Soen – Lykaia

Third albums. What a goddamn mystery. We’ve spoken about the unique challenge posed by them before on the blog but there’s never been any concise solution offered to their peculiar problem. Should bands double down on their established sound and “dig deeper” (like TesseracT’s Polaris for example) or throw everything to the wind and experiment wildly with their sound (like Karnivool’s Asymmetry for instance)? Both options entice with their advantages but both also hold pitfalls. Too often, bands simply don’t choose and try to walk a golden, middle round. This “secret” third option is extremely difficult to pull off but also hedges the band’s bets, since failing it carries less hazards. At worst, it leaves an album a little bit forgettable. Otherwise, this third choice skirts many of the potential disasters of the other two options. This “best worst case scenario” is exactly what Soen’s third release embodies.

Heavy Vanguard Episode 9: Krzysztof Penderecki // “Threnody To The Victims Of Hiroshima”

Normally, Heavy Vanguard has been about the album format, and giving significant releases of that size some much-needed attention. Today, however, we’re slightly tweaking that formula and instead covering a single composition: “Threnody To The Victims Of Hiroshima” by legendary (at least in modern classical circles) Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. For…

Hey! Listen to Black Peaks!

Look, I’m going to be straight up with you: if someone said to me, “Simon, you know what you need in your life? A band that sounds like the post-hardcore lovechild of Agent Fresco and Mastodon, with a little bit of indie rock influence a la O’Brother thrown in,” I probably would have agreed…