Mini-Reviews XV

Tactus is a progressive metalcore band from Fredericton, New-Brunswick. It’s a pretty good record recalling a bit of Novållo, but, as with most things labeled metalcore – even if it’s the progressive kind -, Bending Light suffers from its lack of originality. The whole thing is a considerable step up from their debut, T, but the restrictions of the genre are something they should strive to strike down, next time around. The album comes out on October seventh.
Luminiferous Aether is the newest album from progressive atmospheric black metal band Mare Cognitum. Out on September sixteen, it’s what they do best: a collection of emotional black metal tracks that extend upwards of eight minutes. It’s still as masterfully done as on their previous works, but it seems only a reiteration of the genre. It’s good, but not groundbreaking.
Now this is something interesting. Master Boot Record‘s C:\>EDIT AUTOEXEC.BAT is like an even geekier version of The Algorithm. And they’re very productive as well: since September first, they released three albums and announced a fourth one for the twenty-third. They’re a bunch of progressive metal compositions rendered in a sort of chiptune style, but it also sounds somewhat like music played on floppy drives. They are pretty good and the aesthetics of all this are on point, so it’s a great experience to listen to these.

Watchtower are pioneers in the realm of technical progressive metal since their debut in 1985, but especially since the arrival of Ron Jarzombek on their 1989 album. In 2010, they announced a reunion, and we’re only now seeing the result of this via the release of Concepts of Math: Book One, a five-song EP preceding the release of a full album in the hopefully-near future. “The Size of Matter” is definitely the best song on record, as it succeeds in being something entirely new from the old material. The other songs are truer to the Watchtower name, but they don’t feel in their prime anymore, unfortunately. It’s still a pretty good EP for any fan of technical metal. Ignacio will be pleased to review the album completely for the blog before its release.

Itzamna surprised with their previous album, Metnal, that was a great proggy jazz record. They’re back with Chascade, their sophomore release, on October fourteenth. As you can hear from this music video for “Duet”, the Tigran Hamasyan vibes are still very much present. The production is a bit too intense on the low end (the drum kick is so overpowered, at times!) for my liking, but overall it’s a great, very organic, progressive jazz rock album. It also comes with a bonus EP for those who buy the digipak.

Marco Minnemann has long been considered one of the best drummers out there. Here he comes with Schattenspiel, his latest album, which is not only a huge drums solo, this time. The album is a bit weird – and I’m not talking about the faceplanting lady on the cover art -, the first half of it is very awesome (this video has parts “Sandwich”, the second track, and it’s one of the best on the album) and sounds like something Travis Orbin would pull off, but the second one feels much less inspired. It’s up to you to decide to spend the money on a great half-album or not.
XIII is a one-song, twenty-minute EP from Musica Masonica, the side-project of Gareth, from Slice the Cake. It’s a great piece of experimental doom with, allegedly, some elements of improvisation and jazz into it. While I didn’t really see those in my listening session, I thoroughly enjoyed the diversity of the song and the exotic scales the duo used. It’s really a journey to listen to, try it out! They already released a second EP under the moniker of The Dead Sons, or The Dead Sons (of the Art of Sound and Music). It’s way more experimental and jazz-rooted, and it sees the duo expand to become a quartet. It’s much less ear-friendly, but also much more interesting and outlandish!
Finally, for today, is Barty’s Path‘s album, Where Is Everybody?, coming out on September twentieth. Right away, it’s quite something! It’s a sort of progressive fusion world music concept album that uses a lot of vocal harmonies, world drumbeats, jazz compositions, electronic elements, and a hefty dose of experimentalism from time to time. Where Is Everybody? is truly a musical world of its own, and you should definitely dive into it.

On September 13 2016, this entry was posted.