The Mercury Tree is one of the rare bands that has managed to constantly grow and improve with every record they put out. On their fifth record, Permutations, they are barely recognizable as the same band that created their radio-friendly alt-rock debut nearly a decade earlier. Permutations is an extremely dense and challenging listen that demands and rewards multiple listens; it is one of the rare records which combines technicality and innovation with a strong emotional core.
Bandleader Ben Spees has been the only constant throughout the band’s discography, and he manages to be the lead vocalist, guitarist and … Read more
The Flower Kings is a band that really helped carry the torch in the 90’s that bands like Yes lit during the 60’s and 70’s, taking that style of Progressive Rock to a new level and continuing to help it grow. So it’s quite a treat to hear a collaboration between the leader of The Flower Kings, Roine Stolt, and the former lead vocalist of Yes, Jon Anderson. If you’ve ever wondered what a new Flower Kings album with the vocalist from Yes would sound like, Invention of Knowledge is it, as Anderson/Stolt make a perfect combination! As much as … Read more
“Retro” is a term that to some, applies solely to bands that are derivative, stagnant, unoriginal, uncreative, and too mired in the past to produce anything of value, like your dad’s bar band. I must say that retro psychedelic progressive rockers AJ Froman prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this is not true at all on their latest release, Phoenix Syndrome (well, not necessarily true, anyway).
Everything here sounds like it could have plausibly been written and recorded in the 1970s. The riffs, bass lines, and synths wouldn’t sound out of place at all. I mean no disrespect by that … Read more
I’ve been into the progressive rock band Beardfish for a while, my favorite album of theirs being their two parter “Sleeping In Traffic.” I also enjoyed their latest album 4626+Comfortzone quite a bit. So I was excited to hear what the band’s frontman Rikard Sjöblom had in store for his second solo album “The Unbendable Sleep”.
Rikard’s unique and catchy melodies paired with his distinct vocals makes for some interesting music to say the least. This album flows well but also goes unexpected places. One of which being a short interlude track “Building A Tent For Astor” which is a … Read more
After their wildly acclaimed debut album “Huxwhukw” back in 2011, we didn’t hear much from Australia’s psychedelic progressive band Serious Beak. I was much delighted when they announced a sophomore album under the name of Ankaa and released a single for it, “Red (Laniocera hypopyrra)”.
First of all, “Ankaa”, from my best suppositions, comes from the Arabic العنقاء, al-ʿanqā’, which means “the phoenix”. Now, a Phoenix is a mythological bird related to the sun, and that lives cyclically. Ankaa is also a star, otherwise known as α Phoenicis, a rather common binary star that will … Read more
After years of waiting – the album was first announced and teased in 2011 with the song Trainsaw – Hyperthrash now has an official track listing and release date: 21 November 2015. I’ll put the track listing below. There’s also a new song, “Razor”, to stream. However, in my opinion, it’s not as good as any of the others that the band already showed us: Trainsaw, Immersed in the Maniacal, Vein of Creation, and Hyperthrash, but it’s still a really good tune.
You can pre-order the album now on their bandcamp page, or wait patiently for the songs to stream … Read more
Taking up enough space to fill two complete CD’s and a half with its 200 minutes of play time, experimentalists Wozzeck‘s Act 5 is an experience in tediousness, repetitiveness, droning, long polyrhythms, and slowly evolving music.
The album is divided into 5 parts, each of 40 minutes, and each with its fundamental concept. It was recorded as a trio consisting of bass, drums, and a computer/keyboards/electronics/voice/guitars person, who happens to be the mastermind behind the project, Ilia Belorukov. The first part, “Act 5.1”, stems from a single 11/8 bar at 120 bpm, and is divide in 8 parts with … Read more
I quite frankly wasn’t expecting that one… Over the very first listen there wasn’t much that just hit me. It wasn’t overly impressive and it wasn’t really “novel” in any way, but I kept coming back to listening to that album. I didn’t really know why, but there was something drawing me towards it. And now, after quite a bunch of listens, I can safely say that I really like the album. It’s good, well varied, nicely constructed, and the fact that it’s a live recording (with ulterior overdubs) makes it all the more interesting.
Call me OCD, but the thing that bothers me the most about that album is the fact that the arms of the girl on the cover are pretty much the only thing that isn’t white on her body. I know it’s only a band name, and it’s maybe not even a representation of the Greek Goddess Athena, but still I waste way too much time thinking about this. Let’s move on.
The self-titled album is in more than one way different than their previous one, Astrodrama, which was pretty good … Read more
The new Gigan album is everything Gigan is about… Long titles and psychedelic extreme metal.
Gigan‘s last album Quasi-Hallucinogenic Sonic Landscapes has put down the basics of what to expect from this jolly company : the songs are intense, intricate, and shrouded in aural mystery.
Multi-Dimensional Fractal Sorcery and Super Science is no disappointment in this regard. Gigan succeeds once again at bringing you a challenging and entertaining piece of musical sorcery. What betrays any Gigan song when listening to it are surely the drums. I have and probably will never find another band’s drummer that plays similarly … Read more