Progressive Metal

Guild of Others – Guild of Others Review

Guild of Others – Guild of Others Review

“Too many bands today make progressive music for the sake of being progressive, prioritizing meandering exploration over songcraft, and this is akin to a chef filling a bowl with flavorful seasonings and serving it as a full meal. Guild of Others seem intent on dishing out hearty meals seasoned with proggy goodness, their promo even going so far as to quote prolific music critic Martin Popoff, who is supposed to have said, “Guild of Others accomplish the near impossible, and that’s make progressive metal that is accessible.” Let’s see if there is any truth to these words, or if they’re merely promospeak.” Guild to last.

Tersivel – To the Orphic Void Review

Tersivel – To the Orphic Void Review

“Few bands in metal have the combination of popularity and totally idiosyncratic sound that Gojira enjoys. The first time I saw the band perform, it was still playing support for Fear Factory; nowadays that’s hard to imagine, and would most likely be the other way around. On top of that, its style is instantly recognizable; mechanistic, multi-stage, palm-muted riffs full of syncopation and odd time signatures combined with complex drum fills and patterns. It’s so readily familiar, in fact, that the band have begun to sound like a flanderized version of itself, and any band taking inspiration from the Frenchies is bound to run into copycat accusations. That didn’t stop Tersivel from trying anyway.” Ape the best, ignore the rest.

Heavy Meta – Mana Regmata Review

Heavy Meta – Mana Regmata Review

“Don’t get your hopes up, ye of heavy metal’s golden years. Heavy Meta is nearly everything you hate about today’s extreme music. Mathcore, black metal, noise rock, and prog all have a hand in this monstrosity, and if there is an inkling of distaste for any of these styles, Mana Regmata might need to come with a side of aspirin. Featuring a tongue-in-cheek moniker that you could proudly proclaim at any party, it’s a group that only jokingly defines itself as “blackened progressive cowboy nintendocore.”” Meta health.

Voivod – Synchro Anarchy Review

Voivod – Synchro Anarchy Review

“The most frightening album I ever bought was in 1984, a cassette called War and Pain, issued by the weirdly-named Voivod. Up here in Canada it came out on Banzai Records, a strange little upstart that licensed metal albums not otherwise available. Anyhow, back in the 80s my pals and I snapped up everything on that label, even when we had no clue who the band was. We were pretty lucky – Metallica, Exciter, Slayer, Venom, all sorts of great up-and-comers. And then this one. Pressing play on the tape deck resulted in some of the scariest, heaviest thrash-death-punk shit we’d ever heard. That was our introduction to Voivod.” War, pain, anarchy, progress.

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.

Opensight – Mondo Fiction Review

Opensight – Mondo Fiction Review

“In the case of Mondo Fiction, you get… detective metal? If we’re going to conflate movie and music genres, this description is easily the most apt for Opensight’s quirky brand of metal. Additionally, using more established musical genres is a surprisingly difficult undertaking. Broadly speaking, the album mixes elements of heavy metal, progressive metal, alternative metal and smidges of the cabaretesque and surf rock. Yes, surf rock.” Mystery is on the menu.

Mastodon – Hushed and Grim [Things You Probably Didn’t Miss 2021]

Mastodon – Hushed and Grim [Things You Probably Didn’t Miss 2021]

“Yeah I know, anyone who gives two shits about Atlanta’s veteran modern metal/progressive sludge rock juggernaut Mastodon will likely have formed an opinion on their eighth studio album, and first double LP, Hushed and Grim. And I won’t lie, it is selfish reasons for including the album in this traditional end-of-year segment. We missed promo and the album turned out way better than a loyal but skeptical long-time fan was expecting.” Grim tales.

Aethereus – Leiden Review

Aethereus – Leiden Review

“In his mostly positive review of their 2018 debut Absentia, Kronos pointed out that Aethereus treads the middle ground between flashy tech-death and death metal’s more dissonant realms. Not much has changed in this department, but where Absentia had a tendency to feel a bit disjointed because of the band’s stylistic duality, sophomore effort Leiden cashes in on the potential inherent in Aethereus‘ chosen sound palette.” Technical ecstacy.