Listen, guys, this opening statement probably isn’t going to be the most logical thing ever said about a Toxic Holocaust album, but Primal Future: 2019‘s biggest issue may just be that it’s stuck in the 1980s. Yeah, I know that love for Reagan era Thrash Metal is the house that Toxic Holocaust has built and resided in since their inception so save your comments. I mean Primal Future: 2019 has more reverence for that decade than Stranger Things, The Goldbergs and Michael J. Fox combined. Continue reading
Tommy Stewart, lynchpin of Doom outfits Hallows Eve, Bludy Gyres and Dyrewulf, is not a man to allow moss to sprout betwixt his tootsies. After last year’s mammoth Bludy Gyres contribution to Rope Enough For Two (Black Doomba Records), their split with Dayglo Mourning, comes Negative Wall: a new project formed with long-time cohort Dennis Reid and guitarist Don Cole. Continue reading
Last time around, 2015’s The Color Before The Sun (300) saw New York progressive rockers Coheed and Cambria abandon the lavish story arc of their previous seven albums and move away from the polished and heroic approach they had made their own, ploughing a more straightforward alternative rock furrow. Whether it was an attempt to attain new fans, a one-off experiment, or simply a stylistic change that didn’t quite work, nonetheless, long-time supporters of the band will be pleased to hear that the fantasy conceptualists have returned to what they know best. Continue reading
In the year 2015, and with Phased Plasma Rifles set cautiously to stun, Austin thrashers Expander announced themselves to the multiverse with a self-titled, independently released single, and their Laws of Power (Night Rhythms Recordings) six-track EP. Now, having woken from cryostasis, and with weapons set firmly to disintegrate, the Texan four-piece return with their full-length début Endless Computer (Nuclear War Now! Productions). Continue reading
Industrial music has recently had quite resurgence when it comes to popularity and creative output. The likes of Rammstein and Nine Inch Nails have maintained huge, euphoric fan support throughout their careers (with the latter of course reforming in recent years), whilst the likes of Combichrist have continued to show just how diverse and immediate a style it can be. Whilst not the household name of some of their aforementioned peers, 3Teeth certainly warrant as much praise for flying the Industrial flag into a new generation; having been handpicked to support Tool on the back of their début self-titled album (Artoffact Records); a tour that delayed the workings of a follow-up which only now finally sees the light of day. Continue reading
2017 will be seen as a monumental year for both Arjen Anthony Lucassen and for Ayreon; the band and its fanatical fan base. Significantly it will mark the first live performances by Ayreon (and a very rare live appearance by the infamously shy and reclusive Lucassen), but also sees a brand new album that revisits the conceptual narrative of one of the band’s most beloved albums, 01011001 (InsideOut). Showing a return to the sci-fi storyline of said album, The Source (Mascot) in fact acts as a prequel piece, and is the most refined and strongest album they have released for some time. Continue reading
It’s hard to believe there was a time when Voivod took top billing above the likes of Soundgarden and Faith No More, but in 1990 that’s exactly what happened. The Canadian Thrash Metal pioneers were at the top of their game and seemed almost unstoppable, their lofty position due in no small part to the trifecta of albums which had preceded the release they were touring at the time – 1989’s Nothingface (MCA); an unholy trio of seminal albums that have been lovingly re-mastered and re-released by BMG. Continue reading
Despite what many conservative fans may argue, as a general rule Black Metal has an ethos that heralds unbridled evolution and progression, harking back to its primary roots and the uniqueness of the original bands that put it on the map. In recent years we have seen just how varied, bold and downright madcap Black Metal bands can be when it comes to pushing, and even downright shattering, genre constraints through the likes of Deathspell Omega and Ihsahn. Continue reading
Formed in 2004 by Zach Gammis and Andy Gentile, An Endless Sporadic have endured a somewhat strange and unique existence thus far. Their brand of vividly obscure instrumental progressive rock has already been featured in high-profile video games, most notably the inclusion of the mind-boggling noodling of “Impulse” on Guitar Hero 3 garnering them some notoriety. Continue reading
German technical death metallers Obscura have returned to produce a stellar album with their new release Akroasis on Relapse Records.
There are some really strong songs on display right from ‘Sermon of the Seven Suns’ which releases barrage of fast blasting beats, intense riffs and basslines. The songwriting does have a more notably Prog feel to it throughout. Tracks swirl around with the familiar alien feel with each instrument taking it’s turn in order to showcase the individual talents on display. Credit to some amazing production here.
Also in the mix are some Cynic-inspired jazzier elements thrown in, especially in ‘The Monist’ which serve to keep the listener interested and the use of slower sections and space demonstrate a confidence that allow the album to breathe. Throughout the album too as evident on title track ‘Akroasis’, and ‘Ten Sephiroth’ are the kind of blistering solo’s that make my fingers sore just listening.
‘Ode to the Sun’ opens up with some pumelling drums and percussion and a low end roaring vocals, taking a slow approach that the previous tracks it makes more use of syncopated drum rolls interspersed with the blast, slow sci-fi opera-esque breakdowns add depth and complexity to the already compositions which will appeal to their more proggier fans.
‘Fractal Dimension’ is a storming showcase of their tech side, there’s no doubting that Obscura are at their best when playing at full-throttle, the speed being emphasised by the contrasting slower elements in their compositions. ‘Perpetual Infinity’ is a good standout track with some strong sci-fi overtones, tight riffing, and spacey vocals which keep the foot tapping.
However, it’s the last track which takes the album which has up to now been a damn good and pushes it up a level. ‘Weltsteele’ seems the most solid realisation of the sound they are going for with the album as a whole. It really is the standout track by a considerable margin. A track which has a life all of its own, which breathes, and sways and tells a story. A mix of beauty and beast which stand apart from the rest of the album.
This is a great record, a mix of styles and a notable shift towards the Prog feel is welcome. ‘Weltsteele’ which steals the show to such an extent it could almost render the rest of the album irrelevant.
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