These posts are written by: Ahmed Hasan

Hey! Listen to Mystery Weekend!

Considering the prog metal trajectory they’ve been on for just shy of a decade now, it’s easy to forget that Canadian stalwarts Protest the Hero started out their career as a punk band. Of course, the punk roots are still intermittently noticeable throughout their post-Kezia discography — take the verses in “Spoils”, for instance — but for the most part, it’s plainly apparent that the band have comfortably adapted to a more technical, progressive sound over the years. In light of this, it’s actually somewhat surprising in retrospect that it took until 2017 for a more punk-oriented side project to arise from the band, but we’re now presented with Mystery Weekend, a three-piece featuring vocalist Rody Walker and drummer Mike Ieradi from Protest alongside guitarist/bassist Dan Hay.

Samskaras — Asunder

As has been discussed on the podcast twice now, the French Canadian death metal scene has continued to be unbelievably innovative and prolific for over two decades now. Propped up by a roster of key musicians who often have multiple projects to their respective names, it goes without saying that the scene has birthed entirely new approaches to tech death. Just last year, we were treated to stellar releases from both long-established acts (Gorguts) and equally excellent debut albums (First Fragment) — but it appears the scene insists on being the gift that keeps on giving well into 2017 as well.

Enter Samskaras, a two piece featuring multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Eric Burnet of Derelict alongside drummer Alexandre Dupras of Unhuman. At its core — as one might expect — the debut EP Asunder is built on the same fundamentals underlying most of the French Canadian scene, both in its approach to technicality as well as its sense of melody.

Endless Sacrifice – Suffering, Metal, and Identity Politics, Part 2

Welcome back to Endless Sacrifice, our ongoing look at the role which the ideal of suffering plays within metal. Our opening article focused on content analysis, taking a look at the ideal of suffering as it comes across from the content which metal is concerned with. Lyrics provided a fertile ground for exploration because they are the standard which music raises in order to convey its meaning (although we saw that a grain of salt is indeed needed when considering them). Today we discuss the instrumental side of things. Approaching this topic was not the easiest thing to do at first; after all, how does one relate strictly musical content to the concept of suffering within metal? Where to even begin, when what one gleans from a certain musical moment is nowhere near objective? What this apparent divide necessitates instead is a re-framing of the question itself.

PREMIERE: Our Oceans Release Music Video For “Tangled”

“Tangled” depicts what is unfortunately all too familiar a feeling for many of us: that of the intense heartbreak that follows similarly intense love, and the difficulty of coping with it as the days go by. To be trapped within the confines of nostalgia, dreams, and longing, with no apparent way out — spending sleepless nights trying to rationalize what has come to pass, struggling to let go of it in the first place.

Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason

Most metal bands do not have particularly lengthy discographies; this is fact. Aside from the obvious yet unfortunate reason that being in a metal band generally isn’t the most sustainable career path for a musician, the scene itself is in constant flux, and trends often die as soon as they arise -=- or, perhaps more frequently, evolve so rapidly that those who can’t keep up simply fall by the wayside. Swedish giants Meshuggah, however, occupy a particularly unique niche within that context: having spawned legions of imitators and even entire subgenres, the band are one of the few that have truly established themselves as being ahead of the curve in their two plus decades of operation. Despite this, they have somehow retained a sense of consistency throughout their numerous releases, staying true to their original goal of taking all sorts of musical deviance — particularly in a rhythmic sense — to all sorts of extremes.