Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Beyond Creation - Omnipresent Perception

     Just because I used up a tech-death song yesterday doesn't mean I'm out of ammo for Tech-Death Tuesday. And if today's band keeps on keeping on, I'll have prog-flavoured tech-death ammo for a long time to come.

     Better still? Beyond Creation are from right here in Canada. Yeah, OK, La Belle Province may not always relish its membership in confederation, but that's not going to stop me from claiming Dominic Lapointe's absolutely phenomenal fretless bass work in today's song for the Great White North. As the kids these days are saying, "dat bass tho!"

     Discover why I'm suddenly such a proud Canadian by checking out "Omnipresent Perception" from the band's 2012 debut The Aura, and then sit back and bask in the fact that Beyond Creation's upcoming sophomore effort Earthborn Evolution is only weeks away. Ah yes, life as a Canadian fan of stupidly technical metal is good.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Cognizance - The Succession of Flesh

     I was going to hold onto this one until tomorrow, for some kind of a Tech-death Tuesday thing, but since you've survived another Monday long enough to join me here, I think you've earned a treat.

     Yorkshire-based tech-death band Cognizance is on the cusp of releasing its latest EP _Inceptum, and the band has accordingly just unleashed the EP's first single "The Succession of Flesh". Based on the strength of "Flesh", I'd say _Inceptum is going to straddle just the right tech-death line: riffing and drumming that's nice and intricate without descending into inaccessible wankery.

     The release of _Inceptum looks like it'll put a couple of solid EP's under Cognizance's belt, so as you're listening to "The Succession of Flesh" ask yourself the (figurative) million-dollar question: when's the full-length coming, Cognizance, when's the full-length coming?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Plini - Ko Ki

     What can I say about Australian one man band Plini that I haven't said before? Not much, except that he's doing some humanitarian work in Cambodia in the new year and could use your help.

     Plini's going to be doing some work in a village called Ko Ki, and as a bit of a fundraising effort he's a released a song by the same name. "Ko Ki" is kinda sorta par for the Plini course, but that can never really be a bad thing: sparkling guitar melodies with more than a hint of jazz fusion flavour, this time accompanied by a piano section and some seriously funkified bass.

     So check out "Ko Ki" for the latest from this Australian master, and if you've got some spare change and can help Plini help some people in need, even better.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Maid Myriad - Be Careful What You Wish For

     Play the old game of "which band does band X sound like?" with today's band Maid Myriad, and in my opinion you might well end up with the 3, the post-whatever act of Joey Eppard, brother to Coheed and Cambria's once-and-future drummer Josh.

     Maid Myriad have a similar "weight" to 3 (heavier than straight rock or alternative, but not necessarily heavy enough to call metal) and a similarly strong melodic sensibility. And on top of that, singer Jeff Klemm has a similarly powerful range to Joey, making this a band that could be capable of some very interesting things.

     Tonight you're getting introduced to Maid Myriad via "Be Careful What You Wish For", the latest track to be released from the band's forthcoming full-length debut With Haste On Its Breath. And if, like me, you're digging on this track you won't have long to wait for a wider sampling of some of Maid Myriad's interesting things, as With Haste comes out in early October.

Between the Buried and Me - Extremophile Elite

     Fans of Between the Buried and Me will already know that the band's live DVD/BluRay Future Sequence: Live at Fidelitorium comes out next week, but the uninitiated might be wondering why they should be concerned with this fact.

     The logic goes thusly: Between the Buried and Me play an intricate, technical brand of prog death on any given day of the week, but things are ramped up a couple of notches when the band tackles a nice hefty story as they have on their last couple of records. Things are further elevated when you hear slices of these complex narratives performed live, but the vogue thing now for bands to do (BTBAM included) is performing albums in their entirety on tour.

     Live at Fidelitorium takes this magic and shifts it into a studio setting, performing the entirety of The Parallax II: Future Sequence in one go, with a bunch of guest musicians on various orchestral-type instruments thrown in for good measure. I was sold on the idea right there, but the band has put out a video of one of the songs from the DVD and it should be plenty strong enough to sway any doubters.

     Your song tonight is "Extremophile Elite", originally from Future Sequence but here taken from Live at Fidelitorium. Bask in the apparent ease with which the guys tear through this one, and then go get yourself a copy of the DVD.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Album of the Week: Rage Against the Machine - Evil Empire

     Grab your shovels and miner's headlamp helmets, kids, because today we're digging deep into the mountain of history for your Album of the Week. I know, I know, this one's not exactly topical, but it's just one of those albums that's completely badass, and possibly (but hopefully not) unknown to you young 'uns.

     Fans of Rage Against the Machine will debate endlessly the question of which album represents the band's crowing achievement (trust me, I've been involved in several such debates over the years). But for my money there's really no question: 1996's Evil Empire is where it's at in terms of Rage.

     Sure, the 1994 self-titled might have more youthful rage, and 1999's The Battle of Los Angeles might be the band's most polished, creatively varied work. Evil Empire, however, exists in the sweet spot between the two, in more ways than just chronologically: it's more confident and focused than Rage but it still retains some of the venom and rough edges that feel a little more absent from Battle.

     Evil Empire, for me at least, is also one of those "all killer, no filler" albums: there aren't any tracks I skip, and every one is memorable for me. Maybe it's just because I grew up with this record and have been rocking it for more than fifteen years now, but all those riffs are locked in my head. I'm a terrible drummer, and I feel like I could play a lot of Evil Empire, the beats ingrained in my brain that deeply. Hell, I can't typically remember rap lyrics (or any lyrics...) worth shit, but I can still keep up with Zack on some stuff, all these years later.

     So for the next week or so, do me and you both a favour and revisit this classic nineties record. Then have your own debate about which Rage album is best -- just as long as you're supporting Evil Empire.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Dance Gavin Dance - Pussy Vultures

     I've mentioned Dance Gavin Dance a couple of times lately in passing -- featuring a song by heavier side project Secret Band, talking about a band or two on guitarist Will Swan's new Blue Swan label -- but it's been a while since DGD had a song featured.

     Lucky for me then that they've just gotten around at last to releasing a promised B-side from the recording sessions for last year's Acceptance Speech. "Pussy Vultures" is equal parts big melody and high energy, and even though it's not quite as noodly as some of their work, it's still decidedly Dance Gavin Dance.

     I'm sure there were reasons why this track didn't make the final cut, but honestly, for straight quality I'm digging on this more than some of the stuff that did make Acceptance Speech. It's that good, and more than anything else it makes me want a new DGD album. Make it happen boys.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Job For a Cowboy - Sun of Nihility

     Job For a Cowboy is yet another of those relatively well-known bands that I've never really gotten into for whatever reason. I'll fully acknowledge that theirs has been a pretty good quality of death metal for years now, it's just never really been my death metal.

     But the first single off of their forthcoming fourth album Sun Eater has me seriously rethinking my stance on Job For a Cowboy. "Sun of Nihility" is a slinky, prog-tinged death metal slow jam that's made even better by a very tasty bit of shredding in the middle section of the song. There's even some bass that's both technically and melodically proficient and audible in the mix!

     So have a listen to "Sun of Nihility" and join me in reappraising Job For a Cowboy. Or be that guy who's been a Job For a Cowboy shipper for years. Your call.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Finch - Two Guns to the Temple

     I don't know if I'd go so far as to say that I love surprises, but I do love when you forget about something you're looking forward to and then it kinda creeps up on you and BAM! pounces on you like an ambushing predator.

     Case in point: back in the spring I learned that badass post-hardcore band Finch had come out of hibernation and was working on a new album. I then, unfortunately, proceeded to forget this knowledge so deeply and completely that my discovery today that Back to Oblivion will be out next week catches me totally by surprise.

     At least it's a pleasant surprise, and one accompanied by a couple of new tracks the band's released over the last couple of months to promote the record, including today's song "Two Guns to the Temple". I don't know if Back to Oblivion will live up to the lofty standard set by its predecessor Say Hello to Sunshine, but the off-kilter vibe of "Two Guns to the Temple" is a pretty good start.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Thank You Scientist - Suspicious Waveforms

     I've known about the awesomeness of Thank You Scientist for a while now, but apparently the rest of the world is starting to catch up with things. Rest of the world, you're in for a treat.

     The band's 2012 debut Maps of Non-Existent Places is a jazzy, virtuosic masterwork of prog rock, and now it's getting a wide remixed and remastered release on a label called Evil Ink Records, the of none other than Claudio from Coheed and Cambria. Add in the fact that Thank You Scientist are opening support for Coheed on this fall's In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 tour and you've got a couple of pretty sweet feathers in Thank You Scientist's collective cap.

     Awkward metaphors aside, Thank You Scientist definitely warrant a little extra attention, and their fluid fusion of guitar-based funky-jazz-prog rock with less traditionally rock elements like a horn section deserves a much larger fanbase than they're currently enjoying. Discover a fun and interesting new band tonight by having a listen to "Suspicious Waveforms" from Thank You Scientist's Maps of Non-Existent Places.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Revocation - Madness Opus

     If Revocation's prior track record isn't enough on its own to get you jazzed about the upcoming release of Deathless in mid-October, the latest track they've released from Deathless should go a long way towards fixing that.

     "Madness Opus" is a suitably thrashy Revocation track, chock full of labyrinthine riffing and topped off with some sexy leadwork. Befitting the song's titular existence as an ode to insanity, the nearly six-and-a-half minute running time oscillates between speedier parts and more down-temp sections, but all of it is nice and meaty.

     If you've waited this long to jump on the Revocation bandwagon, you've been missing out, and should rectify this situation post-haste. Deathless is shaping up to be a monster of a metal album, and you don't want to be that one guy that gets left behind on this one. Find out why everybody loves Revocation RIGHT NOW.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Flub - Unrequited

     If I told you today's song was by a band called Flub, what would your first assumption be? (Quiet in the back there, all you Flub fans...) Indie? Pop-punk? Maybe, at best, some kind of weird stoner prog band? Well, would you believe "Flub" stands for "melodically and technically proficient death metal"?

     Believe it, because Sacramento-based Flub are doing exactly that, as evidenced by their latest song "Unrequited" from the upcoming EP Advent. There's a lot going on, including some somewhat understated keyboard acrobatics, and all of it is decidedly and deliciously heavy.

     If there's something magical in the water in Australia (as I've previously suggested on more than one occasion) producing cool bands, then California's got some of the same mojo going on right now -- lots of cool stuff for everybody's taste, so start with Flub and "Unrequited" and go from there.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Friday: Nero di Marte - Pulsar

     I knew absolutely nothing about Nero di Marte before hearing their latest song "Pulsar" (aside from an educated guess that they're Italian). After hearing this song, I now know one thing: they can write a badass, groovy post-death metal-y track.

     A few more things: "Pulsar" is the second song to be released from the band's upcoming sophomore effort Derviae, due out in October on Prosthetic Records. And maybe a couple more: "Pulsar" is maybe a tad heavier than "post-metal" (hence my waffley "post-death metal-y" above) but it's also got the kind of dynamics and atmosphere that reminds me of The Ocean. Even the vocals have a taste of Ocean here and there, which is only a good thing because I really dig The Ocean.

     So join me on a journey of discovery, won't you? Start with "Pulsar" and then go from there.

Thursday: Killer Be Killed - Melting of My Marrow

     It hasn't been all that long (three weeks and change, by my count) since I've featured a Killer Be Killed song, but I've been jamming their record a bunch in the last week or so and it's growing on me like a weed. You really should check them out if you haven't already.

     It's certainly not my usual cup of tea -- proggy, techy, that kind of thing -- but the combination of Max, Greg, Troy, and Dave has something to it that's grabbing me and shaking until I bang my head. It's just plain solid, straight-forward metal, and sometimes that's exactly what the doctor ordered.

     It's hard to top that mean main riff from "Snakes of Jehovah", the last Killer Be Killed song I posted, but if you're looking for another stand-out moment or track I'd direct you to "Melting of My Marrow", which has some cool vocal work from Dillinger Escape Plan's Greg Puciato. It's great stuff, so check it out.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Album of the Week: The Sound of Animals Fighting - The Ocean and the Sun

     I've urged that you listen to this week's band before at least once, but they are most definitely a band that is best experienced in album-sized chunks. With that in mind, your homework for the week is to give a couple of hours to The Ocean and the Sun by The Sound of Animals Fighting.

     Genre-wise, this is a hard group to pin down, and not just because it's essentially an indie-rock/post-hardcore super-group with a rotating, "anonymous" membership. Spastic, melodic, at times a little weird post-hardcore with some electronic elements thrown in for spice -- a limiting description, but it at least scratches the surface of the off-kilter energy that's going on here.

     Judging by the band's Facebook, it seems that The Sound of Animals Fighting have been doing a little touring in the last six months or so, but other than that it seems the idea of new material might be in limbo for the time being. Everybody's got main projects in various stages of stuff (like Rx Bandits and Circa Survive, to name just two) so I can understand why another The Sound of Animals Fighting record might not be priority one. But if the awesomeness of The Ocean and the Sun is any indication, another Sound of Animals Fighting record could really be something special.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Imbibed by the Quasar - 500 Yards of Shredded Intestine

     It's no secret that I like some prog and some experimentation mixed in with my death metal and deathcore, so I'm always interested whenever I come across somebody new that's doing some combination of these flavours with any skill.

     Enter California's Imbibed the Quasar, a band that self-identifies on its Facebook page as "intergalatic death metal". Based on their recently released three-track demo EP, I'd say that's a reasonable summation. Imbibed plays vaguely grindy, vaguely proggy tech death with the odd bit of warped weirdness thrown in for good measure.

     Three tracks isn't much to sink our listening teeth into, especially given that none of them are longer than three and a half minutes, but it is nevertheless a pretty brutal taste of what might be to come. Check out "500 Yards of Shredded Intestine" if any of that sounds appealing to you (or just if the title "500 Yards of Shredded Intestine" grabs you and doesn't let go).

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Tuesday: Meshuggah - Do Not Look Down

     Finally, on this last leg of our evening of catching up, I've got something for any of you out there who might be a little miffed that the last two songs weren't metal enough for you. Don't worry, I've got you guys covered too, even if it's not in the form of something underground.

     The metal-minded among you likely are aware that Swedish legends Meshuggah are gearing up to release a live DVD/Blu-Ray packaged entitled The Ophidian Trek. It seems like somebody's trying to whet our collective appetites in preparation, because we've just been handed our first taste of the footage in the form of a video of "Do Not Look Down" from 2012's Koloss.

     If this video is any indication, it looks like The Ophidian Trek will be the perfect substitute for the Meshuggah fan who can't get to a show, or who simply doesn't want to risk life and limb in the pit. Either way, this is as close to being there as you're going to get without going there.

Monday: Lizard Kingdom - Suture Babez

     Just now I was talking about Secret Band as a heavier spin on the style of Dance Gavin Dance, both in the sense that it's sonically similar to DGD and in the sense that it's actually the members of said band. But let's say you'd thrown all those elements in a blender -- DGD's style of post-hardcore, done a little heavier, maybe a little weirder or more out there -- and gotten Secret Band, and then gone "meh" and hit puree again.

     That kind of bold "what if-ery" might result in San Jose's Lizard Kingdom, an experimental post-hardcore four-piece that's got some of that Dance Gavin Dance noodleyness in with the rest of its spazzy, jazzy melange. So maybe if Secret Band wasn't your jam, Lizard Kingdom will be. Have a listen to "Suture Babez" from the recently-released Back to the Suture EP just to make sure.

Sunday: Secret Band - Meat Fetish

     It was a bit of a lazy weekend here at Loud Noises HQ, hence my being behind by a couple of days. But we're going to get you nice and caught up today, and on top of that I promise that I wasn't slacking off 100% over the weekend -- I've got a few irons in the fire that I'm working away on, so stay tuned for those.

     In the meantime, however, let's get right to all that catching up, shall we? Starting with Secret Band, which you can be forgiven for not having heard about. It was a secret, after all, apparently from then-Dance Gavin Dance clean singer Jonny Craig.I guess with Craig gone, Secret Band is a secret no more.

     In essence, Secret Band is Dance Gavin Dance with no clean singing, but the riffing is a little more out there and the "core" is almost a little mathy. If you don't dig DGD at all, then chances are you won't like Secret Band (surprise!). But if ever a DGD song tickled your fancy and you wished it could be just a little bit heavier, have a listen to "Meat Fetish", the opening track from Secret Band's self-titled debut, and see if that's the flavour you're looking for.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Saturday: Trioscapes - From the Earth to the Moon

     I've spent a fair amount of time with Trioscapes' new record Digital Dream Sequence since it came out, and I've come to the conclusion that it's a grower, not a shower.

     Upon first listen, I thought, this is good, but not as good as Separate Realities. But after multiple listens, I've decided it's at least as good. It's grown on me with every listen, and today's song is a major reason why.

     "From the Earth to the Moon" might just be my favourite track on Digital Dream Sequence, thanks largely to the big fat groove that happens (for the first time) around 3:25 when all three instruments sync up for a passage that gets endlessly stuck in my head. Later, just shy of 6:00, when the guys touch on these ideas again with flute in place of saxophone, it's that much bigger because of it.

     The only problem? No upload of this song on Youtube, or anywhere else that I've found so far. So you're just going to have to get yourself a copy of Digital Dream Sequence to know what I'm talking about.

Friday: Stargazer - Bold and Brash

     By now you should all know that I like instrumental music as much as the next guy, if not more. But if you're anything like me, you entertain  occasional "what if" scenarios when you're jamming your favourite instrumental stuff. Namely, you're thinking "what if these guys had a singer?"

     If you were able to flip to the end of such a choose your own adventure book about Scale the Summit, or maybe Chimp Spanner, you might see the name Stargazer printed on that last page. They've got a similarly melodic brand of djenty progcore, but with some quality core vocals thrown into the mix.

     Stargazer have yet to put out a full LP, but for the time being we can all sate ourselves on their latest track, entitled "Bold and Brash". It's got some good grooving riffage going on, and even though it has flashes of the aforementioned instrumental acts, it still manages to throw a bit of a twist onto things, and that's never a bad thing.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Cannibal Corpse - The Murderer's Pact

      Full disclosure: I've never been a huge Cannibal Corpse fan. I'm not really sure why this is -- I don't know if the over-gory imagery is just kinda campy to me, or whether I just don't "get" George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher -- but it remains true that Cannibal Corpse don't really register on my death metal radar most of the time. Sorry I'm not as metal as you thought.

     All of that being said, I am still aware that Cannibal Corpse has a new album coming out next week, entitled A Skeletal Domain. And it just so happens that I'm getting decently into the second of the songs to be released so far, namely "The Murderer's Pact". Again, I don't know what it is that makes this song click for me, but it's got some groovy riffage that I'm into. You into too?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Album of the Week: Exotic Animal Petting Zoo - Tree of Tongues

     Last week I spent a day gushing over Indiana experimental post-hardcore band Exotic Animal Petting Zoo and imploring you to check out the tune "Kasper Hauser Could See the Stars in the Daytime". Today I'm going to make doubly sure you did so.

     Your assignment this week is to spend some more time with "Kasper Hauser" and all his other strange and twisted friends on Exotic Animal Petting Zoo's sophomore record Tree of Tongues. I've repeatedly talked about EAPZ's reckless energy and how I'd liken them to a modern day At the Drive-In, but now it's your turn to put your money where my mouth is.

     OK, so that sounded dirtier than I'd intended, but you catch my drift, right? I've said over and over how much I dig this album, and now you're going to hear what I've been talking about. I get the feeling some Exotic Animal Petting Zoo fans might recommend you start with debut I Have Made my Bed in Darkness, but for once I'm not one of those "first album is the best and everything goes downhill after that" kinda guys. They're both great records, but Tree of Tongues just feels to me like a more refined, more confident, and more badass version of the band's sound.

     So put on Tree of Tongues, listen to it the whole way through in one go if you can, and I bet you'll be sold before the end of "Arcology". Then we can join together and pester the band until they see fit to put out another album.

The Ghost Inside - Avalanche

     You should all know by now that, in general, I like my metalcore a little more metal and a little less core. But I'm definitely not above cranking some metalcore that leans more heavily the other way.

     I was more or less unfamiliar with LA melodic hardcore/metalcore act The Ghost inside prior to hearing their latest song "Avalanche", and my younger self is wondering what took me so goddamned long to give these guys another listen. The punky speed and energy would have been right up high school me's alley, and the fact that vocals remind me a little of Karl from Misery Signals only seals the deal for undergrad me.

     No word on a release date for the album from which this track hails, or even a name for said record, but based on the strength of "Avalance" you can officially colour me interested in new material from The Ghost Inside.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Unearth - The Swarm

     I used to really dig Unearth, but it's been a while since anything they've put out has gotten me really excited. All the stuff on their last couple of albums sounded kinda samey to me, as if Unearth were one of those bands that had found their sound and were now comfortable to just keep on keeping on.

     Don't get me wrong, Unearth's same ol' same ol' can be pretty tasty at times; Mr. Susi and Mr. McGrath can write cool riffs 'till the cows come home. It's just that at a time when I was getting into heavier and heavier shit, Unearth were still working from more or less the same playbook. Essentially, I got bored, and moved on.

     But Unearth has once again got my attention. The band debuted "The Swarm" on tour over the summer, but now we've finally got the studio version to sink our teeth into. Even better, it slays. The first song to be released from their forthcoming Watchers of Rule kicks off with trem picking and blast beating like an honest-to-Satan death metal song, and while it does wander back into more Unearth-y sounding territory its foot is still firmly planted on the gas for the whole three and a half minutes. Have a listen and see if your interest in Unearth is likewise rekindled.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Kettlespider - Evolution

     They must be putting something in the Fosters, because the Land Down Under seems to be cranking out cool musical acts like it's going out of style. Your Song of the Day this evening, a bit of instrumental prog, adds another name to that growing list.

     Kettlespider are purveyors of some very Dream Theater-flavoured instrumental prog -- think big melody lines and keyboards that aren't just for atmosphere, less most of the John Petrucci guitar acrobatics -- and their latest recording effort sees them taking to the studio for some live videos like the one for today's song.

     Despite its definite progginess, "Evolution" feels almost post-rock to me, in the sense that its eight-minute-plus running time constitutes a musical journey that builds momentum as the song goes on. It's a little less "metal" than some of their earlier work, but it's still a cool collection of proggy parts, and a promising sign of things to come for this young band.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Sunday: Piano - Disappearing Ink

     Regular readers (yeah, you two) should know by now (because I keep telling you as much) that I'm a big Dan Tompkins fanboy. You know the guy: the once-and-future frontman for the British djentlemen in Tesseract and the voice behind India's Skyharbor, to name just two of the awesome projects with which Dan's involved.

     Two not enough for you? Require further evidence of Dan's raditude? OK, how about Japan-based post-whatever band Piano? With Dan's formidable vocal help, these guys have been plugging away in relative obscurity for quite some time now, releasing a couple of cool EPs in the last eight or nine years. But now, for whatever reason, the stars have finally aligned and Piano has an LP coming out in a few weeks.

     Being the fanboy that I am, Salvage Architecture would be worth checking out just for Dan's presence on it, but it sure doesn't hurt that this record's shaping up to be exactly my cup of tea. Have a listen to first single "Disappearing Ink" and then join me in rejoicing at the fact that a) there's going to be new Piano material widely available come the seventeenth, and b) it's so goddamned good.

Saturday: Ne Obliviscaris - Painters of the Tempest, Pt. 2, Mvmt. 3: Curator

     Six-piece Australian progressive melo-death band Ne Obliviscaris is one of the latest metal acts to hit a home run with crowdfunding, raising nearly $90,000 with the campaign for their latest album Citadel. Even though the finished product isn't due out until November on the always respectable Season of Mist, just this past week the guys quit teasing and released the first full track from the record.

     "Painters of the Tempest, Part 2, Movement 3: Curator" is certainly a mouthful to say, and considering that it's only one part of an epic that spans more than twenty minutes, it certainly sounds a bit lofty too, a bit highbrow. But Ne Obliviscaris doesn't disappoint, delivering a finely-crafted piece of progressive death metal that includes some big melodies, and even some strings, without veering too far over the line of good taste into the realm of cheese.

     I have a feeling this album might garner some more buzz closer to its release in November, so get in on the ground floor and impress your friends by hearing something before they do. You know you want to!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Intervals - Automaton

     Playthrough videos have been the order of the day in heavy music for a while now, and that suits me just fine. As someone who plays guitar, and wishes they had the coordination to play drums, I enjoy being able to see a song actually played on an instrument, from start to finish. This is especially true of songs by bands I've never seen in concert, or likely will never see.

     There's just something about being able to watch and say, "so that's what he's doing there!" And as I said above, not being able to play the drums myself just makes a good drum playthrough video that much more impressive for me personally.

     So when the stars align and the Venn diagram circles of "good song" and "good playthrough" overlap, who am I to deny the will of the gods and forgo making such a song your Song of the Day. That's why tonight you're getting "Automaton" from A Voice Within, the latest from Canadian former instrumental act Intervals. Drummer Anup Sastry has put out a lot of good playthroughs, and this one's no exception.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Thursday: Bispora - The Expedition

     Fuck you and your "Throwback Thursdays", today's Techback Thursday, bitches!

     Tonight's flavour of techyness is the prog-influenced, electro-weirdness-tinged experimental death metal of California's Bispora. If that sounds like an uninformative description, try this: think Between the Buried and Me, skewed a little less death metal and a little more straight-ahead prog strangeness (if that makes any sense) and perhaps you'll be closer the mark.

     But even if you're still lost, don't let that stop you from checking Bispora out. Their debut LP, The Pineal Chronicles Phase I: Furtherance, is all kinds of wacky goodness. Start at the start with album opener "The Expedition" and trek onward from there.

Album of the Week: Closure in Moscow - Pink Lemonade

     I'm fairly certain that if you've gotten this far with me, you've got a relatively open musical mind. If I'm correct in that conclusion, then this week's album will hopefully be right up your alley.

     I've written about Australia post-hardcore-meets-prog band Closure in Moscow several times in the past, featuring songs from their last couple of albums. Their latest, Pink Lemonade, presents something of a challenge to their established fanbase.

     You see, the first two Closure in Moscow albums were, like I said, post-hardcore-ish affairs, tinged with whiffs of other, proggier stuff that elevated them above mere post-hardcore-ism. First Temple, especially, is a great album no matter what genre label you want to put on it. But with Pink Lemonade the boys went full space-prog funk-pop and crafted something fans might not necessarily have expected -- or wanted -- as a follow-up to First Temple.

     But fear not. If you've got the kind of open musical mind I was talking about up top, there's every chance you'll be happy as a clam with Pink Lemonade, another kick-ass Closure in Moscow record now matter how you genre-fy it, and sure to end up on at least a couple year end best of lists. Spin it and see what you think.

Wednesday: Exotic Animal Petting Zoo - Kasper Hauser Could See the Stars in Daytime

     Things seem to have been pretty quiet lately in camp Exotic Animal Petting Zoo. Checking them out on Facebook reveals that their last major round of touring was last year, with few posts since then, which I'm hoping means new material. Fingers crossed!

     I only discovered Exotic Animal Petting zoo a couple of years ago, upon the release of the more recent album Tree of Tongues, but these guys have quickly become one of my favourite currently active bands. I always forget how awesome their energy is whenever I go a while without listening to them, but get me about ten seconds into Tree of Tongues' opening track "Pharmakokinetic" and I'm hooked all over again.

     So now let's try and get you on the Exotic Animal Petting Zoo bandwagon too. I've written about them a couple of times before, and as such I've featured a few of my favourite EAZP songs already. But no journey through their catalogue would be complete without hearing "Kasper Hauser Could See the Stars in Daytime" (bonus: it's live at Audiotree!). So stay a while, and listen.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Tuesday: The Haunted - Cutting Teeth

     It seems like 2014 is the year of venerable Swedish metal bands getting back in the saddle and putting out new material. New In Flames, new At the Gates, and new these guys too.

     "Cutting Teeth" is the first true/full track from Exit Wounds, the latest from Gothenburg's The Haunted, and it's a fast-paced, thrashy little number with an old-school feel. The whole record is similarly aggressive, but I think "Cutting Teeth" is a good place to start. It's not going to wow you with its originality or innovation, but it will make you bang your head.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Yob - In Our Blood

     It's a long weekend (here in Canada at least) so I figure you've perhaps got a bit more time for today's song than you normally might. I certainly hope that you do, because you're going to need a healthy chunk of it to fully appreciate today's song.

     Oregonian doom dealers Yob have a new record out, and while doom and gloom isn't usually my thing the positive buzz I'm seeing about this one compelled me to have a listen for myself. The conclusion I've reached is that recently released Clearing the Path to Ascend is all about sloooww buurrrns (all four of the album's tracks clock in at more than ten minutes long) but there are indeed some tasty rewards to be had for sticking it out through the building phase.

     Album opener "In Our Blood" is a perfect example. Much of its near seventeen minute running time is spent on what I would call simmer, which is all well and good, but a couple of times Yob's pot boils over and when it does, it's some good, good stuff. Give it a go and see if it's the kind of thing you've got time for.