There are many things this review doesn’t need to include; much of what Caligula’s Horse are known is present on In Contact. The double context of their geographical location and their position within the progressive metal scene, at the forefront of the modern progressive movement, have already been elaborated upon on the blog many times. Thus, this review will attempt to focus on the things that should be included, namely the variations that Caligula’s Horse have injected into their sound with this, their fourth release. If you’re looking instead for a broad overview, let us save you some time and say that In Contact is yet another great release from the C-Horse camp, exceeding their previous album Bloom by melding much of what made it work with the often cited second release, The Tide, The Thief and the River’s End. The result is an energetic and inspiring album, filled with intricate progressive ideas but also the solid and thorough punch which the band is known for.
Do you like exclusively clean vocals? Do you like progressive rock with a bit of a groovy, even djent-y edge to it? Will you listen to anything that comes out of the San Francisco Bay Area music scene? Well then, have I got the band for you! They’re called Sea in the Sky and though they liken themselves to Periphery, CHON and Polyphia, I hear flashes of swancore bands like Dance Gavin Dance, Stolas and Hail the Sun. They’re releasing a new album on September 29th called Everything All at Once, but luckily we can listen to two singles from it right this very moment!
Bodhi is a one man project from Justin Seymour, who plays for blog favorites The Room Colored Charlatan. Bodhi has all the marks of nu-prog on its latest release, including sweet guitars, an emphasis on solos and the sort of dream-y timbre that’s come to be associated with the genre. However, it all has everything good about the artists mentioned in the opening lines of the post, namely musical sensibility, restraint and a sense of composition that enunciates the musical ideas contained therein. The project also manages to create interesting “spaces” for the guitar to live in, contextualizing the flair and expressiveness of its sound.
A few months ago, DispersE pretty much destroyed the entire nu-prog scene (except for a few select artists, like Plini, bless his magic hands) with their Foreword, displaying everything that is sorely lacking within the sub-genre. Nothing was more blatantly on point than its structure, a thing which most bands in the genre have completely abandoned in favor of flash. Luckily, like DispersE, some bands out there are still concerned with making actual songs. Like Soap Revelations. If the band’s name, and the comparison to DispersE and Plini, doesn’t already tell you everything that you need to know, simply head on down below to listen to “The Willow House”. All your questions will be answered promptly.
Today we’re joined by none other than the mercurial Gods of Eden from Sydney, Australia. These progressive metallers earned a rave review with 2015’s exceptional debut LP From The End of Heaven, a release which found itself right up there on our 2015 end of year list and helped inspire our Beyond the Veil column. Grandiose compositions, enchantingly technical guitar playing, cinematic soundscapes and diverse vocals are the name of the game here, and we’re predicting big things to come from these guys. Without further ado, let’s get into it and see what they have to say about the concept behind their debut, what their new album will sound like, the Australian scene and more!
Today we’re joined by none other than Michael Gagen, guitarist extraordinaire at bands you may have heard of, like hazards of swimming naked and (ex-) Arcane, and bands you’ve probably never heard of, like Echotide, agrammeofsoma and more. We don’t know which of those bands you’ve heard of, but we…
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…
Editor’s note: welcome back to our Heavy Blog Guest List feature where we give some of the bands we covered (or just adored) in 2016 a chance to publish their own Top 10 Albums of 2016. This time around we have Cyborg Octopus, a band who produced one of the funnest and most well thought out progressive metal albums of the year. Their approach to differing influences, ideas and styles can definitely be seen reflected in their chosen Top 10, which is, once again, presented to you the reader completely unedited and untouched! If you’re interesting in the kind of music that a group with these far-flung tastes might make, check out their album below. Enjoy the list!
With our general list for 2016 out of the way, we can now shift the focus from our aggregate opinion to individual ones. Both outlooks have their own merit; the former provides us with an overview of our year in music. However, the latter shines a light on something we’re extremely proud of and that’s the varied and eclectic nature of our staff these days. We used to have a very certain type of music associated with Heavy Blog and while we still have a long way to go, we feel like we’ve done a good job at expanding our palettes and the representation of different kinds of music and metal in our staff. The lists below reflect that; you’ll find black metal, avant-garde, technical thrash metal, hip hop, rap, noise, ambiance, post metal and rock, melodic death metal and much more throughout these lists.
We wrote a pretty big check to ourselves when we closed off 2015. Publishing not only a list which proclaimed the triumph of 2015 but also a whole editorial dedicated to the idea of “The Golden Age of Metal”, we set ourselves up for disappointment. Like the rest of the music establishment which, in numerous places implicit and explicit, was apparently ready to join in the social lynching of 2016, we were well positioned to find it a sobering, dreadful, faith shattering year for music in general and metal specifically. Except it was nothing of the sort and we cannot stress our amazement at metal/music journalism’s reaction so far. 2016 was an absolutely fantastic year, building on the trend of solid and often groundbreaking releases from established acts and simply astounding, out of left field releases from virtually nameless bands. Sure, it had its disappointments for us from huge bands we had expected more from (although signs of their demise were certainly forthcoming) but, overall, it was a year which will surely be remembered in our circles as one of the best years for music in general.