It’s been twenty-two years since Liquid Tension Experiment, the Progressive Metal supergroup formed by Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic, The Winery Dogs) John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), and Tony Levin (King Crimson), released a record after their critically acclaimed album Liquid Tension 2 (Magna Carta). In this new album entitled LT3 (InsideOut Music) these musicians prove once again why they are part of the biggest bands in the genre and why they are considered to be among the best in their respective instruments and their craft.
Japan’s Sonic Flower began in the early 2000s as an offshoot of Church of Misery. They released one self-titled album in 2003 and then broke up in 2005 following some aborted recording sessions. Reforming briefly in 2007, only to break up again the same year, Sonic Flower lay dormant for 14 years until they finally reformed again in 2019. A full-length album with a new lineup including a vocalist is scheduled for later in 2021. To whet their fans’ appetite in the meantime, the band are first releasing Rides Again (Heavy Psych Sounds Records), which consists entirely of tracks recorded in 2005 from the aforementioned aborted sessions.
Let’s think of 2021 as the year that will reveal the ultimate artistic expression of all creators out there and, personally I am very excited with what the year promises pertaining to music releases especially in Metal. The year starts with the right foot with this release by Portugal’s Stoner Metal band Miss Lava and their fourth effort Doom Machine (Small Stone). This album explores how psychedelic and experimental sounds mix so well with Stoner Rock/Metal, with passages that go straight from heavy riffs into spacious soundscapes that will transport you somewhere else in the cosmos.
Weirdness. Riffs. Laughs. Beer. Beats. Smarts. The West Coast. Bass. Art. Singing. Rock N Roll. Grooves. Punk. Screams. Sludge.
These are some of the ingredients that make up just as small part of the majesty that is Melvins.
Idles have come on in leaps and bounds since their last album Joy As An Act of Resistance (Partisan Records). It’s not even been 5 years since they were playing 100 capacity venues, yet here they are today having sold out giant venues like Alexandra Palace in under a day. With two giant albums under their belt, the big question was how the Bristol band were going to not only top it, but maintain the astronomical growth they’ve been on for the past 3 years.
Midwestern progressive metal act, The Contortionist, return with another chapter in their transformation story. This particular collection of tracks making up a quick, yet most satisfying, EP is entitled Our Bones (eOne Music). While the group has moved on from their deathcore character, harsh vocals return to this release that brings some promise for future releases as well.Continue reading
Australia’s top extreme metal act, Thy Art is Murder, has returned in another aggressive deathcore release, Human Target (Nuclear Blast). This record is audible adrenaline up through the closing seconds and is the perfect length at thirty-eight minutes for ten tracks. The most rewarding part of this album, however, is that each track does enough differently to keep your attention.Continue reading
Something about EP releases in the past few years have left a bigger impact on me as a listener than full releases. The latest EP release from tech-death veterans Wormed, entitled Metaportal (Season of Mist), is no different in this regard. Four tracks spanning roughly sixteen minutes is a perfect “shock to the system” that is sure to bring in some new fans and turn them on to the rest of the band’s back catalog.Continue reading
In the glorious months of summer, some get excited for barbeque season or even the light-colored beers that are brewed by local craft breweries. I am a bit more inclusive as I enjoy a good barbeque, a cold beer, and upbeat music adding in some atmosphere. Fortunately, Bokassa has returned with their sophomore release in Crimson Riders (MVKA) and it perfectly compliments the summer mindset. Do not get it twisted though, this album is still a collection of heavy music so your backyard party will quickly turn into a rager.Continue reading
It’s not often I am interested in compilation releases with a multitude of artists, but Doombanomicon (Black Doomba) really took me by surprise. A collection of thirteen songs by thirteen different artists, all of which express some differing style of doom metal. Think of it as the doom metal subgenre dictionary done by some artists you may not know of quite yet. Oh and the album title is perfect thanks to the reference to the Necronomicon, also known as The Book of the Dead.Continue reading