Our New, Free Compilation Comes Out Thursday!

With a slightly different approach than previous iterations of our yearly compilation, Year 5 is complete and will come out on July thirteenth, Thursday. In order to highlight the change, it doesn’t continue the Melocules – literally little music – series. Instead of regrouping songs at the whim of me and other collaborators, Year 5 compiles songs from albums that we have mentioned in our ‘Monthly Recommendations’ posts. So, it’s really a recap of the year, hence the title. All of what you hear is music that has been released from July 2016 to June 2017 inclusively. We have been … Read more

Bisonwar – Bisonwar

California’s math rock band Bisonwar is what I want to see more of from this genre, and what it was originally set to do: a focus on instrumental prowesses, all the while borrowing slightly from jazz for its harmony but keeping it all generally easygoing. Well, the band’s debut self-titled full-length does just that, and more! The only thing it lacks is odd measures. While math rock has always been fascinated with guitar, Bisonwar shares the spotlight equally between the guitarist Joe and the bassist Peter. There is an abundance of parallel riffs – where the bass plays the same … Read more

Sproingg – Sproingg

Sproingg is a fitting name for such a bouncy and lighthearted avant-prog trio! The band, which takes its roots in Germany, have just released their debut, self-titled album via bandcamp, and it’s one of those that you can’t afford to miss. First of all, one of its springy legs is Johannes, violin and Chapman stick player. The former instrument is uncommon but not rare, but it’s one of unfortunately too few opportunities to catch a band boasting a stick! That, on its own, is a good reason to check out this band, but you’ll stay for their bizarre, oddly rhythmic … Read more

Love Theme – Love Theme

Love Theme is Alex Zhang Hungtai and Austin Milne on saxophone, and Simon Frank. Love Theme, their debut album, is a languishing and bleak experimental jazz recording edited from improvisation sessions. The record is droning over almost all its runtime, with electronic music elements complementing the saxophonic exchanges. It’s melancholic and atmospheric, reflecting on the past and reaching within. There is nothing flamboyant about this release – it’s actually quite drab –, but in being so it goes straight to the point it wants to make: an ode and elegy to love. Through the slow burn of noise percussions … Read more

Twin Pyramid Complex – Jinx Equilibria

Jinx Equilibria is the debut album of Swedish experimental progressive rock band Twin Pyramid Complex. Behind their unabashed worship of the weirder side of The Mars Volta, which is most noticeable by the vocal style, angular rhythms, and out-of-the-box orchestrations, Twin Pyramid Complex play a forward-thinking and highly peculiar sort of prog. Somewhere between avant-garde pop and post-punk, Jinx Equilibria assaults the senses with an overwhelming multi-layered complexity, long-form compositions, and unrelenting vocals. There’s also quite a lot of experimentation concerning the production of the songs, just listen to the introduction of ‘Dogma taxidermi’ and its completely unnatural segue … Read more

Monthly Recommendations: June 2017

Dougmore‘s debut album is a foray into folkloric music through the lens of art rock. Indeed, Outerboros is lush and complex, deep and progressive, and, on top of that, inspiringly beautiful. Don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity of the folk singer-songwriter foundation of the project – with Douglas and his banjo -, for there is here a plethora of invited artists – playing a wide range of instruments, from wine glasses to trumpets, from bouzouki to double bass, from dulcimer to harp, and a lot of other things in-between. This not only bring in a variety of timbres and

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Soul Enema – Of Clans and Clones and Clowns

Soul Enema is a progressive metal band from Israel that hit me by surprise with their new album, Of Clans and Clones and Clowns. Although I’m generally a fervent user of the Oxford comma, I’ll admit that it would be quite an encumbrance in this title to add two half stops. And – one last thing before discussing the actual music –, the cover art for the album is part of the reason I didn’t expect much from it: it’s really ugly (sorry, Vasya Lozhkin (Alexey Kudelin)). Okay, now that that’s out… Soul Enema’s progressive metal is a strange … Read more

Michael Avery – Michael Avery

Michael Avery‘s back, baby! Following his 2015 album, The Scientist, which we liked a lot, the eponymous full-length is even more impressive! Although I’m admittedly not a fan of the, uhh… Abstract 90s-inspired, tribal tattoo artwork, the music is on par with the contemporaries of instrumental progressive metal, and by that I mean that it’s better than most of what’s being done in the genre nowadays. The jazz-infused prog of Mr. Avery is intelligent and executed selon les règles de l’art. Some songs are very moody, while others are energetic and have lots of drive to them. … Read more

Obsidian Mantra – Existential Gravity

Polish band Obsidian Mantra just released its debut album, the intricate and massive Existential Gravity. Clocking in at fifty-four minutes, it demonstrates more than well enough their compositional and playing skills as musicians. The sort of progressive death metal they play is reminiscent of Florida’s RXYZYXR, but also of Montréal’s Gorguts. On the one hand, Obsidian Mantra have heavy grooves and plenty of odd-time signatures, as well as a very interesting set of uneven repetitions of motives. On the other hand, it lacks the melodic hooks found on LMNTS, in favour of exclusively harsh vocals and deeper dissonant … Read more

Sunn Trio – Sunn Trio

The scorching heat of the Arizona day, and the complementary soothing coolness of its night, is whence Sunn Trio emerges. Playing a punk-spirited, Arabic-music-tinged free jazz, the ‘trio’ release cassette recordings of their live performances since at least 2015, with Radiowaves. Their new, self-titled endeavour takes the form of a vinyl record. What baffles me is that there seems to be a whole lot of people credited for a trio… Indeed, there are no less than eleven players mentioned on bandcamp, making it rather close to the scope of a big band, but I suppose they would be guest … Read more