Progressive Rock

Bright Curse – Time of the Healer Review

Bright Curse – Time of the Healer Review

“I’ve never made it a secret that I’m a big fan of Pink Floyd. Nor am I alone in that adoration. The Brits had a huge influence on music in every genre, and their footsteps still impact artists across the globe. Their biggest crater is of course left in their home country, where Bright Curse sprang up over half a decade ago. With only vocalist Romain Daut remaining from the debut’s line-up, the young band has evidently been through some tumultuous times, but this hasn’t stopped Daut nor his three compatriots from hitting the studio and cranking out sophomore album Time of the Healer.” Floydcore.

Gone Cosmic – Sideways in Time Review

Gone Cosmic – Sideways in Time Review

“My brain over-complicates just about everything. At times—and in fact most of the time—it feels like thoughts are running through my head too fast and loose for me to make sense of any one of them. As a result it’s utter cacophony making even the simplest decisions, such as what to eat for breakfast in the morning. Medication helps. Music helps too, keeping the most unruly parts of my mind occupied so I can focus on whatever task I have in front of me. Stoner metal and psychedelic rock in particular are highly effective, what with the trippy atmosphere and plodding riffs. Gone Cosmic, a four-piece from Calgary, Alberta, are poised to drop their debut, titled Sideways in Time, filled with such atmosphere and riffs. Will it be enough to assuage my overactive grey matter?” A stoner in time.

Moon Tooth – Crux Review

Moon Tooth – Crux Review

“‘Rock is dead’ is a tired geezer quote if ever I’ve heard one. Sure, I’ve bitched about the state of modern rock before, but in reality there’s plenty of substance lurking around. There’s rock that progs, and prog that rocks, while the incestuous bloodlines of the stoner, doom, and sludge scene are often tied to rock featuring plenty of quality bands. Yet I admit, finding hungry and interesting bands that rock hard enough to appeal to the average metalhead can be challenging. Enter New York’s up and coming Moon Tooth.” Fear the Tooth.

Tel – Lowlife Review

Tel – Lowlife Review

“I’ll be the first to admit that I know precious little about the technical process of recording an album. The musician side of things is easy enough to grasp, but the technicians who collect, mix, and master the sounds thrown out into the ether may as well be a sect of wizards engaged in super secret wiz biz. Although I don’t understand how they do their jobs—I imagine it involves summoning Akathla, demon of the Low End—I do know that the decisions they make are ultimately aesthetic ones. This means when it comes to production, it’s not so much about if it’s good or bad, but whether or not it works with the music to create an aesthetic you enjoy.” Noise to the grindstone.

The Mute Gods – Atheists & Believers Review

The Mute Gods – Atheists & Believers Review

“With some exceptions, in a rule-of-thumb sort of way, the ‘technical’ modifier means ‘this was harder to play’ while ‘progressive’ means ‘this was harder to write.’ As such, experience is highly valued among progressive musicians especially, and progressive supergroups seem more common than other genres. The Mute Gods is another one of those, consisting of Steven Wilson’s bassist Nick Beggs and drummer Marco Minnemann, who also performs guitars here, and keyboard player Roger King who played with Nick and Steve Hackett of Genesis fame.” Great expectations.

O.R.k. – Ramagehead Review

O.R.k. – Ramagehead Review

“It’s not often that so-called super-groups stick around for more than one or two albums. Invariably, the novelty of working together wears off, and competing priorities pull members in other directions. That hasn’t been the case with multinational prog rockers O.R.k., though: Ramagehead is the band’s third album, appearing like clockwork almost two years to the day after their superb Soul of an Octopusrecord. The quartet remains unchanged as well: the big names are Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson) on drums and Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) on bass, but guitarist Carmelo Pipitone and singer/composer LEF are not to be ignored.” Ramage Inc.

Hexvessel – All Tree Review

Hexvessel – All Tree Review

“One of the big things I look for in music is a sense of being taken elsewhere, of stepping aside from the real. I work a stressful tech job, and the next best thing to ditching my desk and marching off into the woods is music that makes me feel like I’m adrift in an ancient forest. This means I’m a big fan of ethereal, folksy influences in my music. Esben and the Witch‘s Older Terrors established itself as one of my favorite records ever, and I enjoyed Hexvessel‘s first few releases for similar reasons.” Let treedom ring.

Swifan Eolh & The Mudra Choir – The Key Review

Swifan Eolh & The Mudra Choir – The Key Review

You know how almost every crappy family TV sitcom has an inevitable flashback episode? The family kids have discovered some contemporary genre of music that Dad doesn’t understand, and it’s causing him to wax nostalgic about his younger days. He regales his children with tales of the halcyon days of the wild 60’s and 70’s, of weed and hippies and free love, and about the time he and his high-school buddies had a prog band; probably called something like “Wizard’s Sleeve” or “Maxwell von Phlogiston and his Marvellous Dragonling Starship.” The Key sounds exactly like what I imagine sitcom Dad’s throwback prog band sounds like.” Dad rock is the best rock.

The EP, Demo, and Oddity Post [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

The EP, Demo, and Oddity Post [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“As a younger man I had no concept of the “EP,” nor the “demo,” nor the “split.” When was the last time Iron Maiden had to curb their excesses by squashing ideas into half an hour? When were Judas Priest not able to afford a professional recording studio and production job? And when’s that Metallica/Megadeth split due again? Such formats are reserved for the underdogs of the metal world, those bubbling beneath the surface of popularity who write music for the sheer creative expression and who will never see monetary reward for their time and effort.” Short is sweet.

Coheed and Cambria – Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Coheed and Cambria – Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“What were you expecting, a metal review? Too bad. Coheed time. Back in 2005, the New York boys of Coheed and Cambria were immensely influential in my formative years as a rabid consumer of music. Though only a metal band in the loosest sense of the genre, the band’s emotionally explosive and instrumentally nuanced brand of progressive alt-rock undoubtedly laid the foundation for my formal induction into metal fandom only a year later. For better or for worse, they also ignited my critical spirit; the waning quality of C&C‘s post-Good Apollo Vol. I output forced me to examine music with an unbiased ear, and helped turn me into the cynical shithead you see before you today.” Alien inwasion.