Welcome to Connecting the Dots, the column where we give a brief rundown on a central band along with a host of other projects their members, both past and present, have been involved in. Today we’ll be focusing on progressive sludge powerhouse Mastodon and the myriad of projects they’ve been involved with.
It’s hard to remember, but Circles were once considered at the forefront of the tech-metal/djent explosion that took place around beginning of the decade. The band’s name was once frequently mentioned alongside the likes of Tesseract and Periphery. Yet, while they’ve remained a frequent feature on the Australian live circuit,…
The saddest thing about progressive music is how much of it sounds the same; in a genre that has experimentation and innovation baked into it, you’d expect to find more people taking risks. Alas, the tropes of the genre have solidified well and good, pretty much staying the same as they were at the end of the 90’s, when the genre had its heyday. Nowadays, a lot of the interesting stuff has been excised from progressive metal and into other genres; it’s almost as if, once you reach some point of innovation, you find that you’ve moved on from the genre. That’s why it was so refreshing for me to find out about Andy Hauck, a musician from Nevada, of all places. His take on progressive metal draws a lot of inspiration from artists like Devin Townsend and Periphery, channeling plenty of modern progressive metal into his sound.
This week we’re super enthusiastic to bring you the contents! All of it. Specifically, Akon’s cryptocurrency haven, Tidal’s lawsuit, Michael Keene’s and The Faceless’s troubles, Cavalera Conspiracy doing a Sepultura throwback tour, Lamb of God in sign language, the new Obscura album, Periphery’s new label, Mike Shinoda’s new video, Antisoph, Shylmagoghnar, and Ghostbound. Then, cool people time with Westworld and a bunch of roguelikes. Enjoy?
The last time I didn’t put links to news stories in the description was over a year ago, let’s see if people will still leave passionate comments asking for the links back again. No, this is totally not an attempt to bait people into increasing our facebook engagement. Anyway, this week we talk about Spotify’s legal woes as outlined by The Verge, their upcoming IPO, and their launch in Israel, which Eden is not very happy with. Also Sigur Ros’s tax-evasion-but-not-actually story. Then when we start talking about Misha of Periphery’s recent comments about how Periphery alone doesn’t make enough money to be sustainable and Ultimate Guitar’s clickbait headline about it, it turns into a full on discussion about music as business. Then we talk about Fallujah’s teaser, the new Rings of Nihil album, and the upcoming Alkaloid album, and the passing of Wormed’s drummer. Then cool people time with Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Star Trek: Discovery, and Netflix’s Disney’s Marvel’s The Punisher. Enjoy!
At the rate things go in and out of fashion these days, small outcrops of tonally similar artists will always be around either too early or too late for their big moment. Not their fault. Fans will turn on bands and whole genres quicker than a Trump tweet turns into a meme. Cabal aren’t in or out of vogue, but the symphonic, snail pace beatdown sound definitely has it’s moments. The Danes drop tune their strings and slow down their chugs to an almost sadistic tempo, diving in and out of djeathcore tropes and a handful of clichés too. And that’s okay, Mark Of Rot is interesting enough to not turn off after the first of many bass drops.
Honestly, Clear is probably my favorite release from Periphery. It was really refreshing to hear them connect to all the different sides of what makes up their musical palette. An especially great treat was Spencer Sotelo’s “The Parade of Ashes”; it was clear that Sotelo has a real passion for pop metal and everything it entails. His voice also works really well with that kind of influence. And, lo and behold, we now have a full release on which Sotelo really lets that passion shine through. Endur is its name and it sounds like what would happen if Michael Jackson, Nine Inch Nails and synthwave all had a horrific teleportation accident a la The Fly. Head on below for a taste!
In 2015, metalcore pioneers Veil of Maya released their fifth album Matriarch. It was their first record with clean vocals on it, courtesy of new vocalist Lukas Magyar. Depending on who you ask, the injection of this new blood either reinvigorated the group, poisoned them, or worse, made them sound like a Periphery clone. Whether…
Australian metalcore scene has been in a bit of a sorry state these last couple of years. The once burgeoning scene that gave us the likes of Parkway Drive, I Killed the Prom Queen and The Amity Affliction (when they were still good), has produced markedly less world class acts over the past half-decade or so. Maybe it’s just because I got older, but contemporary pack-leaders Northlane and In Hearts Wake—while fine for what they are—seem to lack the spark and excitement of those bands who emerged in the genre’s heyday during the mid-to-late 2000s. Maybe it’s also because the local scene has seen a pivot toward the more extreme realms of deathcore, with bands like Thy Art is Murder and Aversions Crown proving the country’s most remarkable exports of the modern era. Yet The Mortal Coil only goes to show that there’s still plenty of mileage left in the supposedly well-worn Aussie metalcore tank.
Due to the way we’ve decided to divide up the time zones, correspondence with an international audience from the humble southern continent of Australia often feels akin to looking into the past. Yet, despite this perceived futurism, Australian culture often trails its American and European counterparts by some distance. So it is that, while the northern thrash revival has come and (more-or-less) gone, the Australian metal scene is currently experiencing the biggest genre boom it has undergone since thrash metal originally emerged in the mid ‘80s. Back then, we brought our own quality acts to the fold, most notably in the form(s) of Mortal Sin and Hobbs Angel of Death, and the Allegiance in the ’90s. Yet, while the style had effectively remained dormant since then, the last five-to-ten years have seen an explosion in the amount of world-class thrash metal bands to have emerged from these southern shores.