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 ... Read More...
I’ve written before, as I’m sure I will again, about the therapeutic nature, if not outright necessity, of music. The healing properties and medicinal purposes of this art is fairly well-chronicled but we can never be reminded of that enough. In my own experiences, and where I find myself in life, a lot of that healing or mental well-being is cultivated in listening to varieties of post-fill in the blank music. I listen to it at night when I need to calm my brain down, when I need to be able to focus on work, or I feel something that I can’t express. Others will inevitably have their own preferred niche, genre, or style. None of them are invalid options.
A few months ago, I received an email about a post-rock compilation. Naturally intrigued, I started to dig deeper. Apparently this compilation was focused on the idea of "global" music, featuring bands from all across the world. As I kept digging, I soon came across A Thousand Arms, the label behind the compilation but also a repository for merch and other album releases from some of my favorite bands including We Lost the Sea among others. Naturally, I was intrigued and I started speaking with C.J who manages the label alongside another partner. What exactly was the motivation for this compilation? What is A Thousand Arms exactly, if not a label in the traditional sense? These questions led me to finally sending C.J. a few questions over email as an interview, to try and get some answers. His answers are posted below, unedited, and represent an interesting look into a part of the music industry fans might not always get a glimpse of. Read on for musings on post rock, post metal, global communities, live music and much, much more!
It's been a while since we mentioned Boston instrumental post-rock group Pray For Sound here. Originally we told you to listen to their 2014 album Dreamer, which Eden complimented for its open, cinematic sounds calling to mind the likes of sleepmakeswaves, Explosions in the Sky, and plenty more. True to form, after telling you all to listen to that album over half a year after its release, we somehow managed to let these guys slip through our fingers again as they released their truly excellent follow-up Everything Is Beautiful last fall. Don't ask us how it happened because we don't have a good answer other than us being fools. Certainly don't think it has anything to do with the quality of the album because Everything Is Beautiful is undoubtedly the most fully-realized and expansive record Pray For Sound have put out. It's sweeping, cinematic post-rock at its finest that knows how and when to hit heavy and add plenty of interesting knots throughout while maintaining its general feel of open, pastoral beauty.
At their cores, Desideratum and Below the House are linked; two sides of the same loss. Thom Wasluck has always channeled the entirety of himself into Planning for Burial, and on his Flenser debut with Desideratum, he manifested pure sorrow into a hazy blend of shoegaze and ambient drone metal. Yet, it's on Below the House that Wasluck's music truly morphs into "doomgaze," as his songwriting has taken on a starkly more direct, cathartic approach to coping with life's tribulations. Whereas Desideratum was an ode to internal suffering, Below the House is Wasluck's outward diatribe against a callous world, unwavering in its cruelty but malleable to the glimmering hope lying beneath his lamentations.
Today we're joined by none other than Michael Gagen, guitarist extraordinaire at bands you may have heard of, like hazards of swimming naked and (ex-) Arcane, and bands you've probably never heard of, like Echo... Read More...
It only makes sense that we come to an epiphany about “Voodoo Child” while listening to Minneapolis psychedelic sludge outfit, Maeth. After all, their latest release, Shrouded Mountain, is the sonic equivalent to knocking down a mountain and building it back up again. This record finds the band flexing their post-metal muscle, making the ebbs and flows of their signature aural growth and decay feel more effortless and natural than ever. By tightening things up and leaving behind the shorter transitory interludes from prior albums in favor of merging everything into what could be a singular song, Shrouded Mountain runs efficient, but overflows with atmosphere and.
Scottish post-rock denizens Mogwai are a band who thrive in chaos and unpredictability – much like the little furry creatures from Joe Dante’s Gremlins they’re named after. Boundary-pushers since their inception, their feats of trailblazing subsequently launched post-rock into the mainstream stratosphere without ever having to compromise their artistic vision. Mogwai’s success is well earned and proof that, sometimes, crafting consistently great and innovative music can get you far. To traverse their discography is to explore vast oceans and limitless skies of both welcome familiarity and unexpected delights. Whether unleashing earth-shattering audio assaults or elegiac passages of soothing soundscapes, their music is profoundly human and capable of eliciting an emotional response through instrumentals alone.
There are bands whose power lies in singularity. They've released a few albums but, somehow, their power only grew in the years of their silence. Think yndi halda. Think Necrophagist. Think Disillusion. Maybe because we've had so much time with so few moments from the band, what we had was gestated over and over again in our brains, until a heady concoction was produced. Perhaps it's just because we are drawn to the rare, enchanted with the pull of unique things. Whichever the case, If These Trees Could Talk and their two albums (and EP) have echoed much farther than one might expect. Both releases are phenomenal moments within the history of post metal defining, along with bands like Pelican, what instrumental post metal even means. Both releases are like powerful hits on a massive bell, their reverberations echoing throughout the viscous fluid that is the metal scene. And now, the bell has been struck again.