Keith Buckley – Watch

Keith Buckley's first foray into the literary world, Scale (2016), was a solid, if somewhat routine, effort that served more as an intriguing starting point than a finished product. Perhaps where the novel suff... Read More...

The Anatomy Of – Etherius

To be honest, this list makes me feel happy because it mentions Iced Earth's Something Wicked This Way Comes. Early Iced Earth is criminally underrated in the contemporary progressive/power/heavy metal community; while their later works leave a lot to be desired, their early albums are downright incredible. Add more common, but still excellent choices like Dream Theater and Metallica to this list and you've got yourself one sweet Anatomy!

Post Rock Post – Alters

Alright folks, hold on to your seats because this one is going to get wild. Allow me to introduce you to Alters, an extremely interesting band from Poland. Nominally, their thing is a blend of progressive rock and post rock. The progressive parts take a very distinct influence from one Steven Wilson, with the opening tracks to their most recent album, Dawn, sounding a lot like Porcupine Tree. "Hypnagogia" and, even more so, the self-titled track which open the album have all the unique identifiers you'd associate with this style of progressive rock. The drums are loud, the vocalist seems aloof and depressed, the guitars are influenced by classic progressive rock but with an exceedingly modern sound. So far, so good; things are pleasant and well made, if not totally original or mind-blowing. The third track, "Klechdawa", starts in the same manner. Indeed, it goes on in that manner until its mid-point. But then, there's a break and everything changes.

An Ode to Spring – Metal, Thematics and Politics

Since the vast majority of Heavy Blog contributors fall on the left side of the map (shocking, we know), focusing on the latter seems like the way to go. Criticizing the other side of the political map is easy enough; taking a hard look at your own camp is where things get tricky. Thus, let us turn our eyes on one of the most typical leftist refusals to engage: the retreat. There are few places in the cultural world where this retreat is more obvious than in music and, more specifically, in metal. Even more specifically, the current throes which are black metal is undergoing are even more lucrative for our needs. There, leftist retreat is alive and happening right now, both because of the virility of the claims on the other side (read: the amount of black metal that's truly awful) and because the themes of black metal have already been declared by the larger, more abstract "left" as anathema in the past.

Love Letter – Playing Prog Rock Fucking Loud

You know the part: the drums, thick and resonating, pick up pace, the bass licks in anticipation of the crescendo and all of a sudden the synths are there, Hammond goodness washing over the soaring guitar parts as the vocals explode into a high note. This structure of "ensemble buildup", where the entire band join forces to form the climax of a track, is a staple of many genres but progressive rock has always been the best at it. King Crimson's "Starless", Yes's "Heart of the Sunrise", Wishbone Ash's "Warrior" (containing one of the world's most famous and most forgotten solos), Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and many, many other tracks and albums come to mind. Even younger bands operating today and paying homage to the style (like Malady, Wobbler, Witchcraft and more) adopt the prominence of the climax and full band collaboration.