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

Hibagọn – Polyposmic

Italian experimental progressive rock outfit Hibagọn just released their debut album, after two previous EPs in which they solidified their sound and personality. At forty minutes long, Polyposmic brings us a healthy dose of the mathematic prog duo. Focusing on fast-paced odd-time signatures, polyrhythms, and dissonant intervals, the creature by the name of Hibagọn is able to outdo its previous achievements. With the help of various effect pedals, guitarist Dowi is able to make us forget the fact that there is no bassist or complementary guitarist or keyboardist (except on ‘Orogenesis’ and ‘Zero’). Polyposmic is a fun time and a … Read more

White Ward – Futility Report

mulating our opinion of an album before diving back into the endless sea of new releases. Sometimes, however, a confluence of factors generates a scenario in which one album stays in rotation for an extended stay before pen gets put to paper. White Ward‘s Futility Report is an album I’ve been trying to write about since January, when I heard its first publicly released song. It took about 30 seconds of that track to convince me this was a band worth paying attention to. They were kind enough to send me a review copy, but shortly thereafter, the always-excellent … 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

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

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

Haken – Affinity, an Analysis Of

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I wasn’t introduced to Haken until early 2014 when I discovered their 2013 release The Mountain. I loved that album and immediately listened to the rest of their discography. Later that year, they released their EP Restoration which was an awesome look into their past, re-imagining and re-recording songs from their demo with higher production quality. Now, nearly two years later, we’re graced with a new full-length album called Affinity.

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If you followed Haken’s facebook page closely in January of this year, you might have seen them post a few times about the name and content of the … Read more

The Algorithm – Brute Force

In today’s world, the modern metal scene finds itself facing an odd paradox of being more diverse and varied than ever before, while also having a notably larger number of puritans than a lot of other music scenes. As such, the word “gimmick” gets thrown around way more than it has any right to be, and with an act like The Algorithm I’d say that finding this label tossed about is pretty much a given. However, with the release of its latest album Brute Force, The Algorithm not only completely dismisses the notion of being merely a “gimmick act” … Read more