Heavy Rewind – The Sky Moves Sideways

It’s honestly a wonder that I haven’t written about this album sooner. It contains everything I love, both within its music and along its meta-narrative. The Sky Moves Sideways was released three time: once in Europe, once in America and once as a remaster. Each album contains different versions of a proto-drone track, versions which are unique to it and were produced using an original 40 minute recording of a live band. It contains Gavin Harrison with Porcupine Tree working on early material (on the re-master), one of my all time favorite musicians. And, most of all, it’s the turning point between Porcupine Tree as just Steven Wilson and their conception as a band. Thus, it contains the psychedelia of his earlier works while still being recognizable as an album. It has a strange accessibility to it alongside some truly weird and disconcerting elements.

The Anatomy Of: Astronoid

We have (along with the rest of our niche of the community) been singing the praises of Astronoid for quite some time now. If you’ve never run into the name, imagine what would happen if you take a dream and then crash-landed it into a thrash metal concert. The guitars go fast, the drums blast away but the vocals are clean and soar high above the music. In composition as well there is a marked style, a bright, lazy, honey-slow drip that just pulls you right in. It’s like a hot, summer day when you were a child and the hours drew out in the long, dark tea time of the soul (as one Douglas Adams puts it) into a pastiche of nostalgia, fear, hope and dreams.

What goes into such a broth? How does a band like this come to be, seemingly emerging from nowhere to revolutionize what we thought was possible within the somewhat stale confines of thrash? Instead of speculating, hear it from the band themselves! We reached out just after our interview and asked the band our fateful, Anatomy Of question: what made you the musicians that you are today? More specifically, which musicians contributed to how you write, think and perform music? Below you can find styles ranging from progressive pop to Norse metal and much in between. Blast Air in the background and get ready to dive into what makes Astronoid tick.

36 – The Elitist Ones

So, we’re back, unsurprisingly. This week we cover a lot of news, and go deep on politics! Specifically, Brexit and how it affects the music industry, the whole hubbub about complaining about SJWs in metal (not gonna link that article) and the counter-hubbub, David Maxim Micic’s Stock Challenge where he made an EP with just free stock plugins, Steven Wilson’s cover of Prince getting removed from streaming services, this relatively older article about Spotify’s research on metal fans being more loyal listeners, Phil Bozeman of Whitechapel complaining about elitism on their new video, more info about the Agalloch breakup, Cavalera Conspiracy performing Sepultura’s Roots in its entirety live on its 20th anniversary, Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschlager and his copyright troubles with Obscura, Einar from Leprous joining Haken onstage, Wardruna/Enslaved/Skuggsja’s Norse By New York event, and Incendia management’s music PR event. We also talk about new music from Fountainhead, Periphery, Soilwork, Thank You Scientist, The Dear Hunter, Ringworm and Myrkur. Finally, we talk about hype culture and how it poisons everything. Enjoy!

Pitts Minnemann Project – The Psychic Planetarium

Not every supergroup works. Sometimes, when you put really talented people together, they do the musical equivalent of people talking over each other, and the end result is confusing and less than a sum of its parts. When you put together Jimmy Pitts (Scholomance, Eternity’s End), Marco Minnemann (Necrophagist, The Aristocrats, Steven Wilson, Paul Gilbert, so many more), Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschlager (Fountainhead, Nader Sadek, Obscura) and Jerry Twyford (Scholomance), that’s a very impressive line-up and at a glance this project could go anywhere. Well, it goes to amazing places full of jazz fusion and old-school progressive metal. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Heavy Rewind: Porcupine Tree – In Absentia

Any die-hard fan of progressive rock/metal should know this album by now: Porcupine Tree’s In Absentia—arguably the best album the band has put out to date. But while Porcupine Tree is on hiatus, and Steven Wilson’s general focus has shifted to his solo work (and a Blackfield album that he had little to no input on), one can’t forget the impact that this album has had on the rock and metal community. In Absentia was a lot of things for a lot of people. It arguably blurred the lines between prog rock and metal. It set a new standard for what Steven Wilson and his band were capable of musically. And it remains one of the seminal progressive albums of the modern era.