Daniel Cavanagh – Monochrome

There are artists whose power comes from being interesting even though you were dead-on with your pre-conceptions of their music. When speculating about how a future release by them would sound like, you got all the points right: the instruments sound as you had imagined they would sound, the lyrics are familiar, the production is what it needs to be. Everything has been played as you had expected. And yet, the album is still incredibly powerful. Something about the way it's put together, even if you saw it coming, takes your breath away and reminds you why all those things exist as they do. This is very much the case with Daniel Cavanagh's latest release, Monochrome.

Riverside – Eye of the Soundscape

Death is like a forest fire. In all aspects of life, it leaves behind it nothing but ash and the bitter taste of defeat. Our machinations at keeping it at bay are no less absurd then the sand lines of firemen, water bombs dropping from the heights of our pretenses on the uncaring flames of finality. But, as if this intro wasn't loaded with enough cliches, forest fires are also forces of creating, leaving behind fertile soil in their wake. On this charred ground, new sprouts are given the opportunity to live and grow, brave explorers which, nonetheless, still carry the marks of past generations and live on in their relics. Riverside's Eye of the Soundscape is all of these and more, a death knell, a wake and a celebration of life all rolled up into one. It's one of the most powerful retrospectives in progressive rock and metal's history, being a contemplation on a deep and expansive career.