Wovenhand – Star Treatment

Currently at the unlikely crossroads of doom metal and alt-country rests singer-songwriter David Eugene Edwards, a pioneer in the fringe genre of Gothic Americana. With roots in more sonically-traditional folk outfit 16 Horsepower in the 90's, Edwards' penchant for minor-key melodies and somber, washed-out aesthetic lead the musician to adopt sounds that were truly "heavy" within the context of country/western music. Throughout the years, Edwards would have a turn in legendary Australian post-punk outfit Crime & The City Solution, 16 Horsepower would dissolve, and Edwards would pursue a new full-time passion project, Wovenhand.

Wrekmeister Harmonies – Light Falls

A collective in both genres amassed and sheer body count, Wrekmeister Harmonies has made good on its multifarious ethos. Founder and principal member JR Robinson has enlisted a slew of metal and experimental musicians over his past three records, including Jef Whitehead of Leviathan; Lee Buford and Chip King of The Body; members of Indian, Corrections House and Twilight; and Marissa Nadler, among several others. Robinson's fourth album under the Wrek-Harm name - Light Falls - arguably contains his most high-profile ensemble yet, as he's joined by three members from seminal post-rock pioneers Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Thierry Amar on bass and contrabass; Sophie Trudeau on piano, violin and vocals; and Timothy Herzog on drums). Yet, despite the notability of this trio's inclusion, it's not the most striking feature of Light Falls, an album which changes a crucial aspect of Wrek-Harm's compositional approach up until this point.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 7/15/16

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.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – Playlist Swap – 6/24/16

Even a cursory glance of our biweekly “What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To” posts (last week’s update here) will reveal that there is a great deal of variety among our staff’s musical tastes. Due to this, we brainstormed the idea of “Playlist Swap,” another biweekly segment that takes place between playlist updates. We randomly select participants from each update, have them pick their favorite track from each of the nine albums in their grid and then send the list over to the other person/people to listen to and comment on. Within these commentaries occurs praise, criticism and discovery, and we hope that you experience a few instances of this last point as well. This week’s post brought editors Eden Kupermintz and Scott Murphy together to peruse each other’s tastes:

Swans – The Glowing Man

The Glowing Man caps off a four album musical victory lap from a reinvigorated Gira, who convened a group of new and old collaborators at the turn of the decade to culminate Swans' mission statement. A moderate re-introduction arrived with My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky (2010), an admittedly great album that struggled with its reliance on ideas from Gira side-project Angels of Light. Yet, any early detractors scurried away once Swans unleashed The Seer (2012), easily one of the greatest albums of the decade and century thus far. Gira and crew's experimental capabilities and limitless mindset led to a magnanimous statement of mood, sound and anti-structure that leveraged every aspect of Swans' three-decade career in the most effective way possible. The Seer seemed inimitable, and To Be Kind (2014) proved that point correct - by demolishing Swans' already desolate structure and rebuilding it in an adjacent, bastardized fashion.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 6/17/16

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.

The Jazz Club Vol. 6 – Accessibility, Defining Jazz and Blind Purchases

Welcome to yet another Jazz Club, where we get to take a break from the admittedly wonderful world of metal in exchange for some horns and sax and plenty of Miles Davis. Honestly, we tossed around topic ideas for today, but nothing really seemed to stick, so we’re going to have a much more conversational installment centering around various questions we’ve been mulling over lately. Sorry ahead of time, unless this turns out great, which in that case, you’re welcome.

“People Think This &@%# is Good?!” // Dealing With “That” Album

We’ve all been there; we’ll see (or, rather, hear) a new album that, to you, doesn’t quite live up to expectations. And that’s all great, but then the rest of the world seems to explode about said album, praising it as the paragon of a new age of music. The critics can barely keep it in their pants because of it; your friends won’t shut up about it; it sweeps all the AOTY lists, and any other awards ceremony you might care about, all the while you just sit there and wonder: “why?” Why the fuck would anyone find this to be that good? You might wonder if you just don’t “get it,” like you’re missing an important part of the picture. Again, this is hardly a new experience for most music listeners, regardless of genre, but it’s a phenomenon so frustrating that it tries you again and again. I can definitely say that I’ve been there in the last few years; there are just some releases that seem beyond my perception. I’ve learned (or at least have tried) to get over it, and ignore it, but, you know, it’s tough, so I thought it might be a good idea to explain ways of dealing with that album in a positive way, instead of becoming another internet troll or just getting frustrated enough to punch a hole in the wall.