Brimstone Coven – The Woes of a Mortal Earth (Review)

Brimstone Coven - The Woes of a Mortal EarthThis is the fourth album from Brimstone Coven, a rock band from the US.

Here we have 35 minutes of endearing rock that mixes together elements of proto-metal and doom rock to produce music that has a 70s feel, while not being overly beholden to it. Bands like Black Sabbath, Pentagram, and Deep Continue reading

Mars Red Sky – The Task Eternal (Review)

Mars Red Sky - The Task Eternal

Mars Red Sky are a stoner rock band from France and this is their fourth album.

This is heavy psychedelic rock, played with passion and skill. Across 50 minutes Mars Red Sky take the listener on a journey in time, with warm emotion and luscious melody. Continue reading

The Odious – Vesica Piscis (Review)

The Odious - Vesica PiscisThe Odious are a progressive metal band from the US and this is their second album.

The Odious’ progressive metal is a mix of modern technical/progressive/death metal and progressive rock. The end result can be loosely characterised as a mix of The Faceless, Opeth, Between the Buried and Me, Sikth, Meshuggah, Ulcerate, and Devin Townsend. Continue reading

Windhand – Eternal Return (Review)

Windhand - Eternal ReturnWindhand are a doom metal band from the US and this is their fourth album.

Despite Windhand being one of the higher profile examples of this type of music, their split with Satan’s Satyrs was my first exposure to them. As such, it’s great to hear what they’re capable of with a full album’s worth of material to play with. Continue reading

Of the Sun – Before a Human Path (Review)

Of the SunOf the Sun are a progressive metal band from the US and this is their second album.

This is an interesting brand of progressive metal – Of the Sun essentially take the groove metal of bands like Pantera and Lamb of God and mix it with a bit of modern progressive music that has hints of Gojira, Mastodon and Alice in Chains in it. Continue reading

Seven7 – The Follower (Review)

Seven7This is the third album from UK Progressive Metal band Seven7.

This is Modern Progressive Metal that’s big on riffs and melodies.

These songs are clearly well-thought out and are well-balanced between classic song structures and more adventurous Progressive explorations. Down-tuned riffs and heavy guitars work alongside lighter, introspective moments and a Rock sensibility that gives the songs an energetic vibe.

At 50 minutes in length, there’s a lot of different influences and ideas on The Follower. Under the overarching Progressive Metal aegis the band are able to work in a whole manner of different elements from a whole host of different genres and sub-genres, from Metal, Rock and otherwise. The amount of variety on display is still consistent with their overall Progressive core, and it takes the learner on a very involving journey.

The singer has a powerful voice and presence, coming across as somewhat of a mix of the singers of Metallica and Alice in Chains. His singing is dark, infectious and merges with the music symbiotically throughout this album. His vocals are flawlessly executed, much like the music itself.

In some ways this makes me nostalgic for the inventiveness of commercial Metal in the 90s. Seven7 sound like a 90s band updated for the current age. It’s as if a fledgling Nu-Metal band was consumed by the spirit of Progressive Metal, transported forwards in time a few decades and then unshackled and let loose. Don’t let the Nu-Metal tag fool you though; it’s part of their sound but doesn’t define them. The Follower is intelligent and passionate music that shares part of Nu-Metal’s once-essential vitality and incorporates this into Progressive Metal just enough to energise it.

There’s a lot to enjoy on this release and the band have worked hard to craft a collection of songs that have emotional depth and maturity while at the same time featuring enough instant energy and impact to snare the listener.

Highly recommended.

Astrakhan – A Tapestry of Scabs and Skin (Review)

AstrakhanAstrakhan are from Canada and play Progressive Metal. This is their latest EP.

This is powerful music with plenty of dynamics and personality.

Think Progressive Metal with a modern edge; kind of in the vein of what Mastodon do but without really sounding like them too much. Couple this with elements of bands as diverse as Alice in Chains, High on Fire and Metallica…

Hard Rock mixes with a Sludge feel and strong clean vocals dominate everything. Stoner simplicity and technical complexity merge together. They are at once cohesive and divisive; multiple influences congeal into a coherent whole and result in four very impressive songs.

The sheer force of charisma generated by the singer is draw-dropping. To further muddy the waters of genre-definition, he sometimes sounds like he could easily front an Avant-Garde band like Arcturus or Manes with ease.

The distortion feels alive and the riffs have a vitality to them. Each of the songs flexes its musical muscles and exudes feelings that are both epic and emotive.

Their music is textured and rich with riffs that propel the songs onward with real passion and vigour.

Top quality. If they can translate their obvious talent into a full length album they’ll be on to a real winner.