The Hungarian jazz fusion metal quartet Special Providence has got me hooked since their album Essence of Change. Their newest work, Will, is an all-around improvement over the former, though, and to tell you this was unexpected without sounding like I’m discrediting the band is difficult, but it’s just to show how impressive I thought Essence of Change was. Yet, Will is even more so. The four talented Magyars put their chops on display in all of the ten songs on the album, by offering tremendous solos, odd-timed riffs with many a rhythmic complexity, and all that with … Read more
All the extreme metal fans on the real Earth have been anticipating a return to Xanthochroid’s fictional Erthe since 2012’s immensely impressive debut, Blessed He with Boils. Taking five years to meticulously craft a two-act follow-up, the Californian band have rewarded our patience with Of Erthe and Axen, a cinematic, dynamic album pair that blends the best facets of several metal genres with orchestral folk pieces to produce something totally unique.
The band craft a story that dives deep into a universe they have created. Like their previous release, Of Erthe and Axen comes with a map … Read more
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
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
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
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
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