State Of The Art: Michigan’s CUSTARD FLUX [Album Stream]

from official Custard Flux Facebook page

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every month from the featured state. This month’s state is Michigan.*

If art were just painting, Custard Flux would be Salvador Dali, with its unique take on life.  Custard Flux are the brainchild of Gregory Curvey.  For the last 30 years, Curvey has been the guiding light behind cult psych-prog-pop band The Luck of Eden Hall.  The band is described as being “electricity free psych prog pop rock” and this nicely details their character.

They have released just two albums, the 2018 ‘Helium’ and last year’s ‘Echo’.

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Review: SPACE CADAVER – ‘Void Moon’ [Album Stream]

This New Orleans band are fantastic cinematic metal with a sludgy panoramic sound that blasts and bewilders in equal measure.  Lead by the ever thoughtful John Baleine (guitars/vox), ‘Void Moon’ is their second release, following their self-titled debut.

There are four songs completing with release and they are weighty tomes for these dark times. “Beginning of the End” is an eight minute opener which reaches many different valleys and plains with its doom focused arrangements.

The release takes off into further spheres with the beautiful lush instrumental “Another Family“. It creeps in and swells with wonderful arrangements. This is a real tearjerker as you can imagine it being the soundtrack to a modern day Western.

Void Moon” casts a sci-fi vision and stalks from the speakers after the quiet entry. The middle section is a spoken word part about religion, which then moves into a fusion of static.

Evil of Man” finishes the record with deliberate dissonance and a brutal bookend about a plague being unleashed – very topical for these troubled times. “Killer of spirit, killer of spirit!  Lies the memory of the life never known!” Not easy listening, but a headfirst dive into the horror of the present.  The song is hypnotic and starts to unnerve with its extreme soundscape.  There is never an easy ask for real art and this song is art in action.

Space Cadaver are a band unafraid to experiment and make you unsettled by their beauty and brute force. Don’t enter without a safety hat of wonder!  They are a band that take your preconceived ideas and make them turn on their head.  They have a sound that is hard to define, but they don’t make music for the masses and are focused on their art alone.  A refreshing change of pace from the norm.

 

ERIC SARTANA – Dark Days [Album Stream]

Montana’s premier Doom musical maverick Eric Sartana has produced a new E.P. which rattles the windows of your soul with ‘Dark Days’.  This three track collection continues his fine work with Throne of Malediction and the path of independently produced excellence.

Eric has a unique vision rested somewhere between Doom and Thrash. He walks the lonely highway of non-commercial excellence where the depression and oppression of everyday life stalks each of us.  His vision is to make music with real substance and thoughtfulness.  He is an auteur and a rationalist in these days of reactive nihilism.

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State Of The Art: South Dakota’s WORK OF WOLVES [Album Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is South Dakota.*

This is why I absolutely adore writing SOTA articles for Metal Nexus.  You look into what rock and metal is being produced by bands from different states and find artists who are phenomenal that you never knew existed.  And then you share them with loads of music fans the world over!  Work of Wolves are a band out of Sioux Falls, but that is pretty much all the bio I have on them, except who is in the group.  Tyler Jung is on bass/vocals, Alex Foster plays drums/vocals,  Paul Pinos is on guitar/vocals and Andrew Rogers handles keys/vocals.

The band are a brilliant blend of metalcore-like riffing and some growling vocals, but they also channel emo and even power metal genres.  Their songs are melodic, memorable and very definitely metal!  I have had their songs on re-play for most of the last few weeks.  Their catalog covers one demo, two EPs and one album.  The latest is the amazing ‘Purpose’ record.

‘Purpose’ was released this month and is seven tracks of heavenly metal.  It has big time energy, verve and a restless sound that thrashes around your head.  The vocals are superb, with understated harmonies and the musicianship hits highs that make you wonder why Work of Wolves aren’t huge.  I have to say, this album will definitely make its way into any top ten records of 2020 for me, it is THAT good.

The songs on the latest E.P. have a groove that is infectious and an introspective attitude that is intelligent and moody.  I love the vocal melody of “Pull Us Under” and its minor scale riffage.  The song has some power.

Standout tracks are the hooky title track, with the bounce and evocative keys and the uptempo “Convictions”.  Listening through the collection, I am also struck by the Nu-Metal influences and it does have that certain swirl of disconnected disillusionment that resonates today.

Check these guys out and discover South Dakota’s best kept musical secret.

State Of The Art: New Hampshire’s DELANEY [Album Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is New Hampshire.*

This is what I absolutely LOVE about writing for Metal Nexus – the discovery of bands with whom I fall in love with.  From the wonderfully brutal Space Cadaver (New Orleans) to the rock tight rockers the Granite Saints (Hawai) to New Hampshire’s pop rockers Delaney.

Delaney are a four piece from Manchester, NH.  They are comprised of Matt Gennetti on vocals/guitar/piano, Kurt Pinette on drums, Andy Mallett on bass/vocals and Derek Heidemann on guitar.  Their music is pop punk/rock/alternative and they produce one of the most beautiful sonic soundscapes in the musical universe.  Evocative, pulsating and melodic, there is a power that transcends the normal expectations of your average listener.

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Review: JINJER – Macro [Album Stream]

Formed less than 10 years ago, the (as their biog describes them) “four-piece Progressive Groove metal wrecking machine known as Jinjer” have produced some cracking albums, including ‘Cloud Factory’ and ‘King of Everything’. Hailing from Donetsk, this Ukrainian band found their top gear with the addition of the versatile and charismatic vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk in 2010.

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State Of The Art: North Dakota’s FINEST LINE DIVIDES [Album Streams]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is North Dakota.*

Around the year 2000, Nate Hockett, Lance Meoricke, Andy Fuchs, and Josh Renner formed a band they called Memory Work in Bismarck/Mandan, North Dakota. They eventually parted ways with Andy Fuchs, bringing Nick Just in on bass. The band subsequently changed their name to Finest Line Divides. Nick would later move to guitar and Matt Chalcraft would come in for bass duties. They unfortunately broke up in 2002.

10 years later, Nick Just, Lance Meoricke, and Josh Renner decided they wanted to play music again. It started with reworking old songs, which lead to new material being written. Nick would take over vocals and stay on guitar. A friend of the band recommended Keenan Miller for the vacant bass position. In 2013, Lance decided to bow out, which left the band’s future in question. Chris Vetter stepped in.  This led to two releases in 2014 and 2019’s masterwork, ‘The Ghost That’s Chosen Me’.  They are alternative, rock, metal and thoughtful. I absolutely adore the experimental approach and the completely reflective nature of their music.  It is like waking to a vista of vibrant strands of sound and a world that embraces rock, metal, rap, pop and alternative.

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Review: SONATA ARCTICA – ‘Talviyö’ [Album Stream]

I love Finland’s SONATA ARCTICA.  There, I’ve said it.  Do not expect an unbiased review of their tenth studio album, ‘Talviyö’.  However, do expect a mind-blown exercise in foaming at the mouth excitement.

It is always an event when SA release a new record.  Their 2016 release (‘The Ninth Hour’) was my favorite album of that year and ‘Talviyö’ is reaching out to me with those neverending harmonies that take the band above the average power metal combo.

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Review: BLACKTOP MOJO – ‘Under The Sun’ [Album Stream Review]

Blacktop Mojo are a Texas band with lashings of attitude. The band had some of their roots in country music, but decided to go with a more rock edge.  They have a great sense of melody and power, mixing it to outstanding effect on their third album, ‘Under The Sun’.

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