Virulent Depravity – Fruit of the Poisoned Tree

While tech death has seen a consistent stream of high-quality albums over the past few years, it’s stood for a little while now that the genre presently seems to lack a globally identifiable vanguard of sorts. Meanwhile, bands that have traditionally occupied this role have since gone down a series of different paths:  Necrophagist lay…

Cognitive – Deformity

There’s a reason that musician autobiographies often contribute less to an understanding of an artist’s contribution than something written by an impartial third party. Such is the case with New Jersey’s Cognitive, who bill themselves as brutal technical death metal and whom their label, Unique Leader, describes as “thinking outside the box.” Tech death is a fairly ambitious genre and one in which the focus of the music is on, well, the technical nature of the performances. Listeners can expect the disorientation and whiplash that comes from multiple time signature changes and abrupt right turns. These are albums that aspires to invoke the current human condition: massive information overload. Cognitive’s recent release, Deformity, is not that album, as its strength comes from a solid roundhouse punch to the face.

49 – TECH DEATH EXTRAVAGANZA

Fellow tech death enthusiast Ahmed joins me this week and we geek out about tech death for over an hour! Since Eden isn’t cool like us, we don’t get a chance to do this while he’s around, so we really went deep with this opportunity! We discuss some news first, like new music/content from Opeth, Meshuggah, Ion Dissonance, Anaal Nathrakh, Astral Path, VOLA, and an interesting Patreon by The Reign of Kindo. Then we go into tech death, how it has evolved historically and geographically; what its watershed moments were, and we discuss some of the most important and influential albums in the genre. Enjoy!

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 9/9/16

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.

PHOTOS: Beyond Creation, Rivers of Nihil, The Zenith Passage, Roman Ring—July 21st, 2016 @ Reggie’s, Chicago, IL

If you’ve ever needed a night full of technical death metal, this was absolutely the tour to catch. The Montreal-based Beyond Creation leading the charge with riffs and leads galore, their proficient presence filling up each stage with precision and concentration. Backing them up was the equally powerful Rivers of…

Heavy Blog’s Editors’ Picks: April 2016

We knew it was coming. April marks the beginning of spring release season, when the number of marquee albums starts going sky high and incredible albums are suddenly dropping left and right. And yet looking back at this past month it’s just utterly astounding how much amazing music came out even from the get-go. April 1 was a humongous day for releases, and it simply did not stop after that. Narrowing down this huge wealth of albums to a select few was nearly impossible, but thankfully we also have our “short”-list to include everything else we completely loved, all of which are included in our Spotify playlist for the month, which is embedded here and on our front page. And with that, let’s get to our editor picks for April!

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 4/22/16

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 Zenith Passage – Solipsist

After exploding onto the scene with their debut EP, Cosmic Dissonance, in 2013, The Zenith Passage is finally ready to put forth into the world Solipsist, which continues along their established trajectory: a combination of the more melodic, spacey sound of fellow Californian progressive death metal act The Faceless and hard-hitting, chunky, riffy grooves that are highly reminiscent of brutal techdeath bands like Deeds Of Flesh or Cryptopsy, their sound is a fluid hybrid of the grim spaciness of the former with the technically demanding, spiraling compositions of the latter.

Scott Carstairs of Fallujah: The Heavy Blog Is Heavy Interview

It’s no secret that California’s Fallujah have become one of the most exciting and forward-thinking groups within the new crop of death metal. They solidified themselves as serious contenders with The Harvest Wombs, soared to new atmospheric heights with The Flesh Prevails, and they’re about to drop their highly anticipated Nuclear Blast Records debut with Dreamless. Things seem to be as lethal as ever from the few tracks that have emerged over the past few weeks, but now the band seems to have really found a new sense of confidence thanks to the huge leaps in production quality the band has been provided with their new label. I got a chance to speak with guitarist Scott Carstairs on the heels of their tour with The Black Dahlia Murder and Disentomb about what fans can expect from new material, upcoming tour plans, working with Mark Lewis and a whole lot more!

Fake It Until You Make It? Musical Authenticity and the Metal Musician

When in the studio, musicians always use some “tricks” to get a sound that isn’t necessarily as achievable in a live setting. This is a pretty commonly known fact. It’s not even a new thing. Since the 60s, bands have made music in the studio that doesn’t reflect the process of how they actually play in person. As technology develops, more methods become available to the artists to achieve a more “perfect” sound, if they choose to use them. In the 50s and before, bands recorded performances together, in a single run through. Then they started recording each instrument separately, then split up songs into parts, then replaced some instruments with digital substitutes, used corrective techniques (both for pitch and timing) and recently, started performing at a slower tempo then speeding it up. These are the realities of recording. Whether they’re acceptable or not is a hotly debated topic, and a recent even in the metal spheres brought the question to the forefront yet again. The 2016 Guitar Solo Contest, where guitarists were asked to perform over a track by John Browne of Monuments and submit a video of their recording, recently announced their winners. The prizes ranged from a Mayones guitar, Mesa amps, Bare Knuckle Pickups and more. Here’s where it gets complicated. One of the winners was a performance that was clearly heavily edited.