Instrumental Metal

Myth of I – Myth of I Review

Myth of I – Myth of I Review

“The gentle field recordings kicking off Myth of I‘s self-titled debut album are just what I need to hear in the midst of experiencing a global pandemic. The sound of birds chirping delicately and water rippling steadily over a bed of rocks calm my nerves and help to flatten the emotional rollercoaster I’ve been wringing myself on. As one might be able to forecast, this opening period of serenity presented by a progressive metal band was bound to come to an end. Introductory track “Pandora” merely serves as a lush and tranquil setup for the truly fitful storm that invades the meat of Myth of I‘s first full-length album.” Mythology and madness.

Ghost Toast – Shape Without Form Review

Ghost Toast – Shape Without Form Review

“It’s nice to have some actual dialogue after my solitary confinement to Shape Without Form. That’s right, tubthumpers: Ghost Toast are an instrumental band! There’s been a lot of that lately, and I’m not really sure why, but I was bound to deal with something of the sort sooner or later, and now here we are, Ghost Toastin’ it up.” Rye revenants abound.

Seven Planets – Explorer Review

Seven Planets – Explorer Review

“Sometimes, vocals — however good they may be — detract, or at least distract, from really listening to the moods the music is conjuring. This is how I feel about, for example, the instrumental records that accompany releases from The Ocean — while I typically listen to the full version, every now and again I will put on the instrumental version and float away. While West Virginia’s Seven Planets are a very different beast from that Berlin-based collective, their brand of instrumental rock, rooted in blues and groove, also aims to carry you away.” Seven paths to Uranus.

We Are Impala – Visions [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

We Are Impala – Visions [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“It’s a surprisingly fresh combination of psychedelic atmosphere and proper riffs, nestled between the post rock and stoner rock genres. These composite genres are often anything but fresh, comprising musicians who are unable to write riffs and musicians who smoke too much weed respectively, but Visions nails its singular fusion.” Weed out, cotton-candy flavored edibles in.

Telepath – Mental Mutations Review

Telepath – Mental Mutations Review

“Although there’s been the odd exception over the years, generally speaking, instrumental metal is not really my bag. Not that I’m incapable of appreciating the often experimental aspects, self-indulgent jams, and technically proficient textures and moods conveyed from purely instrumental forms of metal. But even when vocals can be an afterthought or weak link on certain albums and genres of metal, I still generally prefer the vocal counterpoint. Yet I possess an open mind and variety is the spice of life, so when Telepath‘s Mental Mutations remained unclaimed in the promo portal, I jumped into the unknown with optimism of what may lie ahead.” Tasting the mind of music theory.

Dysrhythmia – Terminal Threshold Review

Dysrhythmia – Terminal Threshold Review

“It’s been almost three years to the day since I reviewed Dysrhythmia’s last album, The Veil of Control. Of course that one appealed to me: it was loaded with virile, complex songs that at times borrowed heavily from King Crimson⁠—specifically, that band’s The ConstruKction of Light era. Dark, heavy, and discordant, it all added up to an enjoyable romp through instrumental prog-metal fields. By not overstaying its welcome (6 songs in 36 minutes), the album managed to hold my attention longer than many other instrumental prog albums.” Prog with a punch.

Essence of Datum – Spellcrying Machine Review

Essence of Datum – Spellcrying Machine Review

“Instrumental metal has been a difficult branch for me to get into. A big part of why I got into metal is due to the wild dynamics offered by a human voice (and in one particular case, a coffee grinder). But there are always exceptions to the rule that eventually break the rule entirely. In my case, the first band to pop my “vocals or bust” bubble was Nightwish, whose instrumental-only rendition of Dark Passion Play is so compelling I ended up preferring it over the standard edition. Then I discovered Sleep Terror, a fantastic instrumental tech-death/surf/funk band you all owe it to yourselves to investigate. From there I discovered Echopraxia, a ghost/supernatural themed instrumental metal act, and now I’ve stumbled upon Essence of Datum, an instrumental melodic prog-death couplet from Minsk.” Voices don’t carry.