Leviathan – Beholden To Nothing, Braver Since Then (Review)

LeviathanLeviathan are a Progressive/Power Metal band from the US; this is their fifth album.

This is an ambitious release; 76 minutes of Metal, broken down into multiple interludes and the actual songs themselves.

Leviathan have a strong, full sound from the outset. The band are skilled musicians and make good use of all of the instruments available to them, while the production ensures that everything sounds clear and crisp.

The singer has a good voice that is not quite full on Power Metal but neither is it unrestrained. He can belt out the powerful notes when he needs to.

The songs are involved and have plenty of instrumentation, which may be slightly ostentatious but not gratuitously so; there’s a lot of technical flashiness but the ultimate aim is always to enhance rather than just for the sake of showing off.

Check out Leviathan and give them a try.

Black Space Riders – D:REI (Review)

Black Space RidersGermany’s Black Space Riders play a diverse modern brand of Stoner Rock and their new album is a whopping 80 minutes in length, so there is loads of content to get your head around.

Sounding very confident and polished, they still have enough snarl to them to give the tracks a bit of bite when appropriate.

This is a very accomplished album, mixing Rock and Metal together with elements of Stoner Rock, Skyscraper-esque emotional Rock, psychedelia and Progressive tendencies to create a very long and very involved album. With a release of this length it would be easy to include filler and bore the listener, but there is precious little of that on D:REI thankfully.

The album has a perfectly configured sound, with everything both clear and slightly fuzzed-up in true Stoner Rock fashion. In fact I’ll coin the term Sophisticated Stoner Rock to describe Black Space Riders, (You heard it here first); at their core is a Stoner Rock Band, but they’ve taken on a heap of other influences and have evolved into something more than these relatively humble beginnings.

With so much variety, interest and ideas in these songs it’s no surprise really that they needed such a long album to showcase them all. Each track has a different mood; a different feeling all based on an essential Stoner Rock core but with ambitious designs on being even more. Every song has its own character and the longer nature of the tracks gives each one the time to develop naturally and embrace the aspect of Rock that it is portraying.

A very complete album that is long enough to provide a journey and deep enough to provide a meaningful one. Highly recommended and highly enjoyable.

Coshish – Firdous (Review)

CoshishCoshish are from India and play Progressive Rock that is very well put together and realised.

Lighter than most of the bands reviewed on this site; this is for moments of introspection and contemplation, and fans of Tool, Porcupine Tree, (new) Opeth and (elements of) Orphaned Land should lap this up.

Firdous is an involved concept album documenting a young man’s journey towards attaining Mukti, (liberation or release), and the lyrics are entirely in Hindi. This story spills out into the detailed artwork and even the tracklisting, where the optimal order of the tracks is a puzzle to solve using clues from the complete digipak artwork. A lot of thought has gone into this release.

None of which would matter a damn if the music didn’t meet these high standards, but it so obviously does from the first track onwards. Coshish create a rich tapestry of sound and impression via expansive Progressive Rock.

The songs are very well crafted and full of an array of instrumentation and harmonic flourishes. The content of the compositions is warm and textured, and the tracks uplift and hearten without sounding trite.

The vocals are highly melodic and accomplished, providing the icing on the proverbial cake throughout this delicious album.

As Progressive Rock goes this is an exquisite release brimming with delicacies to satisfy even the most jaded palette. If this is to your taste then there is a feast to be had with Firdous. Eat up.

The Restitution – Waves (Review)

The RestitutionFrom the US The Restitution are a Progressive Metal band who aim to take a more cerebral approach to harder music.

According to the band they are influenced by modern Metal giants such as Deftones. The Restitution combine both clean and rough vocals over a more thoughtful and progressive musical background to create some good songs, and I hear elements of bands such as Isis, Devil Sold His Soul, Cave-In and Tool in their sound as well.

Melodies are used well and there is enough aggression strewn in with the Post-Rock elements to keep the energy of the tracks moving.

It’s obvious that a lot of attention and hard work has gone into crafting these songs and it all pays off. Whether they are raging and shouting or crooning and lulling, everything feels deliberate and you get the impression that every single second of this release was meticulously thought through and passed rigorous quality control methods before being confirmed as an actual part of the album. All of this leads to a varied and enjoyable collection of songs that work well individually but even better as a complete package of tracks – a listening experience.

Overall this is a high-quality release combining melodies and aggression seamlessly in a modern Metal style that leaves out all of the clichés and rookie mistakes that a lot of more accessible Metal usually makes. Recommended.