Devin Townsend is an artist that has always been hard to classify. Releasing such a wide range of music, from death metal, to ambient, to new age, to progressive rock, to country. But to be confined to just one genre wouldn’t be Devin Townsend. Which is why he lets it all out on Empath, jumping from style to style at whim, and creating something truly unique as a result.
Mord’a’stigmata—not a name that is easily forgotten—has been a name on the periphery of my radar for years. The Polish group’s brand of bleak metal never captivated me enough to warrant much attention, but on fifth full-length Dreams of Quiet Places they have refined their sound into something impossible to ignore. Both composition and production have taken a substantial step up from 2017’s Hope, with nods to purveyors of blackened sludge like Rorcal and older Altar of Plagues, alongside psychedelic elements reminiscent of Entropia and older A Forest of Stars (or their lesser-known reincarnation, The Water Witch… Read more
Angel Marcloid does not quit. From the experimental vaporwave of Fire-Toolz to the longform atmospherics of Mindspring Memories, along with myriad other boundary-pushing projects, the Chicago artist has uploaded enough complex and challenging auditory and visual material to crash the kind of ancient computer on which it seems appropriate to engage it. Under the new moniker Nonlocal Forecast, Angel quite literally synthesizes some of her biggest influences from the eighties’ and nineties’ prog rock, smooth jazz, and new age scenes using almost entirely digital instrumentation and programming. The result, Bubble Universe!, is an … Read more
Best Avant-Prog: Piniol – Bran coucou (Dur et Doux)
The merger of French bands Poil and Ni into the entity known as Piniol delivers exactly what I’m looking for in avant-prog: mathematically proficient, musically dense, and making something utterly novel. Bran coucou is to the genre what Bisbâyé is for metal. If you haven’t already, do yourself the pleasure of listening to this album. Oh, and while you’re here, take a listen at the honourable mentions below; they’re all equally fantastic!
I reviewed LA-based instrumental prog band Mammoth‘s album Deviations back in 2016, giving it much praise. Well, now they’re back with new album Everything That Is You under a new band name: Thrailkill. Frontman Wes used his last name as the band’s new name, which I think, with a last name that badass, why wouldn’t you? Of course, the music is equally badass. Chock full of melodic arpeggi and heavy riffs, this album is sure to satisfy any prog fan, from the casual to hardcore.
Overall, the songs on this album are shorter … Read more