EXCLUSIVE DOUBLE PREMIERE: The Fractured Dimension – Bedevilment And Bewilderment & Frost

Ever heard of Scholomance? Their tenure lasted between 1995 and 2003, and they were way ahead of their time. Helmed by keyboard player extraordinaire Jimmy Pitts (Eternity's End, Equipoise, NYN), their brand of progressive death metal was fantastic. Unfortunately, they broke up, but that never stopped Jimmy. He's been working with a host of talented musicians, including Hannes Grossmann and Danny Tunker of Alkaloid, Carl August Tidemann (ex-Arcturus), Tom "Fountainhead" Geldschläger (Defeated Sanity, ex-Obscura), Ron Jarzombek (Watchtower, Blotted Science), Vishal J Singh (Amogh Symphony), Phil Tougas (First Fragment), Jerry Twyford (Scholomance, Pitts Minnemann Project) and more! Does that line-up make you dizzy? If so, check out the song below the jump, and contribute to their crowd-funder here! Be quick, as there's only a few days left!

For Fans Of – Nova Collective

It's been a while since we've written one of these columns, and that's not because we dislike them. Past a certain point it starts to become more difficult to find important bands representing or making waves in a certain genre or sub-genre and finding a group of similar or tangentially-related bands to recommend. Up to this point though we haven't really written one of these posts as essentially a response or plea to listeners. Sometimes bands who execute a certain style or sound garner a lot of critical and popular praise to the point of being credited with some sort of innovation or something radically different from anything else out there when the reality is far from that. It's rarely the fault of the bands themselves though as they don't give themselves that kind of credit, but once in a while it's important for someone to politely correct consensus thinking and offer a little more context, and that is exactly what we're going to do here and now with the debut album from metal/jazz fusion band Nova Collective.

Heavy Blog’s Top 50 Albums Of 2016

We wrote a pretty big check to ourselves when we closed off 2015. Publishing not only a list which proclaimed the triumph of 2015 but also a whole editorial dedicated to the idea of "The Golden Age of Metal", we set ourselves up for disappointment. Like the rest of the music establishment which, in numerous places implicit and explicit, was apparently ready to join in the social lynching of 2016, we were well positioned to find it a sobering, dreadful, faith shattering year for music in general and metal specifically. Except it was nothing of the sort and we cannot stress our amazement at metal/music journalism's reaction so far. 2016 was an absolutely fantastic year, building on the trend of solid and often groundbreaking releases from established acts and simply astounding, out of left field releases from virtually nameless bands. Sure, it had its disappointments for us from huge bands we had expected more from (although signs of their demise were certainly forthcoming) but, overall, it was a year which will surely be remembered in our circles as one of the best years for music in general.

59 – AOTY 2016 Deliberations, Part 1: Vape In

So we're doing a two-part series on picking the podcast's official albums of the year 2016. We start with the blog's list of 400+ albums that are worth consideration this year, whittle it down to 86 albums we care about, and then start cutting them. The objective is to get to a ranked list of 10 items and an overall list of 20 albums. We get down to about 45 this week until the cuts really start to hurt. This was real fun to do, so I hope you all enjoy too! The lists will be posted below.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 4/8/16

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.

20 – The Original Title Was Too Long, So I Fixed It

Yeah, that's the actual title! Thanks for listening to us for 20 episodes now! We're going to keep going. This week we talk about a bunch of new music, including Sylosis, Babymetal, Voivod, Myrkur, Vektor and Danny Tunker's (Alkaloid) Bare Trap! We also talk about the controversial Patreon by Ne Obliviscaris. Then we go into two topics, the balance between being in a band with friends versus professionalism, and bands that take forever to release their next albums. Then we do our now-weekly "balls deep" on Blind Guardian, which we both really love! Also don't forget the cool people time at the end!

19 – feat. Jimmy Pitts and Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschlager

We have two very special guests today! Jimmy Pitts and Tom "Fountainhead" Geldschlager, who are involved in so many projects that it's kind of ridiculous. Between them, they've worked with Christian Muenzner, Hannes Grossmann, Obscura, Spastic Ink, Scholomance, Nader Sadek, Cerebric Turmoil and many more. Jimmy's currently playing keyboards for Muenzner's power metal band Eternity's End, and him and Tom are currently crowd funding the Pitts Minneman Project's new album, The Psychic Planetarium on Indiegogo. Top notch prog metal/jazz fusion. We invited them over to have a chat about their projects, but of course it all devolves into talking about a whole slew of topics, and we had a great time!

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: The Fusion Brilliance Of Pitts Minnemann Project – Imaginary Numbers

Me and fellow editor Nick are always on the lookout for more jazz fusion. A lot of progressive metal has jazz influences, but those usually feel more like metal with jazz on the side, whereas pure jazz metal is hard to find. Enter Pitts Minnemann Project, which is exactly what it sounds like. It's an instrumental prog/jazz fusion project featuring Jimmy Pitts of Scholomance and Marco Minnemann of, well, every band ever (Necrophagist, Ephel Duath, Joe Satriani and more). Also in the lineup are Tom "Fountainhead" Geldschlager on guitar (including fretless guitar, which he also played on the latest Obscura album) and Jerry Twyford (Scholomance). Excited yet? Well, their new track "Imaginary Numbers" off their upcoming crowd-funded album The Psychic Planetarium is a delightful jazz piece with tasteful sax and trumpet usage. I mean, can it be any more enticing?