Review: OF THE SUN – ‘Before A Human Path’ [Album Stream]

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Texas shredders Of The Sun have finally released their long awaited sophomore album ‘Before A Human Path’.  Their first release ‘A.M. Radio’ came out back in 2009 so long time fans have been left waiting for many years for this record. ‘Before A Human Path’ was self released by the band last Friday on April 14th. Describing themselves as “Southern Progressive Metal”, Of The Sun brings a creative new sound by being very experimental in the progressive and thrash genres while maintaining an extremely heavy groove in each track. The band has played with the likes of Intronaut, Devin Townsend, and Gorguts so you know they are serious. This 5 track album contains no filler and gets straight to the point of grabbing your attention. You can buy the record on Bandcamp or stream it below. See what the band had to say about the record below. Step into the world of Of The Sun now.

With Before a Human Path, we pulled from personal extremes to convey a more colorful and varied storyline within the span of each song. Ultimately shunning conventional songwriting formula, we really dug in to unearth something we felt isn’t currently being done. We’re beyond excited to share it with you!.”

With only 5 tracks on ‘Before A Human Path’, the trio wastes no time diving into superb craftsmanship and songwriting with “The Tightrope Mile”. Several time changes are applied and trade offs between clean vocals and screams are transitioned flawlessly. The song will at times will be peaceful as if you are sitting on a beach before once again shooting you back into the slamming, tortured sounding verses in purgatory. “Nebulamorphous” begins with a beautifully composed shredding guitar intro from Patrick Duvall that could paint a song on its own. Of The Sun continues their large experimentation on the record here with several guitar effects and fervent drumming from Johnny Reed. David Duvall shows out with an equally impressive bass solo and keeps it flowing with the rest of the song. The groove that they bring while still being heavy as all can be is incredible and hard to find in metal. “Cantos” presents yet another side of the band with more clean vocals and creepy guitar melodies to give the listener another perspective of the band and how proficient they are at creating original material. The fourth track “A Soliloquy” is a rather angst-filled song with complicated rhythms. The song has several layers, constantly evolving and becoming heavier as it continues. I’m not usually a fan of breakdowns but Of The Sun makes it work here with the guitar and bass battling each other to produce an enormous sound. ‘Before A Human Path’ draws to a thunderous close with “The Limbless God”. This song holds massive weight on the record with the fierce riffage and impassioned screams from Duvall. Reed is unrelenting on the bass drum while David Duvall continues to grind out robust bass lines as we exit the world of Of The Sun. In just 5 tracks, this trio has proved they are here to stay in the metal universe and will wreck havoc at their shows. Be sure to check out the album below and to follow Of The Sun on Facebook.

Of the Sun is:
Patrick Duvall – Lead Vocals/Guitar
David Duvall – Bass/Vocals
Johnny Reed – Drums

‘Before A Human Path’ Track List
01. The Tightrope Mile
02. Nebulamorphous
03. Cantos
04. A Soliloquy
05. The Limbless God

ENSLAVED To Release “Roadburn Live” On Record Store Day, April 22nd

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Record Store Day 2017 is upon us! In just a few, short weeks, exclusive releases by artists – ranging from Johnny Cash to Warbringer – will be available for purchase in record stores across the globe. And it is confirmed that among the vinyl releases there will be a limited run of a special Enslaved LP coming on Saturday, April 22nd! The legendary, progressive black metal band’s first official live album, Roadburn Live, will chronicle Enslaved’s performance at Roadburn Festival 2015 in Tilburg, Netherlands. Continue reading

State Of The Art: Virginia – LOINCLOTH

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

This month’s State is Virginia!

Virginia’s tenure as our featured State of the Art concludes this week, as I present one more noteworthy artist hailing from the Old Dominion – Loincloth. With members in Richmond and Raleigh, perhaps the band could fit in the Virginia or North Carolina State of the Art series. Nevertheless, the instrumental prog trio is a hard-hitting powerhouse to be reckoned with, featuring concise, syncopated movements of progressive metal riffage and dissonance.  Continue reading

Video Premiere For THE SILENT WEDDING – “Silence”

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Artwork by Travis Smith

Progressive power metal band The Silent Wedding has just premiered the music video for their new song, “Silence”. The video was directed by Ioannis Psychos. They also possess a symphonic sound here as they headbang their way through the remarkable performance video. There’s a wicked keyboard solo in there that fits perfectly. It is possibly the most metal a keyboard has ever been. Having shared the stage with bands like Saxon, Firewind, and Fates Warning, The Silent Wedding shows strong prowess that is rare in the large sea of metal today. The band from Greece will be releasing their second full length album on March 10th via FYB Records (Belgium). It’s titled ‘Enigma Eternal’ and you can pre-order that here. The cover art of it was created by Travis Smith, who has also done work with the likes of Opeth, Katatonia, and Nevermore. You can view the music video below. Be sure to follow the band on Facebook.

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Review: DAMNATION PLAN – ‘Reality Illusion’ [Song Stream]

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Finnish progressive metal band Damnation Plan are here in 2017 to release a masterpiece for the masses. Damnation Plan formed in 2004 in Espoo, Finland. The band released their first EP in 2007, ‘Darker World’. They took a little bit of a hiatus after that but then regrouped in 2011 to begin work on their first full length album. In 2013, that album, ‘The Wakening’, was released on Coroner Records. The lineup of the band has not changed since 2012 and consists of: Tommy Tuovinen doing harsh and clean vocals, Asim Searah also on clean vocals, Antti Lauri and Kalle Niininen on guitars, Jukka Vehkamaa on bass, and Jarkko Lunnas on drums. Starting work on this new record almost two years ago, the time has finally come. Damnation Plan’s second full length album, ‘Reality Illusion’ will be dropping on March 10th 2017 on Inverse Records. The mixing was done by Dan Swanö at Unisound Studios. You can preorder ‘Reality Illusion’ here. Drummer Jarkko Lunnas had this to say about the new release: Continue reading

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

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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 of Arcade Messiah’s “III”: The Status Quo Defied

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Artwork by Michael Kerbow (michaelkerbow.com)

Arcade Messiah is a solo project spearheaded by cult Hasting band, Kingbathmat frontman John Bassett who currently resides in Sligo, Ireland. Born in Walthamstow, London, Bassett was raised by his ex-convent nun mother and meter reading father, who fed and looked after him as long as they could. By sixteen, he quit school and left home with little more than the clothes on his back. This left his employment opportunities limited to dull and mundane tasks; guitar and songwriting being his primary source of solstice. His love of music developed at a young age after picking up an acoustic guitar in the family home. Once able to figure out and play along with a number of songs, he found a guitar teacher in Tottenham to assist with chording. What John discovered was that he was playing a right handed guitar left handed, even though he was, in fact, right handed. Playing backwards was simply more comfortable. With this straightened out and a proper, left handed guitar was purchased, chords became natural and progressed directly into songwriting that has evolved into a life long passion.

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Progressive Metal At Its Very Best – The Arbitrary

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TheAritraryLogo1

If you are like me, you think “The Big Easy”, Mardi Gras, Cajun food, Tulane or Katrina when New Orleans is mentioned, right? Well, it is also considered the birthplace of Jazz, in all of its wonderful variants. Horns, tubas, upright bass, snare drums, accordions; often played in the streets as part of a festival or parade. Sue me. I love it all (mostly traditional Bop and Hard Bop). You get my point. But, you ask yourself, this is a Metal site, correct? This is where things go a little sideways, because there is a new name in Progressive Metal that was born and bred in this same city at the end of the Mississippi River. Hold on tight because, The Arbitrary is about to change your perception of New Orleans music.

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Virtuosity Defined – Raiju

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Illustration by Chasing Photons

Illustration by Chasing Photons

According to Wikipedia:

Raijū (雷獣,”thunder animal” or “thunder beast”) is a legendary creature from Japanese mythology. Its body is composed of lightning and may be in the shape of a cat, fox, weasel, or wolf. The form of a white and blue wolf (or even a wolf wrapped in lightning) is also common. It may also fly about as a ball of lightning (in fact, the creature may be an attempt to explain the phenomenon of lightning). Its cry sounds like thunder.

Raiju is the companion of Raijin, the Shinto god of lightning. While the beast is generally calm and harmless, during thunderstorms it becomes agitated and leaps about in trees, fields, and even buildings (trees that have been struck by lightning are said to have been scratched by Raiju’s claws).

Another of Raiju’s peculiar behaviors is sleeping in human navels. This prompts Raijin to shoot lightning arrows at Raiju to wake the creature up, and thus harms the person in whose belly the demon is resting. Superstitious people therefore often sleep on their stomachs during bad weather, but other legends say that Raiju will only hide in the navels of people who sleep outdoors.

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