Watchtower

Howling Sycamore – Seven Pathways to Annihilation Review

Howling Sycamore – Seven Pathways to Annihilation Review

“Last year’s self-titled debut from prog “supergroup” Howling Sycamore was one of my more positive surprises. On paper it shouldn’t have really worked: extreme drumming married to down-tuned guitars, then mashed in with over the top old-school vocals and the occasional crazed baritone sax. Yet the whole thing gelled in some weird, freakish way, and I was left hoping it wasn’t a one-off project. Well, here we are less than a year and a half later, with Seven Pathways to Annihilation, the band’s follow-up.” Screaming trees.

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins

Symphony X nerds rejoice! Then again, maybe you won’t. Symphony X bassist Mike LePond’s first solo effort was released in September of this year and those expecting LePond to stick to his primary band’s keyboard-laden progressive metal path may be sorely disappointed. If you are, get that geeky head out of your pale behind (if you can get up off it long enough between games of Skyrim)…” New Jersey knows metal, and Al Kikuras knows New Jersey.

Things You Might Have Missed in 2011: Vektor – Outer Isolation

Things You Might Have Missed in 2011: Vektor – Outer Isolation

As I mentioned in a previous review, I like to think I value originality in music. I have little patience for bands that are merely retreads or knockoffs of other groups. So you can imagine my reaction when, a couple years ago, I stumbled on Black Future, the debut album from Arizona thrashers Vektor. The cover of that album looked like this. For those of you unaware, there is a band called Voivod. They have a logo that looks like this. “What in unholy fuck was going on here,” I thought? Is this some sort of joke? Is Vektor to Voivod what Municipal Waste is to D.R.I.? What possible motivation could a band have to do that? And more importantly, is it any good? Two years later, curiosity finally got the better of me, and I decided to check out Vektor’s newly-released follow up, Outer Isolation.