Into the Pit: Thrash Metal Mailbag

Hello fellow pit-sters! This month, I thought we could do something a little different. You all know I’ve been playing fast and loose with the schedule of this column, and August will be no different! Fellow thrash Josh Bulleid and I thought we’d introduce ourselves to you all a little…

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8 Track – Symphony X

It’s been a while since we’ve posted an 8 Track post, so let me remind you what this is all about. The idea is to choose 8 tracks from a band’s career that exemplify their growth and their style for those who might not be aware of them at all…

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Anatomy of Black Mass

If there’s one thing the world needs more of, it’s blackened thrash. In some ways, it’s the original black metal sound. It’s chaotic and raucous, just like we all love our metal. However, it’s also overtly dark and evil sounding, a constant grind on your senses that still has its…

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Starter Kit: Progressive Bluegrass

Bluegrass generates most of its interest from technical ability, even in its most traditional veins. Generally, the genre operates a lot like jazz: different configurations of instruments improvise solos on standard tunes. There’s mostly likely an upright bass and some light percussion like tambourine or washboard in the rhythm section, treble instruments like fiddle, banjo, mandolin, and guitar taking solos, and multi-part harmonies in the vocals. Bluegrass generally borrows from the same sources as country and folk: Scottish, Irish, and English folk music, African American spirituals, and blues. Progressive bluegrass started, like progressive rock, in the late 60s. While, the compositions never really reached the complexity of prog rock, the idea was the same in the beginning: the chord progressions got more complex, it started borrowing from other genres most notably jazz, modern rock, pop, and classical music, and the lyrics became deeper.

Heavy Vanguard: Scott Walker // Tilt

While we’re always up for trying a new experimental release out, we figured it was high time we covered this artist in some degree, since Scott and I both share a love for his music. Scott Walker (no relation to the politician of the same name) was once a singer/songwriter on the road to becoming an act on the scale of The Beatles or The Who as part of The Walker Brothers, but who, in a Beatles-esque fashion, eschewed fame and pop-oriented songwriting after a while and decided to go in an avant-garde direction. After some ups and downs, and a solo career that had a fair amount of misses as well as successes, Walker has planted himself as one of the foremost experimental musicians of the modern era, with his later trilogy (consisting of Tilt, The Drift, and Bish Bosch) being of particular acclaim, along with collaborations with bands like Sunn O))).

To Prequel or Not? Cynic Provides the Missing Link and has their Revenge of the Sith Moment

Cynic is a legendary and influential band. Since news that drummer and founding member Sean Reinert has left the band, many fans have wondered what is on the horizon, if anything. While there’s still no word on new music from co-founder and guitarist/vocalist Paul Masvidal (who vowed to continue the band), late last year, an announcement from the realm of music archaeologists got nerd minds spinning. Uroboric Forms: The Complete Demo Collection would be released and fans would maybe get some answers about how the hell Cynic went from being in Death (which was basically a Chuck Schuldiner backing gig) to dropping an absolutely groundbreaking gem in Focus. Southern Florida in the late 80s and early 90s is hallowed ground in extreme metal. Would Uroboric Forms rewrite the narrative?

Heavy Blog’s Interview with Michael Gagen (hazards of swimming naked, Echotide, ex-Arcane)

Today we’re joined by none other than Michael Gagen, guitarist extraordinaire at bands you may have heard of, like hazards of swimming naked and (ex-) Arcane, and bands you’ve probably never heard of, like Echotide, agrammeofsoma and more. We don’t know which of those bands you’ve heard of, but we…