Periphery

Monuments – In Stasis Review

Monuments – In Stasis Review

“To my credit, I was prepared. For those who enter the prog trailer park via that sketchy patch of woods at the back called “djent,” the polyrhythm abusers can be easier to spot. Futuristic-looking album covers, scientific names, and vaguely mathematic monikers like Structures, Tesseract, Volumes, and Intervals greet the eyes – or Monuments, in this case.” Escape from 2003.

Haunted Shores – Void Review

Haunted Shores – Void Review

“Washington, D.C. progressive instrumental duo Haunted Shores returns after a seven-year absence with second full-length, Void. This is the follow-up to 2015 EP, Viscera, and 2011’s self-titled debut album. Haunted Shores members Mark Holcomb and Misha Mansoor are better known as members of Periphery, where both handle guitars and Mansoor is also responsible for programming, synthesizers, orchestration and drums. And once you know that, you can’t unhear Periphery in what the duo turn out.” Crawling eyes and void fanciers.

WAIT – The End of Noise Review

WAIT – The End of Noise Review

“Time WAITs for no sponge. This apparently holds true for my unfortunate green friend to my left, the sands of time quite literally gushing out of his be-hourglassed noggin. The oddly disturbing artwork depicting this surreal injury translates to the weird and wacky, grungy prog-death stylings of Baltimore’s WAIT (short for We are in Transit). A supergroup of sorts, the trio pulls from the pool of live performers who jammed for acts ranging from Cynic to Defeated Sanity to Obscura, so it comes as no surprise to me that debut album The End of Noise promises to be a twisted and technical affair.” Difficult commute.

Nothing Noble – Modern Dismay Review

Nothing Noble – Modern Dismay Review

“I’m not sure how everyone got their start with metal, but there had to be a bit of a transition to the more extreme stuff, unless you eat nails for breakfast while listening to Cryptopsy’s None So Vile. Unlike you sausage or oatmeal or vegemite shippers who are descended from the yesteryears of heavy, thrash, or doom, I enjoy my eggs with my bacon: my origins of Christian metalcore a la Demon Hunter, Haste the Day, and Oh Sleeper stick with me. While metalcore has not been the kindest to me thus far in 2021, I’m always rooting for any that may wander across my lap like a feral kitten. Is Nothing Noble available for adoption?” Dismay Day.

Juggernaut – Neuroteque Review

Juggernaut – Neuroteque Review

“When you hear about certain genres, do you have an image that pops into your head? It’s not always fair, but the most obvious one is black metal. You just got an image of a corpsepainted weeboo hanging out in a dark forest. Boom. I’m a fucking magician. What about sludge? Did you see a backwoods redneck with a twelve-gauge and a six-pack? Sporting beards, greasy locks, and enough flannel to challenge Saskatchewan?” Not your hick uncle’s sludge.

Haken – Vector Review

Haken – Vector Review

“My introduction to the band was on The Mountain, which found the band dropping incredible songs with deeply creative compositions and amazing performances. But The Mountain‘s follow-up—Affinity—has never really established itself in my listening rotation. Unfortunately, while Affinity was full of ideas I loved and things I appreciated intellectually, it was like the girl who’s “perfect” for you but that you can’t get into. So I’ll admit mild consternation when Vector arrived. I wondered if Vector would continue in Affinity‘s footsteps or if Haken had stayed on the move.” Moving and remaking.

Gaia – Aerial Review

Gaia – Aerial Review

“I like reviewing underdogs. Every now and then you run into an album that seems to have everything against it, yet a nagging feeling remains that if they just do everything right, it might be lightning in a bottle. Enter Gaia, brainchild of young multi-instrumentalist Abhiruk Patowary from New Delhi.” Open bottle, prepare for shocks.

Circles – The Last One Review

Circles – The Last One Review

Circles‘ textured approach to prog metal recalls the moodiness and energy of Fates Warning within the context of a post-djent landscape where six-string guitars and straight rhythms are seen as passé. Yet success stirs in their artful and sensitive exploration of space, whether they’re marching through angular hardcore, tip-toeing across delicate electronics, or bobbing in subtle waves. Like many modern, progressive-leaning rock/metal bands, they bring elements of Periphery-worship on their journey but deploy them so intelligently that at times The Last One becomes greater than its individual components.” Always sphere for you.

Piqaia – Artifact Review

Piqaia – Artifact Review

“Over the past few years, Copenhagen’s most gruesome residents have established one of the world’s most fetid death metal breeding grounds, with acts like PhrenelithUndergang, and Taphos garnering global attention. But with one look at the album art — say nothing of the band photo — you’ll recognize that we’re not going to hear from that ilk today. Instead, Piqia forces us to consider the lighter side of the city’s metal scene.” Pastels and prog.

The Dead Centuries – Race Against Time Review

The Dead Centuries – Race Against Time Review

“The much-maligned genre of djent seems to be undergoing a change as of late. It’s becoming more diffuse, more rarely a goal unto itself and more often part of the progressive metal vocabulary. This is a good thing because distilled djent commonly boils down to an exercise in making technical prowess sound as dull as possible. As an ingredient, rather than a meal, it can be used to contrast intense guitar sweeping, as a deliberately unsteady base or a breather passage.” Season sparingly.