Interesting. I’ve enjoyed the Evergrey I’ve checked out in the past, but this has hit harder than any of them so far.
That’s actually where I stand, @Thraeg. I’ve liked most of their prior output just fine, but I’ve spun the new record two and a half times today and really dug it. Not gonna become my prog album of the year or anything just yet, but I’m liking it!
All well and good, I get it. They’ve had a few albums really hit. None were album of the year for me, but they were always solid entrants.
But, seriously, Tom Englund’s Vocals on this track get me every time.
I missed this in the flood of stuff last year, but just recently discovered it through a Spotify recommendation. It’s not the greatest power album, but…freakin’ futuristic dinosaur battles? How can you not love that? Definitely going on my “things to break out when I need a smile” list.
If you didn’t catch it last year, may I suggest adding Helion Prime’s Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster to that same list?
And I fully acknowledge my own idiosyncrasies here. I fail particularly farther down the prog spectrum than most here, I’m sure. And there is one thing that I’ll cop to for my own tastes, there is a certain vocal element that really helps click for me. That barely contained emotional power, the one Ray Alder is the master of.
Tom is not quite at Ray’s level, but he gets closer than most. And that elevates them quite a bit. When a singer can push that much emotional power into a song, I’m all in. It’s also probably why @ArmandoPenblade and I disagree on Haken’s discography, there is an emotional edge on my favorite albums that they don’t hit as consistently on the others. Same thing for Leprous, Tall Poppy Syndrome was a masterpiece. Don’t get me wrong, Bilateral and others were great, but White and Phantom Pain are two songs as good as anything they’ve ever done.
But to flip to something most people probably haven’t heard, but maybe some of you will love but is very far down the curve of technical prog metal, Cynthesis. Several former Zero Hour members, and I hope some of you are familiar with Zero Hour, including the original vocalist.
Technical prog, bordering on mathcore, that has an angry streak.
This song is a bit more of a slow build
Speaking of new projects for former Zero Hour members, Abnormal Thought Patterns
Oh fuck Cynthesis is hitting all sorts of notes for me. Solid pick, man, seriously.
Funnily enough, while I really dig what I perceive as an emotional, potent vocal performance (and I know we went back and forth on what constituted one upthread awhile back), it tends to be very slightly less important for me in my prog, but I really dig what Erik Rosvold is doing on that track. He reminds me a little–especially in the upper bands of his register–of the guy from Spiral Architect, Øyvind Hægeland, but with notably more control and technique. And, you know, grit, body, and power. . . okay, not such a great comparison, really.
Then again, heh, Spiral Architect was some really goofy ass prog nonsense that I’ve maintained a soft spot for for damn near 20 years now. Still kinda hoping for that second album, someday. . .
And man, talking about proggy bands who go hard as fuck and are also never coming back. . . how about Xerath??
Amazing mix of harsh and clean vocals, tons of orchestral nonsense, amazing chunky potent punishing guitars and DnB sections that even blow Gojira out of the water (for my ears, at least, and I like Gojira’s punishing riffs a whole fuckin’ lot). Ughhhhh why did they have to break up???
Hey man, you are speaking (singing?) my language. Both bands I’ve listened to a bunch over the years.
Which is why I was so glad when Cynic reunited after a 15 year hiatus and released a couple of albums.
Which leads me down the branch of prog that gets me into Scale the Summit, Animals as Leaders, etc. it’s weird. It’s one of those stylistic offshoots that I either absolutely love, or hate, every band. Meshugga? Can’t stand them. Zero Hour? My go to angry music for when I don’t feel like Opeth. And I’d be hard pressed to give an accurate answer why I love some bands, but hate others, who have a lot of stylistic similarity.
Oh man, that first record on Cynic’s return, Traced in Air, was absolutely fucking monstrous. I actually have a harder time getting into the rawer Focus from the 90s, but ugh, TiA is just. . . all-time great for me.
And I am glad to learn that I super duper agree with you about Meshuggah. I’ve tried to get into their albums over and over and over again, and they do so many things I love in other bands–that crunchy, blasting guitar sound, that grating, anguished vocal tone, the extreme technical proficiency. . . but somehow, it always winds up being far less than the sum of its parts for me.
That said, when I saw 'em live many years ago, I did get to enjoy some random meshuggah fan pestering me to buy weed (which I didn’t, and would never, have) for the entire set, so, you know, there’s that.
Blegh all that mathy synthy soft stuff.
To the steppes we go, to burn, pillage and turn empires to dust!
And now for something completely differnt:
Now something classic to feast your ears on:
Thanks! I think I prefer Victorius for sheer “I’m gonna channel my inner 5-year-old” insanity, though.
Hooray, Steve’n’Seagulls! Every once in a while Spotify throws them into a random playlist and I’m always greatly amused.
Ran across Rifftera’s Across the Acheron today, digging it. I’m on the lighter end of the spectrum of metalheads in here, but this is on the heavy end of my taste so some of y’all may like it. Reminds me a lot of Fear Factory.
January 2019 AotM
2019 is off to a good start! Here’s what grabbed me so far. What stood out to you guys?
- Endolith - Chicxulub
- Evergrey - The Atlantic
- Soulmass - The Weakness of Virtue
- Nailed to Obscurity - Black Frost
- Swallow the Sun - When a Shadow is Forced Into the Light
- Soilwork - Verkligheten
- A Swarm of the Sun - The Woods
- Mo’ynoq - Dreaming in a Dead Language
- Aver - Orbis Majora
- Flotsam & Jetsam - The End of Chaos
- Born of Osiris - The Simulation
- Gorgon - Elegy
- Hollow Leg - Civilizations
- Ancient Bards - Origine
- Helevorn - Aamamata
- Gates to the Abyss - Sorcery of Melkor
Been listening to a lot of this one, as well as the Rifftera I posted above.
I haven’t heard the new Soilwork yet, but I’m sad to see it only bronze.
Don’t be sad. I have absolutely no expertise or music-rating qualifications. I thought it was more enjoyable than the ~3/4 of the albums I checked out this month that weren’t worth posting at all, it just didn’t make a big impact on me. But then I’ve never had any of their albums really stick for me, so if you’re a fan of the band it’s entirely likely you’ll like it more than I did.
Metal Fred’s latest album cover!
Hey! My favourite album of the month wasn’t black or death metal! :)
Gaslarm - Deathwish
Legion of the Damned - Slaves of the Shadow Realm
Imha Tarikat - Kara Ihlas
Festerday - iihtallan
And a special mention grand finale - this released in November last year but only just hit my streaming. Deceased never disappoint.
Deceased - Ghostly White
How the hell did I miss Exit Eden putting out a whole series of female-vocals-symphonic-metal-covers supergroup videos? Been getting the songs in my Spotify lists for the last year, but I never did look for videos. Lost a half hour on their site.
Which led me to look into what else some of those ladies were doing, and lookie here, Phantom Elite. Never saw this one when it came out last year, either.