas Priest. For this segment about him, you can follow along with our nifty Spotify playlist at the end.
Djent had an explosive entrance into the world of heavy music, around the start of the decade. It was a truly exciting occurrence, with first-wave acts like Periphery, Animals As Leaders and Cloudkicker filtering the technically-driven progressive sound of acts like Meshuggah, Sikth, and those of the budding “Sumeriancore” movement, into something altogether more accessible, while still retaining much of their forebears’ technical and progressive edge. Yet, like most new sub-genres, djent quickly devolved into pastiche and gave way to over saturation—perhaps a little bit quicker than most. Djent, it seems, has had a propperly ballistic trajectory, and—in 2017—as its momentum trails off, it's hard to get excited about this once-promising phenomenon.