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'm off the awkward age where I sit a few years older than a good portion of the staff here, but I'm not as old as some of the relics kicking about here either. This middling age means that I was finding my fee... Read More...
I've been on a power metal kick lately. Oh, you've noticed have you? What with writing about Blind Guardian recently (and Iron Maiden, the power metal precursors), I've been dusting off old CD's. These pieces of plastic were the adornments of my teenage years, confused and lost in the same generic haze that envelops most people at that age. It was a good time, I must say. I had just discovered so many great bands: Dream Theater, Pantera, Metallica, Opeth, Children of Bodom. And Edguy. I was at the perfect age for their antics, particularly those of their earlier albums, then fresh off the press. Before they had turned up their personas to eleven, before they had signed to Nuclear Blast and released their massive Hellfire Club, Edguy was a brave band, doing many different things within their power metal classification. Mandrake is the perfect example of that, featuring a dark perspective on what power metal should be doing along with plenty of 80's pop influences. From the first track, I was hooked, my Blind Guardian saturated ears opening up completely to this new-yet-familiar sound.
For something as purposefully abrasive and extreme as metal, it makes perfect sense that those who poke fun at this style of music are often met with a flurry of criticism. Few other genres of music have gather... Read More...
Before starting to get to the meat of this article, I’d like to ask all readers to ignore whatever prejudices they have regarding Metallica, just for a short time. I completely understand if you’re pissed about Metallica; they have not always made the best music, among other things. Honestly, Saint Anger is still very much a source of disappointment and annoyance for me. However, for a lot of people - and, really, the metal community at large - they are an important band. For me (and, I assume, many others), they were the first real metal band I got into. On the whole, they are considered one of the greatest metal bands of all time, and are probably the most financially successful metal band ever (the Black Album still sells a ridiculous amount of copies, if you can believe it). And while we at Heavy Blog are a few months behind, we still find it necessary to pay tribute the band’s third album, Master of Puppets, as it celebrates its 30th birthday this year.
When I wrote my article on incorporating sax into metal a few weeks ago, I was not subtle in my praise for the man and the machine known as Jørgen Munkeby. As the individual behind Shining and the player responsible for so many of modern metal's great sax solos, it would be near impossible to get far in discussing the instrument's use in the format without landing squarely on him. So I was just a little bit more than flattered when Jørgen shared the post himself and praised it. I figured that would be the end of it, but I was wrong in the best possible way, because Jørgen took this whole thing one step further and contacted us out of the blue with a list of seven excellent tips he feels are crucial to any aspiring sax player who wants to doot some brutal-sounding shit.
Welcome back to HPIHC! Eden's back, and thus we're back on track! Of course we talk about Phil Anselmo's transgressions and the fallout that followed, new music from Skuggsja, Voivod and Killswitch Engage. Of course, there's more Tidal shenanigans (involving Rihanna this time), then we go into our usual discussions. This time it's about the material that supplements the experience of an album, be it music videos or supplementary material like liner notes, companion books and such. Finally we talk about the legendary Fredrik Nordstrom. Enjoy!