Hey! Listen to Lo-Pan!

Way before Rush were progressive rock darlings, helping to usher in the genre’s golden age, they released their first, self titled album. Rush is much more a rock n’ roll affair, albeit one which includes all the hallmarks of Rush in nascent form. It’s comprised more of riffs and groove, heavily relying on Geddy Lee’s vocals than future albums will. The self titled album is often forgotten but there’s something about Lee’s voice over thick guitars that is very rare to find. Strangely enough, a band called Lo-Pan, releasing an EP this year called In Tensions, scratch that itch and then some, doubling down with Torche influences on the rest of the instruments.

The Anatomy Of: Oni

2016 has been chock full of great releases, some of which we (sadly) missed out on. We can’t post about everything or we’d be up to necks in content (first world problems, I know)! One such release is Oni’s Ironshore, a progressive album that’s extremely cohesive and endearing. Rooted firmly in complexity, Ironshore nonetheless manages to evoke melody, emotion and conviction. Listen to “Kanvas” for example: amidst breakneck keyboard work, intricate guitar lines, harsh and clean vocals, hides an honest emotional streak that runs throughout the album and ties it all together.

Seeing as the album is so intricate, we thought we’d get the band to shed some more light on the influences that make them tick as musicians. We hoped it would give us more insight into what seems like another, incredibly strong addition to the annals of modern progressive metal and boy, we got more than we bargained for! Head on below to read their in depth and enlightening list in one of our personal favorite Anatomy Of posts!

Dysrhythmia – The Veil of Control

There is a dissonance to the music of Dysrhythmia not employed by the above bands, and, obviously, Neil Peart has never employed blast beats, though Rush is perhaps a great analogy for what Dysrythmia aspires to, as both bands feel collaborative and feature equal contributions to the larger sound. But these extreme metal flourishes are only one element of the music and weave seamlessly with the larger tapestry, rather than being the dominant color, resulting in an album influenced by extreme metal, as opposed to an extreme metal album.

Allegaeon – Proponent for Sentience

The proliferation of a metal band is a clear sign of its growing popularity, but it could also be a reason for apprehension regarding its music’s quality. On the other hand, one can consider the longevity of a given band as an indication of quality, but that would only cast a shadow of zealous snobbery and faux-refinement. Truth is, quality in music is more likely to be a function of countless random things including, but not limited to, personal taste. There are countless examples of bands exploding onto the international scene with superb debuts only to fizzle away later and become weaker shadows of themselves. On the other hand, there are bands who start off strong but are a work in progress in terms of finding their own sound and standing out from the hordes; Colorado’s Allegaeon is one fine example of the latter.

Soul Curator // Music For Flying

Let’s face it: flying isn’t probably something that’s on your bucket-list—at best it’s a relatively quick (compared to pre-flight days) way to travel. It’s easier than sailing or driving, but it comes with its own army of annoyances, from the ever-popular crying baby to the sleeping guy next to you…

45 – An Apple A Day Keeps The Spotify Away

This week we’re joined by fellow editor Nick again! And as you can probably tell from the title, we talk about some streaming service drama! Specifically, the trainwreck that followed Frank Ocean’s new Apple Music exclusive album, the UMG salt that followed, and Spotify stirrings in relation to industry trends. But wait, there’s more industry drama! A former Victory Records employee wrote a huge expose talking about all the stuff that goes down in the label, confirming the suspicions of many. We then talk about SubRosa and their interview about the music they wrote in relation to the Mormon church’s treatment of LGBTQI individuals. We talk about a bunch of new music and music-related announcements as well. Including: poorly-realized analogies about post/weird-death metal involving Ulcerate, Coma Cluster Void, Car Bomb, Negura Bunget, Meshuggah, Mithras (and more Mithras), Allegaeon’s Rush cover, WRVTH being awesome, In Flames being terrible (seriously), Ninjaspy, Darkthrone, Emperor, Brujeria (and their tongue-in-cheek interview), Ion Dissonance, Leander Kills, The Dear Hunter and The Aurora Borealis Project x Drewsif Stalin’s Musical Endeavors. Finally, we talk about the passing of Tom Searle of Architects. Enjoy! (the episode, hopefully, not the terrible news)

Hey! Listen to Motorpsycho!

It feels weird, writing a Hey! Listen to This post for a band that’s been around since 1989. Saying that Motorpsycho references classic pieces of stoner and psychedelic rock would be a mistake, since they were an integral part of the continuation of that music into the 90’s. Nonetheless, it’s pretty much impossible to resist the urge for comparison. Their latest album, Here Be Monsters, was released a few short months ago and is veritably swimming in classic references. Pink Floyd, Yes, early Rush and Genesis and countless other names from the Golden Era of progressive/psychedelic rock all live side by side, creating a heady and moving elixir of emotions and nostalgia. However, this is much more than just fan service; Here Be Monsters is a complete and impressive album, spanning an impressive range of ideas and sounds. Check out “Lacuna/Sunrise” below and let’s circle back afterwards.

Haken – Affinity

Calling the past back into the present is a tricky endeavor. In music, it can often lead to the opposite of what a band intended, leaving their music derivative rather than innovative. However, for those bands who manage to skillfully reach back to bring some part of what made past…