For all the shit I give the UK for it’s inherently inbred scene politics, there are some ridiculously suave acts plying their trade in the home nations right now. Harbinger have been slowly amassing a following verging on screaming teen girl fandom (I’m a Harbingal, what can I say) and on their recent Basick Records debut Human Dust they’ve cemented their place in the new elite of UK metal. Their sound is awash with technical flair, hair whipping groove and solid death metal riffing. 99% of bands trying to incorporate stylish leads and crushing breakdowns end up falling victim to the ten-ideas-at-oncecore that isn’t pleasing on the ear whatsoever. Not Harbinger. The riff and lick factory that they operate produces seamless and wholly satisfying modern death, even with the wide array of influences present in the band; an array of influences which each member of the band gives us an insight into below. Enjoi.
As incredible as the tour was, the pairing of Coheed and Cambria and Between the Buried and Me in 2013 had caused a bit of head scratching. Certainly, the Vinn Diagram of audiences on that trek had quite a bit of overlap given both acts’ prog leanings and love of conceptual universes, but you could really feel the divide in the room between fans of either band.
Chances are, if you’re on this website in the first place, you’d likely find yourself in the center of that Vinn Diagram because you know that catchy post-hardcore and technically-minded prog metal compliment each other well. And if that is indeed the case, then you’re going to love Philadelphia’s In The Presence of Wolves.
Being a child of Scotland, one grows up to love the rolling countryside, endless hills and mountain tops and inevitably, the inclement weather. If you’re a city person, this might end up inspiring the kind of dark, abrasive music of Dark Habits or Frontierer; all angles and sharp corners. Take a look past the grey metropolitan areas and there is beauty in the fog surrounding our Lochs and landscapes. Saor have spent the better part of the last five years channeling this into some of the most melancholic black metal around. Not afraid to use traditional instrumentation and styles, Saor’s latest offering Guardians blends the peaty smoke of the bogs with shimmering, incandescent strings and pipes. It’s one that Heavy Blog goers might have missed last year but this needs to change.
There’s no shortage of folk influence in the world of metal, but the vast majority of it is undeniably Eurocentric, which is to be expected, given England’s (and later Scandinavia’s) claim to its birth and subsequent rise. In the past decade however, we have been fortunate enough to see a…
Voyager have been on our scopes for a while now; the progressive metal band are known not only for their brand of uplifting and engaging metal but also for a great live act and an overall energy that’s hard to resist. And so, when we learned that they were undertaking a crowdfunding campaign, we knew we had to pitch in. However, there was also within us a burning desire to know what made such a juggernaut of progressive energy tick; it’s always interesting to look into the influences which make such bands exist.
Felix Martin has and will always be a unique trailblazer for progressive and world fusion music. This Berklee-trained virtuoso taps out Latin-inspired riffs and melodies across his custom multi-fretboard 15 and 16 string guitars to create challenging compositions and unique performances. Martin’s new self released record Mechanical Nations is out now, and…
2016 has been chock full of great releases, some of which we (sadly) missed out on. We can’t post about everything or we’d be up to necks in content (first world problems, I know)! One such release is Oni’s Ironshore, a progressive album that’s extremely cohesive and endearing. Rooted firmly in complexity, Ironshore nonetheless manages to evoke melody, emotion and conviction. Listen to “Kanvas” for example: amidst breakneck keyboard work, intricate guitar lines, harsh and clean vocals, hides an honest emotional streak that runs throughout the album and ties it all together.
Seeing as the album is so intricate, we thought we’d get the band to shed some more light on the influences that make them tick as musicians. We hoped it would give us more insight into what seems like another, incredibly strong addition to the annals of modern progressive metal and boy, we got more than we bargained for! Head on below to read their in depth and enlightening list in one of our personal favorite Anatomy Of posts!
Coming out of the void of potential and inactivity, Painted in Exile released one of the more powerful and emotional progressive metal albums of 2016. Drawing heavily on many clear influences within progressive metal, The Ordeal nonetheless also contains much of the theatrical, the jazz-y and more. Thus, inviting the band to write an “Anatomy Of” article for us was somewhat obvious, an organic attempt at delving the musical depths which we recognized behind their release.
The melting pot of musical inspiration that is Umea in Sweden is one of the hottest around. Cult Of Luna will forever prop up piles of history with their unique experiments in metal and story telling. They whet just about every appetite out there with their sonic musings. Moloken make music that branches of from Cult Of Luna’s inspiration itself. Taking a new form and leaning harder on more primal urges and feelings, their brand is thick and somber… but expansive and foreboding too.
When we premiered the video for “Beginning of the End”, we helped showcase a drifting, bittersweet musical piece. One that was a chillingly perfect finale to All Is Left To See. The album itself is it’s own entity comprised of twisting, turning pieces. Curiousity got the better of us and we had to ask the band themselves just what kind of inspirations took them to this point, musically.
We have (along with the rest of our niche of the community) been singing the praises of Astronoid for quite some time now. If you’ve never run into the name, imagine what would happen if you take a dream and then crash-landed it into a thrash metal concert. The guitars go fast, the drums blast away but the vocals are clean and soar high above the music. In composition as well there is a marked style, a bright, lazy, honey-slow drip that just pulls you right in. It’s like a hot, summer day when you were a child and the hours drew out in the long, dark tea time of the soul (as one Douglas Adams puts it) into a pastiche of nostalgia, fear, hope and dreams.
What goes into such a broth? How does a band like this come to be, seemingly emerging from nowhere to revolutionize what we thought was possible within the somewhat stale confines of thrash? Instead of speculating, hear it from the band themselves! We reached out just after our interview and asked the band our fateful, Anatomy Of question: what made you the musicians that you are today? More specifically, which musicians contributed to how you write, think and perform music? Below you can find styles ranging from progressive pop to Norse metal and much in between. Blast Air in the background and get ready to dive into what makes Astronoid tick.