Editor’s Note: I’m glad to welcome longtime reader Remi VL as a regular guest contributor to our Release Day Roundup posts! He submitted several of the albums listed below. Join his Facebook group&nb... Read More...
"Avant-garde" is arguably the most misused genre descriptor in modern metal. Whether in blog posts or comment sections, there's always someone that's heard a slightly off-kilter metal album and immediately slapped on the old "A-G" tag. That said, I'm not going to use Område as an example to parse out the differences between avant-garde, experimental and progressive metal (an article worth writing by someone who actually wants that to be their hill to die on). I'm actually here because of the French duo's invigorating take on avant-garde metal—an approach that captures the essence of the genre in gorgeous, meticulous detail. Whereas bands like maudlin of the Well and Pan.Thy.Monium found success by thrusting death metal into avant-garde territory, Område excel by nailing down the core of avant-garde metal and renovating it's structure with intricate furnishings and vibrant coats of paint. There may be no shortage of high-quality albums to recommend to metal fans flirting withe the avant-garde, but there are a sparse few that rival Nåde's marriage of accessibility and bold artistry.
With our general list for 2016 out of the way, we can now shift the focus from our aggregate opinion to individual ones. Both outlooks have their own merit; the former provides us with an overview of our year in music. However, the latter shines a light on something we're extremely proud of and that's the varied and eclectic nature of our staff these days. We used to have a very certain type of music associated with Heavy Blog and while we still have a long way to go, we feel like we've done a good job at expanding our palettes and the representation of different kinds of music and metal in our staff. The lists below reflect that; you'll find black metal, avant-garde, technical thrash metal, hip hop, rap, noise, ambiance, post metal and rock, melodic death metal and much more throughout these lists.
So, you all may have seen the absolute unbridled rage against Allegaeon's Patreon from last week. I thought this was pretty unfounded and ridiculous, so I invited Riley McShane of Allegaeon to talk about how he views this situation, and whether some of the accusations made in the articles are founded or not. We ended up having a great chat about the band's situation and crowd funding. I recommend listening to this one, regardless of what you think about the situation! Then Eden and I talk about news and stuff. The new Metallica song, the new Shokran video, the upcoming Soen album, the new Thy Catafalque album, the new Disillusion video, the new... I got tired of going "the new X". Instead, listen to this really dumb but amazing mashup of the Space Jam tune with the new Meshuggah album by Analog Staple. Oh, also, Dominic Forrest Lapointe joined First Fragment. Balance Interruption is an awesome saxed-up black metal thing. Alkaloid are on Season of Mist, officially making it the best label ever. Facebook added integration with some music services. Our underrated album of the week is Rad a Trest by !T.O.O.H! - I wrote about them years ago. Then we talk about how song order is a really hard thing to pick.