Devin goes acoustic, Exist Immortal continue their EP series and more
Releases of the Week 11/2021, also featuring Yossi Sassi, Lotus Titan and Laughing Stock
Introducing our brand new Releases of the Week format where we’ll highlight a few editorial picks with mini-reviews. Check back every Friday to get your weekly fix of new prog releases! Today we have an acoustic live album from Devin Townsend, Exist Immortal continue their EP series, Laughing Stock bring Norwegian melancholia, Lotus Titan French Avantgarde Slam Poetry and last but not least, Yossi Sassi assembled his Oriental Rock Orchestra again. What’s your favourite release of the week?
Yossi Sassi & The Oriental Rock Orchestra - Hear and Dare
Recorded live with the Oriental Rock Orchestra in a studio on the Greek island of Santorini, “Hear and Dare” is Bouzukitara inventor Yossi Sassi’s fifth studio album – and I have to say it is my favorite so far. “Hear and Dare” is a wonderfully mixed box of chocolate with that wonderful peaceful vibe shining through the whole album. From the ‘classic Yossi’ melodies of the first single ‘Brotherhood’ and ‘Benjamin’s Journey’, some relaxed jazz jams with ‘Levitating’ and ‘Night Flight’, some quirky prog and circus stuff on ‘The Mind Spirit’ and ‘Kostas’ all the way to the epic oriental metal of the title track featuring the massive pipes of Swedish legend Mats Levén (Candlemass/Therion/Krux/Amaseffer etc…)… More please!
Laughing Stock - Zero Act I & II
Calling Norwegian trio Laughing Stock a progressive-rock band would not be completely fair to them, as there is a plethora of diverse elements present in their music. Prog, indeed, but also strands of pop-music, some folk and a tiny pinch of Americana.
The band’s third full length “Zero Acts 1 & 2” is a melancholic and at times understated album. It reveals it’s devastating beauty and complex nuances through repeated listening. It is, in my opinion, the career highlight of Laughing Stock, so far. If you enjoy the more sombre side of bands like Riverside or Oak, I’d advise you not to miss out in this album.
Lotus Titan - Odyssées
The frenchies once again take the crown when it comes to creating weird music. My take on trying to put the sound Lotus Titan created for their debut “Odyssées”: Philosophical Avantgarde Punk Jazz Slam Poetry! This album is truly something else and takes you on a journey that is simply one of a kind – whether you understand the lyrics of front poet Julie Castel Jordy or not. Listen with an open mind and you might be rewarded with an experience unlike any other.
Exist Immortal - Act Two - Gold EP
Picking up the pieces where they left off after last year’s “Act One – Rebirth” EP, british modern prog metallers of Exist Immortal return with “Act Two – Gold”, the centerpiece of a planned triptych of EPs about internal struggles and the empowerment of pushing through them and coming back ever stronger on the other side. While the previous installment dealt with acknowledging and coming to terms with one’s past, with “Gold” we are learning how to let go of it and feeling the empowerment of breaking free from past habits. The last dark strains give way to hopefulness and positivity. Uplifting modern prog metal at its best.
Devin Townsend - Devolution Series #1 - Acoustically Inclined (Live in Leeds)
The canadian maestro is back with the first part of his pandemic sparked Devolution series. Originally released as bonus video content in the “Empath” Deluxe Box, “Acoustically Inclined – Live in Leeds” now marks the audio release of said show. It shows the one and only Devin Townsend in top form on his 2019 acoustic tour through Europe with some amazing renditions of material from his solo career, Ziltoid as well as an absolutely surprising and jaw-dropping version of the Strapping Young Lad classic ‘Love?’. Seriously, the bald guy opens his mouth and out flows gold, no matter if it’s the most grandiose opera glaze, fear-inducing screams and growls (yes, even in an acoustic setting) or sometimes whimsical, sometimes ethereal falsetto sweetness. Absolutely epic.
More releases for 19 March, 2021
- Perfect Storm - No Air (March 18, Glassville Records) Bandcamp Read Our Review
- Dvne - Etemen Ænka (March 19, Metal Blade Records) Bandcamp Read Our Review
- Aversed - Impermanent (March 19) Read Our Review
- Stearica - Golem 202020 (March 19, Monotreme Records)
- Egor Lappo - Trancevoicer (March 19)
- Simon McKechnie - Retro (March, 19, Bad Elephant Music) Bandcamp
- Clive Mitten - Suite Cryptique (March 19) Bandcamp
- Sébastien Guérive - Omega Point (March 19)
- Mono - Beyond the Past (Live in London with the Platinum Anniversary Orchestra) (March 19, Pelagic Records)
- Intrøspect - Midnight Sun EP (March 19)
- Serj Tankian - Elasticity EP (March 19)
- The Emerald Dawn - To Touch The Sky EP (March 20) Bandcamp