This column will now be a monthly feature where I point the Heavy crowd to some more obscure releases that deserve to be heard. If you want more obscure and weird music recommendations, visit my website!

Hot from This Month: Protoplasma –

Simply titled , although I suggest calling it Kötőjel – Hungarian for “hyphen” –, Protoplasma‘s debut album is a feast for those who seek musical excitement, and something way out of the main stream. This obscure noise rock band from Budapest writes and plays some of the most intriguing, energetic, and wild progressive rock I’ve heard. Far from following in the footsteps of “pure,” clean prog rock, they seem to continue the exploratory path of The Mars Volta towards even less familiar sceneries and sounds. This record is fast-paced and filled with many layers of inventive ideas. It will certainly off you, as a listen, a direct challenge, but, if you can tame the beast just a little, you’ll be rewarded with some very fun and eccentric music.

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Old but Gold: 1980 – 1980

Back in 2007, the French band 1980 released one of the best instrumental progressive metal fusion releases that would see the light of day: the self-titled album 1980. At just over thirty minutes long, this debut smells a bit like Cynic, Canvas Solaris, and Continuo Renacer. At times heavy and undeniably djenty, 1980 plays in odd time signatures and interesting subdivisions. At other times, soft and jazzy, they’ll craft expansive atmosphere with guitars and keyboards, and let the fretless bass take the forefront. This is a genius album that’s quite popular despite being really an underground gem. There is no news about the current state of the band, but hopefully we’ll see some new material from them in our lifetimes!

What the Future Holds: Dali Mraz – Level 25

There’s not much information about this yet, but the first solo album of Czech drummer and composer Dali Mraz has successfully been crowdfunded, and should hit the world this year! The pitch of the campaign was that it would be a mix of jazz, progressive rock, folk music, and movie score. Many big names have already recorded their parts for the album, including Anton Davidyants of the Virgil Donati band, and guitarist Martin Miller. I’m certainly excited for this to be available to everyone!


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