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Thoughts Factory – Elements Review

Thoughts Factory – Elements Review

“So when I pulled my head from the murk of the most grimy, gritty, and distorted music metal has to offer to review the clean, keyboard-laden progressive metal of Thoughts Factory, my initial reaction was that of a belligerent child forced to take a shower after playing in the mud: I don’t like it this clean! Make it more filthy! But does that knee-jerk reaction hold on repeat listens?” Clean thoughts.

Rose Tint: El Cuervo’s Discoveries of 2019

Rose Tint: El Cuervo’s Discoveries of 2019

“Following my last couple of year-end lists, it should now not come as a shock that I spent more time fleshing out my historical knowledge of music than my contemporary knowledge. In honor of my abject failure in keeping my eye on the present, I have received approval to document my ever-deeper plundering of previous decades in an article detailing my favorite older records which I first heard in 2019.” Old things, young ears.

Southern Empire – Civilisation Review

Southern Empire – Civilisation Review

“Let’s be real here: are bands truly progressive when the longest song between them is but a measly fifteen minutes? Adelaide’s Southern Empire say “Not so!” as they drop the massive platter that is Civilisation. The four-track album clocks in at a mind-numbing seventy minutes! Can they justify the enormous time investment required to fully appreciate a record of such hefty girth?” An album with big bones.

The Golden Grass – Absolutely Review

The Golden Grass – Absolutely Review

“I love that title. Absolutely. It’s so charming. So affirmative. The Golden Grass, too, which sounds like a chip off the old rural-prog block made famous by the likes of Jethro Tull (though with a more obvious weed connotation). But despite strong ’60s and ’70s rock influences, Tull this is not. Hailing from Brooklyn, Absolutely represents the third full-length release by these chaps. Is it good? Absolu… well, partly.” Grass or pass?

Yer Prog Is Olde! Camel – Rain Dances

Yer Prog Is Olde! Camel – Rain Dances

“You know Genesis right? And Yes? And Pink Floyd? And King Crimson? The big names of the English progressive rock scene which is more or less the best ‘scene’ to have ever existed (in music or otherwise). One name which flew relatively close to the ground during this era is Camel. It was only in retrospect that they began to enjoy their utterly deserved praise, thanks, in no small part, to the adoration of one Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth.” Camels!

Wobbler – From Silence to Somewhere Review

Wobbler – From Silence to Somewhere Review

“I have a confession: I’ve always wanted to listen to progressive rockers Wobbler, but haven’t. Their 2011 album Rites at Dawn has been sitting in my iTunes wish list folder for six years now, but life/time/priorities kept me from ever clicking on “Buy.” So naturally when I saw them pop up on our feed as having a new album coming out, I grabbed it. And then I had to go back and listen to their older stuff as well. All of which is a good thing if you’re into 70s prog rock done right.” Wobbler at the gates of dawn.

Dreadnought – A Wake in Sacred Waves Review

Dreadnought – A Wake in Sacred Waves Review

“The music playback software I use on my phone has a useful function where it will recommence tracks of over 10 minutes from the point at which the song was paused and the software closed. This is great if I reach the 20-minute mark on Crimson or over halfway through Close to the Edge. It’s less great if the track is only narrowly longer than 10 minutes and immediately crashes into the climax while otherwise relistening to the album as a whole. Denver’s Dreadnought is particularly affected by this problem as their third record, A Wake in Sacred Seas, comprises three tracks between 10 and 12 minutes with a 17-minute fourth.” Long in the tooth is a lifestyle choice.

Threshold – Legends of the Shires Review

Threshold – Legends of the Shires Review

“2017 has been a challenging year for Steel’s favorite prog-minded bands. Pyramaze tried to craft a movie soundtrack of a metal album and crashed on a reef in the treacherous Michael Bay, and Anubis Gate opted for a heavier, darker sound that felt awkward and unrefined. Knowing Threshold had a massive double album inbound filled me with trepidation and worry this downward trend would never get reversed. And Legends of the Shires is nothing if not long, clocking in at over 1 hour and 22 minutes (2 discs, 3 LPs).” Legends last forever, as do some albums.

Black Sites – In Monochrome Review

Black Sites – In Monochrome Review

“Like the Trials album which preceded it, however, In Monochrome is unapologetically modern, but it has two feet firmly planted in the feel(s) of yesteryear. And it is the feeling of being a traditional metal album—without being remotely derivative—which makes In Monochrome an excellent album.” I mean, what more do you want for an endorsement than that!?

Maschine – Naturalis Review

Maschine – Naturalis Review

“Things are getting worse. The seasons are becoming more unforgiving and natural disasters on a colossal scale are becoming more common. Species and their habitats are being pulverized into extinction at a rapid rate and humanity, instead of looking for a solution, seeks to jump ship to other planets. How are we, the powerless, going to solve this? What can we really do? Well, we can curl up into a ball and listen to Maschine’s second full-length that focuses on the ramifications of our disregard for Mother Earth.” Prog it up as the world goes down.