Progressive Metal band Vovoid have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help them finance their official documentary film. Establishing the Québec prog and thrash scene on the map in the mid-1980s, the bands’ mix of thrash , complex progressive rock and sci-fi has made them a beloved band for 35 years. Now they have joined forces with metal film director Felipe Belalcázar to make the band’s official documentary, “We Are Connected”.
If you can rely on one thing it’s that legendary Norwegian twosome Darkthrone will continue to not give a flying fig about convention or what people think about them until the day they die. No live shows since 1996, an early decisive leap from death metal to black metal, a total lack of adherence to any kind of rule book, and a succession of albums which basically read as unadulterated love letters dedicated to the music on which they grew up. If you don’t get Darkthrone by now then you never will.
Los Angeles-based Progressive Metal band Kesem will released tyheir new album Post Terra via Sentient Records on September 24th. Muscially brilliant, and politically conscious, Kesem is a rising band you need to know for 2021. Althought they are focused on forging their own unique path creatively, fans of bands such as Dream Theater, Voivod, Opeth, Neal Morse, Spock’s Beard, Cynic and others will become quick lovers of this group. Check out their new single, “No Future,” exclusively at Ghost Cult!
The biggest challenge for prodigious talents Henry, Eli, and Abe Ismert is the need to shift the narrative from discussion around their ages (18, 16 and 13 respectively) and their undoubted potential to the types of plaudits and eulogies that adorn the releases of the artists they aspire to be considered in the same breath as; the Mastodon’s and Gojira’s of our twisted, alternative Metal world. Previously released via Bandcamp in the COVID-restricted summer of 2020, the brothers from Kansas City are re-issuing their debut Grand Currents (self-released) on the back of a groundswell of support for singles ‘Sediment’ and ‘Foundation’, this time accompanied by a physical release.
An album of peaks and valleys, when flying high Grand Currents achieves that aim of refocusing the story to one of deserved acclaim. A twisted post-Thrash underbelly is a tough core that provides a grounding to a progressive modern Metal mentality, holding the expansive sensibilities on a tight leash that the brothers may do better to loosen on further releases. For it is those moments that seek to crack the skye that do Hammerhedd the most credit: halfway through ‘Drone’ and the Voivod-ian cortex wraps itself around a rhythmic Tool-esque build, or the discordant judder of the back-nine of ‘Sediment’. When they indulge their musical expressionism they really show their hand and talk of potential begins to be realised.
Yet, their greatest weapon also highlights their greatest shortcoming. While Henry Ismert is expansive and able to find twisted barbs in his guitar work, exploring spaces that Mastodon and Helmet have opened up, his rudimentary vocal output undermines both the finished artistic product, and the bands reach and appeal. To make the step that Hammerhedd (and let’s be honest, the band name doesn’t help either but we’re probably too far down that line to unwind that one…) could potentially make and to invade the alternative conscience in the ways the aforementioned other Progressive Metal leading lights have, they will need to find a way to bring the vocal performance up to the technical level of the other instruments on display, in a way the ideas and musical vision deserves.
Still, time is on their side. And Grand Currents possesses more than just flashes of potential. It does intimate there is more to come, yes, which can only be a good thing, and it is also a valid and worthwhile investment of your time, even if only to have been onboard for if and when they do find a way to raise the vocals to the level of the other instruments somewhere down the line.
Buy the album here: https://linktr.ee/hammerhedd
6 / 10
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Sacramento thrashers Psychosomatic pile on the riffs with their sixth full-length studio album The Invisible Prison (Nefarious Industries). Formed in 1988 by bassist/vocalist and sole remaining original member, Jeff Salgado, the current line up is completed by guitarists Daniel Mills and Viktor Hansen, and the returning Toby Swope on drums.Continue reading
Formed in 1989, but with less than a handful of full-length studio albums to their name, Canadian thrashers Entropy aren’t exactly the most prolific act in the universe. A seventeen-year absence from 1995 to 2012, and a gap of eight years since their previous album hasn’t helped, but whenever the two remaining original members, vocalist Ger Schreinert, and guitarist Dan Lauzon, do eventually get together, the results are always worth waiting for.Continue reading
After a four year absence (a handful of single releases aside), Pennsylvania-based Black Crown Initiate return with their third full-length release, Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape (Century Media). From black metal to progressive rock via blasts of technical death metal, BCI effortlessly combine a whole range of differing styles resulting in their most captivating and assured record to date.
Taking its title from the 1965 Jean-Luc Goddard movie of the same name, and reverberating with echoes of Fritz Lang‘s 1927 silent classic, Metropolis, everything about Alphaville (Century Media), the latest album from New York trio Imperial Triumphant, is costumed heavily in film noir science fiction. Its unique atmosphere furthered by impressive cover art from Zbigniew M. Bielak, the Polish artist noted for his work with Swedish act, Ghost.Continue reading
Ghost Cult recently caught up with Zachary Ilya Ezrin of Imperial Triumphant over Zoom ti discusses their new album Alphaville, which is due out July 31st, 2020 via Century Media. Zachary discussed the surprising global acclaim of Vile Luxury, the creation of the new album, how Zach – drummer Kenny Grohowski and bassist Steven Blanco approach composing, the theme of the new album, working with guests such as Tomas Haake (Meshuggah), Phlegeton (Wormed) on guest vocals, Yoshiko Ohara (ex-Bloody Panda) as part of the choirs, RK Halvorson as part of the Barbershop quartet, Sarai Chrzanowski as part of the choirs, Andromeda Anarchia (Folterkammer, Dark Matters) as part of the choirs, J Walter Hawke on the trombone, and Colin Marston on guitars, choosing the distinctive cover songs that close the album, opinions on other costumed groups such as KISS and Ghost, and what comes next for the band. Pre-order Alphaville here and check out our chat. Continue reading