The last time I didn’t put links to news stories in the description was over a year ago, let’s see if people will still leave passionate comments asking for the links back again. No, this is totally not an attempt to bait people into increasing our facebook engagement. Anyway, this week we talk about Spotify’s legal woes as outlined by The Verge, their upcoming IPO, and their launch in Israel, which Eden is not very happy with. Also Sigur Ros’s tax-evasion-but-not-actually story. Then when we start talking about Misha of Periphery’s recent comments about how Periphery alone doesn’t make enough money to be sustainable and Ultimate Guitar’s clickbait headline about it, it turns into a full on discussion about music as business. Then we talk about Fallujah’s teaser, the new Rings of Nihil album, and the upcoming Alkaloid album, and the passing of Wormed’s drummer. Then cool people time with Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Star Trek: Discovery, and Netflix’s Disney’s Marvel’s The Punisher. Enjoy!
Hello and welcome once more to Death’s Door. You know the drill. The month of August was an absolute monster in the world of metal, but especially so in death metal. Good lord of darkness, just LOOK at the amount of music being covered this month! We’ve thrown guidelines out…
Welcome to our latest edition of Death’s Door. Wipe your feet on the mat, etc. There’s a lot to discuss this month, though frankly, I had my doubts at certain points about whether or not there would be. You see, July tends to be a musical doldrums for yours truly, with lots of leftover releases that didn’t make it into the prime Spring and early Summer release calendar clogging streaming services with mundane/barely serviceable drivel. Obviously, this makes for some not-so-great listening experiences. Thankfully, July pulled through regardless, delivering unto us another fantastic batch of death metal releases that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of 2017. So much so, in fact, that we are foregoing our new tracks section to focus exclusively on the great records released this month. So prepare yourself for some good stuff and thank your lucky stars, because hell hath no fury like a month without good death metal.
In case you were somehow unaware, there are a few of us here at Heavy Blog who enjoy some good science fiction. Especially when it pertains to metal, which praise be to our space-based overlords is becoming a staple theme particularly within the modern black and death metal scenes. In this regard, last year presented a veritable smorgasbord of great albums. Bands like Vektor, Khonsu, Mithras, and Wormed created vast sonic landscapes which fans of all things extreme and heavy could giddily bang their heads to while simultaneously scratching their collective sci-fi itch. It was a glorious moment for metal geekdom. Thankfully, the era of the sci-fi metal epic continues in 2017. Exhibit A: Progenie Terrestre Pura and their latest record, oltreLuna.
Brutal death metal has the rare benefit of being exactly what it sounds like. The differences one would expect between “regular death metal” and “brutal death metal” are manifold and, by and large, pretty predictable: guitars are more downtuned; riffs are chunkier and more visceral; vocals are far deeper and even less intelligible; the whole nine yards. As far as subgenres go, it doesn’t exactly shake up its progenitor’s foundations by a relatively large amount, choosing instead to just take everything that makes death metal an already pretty brutal genre and crank that bad boy up to 11. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the ensuing auditory carnage is not for the faint of heart, but it is for anybody that feels like extreme metal just isn’t extreme enough yet. If you’ve ever felt that way—the grooves could be groovier, the riffs could be riffier, the blasts could be blastier, the gutturals could be gutturalier—then brutal death metal is the answer to all your prayers. So without further ado, let’s dive in to what our staff considers to the be the Best Of – Brutal Death Metal!
Progress and change are divisive topics. How these words are defined, contextualized, and framed is dependent on a vast array of variables that metamorphose and evolve with each topic they are attached to. Social. Political. Economic. Artistic. Take your pick. It would be difficult to find two people who agree…
Today we’re lucky enough to be joined by the mastermind behind technical death metal band Infinite Density, Brendan Brown, also of Ne Obliviscaris and Vipassi fame. This year marked the release of Infinite Density’s debut album, Recollapse of the Universe, and it’s one of the best releases we’ve heard all year. Bearing strong thematic and musical similarities with bands such as Wormed and Inanimate Existence, the album showcases a varied vocal approach, massive grooves, ear worm melodies and a few nice surprises along the way too. It’s definitely going to sit pretty high on this writer’s end of year list, and we’re super excited that Brendan has made himself available to talk us through the album itself, how it came about, the Australian scene, and maybe even a word or two on his other projects.
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.
We wrote a pretty big check to ourselves when we closed off 2015. Publishing not only a list which proclaimed the triumph of 2015 but also a whole editorial dedicated to the idea of “The Golden Age of Metal”, we set ourselves up for disappointment. Like the rest of the music establishment which, in numerous places implicit and explicit, was apparently ready to join in the social lynching of 2016, we were well positioned to find it a sobering, dreadful, faith shattering year for music in general and metal specifically. Except it was nothing of the sort and we cannot stress our amazement at metal/music journalism’s reaction so far. 2016 was an absolutely fantastic year, building on the trend of solid and often groundbreaking releases from established acts and simply astounding, out of left field releases from virtually nameless bands. Sure, it had its disappointments for us from huge bands we had expected more from (although signs of their demise were certainly forthcoming) but, overall, it was a year which will surely be remembered in our circles as one of the best years for music in general.
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.