Long-Form Self-Indulgence – A Compendium of Overlong Music from 2017

Some may know already, but one of my many péchés mignons is a certain affection for long, single compositions. I can trace this likeness to my first encounters with progressive metal – the real beginning of my musical journey –, and to Dream Theater especially. The title track of their double album Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence was truly mind-blowing for the teen whom I was, with its eight movements spanning over forty minutes of impressive musicianship and songcraftsmanship. I’ve grown out of my fandom for the band, somewhat, but there’s still some magic in their earlier catalogue. Since then, … Read more

The Callous Daoboys, Destroy Uranus, Dialgo, Dialectical Imagination, Gardenjia, In Lights, Entheogen, Astrophe, and Fixions

The Callous DaoboysAnimal Tetris
Ugly mathcore. Yeah, this is some A-grade unpolished, dirty-sounding, noisy, aggressive, and mathematical hardcore music. What makes The Callous Daoboys stand out, among other things, is their use of a full-time violinist within their ranks. This adds a new flavour that’s often missing from the usual mathcore band. So, check out their EP Animal Tetris!

Destroy UranusIn the Scale of Galaxy
In the Scale of Galaxy is the debut release from this Estonian doom metal project. From “1:1000000000” to “7:1000000000”, the sludgy quartet invokes earth-shattering riffs and chilling atmospheres. I’ve got… Read more

Vexovoid – Call of the Starforger

Italy’s Vektor, Vexovoid, just released their debut album, Call of the Starforger. Despite their name, more reminiscent of Portal than anything else, Vexovoid’s sound lies somewhere between aforementioned Vektor, and Voivod. Their own take on progressive, blackened thrash metal is nothing new, thanks to Terminal Redux being one of the absolute best albums of last year, but this had the side effect of making this special brand of metal highly demanded. Call of the Starforger is great and the flow of riffs is unstoppable, making it a very welcome addition to the not so expansive array of releases … Read more

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Rabitrup – “Locks” and Swvmps Ⅱ Review

One year after Swvmps, first of the name, which came out on the first day of 2017, American electro-hardcore project Rabitrup will release Swvmps Ⅱ; on 5 January. The so-called “sludgestep” entity is a tough one to label traditionally, although I’d say it’s some sort of electronic-heavy experimental post-hardcore. The synths have the same intensity, even more so perhaps, than those found in Phuture Doom‘s “blackstep” experiment, but Rabitrup lack any sort of parallel to metal music, technically. Of course, there are the cathartic screams, and the intensity of metal is conveyed perfectly through the synthesized instruments … Read more

Weekly Release Dump #1

Sunday, 3 December
Alex’s HandKatatak (avant-garde progressive rock)

Tuesday, 5 December
Void OmniaVoid Omnia (atmospheric black metal)

Wednesday, 6 December
Fixionsヘッドハンター (Heddohantā) (synthwave)

Thursday, 7 December
Art as Catharsis2017 Sampler (compilation)
Destroy UranusIn the Scale of Galaxy (doom metal)
MirageIt’s Been a Pleasure (math rock/jazz pop)
Organized ChaosDivulgence (progressive metal)
Sex-AndroidAngelic Sounds (experimental electronic music/noise/hardcore)
Gendo Ikari/DrovesSplit (grindcore)

Friday, 8 December
All We ExpectedHatàr (atmospheric post-metal)
Big Big TrainMerry Christmas/Snowfalls (progressive rock)
The Clearing PathWatershed between Read more

Vincent Touchard – Classe moyenne

Vincent Touchard is a French jazz drummer and composer, and brings his quintet formula to make chamber jazz on Classe moyenne. Here, the usual piano, double bass, saxophone, and drums are joined by a cello, while two core members also play clarinet and Wurlitzer piano, and an oboe, clarinet, and bassoon trio is added to the band on three tracks to create a real woodwinds quartet vibe. Classe moyenne is a very relaxed and beautiful jazz album. It’s rather impressive how touching the compositions and playing on the album can be, while staying relatively minimalistic in nature. Throughout more … Read more

Alex’s Hand – Katatak

Russia-based R.A.I.G. (Russian Association of Independent Genres) label seldom disappoints. The latest hit from under their wings is from German avant-garde progressive rock band Alex’s Hand, and their fourth studio album, Katatak – stylized KaTaTaK. Contrary to tradition, the songs don’t follow an overarching theme or concept, but the three main chunks – “Waterfalls”, “Epic”, and “Ghost Peppers” – each tell a story through convoluted long-form structures, atypical riffs and rhythmic patterns, and a generally rather aggressive take on progressive rock and jazz rock. Katatak is unsurprisingly very colourful, despite the overall bleakness of the concepts and songs; … Read more