This year has been as chaotic as anyone has ever seen. And for chaotic times we need good, solid, tight riffs, and Junior Bruce provides them on their album Pray For Death (Sludgelord Records). The Florida quintet brings an album with absolute bangers for fans of Stoner/Sludge Metal. Having a clash of different styles, Pray for Death is an album that reflects the collective anger society has against whatever anyone they choose to be mad about, still combining a certain melancholy that grows some of the most interesting aspects of Junior Bruce.
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
Have you ever heard a debut album from a band and wondered how they will, if possible, top their material in a follow-up record? Lesser Glow provides us an excellent example of consistency and development in their sophomore record Nullity (Pelagic Records), full of heavy, melodic, and huge wall of sounds that will keep you wanting more. The band, originated in Boston, Massachusetts, brings a different perspective to the Doom Metal world, adding the different influences of other sub-genres of Metal like Hardcore, Post-Hardcore, Post Rock, and more. Coming up from their amazing debut Ruined (Pelagic Records) Lesser Glow keeps bringing a fresh and new perspective in a genre that arguably has a lot of bands sounding the same. 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
As we are stuck at home wondering what to do with all this unprecedented free time, I believe that we should invest our time to catch up with all the releases that have come out this year. Actually, I have to get into that myself, there are a lot of releases that I have missed so far this year and Azusa’s Loop of Yesterdays (Solid State Records) was one of them. I’m glad I listened to this album though, it has a very interesting balance between really heavy Melodic Death Metal riffs and progressive/experimental segments that present big ambient soundscapes.
If you know, have interacted with me through social media, or have seen my list of top albums of 2019, you would already know that I’m an Opeth fanboy. I love, basically, everything that the band has released. You would also probably know that I’m a bass player and (yes, you guessed it!) Martin Méndez is my favorite bass player and one of my top inspirations to play the four-stringed instrument. So, when I heard that he was releasing a new Death Metal project, called White Stones, I was equally excited and confused. When talking about the release of the infamous Heritage (Roadrunner Records), Mikael Åkerfeldt, singer, songwriter, and guitar player from Opeth, stated that they wrote a Death Metal record as a follow up for Watershed (Roadrunner Records), which is their last heavy record, but Méndez talked him out of it stating that was not the music that he should be writing for Opeth. Can you understand my confusion now? Continue reading
Coronavirus, quarantines, lockdowns… This seems to be the only thing we are reading all through social media around the world. Though a very serious and sad situation (stay home!), there are other ways to battle the probable lack of activity that you may be going through at home and, if you feel adventurous, you should press play to Kilter‘s Axiom (Alter-Nativ). The Brooklyn trio composed of Kenny Grohowski (Imperial Triumphant) on drums, Ed Rosenberg III on sax, and Laurent David on bass brings a very exciting, weird record that combines the heaviness of their obvious Metal roots with the strange soundscapes that Jazz can bring. 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’s Fluid 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