Archive for progressive

Chapters – The Imperial Skies

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 24th May 2015 by mickbirchy

“The Imperial Skies”
Progressive Metal

Released on 14th October 2013
Self Released

The Imperial Skies is brought to us by an awesome young British band called Chapters. Formed by Joe Nally and Angus Neyra of Hang The Bastard, I was already expecting top quality, as they are one of my favourite British bands that are going.  Yet, this is a far departure from the sound of HTB.  This is more of a tech/prog metal sound mixed with elements of hardcore.  It’s one of the more unique listening experiences I’ve had.

Straight from the get go, the album shows of the skill and sheer talent of the band.  The guitar skill is excellent with mind blowing licks, skill riffs and fun melodies.  The bass line are thick and compliment the songs melodies and harmonies beautifully.  The harsh tones are great, providing intensity and energy into the record.  The production of the record is awesome and mixed well. Not one element feels like it’s taking precedence over the others and it comes together really well.  Musically this album is all over the place, you can hear influence from all corners of the metal and rock globe.  In that sense this is a musicians band, as the more you understand about music the more enjoyable this album becomes. Not to say you can’t enjoy it if you’re not a musician, but it definitely helps.

As I’ve said, the album ranges but keeps within the theme of tech/prog metal. However, the hardcore elements of this record are fantastic; being a long time fan of the genre, I identified with these elements. They just have a real bite to them. It keeps you interested as a listener whilst the the more tech/prog elements take you on a journey through the songs.  I usually look for riffs on heavy albums but there aren’t any to speak of here. Yet, there are some cool riffy moments that certainly captured my imagination.

Songs I’ll recommend to you from this record are the title track “The Imperial Skies” (this one has a load of transitions and feels like the track that takes the most risks and shows off the band’s style) and “The Siren” (which is a fantastic tune with a load a heavy nail biting moments).

Overall, yeah, this is a solid record, you guys need to listen to it.  Really fun, heavy, interesting band.


Mick Birchall

Code to release new album later this month

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 10th February 2015 by Pieni

Progressive post-rockers Code will release their 4th album on the 27th February in Europe and 10th March in North America, via Agonia Records. Recorded in the Brighton Electric Studios with producer Paul ‘Win’ Winstanley, the follow-up to “Augur Nox” is called “Mut” and presents itself with the following artwork and tracklist:

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1. on blinding larks
2. undertone
3. dialogue
4. affliction
5. contours
6. inland sea
7. cocoon
8. numb, an author
9. the bloom in the blast

“The new album really sees us free ourselves from any self imposed restriction for the first time and for us is the most honest and rewarding album we have released. Although this isn’t a metal album by any stretch of the imagination, it is the most confrontational move we could have made and we hope that it’s honesty and freshness will appeal to those who like sounds out of the norm”, says the band.

They have recently released a video for “Affliction”, which they claim to be “the most foreboding track on the album”:

Make your pre-order at:

Sylosis – Dormant Heart

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 1st February 2015 by Pieni

“Dormant Heart”
Progressive thrash metal
Released on 23rd January 2015
Via Nuclear Blast Records

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Whether you like Sylosis or not, you can’t accuse them of writing mellow songs. So you’ve probably figured out that this title, “Dormant Heart”, has nothing to do with the music featured in it but with the lyrical content (not to mention the catchy, poetic ring it bears). What you may not know is what inspired it. Frontman Josh Middleton has said that it’s about those people – who sadly represent a large percentage of the world population – who just go with the flow, accepting the way things are and what society tells them to be right. People who need a wake-up call to get a new perspective on life. Now, I’m pretty sure none of the members in Sylosis fit in such category, but they’ve faced that kind of wake-up call in September 2013, on a driving accident while on tour, and it’s become a major influence on the writing process of “Dormant Heart”. I’m not telling you this just as a curiosity; after all, Sylosis have always written about the human mind, inner struggles and so-on. The difference is that this time its intensity is stronger, more compelling, as it doesn’t come from what they perceive but from something they’ve experienced; it comes from something more personal.

More intense and more somber. The first track, “Where Wolves Come To Die”, is a pretty sorrowful tune that I still look at as an intro: far shorter than all other tracks, the tension builds without actually exploding, until it abruptly comes to its end. Even though the following track, “Victims And Pawns”, doesn’t take on from where the other left it – kicking off with a thrashing attitude (the “explosion” missing in its predecessor) – it meets the same vibe as “Where Wolves…” at some point in the middle of song, before resuming the thrash speed and again the doom-ish vibe with which it ends (typical prog, when you think of it). So yeah, “Where Wolves Come To Die” screams “intro” to me.

I don’t want to sound too much like the official press release for this, but the truth is that “Dormant Heart”’s distinctive features are indeed its rich riffs – both in number and composition – , solos and breakdowns. I dare saying that the best combination of those resulted in “Overthrown”, “Indoctrinated” and “Mercy”. “Leech” as well, but this one deserves an additional note: the way the guitars sound so vibrant in that beginning reminds me of how Judas Priest “Hellion” makes way to “Electric Eye”. Please note that I am NOT comparing the songs but their effect on your senses and their nature – classy and epic. Although the guitar seems to cry its strings out in the solo, very lament-wise, very eighties-heavy-metal-like. Yes, I confess – it’s my favorite.

But all in all, every song here has the potential to be someone’s favorite (hence the “I dare saying”, as you’ll probably name other songs yourself). Even the 9-minute ballad “Quiescent”, which personally I’m not very fond of, but where I recognize a great job nonetheless.

You know how most bands claim to have released their “best work so far” when they have a new album? Occasionally they’re right. And Sylosis are definitely right.


by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Despite announce new bass player

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 23rd January 2015 by Pieni

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After enrolling Zoran Panovic last month for the third guitar, prog/melodeath metallers Despite have now announced Anthony Cui as their new bass player, replacing Mathias “Matte D” Dagerhed, who left the band in November due to lack of time and other personal reasons. With the line-up complete, the band from Gothenburg, Sweden, is ready to hit road, while writing the follow-up to their latest EP “Epic”.

Says singer Peter Tuthill: “It feels absolutely killer to have Anthony on board! I had a gut feeling about him right from the get go, and I’m positive he will be a fresh blood injection into the veins of Despite.”

As for the man himself, he claims: Despite is a killer ride and I’m absolutely stoked to be on board. Home is where the gut tells you it is, and thanks to Despite‘s warm welcome I know where I’ll be. The future is NOW!”

“Epic” was released in January 2014 and in November the band brought to light the single “Chaos Trigger”:

Between The Buried And Me to release “live” CD + DVD

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 28th August 2014 by Pieni

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“Future Sequence: Live at Fidelitorium” is the title of the upcoming “live” CD and DVD by progressive act Between The Buried And Me. “Live”, in quotes, as it was recorded in the Fidelitorium Recordings studio and not during a concert. According to drummer Blake Richardson: “We’ve always been fans of dvds where it’s just the band, you don’t have any other distractions”. And vocalist/keyboardist Tommy Rogers adds: “We wanted to give the fans something that made them feel a little closer to us, and made them almost feel like they’re at practice with us.”

The film will show the band performing their most recent album “The Parallax II: Future Sequence” in its entirety. It’s directed and edited by Justin Reich, with director of photography Ismail Abdelkhalek, and audio engineers Jamie King and Kris Hilbert. Audio mixing and mastering was completed by Jamie King. It also features guest musicians Walter Fancourt (tenor saxophone, flute), Julian Hinshaw (Tuba), Will Goodyear (marimba, glockenspiel), Taya Ricker (violin), David Parks (violin), Leigh Dixon (viola), and Socrates Razo (cello).

“Future Sequence: Live at the Fidelitorium” will hit the stores on September 26th via Metal Blade Records. Watch the trailer and click HERE for pre-orders, including bundles.

Equaleft – Adapt & Survive

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 12th June 2014 by Paul Macmillan

Adapt & Survive
Released 31st May 2014
Released via Raising Legends/Raging Planet

Equaleft - Adapt & Survive

I thoroughly love it when a band brings together seemingly unrelated influences into a consistent amalgam of riffery. Gojira are a prime example, drifting the tremolo arm of black metal across a valley of doomy chords, all the while casting the sensibilities of modern metal hook creation around them as they go. It invariably results in something more than the average; something juicy to get your teeth into which delivers a full palette of flavour into every hungry bite.

Not that they sound much like the French overlords of all things thunderous and addictive, Portugal’s Equaleft seem to have attended some of the same seminars on genre-busting. Adapt & Survive’s intro piece, We Are, is more reminiscent of the soundtrack to a tense political sci-fi thriller movie than the kick-off of your everyday metal album – and with good reason. This is a band who genuinely likes to challenge, but not at the expense of great metal, and this is not your average metal album.

Slamming into the first track proper (…The Chameleons), the yaw of the music is meaty, but there’s a hint of old school tech hovering in the background: a whiff from the oceans of sewage continual drifting from under the running boards. The Meshuggah influence seems to be worn with pride throughout, but there is more of a natural flow to these songs. As much as I love the Shug, being one of the freaky few who can disco dance to most of their back-catalogue, it’s nice to hear this style taken in a new direction, embracing movements of pure rocking out. To put it another way, it’s great to be in possession of such a mighty array of weaponry, but sometimes you only need your knuckles to get the job done.

Without losing its unique character, Adapt & Survive, travels from the dredging doom of New False Horizons’ intro, through the Swede-esque sway and churn of Heroes Of Nothing and over the chuntering death-thrash in Invigorate (re-recorded from a previous demo version), struggling to contain a seeping energy rare in similar circles.

By looking the Devil in the eye and shunting him a middle-finger of non-compliance, Equaleft have come up with something a little special. The lift of emotional song-writing. The satisfaction of technical proficiency. A unique personality. It is 100% an album to take home and own, and digest slowly.

This will be going on the old MP4 player, the computer, and CDs being left both in the bedroom and any automobile that I can get it in, because I can see myself being in the mood for this on many, many occasions. There will no longer be a gap in the music when I’ve overplayed my Meshuggah, Agonyst and Man Must Die collections. Or is that my old In Flames, Pissing Razors and Arch Enemy CDs. I’m not sure. It’s somewhere in the wasteland between and it’s really good stuff!


Paul Macmillan

Mastodon to release audio and video versions of “Live at Brixton”

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 29th October 2013 by Pieni

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On February 11th last year, Mastodon played a sold-out show at London’s legendary O2 Brixton Academy. Part of the world tour supporting their critically acclaimed album “The Hunter”, also the show had a tremendous response from the audience, from the first minute until the last.

Now, on December 10th, Warner Bros. Records will make this unforgettable concert available in digital format under the name “Mastodon Live At Brixton”. You can either choose the audio version only, or go for the video one, directed by Ryan Mackfall from Crashburn Media. Both cover the 97 minutes of the show, where the following set-list was performed:

1. Dry Bone Valley
2. Black Tongue
3. Crystal Skull
4. I Am Ahab
5. Capillarian Crest
6. Colony of Birchmen
7. Megalodon
8. Thickening
9. Blasteroid
10. Sleeping Giant
11. Ghost of Karelia
12. All The Heavy Lifting
13. Spectrelight
14. Curl of the Burl
15. Bedazzled Fingernails
16. Circle of Cysquatch
17. Aqua Dementia
18. Crack The Skye
19. Where Strides The Behemoth
20. Iron Tusk
21. March of the Fireants
22. Blood and Thunder
23. Creature Lives

Mastodon online:


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