If you were to tell teenager Eden that he’d one day write about a pop-punk band with enthusiasm, he would have laughed in your face and called you a poser or something stupid like that. Luckily, I’ve worked hard on shedding my edgy teenage persona (unlike so many people in the metal scene) and can today enjoy a genre that’s often rightfully maligned but which also contains plenty of great music. Which brings me to Tiny Moving Parts, one of the best and most moving bands in the genre. Their approach to pop-punk, very much influenced by the late 90’s and the mid 00’s, when the genre enjoyed an MTV fueled explosion, is spliced with math rock influenced, adding much to the variety of what can be a highly repetitive genre. To hear more of how that works, head on down below!
These posts are written by: Eden Kupermintz
Even a cursory glance at our biweekly playlist updates will reveal that there is a great deal of variety among our…
Sometimes, you just need something nasty and slow in your life. As winter has finally made its appearance here in Israel, I’ve been looking for that certain crushing something. Lo and behold, Geomancer are here to give me a hand. These guys are from Northern England and, if you’ve been keeping track for the past year or so, this should give you a good idea into the type of dirty metal they make. Their Khatt Al-Raml (“sand cutting”, a technique very much prominent in Middle Eastern mysticism and geomancy) is just shy of an hour and packed back to back with monstrously heavy riffs and a good sense for groove, melding funereal doom, stoner metal and just plain stank into one crushing whole. And it was released a week ago, which makes it perfect for a post. So here we are! Head on down below for your first taste of what Geomancer can do.
You know the part: the drums, thick and resonating, pick up pace, the bass licks in anticipation of the crescendo and all of a sudden the synths are there, Hammond goodness washing over the soaring guitar parts as the vocals explode into a high note. This structure of “ensemble buildup”, where the entire band join forces to form the climax of a track, is a staple of many genres but progressive rock has always been the best at it. King Crimson’s “Starless”, Yes’s “Heart of the Sunrise”, Wishbone Ash’s “Warrior” (containing one of the world’s most famous and most forgotten solos), Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and many, many other tracks and albums come to mind. Even younger bands operating today and paying homage to the style (like Malady, Wobbler, Witchcraft and more) adopt the prominence of the climax and full band collaboration.
It is our tendency to wear things out, especially music, that, in part, gives our community so much life. For example, I’ve listened to Elder so many times since Reflections From a Floating World came out that I need a break. I’m driven then to search for the same kind of sound but done a bit differently, someone that isn’t Elder but that can scratch that same itch. A high bar indeed! Luckily, my network reaches far and I’m sent albums all of the time, one of which (all the way from Poland) was Weedpecker’s III, a wonderful and expansive exploration of 70’s influenced stoner rock that lives in the same spaces as Elder. Now I’m here to repay the favor and tell you to listen to it; see you below for more!
Enter Trigger, a young band hailing from Australia, the land of too much sun and great metal. Cryogenesis, released way back when in July of 2017, is chock full of the blurring of the lines between thrash and power that we referenced in the opening paragraph. I pounced on this album once realizing it wasn’t just a power metal album with impressive hooks in tow but also a science fiction conceptual epic. Under eventual and multiple listens, it quickly became apparent that Cryogenesis was a good album and an impressive effort for a second release but also an album which exemplifies many of the pitfalls of its sub-genre. At its core, Cryogenesis is motivated by big choruses and fast riffing but suffers from a muddled middle section, leaving the listener yearning for more.
Metal is inherently problematic. That’s a fact that anybody listening to metal should accept and come to terms with. It doesn’t mean that metal shouldn’t listened to, written about or loved; most things on the scale of globe-spanning musical genres are problematic. Metal’s inherent complex nature stems from the very reasons why metal is appealing and that’s what makes it so intrinsic to the style. Since metal appeals to places within us which society would rather not deal with, like war, violence, personal power, the mystical aspects of nature, and darker themes, those who work within the genre are prone to excess. In the process of writing about these themes and of immersing oneself within them, many artists lose the distinction between that which is to be faced and understood and that which should be aspired to or desired.
One of the issue surrounding progressive music is that of identity. When you begin to subscribe to an ideology or style which has experimentation and genre bending at its base, how do you maintain a shared group of qualities which makes your music coherent? Bands have resolved this issue using many different tools; from artwork to thematic albums, this problem has more or less been solved. Agrimonia took the thematic approach on their latest album, Awaken, their first in five years. While the album juggles sounds ranging drawing from crust, punk, sludge, and post metal, there appears to be something inherently progressive about the band’s approach to these influences. In an effort to make Awaken work, to form a cognizant and recognizable album, Agriomina have turned to themes of darkness, melancholy for their musical adhesive.
Who has the arrogance to accurately trace the proliferation of genres? Who has the hubris needed to claim that they…
There are musical moments in your life which change it immediately; you’re thunderstruck as an album which you just know will accompany you for years plays for the first time. This happened to me this week when a good friend recommended what he called “one of the most well kept secrets of post rock”. Now, I’m a simple man: if I see a title based on a science fiction book (The Years of Rice and Salt is an alternate history novel written by science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson), I click. And goddamn, am I happy I did. Years of Rice & Salt haven’t released a lot of music but what’s there is simply masterful and none is more masterful than “Nothing Of Cities”, their 2011 release. It’s a moving piece of cinematic post rock which, somehow, manages to be small, moving, grandiose and epic at the same time. It’s crescendo based post rock that still has a heart and direction. It’s simply wonderful.