Analyzing the evolutive process of an artist of a band tends to be a journey full of debacles and details that are indeed interesting. Taking into consideration the personal issues that every artist deals with while writing an album is a very impactful and important aspect of how the final product comes out and one thing is for certain, COVID-19 and all that we lived through 2020 will be a heavy influence in all the albums that we listen to this year. Soen’s Imperial (Silver Lining Music) is no exception. An album as captivating as their last effort Lotus (Silver Lining Music), the Swedish band is expanding what could already be considered their signature sound: strong, beautiful, and catchy ballads that mix heavy sections here and there. Maybe, as mentioned, it is because of all the different situations that everyone went through last year that made the band go through a route that is perceived as sentimental but, more than anything, it feels real.
I want to open this review by saying that the talent and obvious skills of all the musicians involved in this record is undeniable, these are musicians that have been proving over and over again why they are recognized as some of the top artists in their genre and why they have the following they have. Having said that, this solo album by John Petrucci (Dream Theater) was not for me. And though we can argue that this kind of album is for a specific sector in the Progressive Metal realm, I truly cannot digest music that is made to show off the skills that “x” or “y” musician has in their instrument and that is my perception of Terminal Velocity (Sound Mind Music/The Orchard).
Consistency is the best word that can be used to describe a band like The Ocean. After releasing the critically acclaimed album Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic (Metal Blade Records/Pelagic Records) in 2018, the Germans come back with can possibly be a solid candidate for album of the year in Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic (Metal Blade Records/Pelagic Records). And it’s just that this band keeps raising the musical and creative bars that are out there. They are not afraid to crush any musical barriers and do love to delve into unknown territories and as a result, they always come out on the winning end of it.
If there was a way to tell how an album would sound just by knowing who the musicians that are playing in it are, it wouldn’t be possible to do so with Mcstine & Minnemann‘s self-titled, debut album (McStine & Minnemann). The duo consists of multi-instrumentalist Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats) and Randy McStine (Lo-Fi Resistance). In all honesty, I had never heard of Mcstine or Lo-Fi Resistance, but I am familiar with Minnemann’s work, particularly of his work with Steven Wilson. If you’re wondering why it could not be possible to guess how this album is going to sound based on the knowledge that these two musicians are working together, well the reason is that Minnemann really is a very versatile musician that can play a lot of genres that do not necessarily fall in the realm of Metal. Continue reading
If you clicked the link to read this review is because somehow you have heard about King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, or because the name was too odd for you to pass on discovering what the hell Is a band called liked that being covered in a Metal magazine, well let me first tell you that this band with the weird name released the critically acclaimed Thrash Metal album Infest the Rats’ Nest (Flightless Records) in 2019 which added a new genre in their vast catalog of albums that include a wide range of genres that go from psychedelic to garage, to progressive rock, among others. On the other hand, if you have heard King Gizz, you know exactly what I’m talking about and you probably agree with me that this band is one of the most creative musical acts in the world at this moment.Continue reading
We’re three months in 2020 already and a lot of crazy stuff has happened. Dealing with all the craziness of being an election year, Coronavirus, natural disasters (Puerto Rico had hundreds of earthquakes for the whole month of January), and a bunch of other strange situations seem to keep happening every day. But the question coming in the year was: “are the music releases going to keep coming as solid as they did in 2019?” and I believe that Intronaut’sFluid Existential Inversions (Metal Blade Records) assure us that the year will still be as solid as the previous ones where we’ve been getting real quality music from bands that are consistent. Intronaut gives us a very interesting album that proves the musical dexterity of each one of the members of this Los Angeles band. Adding the services from drummer Alex Rudinger (ex-The Haarp Machine/ex-The Faceless) gives this record a major boost in the percussive side and makes the overall musical experience a very enjoyable one. Continue reading
Buckle up, you’re about to enter an epic journey. If you’re just like me, that gets into the music and just get chills by listening to certain melody arrangements and you just cry; yes, cry, then this album will probably lead you to that (maybe not necessarily crying, but you catch my drift). It’s not because the music is necessarily sad, this is not the case here, but rather from the excitement of what you’re listening to. Well, that was my initial reaction to Wilderun’s third album, Veil of Imagination (Self-Released), I literally couldn’t stop the tears coming out of my eyes in awe of what the information my brain was receiving. The first track ‘The Unimaginable Zero Summer’, my absolute favorite, by the way, it’s a summary of what you will get from this album. From epic choir vocals to great instrumentalization, this album surely brings a great variety of elements that will make any Progressive Metal fan jump in excitement.Continue reading
40 Years, Still Breaking The Wall
Ever wondered what makes a “classic band” classic? Have you ever sat down and play records of bands like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, etc. just to analyze the components of what makes them be as magnificent as they are? Even more, how is it that forty, fifty years later their music still as intact and as relevant as ever before? This is the case with Pink Floyd, especially when we think about that four classic albums run that they had in the mid-seventies. Albums like The Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, and Animals, brought us records that still are in the charts and are, basically, soundtracks of our current lifestyle. Continue reading
Mental health is a topic that many artists have engaged in recent times, from different perspectives and outlines, but when put into music, as an audience, we can be able to identify ourselves with it even more; it’s like having a soundtrack to your pain. This is exactly what Leprous brings with their new album Pitfalls (Inside Out Music). Keep in mind though, if you are a fan of the band and you’re looking for Heavy Progressive music, you should open your mind a bit, because the majority of this album is not heavy. Now, the fact that this is not a heavy album should not mislead you since this is probably one of the best-written albums of the year. There are tracks like ‘I Lose Hope’ and ‘By My Throne’ that are even danceable tracks (think House music and stuff in that vein) but there are tracks like ‘Foreigner’ and ‘The Sky is Red’ that have some riffing that characterize the heavy side of the band. Continue reading