Plain Cheese Pizza – Plain Cheese Pizza
Vancouver-based, deliciously named avant-prog septet Plain Cheese Pizza just released their mouthwatering self-titled EP. With only four tracks, this is, at best, an entrée designed to prepare our bodies for an unknown future dish. This EP was recorded in 2019, so I guess it’s the post-production process that took three years to complete. I’m being optimistic, but perhaps this means that a full-length is already well under way or even finished tracking! For now, though, I can say that this apéritif is right down your alley!
Real Loud – Real Loud (New Focus)
It’s really cool to see the amazing contemporary classical record label New Focus Recordings focus on the metal scene with the outstanding Real Loud project, by Tristan Kasten-Krause, who is already a veteran of creative music. Labeled as chamber metal, a title I’d also attribute to Vmthanaachth and many other incredible artists, Real Loud delves into long-form polyrhythmic experiments. Their two-bass, two-guitars, and two-drums lineup gives off a vague memory of Bisbâyé, although they have a sole bass. And, one last thing, the sextet plays a collection of compositions from a range of amazing musicians, including Pascal LeBœuf and Brendon Randall-Myers, the latter of whom is also part of the band. Needless to say, that is a required listen!
Caio Csizmar – Descriptas
Caio Csizmar is a Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist, and Descriptas is the guy’s second release, after a promising debut EP from 2020 called Meândria. His style is somewhere between prog rock and jazz fusion, and his compositions remind me somewhat of the French band Nooumena (click for a cringey throwback to 2013). I really like the breadth of the songs on Descriptas. With “Fio de Ariadne” as an example, we’re first thrown into a free jazz semblance before a very retro-prog, or even proto-prog section comes along and drives the song for a good while. Then, the song dives into more experimental avenues, and it all leads to an incredibly immersive and rewarding experience. The album is full of these, very fun!
Many-Eyed Seraphim – Many-Eyed Seraphim (Alabaster Balthazar)
Many-Eyed Seraphim is a brand new discovery, as its self-titled album came out today! I’d describe the project as “avant-grind”, being that it combines the usual deathgrind sound with more advanced and experimental characteristics, such as a lesser focus on riff-driven compositions (although there definitely are riffs in there), mind-warping time signatures and rhythmic patterns, prominent bass making me yearn for more Zvoyn, and spastic guitar solos unlike most I’ve heard before. In any case, this is an incredible album much worth your time!