Porcupine Tree

Vulkan – Technatura [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Vulkan – Technatura [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“People hate social media because of all the idiots, lunatics, and imbeciles. I must have the best-curated friend lists on the planet; aside from blocking a few conspiracy theorists, flat-earthers, and all-around rednecks this year, my feeds are pristine. In fact, I’ve gotten a ton of great recommendations from my Twitter pals, and the best of the bunch was Technatura, the third album from the Swedish heavy prog band Vulkan. I’ve never heard of them just like they’ve apparently never heard of PR, because I didn’t know about this album until months after its release. That’s a shame, because this is one of the strongest progressive rock albums of the year.” Secret Spock.

Helfir – The Journey Review

Helfir – The Journey Review

“It’s all about the journey, so the saying goes. For me, the journey from album discovery to album listening to album review is often the highlight of my week, regardless of the ultimate destination (read: rating). For Luca Mazzotta, the one man behind the one-man Helfir project, The Journey is his third release, and one that takes its title very seriously. Taking the helm on every instrument, real and programmed, Mazzotta’s ambitions and inspirations, including such names as Katatonia and Porcupine Tree, are unleashed over fifty minutes of honest, dark, and remarkably flexible music.” Safe travels.

Alizarin – The Last Semblance Review

Alizarin – The Last Semblance Review

The Last Semblance is the second Alizarin album, and the first that is not instrumental. That’s an important note, because Alizarin is the passion project of a one Josh Kay, who wrote the songs, played the guitar parts, made the album art for, and mixed The Last Semblance.” One man army.

Airbag – A Day at the Beach Review

Airbag – A Day at the Beach Review

“Four years ago now, our AMG Overlords made the error in judgement to bring me on as a n00b. Airbag’s Disconnected was my second probationary review, and I will never forget it. Why? Well, because every week without fail for the past four years, our technologically advanced promo distribution system has notified me that “Steel Druhm has stopped sharing Airbag with you.” Okay, I get the hint.” Bag men.

Pure Reason Revolution – Eupnea Review

Pure Reason Revolution – Eupnea Review

“This week my good friend TheKenWord got his hands on a pretty sweet doom album from Loviatar. When I saw the score assigned, and went back and listened to Lightless, I was kind of upset with myself for not grabbing it when I had the chance. But then I remembered why I left it alone: Eupnea, the first album from Pure Reason Revolution in ten years. When people talk about PRR’s first three albums (all released between 2006-2010), comparisons to Pink Floyd, Muse, and Tool are often mentioned.” Better than PBR.

Dead Frog – Burning Bridges Review

Dead Frog – Burning Bridges Review

With its (albeit impressive) focus on sprawling song structures and meandering songwriting, progressive metal just never tickled me pink in a way that’s really stuck. Serbian five-piece Dead Frog, who I can only assume repeatedly lost at Frogger, offers their own contribution, channeling in equal measure the progressive metal giants, the alternative rock of Linkin Park, the classic heavy metal feel of Iron Maiden.” Splat.

Thenighttimeproject – Pale Season Review

Thenighttimeproject – Pale Season Review

“It’s been a hot minute since I even remotely touched anything Katatonia-related. That’s not out of complete and utter disownership of a great band, mind you. I’ve just been bombarded with so much doom and black metal that keeping up with them can be a bit difficult. So when word that former members the Brothers Norrman had not only put out a new October Tide album, but also the second full-length album from their prog-rock outfit Thenighttimeproject, I figured a reacquainting/discovery mission was in order.” Night shift.

Sermon – Birth of the Marvellous Review

Sermon – Birth of the Marvellous Review

“I’ve said it before: we love finding gems amongst the post-apocalyptic ruins of the promo bin. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it is glorious. Perhaps the name Lör rings a bell? How about The Reticent? Heck, we can throw King Goat in there as well. All examples of unknown acts whose music blew us away. It’s a big part of why we review albums, to be honest. Sure the 0.5 and 1.0 reviews can be entertaining, but we would much rather have people talking about (and buying) the music rather than the review. Which makes me pretty happy to say I’ve found my latest gem in Birth of the Marvellous.” You look…Marvellous!

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.

Convulsing – Grievous [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Convulsing – Grievous [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Convulsing might just command one of the best combinations of atmospheric black and death metal I’ve ever heard. Sloan has a rare ability to fuse dense death metal riffing with a suffocating black metal fluidity. Grievous somehow manages to bludgeon yet persuasively menace in one fell blow.” Death spasms.