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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.

Karmakanic – DOT Review

Karmakanic – DOT Review

“The country of Sweden is home to 9.9 million people. Judging from the number of bands that come out of that land, 10 million of those individuals are musicians. And good ones, too. In this latest version of his band, Karmakanic founder and bassist Jonas Reingold (also of The Flower Kings) attempts to use as many of them as possible. No less than twelve artists get credited on Karmakanic’s fifth full-length release, DOT.” I once knew a Swede that wasn’t in a band. He was actually in 5 bands.

Anderson/Stolt – Invention of Knowledge Review

Anderson/Stolt – Invention of Knowledge Review

“For some fickle mechanisms of the human mind and various other lunacies, first wave progressive rock acts as my personal, pesky Madeleine; a trigger of sickly sweet involuntary memories. Because of that I’m cursed: each riff by Gentle Giant, Camel or other bands that I encountered when first discovering everything progressive, now inundates me with inescapable, banal yet pleasurable nostalgia meshed with a remembrance of ages that I could have never lived through.” Welcome back to the Age of the Noodle.

Haken – Affinity Review

Haken – Affinity Review

Haken have rapidly become one of my favorite bands in the world. Since my introduction with 2013’s The Mountain I’ve retraced their steps back through Visions and Aquarius – both slightly uneven stylistically and in terms of quality but with truly exemplary moments – and eagerly devoured their revised versions of older tracks on their 2014 EP, Restoration. I’ve seen them live twice and would be seeing them again in a month but for some pesky exams which will impact my future. It was therefore with great enthusiasm that I sat down with their fourth album Affinity.” Warning: fanboys may drool uncontrollably.

Headspace – All that You Fear Is Gone Review

Headspace – All that You Fear Is Gone Review

“As you may have noticed, we’re prog wusses at AMG. We look favorably on innovation, strong atmosphere and where progressive isn’t a synonym for purely technical. Enter Headspace. Comprising high profile musicians such as vocalist Damian Wilson of Threshold, keyboardist Adam Wakeman of Ozzy’s band (and son of the Yes legend) and Lee Pomeroy, of note for his work with almost everyone ever (including Steve Hackett), the line-up is experienced and successful. ‘Supergroups’ are, however, plagued as strong personalities pull the music in various directions, often devolving into vain wankfests.” The curse of the supergroup continues.

Nad Sylvan – Courting the Widow Review

Nad Sylvan – Courting the Widow Review

“First things first: it’s no coincidence that the eponymous frontman of Nad Sylvan sounds remarkably similar to Peter Gabriel. Fresh from performing on Genesis Revisited II and subsequently touring with Genesis as principle vocalist, Nad Sylvan now exercises his musical talents on his own album. Some (read: me) have described him as the Ripper Owens of prog rock, but fortunately for Sylvan, he isn’t saddled with the subtitle “rank amateur.”” Some names don’t translate well to other countries. Nad Sylvan is such a name, but this doesn’t mean the music is lost in translation.

Pseudo/Sentai – Bansheeface Review

Pseudo/Sentai – Bansheeface Review

“I’m a bit wary of reviewing prog records because I don’t want to end up sitting through eighty minutes of decadent aural onanism from tedious Dream Theatre wannabes (I would rather listen to eighty minutes of “Wannabe”). But done well prog provides musical nourishment rarely offered by other genres, and having spent a large portion of the year listening to grindcore, I was ready to take a risk with Pseudo/Sentai.” Jean-Luc is a risk taker and that can be risky.

Symphony X – Underworld Review

Symphony X – Underworld Review

Symphony X is New Jersey’s answer to Yngwie Malmsteen. That’s not just a funny blurb: the more I think about it the more I realize that that’s actually a surprisingly good description of the band. My relationship with the band started in 2000 with the release of the band’s absolutely perfect V: The New Mythology Suite. At the time, I described them to friends as being “Malmsteen—if he could write songs and had a good vocalist.” Since then the band has released some excellent records, but they’ve also taken a turn for the heavier, and edgier, moving further away from the traditional progressive/power wheelhouse and straight-up neocassical stylings. The orchestral approach on never quite disappeared—they’re a ‘neoclassical’ progressive/power band ffs—but from Paradise Lost on the band’s heavier attitude has continued to develop; embodied by Allen’s full-throated Jersey rasp.” Angry Metal Guy weighs in on Symphony X‘s newest release.

Cave of Swimmers – Reflection Review

Cave of Swimmers – Reflection Review

“Remember Guitar Hero? Yes, I’m aware it’s 2015, but reach back into the memory vaults for just a second. Somewhere on the screen there’s a crowd pleasure meter that dynamically reacted to how well your performance is going. If you were good, it would stay in green. If you were really bad, it would stay in red, teetering on the edge of total audience disengagement. Being mediocre kept you squarely in yellow.” Are you ready to take on Guitar Hero’s doom edition? Cave of Swimmers think they are.