Welcome to “Beyond the Veil“! In this feature, its name (partially) taken from the Gods of Eden track, we’re going to delve into some theoretical aspect of the music we love in an effort to elucidate the behind-the-scenes workings at play, but in a largely jargon-free manner intended to be accessible to those who…
Sometimes, I get to do really cool things as a music journalist. Sometimes, I get to do amazing things and this is one of them. Arjen Lucassen, AKA Ayreon, has been a musical hero of mine every since the first notes of The Human Equation played in my ears, right after I had purchased the album in Paris (I was there seeing Iron Maiden and Dream Theater. Good trip). It was a split earphone cable arrangement and I was listening to it with one of my best friends, who had insisted I get it. Sure enough, I wasn’t disappointed; vocal lines by some of the my favorite singers (James LaBrie, Devin Townsend, Mikael Akerfeldt, Devon Graves, to mention just a few) echoed in my ears, set to amazing, progressive instrumentation. An obsession was born; over the next few years, I bought every single Ayreon album I could get hold of and start following him fervently.
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.
Bands with a multifaceted sound and diverse playbooks tend to leave lasting impressions around these parts. Faith No More. The Dillinger Escape Plan. Devin Townsend. Deftones. Each song from these acts is different, which allows for a dynamic listening experience across the breadth of an album, and in turn, incentivizes multiple spins.
How to navigate the sheer number of festivals now available for the metal fan? With the aim of helping you sort through this vast variety, we’ve compiled the following primer. It’s by no means extensive; it’s simply impossible to write about all of the festivals we would have liked to mention. We focused on those we’ll be attending and on those who have the most attractive setlists in our eyes. That being said, do feel free to share more great festivals with us in the comments and please enjoy this, our selection of festivals for 2017.
It should be of surprise to absolutely no one that Between the Buried and Me frontman Tommy Rogers doesn’t like to sit still. While his 2004 solo debut Giles was hardly a serious effort, but 2011’s Pulse (the first under current project Thomas Giles) painted Rogers as a capable and serious musician in his own right across several genres, including progressive rock, industrial, electronic, and folk. Pulse was a portrait of an artist trying different things, but its follow-up Modern Noise was where Rogers truly appeared to find his artistic voice as a more focused and stylistically cohesive record.
Somehow, I’ve become the resident progressive metalcore writer for the blog. It’s funny, because I don’t quite fit the bill of the “usual” fan of the sub-genre; perhaps it’s my background in cheesy power metal and progressive metal that enables me to sift through the chaff that makes up a lot of the sub-genre today. Regardless, there are still gems to be found within the ruins (get it) of the scene today and I’ve written about some of them in the past. Today, I’m here to tell you about another one: Exist Immortal and their latest album, Breathe. It features the basic elements which made Misery Signals great coupled with clean vocals, large synths and pop influences that make us think of Devin Townsend. Together, these two sides of the coin create an often complicated album which nonetheless manages to be catchy and moving.
It’s been almost seven years since Between the Buried and Me and Devin Townsend Project last toured together. At the beginning of 2010, both of these bands hit the road with the ever-so-airy Cynic soon after they had released Traced in Air. Between the Buried and Me themselves had unleashed…
The EP format holds many challenges; it’s often a tempting escape for bands that mistake frequency of publication for quality. However, it also holds great potential for those who know how to wield it. Just like the 140 characters tweet, the shorter format of an EP often leads one to greater creativity, a distillation of force and purpose. When a good band releases an EP it can often give their music that necessary, final push into greatness. So it is with Ebonivory, a band whose sound is so emblematically Australian that you really don’t need me to geo-locate them. More than that, they also have a good album from 2015, The Only Constant. But, a year after it, they’ve released an EP titled Ebonivory II which completely transcends it, providing their music the focus and momentum it needed in order to truly transcend.
In true soap-opera-that-outlived-its-course fashion, we’re replacing the actor who plays the part of Eden with David Wu of Cyborg Octopus! Yeah, he’s been here before, exactly 10 episodes ago!First, we talk about how artists feel about criticism, delve into the creative process a bit, and while we cover some of the same ground we did before, we end up in a different place! Then, we do the news, talking about Oathbearer, An Endless Sporadic, Metallica, Dance Gavin Dance, The Depression Sessions (The Acacia Strain, Thy Art Is Murder, Fit For An Autopsy), Virvum, Ninjaspy and Devin Townsend. Also, check David’s new channel he alluded to last time, RiffShop!