ALBUM REVIEW: Hail Spirit Noir – Eden in Reverse

When Greek innovators Hail Spirit Noir spewed forth in recorded anger eight years ago it was with tones of the Aegean gracing a strange brew of Blackened Prog Metal. Fourth long-player Eden in Reverse (Agonia Records) sees the completion of a gradual metamorphosis into total Prog, with the absorption of the band’s live musicians transforming the unit into a sextet. Continue reading

Arctangent Postponed to 2021, Ticket Rollovers and Refunds Available

More pain for the festival world as Arctangent, the fest of all things progressive and tech metal, has been postponed until 2021. The festival organizers have posted a statement as well as an info link for fans looking for information. We are looking forward to the 2021 version of the fest. Continue reading

A Letter to Neil Peart

Dear Neil,

I’m writing this letter and Permanent Waves is playing in the background. You don’t know me and, with your passing on the 7th January 2020, I guess we will have to make our acquaintance in the next life. Continue reading

Dream Theater Announces an Early 2020 Tour of Europe

Dream Theater, riding high on their 2019 release of Distance Over Time (InsideOut Music) and their 20th anniversary live tours supporting Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory, the band has announced new tour dates of Europe for early 2020. The band will perform again in the “Evening with…” format. The 28-date leg will see the band traverse 16 countries, including the UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, and many more. Full dates are below and information on tickets for all upcoming shows, as well as VIP packages, can be found below. Tickets go on sale at 10 am BST on Friday 13th September.  Continue reading

One Year Ago The Dillinger Escape Plan Played Their Final Show

It has been a year since the final notes of The Dillinger Escape Plan’s final live performance of their twenty-year career rang out at a sweaty, bloodstained, tears and beers soaked Terminal Five in New York City. While bands reunite all the time and no one should ever say “never”, this one retirement is pretty final. Ghost Cult staff was in attendance all three nights for the final dates of their illustrious career, it still felt so surreal at the time. As Ghost Cult scribe Hans Lopez penned so eloquently in his review of 2016’s Dissociation (Party Smasher Inc.) Dillinger was one of the most polarizing, but also most important bands of all time. Those final shows were performances for the ages. Thoughtfully planned, immaculately performed, with the highest levels of musicianship, a total disregard for the human condition, and most of all fun. Dillinger proved in the final throws of ecstasy and art that music can be dangerous, fun, and emotional all at once, without selling out or sacrificing anything. Our worlds are still rocked a year later., and no, it’s still not okay that they are gone. Thanks for the bruises on our bodies and scars in our minds, Dillinger Escape Plan. Continue reading

Mayhem – Grand Declaration Of War (Reissue)

It is without a second’s hesitation that Norwegian second-wave Black Metal deities Mayhem are regarded as one of the pinnacles of the style: as one of the seminal acts. Their full length debut De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (Deathlike Silence) is rightly acclaimed as one of the very best – if not the actual best, which is my personal opinion depending on whether I’ve listened to that or In The Nightside Eclipse (Candlelight) most recently – Black Metal albums, while earlier releases Deathcrush (Posercorpse) and Live In Leipzig (Obscure Plasma) have also attained legendary status for their wild, raw nihilistic fury. Continue reading

Atlas : Empire – The Stratosphere Beneath Our Feet

With a name that will annoy grammar pedants the world over Atlas : Empire (yes, the gap is intentional) is an Alternative Rock band with a difference – the Scottish trio’s alt.rock comes complete with large servings of Prog, Metal, and Grunge. With three EPs under their belt since their formation in 2011, December 2018 sees the release of their debut album The Stratosphere Beneath Our Feet (self-released/Bandcamp). Continue reading

Haken – Vector

Oft breathed by those in the know in the same exhalations as Dream Theater, Leprous and Devin Townsend, London’s Haken frequently pass below the radar of those outside of Prog spheres. New album Vector (InsideOut Music) is, however, the fifth in the band’s ten-year existence and shows a level of accomplishment to surpass those more notable names. Continue reading

The Ocean – Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

It’s been five years since Pelagial, the last album from German harsh progressives The Ocean. The quartet, again referring to themselves as The Ocean Collective and now with Mattias Hagerstrand on bass duties, is renowned for its prolific output as well as incendiary live shows, so the anticipation for eighth studio album Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic (Metal Blade Records) is huge. Continue reading