Friday, 30 January 2015

Wolf & Bear - Oil Cup

     Regular readers stand a decent chance of knowing that I enjoy the post-hardcore stylings of bands like Dance Gavin Dance. That kind of thing might not be Metal enough for some, but I grew up on various forms of it, and it still does the job for me. So I'm usually pretty interested when I come across somebody doing something similar.

     Wolf & Bear do something similar, in that they're also purveyors of energetic post-hardcore fronted by a twin-vocalist attack. Indeed, listening to their new single "Oil Cup" will likely make you think of DGD pretty readily, if DGD is something with which you're familiar. But Wolf & Bear is a bit of a different flavour, with the pop dialed back a notch and the post-hardcore up a smidge in its place.

     Is it a world of difference? Not really. Is it different enough to warrant a place alongside Dance Gavin Dance in your collection? You decide!

Thursday: And So I Watch You From Afar - Think: Breathe: Destroy

     Time for a little belated instrumental post-rock from Ireland for your Thursday. How's that for specific?

     Belfast's And So I Watch You From Afar have been pretty prolific over the last few years, with three albums, an EP and a couple of remixes to their credit in the last four years or so, and another LP Heirs due out in May. And despite their being, as I tried to encapsulate above, an instrumental, post-whatevery kind of band (think vaguely Russian Circles or Mogwai-type stuff) they cover a fair amount of musical ground in some of their songs.

     Songs like "Think: Breathe: Destroy" from the band's 2011 LP Gangs, which charts a course through a couple of different moods with some noodly, interwoven guitar parts back up by some big bass. The track even ends, appropriately enough given ASIWYFA's nationality, on a somewhat celtic feeling groove. If this kind of music is your jam, these guys will definitely give you a lot to chew on.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Periphery - Alpha

     The wait is over, and Periphery's long-anticipated double album Juggernaut is upon us. So, what's your favourite track? Are you digging on Alpha or Omega more so far? Do you even give a shit that Periphery has a new record out?

     While you sit and ponder those imponderables, why not check out Periphery's first video for a song from one of the Juggernaut discs, namely their treatment for "Alpha". It's a cool enough little video, though it's nothing really groundbreaking or anything. But even if it's not your cup of tea, the track itself is a good slice of Periphery in 2015: the drumming is bananas, the riffing is good and groovy, and there's crazy popped-out falsetto vocals over top of the whole thing. Oh, and there's some 8-bit, chip tune-style goodness in there just for good measure. Fire up the Contra.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Helix Nebula - Crystal Plains

     Heavy instrumental music is in a pretty awesome place right now, and these guys are one of the many reasons why.

     Your quickie song tonight comes from Australia's The Helix Nebula and their 2014 EP Meridian. The guys have recently put out a playthrough video for shreddy progfest "Crystal Plains", so now is the perfect time to get acquainted, or reacquainted, with The Helix Nebula. With a debut EP like this one, a debut LP might prove to be fucking phenomenal.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Arcane - Keeping Stone: Sound on Fire

     If you had to, I bet you could name at least a handful of bands that sound like Tool. Or maybe more than a handful. But are any of them any good? Sure, there's a ton of imitators, but can any of them even hold a candle to the originator?

     Nobody's quite gotten Tool down pat just yet, but Australia's Arcane do a pretty good job of taking a Toolish kind of vibe and making it their own, filtering it through a more symphonic, epic lens. For a sample, have a listen to "Keeping Stone: Sound on Fire" from the band's latest double-album Known/Learned. It's more straight forward than a Tool song might be, but it's got at least enough grandiosity and brooding atmosphere to earn it a spot at the Tool table.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

A Thousand Dead - Chasing Goats

     Do you remember yesterday, when I posted about California's Raiju? Well you can thank them for today's dose of instrumental progaliciousness. Yes, that's a word.

     Someone over at Raiju HQ recently made a Facebook post about fellow Californians A Thousand Dead and their latest single, the somewhat strangely titled "Chasing Goats". If you know Raiju at all, you should have at least a moderate level of trust in their recommendation, but just in case you're not familiar with their awesomeness, let me do my best to sell you on A Thousand Dead myself: "Chasing Goats" opens with some shreddy progressive metal that grooves its way to an atmospheric middle section reminiscent of Scale the Summit before wending its way back to its chunkier, noodlier beginnings.

     If that sounds like a musical road trip you're at all into taking, I implore you to check out "Chasing Goats" and A Thousand Dead. The future could be very tasty for these guys.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Raiju - Yetzer Hara

     If "yesterday's" post of Crosses was meant to be a little more chill for a Friday evening of hanging out, then today's song is meant for a more... energetic Saturday evening. Prepare yourself for some progtastic out-rocking.

     I've written about Berkeley's Raiju before, and if the strength of their debut LP Haunt is any indication, I'll most definitely be writing about them again. Haunt's chock full of a variety of proggy flavours, from shred-djent a la Periphery to speedy pop-metal riffing a la Protest the Hero, and all of them are present in generous-but-not-overindulgent amounts.

     Check out "Yetzer Hara" for a slice of the kind of cocktail I'm talking about, and give Haunt a spin if you're looking for more where that came from.

Friday: Crosses - This is a Trick

     Today I'm once again trying to (admittedly belatedly) set the mood for your Friday evening, this time with a somewhat laid back track that still carries its own heavy flavour.

     For a Friday evening of maxing and relaxing with friends who are perhaps a little metallically inclined, Chino Moreno's latest non-Deftones project Crosses should be a pretty safe bet. It's a very electronic-influenced, darkly poppy project that's a pretty far cry from Deftones stuff. But it's also catchy as hell and replete with cool beats and melodies.

     Even if this kind of music isn't usually your bag, Crosses should hold your attention and garner your approval. Have a listen to "This is a Trick", the opening track from Crosses self-titled 2014 debut LP, and see if these guys will make it into your regular Friday evening rotation.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Tom Morello/Serj Tankian - Crazy Train

     Part of me wants to sit on this one and save it for the next Under the Covers of Darkness week, whenever the hell that might be. But I've seen such a polarizing reaction to this song today that I feel compelled to share it with you, just in case you haven't come across it on your own yet.

     The track I'm talking about is a cover of Ozzy's "Crazy Train" recently recorded by Tom Morello, Serj Tankian, Rudy Sarzo, and Vinny Appice for a Randy Rhoads tribute album. The reaction is mixed, but generally negative: comments attack everything from the mix to the solos, from the unoriginality of the interpretation to its looseness. So I figure you should check it out and make up your own mind. You could even post a comment below if you feel that strongly about it. Jeez.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Escher - The Bog

     It's Wednesday, and once again you can count on my having some crunchy for you to get wacky to. This week it's progtastic fun from North Carolina's Escher.

     This immensely talented five-piece has just released a new EP entitled The Ground is Missing and a swell new single to go along with it. "The Bog" is dense, proggy, and very jazz fusion-influenced, gingerly treading the line between intricate melodicism and jagged dissonance. Have a listen to this one and I'll bet you too will be ready to devour the whole EP.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Psycroptic - The World Discarded

     I'm sure I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: there must be something about the combination of Fosters and barbie-grilled shrimp, because Australia produces some crazy-talented heavy bands. Given what day of the week it is, it's lucky for us that one of those crazy-talented bands has a new album coming out and a new single to go with it.

     Tech-death veterans Pyscroptic are getting set to unleash their sixth album, a self-titled disc, this spring. Since it's Tuesday, you're getting your first taste of the new record in the form of "The World Discarded", a concise slice of rapid fire tech-death with a bit of thrashy flavour too. It sounds fresh but feels classic, a winning combination for any Tech Tuesday.

Monday: Radiohead - Jigsaw Falling Into Place

     Every seven days or so Monday happens to us again, which is why I try to keep things fun with alliterative themes like this week's Mellow Monday. So chill out, brah,

     Spoiler alert: when I'm looking for something a little more "chill" but still musically interesting, Radiohead remains near the top of my list. Love them or hate them, metalheads, they've had a pretty epic career that's produced a pretty varied catalogue. As a result, it shouldn't be too hard to find something to suit your mood on any given occasion.

     This evening I've gone with "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" from Radiohead's 2007 album In Rainbows because it's always been a song that I've dug, and because it strikes this weird balance between laid back and intense. Check it out and pretend it's yesterday.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Sunday: Rest Among Ruins - Sign to Surrender

     Upon what can I cast the blame for being late a day yet again? Well, since all of the usual suspects have pretty much been tapped out already this weekend, I'll be cryptic and say only that I've been working on a little something for you that should (hopefully) appear towards the end of this week.

     Anyways, now for a Sunday song. This time out it's going to be a little bit of tasty melo-death courtesy of Baltimore's Rest Among Ruins, who've recently released a playthrough video for "Sign to Surrender" from their upcoming debut LP Fugue. If the rhythm guitarist in said playthrough looks a tad familiar, that's understandable, as Mike Semesky did vocalist duties for Intervals on the first full-length A Voice Within and the subsequent tour cycle.

     Presumably part of Mike's decision to part ways with Intervals with his role in Rise Among Ruins, a melodic death metal band with djent frosting and vaguely symphonic sprinkles. Have a listen to "Sign to Surrender" if that sounds like something you'd like a taste of.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Saturday: Fulgora - Meridian

     I'm not normally a guy for grind and the like, but that doesn't mean that stuff doesn't come along that tickles my fancy. Your song for yesterday is one such fancy tickling track.

     Fulgora is something of a metal/grind supergroup, being comprised of members of established acts Pig Destroyer, Misery Index, and Agoraphobic Nosebleed. Now, I'm not much of a fan of any of these individual pieces, but something about their combination in Fulgora holds greater appeal for me.

     As the hook to get you into Fulgora too, I present the video for "Meridian", the first single from the band's upcoming LP Stratagem. It's a three-minute slice of furious deathgrind that's got more angular energy than lots of bands pack into more longer compositions. If you like any of the bands mentioned above, or if you just like a good pummeling, give "Meridian" and Fulgora a spin.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Friday: letlive. - That Fear Fever

     Last night got a little sleepy, so I didn't get the chance to post a high energy jam to get your Friday evening going. Please consider this, then, a high energy jam to get your Saturday morning hangover start off right.

     By this point you should all know that I really dig LA post-hardcore act letlive., to the point that I have repeatedly called them the modern recipients of Glassjaw's more-or-less passed torch. Their last record The Blackest Beautiful only came out in 2013, but already I wish they'd get back in the studio and give me a follow-up already. It's that good.

     So if you're in need of some pumping and/or revving up this weekend, try some letlive. stuff -- "That Fear Fever", from the aforementioned The Blackest Beautiful, for example. It's a short, sharp demonstration of the frenetic energy Jason and company exhibit throughout their catalogue. Check that shit.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Sylosis - To Build a Tomb

     Dormant Heart, the latest from British thrash veterans Sylosis, has been out a couple of days now, so it's about time I featured another of their tracks. And as is often the case around album release time, the guys have given me the perfect choice.

     How? By doing an in-studio performance video for "To Build a Tomb" and slaying it, that's how. From a performance perspective, everything is bang on and album-tight. From a song or composition perspective, "To Build a Tomb" is all Sylosis: it starts off big and crushing, and ends up thrashy and shreddy, just like it should. Check it out.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Heights - SOLAR (Bringer of Chaos), LUNAR (Bringer of Light)

     Tesseract fans among you should know Jay Postones as the curly-haired beatmaster at the back of the stage that keeps everything rolling along funkily. But did you know that Jay has another pretty rad project on his resume? Now you know!

     Not surprisingly, Jay's other band Heights is nice and proggy, an instrumental counterpoint to the powerful vocal work that has been one of the cornerstones of Tesseract's sound through every vocalist change. Also not surprisingly, Jay's drumming is as solid as always, even if Heights isn't necessarily as "heavy" as Tesseract, per se.

     All comparisons aside, the important bit of takeaway here is that Heights are working on their third album, the proggily titled Phantasia on the High Processions of Sun, Moon, and Countless Stars Above, and that they've recently released a track from said album. Besides having its own appropriately lengthy title, "SOLAR (Bringer of Chaos), LUNAR (Bringer of Light)" is a melodic journey of fairly epic proportions. It starts out with a recurring darkly labyrinthine groove and ends up in decidedly brighter territory, like sunlight coming through clouds. How's that for a poetic description for you? Sink your teeth into some Heights already.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Exit Ten - Resume Ignore

     A week or two ago I wrote a post about I Am Giant, the latest project from a couple of members of now-apparently-defunct British post-rock/metal band Exit Ten. Today, listening to some of this very band, it occurred to me that there's a decent chance you didn't know who I was talking about. It has, after all, been a while since I featured a song of theirs. Time to fix that? I think so.

     To that end, tonight you're getting a tasty five-minute slice of heavy and melodic post-rock (the lack of harsh vocals leads me to hesitate before typing "post-hardcore") in the form of "Resume Ignore", originally from Exit Ten's 2006 EP This World They'll Drown (as heard at the link above) and later re-recorded for the band's 2008 debut LP Remember the Day. It's not going to blow your balls of with heaviness, but I for one think it's got enough head-noddy groove and chunky riffing to please even fans of much heavier persuasions. Check it out and lament that these guys are yet another band that can be filed under "indefinite hiatus".

Monday, 12 January 2015

Journal - Unlorja

     Your Monday going a little too simply for you? Things fitting together a little too neatly, a little too nicely? Need something jagged to shake things up? Or just had enough rhetorical questions? Relax, I've got you covered no matter what.

     Or rather, Sacramento's Journal has you covered. Their 2010 opus Unlorja is a monolithic slab of dense-as-fuck math-flavoured prog, practically guaranteed to melt your brain a little. What's more, Unlorja is also a concept album that features three different vocalists providing varied performances for different aspects of the record. The end result is something that'll pummel and delight in equal measure.

     Have a listen to title track "Unlorja" for an approximately six minute encapsulation of what I'm talking about, and then prepare yourself for the madness that is the rest of Unlorja, because I'm willing to bet that as it stands you're not quite ready for Journal.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Rishloo - Landmines

     It isn't every day that you come across a band that genuinely warrants comparison to one of the greatest prog bands of the last decade or two. It isn't every day, but it might just be today.

     Despite the fact that their later albums grew increasingly more hit or miss for this particular fan, there's no denying that The Mars Volta was more than capable of crafting some magic, when they managed to rein in their own musicianship. Listening to the track "Landmines" from Seattle band Rishloo's latest album Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth invites comparison to some of those more focused efforts.

     Some gnarly guitar tones, some powerful vocal work, and a shifting compositional sense that doesn't sit too still for too long all add up to some interesting prog rock. It doesn't so much sound like a band trying to ape Mars Volta as it does a band whose sound happens to have evolved some aspects similar to that kind of a sound.

     Any road, the bottom line is that fans of good modern prog rock will dig these guys and as such would be well advised to check them out. You're welcome.

Cloudkicker (with Intronaut) - Push It Way Up!

     Fans of either post-metal sludge slingers Intronaut or one-man instrumental army Cloudkicker probably already know that the two acts did a bit of a unique tour this fall. The rest of you need to sit down and get edumucated.

     You see, Cloudkicker is a one-man home studio project, meaning that it typical doesn't do any kind of touring. But what if you're Ben Sharp and you do want to get on the road and play some live shows? What do you do then? You get Intronaut to come along as your backing  band, of course.

     Fortunately for those of us who didn't get to catch this potentially once-in-a-lifetime lineup, Cloudkicker released a live album from the tour back in November. For a taste of the magic that went down, check out "Push It Way Up!", the album's closing track. It's as rife with good grooves as the rest of Cloudkicker's stuff, and the latter portion of its nearly seven minute running time consists of what feels like an extended jam section, even if it isn't unscripted at all. Headphones wouldn't be remiss for this one.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Caligula's Horse - A Gift to Afterthought

     Tonight's post is going to be what you always hope fast food will be: delivered to you as quickly as possible but still nice and tasty.

     I've written about Australian prog masters Caligula's Horse at least once before, featuring a song from the band's 2013 album The Tide, The Thief & River's End. There doesn't seem to be a new C-Horse record imminently on the horizon just yet, but the band has recently put out a video for another song from The Tide to keep us going until news of new material fills the progless hole in our collective soul.

     "A Gift to Afterthought" opens The Tide, The Thief & River's End with a bang, its crunchy riffs, big melodies, and catchy grooves setting the tone for the rest of the record. If, as looks to be the case based on the band's Facebook, there are at least some kind of recording plans for 2015, Caligula's Horse will definitely be an act to keep an eye on.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

East of the Wall - River Man

     Earlier in the week I raved about the latest song from Long Island proggers Cryptodira, which hails from an upcoming split the band did with none other than favourites of mine East of the Wall. The sheer awesomeness of "Speaking the Ocean" made me all the more anxious to hear East of the Wall's contribution, and as it turns out I didn't have to wait long.

     I came home from work today to find East of the Wall's weirdly cool cover of Nick Drake's "River Man" making the internet rounds. Yes, you read that right: East of the Wall's track on this split with Cryptodira is a cover of a Nick Drake song. Not what you were expecting from a band like East of the Wall? You'd be surprised.

     In the tradition of the best covers, East of the Wall don't just do a lounge act, cover band version of "River Man", instead making the song really feel like one of their own. It gets dense and technical, as an East of the Wall song should, and travels pretty far afield from Drake's original, but never so far that it sound like an original rather than a cover. I didn't see this one coming, but that almost makes it better, right? Just check it out already.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Nok Novum - Shiryo

     It's Wednesday once again (as it usually is following Tuesday) and man oh man have I got something proggy and groovy for you to hump to.

     Canadian instrumental act Nok Novum may not be especially well known at the moment, but if they keep releasing material like their latest single "Shiryo" that's going to change pretty fast. It's eight minutes of groovy, proggy instrumental metal, with just enough free rein given to weird melodic ideas, never too much. "Shiryo" track goes a lot of places without ever feeling either lost and meandery or schizophrenic and disjointed. Ideas don't vanish too early or overstay their welcome, instead being jammed around for what always feels like an appropriate amount of time.

     This might sound like an isolated facet of the band's music to get hung up on, but instrumental metal can get old real fast if done wrong. "Shiryo" is a prime example of  Nok Novum doing it right. A guy could get pretty into an album's worth of material of this quality, just saying.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Veil of Maya - Phoenix

     Would you look at this? A Tuesday post that's actually getting posted on Tuesday? Now you've seen everything. It might not quite be a Tech Tuesday, but I'll let you be the ultimate judge of that one.

     New Year's Day this year saw a new Veil of Maya song and accompanying lyric video, the first to be released with former vocalist Brandon Butler's replacement Lukas Magyar. "Phoenix" is pretty much par for the Veil of Maya course: percussive and dare I say "djenty" riffing underneath some atmospheric lead lines and stuff. They certainly haven't broken the mold, or reinvented the wheel, or whatever aphorism you want to use, but they have managed to craft another fun headbanging jam.

     While I still don't quite see the fanatical devotion Veil of Maya inspires in some of its fans, I do dig "Phoenix" better than some I've liked some of their earlier stuff. Hopefully the new record, whenever it's done, will bring both the funk and the noise.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Job For a Cowboy - A Global Shift

     Well fuck me, it's finally happened. After spending virtually the last month or so treading water and playing catch up, this is the first time in a long time that I'm writing Monday's Song of the Day on Monday. It's officially 2015, and your Loud Noises Song of the Day feature is officially synced up with the real world, so let's try and keep it that way, shall we?

     For your Motherfucking Metal Monday, I've picked a badass number from what I consider to be one of the most surprising albums of 2014. The more I listen to Job For a Cowboy's Sun Eater, the more I dig it; tight death metal drumming, some sinister riffing, some absolutely monstrous bass work are all things that catch my ear, but I wasn't expecting just how much my ear would be caught by this one.

     I could single out a number of tracks from Sun Eater (and already have a couple of times) but tonight I'm going with mid-album "A Global Shift", thanks in no small part to its sweet solo. Check it out, and then let me know if you were as surprised by its quality as I was .

Sunday: Skyharbor - Allure

     You know I'm overfond of alliteration sometimes, and it's been a while since I've recommended you check out a Skyharbor song, so have a Skyharbor Sunday why don't you?

     The other reason you're getting Skyharbor for your Sunday post is that vocalist Dan Tompkins has recently done another of his "live" vocal take videos, this time for the song "Allure" from the band's still-relatively-new album Guiding Lights. That's all the excuse I need to feature the track and tell you to check it out.

     And in addition to yet another powerful performance from Dan -- including a glass-breaker of a high note --  you get some jazzy lead work part-way through that perfectly compliments the kind of groove the band is building throughout this jam. If you're not into what Skyharbor does, then you probably won't dig this one. But if you like them already, or just plain don't know them, then this one's for you.

Saturday: Cryptodira - Speaking the Ocean

     Time for a Saturday song, and I've got something suitably tasty picked out for a weekend jam.

     I've raved more than once about post-hardcore/metal band East of the Wall, and while I haven't heard any news about a new EOTW LP yet, I have read (as you may have as well) about a forthcoming split EP they're doing with a band called Cryptodira. I haven't heard the East of the Wall track yet, but if it's anything like the offering from Cryptodira, it slays!

     And realistically it could be. "Speaking the Ocean" is my first brush with Cryptodira, but the song's musicianship and sheer density remind me of East of the Wall and make the two bands' cohabitation on a split entirely understandable. I'll definitely be delving into some more from these guys, and you probably should too. Sounds like their next LP might just be killer, and right up my proggy alley.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Friday: I Am Giant - Russian Doll

     Don't say anything now, but I'm actually almost caught up with real time. But rather than spoil it by calling attention to it, I'm just going to keep plugging away until the plugging's done. This time out, I've got another mini connection to exploit connecting your Friday song back to a band I've written about a couple of times before.

     Does the name Exit Ten ring any bells for any of you? They're a now-essentially-defunct British post-rock/hardcore/whatever band whose 2008 album Remember the Day I very much enjoy. Unfortunately, they're on an indefinite hiatus, and those have a disconcerting tendency to become permanent, but at least a few of the members of Exit Ten are up to something in the meantime.

     Frontman Ryan Redman and guitarist Stuart Steele have gotten themselves hooked up with I Am Giant, another British purveyor of catchy and interesting heavy rock. Ryan in particular is a recent addition, and the guys released their first track with Ryan a couple of weeks ago. "Russian Doll" should appeal if you dug Exit Ten, or if big jams are your thing. This one's not complicated or anything, but it's still tasty nonetheless. 

New Year's Day: Darkest Hour - Be Forewarned

     Happy New Year everybody! I know I'm still a little behind the real world calendar, but here in Loud Noises land it's Thursday now, which means so long 2014, you hideous old crone! Hello 2015, you nubile young vixen!

     For this Thursday New Year's Day, I'm throwing it back a bit to Darkest Hour's 2001 sophomore LP So Sedated, So Secure for the first "official" post of 2015. Of course, I'm cheating just a little, in the sense that the song I've chosen is actually a bonus track from the 2006 re-issue of said album, but it's still a throwback of at least eight years, so it's enough for a Throwback Thursday.

     In fact, I picked Darkest Hour's cover of Pentagram's "Be Forewarned" not only because it harkens back to the band's early career but also because it's got a serious 60s Batman-type vibe going on with one of its riffs. I trust you'll know which one I mean when you hear it.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Wednesday: Destrage - Purania

     Despite the fact that it's still Wednesday, the last day of 2014, in the land of Loud Noises Songs of the Day, out here in the real world it's actually the 2nd of January as I write this. In other words, 2015 is well and truly upon us, meaning it's also well and truly year-in-review season.

     Much of the internets has been doing this for a couple of weeks now, but I haven't quite got all my ducks in a row yet, and I like waiting until 2014 is actually officially over anyways. So while you'll have to wait a little bit yet for my Ten Best of the Year list and that kind of thing, in the meantime I implore you to enjoy a song from a band that may or may not appear on such a list whenever I get around to producing it.

     Are You Kidding Me? No. from Italy's Destrage spent a lot of time shredding its way into my brain this year. It's not hard to understand why -- vocal diversity, intricate drumwork, and furious riffing are all things I like individually, so put them together and the result is pure magic. Put on "Purania" from Are You Kidding Me? No. and prepare to be hooked.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Tuesday: Son of Aurelius - The First, The Serpent

     It's Tech Tuesday time once again, and I'm going back to the debut LP from a band that I feel is a little underrated right now. Hopefully this year's sophomore effort Under a Western Sun will change that. In the meantime, back to 2010!

     That's the year that saw the release of Son of Aurelius' freshman record The Farthest Reaches, on which can be found your Tech Tuesday song for this past Tuesday, album closer "The First, The Serpent". Like the rest of the album, it's certainly technically minded enough for a Tech Tuesday song, but it's also strong on melody too, like a good melodeath album.

     I think these guys have the potential to be much bigger than they are, so get in on or near the ground floor and check this one out so you can say you dug Son of Aurelius before they were big.

Monday: The Mars Volta - Cotopaxi

     We're continuing to battle the clock here at Loud Noises, and by my watch it's time for a song for this past Monday. We're almost there, people!

     As it so often does around here, Monday means alliteration this week, in the form of a Mars Volta Monday. Usually, as you should know by now, I'd be more likely to pick something from the band's earlier work, since that's the stuff I both like the best and think is objectively the best quality. But today I'm going with something a little later in the band's catalogue for your Monday Mars Volta song.

     That song is "Cotopaxi" from 2009's Octahedron, which normally I would consider to be one of The Mars Volta's less cohesive, less focused works. But at less than four minutes, "Cotopaxi" doesn't have time to wander or overstay its welcome, and it's all the better for it. Check it out if you want example of a later Mars Volta effort that's still concise and coherent.

Sunday: The Receiving End of Sirens - The Rival Cycle

     You should all know by now that I like it when there's a common theme connecting my Song of the Day posts together. Even if this connecting thread is so thin as to be practically non-existent, I derive a certain dorky pleasure from its mere existence.

     Lucky for me then (and you too!) that this song has a nice chunky connection to "yesterday's". Before fully setting out with his more-or-less solo project The Dear Hunter, Casey Crescenzo was in an emo/screamo/post-hardcore-type outfit called The Receiving End of Sirens. Casey's time with the band was somewhat short-lived, ending when he left the band in 2006 (temporarily -- he wasn't done with TREOS yet...) to dedicate his full attention to The Dear Hunter project, but it did produce a pretty classic album from my younger years.

     Your Sunday song is therefore a track from said album by The Receiving End of Sirens, Between the Heart and the Synapse. "The Rival Cycle" is a pretty decent representation of what TREOS is all about. It is, like I said, what might politely be called "post-hardcore" these days, by which I mean it could be a little "emo" sounding for the trooest of metalheads, but there's no eyeliner or anything here so don't let that whiff of something you think is bad dissuade you from checking out "The Rival Cycle".