More than two years after the release of the original Silly String, drummer and composer Travis Orbin comes back with its sequel to close off 2017. On Ⅱ, Travis inflates the concept of the twenty-minute predecessor threefold to a staggering sixty minutes. This expansion has it benefits – for one, there is more material to listen and enjoy –, but it also has its shortcomings. While the first of its name was concise and to the point, keeping only the absolute most mind-boggling tracks on record, the second one seems more spread out, less focused, and filled with … Read more
The Room Colored Charlatan guitarist Justin Seymour is about to release his first solo EP Ineffable on August 25th under the name Bodhi. This short but sweet offering of melodic instrumental prog is reminiscent of Plini and Animals as Leaders. The first track ‘Desire’ starts off with an atmospheric synth which is then joined by some pleasant melodic guitars, drums, and piano. The layered guitars sound amazing but the keyboard sounds great too and compliments the guitars well. For being completely a one-man operation, it is quite impressive. The title track ‘Ineffable’ is the longest on … Read more
Made from members of the corrosive grindcore entity Beaten to Death and the metalcore act Insense, Grant the Sun turns its head towards progressive and post-metal instead, and succeeds effortlessly at making a naturally enjoyable debut. The Norwegian instrumental trio stick to a relatively simple formula: good riffs, a few guitar solos, some top-tier drumming, and sensical song structures. Melodic and heavy, the album is pretty good, but also lacks any characteristic that would make it unforgettable. In fact, despite how decent it is, I had a hard time recalling it even existed. I often express my disgust of gimmicks, … Read more
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 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
In 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
It’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