Sproingg – Sproingg

Sproingg is a fitting name for such a bouncy and lighthearted avant-prog trio! The band, which takes its roots in Germany, have just released their debut, self-titled album via bandcamp, and it’s one of those that you can’t afford to miss. First of all, one of its springy legs is Johannes, violin and Chapman stick player. The former instrument is uncommon but not rare, but it’s one of unfortunately too few opportunities to catch a band boasting a stick! That, on its own, is a good reason to check out this band, but you’ll stay for their bizarre, oddly rhythmic … Read more

Milco – 練馬

Milco is the most Animals as Leaders-like non-Animals as Leaders project I’ve listened to, recently. The debut EP of Raymond Milco, 練馬 (Nerima), is full of bittersweet technical djent riffs, with the common thumping, tapping, and advanced chords that are often lazily called jazzy. The twenty-odd minutes of the EP are made out of intelligent composition and ingenious ideas; the songs flow more intuitively than on The Madness of Many, AAL’s latest endeavour. Of course, Ray doesn’t come near the levels of virtuosity displayed by Messrs. Abasi, Reyes, and Garstka, the skills of Milco are more than appreciable and … Read more

Mammoth – Deviations

mammothIn the world of progressive rock and metal, instrumental albums are pretty common so it’s a bit hard to stand out. Mammoth absolutely manage to do this with their new album Deviations. Impressive playing paired with amazing production quality and beautiful tones prove that these guys are at the top of their class.

The first song, ‘Entanglements’ sounds like an entanglement of instruments weaving wonderfully through each other. Impressive guitar arpeggios and solos are complemented by ambient keyboards and intense drums. The middle section of the song calms down with a bright clean section that builds back up into … Read more

Fountainhead – Reverse Engineering

fhcover350It’s been a while since I listened to a solo album by a member of a known band (a.k.a. Jeff Loomis, Christian Münzner, Mark Tremonti, etc); even if they’re a nice showcase of their musical prowess and are guaranteed to a give you a lot of fun, in most cases they don’t stick enough with me to repeat them after a few spins. Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschläger, new member from tech-death overlords Obscura, is a refresh to my ears with his second official release “Reverse Engineering”. This is the third album I listen to this year that contains his … Read more

Sithu Aye – Set Course for Andromeda

coverHaving not heard much of Sithu Aye’s catalog aside from a couple listens of their Senpai EP last year (which I definitely need to revisit now), I didn’t really know what to expect from their new album Set Course For Andromeda. After listening to it, I now realize I should have been paying more attention to this band, because it blew me away!

The album is split into two discs, the first one, is a collection of songs with no thematic tie to each other, and the second disc is a 29-minute suite about an alien Andromedan, which is … Read more

Armonite – The Sun Is New Each Day

a3854499569_10

Released last year on June 22, 2015, Armonite’s second album, and first album in 15 years The Sun Is New Each Day is a vibrant instrumental prog album that is full of both complex and beautiful melodies. The prominent electric violin reminds me a bit of the Dixie Dregs. The album sounds like a Soundtrack at times, which makes sense since the band has published videos of a few movie theme covers from their show The Soundtrack is New Each Day. In fact, it sounds more like a video game soundtrack to me. ‘‘G’ as in Gears’ could easily … Read more

The Pitts Minnemann Project – The Psychic Planetarium

coverpsychicplanetariumThe Pitts Minnemann Project released their first album in 2014 with the technical, fusion progressive metal album 2 L 8 2 B Normal, featuring keyboard virtuoso Jimmy Pitts and drummer madman Marco Minnemann, completed by a long list of musicians amongst whom are found Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschläger, Ray Riendeau, and Jerry Twyford. This album is basically a 52-minute, 27-part song of the best fusion progressive metal out there, and I keep going back to it quite regularly. Two years later, and we’ve got The Psychic Planetarium. Does it raise the bar for the future or does it fail … Read more

Divine Realm – Tectum Argenti

a0104658246_10Divine Realm’s Tectum Argenti is a nice mix of melodic prog and djent with some impressive musicianship. While not as heavy as similar bands like Between the Buried and Me or Animals as Leaders, Divine Realm’s debut album still packs quite a punch.

Fronted by Canadian multi-instrumentalist, Leo Diensthuber, Divine Realm which started out as just a one-man band, grew into a full band before this debut full length album, which came out this week on February 23rd.

The album consists of seven meaty tracks, all between 3 and 5 minutes a piece. Not a second seems wasted though, there … Read more