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

Progenie terrestre pura – oltreLuna

The Italian science-fiction atmospheric black metal trio Progenie terrestre pura will soon release their second full-length album, oltreLuna. With this opus, we see them at their most diversified and confident. Between the blast beats and the atmospheric keyboard pads, you’ll find elements of folk music like the flute on ‘[.Pianeta.Zero.]’, electronic dance music like the dubstep part of ‘[.oltreLuna.]’, and industrial metal. All these make for a really interesting and varied experience, something that is cruelly lacking in the atmospheric black metal landscape. The instruments on there sound very angular, almost mechanical, synthetic, but embedded in all that futuristic, … Read more

Asylon Terra – Blind Man Running

French quartet Asylon Terra recently released Blind Man Running, their first, full-length release. Between contemporary jazz, ambient music, and progressive rock, the compositions of Pierre Lordet, clarinetist of the group, take shape on this entrancing album. Anne Quillier, about whose sextet we already wrote, takes seat behind the omnipresent keyboards – the Rhodes and Moog -, while Lucas Hercberg takes bass duties, and Clément Black takes care of the drums. The whole is an astounding result. Blind Man Running will take your breath away. The vast soundscapes played here will submerge you, and even the harder-hitting compositions – … Read more

Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence

transcendenceDevin 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.

This was brought Read more

Anderson/Stolt – Invention of Knowledge

Press_Cover_01The 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

Frost* – Falling Satellites

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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.

first-half

The intro to the album, ‘First Day’, is a soft ambient … Read more

Schammasch – Triangle, an Analysis Of

covertriangle2The 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

Slice the Cake – Odyssey to the Gallows, an Analysis Of

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

Our Oceans – Our Oceans

a2936028470_16What 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