The Metal of 2017

CTEBCM started mostly thanks to progressive metal. Since then, the scope of the website has widened quite a bit, but there’s undeniably a stronger focus on metal music than any other. Thus, the metal albums of the year post (the one you’re reading right now) will divide the metal releases into various subgenres. Obviously, there is a lot of crossover going on so you might question some of my allotments. Some bands really do fit into more than one broad category, and so I put them in the one I think is most fitting, but you might have a different … Read more

Travis Orbin – Silly String Ⅱ

More than two years after the release of the original Silly String, drummer and composer Travis Orbin comes back with its sequel to close off 2017. On , Travis inflates the concept of the twenty-minute predecessor threefold to a staggering sixty minutes. This expansion has it benefits – for one, there is more material to listen and enjoy –, but it also has its shortcomings. While the first of its name was concise and to the point, keeping only the absolute most mind-boggling tracks on record, the second one seems more spread out, less focused, and filled with … Read more

Weekly Release Dump #4

    Saturday, 23 December

CarcajouQuelle magnifique fin du monde (post-hardcore)
KäkiThree Pieces for Guitar, Piano and Junk Metal (experimental rock)
Planning for BurialBelow the House (Version) (post-doom/experimental)
The White Tulips and Chinese Football双拼 (Shuāng pīn) Half Half #1 (math rock)

    Sunday, 24 December

MorrowFallow (progressive blackened hardcore)

    Monday, 25 December

AdharaAdhara (instrumental progressive metal)
Dialectical ImaginationThe Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Wrath (experimental jazz)
Heavy Blog Is HeavyHeavy Comp Is Heavy: Volume Five (compilation)
HyperdeathNo Fear (progressive metal)
Night Tempo – … Read more

Taylor Brook – Virtutes occultae

Just in time to close 2017 with a microtonal bang!, composer Taylor Brook released Virtutes occultae: an exploratory double album for piano. Somewhere between procedural, improvised, and strictly composed, the eighteen parts of this magnum opus take you into the world of overtonality. In a nutshell, this album is played by six virtual pianos, each tuned to a different 11-limit just intonation tuning. The details on how Brook’s approach extends Partch’s are scarce and blurry, but, in any case, the result is utterly mesmerizing. The fact that the music is played only by pianos, virtual ones at that, … Read more

The Big Fat Meanies, Date Stuff, Crawl across the Sky, ジズー (Jizue), Andrew McCommons, Excessive Visage, Matt Mitchell, Akakor, and Luna’s Call

The Big Fat MeaniesThe Time Has Come…
Rarely have I grinned so much while listening to a recent progressive rock album. Thanks to their ska band roots and influences, Pennsylvania’s Big Fat Meanies make energetic and uplifting prog ska music on their most recent album. The Time Has Come… is over one hour long, but never feels like it’s too much. Brenna’s vocals are a perfect blend of power and emotion, and the brass and woodwinds quartet is an uncommon sight in the prog scene that adds a ton to the music. Truly, an album that shouldn’t go … Read more