Mining Metal is a monthly column from Heavy Consequence contributing writers Langdon Hickman and Colin Dempsey. The focus is on noteworthy new music emerging from the non-mainstream metal scene, highlighting releases from small and independent labels — or even releases from unsigned acts.

To inaugurate this new chapter of our ongoing work here, my body decided to reward me with a unique treat: contracting COVID. It turns out, dear readers, that COVID is bad, and it feels bad, and you don’t want it. After 24 hours of Blakean visions born from my fevers, fading in and out of consciousness literally from midnight to midnight, body wracked in pain and expelling all kinds of fluids at any moment, I was then laid into a weeklong spate of the worst bronchial BS I’ve experienced in my life. For reference, a previous apartment gave me mold exposure which permanently screwed up my lungs to the point where I routinely get what can only be described as “the foamies”, so my statement here should have a bit of weight to it. This is all to say those rising numbers you’ve been seeing of a new wave are legit and you should take them seriously; this stuff is no joke.

Turns out it wasn’t just my body that decided to crap out recently, either. A brief glance at the American political apparatus reveals the wheels driving us closer to an apocalyptic hybrid of theocratic and capitalist control enmeshed in a fascist grid. People have decided to solace themselves by indulging in misogyny and ableist sentiments about personality and behavioral disorders thanks to a popular celebrity trial. Roe v. Wade has been officially overturned, something that’s been brewing in conservative enclaves for decades ever since the fall of segregation in the early ’70s, with some already calling at its back to review things like the right to contraceptives, gay marriage, and even recriminalizing sodomy which would in turn make being gay quite literally illegal. And all of this off of the back of inflamed assaults on trans rights globally. In general, it seems like all of us are having a pretty bad time and coping with everything about as poorly as we possibly can. Ah, well, isn’t that just the way of things? Normally I’d have something more… well, not cheery, certainly not given all of this, but at least more thoughtful to say. But the COVID fog is still rattling my brain if I’m honest. It feels like I am submerged in a dream, wrapped in opium smoke.


But enough moaning about the disease that’s affected so many of our lives! Today is also a new day, the debut of my new co-writer Colin Dempsey, who I am very excited for you all to come to know, and we inaugurate this special occasion with a double-sized installment covering both May and June. As you can see here, he has an odd ear like me; our habit of bringing you not only the most underground but often strangest and most surreal wings of underground heavy metal, all without cause for moral concern about who you are giving your dollar, goes unabated. The animating force for Mining Metal, from us as writers up to the editors and even the very site we run on, is love for this music. Rest assured that no one gets rich trying to put the shine on this material and if there’s payola, I don’t know a single band, label or writer who’s benefited from it. We all, Colin included, just want to experience wondrous things and show them to as many people as we possibly can. Your years of coming along with us is immensely appreciated as much by us as by the bands we bring to you. Here’s to many more!

—Langdon Hickman


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