Tau Cross’ 2015 self-titled debut took many in the metal and punk communities by surprise. It shouldn’t have, given the legendary contributions of band leaders Rob “The Baron” Miller of Amebix and Michael “Away” Langevin of Voivod. That album melded thrash, crust, punk, and a little bit of old fashioned heavy metal into a storming amalgam of heaviness and speed that catapulted the band into the limelight and gave the album more than a few nods on best-of lists at the end of the year. Such an auspicious debut from wily metal veterans such as Miller and Langevin has led to immense excitement regarding the band’s next album and whether or not they could keep pace with their scorching debut. Thus Tau Cross find themselves in the midst of the eternal quandary of all bands who have released excellent debut records. So how do they fair with their new record Pillar of Fire? Not bad at all, to be honest.
Metal, like any current history, is a neverending story — a songbook perpetually revising its denouement in the storm of new releases shattering our ears and expectations by the month. But as exciting as it is to experience the history unfolding before us, that work is already done by listeners and blogs like this one on a daily basis. Vitally important and critically overlooked, I think, is the history of metal — the first chapters yellowing in the forty-odd years since they were bound in black and leather. This post, then, will serve as a continuation of this article detailing the early days of metal, and particularly the incredible importance of Iron Maiden’s The Number of the Beast to the fledgling genre.
Well, actually, the title is the opposite of the truth. Instead it’s Noyan-free and Scott-ful. AKA, I was away this week so Eden replaced me with fellow editor Scott, whose voice is much more ASMR-inducing. In my absence they talk about a range of topics, including Scott’s history with the…
The story of metal is not linear. We didn’t arrive at the mayhem lurking in our Spotify playlists through a measured progression of technique, style, and genre. Rather, the evolution came in leaps and bounds, with dead ends and bursts of growth and pockets of innovation. To continue the evolutionary metaphor: the Cambrian Explosion of metal shot off in the mid 1980’s, as subgenres and geniuses and success combined into a specimen closely resembling much of modern metal. But the growth, although frantic, wasn’t instantaneous; rather, it seemed to expand exponentially from a single source, a catalyst in a chain reaction. That incipient band, the patient zero of metal as we know it today, is Iron Maiden. More precisely, the stratospheric success of The Number of the Beast, with it’s intricate compositions, transgressive lyrics, and trailblazing progressivity, diverged metal from hard rock completely and legitimized metal as a commercial viability, heralding the eruption of metal in the years to follow.
Most music nerds can name at least one instance where an album stopped them dead in their tracks. You know the feeling. Those moments when the mind slowly pushes out all other thoughts and daily duties that regularly clutter the brain in order to make ample room for complete and total fixation on one incredible piece of music. There’s no multi-tasking in this space, no working on our various outside projects with music happily and quietly occupying the background. Instead, the music muscles its way front and center. It is music at its most alive, vibrant, and commanding of our full attention. In those distinctly transcendent moments, the music is everything.
Welcome back to our Taxonomy series, where we break down umbrella genres like progressive metal, post rock and doom metal and outline all of the progressions and subgenres that have matriculated over the past few decades. The dissection of thrash metal you’ll find below contains a detailed dissection of the most crucial genre in extreme metal style. Thrash led to incredible innovations over the years, and in turn, a multiplicity of styles has made its way back into the genre’s core traits to form some of the most forward thinking metal coming out today. Seriously, many of the bands mentioned below have released records less than a year ago, and in some cases, less than a month. There’s a ton of ground to cover here, so without further ado, let’s riff on some of the best thrash you can use to mosh in your bedroom.
Editor’s note: welcome back to our Heavy Blog Guest List feature where we give some of the bands we covered (or just adored) in 2016 a chance to publish their own Top 10 Albums of 2016. Today, we have A Sense of Gravity, a band whose praises we’ve sung relentlessly over the last two years or so. Fresh off their release of the brilliant “Atrament”, we’ve invited these Seattle locals to share with us what albums moved them in 2016. Below is their unedited list!
Brian Izzi is the guitarist of the legendary hardcore outfit Trap Them, who through the years have decimated fans with such great releases as 2011’s Darker Handcraft and 2014’s Blissfucker. Their latest album Crown Feral is due out on September 23 on Prosthetic Records. So, you’re in Boston, and Ryan [McKenney, vocalist] is in Seattle; how does…
Meta-title! How metal of me to be very meta on a metal podcast that’s also pretty meta. This week we have a bunch of news. Either new releases, singles, teasers or whatever from: Inanimate Existence, Darkthrone, Wardruna, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Sinsaenum, Lamb of God, Voivod, Shokran, Dark Tranquillity, Thy Catafalque, Fit for An Autopsy, The Agonist, Disillusion, Exotype, Native Construct and Serpentine Dominion. Also an analysis of how global metal is, Pelagic Records’s starter kit, and a top 10 list of bands from Norway. While on the topic of top 10 lists, we do an impromptu “Top 10 songs that have the desired effect every time”. Or as Eden calls it, “Evergreen songs” or something. Whatever. Then we have our bullshit philosophy corner on Hegelian dialectics and the early metal scene! Finally, we talk about No Man’s Sky in the cool people section. Whew!
With the exception of maybe just a few other bands, Vektor have been basically running the thrash metal game in the modern era for a few years now. Their previous two albums, Black Future and Outer Isolation, were both met to almost universal acclaim from both metal fanatics and music…