Thornhill – The Dark Pool

A year or so ago, I wrote about Thornhill and their then-fresh EP, Butterfly. As I said back then, the band showed promise, navigating the shoals of progressive metalcore with impressive agility. I even uttered the dreaded word “djent”, conjuring up the spectre of that oft-abused sub-genre in the positive.…

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Best of 2009

Well folks, it’s that time once again: Album of the Year content is just ahead of us and the list-making engines have already been watered with the blood of magazines and blogs who think the year ends in November. As for us, we’re only getting things arranged and calculated out.…

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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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Rendezvous Point – Universal Chaos

We’ve pointed out many times that viewing your relationship with music as some sort of pure, Platonistic dynamic is absurd. The fact is that context, mood, pedigree, and aesthetic all play a part in whether you like a band’s music or not, often playing a bigger role than any “objective”…

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The Anatomy of – Toska

When it comes to watching bands play live, I have two pieces of advice that I will happily repeat well beyond the point of tedium. First and foremost, you should always wear ear protection, and I hope the reasoning for this is clear to everyone. Secondly, you should always get…

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The Anatomy Of – Voices from the Fuselage

While I was made aware of Ashe O’Hara through his tenure with TesseracT (Altered State is amazing, fight me) I was stoked to discover Voices from the Fuselage through this intersection. In many ways, their brighter and more atmospheric sound utilizes his ethereal timbre better, setting off other and pleasing areas of his range.…

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EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Stellar Circuits and the Dusk of “Nocturnal Visitor”

The progressive metal that Stellar Circuits play is in the vein of acts such as Tesseract and Karnivool: atmospheric, expansive, punchily produced, often moving at a sombre mid-tempo.  If you’ve been following them since their 2015 self-titled debut, you’ll note that they used to go with a leaner sound, with less emphasis…

Circles – The Last One

It’s hard to remember, but Circles were once considered at the forefront of the tech-metal/djent explosion that took place around beginning of the decade. The band’s name was once frequently mentioned alongside the likes of Tesseract and Periphery. Yet, while they’ve remained a frequent feature on the Australian live circuit,…

Visitors – Crest

Layering one’s music is, fundamentally, a balancing act. Especially now that technology has developed to the point that a laptop carrying a backing track can be comfortably carried on stage and their operation is simple enough for even drummers to handle, almost nothing is off the table. However, the temptation…

Hey! Listen to Thornhill!

Thornhill are a young band aiming, and succeeding, in striking that precarious balance between throwback and their own unique sound, producing an enjoyable EP titled Butterfly. This is basically djent a la Northlane, early Karnivool or TesseracT, by which we mean progressive metal with emphasis on melody, soaring mostly-clean vocals and the thick, and the metallic tone on the guitars which gave the genre its name. You’ll find nothing that will shock you on this album but it’s really well made, from production to songwriting to execution, tapping into the stores of thrilling groove that, at the end of the day, created one of the most popular modern metal genres.