Hey! Listen to Whispered!

Whispered hail from Finland, but don’t tell them that. Spiritually, the hearts of the all-Finn band beat in time with the samurai warriors of Japan’s yesteryear. Whispered gallop and scream themselves hoarse like a charged-up Ensiferum, but with the help of traditional Japanese folk instruments like the koto and shamisen instead of the more generic ensemble many folk metal bands like Ensiferum employ. It’s easy to assume that Whispered are a gimmick band, desperately scraping for relevance in a crowded modern melodeath scene with the distinctive twang of their shamisen. But Whispered don’t appropriate the ancient sounds of Japan lightly; the thick tapestry of Japanese music and culture weaves throughout every stitch of their newest release, Metsutan – Songs of the Void.

Allegaeon – Proponent for Sentience

The proliferation of a metal band is a clear sign of its growing popularity, but it could also be a reason for apprehension regarding its music’s quality. On the other hand, one can consider the longevity of a given band as an indication of quality, but that would only cast a shadow of zealous snobbery and faux-refinement. Truth is, quality in music is more likely to be a function of countless random things including, but not limited to, personal taste. There are countless examples of bands exploding onto the international scene with superb debuts only to fizzle away later and become weaker shadows of themselves. On the other hand, there are bands who start off strong but are a work in progress in terms of finding their own sound and standing out from the hordes; Colorado’s Allegaeon is one fine example of the latter.

An Evening With Andrew Bird At The Jay Pritzker Pavilion [September 7th, 2016]

After getting over the initial shock of my words “No, I haven’t heard of him before,” my fellow photographer quickly assured me that this should would not leave me disappointed. For a moment, he paused and set aside his own duty of being at the show to review it and photograph it like I was. He began to tell me the history, from start to finish, of Andrew Bird. So many details of Mr. Bird’s talent in whistling, use of instruments and stage personality. He promised me that I would walk away thoroughly impressed as a new fan. I readied my camera and caressed anxious excitement to my waiting.

49 – TECH DEATH EXTRAVAGANZA

Fellow tech death enthusiast Ahmed joins me this week and we geek out about tech death for over an hour! Since Eden isn’t cool like us, we don’t get a chance to do this while he’s around, so we really went deep with this opportunity! We discuss some news first, like new music/content from Opeth, Meshuggah, Ion Dissonance, Anaal Nathrakh, Astral Path, VOLA, and an interesting Patreon by The Reign of Kindo. Then we go into tech death, how it has evolved historically and geographically; what its watershed moments were, and we discuss some of the most important and influential albums in the genre. Enjoy!

Opeth: Not the First Musical Act to Piss Off Their Fans

The wait is over. The release date for Opeth’s latest, Sorceress, is almost upon us; and with it, the latest round in the controversy that has dogged them for three albums now. “What happened to the death growls?” “Why aren’t these guys heavy anymore?” “Opeth sucks now.” These are not opinions that I personally share, as I’m huge fan of Pale Communion. That said, Heritage is certainly not their best record, or even one of their top 5. In fact, it may even be their weakest. No shame there, given the ridiculous quality of their complete discography. Time will tell how successful and well-regarded Sorceress is, though early indications are that your opinion on Sorceress will likely mirror your opinion on Pale Communion. The two tracks released in advance, the title track and “Will O’ The Wisp” certainly strongly suggest this.

But they aren’t the first band to release a record that has the fans howling with rage.

Hey! Listen To Maneli Jamal!

For the comparatively niche space it occupies, there’s just something about solo fingerstyle acoustic guitar music where literally no one I’ve met seems to actively dislike it. Sure, some may be disinterested in hearing music that involves nothing more than just a single acoustic guitar, but most people will happily admit that it sounds pretty good at the very least. As originally popularized by