In the world of progressive rock and metal, instrumental albums are pretty common so it’s a bit hard to stand out. Mammoth absolutely manage to do this with their new album Deviations. Impressive playing paired with amazing production quality and beautiful tones prove that these guys are at the top of their class.
The first song, ‘Entanglements’ sounds like an entanglement of instruments weaving wonderfully through each other. Impressive guitar arpeggios and solos are complemented by ambient keyboards and intense drums. The middle section of the song calms down with a bright clean section that builds back up into … Read more
Devin Townsend has gone many different musical places in his career, frequently doing something drastically different that what he’s done before, most notably on his first four albums in the Devin Townsend Project with Ki, Addicted, Deconstruction, and Ghost. Transcendence is no exception, as it takes his sound to a new level. On this album, Devin took input from the rest of the band, musicians he’s been working with for 10+ years, and relinquished some control to them. Because of this, the band sounds more united than on other recent DTP albums, like Epicloud and Sky Blue.
Karmakanic’s fifth studio album, Dot, is a progressive rock album inspired by recent writings by Carl Sagan. Frontman Jonas Reingold stated that this inspiration stemmed from Sagan’s quote about the picture of the earth that Voyager 1 took in 1990 from the outer areas of our solar system. “Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter … Read more
Dreare is an instrumental post-metal band from the Czech Republic, whom I was introduced to last year when Dave covered them in a One Sentence Review. Being a fan of instrumental metal I decided to check them out, and i’m glad I did!
The trio’s debut album, Blank and Forward, is full of subtleties and nuances. Reverb and feedback are used heavily, making the music sound raw and natural. The lack of complexity in the music also helps accentuate this, as you’re paying just as much attention to the space in between notes, as you are the … Read more
The Flower Kings is a band that really helped carry the torch in the 90’s that bands like Yes lit during the 60’s and 70’s, taking that style of Progressive Rock to a new level and continuing to help it grow. So it’s quite a treat to hear a collaboration between the leader of The Flower Kings, Roine Stolt, and the former lead vocalist of Yes, Jon Anderson. If you’ve ever wondered what a new Flower Kings album with the vocalist from Yes would sound like, Invention of Knowledge is it, as Anderson/Stolt make a perfect combination! As much as … Read more
Having not heard much of Sithu Aye’s catalog aside from a couple listens of their Senpai EP last year (which I definitely need to revisit now), I didn’t really know what to expect from their new album Set Course For Andromeda. After listening to it, I now realize I should have been paying more attention to this band, because it blew me away!
The album is split into two discs, the first one, is a collection of songs with no thematic tie to each other, and the second disc is a 29-minute suite about an alien Andromedan, which is … Read more
Their first album in 8 years (during which time the band disbanded and reformed), Falling Satellites is the much anticipated third album from Jem Godrey’s Frost*. Their critically acclaimed debut album Milliontown remains one of my favorite prog albums, and while I wasn’t as into the follow-up in 2008 Experiments In Mass Appeal (the mix on the first two tracks was strange, with the quiet sections being barely audible and the loud sections blowing out your speakers) I was excited to hear what was next for the band.
The intro to the album, ‘First Day’, is a soft ambient … Read more
Released last year on June 22, 2015, Armonite’s second album, and first album in 15 years The Sun Is New Each Day is a vibrant instrumental prog album that is full of both complex and beautiful melodies. The prominent electric violin reminds me a bit of the Dixie Dregs. The album sounds like a Soundtrack at times, which makes sense since the band has published videos of a few movie theme covers from their show The Soundtrack is New Each Day. In fact, it sounds more like a video game soundtrack to me. ‘‘G’ as in Gears’ could easily … Read more
I wasn’t introduced to Haken until early 2014 when I discovered their 2013 release The Mountain. I loved that album and immediately listened to the rest of their discography. Later that year, they released their EP Restoration which was an awesome look into their past, re-imagining and re-recording songs from their demo with higher production quality. Now, nearly two years later, we’re graced with a new full-length album called Affinity.
If you followed Haken’s facebook page closely in January of this year, you might have seen them post a few times about the name and content of the … Read more
Danimal Cannon’s 2011 album Roots was one of the albums that got me into chiptune music (although other Ubiktune releases certainly contributed to that as well) and remains one of my favorite albums still. Danimal’s new album Lunaria contains the same familiar upbeat gameboy programmed chiptunes paired with prog metal guitar riffs, but on a whole new level.
What sets this album apart from past Danimal albums is the fact that the songs were composed on guitar first, with the chiptunes composed around those guitar parts. Also new to Lunaria, is the addition of vocals on a few of the … Read more