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

Kaipa – Children of the Sounds

I first discovered Kaipa about a decade ago when I was really into The Flower Kings and was exploring their various side projects. The Flower Kings frontman Roine Stolt was a member of Kaipa during the late 70s (when he was only 17), and during their reformation in the early 2000s, but left after their 2005 album Mindrevolutions. Children of the Sounds, out on September 22nd, is now the eighth album since Kaipa’s return, and thirteenth overall.

The dynamic between Patrik Lundström’s and Aleena Gibson’s vocals is quite powerful and something that has always stood out to me … Read more

Der Weg einer Freiheit – Finisterre

Finisterre — or, the end of the Earth — is German atmospheric black metal band Der Weg einer Freiheit‘s sophomore album, following 2015’s widely-praised Stellar. While I personally wasn’t very fond of their prior material — I recently double-checked to make sure this was still the case —, Finisterre simply blew me away. I don’t really know what change happened that made me react differently, but I believe this has to do with tighter production and compositions. The atmospheric elements are more poignant, the heavy-hitting parts hit harder, and each song is a rewarding experience to get through, … Read more

Down I Go – Mortals

Hovering between Iceland and the United Kingdom like the plume of ash of the Eyjafjallajökull, the progressive hardcore trio Down I Go recently released an EP by the title of Mortals. Their 2015 full-length, You’re Lucky God, That I Cannot Reach You struck my imagination – and I’m sure many of yours – with just how near perfection and unique it was. I still have shivers when the “Mother in the Pen” theme gets brought back at the end of “The Sending”, it wraps this masterpiece beautifully. Mortals is more akin to one of the band’s other thematic EPs, … Read more

Namby-Pamby Boy – Namby-Pamby Boy

Out in September but available for streaming now, Austrian Namby-Pamby Boy‘s self-titled third album aims at the no small task of transcending genres and categories. While not being outside of any pre-existing box, Namby-Pamby Boy is an album that breeds jazz, electronica, hip-hop, and rock together in a buffet of compositions. The ten-track, one-hour album goes from moody to energetic and offers plenty of interesting and powerful moments, thanks to the lush keyboards and meandering saxophone rocking the songs. The album will be out on September first through Babel Label.

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Palmless – The Nine Exits

Sweden’s band Palmless just released their debut album, The Nine Exits, on bandcamp. If I were to be bold, I’d say they play post-blackgaze, but this wouldn’t paint the whole picture. Indeed, they seem to pour post-rock tendencies into their blackgaze compositions, or perhaps it’s the other way around, and, on top of that, there is a bit of noise rock and dark pop all wrapped in an indie vibe that permeates throughout the album’s half-hour runtime. The guitars are barely distorted, mostly receiving the overdrive treatment, and the bass guitar is almost totally dry, too. The drums don’t … Read more

Schammasch – The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite

The Swiss avant-garde black metal quatuor, not satisfied from having released perhaps the best triple-album ever just last year, is already back with The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite. It’s sold as an EP, but crosses the thirty minutes threshold that is commonly used to distinguish EPs from full-lengths; it has seven tracks, but the whole thing feels like one continuous journey into the obscure places of our mind; it’s a work of art that goes above and beyond the traditional scope of black metal and the avant-garde… Indeed, the band themselves wrote that Hermaphrodite is an ‘artistic experiment’, and it’s … Read more