Mini-Reviews LI

Gnarwhale is a band I regret having overlooked, back when Colour came out. It wasn’t for me, at the time, but I can now appreciate it in full. The progressive metal blended with post-hardcore on this EP – topped with the superb vocal delivery of Sam Marshall – gives this Australian release from 2015 a really unique taste that will most probably please you!
Memória de peixe is a Portuguese math jazz band, and they released their second full-length, Himiko Cloud, back in October of last year. Conceptually, it’s a collection of instrumental stories brought together by Himiko the anti-gravity fish. The compositions are light-hearted and heavy-handed, bringing together the almost-childish daydreaming of math rock with a little experimentation thrown in and some borrowed stuff from jazz. It’s great!
Straight from Scotland, A Cunning Man is a one-man project that I would call, quite antithetically, alternative avant-garde metal. The diverse instrumentation, heavy riffs, and often-odd time signatures clash with the catchy vocal melodies and stacked harmonies sang in an abashless Scottish accent, especially charming during the spoken word passages. The songs speak of occult phenomena quite awesomely, too. The flaws of this record, however, would be the peculiar use of programmed drums (what’s with all these staccato cymbals?), and the not-always-perfect-pitch vocals – and, to an anecdotical degree, the bizarre blurriness of the album cover. Despite its downsides, this is an interesting project that oughts to improve on upcoming releases!
Dora the Destroyer – or simply Dora, as on the album art – is back with Dependent Secondary. As a new release in the ever-expanding instrumental melodic prog genre, it lives up to the expectations, but doesn’t manage to grab the higher seats, where Plini, The Helix Nebula, and Sithu Aye sit comfortably. Other than that, Dependent Secondary is a worthy successor to The Singularity, and a neat addition to your intru-prog playlist!
Speaking of instru-prog… Guitarist Theo Young recently released a new single, Anicca. To my greatest pleasure, an irl drummer takes the place of EZD or SD2 – a rarity, these days! The five-minute track here is very atmospheric and composition-centred. It’s quite time something new came from there, and this is the perfect gift to make us wait for Theo’s next EP or – who knows? – full-length!
So, apparently Jute Gyte released a two-track, almost forty-minute album, back in December, and no one warned me? The Sparrow is, I believe, the project’s first appearance on a label, with Blue Tapes and X-Ray Records. The first half of the vinyl release consists of the eponymous track, a microtonal black metal concerto with countless interweaving guitars and polymetres. The second track, ‘Monadanom’, is an ambient electronic piece ebbing and flowing with majestic guitar works. Both are really interesting, as any new Jute Gyte releases.
The Motion Mosaic is a mathcore/progressive metal band, and their album Samsara was released last summer. It’s a pretty good product, overall. The songs often go from being slightly chaotic to very melodic and almost catchy, with faint hints of jazz, perhaps? Very subtle, anyways.
Russia’s Low Kick Collective II is a pretty interesting progressive rock fusion project from the duo. The tenor saxophone at the forefront, the music is otherwise led by drummer Екатерина Шаповалова (Ekaterina Shapovalova) and complemented by the numerous layered tracks of Антон Рязанов (Anton Ryazanov). The players are apparently joined by other musicians on stage for the full experience. II is a far cry from the band’s self-titled debut, which had a very rough production, detrimental to the listening experience. Here, the corners are still pretty rough, but it’s much more acceptable, and could even be taken as an artistic choice. The album will give you more than enough pleasure, with its six songs and just-over-thirty minutes of runtime.

On January 16 2017, this entry was posted.