Laura Wiebe

Katatonia

Katatonia / Cult of Luna / Intronaut / Tesseract @ The Opera House, Toronto ON, September 27, 2013

When you’re into foreign underground bands who are often slotted into short opening slots because they’re not widely known… well, you get used to enjoying one of your favs for about half an hour before the higher profile but sometimes less interesting headliners take to the stage. In the case of Katatonia and Cult of Luna’s co-headlining tour stop at the Opera House in Toronto this September, ‘interestingness’ wasn’t the issue. Nevertheless, openers Tesseract were the highlight of the night.

Heavy Metal, Popular Culture, and Academia

“Importantly, the presentations often approached a generalized assumption that some group or groups of people hold about metal music or culture only to complexify the issue, demonstrating how research in particular locations, milieus, and demographics reveals the diversity in the ways people understand and engage with metal.”

Laura Wiebe reports back on the first North American academic heavy metal conference.

LISTENING TO THE PAST: Death – Human

“(Human) embodies much of metal’s concern for and obsession with material questions of existence. It remains special partly because of its historical importance for extreme metal, but also because it stands out as a prime example (out of many) that it is very possible to merge anger and aggression in extreme metal with a compassionate search for answers to social and philosophical questions.”

A revisitation and re-evaluation of the classic DEATH album Human by Jonathan Smith