Toehider – “Good”

Releasing tomorrow on October 19th, the aptly named new album from Mike Mills’ Toehider is not just “Good” it’s great! But that’s to be expected of Mike as he’s continued to push the envelope in the prog genre in weird and interesting ways.

Mike’s early work under the name Toehider consisted of twelve EPs that he completed in twelve months. Quite a demanding schedule that only someone as crazy and driven as Mike could accomplish. I first really started following Toehider around when he crowdfunded his last album, What Kind of Creature Am I?, on the … Read more

Redshift Pilots – Moonlight Synthesis

We recently often write about bands who bridge post-hardcore and progressive metal, it seems, and some also other genres, but here’s one that almost uncompromisingly links it with black metal. Redshift Pilots released their debut full-length album, Moonlight Synthesis, in early October. It impatiently shows its black colours with fervent blast beats and tremolo picking riffs, but then sways into atmospheres of post-rock and post-hardcore ambiances seamlessly and in an honestly impressive manner. Sure, some tracks stay more on one side than the other, like “Overgrown”, which is almost entirely post-rock, but has a blackgaze twist near the end, … Read more

Not from Here – Not from Here

The Minnesota trio Not from Here puts a twist on the regular mathcore formula: the expected bass guitar is here replaced by a cello. This alternative lineup gives way to an interesting contemporary classical facet to the band’s music, most strikingly on their kétjegyű szók, “Ab”, “De”, and “Ex”, while being underlying in all the other tracks. Speaking of which, the songs on their self-titled sophomore release range from caustic mathcore to post-hardcore, with drafts of polyrhythmic sludge – the ending of “Should Certain Conditions Arise” –, drone metal, and progressive metal. It’s all instrumental, giving the music ample … Read more

Moebius – Hybris

The Italian progressive metal quintet Moebius are preparing for the release of their debut album, Hybris, on 20 October. To do so, they’ve sent me an early copy of it, and I liked it enough to write about it! Yes, Hybris is an almost hourlong concept album on metals and minerals, it seems. It starts off interestingly with the track numbered “00” – “Inflection II” –, which is a didgeridoo and percussions jam, but the rock starts with “Obsidian”. Between groove metal and progressive death metal, the rest of Hybris impresses. The band’s music puts a lot of emphasis … Read more

Hybrid Nightmares – Almagest

After their Ages EP tetralogy, Australian progressive black metal band Hybrid Nightmares gaze upwards towards the skies. Almagest is their new conceptual full-length album, and takes you on the journey of the Pilgrim, an unnamed automaton, going to various cosmic spheres in a quest to balance spirituality and reason. Basically, it’s a science-fiction retelling of many classical philosophy concepts. It’s quite rare that black metal bands of that ilk look to the future and out into space, although not unheard of, and Hybrid Nightmares is a strong quintet capable of putting this idea into reality and making it truly enjoyable … Read more

Naeramarth – The Innumerable Stars

Naeramarth is a progressive metal band from Salk Lake City, and their debut album, The Innumerable Stars is coming out on 20 October. Stating influences as varied as Ihsahn, Leprous, Enslaved, and Opeth, Naeramarth cover an impressive range of metal genres, from black metal to doom metal, with a lot of straight-up progressive metal and prog death in-between. “Asterisms” is a pretty much perfect example of this, it covers well progressive black metal, with a very Opethian acoustic guitars corridor in the middle. Thanks to its 8:50 runtime, each part has the time to breathe, but its only about half … Read more

Archspire – Relentless Mutation

Canadian band Archspire surely needs no introduction. With a single album, they defined themselves as the epitome of their genre and a paragon to strive for. That genre is technical death metal – tech-death for short –, and that album was The Lucid Collective, released in 2014. Earlier this month, the Vancouverites released their new album, under the edgy moniker Relentless Mutation. More than simply a follow-up, it’s actually a step up, as incredible as it sounds from a band already seen as over the top as this one. A while ago now, they teased a drum practice Read more

Instar – The Ex nihilo Cycle

Instar is a narration-driven progressive metal band based in Austin, Texas. Their debut album, the self-titled Instar EP, came out in January of last year, and was a pretty interesting insight into what the project could become. With their debut full-length coming right around the corner, we get a better glimpse into the promising future of their formula. As for what they currently offer, I’ll be reviewing that right here.

First of all, narration-driven music can’t be good if the narration itself isn’t. In a day and age where the posh British accent is revered amongst many media – just … Read more

The Hirsch Effekt – Eskapist


Some albums come along and pleasantly join the ranks of what you previously considered “great music”. Some albums come along and make you question everything you previously classified as “great music”. The Hirsch Effekt’s fourth full-length, Eskapist, is the latter kind of album – a towering post-hardcore monolith that reaches a mountaintop I never imagined to be climbable, from which the view makes most other modern progressive acts look like ants.

The Hirsch Effekt are one of those bands whose sound cannot be tidily summarized in a couple of adjectives. Their own bandcamp liberally describes them as “rooted … Read more

Bodhi – Ineffable


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