Hailing from Lyon, France, the Shelter quintet crafts high-quality progressive rock fusing jazz elements into a cohesive yet chaotic whole. After their 2017 EP Spetsnaz, they’re back with the single “Mercure”, filmed and recorded live. As explicit by the very first few seconds, the rhythm is an important part of Shelter’s identity, soon followed by the effects-laden trumpet and groovy drums. Obviously, the two guitars in the band play their own important role, bringing in complex harmonies and rhythmic patterns conflicting and complementing each other.

The seven-minute track is, I hope, the first of many more to come. For … Read more


Smogma is an experimental project from two members of different groups in Arizona. On their debut album, Abracasmogma, the duo casts prepared guitar and an unidentified sound sculpture, as well as a range of other instruments, into the void, creating an otherworldly experience. You can already go on their Bandcamp page to witness and experience “The Black Smog and the Sinner Lady”, but today I—in conjunction with Arachnidiscs Recordings—bring you the second track: “Free Smog”.

Abracasmogma is one step ahead of free improvisation. It adds to the mix elements of musique concrète and lowercase, as well as noise and … Read more

VIDEO PREMIERE: Hago – “Dawn of Machine”

Boston-based metallic jazzists and self-proclaimed falafel djentists Hago released an astonishing eponymous debut album, last year, which I praised in my review and subsequently included in my metal best-of for 2018. Today, I have the pleasure and honour of showing you the music video for their track “Dawn of Machine”. It’s one of their shorter compositions, but it’s exquisite and excellent, and it’s fun to see some guitar and keyboard action from the members of the band.

It’s never too late to grab their album; it’s amazing!

Read more

Best Metal of 2018

There was a lot of good music in 2018. That is to be expected for any year; there are just so many artists and musicians out there that are creating, constantly… The absolute number of musical releases is utterly daunting and insignificant by its sheer size—it would be impossible to listen to everything released in a given year—but I’ve truly given it my best, listening to a total of 2,257 albums, EPs, and splits from this year alone (an average of over six releases every day). That is without mentioning older albums, or albums from 2019 that I had the … Read more