Canadian band Archspire surely needs no introduction. With a single album, they defined themselves as the epitome of their genre and a paragon to strive for. That genre is technical death metal – tech-death for short –, and that album was The Lucid Collective, released in 2014. Earlier this month, the Vancouverites released their new album, under the edgy moniker Relentless Mutation. More than simply a follow-up, it’s actually a step up, as incredible as it sounds from a band already seen as over the top as this one. A while ago now, they teased a drum practice … Read more
Doom metal comes in all shapes and forms. And, often, the most peculiar of them are the most intriguing. Enters Five the Hierophant, a trio from London that makes doom their very own way. The most striking aspect of the band’s sound is, of course, the use of instruments seldom heard in metal music: djembe, Tibetan horn, violin, saxophone (though this last one is now rather common sight)… Beyond this, they also take a heavy leaning on drone passages, spoken word excerpts, and a natural sense of song progression and structure. All of this can be found on their … Read more
We covered Montréal-based progressive technical death metal band Sutrah, back when they released their demo, and it seems that our crystal ball was no liar: they are releasing their debut full-length, Dunes (no, they didn’t liked my name suggestion), on 22 September, with pomp and circumstance! Fortunately, only positive changes were brought to the Sutrah formulah. First, obviously, it’s produced with a much higher quality. It feels like a proper product and the result of professional work, and it lets us enjoy the fifty-five minutes of puzzling death metal to the fullest. Secondly, their use of Oriental music … Read more
Thoughts from a Stone was actually the first ever teaser released for the Coma Cluster Void experiment, all the way back in 2014. Back then, I suppose it was going to end up on their upcoming full-length, with the slogan “Aural Representation of Pain and Suffering” – Mind Cemeteries –, but the composition probably expanded or reiterated to what it is now: a twenty-two-minute, six-part suite of contemporary death metal. Contemporary? Yeah, I feel that this adjective better suits their sound than the rather narrow definition of “tech-death” or the vague “experimental” and “avant-garde” tags. “Math metal” is a good … Read more
I first discovered Kaipa about a decade ago when I was really into The Flower Kings and was exploring their various side projects. The Flower Kings frontman Roine Stolt was a member of Kaipa during the late 70s (when he was only 17), and during their reformation in the early 2000s, but left after their 2005 album Mindrevolutions. Children of the Sounds, out on September 22nd, is now the eighth album since Kaipa’s return, and thirteenth overall.
The dynamic between Patrik Lundström’s and Aleena Gibson’s vocals is quite powerful and something that has always stood out to me … Read more
Australia has become one of my favourite places in the world to look out for new and exciting bands. From alien overlords such as Portal to fresh faces of progressive metal like Caligula’s Horse, there is a pallet of sounds to be found on the Lucky Country. However, there is a special label that has gained recognition for finding and delivering some of the most unique albums I’ve heard in recent years: Art as Catharsis.
Psychedelic drone music with eastern influences (Ḥashshāshīn), John Zorn worship jazzgrind (Kurushimi (苦しみ)) or experimental hardcore madness (Tired Minds), Art as Catharsis has … Read more
Bass, drums, keyboards, and vocals. Those are the building blocks of California experimental death metal band Squalus. Their debut album, The Great Fish, walks the line between death and doom metal, with a lot of atmospheric tendencies, some sludge, and synthwave, I guess, into a somehow cohesive whole. Bass-driven metal acts are not a new thing by any means, but there are many pitfalls on the way to make them interesting and appealing, into which many of the contenders inadvertently get trapped. Two of the most obvious ones are the frequency range and the timbral diversity. Squalus hopefully … Read more
I’ve written a line or two about Toronto’s Art the Band, last year, when I found out about their full-length, Boost Unavailable. I was impressed and awed by it, so it’s with great anticipation and matching expectations that I’ve approached their most recent release, the Snacks EP. I wasn’t aware that it was coming, so I was surprised, and, upon listening to it, was once again surprised. I have to say that I didn’t exactly recall what Art the Band was about, but Snacks quickly corrected this. The first and “Big Track” is a pretty standard jazz … Read more
Wobbler is a Norwegian progressive rock band that’s younger than it sounds. On October 20, they will release their fourth full-length album, From Silence to Somewhere, and it seems lifted straight out of the golden age of progressive rock. The Canterbury sound is quite apparent in this there eclectic, there symphonic monument of an album. The eponymous megalith opening this four-track record covers a wide range of the progressive rock of the late sixties and seventies. Rarely – if ever – do we smell the faintest fragrance of modernism in this musical anachronism. Organs, flutes, – did I hear … Read more
Leeds-based mathcore one-man band [reference needed] II II II (read “two two two”) released their debut album, A Conundrum on My Coffee Table, which we adored, back in 2012. Fast forward four or five years, and they share some work-in-progress demos on their facebook page, stating that they were looking for a new vocalist. Without it being announced officially, they found one! The name hasn’t leaked yet, but the voice remains in the same vein as before. Well, here we are now: we received an advanced digital copy of Frequency Illusion, coming out on September 22. What is … Read more