What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 4/28/17

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.

Persefone – Aathma

Persefone are no newcomers to metal, but they do stand in the shadow of their previous release, The Spiritual Migration. This album, lauded by many (including us) as a masterpiece of modern progressive metal, completely destroys any but two or three other releases in its own genre. It was, and remains, fresh, surprising, intimately familiar and yet, somehow, irreverent at the same time. Therefore, when the band announced a crowdfunding campaign for its follow up last year, titled Aathma, breaths were held across the community. Can Persefone achieve one of the two options above? That is, can they either recreate something close to The Spiritual Migration or, failing that, depart from that monumental creation into something just as good?

Oni – Ironshore

The onslaught of the new wave of progressive metal continues. Enter Oni, a Canadian band who are surfing right along that wave. Their debut, Ironshore is just a solid assault of groovy modern prog (not to be confused with djent) that surprises in a plethora of ways. Occupying a space similar to bands like Textures, Persefone and Alustrium, this album should be a bar for up and coming bands to be measured against.

Best Of: Global Metal

As in everything, the trajectory of global culture has affected the ways in which we perceive and consume metal. While we won't have the time to go in depth on concepts like "the West", "globalism" and "cultural appropriation", it's safe to say that metal is too often viewed with a Western-tinged lens. Thus, Europe (western/northern Europe, that is) and the US are often viewed as the focal points of the community and, sometimes, as the only grounds in which events worth consider occur. However, the reality is far from that and is much more positive: metal, like any cultural community which has, is or will one day thrive, is a global phenomenon.

Hey! Listen to Will Of The Mountain!

One of my favorite things about writing for the blog is how much access it gives me to music I would never otherwise have heard. This is especially true in a geographical sense; our scenes and music journalism are heavily titled towards the Western world. While that sort of perspective is not without merit, it still misses huge swaths of amazing music. Consider Andorra's Persefone or Japan's Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas. Another location which might not be immediately associated with metal is Costa Rica. Apparently, however, it is host to an amazing musical scene which has now intersected with metal in a pleasingly excellent way. This intersection has culminated in Cloud Walking by a project named Will Of The Mountain.

47 – Might As Well Call Us SeasonOfMistCast

Yeah, we love pretty much everything on Season of Mist. So what? This week we talk about new music from Thy Catafalque, Brain Drill, Opeth, Snowy Shaw, SHOKRAN (teaser here), Noctem, Victor Wooten's new band Octavision, Oxiplegatz, Exotype, Sleep Token, Hannes Grossmann, and Watchtower. Then we go over some news, like Darkthrone's Fenriz getting elected for city council, Persefone announcing a new album, Sikth reissuing Death of a Dead Day, and Enslaved announcing a rarities collection. Then we discuss two albums that have been on our minds: Insomnium's Winter's Gate, and Misery Index's The Killing Gods. We introduce our new segment, "Underrated release highlight of the week" - this week we talk about Arkona's Yav. Finally, we talk about our process for discovering and ingesting new music. Enjoy! Also cool people time has some cool stuff.

We Can Finally “Visualize” A New Abiogenesis Track

"Visualize" is an absolute monster of a track, blending the best things that modern, progressive metal has to offer. The names that ought to be conjured in your mind while we speak about this track are Persefone, Gods of Eden and their ilk. Right off the bat, you know what to expect: you have your intricate guitar riffs. You have your jazzy, weird-ass breaks. You have your excellent, complex drumming. But you also have amazing synths scattered above the guitars and serving a fantastic supporting role. More than an afterthought, they add a depth and a flair to the track, creating this neon-blue, sharp sensation which coalesces beautifully with the guitars. Head on over to one minute and thirty seven seconds for a beautiful bridge/solo from the guitars that works amazingly with the synths to get what I'm talking about.

Cyborg Octopus – Learning To Breathe

Every year there's this one progressive metal band that suddenly delivers this completely fresh sound and changes the perception of what the genre can do. Last year it was Native Construct, before that A Sense Of Gravity, then Persefone, 2012 had Gods of Eden, and 2011 had The Odious. These bands all have a common narrative in that they both paid great respect to the core sound that is commonly associated with the label, but they also pushed it with creative influences and blended genres into their mix seamlessly. Cyborg Octopus are poised to do the same for 2016, and their debut Learning to Breathe is a brilliant exploration of styles and songwriting that delivers on several levels.