Nails - You Will Never Be One Of Us

Hardcore 19.06.2016

Another solid, brutal release in the genre of "show up 15 minutes late, miss first 3 bands". A few more sprinklings of death metal and doom riffs in this one, along with the grindy frantic intensity that Nails is known for. Be uplifted by the sheer optimism of songs like "Life Is A Death Sentence" and "Violence Is Forever" as you watch the world burn.

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Kekal - Multilateral

Avantgarde metal 23.08.2015

If you've heard Kekal before you understand that they are a weird Indonesian experimental band.
The production value on this is horribly raw and flat, but in a strangely endearing way. A few songs feature VOCALOID, which I assume from a google search is some sort of pillow waifu thing. There is also a prominent barf outro. From their bandcamp: "All musical contributions to this album are kept anonymous. Kekal has no official band members as of 2015." I don't understand, but I'll accept it. Recommended for fans of Unexpect (lots of chaotic electro abrasions mixed in), Sigh (esp. Imaginary Sonicscape), Mr. Bungle, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Ephel Duath, and Ved Buens Ende.
Highly recommended if you like Pestilence - Spheres or the raw vocoder days of Cynic.

Sleep Terror - Unihemispheria

Technical Progressive death metal 27.06.2015

I'm not sure what keeps instrumental tech-death musicians from sleeping at night, but as long they keep producing these fantastic insomnia-themed albums, I hope they never find rest. Bonus, better-produced versions of select tracks from 2006's Probing Tranquility. For the sleepless, fans of metal jazz fusion and these bands: Blotted Science, Cynic, Animals As Leaders, Exivious, Atheist, Pestilence, Chimp Spanner, Sky Sanctuary, Anup Sastry, Canvas Solaris, Cloudkicker.
Picked by: Introspekrieg
Bandcamp music player

IQ - The Road Of Bones

Light progressive rock 23.08.2014

The rhythm remains the same, as members change. IQ has always been one of those bands that fell into the medium of obscurity for me, strictly because they always played on the fringe of prog worship and never feigned actual progression. That was, until The Road of Bones.

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Anubis Gate - Horizons

Girlfriend Metal 19.04.2014

Following up their excellent self-titled uh... fifth album, most fans knew that this album was going to be a disappointment. Suffering the loss of a founding guitarist and drummer, the odds were on a steaming pile of Danish doo-doo. Yet somehow, this album comes out like a delicious wienerbrød. Still one of the only bands that I can never seem to figure out when songs are going to end or begin, the structures are interesting enough to avoid boring us to death with ordinary melodic prog/power metal. If you want a band that knows how to write great catchy songs without all the plague of pompousness that most modern prog metal suffers from, you may enjoy this.

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Last Chance To Reason - Level 3

Progressocore 10.03.2014

More than two years ago I highlighted the second level and now I'm back trying to serve as a pointer for this underrated album. With the disappointing new Cynic effort I find myself constantly returning to here, filling the void. Bye bye breakdowns, it appears the band is trying to distance themselves from the "core" label and present a more mature, intention-driven output. The cheese may be gone, but the fun remains the same. Subdued synths are more poignant when compared to 2, with the end result being a more balanced sound.
Cynic != new Cynic;
If Cynic || Between The Buried And Me || Protest The Hero rings true to you, listen to this album.

Caligula's Horse - The Tide, The Thief & River's End

Progressive Alternative Metal 09.11.2013

With their debut "Moments From Ephemeral City" in 2011, I wasn't sure if it was a one-off fluke or indicator of future greatness. Now that "The Tide, The Thief & River's End" is finally here, I am extremely happy to find that they have improved in every aspect and put out another solid album. For fans of Karnivool, Fair To Midland, Lunatic Soul, Haken, Opeth, Tool, and Leprous.


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Panzerballett - Tank Goodness

Jazz/Metal Fusion 15.11.2012

Timeframe: 47:37
Special Equipment: Tenor Saxophone
Ingredients: Latin-jazz, Grindcore, Hard-bop, Death metal, Disco-funk, Hardcore, 5 pounds cabbage
Process: Chop or grate the jazz compositions, coarsely. Sprinkle a bit of tight drumming to allow fermentation without rotting. Add the guitar and bass (NO KEYBOARD), experiment. Mix ingredients together and pack into crock. Should taste similar to Planet X, Step In Fluid, Mr. Bungle, miRthkon, Tribal Tech, Freak Kitchen. Enjoy.


Last Chance To Reason - Level 2

Run and gun side scrolling shoot-em-up 23.02.2012

One of those heard-of-em, will check out albums that simply flew under my radar last year. Touring with Animals As Leaders should have brought more exposure to this gem, but it somehow went unnoticed. Prog metal has seen it's fair share of concept albums, but a fully interactive concept album? Blurring the lines between music and gaming, LCTR has teamed up with indie game developer Tom Vine to create a playable version of the album. Rumored to be reminiscent of R-Type, Contra, and Super Metroid, this album already proves it will have a killer soundtrack. Recommend for fans of Protest The Hero, Cynic, Between The Buried And Me, SikTh, hell, I even hear some nice stuff for King Crimson fans in there. Allergy Warnings: -core, cheese, photosensitive seizures.
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
!J.O.O.E.!, Ag Fox
Bandcamp music player

Haken - Visions

Progressive Metal 27.09.2011

They're back, and with only a year since their spectacular debut, Visions oozes with enthusiasm. There is not enough space here to describe all the greatness offered in this effort, but trust me it's good. It'll keep you on your toes with surprises and the unexpected forays into different musical hemispheres. The tempo and mood changes flow seamlessly between emotive ballads and instrumental breaks. These moments of showmanship actually *cough* have a purpose in developing the song *cough*. The journey ends with an eccentric 22 min+ epic of dauntless proportions that will leave you craving repeat listens. So make a dramatic turn and pick this one up instead...

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Leprous - Bilateral

Progressive Metal 22.08.2011

A highly anticipated release from this up-and-coming Norwegian outfit, Leprous has exceeded almost insurmountable expectations. Their previous effort, Tall Poppy Syndrome, was thoroughly enjoyable but somewhat derivative (...Opeth). The off-beat brilliance hinted at before is fully realized and really shines with the dynamics of beautiful production. As the touring band for Ihsahn recently, it is appropriate that the man himself would make an appearance to add to the intensity of it all. Soaring vocals, great atmospheres, and techie musicianship make this a recommendation for fans of Arcturus, Devin Townsend and Shaolin Death Squad. (And Opeth... duh.)

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Appearance Of Nothing - All Gods Are Gone

Progressive Metal 13.04.2011

Coming from relative obscurity, this Swiss progressive metal group's album came as a pleasant surprise. While it doesn't hurt to get a little help from Dan Swanö and Devon Graves, these guys do "quite alright" in their own right. There are excellent compositions that keep you interested and some great melodies/ideas throughout for a very consistent album. This isn't cookie-cutter prog metal either, with some unpredictable diversions into power, heavy, folk and electronica for added zest. The songs evoke straightforward feelings of anger and despair that will connect more strongly with the listener than the more convoluted tendencies common in prog bands. Recommended for fans of Ayreon, Pagan's Mind, Scar Symmetry, and/or Vanden Plas.
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
Ag Fox, BloodTears

Fen - Epoch

Atmospheric Black Metal/Post Rock 07.03.2011

After their excellent full-length debut, this UK post/black metal outfit does not disappoint. While it may not be as extreme as the previous effort, there is more of a loose structure to the songs this time around. There is the classic rawness of black metal production paired with beautiful post-rock segues, with neither style becoming too oppressive in the mix. The contrast blends in these flavors and ends up with a nice organic feeling overall. The little things really add up, as you'll be noticing some great ideas throughout repeat listens (the keyboard atmospheres add a surprising, subtle touch). Of note is the passion that seeps through when listening to the songwriting, very moving. Fans of Agalloch, Alcest, Drudkh, and In The Woods... should not miss this.

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