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.
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
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
The Swiss avant-garde black metal band Schammasch – name taken from Šamaš, the Mesopotamian God of Justice – will release their third full-length album, simply titled Triangle, on April 29th. As the name suggests, the concept of this highly ambitious work is tripartite, each side clocking in at 33:30. Yes, that makes for more than a hundred minutes of music! Inspired by Richard MacDonald‘s sculptures, the cover album portrays circus artist Sasha Krohn, falling into nothingness, photographed by Ester Segarra. Every side of the Triangle has its own identity, and feels very unique, they deal with various concepts, … Read more
The release of the much-anticipated Odyssey to the West, from the progressive deathcore band Slice the Cake, has been somewhat obfuscated by some internal problems. I do not wish to delve into this, but rather write about the music itself, the lyrics, and the concept surrounding it all. Understand that I do not take any side there, but merely observe the fact that the music is out there for everyone to hear, and that I wish to express my opinions on it, as well as expose the underlying storyline. Today, I will cover the Gallows part. So without … Read more
What do you get when you put ex-members of progressive metal band Cynic with members of atmospheric black metal band Dodecahedron? Not what you would expect.
Our Oceans is a post-rock band in which Tymon (ex-Cynic) lulls us with his soothing melodic voice, which we really aren’t used to. Behind his voice and his guitar work is a silky smooth fretless bass playing jazzy lines and drums that put the emphasis on the ambient side of things: painting the background with cymbals over slow odd time signatures and polyrhythms.
Over the course of the album, there is some variety to … Read more
Experimental black metal has lately been a thing I opened about, and I’m glad I did. The amount of incredibly good music that this genre hosts is mind-boggling, and I won’t ever forgive myself to not have opened up to the marvellous world of black metal before that. That being said, the latest band I became acquainted with is Kvøid, a duo from Portland whose first album, Nihility, came out September 23rd of this year.
First off, the amount of field recordings and minor seconds on this album is rather impressive. It reminds me somewhat of Ulcerate and … Read more
France doesn’t cease to bombard us with incredibly good metal. The newest on the list is Déluge and their debut album Æther.
Musically, it’s a sort of atmospheric post black metal with tidal blast beats and a barrage of distortion. Not that these attributes are uncommon in the genre, but they’re prominent and well-executed here. The axis of Déluge seems to be on the ebb and flow of dissonance in their chordal progressions, like the waves. It’s a really good approach that makes for an always moving portrait that is only rarely immobile, and even then it serves some … Read more
Sanguine Hum is a known name in the indie prog/neo-prog community, and with reason. They’ve released consistently good, mellow prog with an ambient vibe to it, but Now We Have Light is on another level. A just over 80 minutes conceptual double album of, arguably, their best material to date.
For the uninitiated here, “neo-prog” is a term that labels indie bands that are oriented towards prog rather than pop or folk. It’s mellow stuff, with electronics and chimes, but with odd-time signatures, long and intricate song structures, and conceptual … Read more