Mini-Reviews LXXIX

Bryker is the collaborative name of Bryce Butler and Parker Bracken, the two musicians behind this new instrumental progressive metal outfit. Their music fits quite nicely under the progressive metal and djent genera. While the production on Bryker is relatively minimal, everything is clearly heard and sounds good; it’s only slightly less in-your-face than mot modern releases. Overall, it’s a very good debut EP from a band you should keep an eye on!
Ukrainian progressive metal band Edwin Hubble released their debut EP, When I Was Older, on April twelfth. They’re labeled everywhere as a post-rock band, but I found them much closer to progressive metal and, at times, djent. The post-rock influences are undeniable, but the songs are much heavier and riff-driven than your typical post-rock. The almost-thirty minutes EP is quite captivating; the songs are well crafted with energizing riffs and memorable melodies. I’ve found nowhere to download the album, but you can listen to it on soundcloud!
Our World Was Dying/Our World Was Dead is the solo post-rock project from multi-instrumentalist Nicholas dell’Orto. Golden Hymns Sing ‘Hurrah’ is a Godspeed You! Black Emperor worship, basically, but while I found the latter to be quite unappealing (sorry, fans!), I found myself appreciating the idiosyncrasies of the former much more. It’s not always mechanically tight, which makes the record much more human; it breathes of its own. It’s a superb post-rock experiment you should dig into.
‘Fell toward a Spiraling Sky’ is the second single/demo from experimental death metal project Written in Waters. Yes, the production and drums programming are quite abysmal, but the composition itself is more than worth it. Moreover, this project includes a quarter-tone guitar, but it’s not used as a gimmick nor as the main attraction. Indeed, the microtonal intervals are very subtle and widen the sound of the band instead of merely being added on top of it. Written in Waters’ two demo songs are very promising, considering they bring up the production considerably and change the way their drums sound, either by working with a new software or recording acoustic drums. Nevertheless, I’m more than excited to hear something new from this project, and so should you!
The recent surge of quality dissonant black metal from Iceland made it so that, with a few friends, we amusingly share such new bands with the line ‘FFO: Iceland’ (for fans of Iceland). Nexion is only the latest arrival, with their self-titled debut EP. The four-part release is a new iteration of the now-famous Iceland-style black metal, and it’s one that shouldn’t go unnoticed. I don’t need to say more, you know the drill.
High by the Beach is the newest album on Polycoffin/Blvck Ceiling. D. Ocean‘s dark synthwave pulses with deep and lush basses, flows with languid rhythms, and will hook you with the mournful melodies of singer Lana del Ray. These reworked pop songs are now right at home on this cassette release in darkwave form.
Brazilian band Dialeto‘s newest album, Bartók in Rock truly needs no more explanation than ‘it’s a bunch of Béla Bartók compositions adapted to [progressive] rock’. The end result is forty minutes of highly satisfying instrumental prog. You probably wouldn’t even notice the classical origins of the songs, unless you’re already familiar with the composer’s works. This is a superb and tremendously interesting album that I recommend you dive into!
The Heads Are Zeros is the latest album from the band of the same name. Their mathy hardcore sound is fronted by the singer’s raw and shallow screams, reminding me of Circle Takes the Square’s fromtwoman. The supporting instruments, here, deliver a much more energetic music that closes the gap with grindcore, at times. Fantastic EP.

All right. There’s no way around it. Uneven Structure‘s upcoming album, La partition, is a big disappointment for me. The French band’s debut, Februus, stroke the imaginary and carved its name in the memories of many, in the early days of djent, as one of the Olympian gods of the genre. Even their follow-up EP, 8, which consisted of only one song formed from the B-Sides of Februus, was and still is one solid song. Perhaps that, on the course of six years, the expectations grew to unattainable heights from a combination of a stellar debut and simple human projection and anticipation, and in hindsight it seems absurd to think that the same planetary alignment could ever be summoned twice (and a half), but even judged in a vacuum, La partition is nothing spectacular. I hate to put intentions in the mouths of people, but it sounds as if the band was trying to appeal to a wider audience, this time, by following the trends of the genre. More clean vocals – the singer’s whiny voice doesn’t help -, more straightforward compositions – gone are the multi-part, album-length songs days -, and a generally lacklustre finish make for a forgettable album. Sadly, Uneven Structure‘s latest is a no-go.

On April 18 2017, this entry was posted.