The saxophone has become an increasingly en vogue addition to the extreme music formula. Ever since John Zorn bleated and honked over grindcore and avant-garde metal with Naked City and Painkiller, a growing crop of younger bands have demonstrated how to masterfully incorporate a jazz staple into heavier compositions. The sparsity of such bands should come…
Some music comes to you as rain into your sun-parched throat as you traverse a desert. Such is the vitality that music can bring into our lives. Some songs are as necessary to some people’s lives, if not sanity, that it reminds us why we love the art form. In…
Loincloth are an interesting group, one that meshes together various elements from realms of metal but keeps a very distinct sound of sludgy, crushing, and almost atonal instrumental metal. Their records sit nice and snuggly on their Southern Lord label, baring resemblance to the general dark ambiance and heavy production that bring together other artists in this territory. Not only do they have their sound up to scratch, but they even get quite progressive within their sound, employing left-field rhythms and grooves that are extremely math-core inspired and really grab you and keep you engaged. This band have so much going for them, and they truly showcase what it means to do a lot with a little. Not to mention I absolutely love that I can put an image to this music of three shirtless, bearded guys in a claustrophobic room, jamming intensely while getting lost in the power of the riff. But yet, while this record is a fun experience at first, there’s some qualities to it that need some workshopping because this release wears pretty thin, pretty fast.
Some bands hang around for a long time, producing similar but slight variations over a many year period, tweaking a tried and true format just a little with each new record. Others strive to create larger shifts in their sound over time to mixed results. There’s a certain amount of…
When TesseracT’s Daniel Tompkins decided to explore his own pet project by joining forces with Skyharbor’s Keshav Dhar and Randy Slaugh to create White Moth Black Butterfly, it began as a modest attempt to explore some ideas that diverged from the type of rock for which his main band is most known. 2013’s One Thousand Wings (here’s what we had to say about “Certainty” from that album) was a sonic departure, to be sure, but it still maintained something of a kinship with its flagship influences. As with anything that we’ve come to understand about Tompkins, he will expound upon ideas over time and so the re-emergence of this project in 2017 means we should expect a few new twists, turns, and embellishments on the sound he helped to create several years ago.
Sydney’s Polaris have quickly become one of Australian’s most promising acts. The melodic metalcore crew certainly aren’t reinventing any wheels, but the sheer vigour and precision songwriting they bring to those templates previously laid down by the likes of Architects and Periphery render them entirely refreshing nonetheless. The band have just announced their debut, full-length album, The Mortal Coil, which is set to be released in November, and if the two singles they’ve release off the album so far are anything to go by, it’s going to be an absolute rager.
Enter: Howling Giant. They have returned with their third release, Black Hole Space Wizard Part 2, and have turned out something quite awesome with their collection of blueprints. The band here are in fine form melding together some of the best elements of bands such as Coheed and Cambria, Elder, and Mastodon. The spacier prog rock of the first band collides with the low end progressive doom of the second before topping off the mix with a hint of the Atlanta stalwarts vocal style that swirls and builds to something quite satisfying. Hear this delightful concoction for yourself in our exclusive streaming premiere below.
Prepped and pumped from day one, armed with the knowledge of where the best food and spots were, we entered Poble Espanyol. The setlist promised to be stacked with some of my favorite acts and my expectations were high. I was worried about being disappointed but it was just a nagging voice in the back of my head; my spirit was frivolous and I allowed myself to imagine crazy scenarios of far fetched and perfect set-lists, incredible and soul lifting shows and what have you. Those rampant expectations were all met and exceed, as the second day proved to be one of the best musical experiences of my life. Venue, company, performance, crowds, bands, all combined in that perfect, harmonious way which is usually resolved for dreams and erupted on to the scene. But let us start in the beginning and chart this journey towards the end, an unbelievable catharsis at night.
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!
The purpose of this post is not to give you a play by play description of the festival; this isn’t a show review first and foremost. The idea instead is to give you a feeling for what attending the festival is like, whether by describing the location, some of the shows, the overall air or even the food on offer. The purpose of this post is to see as many of you as possible at the next year’s festival. This institution is well needed in the metal scene and it’s a pleasure to be able to support it in my own way. There’s only one condition: you have to say hello next year if you do come. I’ll buy you a beer, promise. Let’s get to it, shall we?