Instar – The Ex nihilo Cycle

Instar is a narration-driven progressive metal band based in Austin, Texas. Their debut album, the self-titled Instar EP, came out in January of last year, and was a pretty interesting insight into what the project could become. With their debut full-length coming right around the corner, we get a better glimpse into the promising future of their formula. As for what they currently offer, I’ll be reviewing that right here.

First of all, narration-driven music can’t be good if the narration itself isn’t. In a day and age where the posh British accent is revered amongst many media – just … Read more

The Hirsch Effekt – Eskapist


Some albums come along and pleasantly join the ranks of what you previously considered “great music”. Some albums come along and make you question everything you previously classified as “great music”. The Hirsch Effekt’s fourth full-length, Eskapist, is the latter kind of album – a towering post-hardcore monolith that reaches a mountaintop I never imagined to be climbable, from which the view makes most other modern progressive acts look like ants.

The Hirsch Effekt are one of those bands whose sound cannot be tidily summarized in a couple of adjectives. Their own bandcamp liberally describes them as “rooted … Read more

Lost Salt Blood Purges & Boring Bathtimes – Yellow Fog Sword

Australian and British entities Lost Salt Blood Purges and Boring Bathtimes have collaborated on a release of massive proportions, elegantly titled Yellow Fog Sword. On this release, Michael Snoxall (Lost Salt Blood Purges) set out to create a novel and its accompanying soundtrack with Oliver Aldridge (Boring Bathtimes), whom he already had made some small collaborations in the past. The original story of Michael ended up as a forty-four-page novelette, illustrated by Ov Exvn Infërnvz. Then, the outline of the music was created, with directions for pacing and events, and the task of coming up with music was handled … Read more

Leprous – Malina

There is a trend in modern prog: some of the more popular bands are seeking to capitalize on their popularity via the age-old model of shifting to a poppier style with broader appeal – lowering their common denominator, as it were. Leprous’ debut single from Malina, ‘From the Flame’, suggested to some that the Norwegian titans might be drifting in that direction. They are certainly ripe for popularity, with their smooth and entrancing approach to metal composition and Einar Solberg’s appealing singing voice. However, I am pleased to report that, despite some of the structural elements being poppierRead more

Schammasch – The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite

The Swiss avant-garde black metal quatuor, not satisfied from having released perhaps the best triple-album ever just last year, is already back with The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite. It’s sold as an EP, but crosses the thirty minutes threshold that is commonly used to distinguish EPs from full-lengths; it has seven tracks, but the whole thing feels like one continuous journey into the obscure places of our mind; it’s a work of art that goes above and beyond the traditional scope of black metal and the avant-garde… Indeed, the band themselves wrote that Hermaphrodite is an ‘artistic experiment’, and it’s … Read more

Monthly Recommendations: May 2017

From this apparently so mechanical and inhuman score counterintuitively emanates so many emotions and thoughts, in strong waves of melancholy, passion, and amazement. The first, minimalistic moments betray a much more complex and dense interior. The fact that so much life vibrates from this synthesized offering only highlights the care and delicacy with which it has been crafted. Steeple is, without a doubt, a remarkable piece of work that all should try. A perfect blend of black MIDI and contemporary classical music.

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With this opus, we see them at their most diversified and confident. Between the blast beats

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Mini-Reviews LXXXIII



Others by No One is a new, flourishing American progressive death metal band, and they’re releasing their debut album, Book I: Dr. Breacher, on June eleventh. At first glance, it’s the band that resembles the most what Native Construct achieved: fast-paced, technical progressive metal that’s quirky and theatrical, and also deeply cast in musical theory. There’s more to it than that, obviously – there’s a rather strong Between the Buried and Me vibe, as well as hints of Haken and The Dear Hunter throughout -, but the general picture is that of a Native Construct 2.0. Is that a … Read more