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Heavy Side Up Weekly Discussion

Welcome to another Heavy Side Up!

This week’s featured release is from one of my favourite bands, Harakiri for the Sky. Hailing from Austria, his band has always had an interesting sound, combining the melancholic stylings of black metal with the ethereal soundscapes of post-rock, mixing in elements of doom metal and post-metal among many other genres to create a sound and style that is indisputably their own. Their fourth album, Arson, is another rock-solid release in a remarkably consistent career, and proves just how captivating and absorbing metal can be:

The next featured release of the week is Litteras ad Tristia Maestrum Solitude, by French band Ophe. This band leans much more towards the experimental/avant-garde side of black metal, and their debut album manages to pack an extreme punch while still embodying the more atmospheric elements of the genre. It’s a wild, unpredictable ride and is well worth checking out:

For those who are after something on the more accessible end of the spectrum, Vicious Pleasure, the sophomore album from Australian alternative/experimental post-hardcore band Endless Heights, may be just what you’re looking for. Emotive, catchy and occasionally otherworldly-sounding, this album provides an excellent showcase for just what can be achieved with this style of post-hardcore:

Other notable releases this week include Swedish instrumental progressive metal band Letters From the Colony (whose debut release is absolutely awesome, by the way, and would’ve totally been one of this week’s featured albums had I been able to find a stream), and Pianos Become the Teeth, who crossed over to indie rock with their last release, but seemed worth acknowledging given their screamo/post-hardcore roots.

Other albums released this week included Austrian viking metal band Alphayn, hardcore band American Nightmare, Brazilian power metal band Angra, German black/thrash metal band Asenblut, Polish death metal band Astarot, death/doom metal band Ataraxy, Japanese hard rock/heavy metal band Band-Maid, Norwegian noise rock due Barren Womb, sludge metal band Bible Black Tyrant, German industrial metal band Cypecore, Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed, Hungarian groove/thrash metal band Ektomorf, Swedish black metal band Elände, Austrian hard rock band Elephants in Paradise, Burning Heat guitarist Ethan Brosh, thrash metal band Extinction A.D., post-hardcore band Eyes Set to Kill, southern hardcore/metalcore band Feed the Rhino, South Korean technical death metal band Fecundation, metalcore band For the Fallen Dreams, German power metal band Heavatar, Norwegian blackened death metal band Horizon Ablaze, post-hardcore/metalcore band I Fight Bears, Argentinian thrash-tinged hardcore band Leticia Soma, German medieval/symphonic/folk metal band Letzte Instanz, French symphonic metal band Melted Space, Spock’s Beard frontman Neal Morse, progressive metalcore band Nightshade, Portugese progressive metal band Nine O Nine, progressive/power metal band NovaReign, alternative/progressive instrumental metal project NV, Swedish hard rock band Odcult, Greek gothic metal band On Thorns I Lay, psychedelic/stoner rock duo Painted Doll (comprised of death metal legend Chris Reifert and comedian Dave Hill, oddly), metalcore band The Plot in You, hard rock band Pop Evil, alternative post-hardcore band Record Year, groove metal band Rustlung, German hard rock band Sainted Sinners, post-hardcore band Senses Fail, post-hardcore band Slaves, Spanish hard rock band Sonicspoon, hard stoner rock band THAL, Austrian symphonic metal band Visions of Atlantis, Italian gothic metal band Walk in Darkness, and Italian hard rock band West Fargo.

There were also EPs from experimental post-hardcore band CVLTVRE, metalcore/deathcore band Conquest, Italian death metal band DUIR, alternative metal band Facing Fire, metalcore band Horcrux, Finnish black metal band Kalmankantaja, melodic death metal band Shrouded in Neglect, progressive metalcore band Thornhill, deathcore band Traitors, and black metal band Valiant. There were also a couple of notable split EPs: One between deathcore/metalcore band Loathe and post-hardcore band Holding Absence, and another with doom-tinged sludge/stoner rock bands Windhand and Satan’s Satyrs (the latter can be heard here).

Lastly, I just wanted to highlight a release from last month that only just landed on my radar: The debut album Melencholia, by Swedish newcomers Doppälgängär. They have a sludgy take on post-metal reminiscent of early Cult of Luna, and you can check out their work here. Also worth mentioning is the sophomore EP from melodic hardcore band Engraved, released last week.

So, what have you been rocking out to?

BONUS QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Have you ever had a band you love drastically change their sound? If so, which band(s), and what were your thoughts on the change?