Xanthochroid – Of Erthe and Axen, Acts I & II

All the extreme metal fans on the real Earth have been anticipating a return to Xanthochroid’s fictional Erthe since 2012’s immensely impressive debut, Blessed He with Boils. Taking five years to meticulously craft a two-act follow-up, the Californian band have rewarded our patience with Of Erthe and Axen, a cinematic, dynamic album pair that blends the best facets of several metal genres with orchestral folk pieces to produce something totally unique.

The band craft a story that dives deep into a universe they have created. Like their previous release, Of Erthe and Axen comes with a map … Read more

Toehider – “Good”

Releasing tomorrow on October 19th, the aptly named new album from Mike Mills’ Toehider is not just “Good” it’s great! But that’s to be expected of Mike as he’s continued to push the envelope in the prog genre in weird and interesting ways.

Mike’s early work under the name Toehider consisted of twelve EPs that he completed in twelve months. Quite a demanding schedule that only someone as crazy and driven as Mike could accomplish. I first really started following Toehider around when he crowdfunded his last album, What Kind of Creature Am I?, on the … Read more

Kamancello – Kamancello

Improvisation is the cauldron in which most great music is born, but for most musical acts it is just the beginning of the composing process. Some artists, though, are secure enough in their creative talents to make improvisation an integral component of their sound. The right musicians and framework can produce magic with this approach, and that’s precisely what a pair of internationally renowned string players have done on the self-titled debut album of Kamancello. If you like improvisation, chamber music, and portmanteaux, this is the album for you.

Kamancello juxtaposes the dynamic cello performance of Raphael Weinroth-Browne, whose … Read more

Kaipa – Children of the Sounds

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

Wobbler – From Silence to Somewhere

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