November has been quite surprising. Going from a month from which I didn’t expect much to one that blew me away with unscheduled releases and band discoveries. Anyways, here’s what we think are the best four releases the month had in stores for us, as well as some honourable mentions.
‘Corima‘s third full-length, 天照, delivers an untamed flow of energetic, Japanese-influenced Zeuhl. The album is enjoyable to the core and will please anyone seeking a new musical challenge. Personally, I’m overjoyed to have stumbled upon it and to finally be able to make a connection with the promising world of Zeuhl music. I would recommend 天照 to any progressive music lover.’
Read or listen to the full review here.
‘One of last year’s most surprising discoveries, Swiss fusion band Öz Ürügülü recently released their second album, Fashion and Welfare. Even though I knew approximately what to expect, this time around, the band still surprised me at every occasion. From country music – as in the opener ‘Tarkatan Rush’, which I will henceforth label as barn fusion -, to atmospheric djent fusion – as in ‘Garlic Venus’ -, and going through many other phases, Fashion and Welfare is definitely one of the highlights of this year.’
‘Ikarus‘ avant-garde jazz shone bright, on their first album, Echo. Now, they’ve released a follow-up, Chronosome, that’s more than worthy. The odd time signatures and complex counterpoints, fugues, and canons making up the rhythmic and harmonic patchwork are both challenging and obnubilating. The two singers, Stefanie and Andreas, step up once again to colour the compositions with wordless vocal lines, using them, once again, as instruments, first and foremost. This album is one of the highlights of the year.’
‘Noise Trail Immersion is a mathcore band from Italy. Womb conceptually revolves around, well, the womb, and birth. It makes me think of Amia Venera Landscape and The Arusha Accord at the same time, and seem to bridge the gap between post-hardcore and progressive metalcore, with an added mathematics element, as well as a healthy dose of dissonance. The album is just really good, and you should do yourself the favour of listening to it in its entirety!’
Hidden Orchestra, ironically an imagined orchestra by UK-based composer Joe Acheson, delivers one of the most stunningly detailed modern classical pieces of 2016 with ‘Wingbeats’. Versatility is the name of the game here: drums blend with Turkish mey and cello, percussions mesh with field recordings of birdsongs and even more various instruments all contribute strongly in their own way. This is one of the few tracks which could have an album deconstructing every single composing element of it, and still have each of those elements hold up musically on their own.
‘At the junction between Esperanza Spalding, Blue-Eyed Hawk, and Axon-Neuron, Infinien lay some sick-ass tunes! Light at the Endless Tunnel is a fusion of jazz and psychedelic progressive rock that will absolutely delight those of you with a certain knack for that kind of jams. The entire album is a lovely and wonderful experience that’s only rarely come across.’
‘The progressive death metal band Oni made some ripples in anticipation of their album, Ironshore, but nothing big. They have a peculiarity in that their keyboardist is, in fact, a xylosynthist; he’s a xylophonist playing on a xylophone synthesizer (and quite impressively so). The tracks being singled out were interesting enough to warrant my follow-up on it, and I’m not disappointed in the result. Ironshore is a very good prog-death slab of fifty minutes. It tries many things and, even if it’s not excelling everywhere, it’s still quite a headbanger!’