Haken

Look to Windward – The Last Scattering Surface Review

Look to Windward – The Last Scattering Surface Review

“One of the greatest feelings as a reviewer is rolling the dice on a completely unknown band and discovering they’re amazing. But you have to play to win, and I totally failed to pick up any reviews by bands I didn’t already know last year. I resolved to do better this year. There’s no magic formula I’ve found to identifying great promos, so I tend to skim the promo submissions queue and wait for things to catch my eye for whatever reason. Look to Windward immediately stood out. Prog with a name that might be an Iain M Banks reference? Perfect.” Rolling the prog bones.

Caligula’s Horse – Charcoal Grace Review

Caligula’s Horse – Charcoal Grace Review

“You never know which bands are going to pull together seemingly disparate minds, whether it be the starving prog fans who can’t agree on anything or the ever-diverging wiles of our own Angry Metal Overlord and Kronos—the polished professor and the angular dreamer. But more so than any other band in the modern progscape, Caligula’s Horse does just that, bridging the gap of the jittery, sweep-starved guitar lover; the hug-craving, sunset-staring sadboi; the chorus-hook, bravado-stricken empath, all with a brand of progressive metal that’s grown alongside genre titans Haken and Leprous in curious, somewhat convergent ways.” Lead a horse to water.

Temic – Terror Management Theory Review

Temic – Terror Management Theory Review

“While certain sectors of the metalsphere have to watch out for band members sporting certain unsavory worldviews or taking out aggression on spouses and such, the worst we usually encounter with prog band members is an (un)healthy case of extreme narcissism. So, we settle then often for the drama of a band suddenly seeing members vacate to form new projects, like Mike Portnoy and his on-again off-again Dream Theater play, or the long-drawn release from Obscura-born Obsidious. The new super(ish) group Temic is born of such an upending, with former keys maestro Diego Tejeida relinquishing his long-held seat with Haken for proggier pastures.” Group and super group.

Fall of the Albatross – Rite Review

Fall of the Albatross – Rite Review

“The NYC instrumental quartet Fall of the Albatross hides much behind their progressive metal label. Prog has always been a melting pot of any genre that wanders too close, but the genre mosaic of Fall of the Albatross is especially vivid. Their newest LP Rite evokes a diverse swath of influences ranging from the crushing mathcore of Car Bomb to the jazz fusion of Masayoshi Takanaka, with some dreamy Sithu Aye post-rock to round things out.” Prog bombing.

Charlie Griffiths – Tiktaalika Review

Charlie Griffiths – Tiktaalika Review

“The Side Project Era is a common part of the evolution of many successful bands. They’ve been around for a while, they’re doing pretty well, and they know what they sound like. But naturally different members have different musical preferences and want to try different things. They could leave the band, but that’s pretty drastic. Enter the Side Project. Today’s example stars Charlie Griffiths, one of Haken’s guitarists, taking an opportunity to write for six-string guitar after years of playing eight-string with his main band.” Side pieces.

Ou – one Review

Ou – one Review

“Fuck the rules—that’s the rough translation of OU’s mission statement. Steeped in the streets of the Beijing jazz scene, OU (pronounced “O”) has emerged with a debut that challenges head-on the stagnant energy of the modern prog space. Striking a masterful balance of joviality, tranquility, and ferocity, OU have emerged from the underground to spread their idiosyncratic brand of futureprog.” The future is NOUW, olde man!

Teramaze – And the Beauty They Perceive Review

Teramaze – And the Beauty They Perceive Review

“One country whose output always perks my ears up is Australia. It seems like the Aussies just know how to craft strong albums, whether it’s the catchy hard rock of Butterfly or the avant-garde insanity of Portal, music from Down Under never fails to entertain. Nowhere is this more evident than in the country’s progressive metal scene, which features such bands as Karnivool, Voyager, Dead Letter Circus, and current kings of the mountain Caligula’s Horse. All of these bands craft terrific songs featuring strong musicians, but more importantly stellar vocalists. Let’s go ahead and add Teramaze to this list now.” Hit the Tera button.

Soen – Imperial CD Review

Soen – Imperial CD Review

AMG Himself and I come at Soen from slightly different directions. Our overlord fell in love with this band in spite of the overt Tool worship present on their initial releases, and felt that Ekelöf was their secret weapon, a vocalist of sublime talent. For AMG Himself, the band started off near the top of their game and have only gotten better over their first four albums. This writer, however, got on board with Soen because of their Tool worship (and the fantastic rhino artwork on Tellurian), and I felt what was holding the band back on their first three release was, in fact, the vocals.” Soen the seeds ov love.