Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Friday: islnds - Momnts

     My segue into your belated Friday post isn't quite as direct as Wednesday-to-Thursday was, but bear with me and we'll get there alright. To start: you know instrumental prog act Scale the Summit, right? Well guitarist Chris Lecthford has some more solo work just over the horizon that you might be interested in.

     This time around it's in the form of new project islnds (rather than simply Chris Letchford solo stuff) and accompanying new album History of Robots, which features some guest vocal work from a few familiar faces. First single "Momnts", for example, features Joey from The Reign of Kindo, and promo material indicates Tesseract alumnus Ashe O'Hara is involved as well.

     Musically speaking, things are a bit more mellow than Scale the Summit (not that StS is the heaviest thing in the instrumental prog world) but Chris' musicianship and melodic sensibility is still plainly evident. Spin this if you need a laid back jam tonight.

Thursday: Blotted Science - Vermicular Asphyxiation

     How's this for a carry-over theme from my last post: progressive instrumental with lots of jazzy influences and new material in the works. If these guys somehow had a Canadian connection, this segue would be nearly perfect, but alas, I'll have to settle for an increased tech quotient on this one. Sigh.

     Word on the street last fall was that Ron and Company were set to start work on a new record over the winter, but things have been more or less all quiet on the Blotted Science front since then. Hopefully no news is good news, in the sense of album progress being made, but either way we're stuck with old Blotted Science for the foreseeable future.

     No that there's anything wrong with that, seeing as how labyrinthine instrumental tech-prog is up everybody's alley, right?  Right. So let's put on "Vermicular Asphyxiation" from Blotted Science's 2011 EP The Animation of Entomology as background music for our ceremonies of propitiation to the tech gods asking for new Blotted Science in 2015.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Wednesday: Nok Novum - Mummy Trouble

     You know I love progressive music, instrumental music, and Canadian music. Your last Wednesday song lies at glorious the intersection of these three worlds. You can thank me later.

     We've just gotten word that the next single from Calgary's Nok Novum will come out later next month, so unfortunately there's still a little bit of a wait ahead of us before we get more new material. That means that for now, we have to be content with Nok Novum's self-titled debut album... which isn't anything to complain about, really, because Nok Novum is a wild and wooly adventure in instrumental jazz-fusion.

     Just because I can't decide, I'm sticking you with album-opener "Mummy Trouble", an epic that starts out almost jazz-meets-porno-funk, tours through space prog, then shifts to angular metal groove territory before touching back down in funk town. It's a trip. . As a bonus, your video link for this one points to a playthrough vid from the man himself, Nok Novum guitarist Grant Cooper.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Tuesday: Earthside (feat. Lajon Witherspoon) - Mob Mentality

     Back in May, I posted about the sweet cinematic prog of Connecticut's Earthside, but maybe you listened to"The Closest I've Come" and thought that something was missing. Something vocalish, maybe. Well, the band's most recent single should fill in the blank nicely, and it's your Tuesday song.

     The extra puzzle piece here is a predictably killer vocal performance from none other than Sevendust's Lajon Witherspoon on Earthside's latest "Mob Mentality", and while I do wonder for a moment how Lajon ended up getting hooked up with Earthside, I'm definitely not complaining. Big, powerful prog plus a big, powerful voice equals a winning combination. The only downside here is that there's just a single track of said combo rather than a whole album. Something to think about guys?

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Monday: The Black Dahlia Murder - Vlad, Son of the Dragon

     It's only been a couple of weeks since my last post about a Black Dahlia Murder song, but since then we've gotten our first taste of the upcoming new record Ambysmal, and I wouldn't be doing my job if I don't make sure you've heard it. So, it's (belated) New Metal Monday time.

     The new song is named after some fittingly metal subject matter: "Vlad, son of the Dragon", aka the historical inspiration for good ol' Dracula. It should therefore come as no surprise that this song slays in typical Black Dahlia murder fashion -- with fast melodeath riffing, machine-precise drumming, and Tevor's versatile shriek atop it all.

     Sure, it's not reinventing the wheel, but then The Black Dahlia Murder's wheel was doing just fine crushing everything in its path as it was. If Abysmal is just more of the same delicious TBDM flavour, you certainly won't hear me complaining.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Sunday: Protest the Hero - Skies

     Wow, I guess I have to send a cartoon factory worker up a cartoon ladder to reset my imaginary "days since last accident" sign here at Loud Noises. At least this time I have the slightly-more-legit excuses of "visiting with family for Father's Day" and "being a lazy pile of crap for my birthday yesterday" for being behind the eight ball once again, rather than my usual "just falling behind on my shit". Catch-up rematch, anyone?

     Let's start with a little something tried-and-true for you Sunday song, to get back into the swing of things. I'm thinking some Protest the Hero, as it's been a bit since I last championed their cause. This time out I'm going with "Skies", the closing number from the band's 2013 album Volition. If you've ever listened to Protest and dug them, but never really gotten into them further, this is the song for you: six minutes of pure Protest shrenergy (that's "shreddy energy", for the uninitiated) bookended by just enough sparse guitar intro and outro to keep you from pulling something on takeoff and landing.

     It's not my favourite Protest the Hero record, but Volition is still rock solid, thanks to the strength of tracks like "Skies". This longtime Protest fan can't wait to hear what's next.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Animals as Leaders - Physical Education

     Did you think that perhaps I missed out on this one when the guys in Animals as Leaders released this video last month? Not on your life kids.

     I was just waiting until the right time to drop some schooling on you, and I've decided that the right time is right now! So get your gym shorts, get up that rope, and get ready for some "Physical Education", the latest single to come off of Animals as Leaders' 2014 record The Joy of Motion. This one's got enough funky space grooves to satisfy your inner dysfunctional middle schooler, so give it a spin.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Deftones - Elite

     You know me, all warm and fuzzy for the past, so let's keep yesterday's nostalgic train going with a Flashback Friday post from an album of roughly similar vintage (give or take) to Killswitch's Alive or Just Breathing.

     I say "give or take" because of the two-year gap between KSE's 2002 record Alive and Deftones' seminal classic 2000 album White Pony. But White Pony might as well have come out yesterday, so awesome do I continue to find it. Deftones have put out a lot of great material over the years, and even a lot of great stuff since 2000, but White Pony remains pretty unmatched in terms of its wall-to-wall goodness.

     If you want an example of said wall-to-wall goodness, look no further than "Elite", four minutes of intensity that to this day remains one of my favourite Deftones cuts period. Between Chino's vocal delivery and Abe's always-muscular drumming, there aren't a ton of Deftones tracks that'll get me going like this one. How about you?

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Killswitch Engage - Self Revolution

     If I had one of those signs like factories in cartoons always seem to, with the little number placards denoting the (usually comically few) number of days since the last accident, today would be the day I reset the sign for 'number of days since last missed Song of the Day'. Oh happy day.

     Since it's Thursday, I'm going to keep this on-time post nice and simple with a nice little throwback to a track from one of the best albums by one of modern metal's biggest names. We could go back and forth all day about how to order Killswitch Engage's catalogue, particularly when it comes to the newer stuff I think, but I don't think any KSE fans would argue that 2002's Alive or Just Breathing is among the band's best.

     So your actually-on-time Throwback Thursday song for this week is one of my favourite cuts from that masterpiece of metalcore, namely "Self Revolution". Break the foundations, collapse the control, and start the revolution within... by cranking this song.

Wednesday: Rosetta - Untitled I

     Speaking as I was the other day about it having been a month or so since the last time I'd posted about Lamb of God, your almost-on-time Wednesday song comes about a month or so later than the last new track I featured from this hotly-anticipated upcoming album.

     The strength of 2013's The Anaesthete gave a lot of people a lot of (typically high) expectations for the next outing from Philadelphia post-metal act Rosetta. We've already heard one strong track (the aforementioned "Untitled V" that I posted about back in May sometime) and now, based on the latest slice of the new record we've been given, I think it's safe to say that Quintessential Ephemera is set to kick some ass and take some names.

     "Untitled I" is essentially another seven minutes of Rosetta doing what Rosetta does: dense and layered post-metal that's big and expansive without ever feeling too meandering or unfocused. And as strong as this track, and its predecessor, have been, I for one am really looking forward to playing this one through a couple of times when it finally drops and hearing how everything hangs together. Rosetta always come up with some tasty parts, but they also know how to put those parts together to do big things.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Tuesday: Monuments - Jinn

     Let's keep the groove train we started with "yesterday's" Lamb of God song going with some more big riffing, this time from across the pond.

     Also, this time swap Lamb of God's aggro groove for one a little proggier and, yes, a little djentier too. If you don't let the "D" word stop you -- and you shouldn't, you rebel you -- you might be pleasantly surprised with the Brits in Monuments. If, of course, you're already familiar with Monuments, then you know what we're dealing with here, and you know it's better than I'm making it sound right now.

     In any case, just listen to "Jinn" from Monuments' 2014 sophomore album The Amaneunsis and be convinced that Monuments can groove with the best of them. Just try to listen to this one without bobbing your head at some point. I dare you. Double dog dare? No, that's just crazy talk.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Monday: Lamb of God - 512

     It's been about a month since my last post about a new Lamb of God song, and in the interim they've released another track, so it's probably time I put that one in front of your eyes too, right? The fact that there's a video for it doesn't hurt either.

     The titular number "512" is a reference to Randy's cell number in Czech prison, in case you're wondering, but the lyrics probably make the song's subject clear enough. Also clear enough is how much this song slays like Lamb of God at their best -- the riffs are big and groovy, the mood is suitably menacing, Randy is in prime form. All in all, Sturm Und Drang is shaping up to be a pretty solid record. Make a fist and jam this one.

Sunday: Noisem - Trail of Perturbation

     Sunday is a good day for musical brutality. Well, any day is a good day for musical brutality, really, but Sunday is an especially good day for mayhem. Whether you're feeling chafed by the weekly cycle of Judao-Christian ritual or just raging, raging against the dying of the weekend and the rebirth of the many-headed monster Workweek, it just makes sense to go extra hard on Sunday.

     Which is why I'm going with a cut from the sophomore disc Blossoming Decay by Baltimore's Noisem. "Trail of Perturbation" is Blossoming Decay in microcosm: fast, furious death-flavoured thrash that gets in, fucks shit up, and gets out again, no muss, no fuss, under four minutes flat. And that's one of the album's longer tracks, so you should have a decent idea of the shotgun-blast songwriting you're in for here. Consider yourself warned.

Saturday: Sylosis - Altered States of Consciousness

     It's been a bit since I've featured a song from one of my favourite modern metal acts of any style or subgenre, so let's fix that with a little Sylosis Saturday.

     I've talked before about how Sylosis' catalogue can be somewhat hit or miss for me. I like all their stuff, but some of it stands well above the rest. I'd call the 2011 disc Edge of the Earth "above average", but man are there some killer cuts on there, like your belated Saturday Sylosis song.

     "Altered States of Consciousness" is a great big five-and-a-half minute slice of what makes Sylosis great: kick-ass, thrashy riffing; strong melodic sensibilities with a menacing, evil-sounding undercurrent; big doomy parts; tasty leads; even a good ol' fashioned gallop into the sunset at the end, with a slightly off-kilter rhythmic twist. In summary: badass, from start to finish. If you need a track to turn your friends on to Sylosis with, this one's a pretty good start.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Friday: Thank You Scientist - In the Company of Worms

     Keeping the ball rolling, let's go for an alliterative Funky Friday with some multi-instrumentalist prog from New Jersey's Thank You Scientist.

     Thank You Scientist's debut LP Maps of Non-Existent places is chock full of energetic prog rock that runs a gamut of moods and styles. A variety of horns and strings provide an extra twist, add an interesting dimension to the at-times almost shreddy virtuosity, and take songs that are already great to a whole other level. If you've not heard them before, think Mars Volta with less Latin influence and leaner, more focused songwriting, and then press play on "In the Company of Worms". Very tasty.

Thursday: Sevendust - Feel So

     OK, rapid fire, let's do this catch-up thang for real this time, starting with a classic cut for your Throwback last Thursday from one of my go-to "retro" metal bands.

     I've waxed lyrical about the place of Sevendust in my youth and my musical "upbringing", so I won't belabour the point here. Instead I'll just say that, for my money, you can't get much better Throwback Thursday material than the first couple of Sevendust albums. So give it some volume for "Feel So" from Sevendust's 1999 sophomore record Home.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Wednesday: Aversions Crown - Parasites

     Speaking of The Black Dahlia Murder, you guys like tasty melodeath and deathcore, right? If your answer is no, then I have a follow-up question: what's your major malfunction, son?

     If your answer is yes, as it should be, then I've got a little something for you to chew on from Australia's Aversions Crown. Leaving aside the feeling I can't shake that their name should have a possessive apostrophe in it, I'm pleased to report that the latest from Aversions Crown is nice and heavy.

     "Parasites", so far just a one-off instead of harbinger of an album to come, has got a lot of heavy to be pleased about: plenty of riffing, a little blast beating, some djenty chugga chugga, a breakdown or two... basically all the ingredients you'd expect from a modern deathcore act, and all arranged in optimal order by the gang in Aversions Crown. An album's worth of this kind of thing could be pretty tasty -- listening, Aversions Crown?

Friday, 12 June 2015

Tuesday: The Black Dahlia Murder - A Shrine to Madness

     All you Black Dahlia Murder fans out there have likely already heard the news about the band's new album. We've known for a while that a new record was in the works, but now we've got the full scoop: Abysmal is done and set for release in September. We've even gotten the chance already to check out the badass artwork that'll grace Abysmal in the fall.

     But a new song is still nowhere to be seen. That'll probably change in a couple of weeks when the pre-orders go live, but for now we're left to relive old glories in anticipation. So why not join me in turning up the volume on "A Shrine to Madness", the opening track from The Black Dahlia Murder's 2011 record Ritual, while we await the boon of new material. I know it's not quite the same thing, but some TBDM is better than no TBDM at all, right?

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Monday: Plini - Paper Moon

     Everybody around here should already know that Mellow Monday doesn't have to mean Lame Monday, but just in case somebody still hasn't gotten that memo, let me set you straight with a little help from a master of laid-back badassery.

     Plini's latest EP, the trilogy-concluding The End of Everything, is more of the same from the Australian axeman, stylistically-speaking. But the improvement in musicianship, songwriting, and production from Other Things to The End of Everything is audible and welcome -- which isn't to say that things were sub-par to start with. Plini's just gotten that much better as he's gone along.

     And that's clearly evident in the epic "Paper Moon", an eight-minute masterpiece of proggy, jazzy grooves and sparkling melodies that goes through a couple of different changes in mood. It's one of those songs that flies by way too fast and leaves you hitting repeat, well, repeatedly. Why not do so while you join me in awaiting an LP, or even just an international tour...if you're listening, Plini...

Sunday: Slipknot - Killpop

     I've been spending some quality time with the latest Slipknot album .5: The Gray Chapter lately, and I've come to the conclusion that it's a pretty damn good addition to the Knot catalogue, and my favourite offering from the band in years. With the recent release of a new video for one of the album's standout tracks, who am I to deny you a still-belated Slipknot Sunday?

     Now, unfortunately for me, my favourite cut from The Gray Chapter isn't the song to have gotten the video treatment in question. But since "Killpop" is a great song too, and now has a typically weird, typically Slipknot music video, it's the obvious choice for your Sunday song. Doom pop verses give way to groove metal choruses, but my favourite part is how far the song comes from its sparse opening to the chaotic onslaught of its dense ending. Quite a journey for just four minutes, don't you think?

Saturday: Neck of the Woods - Disavow

     Do you, like me, enjoy some good proggy metalcore? If, like me, you do, then you'll likely find Vancouver's Neck of the Woods as interesting as I do. If you don't, well, maybe the following uninteresting rambling could be a valuable ESL exercise in reading comprehension for you or someone you know? Make lemons into lemonade, I say.

     Anyways, Neck of the Woods has recently released a self-titled EP of tasty progressive metalcore that you should know about, hence the feature for an overdue Saturday song. There're a couple of candidates for my favourite on this one, so I've decided to play it safe and start you at the start, with EP opener "Disavow", a seven-minute manifesto outlining the Neck of the Woods party platform.

     Things start out moody and sinister-sounding, complete with wailing solo, and while the track does take a couple of minutes to get really crunchy, when it does it's pretty much wall-to-wall riffy, proggy goodness for the duration until things transition smoothly into the EP's next track. Like I said, it's tasty stuff, so check out Neck of the Woods and see what you think.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Friday: High on Fire - The Black Plot

     If there's new High on Fire music in the air, you know it's got to be a Friday song. Kick your recliner into its most secure position for being rocked, because this one's going to hit you right in the face with its heavy.

     High on Fire's seventh LP Luminiferous drops at the end of the month, and if album opener "The Black Plot" is anything to judge by it could be a ripper of an album. High on Fire is always hit or miss for me, partly because they sometimes have the tendency to fall into the stoner trap of riding a riff into the dirt. But "The Black Plot" is a thunderous rampage that smashes aside any hints of tedium from second one. Like I said, if this is the measure by which we should judge Luminiferous, this could be my High on Fire album.

Thursday: Pantera - Cemetery Gates

     I've just posted an interesting blog article on the Loud Noises Facebook page (yes, there's a Loud Noises facebook page...) written by God Forbid's Doc Doyle and asking the question of whether or not Pantera had an adverse if unintended effect on the sound and production of modern metal. No matter where you fall on that argument, it's an interesting read, and all the reason I need to do a Pantera song for your way-late Throwback Thursday.

     And it's not going to be just any Pantera song. No, today I'm going with "Cemetery Gates", one of the band's most famous numbers and one of the best pieces of evidence for the fact that Phil could fucking sing when he wanted to. The call and return at the end of the song between Phil and Dime is still, twenty-five years on, absolutely epic. Throw this one back loud.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Wednesday: Ghost - Cirice

     You know I like to do something a little weirder for my Wednesday posts (ain't alliteration absolutely awesome?) and while today's song isn't exactly weird in a Frank Zappa kind of way, it is weird in a proggy, majestic, minor-key sort of way.

     It's actually a little weird that I dig this song enough to feature it, since costumed Swedish metal act Ghost has never really appealed to me before. But their new single "Cirice", from their upcoming third album Meliora, has got its claws in me. I don't know if it's the band's new singer (if indeed the third incarnation of papal vocalist Papa Emeritus is actually a different person than before), or the grand majesty of the choruses, or just that stompy, in-your-face verse riff, but something about "Cirice" appeals to me in a way that Ghost's work hasn't previously. I can most definitely feel the rumble -- can you?

Tuesday: The Arusha Accord - The New Face of Revenge

     I know you haven't been able to get your metal fix from me for a while, but we're going to remedy that situation right now. And to do it, we're going to start with something a little techy for last Tuesday.

     Mathy British proggers The Arusha Accord might not be full on Tech, but they've certainly got enough tech flavour to kick off some catching up with a belated Tech Tuesday track. Arusha's 2009 debut LP The Echo Verses is an all-around rock-solid, under-the-radar tech-core album that I've sort of forgotten about and then excitedly rediscovered in my music collection a couple of times now.

     A bigger catalogue might keep this promising young band on my radar a bit longer, a problem The Arusha Accord might be able to help me with if and when they finish up writing their second record. For the time being, however, I'll just have to rediscover The Echo Verses once again and jam "The New Face of Revenge". Join me?

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Monday: Revocation - Witch Trials

     It feels like it's been a while, so let's keep catching up with a straight up Metal motherfucking Monday taken from one of last year's best records.

     Now, the observant and/or detail-oriented among you might note that I didn't actually name Revocation's latest, Deathless, as one of my top ten albums for last year. That's partly because I just liked other stuff better, but also because I simply hadn't sunk my teeth into Deathless as much as I did a lot of other stuff.

     But over the last couple of months I've had occasion to revisit Deathless and really get cozy with it, and I've come to appreciate just how badass an album it is. Revocation have to be commended for crafting a(nother) great modern metal record -- fast, heavy, tastefully technical, and just laden with enough proggy, jazzy, and generally un-metal elements to keep things consistently interesting.

     I could recommend virtually any track on the album and be reasonably assured I'm not steering you wrong, but for your Metal Monday I'm going with album closer "Witch Trials" because it's got all of the above in just the right ratios. Start at the end of Deathless, but don't stop there.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Sunday: In the Presence of Wolves - Storm in a Red Dress

     Let's all say a big "thank you" to Metalsucks for this one, because A) that's where I found it, and B) it's a fun song that I'm digging more with every play. Prepare yourself: you're about to be In the Presence of Wolves.

     Well, more in the presence of In the Presence of Wolves, but that doesn't roll quite the same now, does it? Either way, "Storm in a Red Dress", taken from the band's debut LP Thalassas, does roll along quite nicely. It's a proggy, jazzy, rocking little number, and it's got sweet solo-y midsection (corresponding with the protagonist's bad trip in the video) that's just begging for some live reinterpretation and expansion. Plus, that's just a good name for a song, straight up. So check it out.

Saturday: Cormorant - Confusion of Tongues

     I'd really like to post a Saturday song based on the wedding I was talking about yesterday, ie: perhaps my favourite song that came up over the course of the evening. Alas, this was not that kind of wedding, and with the exception of matrimonial staple "Bohemian Rhapsody" (which was criminally truncated just as it was getting into the "heavier" section) there wasn't a song in sight that got me warm and fuzzy enough to want to post about.

     So instead I'm going as far in another direction as I can -- namely, to the land of slightly blackened, slightly doomy instrumental prog courtesy of the Bay Area badasses in Cormorant. And fittingly, the instrumental track I've chosen today (most of their stuff is, in fact, replete with vocals) is entitled "Confusion of Tongues", a great name both for an instrumental song and for a post-wedding song, since you can't hear what people are saying over the music half the time anyways. For full effect, get dressed up before you jam this one.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Friday: Baroness - Little Things

     Life always seems to get in the way, doesn't it? And this time I mean that in the best possible way, because this time I'm behind on my Loud Noises posts because of some friends getting married over the weekend (congratulations once again, Megan and Colby!). But that's neither here nor there now, because we're going to get all caught up again starting with a little something for your Friday past.

     That little something is actually a selection of "Little Things" from Baroness' 2012 double helping Yellow & Green (specifically the Yellow disc). Back when this record came out, I read somewhere that "Little Things" is about the birth of John Dyer Baizley's child, an anecdote which, if true, gives the track a really interesting cast. In any case, it's an interesting if melancholy song, so have a listen to this greasy little thing on this rainy grey Monday.