Six releases for a cold November night
Probably the last really big release week of the year, we bring you some highlights as diverse and eclectic as can be. Already last Saturday saw the release of The Wormhole Experience‘s second album called “The Oracle”, some stellar italian instrumental djent/fusion/symphonic prog metal for you right there! Their second EP overall (and even their second EP this year alone) are presenting French alternative Proggers of ObliQ with “To the Depths”. Some truly transcendental music is coming from the US with “Ascension Codes”, the highly anticipated fourth album by the legendary Cynic. Germany is also represented this time, with the massive concept debut album “The Puppeteer” by post/metalcore innovators of Monosphere. Ambient guitar sounds are coming from Australia with a joint/split release from Joseph Rabjohns & Lachlan R. Dale (“Eclipsing Orbs”). And finally dutch jack of all trades TDW presents his newest vision, “Fountains”. Now that’s some homework already, but don’t forget to check out all the other releases that we have compiled in our Spotify playlist and also with the Bandcamp links (if available) below. And also support our The Progspace Online Festival Artists Sinoptik and Framing Skeletons, who have made their Festival sets available as live EPs!
The Wormhole Experience - The Oracle
Almost flown by under our radar, as it was released already last Saturday, I am so happy that I did catch this monster of an album halfway through the week. Equal parts djent, fusion, progressive metal and epic orchestral passages, The Wormhole Experience from Italy just fires everything they’ve got on their second album “The Oracle”. The virtuosity is off the charts in all departments, the sound is spot on and, for an instrumental release just as important, maybe even more so than for music with vocals, the melodies and motifs are engaging, thrilling, memorable and fun! Interestingly, this whole project is led by drummer Valerio Lucantoni as he is credited also with composition, arrangements as well as writing, directing and producing the two visually stunning music videos for the two singles ‘Waking Mind’ and ‘Correspondence’. The 45 minutes of “The Oracle” fly by in no time with no weak moment in sight, which makes this album a definitive must listen for all fans of virtuoso fusion metal!
ObliQ - To the Depths EP
Decidedly treading more alternative waters compared to The Wormhole Experience above, ObliQ from France are presenting their second EP “To the Depths”. While the rocky bits have a bit of a raw quality to them, the more mellow parts like the beginning of first single ‘Another Life’ emit a serene beauty, with more pop and funk influences becoming clear moving further into the EP. Vocalist San shines throughout the whole thing, supported by lush and groovy arrangements of the instrumental department. Their breathtaking DIY music video for the song ‘Indigo’ from their previous EP “By The Shore” with paintings from vocalist San, animated by bassist Guillaume Boulanger was without a doubt one of my favorite music video moments of last year (WATCH IT HERE!), so I am hoping that maybe a song or two from this one might also get this treatment… So now, after two EPs, ObliQ have already left their unique mark in the underground alternative prog scene and are ready for bigger things and hopefully a wider recognition as well in the years to come.
Cynic - Ascension Codes
Four full length albums in nearly three decades : a new release from Cynic has always been a very special rarity, even more so as tragedy struck twice within the last two years, taking both bassist Sean Malone and drummer Sean Reinert far too early from this earthen plane of existence. So mastermind Paul Masvidal enlisted the help of Matt Lynch (who had already taken over drumming duties from Reinert a while ago) and Dave Mackay on bass synths and keys (and with Max Phelps also another Cynic alumni on ‘Holographic-reptilian voices’) to complete his vision of “Ascension Codes”, the fourth Cynic album. So, what does that ‘new’ Cynic sound like? As transcendental, mystic and alien as ever! Music from another world!
Monosphere - The Puppeteer
Having exclusively premiered this massive slap of a debut album two days ago already, it almost goes without saying that Monosphere’s “The Puppeteer” is one of our highlights this week. Their unique blend of djenty metalcore, post rock, black metal and tech death makes for an intense 40-minute ride not for the faint of heart. Originally, they were to perform a release show today in their hometown of Mainz, but alas, it wasn’t meant to happen (yet) due to the next wave of this dreaded virus hitting German with full force just now. But you better make sure to watch out for their name once live gigs can happen again: they are poised to destroy some clubs if their live show is going to be as intense as the album.
Lachlan R. Dale & Joseph Rabjohns - Eclipsing // Orbs
Two musicians, one album, two halves, one concept: Australian guitar/string instrument players Joseph Rabjohns (Kodiak Empire) and Lachlan R. Dale (Hashshashin) created a collaborative piece, where each of them is dealing with the topic of loss and death in their own way. Rabjohns is responsible for the first half of the album, together with Zac Sacrewski (Milton Man Gogh) on double bass and Kieran Stevenson who added some ambient vocals. His four contributions are of course dominated by his guitar playing, often picked, with a folk base and proggy and jazzy parts carefully added.
Lachlan R. Dale’s half, on the other hand, has a more meditative flow to it, with droning sounds as known from his Central-Asian-inspired main project Hashshashin. This time though, as he states in the press release, his work is more inspired by Persian and Indian classical music. He also slips into more of an ambient territory influenced by post-rock as well though, as in the central song of his part, the 8-minute-piece “Absorbed by the Earth”. A range of guests are featured in his songs: Peter Hollo (raven, Tangents), his Hashshashin bandmate Cameron Macdonald (also of Five Star Prison Cell) and Susie Bishop (ex-Hinterlandt).
As the topic suggests, this is music that makes you turn inwards, lets your thoughts wander and is best enjoyed with a glass of wine on one of the current dark autumn and winter nights on this Northern half of the globe. The idea of a split solo album works – even if Dale and Rabjohns both have their distinctive style and approach to the music and the concept, their parts combine excellently, nothing sounds like it was pressed onto the package by force. A strong recommendation for a relaxing and, as mentioned, almost meditative musical experience.
TDW - Fountains
Coming from Amersfoort, Netherlands, mastermind Tom de Wit, aka TDW, releases his newest addition of symphonic/progressive metal goodness, entitled “Fountains”. After hearing his previous release from last year “The Days the Clock Stopped”, I was immediately hooked and patiently awaited this new full length album; and I was not disappointed. While not the most musically complex in terms of prog, the songwriting is the main focus for this project. In some passages, I can hear subtle hints of Pain of Salvation and Vangough throughout the record, which isn’t a very common direction in terms of sound from most artists within the genre. If there’s anything that upsets me at all about this album, it’s the lack of 15+ minute epics… mostly kidding. Those were some highlights for me from his previous records, but a prog album doesn’t always need such a thing. Wow, what am I saying? Anyways, this is a great listen! Lots of awesome guests from track to track as well, including Lola Damblant-Soler (Soledad: A Solo Project), Lucas de la Rosa, Michael Mills (Toehider), Vikram Shankar (Lux Terminus, Redemption) and more. Check it out!
More releases for 26 November, 2021
- Hope Drone - Husk EP (Nov. 20) Bandcamp
- Paul Wardingham - Cybergenesis (Nov. 21) Bandcamp
- Velja - Modern Disbalance EP (Nov. 22) Bandcamp
- Crystal Throne - Crystal Throne (Nov. 24) Bandcamp
- Nir Nakav - The Nir-Death Experience (Nov. 25) Bandcamp
- Negura Bunget - Zau (Lupus Lounge) Bandcamp
- In Mourning - Thornwalker (Dalapop)
- Lychlake - The Tragedy of Doctor FaustusRead Our Review
- Voices - Breaking the Trauma Bond
- Kreationist - Dans L’interminable (I, Voidhanger Records) Bandcamp
- Noise Trail Immersion - Curia (I, Voidhanger Records) Bandcamp
- The Ancestry Program - Mysticety Ambassadors Part 1 Bandcamp
- Hasse Fröberg & Musical Companion - We Are The Truth (GlassVille Records) Bandcamp
- Hollow - Tower (Rockshots Records)
- Eternity’s End - Embers of War (Prosthetic Records) Bandcamp
- Opera Diabolicus - Death on a Pale Horse (Season of Mist) Bandcamp
- Resolve - Between Me and the Machine (Arising Empire)
- Imminence - Heaven In Hiding (Arising Empire)
- The Tea Party - Blood Moon Rising (Inside Out Music)
- Donner - Hesitant Light (Apollon Records) Bandcamp
- Drop on Glass - Light as a Feather (Wormholedeath Records) Bandcamp
- Paul Gilbert - Twas (The Players Club) Bandcamp
- Hypocrisy - Worship (Nuclear Blast)
- Lunarite - Distance Bandcamp
- Wide Eyes - Oneironaut Bandcamp
- Astrakhan - Retrospective Bandcamp
- Deep Purple - Turning to Crime (earMusic)
- Firelink - The Inveterate Fire: Rekindled Bandcamp
- The Ocean Collective - Phanerozoic Live (Metal Blade Records) Bandcamp
- Imperial Triumphant - An Evening With Imperial Triumphant (Century Media Records)
- Gourmand - To Bring To Nothing EP Bandcamp
- Benothing - Temporal Bliss Surrealms EP (Everlasting Spew Records) Bandcamp
- All Are To Return - AATR II EP (Tartarus Records) Bandcamp
- Coilguns - Shunners/Burrows EP (Hummus Records) Bandcamp
- JD - Charam EP
- ten56. - Downer Pt. 1 EP (Out of Line Music) Bandcamp
- If Not If - Sunshine Everywhere EP Bandcamp
- Adrift in Skylines - Ursus Ante EP (Crazy Poet Records) Bandcamp
- Somnolent Priests - Act I: Awareness (Nov. 27, SundayFog Records)