The Sabbathian – Latum Alterum

The lines between heavy metal and black metal meet at folk. It’s the fascination with folk (both the legends and the, very loosely defined, style of music) which runs through the “backend” of both genres, connecting them thematically and, often, musically. In the case of The Sabbathian, a project which stems…

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Hallatar – No Stars Upon the Bridge

When we reviewed Trees of Eternity’s Hour of the Nightingale last year, shortly after Aleah Starbridge’s tragic death, we thought her story was over. Taken from the goth/doom scene much too early, Starbridge’s voice seemed destined to remain trapped, at least its last iterations, in the confines of that touching album. However, it seems…

Heavy Blog’s Editors’ Picks: November 2016

Contrary to what many other sites and publications would have you believe, 2016 is, in fact, still not over yet. So while the first major wave of year-end lists has hit us this week, we’re here to tell you that there are still a bunch of recently-released albums that you seriously need to consider before settling on your own favorites for the year. It’s certainly true that by the time November rolls around the pace of high-profile and superb albums tends to drop off, especially compared to the September/October rush. There was some truly great music that came out this past month though, and the fact that all of it and any music released next month will be automatically disqualified by default from most end-of-year lists is both annoying and completely shitty for those bands. You’ll hear us talking about the problems and merits of end-of-year listmaking plenty in the coming days and weeks, but for now let’s just give a moment to some bands who will inevitably be shafted and discounted by far too many.

Trees of Eternity – Hour of the Nightingale

All music has themes but metal is a genre which wears its heart on its sleeve. Thematics color everything in metal, from audience reception and marketing to the actual composition and execution of the music itself. It can affect production, tone, scales, and much more in an effort to align everything with a perceived image or to jar that image by deviating from the norm in just the right way. Take goth metal; a sub-section of doom, it relies on the theme of autumn, death, depression and nature for its impact. We haven’t even mentioned bands yet and album art, track names and that certain goth sound has already sprung into your mind. Sometimes, these themes become even more powerful and, by some twist of fate or by a pecuilar predestination, reflect in the musicians themselves: they might reflect the ideals of the music in their actions or in the facts of their lives.

And sometimes, that reflection has a bitter edge.