Dario | Nov 22, 2023 | 0
A new record!? 8 highlights this week! Check ’em out!
Releases of the Week 34/2022 with Dreadnought, Apeiron Bound, The Hirsch Effekt, Sigh, Lonely Robot, Epoch of Chirality, Voyager & Storm
8 Highlights! Is that a new record for the Releases of the Week? I think so, but of course there’s always much more than we can cover with our mini reviews. So be sure to check out all the other releases as well, either through the Bandcamp links below or in our weekly updated Spotify playlist!
Dreadnought - The Endless
I first stumbled over Dreadnought a couple of years ago when they released their previous album “Emergence”, by recommendation of my good friend and The Progspace colleague Rune Belsvik Reinås if memory serves right. Now if you search for bands called Dreadnought on the Metal Archives, you will find 4 entries, but none of them is the one who’s releasing their fifth album called “The Endless” on Profound Lore. This one is hailing from Denver, Colorado and the music they have concocted and immortalised on this album is absolutely enthralling and mesmerising. The five-piece has established their very own sound over the last years and albums, a sound that draws from prog, doom, folk, jazz, classical, black metal, and post rock influences, with an extreme metal twist that holds it all together. Sounds like it wouldn’t fit together properly? Listen to “The Endless” and Dreadnought will convince you of the contrary. The album is of a singular atmosphere, a haunting tale of human suffering and the never-ending cycle of shadow humanity can’t seem to break. Come spend some heartbreakingly beautiful hours of dread with Dreadnought. Those who dare to stare into the abyss, will be rewarded with a rare beauty.
Apeiron Bound - Multiplicity
A mulit-faceted affair indeed is Apeiron Bound’s debut album “Multiplicity”. Seamlessly switching between ambient passages and full on prog metal with hints of extreme influences here and there, the brainchild of guitarist Andrew Stout surely knows how to impress with engaging songwriting that keeps you on your toes as to what will happen next, but never comes across as all too disjointed or chopped up. Vocalist Michael Calza with his versatile and powerful voice and confident performance is the second ace up their sleeves, and “Multiplicity” is rounded out by a host of top notch guest performers such as John Pyres (Threads of Fate), John Gray (Annihilator/Aeon Zen) or Angel Vivaldi as well as some compositional help from Earthside’s Frank Sacramone. Dutch prog metal forgery Layered Reality Productions have unearthed another gem that should appeal to fans of the genre old and new, with a distinct nod to some old-school stylings without ever sounding dated or dusted.
The Hirsch Effekt - Solitaer EP
The Hirsch Effekt from Hannover, Germany. An absolutely singular appearance in the german prog scene and even beyond I would say. Not only are they singing in their German mother tongue, their neckbreakingly fast amalgam of mathy artcore mixed with some serious hooklines is at the same time incredibly fun to listen to, completely awe-inspiring in its technicality as well as thorougly thought-provoking if you care to decipher the lyrics (a good grasp of the German language helps with that of course). There’s three new songs on the trio’s newest EP “Solitaer”, one from each member, you guessed it. They reflect their very own thoughts on the last two ‘lost’ years, that were quite solitary for a lot of people. On top of that, we’re getting a non-orchestral ‘Solitaer’-Version of ‘Gregær’, the title track of their previous, completely orchestral EP. What’s not to like? If you’re in Germany or close, don’t miss out on their upcoming tourdates, some of them with The Progspace Festival Alumni A kew’s tag! And, what seems most important these days: if you can, buy your tickets in advance! Too many smaller bands have to cancel their tours due to low presales. Save live music!
Sigh - Shiki
32 years and 12 albums into their existence, Japanese legends of Sigh are still at the forefront of doomy avantgarde black metal. Their reputation precedes them, so I have to admit that, even though I was aware of their existence and all the descriptions I’ve read had already spiked my fascination for quite some time, but for whatever reason, I never managed to really check out one of their albums. With “Shiki” now, their newest full length, I finally managed to rectify that. And well, what I can I say, all the praise that I have heard about them over the years is true. All of it. It is dark, diverse, evil and fascinating, the synths are fittingly eerie and setting up the atmosphere for everything else splendidly. The tempo is oscillating between high speed black metal and menacingly doomy slow parts, and Fear Factory/Azure Emote drummer Mike Heller shines as guest behind the kit and percussions as well as Kreator/Loudblast bassist Frédéric Leclercq on guitars. Spice it up with hammond, flute and saxophone solos and a whole host of traditional japanese instruments, and you’ve got yourself an extreme/avantgarde prog metal masterpiece!
Lonely Robot - A Model Life
I gotta admit, I had my troubles getting into “Feelings Are Good”, the fourth Lonely Robot album after I had fallen for the particular melancholy pop prog brand John Mitchell (Frost*, Arena, It Bites, Kino…) had perfected on the initial Lonely Robot trilogy. Something didn’t quite vibe with me through most of the album, just as it had happened with the third Frost* album “Falling Satellites”… But now Mitchell is back with his fifth album under the Lonely Robot moniker and, after the first singles didn’t really click with me, I’m finding myself a bit anxious as to whether he would explore more the “Feelings…” vibes or circle back to the initial Lonely Robot trademark sound. Well, after giving “A Model Life” a thorough listen, I must say that both and neither is the case. Confused yet? Don’t be. If you’re familiar with and a fan of Mitchell’s work, “A Model Life” will most certainly appeal to you. For me personally, there’s still some parts that don’t sit 100% right with me, but dear god when he hits those gorgeous choruses, all of that is forgotten. Sounds a bit hit and miss if I say (or write) it like that, I know, but don’t let that divert you from checking it out. At the very least, Mitchell’s guitar playing is absolutely unimpeachable as always. And those choruses. God those choruses.
Epoch of Chirality - Nucleosynthesis
What is chirality? According to Wikipedia, an object is chiral “if it is distinguishable from its mirror image”. What does this have to do with this week’s releases you might ask? Well, because today, Epoch of Chirality’s debut album “Nucleosynthesis”, originally self-released in 2021, is being re-released through the ever-industrious Wormholedeath Records. So before diving into it, I just wanted to find out what that means as I was unfamiliar with the term. With that out of the way, the musical elements present on “Nucleosynthesis” are pretty much familiar. Epic instrumental metal meets (electronic) sci-fi and fantasy soundscapes. Less synth-wavey than Volkor X, less djent-y than Andromida, but surely as epic as those two, mastermind and multi-instrumentalist Richard How carves his own little niche in this not so densely populated area of sub-sub-genres. Is it a sub-genre of electronic/synth/ambient music with added metal elements? Is it a sub-genre of instrumental metal with added electronic ambience? You decide, but in the end it doesn’t really matter anyway. One thing is for sure: it sounds epic and that’s what matters!
Voyager - A Voyage Through Time
Right in time before the long awaited VOLAGER (VOLA & Voyager) Europe tour (starting Sept. 9th in Munich, find all tour dates HERE), Voyager from Perth, Western Australia are releasing their discography spanning 2021 concert live stream “A Voyage Through Time” on BluRay/Vinyl/digital for y’all to get ready to sing along and get into the unique Voyager live party vibe! You missed it back then? Well then there’s two options now for you: either read my review of the livestream RIGHT HERE or stream/buy/listen/watch “A Voyage Through Time” now. Or both. Both is good as well. (Or watch/listen again if you’ve seen and heard it back then already, that’s valid too, of course.) See you on the VOLAGER tour!
Storm - Invincible EP
Yes yes I know. This is not really prog at all. But seeing him live last weekend at Summer Breeze with his two slightly older buddies on drums and guitars respectively, the 13 year old Norwegian boy that goes by the simple name Storm has convinced me of his serious songwriting and performance talents that he’s already sporting at such a young age. “Invincible” is his first, short, 4 track EP, and I’m absolutely sure it’s just a taster of the serious storm that’s about to come. Even though I never was the biggest fan of Metalcore, this is not very far from the current leaders of the genre and I’m sure the three young Norwegians will give them a good chase now that they have tasted blood with live appearances such as Summer Breeze. I am pretty sure that the initial turnout for his set there was solely curiosity based, but he quickly won them all over with his energy and passion. And even if I always understand ‘Invisible’ instead of ‘Invincible’ in the chorus of the title track, let me assure you, with all that you’ve accomplished so far, you’re anything but invisible, you’re truly invincible and unstoppable! Way to go lad, very curious to follow your musical paths from hereon out! Mad respect!
More releases for 26 August, 2022
- Dreams Aside - Lotus (Aug. 22) Bandcamp
- Sinoptik Space Strumstick - Return to Peace EP (Aug. 22) Bandcamp
- The Arkitecht - Heart Failure (Aug. 24)
- Low Oxygen - Asynchronous (Aug. 24) Bandcamp
- Long Distance Calling - Eraser (earMusic)
- Tryon - Läuterung
- Cyborg Octopus - Between the Light and Air (Silent Pendulum Records) Bandcamp
- Species - To Find Deliverance Bandcamp
- Brymir - Voices in the Sky (Napalm Records) Bandcamp
- Manifest - The Sinking (Sound Pollution)
- Becoming the Archetype - Children of the Great Extinction (Solid State Records)
- Align the Tide - Hollow Bandcamp
- Anchillys - Elan Vital Bandcamp
- Red Rot - Mal de Vivre Bandcamp
- SkiZma - Unfairytales Bandcamp
- Anthea - Tales Untold (Rockshots Records)Read Our Review
- olim - Ursine Bandcamp
- Blackbraid - Blackbraid I Bandcamp
- Hexis - Aeternum (Debemur Morti Productions) Bandcamp
- Eaten By Sharks - Eradication Bandcamp
- Polarity - Live Off The Floor at Jukasa Studio EP
- Wizard Tattoo - Wizard Tattoo EP
- Deinos - Titani EP Bandcamp
- Glassing - Dire and Sulk EP (Medication Time Records/Brutal Panda Records) Bandcamp
- Spirit in the Room - Flamingo EP (Housecore Records)
- Sebastian Caldas - ME-WE (Re-release, Wormholedeath Records)
- Cold Night for Alligators - The Hindsight Notes (Extended) (Arising Empire) Bandcamp
- High Castle Teleorkestra - The Egg That Never Opened (The Decoy Remixes) Bandcamp