State of the Art: West Virginia’s ASTRAEUS

 

Smart, yet intoxicating riffs travel through the speakers as an easy brush of arpeggios lift one into another world where all things are neatly and perfectly packaged into sonic bites of progressive wonder. Charleston, West Virginia is the homeland of Astraeus. If you can’t already tell, they are excellent. Continue reading

Watch AWAKE THE DREAMER’s Groovy New Video, “Believe”

Well this is a first for me. I mean I knew the Swedes have an incredible death metal scene out there, so amazing that they have carved their own genre, Swedish death metal. But today, I am not bringing to you something we know and hear very often from the Scandinavian nation. It did surprise me when I found out about this band called AWAKE THE DREAMER from Sweden, maybe cause I am not a big metalcore fan? But well, yes, the Swedes do have some really good diversity. From the buzzsaw death metal trademark sound to the modern day djent and metalcore, Sweden does house some incredible bands. And today, I bring to thee metalcore/post hardcore quintet from Stockholm, AWAKE THE DREAMER and their all new crushing single, “Believe“. Pictured in a vintage like video, the band can be seen dishing out their blend of progressive and melodic metalcore, which absolutely is crushing!

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State Of The Art: Louisiana’s THE ARBITRARY [Track Stream]

*This is a part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state.*

This month’s state is Louisiana!

Any fans of progressive instrumental are severely missing out if The Arbitrary is not a part of their lives. The New Orleans two-piece has been self-releasing since 2015. Together, Jeffrey Fisher (guitar) and Adam Sauter (drums) have continued to boggle the brains of prog fans, yet quench the thirst for musical excellence with their 2017 EP ‘Identity.’ It may only be four songs, but those four songs are all the listener needs. A touch a djent, a brush of tech; it’s about time for a Ph.D. in music theory. Continue reading

SIKTH And EXIST IMMORTAL At ‘NME Best Small Venue’ The Forum, UK [Review + Photo Gallery]

Just before embarking on their mini EU tour including debut shows across Germany and the Netherlands Complexity Festival alongside Carnifex, The Faceless and others, djent pioneers SikTh treated UK fans to two intimate performances with Londons Exist Immortal. Firstly at Sub 89 in Reading, and secondly to my local venue and ‘NME Best Small Venue 2012’ The Forum in Tunbridge Wells. This gig marks one of many celebrating to small 250 capacity venues’ 25th anniversary celebrations, which has a reputation of giving a stage to bands before they made it big. SikTh are locally held in very high regard where they are practically legends and it was a pleasure to have them back here once again. UK alternative hardcore act Cove were announced as openers but unfortunately had to reschedule to the following Sunday – a shame for those attending as Cove perform with such an explosive veracity that they would have put on one hell of an opening performance! Despite this slight alteration to the evening, together SikTh and Exist Immortal both delivered equally passionate and energetic performances, where their two distinctive styles accentuated one another with their mix of djent and melodic verses. Continue reading

LETTERS FROM THE COLONY Launch Video For New Single “Galax” And It’s Prog!

LETTERS FROM THE COLONY are your newest prog kids on the block. Hailing from the small town of Borlänge, central Sweden the quintet is an amalgamation of young, artistic and exceptional musicians who are determined to channel their thoughts in a creative and at the same time, an extreme way. LETTERS FROM THE COLONY spawned back in 2010, and since the very first day of their existence they have been determined on bringing something new and virgin to the metal scene. Just adding the right amount of progressiveness, melded with extreme technical aspects the band now is ready to unleash their all new debut studio album, which is releasing tomorrow, out via Nuclear Blast. It’s a progressive extreme metal album, entitled, ‘Vignette‘.

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EXCLUSIVE ALBUM PREMIERE: ASCENDING DAWN, ‘Coalesce’ [Album Stream]

Hey there! Today we are premiering the debut album, ‘Coalesce‘ by NYC/London-based, prog/alt metal project, ASCENDING DAWN. The record releases tomorrow i.e. on the 1st of December and we thought we’d let you a good chance to take a sneak peak into the album before it officially releases and hits your nearest record stores. So, ASCENDING DAWN is a progressive metal project spearheaded by the multi talented Marlain Angelides. She has successfully planted her feet in every endeavour she has chosen and emerged victorious, some of her accolades are she’s a graduate of London’s Royal Academy of Music, previous vocalist of a top-charting Greek pop band, Hi-5, West End performer, representative of Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest, and background vocalist for world-touring acts. She is also the current front-woman of the all-girls Led Zeppelin band, LEZ ZEPPELIN, showcasing her wide range of vocal talents that drive the heavy yet melodic sound of Ascending Dawn.That is some major feathers on her hat!

ASCENDING DAWN comprises of members who met each other coincidentally from several other projects. The band members are Marlain Angelides, Owen Rees, Mark Weatherly and Jen “Connie” Fletcher. Within three weeks all the vocal lines and lyrics to ‘Coalesce‘ were written and production began. ‘Coalesce‘ was mixed and mastered by Jochem Jacobs (ex-TEXTURES) at Split Second Sound in Amsterdam. Connie left the project, as she left to go home to Australia but remains a friend and major contributor to the debut album’s mix of metal, prog and melodic hard rock. Rees and Weatherley remain in London, contributing their writing and production of Ascending Dawn from afar as Angelides paves the way in the US.

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Review of The Caveat’s Absolutely Brilliant, Self-Titled Debut

The Caveat is:

Michael Stancel – Lead Guitar

Kyle Neeley, Guitar

Nik Schafer – Bass

Paul Christiansen – Drums

Artwork by Mikey Stancel

After recently reviewing The Caveat (Review) I was given the opportunity to get my hands on a signed, pre-release copy by the generosity of the band. I have listened to the singles extensively since being introduced to this killer band by my friend Ben Gleason, the guitarist/vocalist for my number one spot on last year’s best album, Return to Nothing by Source, but was not quite prepared for the difference that organizing the singles into a cohesive CD makes. The singles are obviously good by themselves and stand strong individually but as a full album, they are nothing short of amazing! This is already a peremptory favorite for Best of 2017! There must be something in the water in Colorado…

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Review and Stream of Tactus “Bending Light”: Where Overwhelming Technical Abilities Illicit Emotional Response

Tactus is:

Jason MacKnight – Vocals

Ben MacLean – Drums/Programming

Steve Parish – Bass

Alec Dobbelsyeyn – Guitar

Adrian Barnes – Guitar/Vocals

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Review: GALACTIC PEGASUS’ “Phantom Of The Hill” [Stream]

galactic

Hailing from British Columbia, with one of the best band names ever, Galactic Pegasus is here to deliver their first full length album, “Phantom of the Hill” on Famined Records. Forming in 2011, the band manages to mix metalcore and djent together very well. They’ve even toured with the likes of Black Tongue. After releasing some strong EPs like Mirages and Pariah, the time has finally come for a full album, and it’s awesome. It was released November 18th, 2016. Continue reading