So, April has come and gone and now spring is here in earnest. While there was definitely a slow down in the SHEER VOLUME of releases from April, there definitely wasn't a decline in quality. May brought us some of our favorite albums from 2016 so far and some which are certain to feature on high spots in our end of year lists. Speaking of which, next month we won't be doing an Editors' Picks or rather, we will but it will be a special, Worth Your Time in 2016 so far edition. In the meantime, let's dig in to this month's selection, featuring some heavy, some sad and, mainly, a whole lot of excellent.
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.
When Alcest released their 2014 Shelter, there were many dissenting voices among their fans. Originally, it was possible to easily disregard these as the usual detractors of any band which tries to change their sound; we might like to paint metal as a progressive and open genre but we have our fair share of conservatives. However, as further listenings to the album opened up understanding, it was felt by many more that indeed, something was off. It's not that Shelter was a bad album but there was something, some power that Alcest had in their earlier works. By "earlier works" we do not mean their classical, black metal, heavy albums. We're not joining those who denounce blackgaze or even the dream pop that Alcest had started making. On the contrary, we love those sounds and were therefore disappointed with Shelter, which felt more like lip service to the power those genres can hold. Luckily, it appears that a second chance is at hand, in the form of a separate, and yet musically linked, artist called Sylvaine.