Persefone are no newcomers to metal, but they do stand in the shadow of their previous release, The Spiritual Migration. This album, lauded by many (including us) as a masterpiece of modern progressive metal, completely destroys any but two or three other releases in its own genre. It was, and remains, fresh, surprising, intimately familiar and yet, somehow, irreverent at the same time. Therefore, when the band announced a crowdfunding campaign for its follow up last year, titled Aathma, breaths were held across the community. Can Persefone achieve one of the two options above? That is, can they either recreate something close to The Spiritual Migration or, failing that, depart from that monumental creation into something just as good?
Last week, I spent some time (re)introducing you to Canada’s Slyde, a young and returning band which produces fun, energetic and well made progressive metal. Some names, like Coheed and Cambria and Mandroid Echostar were tossed around, setting the bar pretty high for Slyde’s Back Again. Luckily, I now get to premiere the album, enabling me to put my money where my mouth is; scroll down below to get your own taste of Slyde’s upbeat, intricate and high-octave prog!
One of the most unique and consistent contemporary avant-garde bands, The Necks are perhaps most notable for carving out and perfecting their own meditative niche. On the surface, the Australian group’s roster solicits expectations for a standard jazz trio – Chris Abrahams (piano, organ), Tony Buck (drums, percussion) and Lloyd Swanton (bass) seem to hearken back to the golden age of bare-bones bop and bandleaders like Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk. But these Aussies differ in how far they stretch their jazz roots into the avant-garde, comparable to but far beyond albums like John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and Pharaoh Sander’s Karma. Though there’s a distinctly transcendental, spiritual vibe to The Necks’ music, the trio’s approach to this style is heavily informed by the sparseness of artists like Evans and Monk, with a considerable focus on minimalism, improvisation and ambiance that stretches their musical atmosphere from a smoky, luxurious piano lounge into a general ether of organic landscapes.
This episode is just too good. Seriously, just listen to it. What does it contain? Edgy cultural/political jokes, a history of black metal and racism, an extended cool people section shitposting on philosophers like Kant, and much more. I’ll just tag some of the relevant bands here for SEO purposes, and the left is at your own peril. Abandon all hope, we who enter here. Warbringer, Suicide Silence, As I Lay Dying, Dream Theater, Overkill, Nidingr feat Myrkur, Sikth, Megadeth, Angra, Killswitch Engage. There you go.