Progressive Metal

Khôra – Timaeus Review

Khôra – Timaeus Review

“Once again, I picked promo for an irrelevant reason. German/Irish blackened death trio Khôra wound up in my review queue because their name sounds like the name of one of our cats (Kora). I feel like that’s a perfectly reasonable justification for album selection. If it isn’t, well, then I guess I don’t care. Khôra doesn’t care either, and put out whatever the hell they want regardless of what your tastes or expectations are.” Cats and jammers.

Barishi – OId Smoke Review

Barishi – OId Smoke Review

Barishi‘s 2016 release Blood from the Lion’s Mouth retained the peculiar progressive power of their inconsistent debut, adding a visceral and claustrophobic edge to their sound. It was a much more streamlined effort that showed glimpses of a band working towards something exciting. It lacked a sense of unity. Instead, it consisted of short tracks that dramatically varied in tone and mood, strong in their own right but less stable when held in context: a tasting platter. Old Smoke arrives after a four year silence, a long time between records these days.” Smoke em if you got em.

Spell – Opulent Decay Review

Spell – Opulent Decay Review

“The retro waves never stop crashing ashore, they just shift decades. Beginning around 2000 the metalverse became inundated with 80s throwback acts, and over the past ten or so years there’s been an increasing drive to mine 70s rock for inspiration as well. Canadian act Spell are in on this big dig, incorporating a lot of 70s rock ideas into a slurry containing NWoBHM and goth rock. Opulent Decay is their third attempt to get this tricky recipe right, showcasing an intriguing blend of eras and styles which results in something very old sounding and full of occult auras.” Olden magic.

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.

Enzo and the Glory Ensemble – In the Name of the World Spirit Review

Enzo and the Glory Ensemble – In the Name of the World Spirit Review

“First off, I’d like to apologize if you can’t hear me too well. I’ve been instructed to shout over the anguished shrieks of the Master of Muppets, who’s having a tough time right now. You see, we’re gathered here today to review In the Name of the World Spirit, the third release from Enzo and the Glory Ensemble, the progressive metal project masterminded by Enzo Donnarumma (Members of God), which is a touch outside of the creature’s usual wheelhouse. But positive, progressive, slightly cheesy power metal is something that I happen to delight in, so here we are! Embracing the glory (ensemble).” Double Glory Awaits.

Aeternam – Al Qassam Review

Aeternam – Al Qassam Review

“Our overlord’s prolonged stay in the dark dungeons of higher education has yielded mostly secondhand stress and delayed Record o’ the Month articles for Angry Metal Guy Himself. But in my case, it has now resulted in not one but two offers to review the great Aeternam, one of the very best when it comes to MENA-folk influenced metal.” Storm in the sands.

Hyborian – Vol. II Review

Hyborian – Vol. II Review

Hyborian first bored into my consciousness with their single, “Head and the Sword,” an absolutely killer song that showcased a suave combination of sludge, stoner, and prog influences. To this day it remains one of my favorite songs, and it paved the way to their debut album, Vol. I, which took that single and pushed the style into heavier territory, most notably with the vocals. Comparisons are for the lazy amongst us, and that includes me, so let me put forth that there is definitely influence from early Baroness and Mastodon buried in these riffy songs, along with no small dose of High on Fire.” CROMulent.

Ani Lo. Projekt – A Time Called Forever Review

Ani Lo. Projekt – A Time Called Forever Review

“I have an irrational aversion to bands that name themselves after people. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always fantasized about being in a band, and choosing a righteous name for said band is always one of my favorite parts of the fantasy. Or perhaps it’s because, in my mind, a great band becomes something greater than the sum of its parts, a whole that transcends any one of its members. Or maybe it’s because I believe that the Dave Matthews Band is the very worst thing that humanity has ever produced.” What’s in a name?

Neck of the Woods – The Annex of Ire Review

Neck of the Woods – The Annex of Ire Review

“Do you ever have that feeling of listening to an album and feeling that it’s somehow better than you’re giving it credit for? Or, as GardensTale put it to me, the feeling that “I’m probably just not good enough for the album”? That’s how I felt about the second full-length from Vancouver’s Neck of the Woods, until about 4pm today.” You’re good enough and people like you.