Australia’s musical scene seems to know no bounds, and, thanks to the talents and efforts of people like Lachlan of Art as Catharsis, they are spread to the outside world. Case in point: I have the pleasure of introducing you to the entirety of Reductio ad absurdum, the upcoming EP from Sydney trio Instrumental (Adj.). The three have made quite a few waves on the Internet when they released their surprising and fresh debut A Series of Disagreements. It was short, but it overflowed with clever musical ideas and precise execution. It was jazzy, progressive, aggressive, mathematical, and, most of all, I couldn’t get enough of listening to it.
As they approach 20 years of activity, Between the Buried and Me have surely attained the status of legacy act in the realm of progressive metal with a weight to their name comparable to that of Opeth and Dream Theater; they’re world-class headliners and have crafted some of the greatest records to ever come out of the genre, and they arguably had a hand of influence in the influx of progressive metalcore acts that emerged in the mid-to-late 2000’s. With that prolific status comes its drawbacks, however; much like Opeth and Dream Theater, later-era works are the topic of much debate and are subject to higher scrutiny, and being guilty of creating an album that is just okay is damning.
When I was 11 years old, my parents let me finally have my own CD player after I begged and pleaded with them. The reason I begged so much was because I had discovered MTV. The first video I remember seeing was “The Memory Remains” by Metallica. I distinctly remember…
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!
Who has the arrogance to accurately trace the proliferation of genres? Who has the hubris needed to claim that they have accurately described the narrative surrounding even one style of music? Apparently, a lot of people as music journalism is obsessed with “understanding” (read, limiting) genres and telling us their…
Here on Half-Life, we go through a band’s discography and see where they stand today compared to where they started. Pallbearer is one of metal’s rising stars and their progression has been so fun to watch. Every record has its own identity and set of surprises. To take on this project, I enlisted the assistance of my talented colleagues, Jordan Jerabek and Bill Fetty. We hope you enjoy!
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.
For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to. For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.
Let’s dive into our album this week: The Parable of Arable Land by experimental rock/psych band Red Krayola, made in collaboration with “The Familiar Ugly”—a group of the band’s friends. RK consisted of Texas art school students, and this “outsider” influence (i.e. not trained musicians) shows up in their music in the best way possible. Lo-fi? Check. Tons of tracks that sound like noise (referred to as “Freak-Outs”)? Double check. If you like your music psychedelic, experimental, and given to flights of all-out, Brötzmann-esque free jazz, this is your record.