Heavy Metal 2017 (March)

Well here we are in the deep of March and by the looks of it we are not slowing down with any new material being released. Something that I noticed that is different than searching for black metal or dungeon synth each month is the need to diversify tags. While the other two could be found with one tag, all of this new material came through the various tags of “speed metal,” “NWOTHM,” “NWOBHM,” “traditional,” “doom,” and he all confusing “heavy.” I believe it is this diversity or even nebulous…

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WIEGEDOOD – De Doden Hebben Het Goed II (2017)

Sometimes bands work their way up to known recognition and other times they come out of left field. Sometimes it is a mix of both. Wiegedood is not new as 2017 is seeing their second album release after a marginally well received debut. The interesting thing about this year is the continuation of themes and names as Wiegedood has decided to do a second installment of their debut with De Doden Hebben Het Goed II. The gloom patrol rounds the bend for a second night out.

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WITHERFALL – Nocturnes and Requiems (2017)

Since starting the HEAVY METAL 2017 article, I have been keeping an eye out for new speed, traditional, and gruff power metal. Witherfall is not within that realm despite being an unsigned power/progressive/heavy act from Los Angeles. I know it feels weird to delineate between the two but soon you will see the difference. Witherfall has had no sort of introduction before their full length and comes with zero announcements or hype. Despite some of these odds to find a home or fanbase, Nocturnes and Requiems is a fantastic record…

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Heavy Metal 2017 (February)

Heavy Metal - February

This is the second sailing of Heavy Metal 2017. My intention was to keep up with all of the new heavy, speed, power, and partial doom that is experiencing not a revival but renewed interest. Had this genre of music not lie on the far side of known, I believe it would be more popular, in fact gaining a legion of new followers who do not understand some of the more extreme waltzes of heavy metal. Clean, direct, and packed with optimism much of this music would find its way…

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ANTIKYTHERA – Antikythera

Antikythera is an implausibly spelt word that means three things: An island near Greece, the improbably complex hunk of a Hellraiser puzzle box found on that island near Greece, and this group of musicians found on an island between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. I’m assuming the ancient puzzle box is their inspiration, because they channel the same complexity, mystery and ancient metal as their namesake, all the while somehow avoiding getting lost in a wooden box for hundreds of years. It’s a tricky balancing act, I assume.

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SUBSTRATUM – Substratum (2017)

I am sort of upset that I am writing a review on Substratum’s full length as I think they would be great for my new Heavy Metal 2017 column. Fine, I will write a long form review on this… but there better be good heavy metal for February. Now with that out of the way, please welcome the glorious dawn with some energy that arcs like lightning.

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The Flight of Sleipnir – Skadi (2017)

Doom folk. Stoner folk. Stoner Doom. Whatever words are used to describe The Flight of Sleipnir it really does not capture the blended variety for this Colorado band as they ride the line between post black, psych, doom, and atmospheric sludge which is, unsurprisingly, is not easy to classify. What is easy to grasp is the band’s unwavering loyalty to Norse mythology as the songs, albums and existence for this band is dedicated to making old stories feel like acid trips in the woods.

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Heavy Metal 2017 (January)

This is the first installment of a 12 month series investigating new heavy / traditional / power / speed / doom which seems to be experiencing a new found popularity. We are not in a new wave of anything rather just in a time when more people are paying attention to this style of music. Also each section will feature a different painting from the mater fantasy weaver Frank Frazetta. January’s image is Dawn Attack painted in 1991 which was used on the Science Fiction compilation L Ron Hubbard Presents:…

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BUCKETHEAD – Pike 243 – Santa’s Toy Workshop (2016)

I used to be really into Buckethead. I believe that my enjoyment for Buckethead predated my full swan dive into heavy metal. Between the time of Monsters and Robots and Cuckoo Clocks of Hell, I was on board with crazy shredding from a maniac that never seemed to stop. If you know Bucketheads current history, this last sentence is even more hilarious. Around 2007 when he was releasing his 9 hour 13 disc limited album In Search Of, I began to feel a little light headed with the amount of…

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In Mordor Where The Shadows Are – Homage to Summoning (2016)

Summoning is one of my favorite metal bands. This is not something I say lightly. Rather, favorite bands are only acquired after years of deep thought and reflection. This Austrian band’s contribution to atmospheric black metal as well as parallel influence in the dungeon synth scene and genesis for a smaller grouping of “Summoning-like” bands has elevated their status from metal act to something mythological. Add to this the band’s obsession with Tolkien lore and one has a legendary act which is all deserving of a tribute record. I feel…

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Heavy Metal 2016

I believe that it is safe to say that heavy metal in the year 2016 is getting stronger, perhaps to the point that a divide between good and bad is starting to form. When I say heavy metal I mean traditional metal as it is being distinguished from the more symphonic variety of power metal. This could also include some forms of power as well as speed. 2016 saw a lot of words being thrown around for a style that has been around through ups and downs for decades. The…

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ANTIKYTHERA – Antikythera (2016)

The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient analogue computer and orrery used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for calendrical and astrological purposes,as well as the Olympiads, the cycles of the ancient Olympic Games. Melodic death is not a genre that you see at the local level compared to things like black and death metal. Melodic death is usually presented by established and experienced with albums full of polish and gloss. Antikythera is from Los Angeles and has made their entrance into the metal universe with a decent EP clouded by…

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Bandcamp Power Metal Roundup #10

Power Metal Roundup

To be honest, it infuriates me when an album is not available for full preview. I can understand if the album is actually not physically out but I should be honest with my emotions. Perhaps this is because teaser tracks and previews for albums feels like an archaic process that was reserved for a time when access to pretty much everything was limited. Bandcamp preview tracks and announcements feel strange in an era where you could get everything at once as long as one turns their attention to the provider….

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METALLICA – Hardwired … To Self Destruct (2016)

A few years ago, I read through Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood’s Into The Black which chronicled Metallica’s most contested and debated portions of history. This segment of history being the time right after the Black Album up to their infamous collaboration with Lou Reed. Despite the book not being as interesting as its premise, a big take away was the ability for Metallica to self sustain and be a long running heavy metal band who were beyond trying to impress people. When one has reached a certain level of…

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