September was a damn good month for all things frostbitten and evil. Showcasing the genre’s insane breadth of style and influence more than in any month in recent memory, black metal showed up in a big way as the multi-faceted beast we’ve always known it was. The releases featured here are in majority some of our favorite of the year, and we hope you will share that sentiment. So feast your eyes and ears on the ridiculous bounty that was the month in black metal.
Black metal has reached a critical point in development and rapid expansion through the past decade that introduced interesting sonic experiments to an otherwise insular and esoteric genre. Artistic waves came and went, and what was once avant-garde became commonplace in the genre. For instance, Deathspell Omega’s dark and twisted approach…
Emotional attachment to a band’s music is a two-edged sword. As a listener, there’s a sense of depth provided by these kinds of records that other music just does not provide. It’s a transport to time and place, a vehicle for our memories and states of mind when the music…
Everybody has their preferences when it comes to their metal. Maybe you’re a doom guy. Or grind. Or death. Or even one of those super weirdos who exclusively listens to a single metal band. And they’re out there. But what’s the best is when a band can mesh and incorporate numerous sounds into a single unified voice. Take a dash of doom’s guitar tone with death’s drums, blackened vocals, and a little post-metal songwriting, and you’ve got yourself a healthy serving of Barren Altar.
It’s pretty incredible to reflect on how much Kvlt Kolvmn has grown over the last couple years, especially when it comes to how consequential it’s been for Heavy Blog’s coverage of the vast web of metal subgenres. What began as an outlet for me (Scott) to occasionally ramble about my…
There’s a great deal of irony in the latest album title of instrumental post-metal trio Sannhet. While their new album is called So Numb, it would seem that this is the most evocative song writing we’ve seen from the group to date. The emotions that this album can rouse from slumber deep within the listener are not just your simple “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” that come along with music that catch and impress the ear, but rather ones of blinding ecstasy and immobilizing sorrow. In crafting this collection of songs, Sannhet have taken the approach of the painter. The group uses every drum hit, bass plunk and guitar strum to paint a picture with textures and colors that are just as interesting and thought out as the work they comprise the entirety of.
New York-based post-black metal duo Mavradoxa made a quick turnaround with the follow-up to their 2016 debut, Sojourners, a record that wore its love for Agalloch and on its metaphorical and literal sleeves. Lethean Lament picks up right where Sojourners left off, and despite the brief period between releases, Lament is a fuller, more developed, and polished version of the band, one that also benefits from a much-improved mix. Essentially, Lethean Lament is what you’d expect from a quality post-black metal record: adventurously long tracks, gush-worthy cleans, charred in-your-face passages, and some tasteful string arrangements thrown in for good measure. At a glance, it’s a superbly-composed love letter to the the genre, skillfully pairing elegant and embellished passages with malicious affronts, while sharpening the effects of each against one another.
Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure trove, others find themselves drawing a blank at the end of the month due to the breakneck pace needed to keep up to date with what’s been released. Which brings us to this Heavy Blog PSA: a weekly roundup of new albums which pares down the the week’s releases to only our highest recommendations. Here you’ll find full album/single streams, pre-order links and, most importantly, a collection of albums that could very well earn a spot on your year end list. Enjoy!
Let’s state facts: Clrvynt’s preface to “The Director of ‘Maryland Deathfest: The Movie’:’Metal is the Fucking Worst'” (this is literally how the post’s title was formatted by the way, I didn’t change it) is bullshit. Running an article filled with borderline/not-really-borderline-at-all misogyny, homophobia, and very palpable hatred for a huge swath of the community you’re part of is a terrible thing to do. However, if you’ve already decided to do that, don’t cop out by writing a six-line preface nominally denouncing the opinions contained therein. At least own the fact that you’re giving shitty opinions a stage and have some honesty.
Man, 2017, y’all. We realize that it’s kind of our m.o. to be proponents of the whole “Golden Age of Metal” narrative and be incredibly positive about the consistently great level of stuff that is being put out from pretty much every part of the musical spectrum, but it’s such an easy thing to do when we are so constantly bombarded with new material that utterly consumes our attention. Even in months where one of us might not have as many new albums that really impressed them, without doubt there will be another one who could barely keep up because of all the superb releases from genres they pay close attention to. This April has certainly been no different in that regard, and we have a whole slew of top-notch albums to recommend to you all.