Archive for progressive

Equaleft – Adapt & Survive

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

Equaleft
Adapt & Survive
Released 31st May 2014
Metal/Groove/Progressive
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!

4.5/5

Paul Macmillan

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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:
http://www.mastodonrocks.com
https://www.facebook.com/Mastodon
http://www.cracktheskye.com
http://www.myspace.com/mastodon
http://www.youtube.com/user/mastodonmusic
http://www.twitter.com/mastodonmusic

Vulture Industries post new video for “Lost Among Liars”

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 11th September 2013 by Pieni

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On the verge of releasing their third album “The Tower” (on the 27th of September in Europe and the 1st October in North America), avant-garde black metal band Vulture Industries released an animated video for the track “Lost Among Liars”. It can be seen on the following locations:

Metal Hammer in the UK:
www.metalhammer.co.uk/news/exclusive-nordic-avant-metallers-vulture-industries-premier-their-stunning-new-video-with-metal-hammer/
Zillo in Germany:
http://zillo.de/template.cgi?page=news_detail&id=2456
Pyro in Norway:
http://p3.no/pyro/premiere-pa-fantastisk-ny-vulture-industries-video/#more-30293
Roadburn in The Netherlands:
www.roadburn.com/2013/09/video-premiere-vulture-industries-lost-among-liars/
Rocking.gr in Greece:
www.rocking.gr/news/Apokleistiko-To-Rockinggr-sas-parousiazei-to-neo-video-clip-twn-Vulture-Industries/17178/
This Is Rock in Spain:
http://thisisrock.net/home/?p=1305

The video was made by young Romanian artist Costin Chioreanu, who also designed the cover art for the album itself. It is a surreal critique of today’s society, showing several characters with their own duties, functions and stories of oppression, restitution, control and freedom.

“The Tower” can be pre-ordered at http://vultureindustries.bigcartel.com/, in digipack CD or gatefold double LP, the latter available in three different colours (solid white, transparent green and black). The LP versions, as well as the digital edition, will include the bonus track “Blood Don’t Eliogabalus”

Vulture Industries will be supporting the first leg of Leprous’ European tour, starting in their homecountry:

13/9: John Dee, Oslo, Norway
14/9: Tribute, Sandnes, Norway
15/9: Buddy, Drammen, Norway
16/9: Parkbiografen, Skien, Norway
17/9: Musikken Hus, Gothenburg, Sweden
18/9: Debaser, Stockholm, Sweden
20/9: Nosturi, Helsinki, Finland
21/9: A2/Sputnik, St Petersburg, Russia
22/9: Tapper Club, Tallinn, Estonia
24/9: TBC, Gdansk, Poland
25/9: Progresja, Warsaw, Poland
26/9: Kwadrat, Kracow, Poland
27/9: Alte Zuckerfabrik, Rostock, Germany
28/9: Beta, Copenhagen, Denmark

Vulture Industries online:
http://www.vulture-industries.net
https://www.facebook.com/vultureindustries

Von Hertzen Brothers: new video and UK shows

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 30th August 2013 by Pieni

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Finnish progressive rock band Von Hertzen Brothers posted a new video for “Coming Home”, which should be release as a digital single/Ep next Monday, with the following cover and track list:

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1. Coming Home (Re-mastered Radio Edit)
2. Writings On The Wall
3. Time & Summer
4. Coming Home (Re-mastered Album Version)
5. Don’t Stop Me Now (Live at Radio Nova Stage)

It’s the third single out of their fifth studio album, “Nine Lives”, released last March via Spinefarm Records – an album that’s been nominated for “Album of the Year” at the 2013 Classic Rock Awards. The band itself has also been nominated for “Breakthrough Artist” and “Anthem” at this year’s Prog Awards.

Also, the band will tour the UK in October, co-headlining six shows with British Touchstone. As for the shows in Manchester and Milton Keynes, the Von Hertzen Brothers will be headlining on their own (support bands to be announced soon).

Oct 18: Glasgow King Tut’s
Oct 19: York Duchess
Oct 20: Cardiff Globe
Oct 22: TBC, Manchester (headline show)
Oct 24: Milton Keynes Foundation (headline show)
Oct 25: London Garage
Oct 26: Liverpool Eric’s Live
Oct 27: Bilston Robin 2

http://www.vonhertzenbrothers.com
http://www.myspace.com/vonhertzenbrothers
http://twitter.com/VHBROZ

Crimson Blue – Innocence

Posted in Alternative, CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 25th July 2013 by Pieni

Crimson Blue
“Innocence”
Experimental Nu Metal
Self-released on 8th December 2011

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“Experimental Nu Metal” was the closest to a conventional genre that I’ve come up with. Using the band’s own words, they play “Nu Art Metal” and that basically means that they pick the nu metal basis and entwine it with progressive lines, resulting in odd experiences – hence my choice of calling it “experimental”.

The first track, “Iceland”, is a bit deceiving regarding the energy that’s about to come throughout the rest of the album. Despite being a good song, each instrument leaving its mark, the rhythm is quite melancholic, a ballad of sorts. And so, at the same time, it shows you how out of the ordinary these Russians are – how often does a metal album start with a ballad? Starts and ends, as the final title-track also unfolds at a soft melodic pace.

“L.M.A.”, which stands for “losing my angel”, gives you a clearer picture of what Crimson Blue are about, with a sharp dissonance toning up those modern riffs. Singer Dani Hellstrom’s voice goes a little higher, but fortunately doesn’t reach the soprano peak that puts her in that category. In fact, she only brushes the border of that tone for brief seconds, during the title-track. But given the strength and steadiness of her trained voice, you cannot doubt that she is in the soprano rank. And those keys you listen to are also in her charge, through the means of a keytar.

“Clouds” is quite an indie tune, while “Flax” and “H.U. Lab Experiment I – The 6th Sense” get my vote for best prog tracks in this album. And “Haesitaio” deserves kudos for its fierceness.

“Innocence” is probably a little too avant-garde for the majority of the listeners, but it’s definitely a treat to those who appreciate this kind of musical journeys.

4,5 / 5

by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Abercion – Depth And Perception [2011]

Posted in 'Core, CD with tags , , , , , on 3rd October 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Abercion
Album: Depth And Perception
Release year: 2011
Genre: Melodic Progressive Hardcore

Abercion are a five-piece hardcore out from Birmingham, UK. 2011 saw the release of their EP “Depth And Perception”.

”Words Can Only Hurt From The Inside” is definitely not a song you want to be listening to via headphones on full volume when it begins, due to the sheer of aggression of the introduction. The vocals are raw, bloodthirsty and untameable, while the guitars are full of pure angst and anger, adding to that heavy hardcore sound. The vocals do sound frail in one or two small sections of the song but the drums make up for that. The acoustic section comes as a massive surprise, putting a halt to the brutality of the song.

”See You Next Tuesday” follows after, starting with a unique sound. The guitars eventually kick in properly, though this song is lacking in comparison to the opening song. The guitars just don’t seem to be as aggressive or have that certain bite and the vocals seem to be extremely strained for the most part. The drums are the more interesting aspect of the song. The EP finishes with “From dusk ‘Till Dawn” which brings the angst and energy back onto the EP fortunately. The acoustic section is probably something that should have been expected yet wasn’t, the heavy section that follows after it brings the energy back into the song and the vocals add that extra bite to the song.

”Depth And Perception” is an interesting EP, as it displays a mixture of progressive, melodic and hardcore elements and influences. Abercion show potential, at least, with this EP and with some more hardcore they’ll definitely fuse the different elements and influences together for a truly unique sound – Hopefully they’ll be less acoustic passages.

3/5

Nico Davidson

Capricia – Fooled by the Hush [2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , on 29th September 2011 by corvusofmorlich

Band: Capricia
Album: Fooled by the Hush
Release year: 2011
Genre: Progressive Metal

Being somebody who’d never heard of this band, I was quite eager to jump in and have a listen:

An interesting piece of artwork for an interesting piece of music..

On my first play through, I was taken aback. There’s a lot different genres mashed into this 5 track CD; from jazz to symphonic metal and from a more progressive rock sound to one that’s driven by industrial metal sounding guitars.

The first track is “Recline in the Fire” and it starts with a sad string section, that slowly swells with horns and drum rolls being added. This is an effective intro into the CD for sure and when the guitars and double bass comes in, it all comes together well. Then comes some choir chants which remind me of some early Nightwish. The song then slows into a drifty bridge with distorted chords thickening up the piano and vocals, followed by another verse that once again fastens the song up with orchestra hits and double kicks. After this comes the solo – primarily pentatonic with a smooth taping sections and finishing with a somewhat messily ended sweep. The outro is abrupt, but in a good way, finishing on those familiar choir chants. This song, for me, started off very well but, after the mid-point, stayed at the same level, which rendered it a somewhat bland second half. It’s still very listenable, though. The solo, I feel, could have done with a couple of more takes to get it a little less noisy and a little smoother.

The next song, “Before the Storm Arrives” starts off with majory chords and male vocals, which genuinely caught me a bit off guard. It’s then followed by a short and warm toned solo, over piano. This sets the song off in a very standard kind of rock mood before switching around completely, going into a jazz sounding verse with very soulful singing and ending the section in a couple of major modulations, that really add to the progressive feel. Silence follows but is interrupted by distorted guitar that really reminds me of Static-X. Then a couple of lead runs by the guitar and then synth with distorted male vocals following after. Then, some clean female vocals that remind me in a way of a Tim Burton movie, in terms of their neatness and drama. The song’s main guitar solo kicks in over some synth lead (mixed with rock organ) sounds which then go into their own jazzy solo over those Static-X chords again. There’s then a to and fro section between the clean female vocals and the distorted male ones. The song’s outro consists of a lead guitar following the same major modulations as before. This song required me to throw away my musical preferences to truly get into and appreciate – which I definitely do – but it didn’t rid the song of some of the things I didn’t like. The mixing and changing of genres is a cool idea on paper, but it so often takes the attention away from what the song is about and that definitely happened with me. I spent more time anticipating the next change than I did listening to the music and words as a whole. This, however, is not always a bad thing as it definitely hooked me in and kept me interested in what was coming next and the tiny gaps of silence between these different styles kept me from thinking too much about how they might not have fit together.

The next song, “Melodic Scream”, starts with a drifty and melodic clean guitar with strings joining that make the song feel very melancholic – something I adore in music. With a voice whispering in your ear, too, this is easily my favourite intro from the CD. The drums and guitar enter now and the solo that follows after is pretty darn tasty. When the vocals come in, it feels stripped down for a couple of bars before the distorted guitar comes in. The drums, I feel, fit the song really well. The singing starts off soft before an opera-esque backing ‘Ah’s come in which help complete the picture. The song strips down even more with just piano and singing which helps you really appreciate the sheer talent in the vocals. A violin comes in and it really does just sound amazing. Again, the distorted guitar comes in and the slow solo that comes in under the vocals sounds so good mixed with everything. However, the rhythm guitar feels a little out of place without drums being there. The outro is very effective – just a piano chord on its own. It ends one of the best songs on the album very well.

The penultimate song, “Chaotic”, blasts out and you can really hear some Israeli influences, led by the synth. An interesting timing sequence follows before the synth leads the song into a verse that I didn’t expect – one with harsh vocals! These are raw, but awesome because of it. It then breaks once again and goes into a slow and echoey clean singing section which almost reminds me of Opeth a little bit. This goes to show just how versatile this band is. A chuggy guitar riff is layered underneath some very Eastern sounding singing which then goes into some harsh vocals which pan from left to right – this is awesome. Later in the song, you hear the harsh vocals mixed with the female ones, though it sounds more like talking, either side of your head which sounds very dramatic. It follows a lyricless heavy section into a bloody bass solo! Followed by another awesome harsh vocals section. This is an amazing song which blends so many different sounds really, really well. This is probably tied my favourite song.

The final song is called “Something’s Wrong” and it starts with some really gruff male vocals which overlap with some clean female vocals that really remind me of Bjork. These voice switch around for the first minute or so, but sound really well. Then the guitars and drums come in with a tasty as f***k rhythm and an equally tasty guitar solo. This then gets wrapped up in some really interesting, half-harsh, male vocals that get modulate up, but very effectively, with string strikes. There’s then a section with just the guitars and drums that sounds very chunky. The next vocal section is backed by some awesome piano runs that run into a guitar solo section that sounds good with the everything backing it, although these sound a lot messier in the gaps between. The some very bouncy jazz bass comes in which sweeps the song into a guitar solo that just sounds absolutely awesome. The fade out ending happens a little too quickly and is a total let down as the bouncy bass and solo are just so good.

All in all, this album blends a lot together and is very interesting and pleasing to listen to. The genre changes that knock you off guard are well executed and flow well, albeit it sometimes distracting. The metal sections are very well written to allow the focus to be on the atmosphere and the vocals, although this means the guitar riffs are a little bland. This, however, is made up by the guitar solos that, despite being a little messy and maybe a little too frequent, show you that each musician is very skilled at what they do. This is especially apparent in the last 3 songs.

The balance of influences is perfect and there’s a real sense of drama and emotion – ranging from happy down to sad. This album blew away the expectations I had and I’d recommend to metal fans that are open-minded enough to appreciate the different influences, or to fans of progressive music in general. I think the biggest, if only, main problem I have with this album is the guitar tone. Being a lead guitarist myself, I can’t help but find problems with it – it’s not crisp enough to fit well with the pounds of the bass drum and it’s not muted enough to get that real chuggy sound and it definitely affects how professional the album sounds – everything else has been very well recorded and the guitar tone definitely adds a raw, almost demo-ish, feel to it which some people might actually like. I, however, definitely feel as though it takes something away from the album.

It’s a good album, most enjoyable It just needs a little neatening up here and there. It’s a solid album and one that’s most definitely unique and original. I’ll continue to look out for this band and I urge others too, as well.

3.5/5

Reviewed by Corvus, of Morlich.

66crusher – Blackest Day [2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 20th June 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: 66crusher
Album: Blackest Day
Release year: 2011
Genre: Progressive Thrash Metal

66crusher have been on the rise since the release of their debut album “in 2005. Since then they have been fighting their way to the top of the worldwide metal scene, gaining new fans each year. “Blackest Day” is the next step in their journey.

The title track, “Blackest Day”, is the first track of the album. It begins with a very thrash-influenced guitar riff whilst the drums are more laid back in comparison. The vocals are classic metal in their sound, standing out from the music – In an epic way. The vocals work well with the soft riff about half way through the track, giving the track a slight progressive edge. The track ends in true thrash metal style. “Recreated Destiny” has a slower, more emotional sounding introduction. Both the guitar riff and vocals are soft yet majestic, whilst touching a very deep emotional level not usually found in thrash metal. The track’s pace increases with the appearance of the drums, which again are quite laid back compared to the guitars. The vocals sound more powerful later on during in the track.

Following after is “Unsaid”. The intro is slow, heavy and dominating. The vocals, again, are soft to begin with, as is the piano medley that joins them. The drums slightly overpower the piano, which is somewhat disappointing. The track switches between light and heavy – Which is a nice emotional effect for the song. Next is “Concept of Elimination”, beginning with a choppy guitar section, which soon replaced by a more consistent, melodic guitar riff and an acute drum pattern. The vocals are strong, with a hint of a Judas Priest-sound. There is a good blend of progressive-sounding softer sections and heavier, savage thrash-styled riffs throughout the track, which makes up for it being almost ten minutes long.

”Recreated Reality” blasts next with an immense riff of violent proportions. The drums are barbaric yet precise to the beat. The vocals are still going strong, keeping the track interesting. Some of the riffs leave much to be desired though it is mostly a decent track. “Borderline” is another track that begins with a choppy riff, which can be off-putting for new listeners and just seems to drone on for the first few minutes. Another issue with the track is the length of it – Just over twelve minutes – Which again, can be off-putting for new listeners. The other riffs are well composed and sound great, as do the vocals and drums.

Nearing the end of the album comes “Shipwrecked”. Like some of the other tracks, the intro riff is soft and melodic, though it is short lived. The heavier riff certainly brings more excellence to the track though the drums are lacking in comparison. The vocals seem deeper yet more defined. They seem suitably combined with the acoustic riff. One thing that stands out the most about this track is the emphasis on the acoustic riffs, though the heavier riffs do play an important part of the track. “Shipwrecked” is certainly the best track of the album.

”Diminished Mind” starts with a mediocre sounding riff, which is a let down compared to the previous track. The vocals seem weaker as well and the drums also are lacking in power. The track does improve later on however, with some very Megadeth-styled riffs. “Us Beneath The Sea” is the final track of the album. Like some of the previous tracks, its intro is a soft riff, as are the vocals and drums. The riffs later become more wild west-sounding for a short while but they stay soft for the majority track, making for a good chill out track after eight brutalising tracks. The guitar solo towards the end does make the track slightly heavier though not by much.

”Blackest Days” features a strange yet wonderful mixture of progressive metal and thrash metal combined with some old skool sounds. 66crusher have certainly out-done themselves with this album, though there are some sections that could have done with more work.

4.5/5

Nico Davidson

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