Interview with Sons of Alpha Centauri

Sons of Alpha Centauri Logo

June saw the release of the second Sons of Alpha Centauri album – Continuum. An infectiously layered and immersive trip into space, the band’s progressive tendencies truly shine on this album, and it’s an enjoyable and substantial collection of tracks.

Check out the interview with Nick Hannon below, and make sure you give the album a spin too… Continue reading

Júlio Stotz – Dark Ravishing Energy (Review)

Júlio StotzJúlio Stotz is from Brazil and plays piano-heavy instrumental Progressive Metal. This is his second release.

His previous EP was an enjoyable atmospheric blend of Progressive Metal and Djent, and this latest EP carries on where his previous one left off.

Once again we get 4 songs lasting 17 minutes in total. It’s replete with lashings of Classical influences and orchestral moments, all backed up by an ultra-modern take on Progressive Metal.

I have quite a low-tolerance level for this kind of thing by-and-large, but there’s something about Júlio Stotz’s work that makes it quite palatable. I think the fact that it’s so very atmospheric easily raises the Djentisms above their normal levels, plus the fact that the Djent influence is only part of the equation.

This release feels more accomplished and grander than the previous one, and it’s good to hear him progress in his chosen style.

Very enjoyable instrumental Atmospheric Metal that doesn’t outstay its welcome.

Recommended.

Effa Lente – The Effa Lente Configuration- Parts 1-4 (Review)

Effa LenteEffa Lente is a one-man Irish project that plays Instrumental Progressive Rock. This is his first release.

Apparently inspired by watching a Quentin Tarantino film, this is noticeably cinematic music that has a lot of different moods and themes throughout its 45 minute playing time

Did I mention that it’s just one 45 minute track? Well it is.

Various moods, emotions and feelings play out during this extended playing time and the impression is very much one of a Progressive Rock film score.

It’s as if Steven Wilson, Anathema, Opeth, Queen, King Crimson, Glorie and The Monroe Transfer all got together to score a film. It’s a very impressive listen that manages to fully engage and hold the attention despite not having any vocals to act as a focal point.

The music jumps around all over the place in a seemingly natural way, rather akin to how the different scenes in a film move from one to the next. It never seems jarring and almost has a narrative feel to it as different themes are taken, explored and then left until we meet up with them again at a later point for either a resolution or a cliffhanger.

70s moods and contemporary Rock sounds merge together in a cinematic melange that is very impressive. Considering this is the brains behind the outfit’s first attempt at doing something of this nature it’s a huge success.

Not just a listen, but an experience.

The Impala – Chapter One (Review)

The ImpalaThe Impala are a Russian Post-Rock band. This is their début EP.

The band play Post-Rock that’s reflective and expressive, seemingly mirroring the lives of the band members and wearing their collective experiences openly.

The music has that ephemeral, fragile quality that a lot of Post-Rock has. Seemingly transitory and full of sunshine or some unknown cosmic essence, these tracks sparkle and fade during their brief playing time.

Apart from a brief section of spoken word there are no vocals. Instead, the music is the complete and only focus.

The music builds to crescendos and has many peaks and valleys to get lost in. Driving leads and hopeful melodies abound and the band members all seem proficient in their instruments.

Samples and other electronic accompaniments are used throughout, but these are largely subtle affairs and not overly obvious. They essentially work behind the scenes to add little extras to the songs that may not always be instantly noticeable but would be to the music’s detriment if they were absent.

At only 18 minutes in length this is a short release, but one that captures the imagination.

Check them out.

Karma to Burn – Arch Stanton (Review)

Karma to BurnKarma to Burn are from the US and this is their sixth album. They play instrumental Stoner Rock.

Karma to Burn are one of those bands that I’ve been aware of ever since they first came out, but for some reason I’ve never actually heard them. As such, Arch Stanton is my first experience of them.

This is riff-heavy Stoner that is not lessened by the lack of vocals. If anything it improves things as it allows both the band and the listener to concentrate on the music exclusively.

Karma to Burn have an ability to write relatively straightforward Stoner songs that have a good energy and vibrancy to them. They quickly capture the listener’s attention with their riffcraft and easily hold it with emotive fretwork and enjoyable, easy-to-digest songwriting.

The album’s just under 38 minutes long and the playtime just melts away as the band do their thing and the listener gets drawn in.

A thoroughly enjoyable romp through the land of the riff.