Friday, March 24, 2006

Heft for the new millenium

Play it: The New Heavy (Metal)

If you can't kill 'em all, join 'em. A new crop of heavy metal bands have sprouted over the past couple years, and here's just a sample of some of the loudest to lay claim to the new throne of HEAVY. Be it Doom Metal, Stoner Metal or any of the myriad of other new heavy metal genres, they have their own underground and indie labels (Relapse, Hydra Head, Level Plane, more) and are permeating the established indies (Matador, SubPop, Absolutely Kosher,) so get used to them. Some on this list might not agree with their placement, but they all have some Black Sabbath worship in common, even if they sound and go about it in very different ways.

First up is a band getting some interesting buzz lately, and who were the belle of the ball at last year's SXSW: The Sword. Hailing from Austin, TX, these youngsters are unashamed about their Dungeons & Dragonesque imagery (they even have a piece on their website about swordsmanship,) and similarly have no problem touting Led Zepellin as their main influence. They bring the loud... heavy, heavy, heavy.

Next is Australia's Wolfmother, who's self-titled debut was released earlier this year. While Sabbath is there, it's really Blue Cheer that seem to have a hold on the Aussie heavies. They rock loud psychedelic bluesy riffs galore, but still bottom out on the heavy end, even if it goes down the drain in the wrong direction.

Early Man come via NYC, but originate out of my wife's home town Columbus, Ohio. Their musical home is Matador Records - which is a bit of a shock coming from the imprint that brought us Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Liz Phair (back when she was good, and not a suburb MILF,) and The New Pornographers. But that just goes to show you that this heavy trend is being taken for real, and that Early Man posess something more then just Sabbath-like riffs.

The man behind Goblin Cock (aka Lord Phallus,) is really Rob Crow, who is a part of so many different kind of music projects I'm going to call him the MadLib of indie rock. His bands now list Pinback (co-led by Zach from Three Mile Pilot), Heavy Vegetable, Physics, Optiganally Yours, Thingy, Advertising, Altron Tube, Cthugha, Fantasy Mission Force, Remote Action Sequence Project, Alpha Males, Snotnose, Aspects of Physics, Goblin Cock and as himself. Whew. Goblin Cock seems to be his riff outlet, where you can get rhythmically challenging heavy metal at discount prices.

Other different styles here include Comets on Fire (if Mudhoney got a little heavier,) Jesu (occupying the shoe-gazer wing of the new metal complex,) Pelican (instru-metal?) and Kylesa (just how do you classify that?) But really, you can't talke about the movement without mentioning High On Fire, Bad Wizard and the Swedish band Witchcraft as they deserve a decent share of the credit for paving the way for this 'new heavy' metal resurgence. It's a shame they don't get mentioned enough (and probably a shame that I've sequestered them to the end of this post.) Others that are not currently in Rhapsody currently, but deserve mentioning include: Pearls and Brass, Rosetta, and Torche.

Please try not to get any pigs' blood on your keyboard playing this list.

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1 comment:

Shawn Anderson said...

New Heavy (Metal)

* "The Horned Goddess" - The Sword
* "Dimension" - Wolfmother
* "War Eagles" - Early Man
* "Striped Tiger Snaps" - Goblin Cock
* "The Antlers of the Midnight Sun" - Comets On Fire
* "To Cross The Bridge" - High On Fire
* "The Snake" - Witchcraft
* "Sky High" - Bad Wizard
* "Fractured" - Kylesa
* "Sirius (Album Version)" - Pelican
* "Friends Are Evil (Album Version)" - Jesu