SiXforNinE – Parallel Universe

Ignore the terrible band name! This album is actually really good! I swear! SiXforNinE are led by ex-Septic Flesh drummer Fotis Benardo and play a brand of progressive metal-influenced hard rock that is far more potent than you might expect. SiXforNinE’s progressive leanings should be fairly apparnat from Parallel Universe’s…

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Pijn & Conjurer – Curse These Metal Hands

Until very recently, there has been precious little information available about the Curse These Metal Hands project. What’s more, the few scraps that had made their way into the public domain haven’t exactly made what one might expect more explicit. A collaboration between members of two active and upcoming bands,…

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New Jawbreaker Documentary, Don’t Break Down, More Redemption than Nostalgia

The story of foundational punk band, Jawbreaker, is equal parts cautionary tale, mythos, and the brutal reality of the ways in which human relationships tend to disintegrate. Sometimes, though, that disintegration can eventually lead to a resolution that appears unimaginable on the surface. The ostensible “plot” of Don’t Break Down,…

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Unprocessed – Artificial Void

Since scenes are so amorphous, the number of adjectives, metaphors, and similes we can use to describe them is truly endless. One of the least used but most useful is that of a pool when a stone is dropped into it. The rings of water spreading out, their inevitable refraction…

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Killswitch Engage – Atonement

Killswitch Engage have had a bit of a rough go of it over the last decade. The once trailblazing popularisers and perfecters of modern metalcore have maintained both a steady output and flawless live reputation since the first broke through with now-legendary albums like Alive or Just Breathing (2002) and…

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Mylingar – Döda Själar

Sweden’s Mylingar make legitimately terrifying music. If the most debilitating nightmares of your most dread-filled childhood nights took physical form, Mylingar would be their voice, retching decay and misery directly into your brain. Theirs is a sound that provide no protection from the horrors slinking broken and hungry through the…

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Hemina – Night Echoes

Hemina are one of those bands that I really want to/”should” like but have never quite gotten myself around to. On previous releases, something in their sound felt off to me, even though it bares favorable comparisons to groups like Ayreon, Voyager, Haken or even Caligula’s Horse (it’s not a…

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The Contortionist – Our Bones

Two years out from Clairvoyant, The Contortionist offer an update on their musical journey with the scant but worthwhile Our Bones. Four tracks (three originals and a cover) that provides some insight on the continued expansion of the band’s sound. Fans of Clairvoyant will be satisfied with the moves made on Our Bones, with the only complaint being that there just isn’t enough new music to go around.

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Humanity’s Last Breath – Abyssal

Summertime. The living may be easy, the fish jumping and the cotton high, but Humanity’s Last Breath couldn’t give a shit about that. As Europe is broiled by a particularly ferocious heatwave, the Swedes prepare to deliver a relentless blast of bleak and uncompromising gloom on harsh Scandinavian winds.  Abyssal,…

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LINGUA IGNOTA – CALIGULA

Though I have no first-hand experience with this, my sense is that it’s more difficult for women and members of the LGBTQ+ to break into the relative mainstream of experimental music. Sure, you could argue that people with an affinity for “outsider” art would naturally be more inclined to accept…

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