Mini-Reviews XXX

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Cultural Lungs is a symphonic progressive rock band from Portugal, and Fortress is their newest album. The concept behind it is rather interesting, too. It’s basically a choose your own adventure type of experience. The ‘happy ending’ version consists of rather upbeat progressive rock (songs 2-8), while the ‘sad ending’ consists of more cinematic songs, almost like a movie soundtrack (songs 10-17). It’s basically two EPs in one album. The music itself is well-done and has a sort of almost minimalistic, indie feel, which is somewhat charming. Hint: create two playlists – one ‘bright side’ consisting of tracks 1 to 9, and track 18; and one ‘dark side’ consisting of track 1, and tracks 9 to 18.

Canadian djent band Galactic Pegasus are releasing Phantom of the Hill on the eighteenth of November. It’s unfortunately not very inventive or rewarding. Instead, it rehashes the tropes of the genus, hybridizing with metalcore sometimes, on the course of an almost-forty-minute album. I don’t feel like going back to it anytime soon.
Mindscar‘s newest album, What’s beyond the Light, was released back in August, and presents us some pretty cool blackened death metal with even a bit of thrash metal influences spread throughout. A nice bit of trivia is that the album art is a painting made by the singer and guitarist with his own blood and semen. That beats Metallica’s Load album art, which used bovine blood (and human semen). In any case, the songs on What’s beyond the Light are pretty good jams!

Troika‘s upcoming album, My Brain Is a Receiver, comes out this weekend. It’s a worthy follow-up to their 2014 album, zero-one. The foreground bass, odd time signatures, and polyrhythms draw comparisons with tool, but the songs feel much less depressive on Troika’s end. Most of the album is instrumental, and bridges the gap between post-rock and progressive rock in a beautifully atmospheric forty-minute session. I recommend you get your hands on it as soon as it comes out!
Saxophone, electronics, and black metal. This sounds like a winning combination, right? Except, I just can’t find myself thoroughly enjoying Balance Interruption‘s Door 218. I’m not a fan of industrial metal aethetics, and I feel the electronics on this album really brings out an industrial metal vibe. The use of saxophone is a noteworthy addition, however, as it’s quite well integrated. It’s interesting, for sure, but not for me personally. Maybe you’ll dig it, though!
Ahmi is, as a friend of mine put it, just like old CHON. And you could indeed mistake 2015 The Friggin EP with CHON’s 2008 demo. Although there are still some differences. Ahmi is much more laid back and less focused on intense musicianship and crazy chops, but nevertheless bring their own skills to the game. It’s a pretty cool EP, if you’re looking for more math rock.
On November twenty-fourth, Art as Catharsis’ new pupils, Mister Ott, will be releasing their album, Single Shot. The jazz full-length has quite heavy influences of psychedelic rock and Middle-Eastern traditional music. It’s a funky, delightful release that only adds to Art as Catharsis’ heap of incredible releases! A must have.
You like Tesseract, don’t you? Well, Exist Immortal like them too, and it shows. Their latest album, Breathe, came out last week, and it’s a very good full-length in the same atmospheric/melodic djent vein as the aforementioned act Tesseract. It’s like having the music of Polaris but with the vocals of One. Yes, there are harsh vocals, so those of you who missed them in the more recent albums of Tesseract can have an equivalent substitute with Exist Immortal. It’s more than a mere knockoff.

On November 8 2016, this entry was posted.
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