As a part of the early djent movement of bedroom projects that also birthed the likes of TesseracT, the multinational Skyharbor, despite gaining a decent critical reception, almost feel like the forgotten sons in comparison to many of their peers. Two excellent albums in Blinding White Noise and Guiding Lights (both Basick) saw a particularly innovative approach within that sphere, with increasing progressive influences throughout, yet didn’t see them quite reach the heights of the likes of the aforementioned TesseracT or Monuments. Continue reading
Ghost Cult once again brings you “End Of Year” lists, memories, and other shenanigans from our favorite bands, partners, music industry peers, and other folks we respect across the world. In this post, Gavin Bushell of Godsticks share his Top 10 Albums Of 2017. Continue reading
Despite this being a début release, the name Schiermann is highly regarded in the contemporary progressive metal/djent community. At the helm is guitarist Chris Schiermann, who over the course of a decade of recording and writing music has befriended many titans in the genre, with the likes of Animals As Leaders, DispersE and TesseracT, and has taken inspiration from a wide range of influences and styles from such contemporary metal maestros to the virtuoso guitar players, most notably like Randy Rhoads. A wide palette that is abundantly clear on his début solo project release Schiermann (Purple Sun), which includes a plethora of guest appearances from such alumni as mentioned and thus offers a vibrant mix and character.Continue reading
Polish and English progressive rock and metal quartet Disperse returns to present their third studio album Foreword (Season of Mist). This band may take inspiration from bands such as Pink Floyd, and Dream Theater, but it ends up with a very modern sound , in some parts similar to pop bands such as Kensington, but with a more progressive bent to their music. Continue reading
Dallas instrumental outfit Polyphia will be releasing a remastered and repackaged version of their debut album Muse on April 21, 2015 via Headphone Music/Equal Vision Records. The album was produced by Nick Sampson [Of Mice & Men, Asking Alexandria]. Stream the music video for “Finale” here.
The band says:
“We’re very excited to be re-releasing our debut, Muse, through Headphone Music / Equal Vision Records! The re-release features 11 remastered tracks with all new artwork designed by our very own Tim Henson,” shares the band. “We’re stoked to be on the EVR roster with the likes of The Dear Hunter, and alumni such as Circa Survive, Coheed and Cambria, and Portugal. The Man.”
2. Sweet Tea (ft. Aaron Marshall of Intervals)
3. Champagne (ft. Nick Johnston)
4. Aviator (ft. Jason Richardson of Chelsea Grin)
5. The Jungle (ft. Jakub Zytecki of Disperse)
7. Mood Swing
8. Hourglass (ft. Nick Sampson of I Am Abomination)
9. James Franco
10. Baditude (ft. Mario Caramena & Erick Hansel of CHON)
This Spring, Polyphia will perform as direct support to Dance Gavin Dance, with additional support from Hail The Sun and Stolas. All upcoming tour dates can be found below.
Polyphia – festival appearances
Mar 20: South By So What?! – Grand Prairie, TX
Apr 10: Texas Independent Fest – Austin, TX
Dance Gavin Dance w/ Polyphia, Hail The Sun and Stolas
Apr 14: Chain Reaction – Anaheim, CA
Apr 15: Nile Theatre – Mesa, AZ
Apr 17: Korova – San Antonio, TX
Apr 18: Red 7 – Austin, TX
Apr 19: The Rail Club – Fort Worth, TX
Apr 20: Scout Bar – Houston, TX
Apr 22: Backbooth – Orlando, FL
Apr 23: Culture Room – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Apr 24: The Orpheum – Tampa, FL
Apr 25: The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
Apr 26: Empire – Springfield, VA
Apr 28: Baltimore Soundstage – Baltimore, MD
Apr 29: Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA
Apr 30: Middle East Downstairs – Cambridge, MA
May 01: Webster Hall (Marlin Room) – New York, NY
May 02: GameChangerWorld – Howell, NJ
May 03: Mr. Smalls Theatre – Millvale, PA
May 04: Majestic Theatre – Detroit, MI
May 05: The Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL
May 06: Vega – Lincoln, NE
May 08: Jub Jub’s – Reno, NV
There must be a written rule in the official guide to playing in a Tech/Progressive metal band: “Must suddenly lose and replace your vocalist.” Indianapolis’ own prog magicians The Contortionist are the latest to fall to the vocalist trapdoor with Jonathan Carpenter leaving the fold. The follow up rule must surely state that the replacement is considered a better build than the previous (until they eventually depart as well). Well in the case of new vocalist Mike Lessard (Last Chance To Reason), that sentiment rings very apt.
Starting off as lot more ferocious prospect on their debut full length Exoplanet, The Contortionist have morphed and adapted into something a lot more beautiful and thought provoking. Language (eOne) in fact shows a much greater maturity in songwriting with a rich cauldron of inspiration. Opening with the hypnotic passage ‘The Source’, it creates an air of ambience and weightlessness before moving into a drifting variety of Djent reminiscent of DispersE. From here it moves from jazz tinged randomness through splatterings of heaviness back to softer moments, all managing to flow with cohesion.
The real show stealing performance however comes from Lessard who delivers a tremendous feat of versatility, managing to acclimatize to each and every style from his trance like delicate notes when the music is at its most frail to a fierce bark at its most aggressive, and all with superb technique.
Yes, The Contortionist may have fallen to the Tech Metal vocalist issue that makes Spinal Tap look secure with drummers; but here the change has only elevated them further. Language should prove a real benchmark for progressive metal in terms of its limitless capabilities and should appeal to both fans of tech metal, and the likes of Sound Of Contact and the likes of Riverside.
This is one special band.