InsideOut Records

Riverside – Wasteland Review

Riverside – Wasteland Review

“I did not know what to expect when I started listening to Riverside‘s new album Wasteland. In a way, I was surprised that it was written and released. After Piotr Grudziński’s sudden and untimely death in 2016 the band was effusive in their love for him and open about what a deeply personal loss they had suffered. The three remaining members elected to release a compilation of instrumental material featuring Piotr’s work and songwriting in 2016 entitled Eye of the Soundscape. This was followed by a live album called Lost ‘n’ Found on Bandcamp independently which featured Piotr in a show on the 18th of October, 2015 in the Netherlands. And then, apparently, Riverside began writing new music.” From loss, creation.

The Gentle Storm – The Diary [Vinyl Review]

The Gentle Storm – The Diary [Vinyl Review]

“It’s not news that I’m a big fan of Arjen Lucassen’s output from the last 5 or 6 years. Starting with 2009’s unparalleled Guilt Machine, Arjen has released a string of records that I love. In full defiance of Angry Metal Guy’s Law of Diminishing Recordings™, the “poofy-haired Dutchman” has seemingly upped his game on every release: a great solo release, a seriously enjoyable Star One disc, and a stellar Ayreon album which landed #2 on my Top 10(ish) of 2013. So it was with unabashed enthusiasm that I began my countdown when I heard he was working with Anneke van Giersbergen, formerly of The Gathering, on a project entitled The Gentle Storm.” And it’s not like anticipation has ever led to disappointment or anything…

Devin Townsend Project – Z2 Review

Devin Townsend Project – Z2 Review

“It’s easy to forget that at the time of it’s release, Zlitoid The Omniscient was something of a reboot for Devin Townsend’s career. Having disbanded both his solo group and the long-running Strapping Young Lad in 2007, Townsend decided to return home, get healthy, and focus on family life. Ziltoid was his first release after that self-imposed exile. The record was charmingly low-budget, recorded solely by Townsend and a drum machine, and there was no tour to promote it.” The long awaited Ziltoid sequel has finally arrived. Pray it doesn’t suffer from Jar Jar Syndrome.

Haken – The Mountain Review

Haken – The Mountain Review

The worst thing that ever happened to London’s Haken was that someone once compared them to Dream Theater. In fact, enough reviewers compared the band to Dream Theater that on Metal Archives the only “associated act” is the unfortunate Berklee Music School graduating class of nineteen eighty-boring. “Why,” you ask, “is it a problem to be compared to DT? They have a long and storied career!” Because I am not alone in finding the band’s music to be void of creativity. It is insipid, lacking in feel, and often only an exercise in form. So when someone says to me, “Yeah, man! They’re like Dream Theater!” that’s an instant cue for me (and many others I’ve met) to shut down; to tune out; to back out of the room slowly and look for a shotgun. Still, being the daring man I am, I couldn’t help but listen to Haken‘s new album The Mountain when it landed in my box a few weeks back. Honestly, the band has such a fantastic loyalty from its fans, that I felt like I had to at least give them a chance. In general, InsideOut is a trustworthy label and they put out good material [With a few notable exceptions, of course — F.t.A.G]—so what choice did I have?

Leprous – Bilateral Review

Leprous – Bilateral Review

Progressive music is a vast category filled with all sorts of various constellations of bands from Dream Theater to Symphony X to Rush to Opeth to Death to Pink Floyd to Pain of Salvation to Coheed & Cambria (arguably) and so forth. It can be very difficult to keep all that shit in order and, frankly, to find good progressive bands because it’s such a huge category. Despite the fact that progressive music should be the biggest, best and most original music in the world it suffers from some serious problems. The first is a tendency towards living in the past (för svenskar: bakÃ¥tsträvande) and the second is unoriginality, oddly enough. So finding a progressive band that is excellent, modern and original is still a hard thing to do. But you’ll never guess who has some angry (but good) news.