Oddland – Origin

Oddland are a bit of an oddball (heh) in the gamut of progressive metal. Rising from the fertile grounds (for metal, at least) of Finland, they garnered quite a bit of hype with scene insiders. Their The Treachery of Senses (2012) was an interesting take on the darker, Tool influences that have been running strong through the scene for more than a decade now. However, with only one album and then a prolonged silence, fans and critics were unable to fully flesh out a firm idea of what the band was about; the album certainly sounded great, but what was the approach behind it all? Luckily, Origin marks 2016 as the year where the gaps in the Oddland tale are finally filled in. The album builds firmly on the strata of dark progressive but also gives us further insight into what Oddland want to bring to table, what they want to modulate and very within the scene.

Unmetal Monday – 7/11/16 (The Avalanches, Daymé Arocena, Pity Sex, Unconscious Disturbance)

Like the grand majority of modern metal fans, our tastes here at Heavy Blog are incredibly vast, with our 3X3s in each Playlist Update typically covering numerous genres and sometimes a different style in each square. While we have occasionally covered non-metal topics in past blog posts, we decided that a dedicated column was warranted in order to more completely recommend all of the music that we have been listening to. Unmetal Monday is a recurring column which covers noteworthy news, tracks and albums from outside the metal universe, and we encourage you all to share your favorite non-metal picks from the week in the comments. Head past the jump to dial down the distortion:

37 – Apples and GOATs

It's the fourth of July, and I'm too caught up in festivities to type up a proper podcast post. Why do I spoil the contents of each episode every week anyway? Oh, right, for SEO purposes, and some people actually read these posts instead of diving straight to the cast. Well, I'll just list off the relevant artist names and such after the jump with links, and you can listen to the cast for context! Oh, we also talk about our favorite albums of all time. No big deal.

Andy Thomas of Black Crown Initiate: The Heavy Blog Is Heavy Interview

This isn't the first time you've seen us geek out about the progressive metal maestros in Black Crown Initiate, and it certainly won't be our last. While their new material has been pretty unexpected to say the least and it's drawn some differing opinions from various writers here at Heavy Blog, make no mistake that Selves We Cannot Forgive features some of the band's most musically dense and daring material to date. Now that the band's recruited shredder extraordinaire Wes Hauch to join the group, the band's overall musical chemistry has reached dizzying new heights with this album, an increasingly challenging concoction of progressive death metal, swirling technicality and soaring clean vocals. I had a chance to chat with one of BCI's founding members, guitarist/vocalist Andy Thomas, about the non-musical influences behind the new album, tackling personal neuroses through lyrics, the band's upcoming tours, and much more!

In Defense Of: Nu-Metal

With the possible exception of crunkcore and whatever you call the music that the neo-goth kids at Hot Topic are listening to, nu-metal is perhaps the most divisive genre in metal (if you even consider it to be metal in the first place). Nowadays, the names Korn, Slipknot, Disturbed, Linkin Park, Godsmack and the dreaded Limp Bizkit are often followed with some sort of insult or derogatory humor in the metal world. Even us at Heavy Blog are guilty of this, to the point that we’ve made Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” into a meme in our own circles. Nu-metal is, at best, a joke in the minds of modern “TR00” metal fans.

Half Life – Tool

Tool is a band that has a special place in every metal fan’s heart. Now, that place varies, depending on the fan—some people wear their respect for the band on their sleeves (quite literally in many cases), whi... Read More...

Half Life – Deftones

Welcome to yet another installment of Half Life, where we at Heavy Blog dissect a current band’s (i.e. a band that is still making music) discography. For previous articles in this column, please click here. D... Read More...

Pil & Bue – Forget the Past, Let’s Worry About the Future

Pil & Bue’s sound lies within the vast expanse between progressive rock and metal, and, is, paradoxically, both extremely singular yet influenced very obviously by acts such as Sigur Rós and Karnivool, and basic garage and stoner rock bands; it’s as if Pil & Bue are a gumbo of sorts—they are more than the sum of their influences.