Too High To Say Hello

Review: Kiss Kiss King Kong – Too High To Say Hello

Norway’s power trio Kiss Kiss King Kong assault listeners’ ears with highly energetic and sporadic bursts of brilliant dynamics on “To High To Say Hello.” Colorful, complex, and superbly catchy, the band’s debut album is an exceptional collection of hyperactive post-rock and noisy flights of fancy, with momentous musicianship infectious hooks scattered throughout. This album is adventurous, imaginative, and surprising. In fact, it’s the most fearless and unique album I’ve heard this year, although it’s a release from 2015.

The opening “Intro the Night” kickstarts “Too High To Say Hello” like an auditory coma. On “668: Neighbour To The Beast,” the music jolts with a start/stop frenzy that’s too tremendous to ignore. The guitarist provides an impassioned melody for each wildly creative rhythmic shift, which vary between hectic, tranquil, and atmospheric. Best of all, this song proves to be one of the most inventive and unforeseen tracks I’ve heard all year. The psyched-out guitar work is seductive, and the instrumentation on this tune veers more towards psychedelic swing than anything progressive. It bleeds into the equally exciting rock’n’roll banter “Rock All Night” and its follow-up “On A High,” making for completely unexpected stylistic shifts.

Further on, “Bordell California” lives up to the zany awesomeness of its title. It’s luscious, multifarious, and wholly confident — considering it is the longest piece on the record. It is perhaps the most experimental piece on the album, and definitely one of the biggest highlights of “Too High To Say Hello.

Post-punk trails on short “Jet Age” further contribute to the album’s overall multicolourness. The closing “Rewind” is an elegant piece with soaring vocals and tasteful melody.

Too High To Say Hello” is so inimitable. Rarely have I been so impressed with the sheer nonconformity of an album. Then again, it’s equally rare to find a modern band who strives so hard to set itself apart from the pack. Without a doubt, this one is special.

Grab a copy of “Too High To Say Hello” from iTunes. Like Kiss Kiss King Kong on Facebook.


Review: MetaQuorum – Migration

Hailing from England, MetaQuorum describe themselves as a progressive band which draws inspiration from many other stylistically different genres such funk, reggae, electronic and jazz. The project made up of Dmitry Ermakov on keyboards and Koos van der Velde on drums put out recently a new single “Migration.”

The track is entered around a spacey keyboard work by Ermakov which is threaded throughout the song. Drums, key bass and (spoken-word) vocals (latter performed by Dmitry and Carol Emrakova) play a supporting role. The band takes the classic song dynamic and flips it on its head, which is nice to hear.


MetaQuorum manage to show their influences proudly while also bringing something new and fresh to the table. Van der Velde hits the drums behind a simple repetitive vocal melody while the keyboards and effects create some lovely ambient sonic textures — a perfect example of the band’s originality.

MetaQuorum, and the “Migration” single in particular are the result of something that has a very defined and polished sound. This is a band worth keeping an eye on.



Review: Tribal – Tribal EP

Tribal is a new band on the international metal scene which combines modern metal sound with traditional Brazilian music. Massive riffs accompanied with djent and influences of metalcore add to the variety.

Their debut self-titled EP was released this past February. It includes six songs and it is a little longer than 30 minutes. The EP starts with “The Age of Frustration.” The song has an epic intro, which directly parts the album from a “classic” djent work. Well thought piece that gives variety. What ultimately grabs listener’s attentions in all songs are guitar solos which often change direction towards more traditional heavy metal sound.

Tribal EP

The thirrd song “Unconditional” also has a different atmosphere that makes the band’s sound separated from the other acts. Additionally there are clean vocals in this one; we could describe this piece as ‘slow’ and maybe we could keep with the word epic a little bit more. This song changes your mind completely about where Tribal are headed to. In the end, everybody loves new, different and well made things.

Tribal is a metal release that didn’t forget its heavy metal roots and with tons of different influences it makes for sure that this band has a lot of potential for something greater.


Interview with SOULHENGE

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

It’s great, thanks! Enjoying it as much as we can.

Speaking of new music, you have an EP. What can people expect from “Anachronism”?

Right. Well you can expect a dense mixture of heavy but also beautiful elements, creating ambiences that we want to hit you right in the feels. The overall sound is heavy low and tight, yet pretty warm. You will hear proper screams and shouts but also clean vocals, our vocalist has a pretty impressive range. We put a lot of effort in those 4 songs, so I think you can look forward to structured and detailed music, which is interesting to analyse but on the other hand easy to listen to.

What was it like working on the EP?

The songs were actually written instrumentally in 2014 and 2015 already. A new vocalist joined about a year ago so we had to integrate him first into our workflow. So the EP did not pop out suddenly, but was formed over several months and took final shape in January this year. We had to deal with members studying in different countries, it may slowed down the process slightly, but it worked anyway and it was a lot of fun!

Anachronism EP

Are there any touring plans in support to “Anachronism”?

Unfortunately not. We will play local shows for now and use the opportunities that the internet provides us to spread our music across the borders.

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

As a first tour, the Benelux area or Germany pops into our heads! Maybe some day, we could tour across countries like Japan or so, that would be mindblowing.

Who and what inspires you the most?

Of course we got our favorite bands that influence us the most, Monuments, Tesseract, Erra, Veil Of Maya… you name them. But what is also very inspiring are concerts. Being backstage, having a great time on stage with a cool crowd and receiving kind feedback is something that keeps us going and inspires us a lot!

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

I am personally diving a lot into stuff like Plini, Snarky Puppy and similar stuff recently, and I think it has a fairly big impact on my writing. The other members also listen to a lot if different genres, be it 80s rock, electro or even classical. This keeps your mind fresh.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

Thank you very much for having us, it was a pleasure! Well, what can I say… enjoy whatever music you like, it should be able to colour your grey days!

ABRAHAM SARACHE Playing Songs from "The Gardener" in Amsterdam's Volta on June 24

ABRAHAM SARACHE Playing Songs from “The Gardener” in Amsterdam’s Volta on June 24

Multi-instrumentalist Abraham Sarache, who recently released a new album titled The Gardener, will play a special release show in support of the album at Volta in Amsterdam on June 24th. The show will be recorded for a future live release.

The Gardener is an alt/progressive rock concept album with the inclusion of folk instruments like ukulele and Venezuelan cuatro. To express the feelings involved, different kinds of voice registers are provided: from a soft, melodious or whispered voice to raspy voice. Various pads and synthesizers are used to give depth and warmth to the songs where an acoustic guitar with a low tuning predominates. A multicultural composition on the instrumental level and a progressive rhythmic base create an exquisite atmosphere of imbalance and peculiarity.

The philosophy behind the album is based on the fact that in any interpersonal relationship, whether it is a friendship or a romantic connection, there is a duality between the one that participates in an active way (The Gardener) and the one that does it in a passive way (The Flower).

All of us at some point of our lives have a role of a gardener and in other moments we are flowers,” Sarache commented.

We can all identify ourselves as the Gardener when we talk about a person we were looking after because we liked him or her, we wanted to know more about this person or we just wanted to spend more time with them, no matter what. We simply did everything possible to make things work.

On the other hand, we have been also in situations when someone was interested in us in a special way, but the feeling was not mutual. We still wanted to maintain a relationship because we liked other aspects of that person’s character. To this behavior I refer to as the Flower,” he continues.

“The Crush: Eyes of Fire” which opens The Gardener was awarded as the Best Alternative Rock Song by The Akademia Music Awards in May 2015. Sarache released a video single for the song, and he commented: “This is a very special video for me. My first video as a solo artist showing parts of my everyday in Madrid and Margarita Island where concept album The Gardener was conceived and recorded.

For the upcoming show at Volta in Amsterdam on June 24th, Abraham Sarache will be joined by Dutch alternative/progressive rockers Amikdla. The Gardener is available now from iTunes and Spotify. Visit Abraham Sarache’s official website here.


Review: Soulhenge – Anachronism

Luxembourg’s Soulhenge have crafted a well executed progressive metal release with Anachronism that is almost inhumanly spot on for genre style points. Like notes in a wine, the band cycle through atmospheric or djent-guitars, high vocal melodies that strive to fit into the progressive metalcore club rather than stray too close to clean mall emo vocals, etc. At their best they are a blend between some of Veil Of Maya’s edgier passages with potential (evident in the amount of hard work that clearly went into this) future Periphery-sized ambitions.

Anachronism EP

Much better than most djent by numbers and capable than many new wave of prog metal bands.

Over four varied tracks the band prove good work can be done in this sub genre of the family rock and metal tree. The future has yet to get out a verdict on that, but I’d be surprised if I am wrong.

The key track on this baby is “Anachronism”, in that the title summarizes that the band perhaps have too many at their disposal while also cramming in a ton of cool music within (almost) four-minutes skeleton that you’ll be amazed is as short as it was for all the places visited.

Looking forward to the music yet to come from this band, though this is a very capable early effort.

Andreas Sala

ANDREAS SALA Launches Guitar Playthrough for New Song “Hue”

From PR wire:

Andreas Šala, guitarist and composer who plays with bands SubscaleThe Ralphand If And When We Die, released a play-through video for the song “Hue” taken from his upcoming solo album Pleasure Dome. Watch the video on below.

Asked about the inspiration for the new song and the album overall, Šala who plays Wreck Guitars’ BlueMorpho 6 in the video, said: “Well I wanted to make a solo record for quite some time now but I just couldn’t decide in which direction I want to take it. But when I got my hands on the BlueMorpho melodies just started to pour out of me and I knew what I had to do. I felt like a kid again.

Pleasure Dome differs from the albums he releases with Subscale and The Ralph in that is more ambient and minimalistic. “I wanted to do something a bit different. For the past 5 years I was composing mostly metal for The Ralph so I wanted to take a step back. I’m a huge Joe Satriani fan (and 80′s/90′s instrumental music fan in general) and I always liked “bigger than life” melodies so it seemed  like a logical step to make a guitar driven instrumental album,” Andreas continues.

As mentioned, Andreas uses Wreck Guitars’ 6-string model BlueMorpho. “I was going for a blend of a old-school ’80s lead sound and modern rock/metal sound. I record everything digitally so I have more room to manipulate the sound later on in the mixing process. The guitar goes straight into my audio interface (an old-school E-MU 0404USB) with nothing in between. I use mostly Ignite Amps products — Emissary for the amp simulation and NadIR for loading the cab impulses. For the cab impulses I use mostly Catharsis‘ IRs. BlueMorpho is loaded with Dolezal pickups which are pretty hot and punchy which was great for tracking rhythm guitars.

Watch a playthrough video for the new song “Hue” below, and follow Andreas on YouTube. Make sure to check Andreas’ other band The Ralph on Bandcamp and Facebook.

Visit Wreck Guitars official website and Facebook page.


Death Metallers LELAHELL Run Indiegogo Campaign

Alif is the title of the second studio album by Algerian death metal trio Lelahell, for which the band recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. The campaign is active for three weeks; you can head to the campaign’s page and support the band in reaching the goal what will allow them to raise the funds for the album artwork, album’s production, production of a music video and a band merchandise.

The founder of the band, singer and guitarist Redouane Aouameur commented: “Our campaign is running since 5 weeks and will end in 3 weeks. We expect to get at least 50% of the requested amount this will help us to have a very good quality record mixed and mastered in the Hertz Studio, the sound that will perfectly feet to this album.”

The title of the album is inspired by the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. In Arabic, alif is the first letter in the alphabet, and it is used in Arabic calligraphy to determine the size of the following characters. Lelahell say they chose the title as this album “will be the main musical reference of the next upcoming releases.”

The trio’s new album, Alif, is slated as the group’s second full-length album and third release since the band’s formation in 2010. Lelahell are set to record at Hertz Studio in Poland under the guidance of well-known producers — the Wiesławscy brothers.

Support Lelahell by donating through the Indiegogo campaign, and follow them on Facebook for future updates.

About Lelahell:

Founded in 2010 by metal veteran Redouane AouameurLelahell is an Algerian death metal band hailing from Algiers. The trio comprises of Redouane “Lelahel” Aouameur (guitars, vocals), Ramzy Curse (bass) and Slaveblaster (drums). Lelahell have released one EP, Al Intizar (Goressimo Records, 2012), and one full alubum, Al Insane… The (Re)birth of Abderrahmane (HPGDP, 2014). The band also launched a documentary in 2016 titled Highway to Lelahell – An Algerian Metal Documentary, available for streaming on YouTube, presenting viewers with a solid history lesson on Algeria’s metal scene. The band have also embarked on three European tours, and also participated in festivals in Europe.

James Norbert Ivanyi


James Norbert Ivanyi just dropped a new EP, and it bloody rocks! The guitarist extraordinaire from Sydney in Australia with “The Usurper” offers three new songs which creatively overcome everything he has done so far. Ivanyi already works on some new material, so if you are already a fan of his work fill the gap with “The Usurper” while waiting for more greatness. If you are new to this world, make no excuses and introduce yourself to the work of real artistry.  Oh, and also read the interview below.

Hey James. How are you doing?

Doing great! Thanks for asking.

You are about to release a new EP “The Usurper.” How do you feel about the release?

I feel really good about it. Especially after getting such a great response from the single ‘A Fatal Eminence’ that I put out about 2 weeks ago. I’m looking forward to hearing what people think of the rest of the EP.

How much of a challenge was to work on “The Usurper”?

Thankfully it was quite easy. There was a wonderful flow throughout the creation of the EP, and obviously being able to make records from home is very comfortable and removes a lot of the stress. The only real challenges were getting some of the vintage tones right that I wanted to feature on the record. Luckily I was able to achieve everything I set out to, thanks to the assistance of the talented people I work with, and exercising a little patience.

The Usurper

What is your opinion about the current progressive metal scene?

I feel like it’s better than ever! Perhaps not in the sense of the classic 70’s & 80’s progressive model, but in terms of how much forward thinking and challenging music there is out there today, it’s definitely strong and extremely inspiring. I’ve especially noticed it over the last couple of years in the bandcamp and independent scene. It’s great.

Can you tell me something about your influences?

I consider myself a rock player who loves modern, technical heavy music. I’ve really tried to embrace that in my solo music to bring what I love from classic rock into a more modern context and explore it in the instrumental sense. Growing up in an artistic and musical family, we always had bands like Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Rush, Yes, Genesis, Emerson Lake & Palmer, AC/DC, Ella Fitzgerald and more playing in our house. I suppose I was fortunate to be exposed to such a diverse amount of music when I was so young. Some of my more modern metal influences would be bands like Necrophagist, Opeth, Dream Theater, Nevermore, The Faceless, Pantera, Mastodon and bands like that.

What are you listening to these days?

I’ve been listening to the new Sean Ashe record a fair bit. He’s a really cool guy and a great song writer. I dig his use of tone and melody. The record is called ‘Flux’. It’s great!


Your 5 favourite records of all the time?

Opeth: Ghost Reveries.
The Doors: The Doors.
Led Zeppelin: Presence.
Dream Theater: Scenes From A Memory.
Nevermore: This Godless Endeavor.

Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you used to record “The Usurper”?

I used a Gibson SG for the majority of the rhythm parts, and all of my Suhr guitars for different solo’s, melodies and texture parts. I used my Friedman BE-100 amplifier for all the parts and a Suhr Re-Active load to feed the signal into my computer to use cabinet simulation. Most of it was recorded at my home except for the drums, saxophone, Theremin and some keys parts that were tracked in external studio spaces.

Besides the release of the EP, are there any other plans for the future?

I definitely want to get out there and do a US tour as my next focus. I’ve played there a bunch of times but have never done a tour as a solo artist. I’ve got the fire lit after doing a really enjoyable and successful mini tour here in Australia, so it’s likely that after the EP is out, that will become my focus. I’ve already got the wheels in motion there.

Any words for the potential new fans?

Thanks kindly for checking out my music. I hope you enjoy it!


Interview with CYRANOI

Finnish melodic metalcore duo Cyranoi put out their new EP “Exist” in February. Tomi Pohja, who handles guitars and programming, answered our questions about the recording and more.

How is the weather up there these days?

Well it’s getting warmer every day now so if we’re lucky, we might even get to enjoy the summer!

What does the band name mean?

It comes from a english word ”cyrano” which means someone who speaks someone else’s thoughts via radio and mic for example. With this I want to remind everyone to think for themselves and not to believe everything they are told. I also wanted to bend the word little while maintaining a meaning behind it, hence ”Cyranoi”.

What can you tell us about your EP “Exist”?

It was truly a pleasure to wok on. Almost all of the guitar compositions were done on our summer cottage last summer. I wanted to come up with the name for the EP first and when I did, it was an avalanche of ideas from there. Having a clear vision of the EPs name, album art and number of songs was a huge help to find the right place for every idea.

I told Joona about my ideas and what kind of theme ”Exist” and each song would have so that he could come up with lyrics giving the meaning to it all. He had actually written lyrics of ”Abiogenesis” before I even told him about the themes of ”Exist” and we decided to use them with slight changes. All lyrics can be found on our Bandcamp and YouTube pages, so if you’re interested, give them a look!

You have a very interesting approach to the metalcore genre by putting tons of melodies in it. Can you elaborate on your creative process?

This might be, and it is, a matter of taste but for me those melodies are the soul of the song and something to easily remember. I think with harsh vocals it’s even more important to bring those melodies into songs and I have noticed that not too many other metalcore bands uses the same style of lead melodies that I do with Cyranoi so it’s also a great way to try and find our own trademark.

Cyranoi - Exist

You say making music was always what you dreamt. Are you satisfied with how your EP’s turned out?

I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t satisfied with them but there’s always something that you can do better. It’s also good to look back and think how I could make this better next time in order to actually progress. And yes, five years ago I could only have dreamed of this!

When you compare your debut EP “Challenger Deep” with “Exist,” do you hear a progress in your sound?

Both EPs were composed and released in so short time that there probably isn’t any major changes audible in our sound but of course our goal with ”Exist” was to take it to the next level. Wheter or not we succeeded, I leave it up to you to decide! However, we want to take our time with the next release so I think that whenever it’s going to happen, I hope that there’s progress that you can definately hear.

You say that “music has given me a new purpose in life”. I would love you open up about this a little bit, so we would get to know you more.

As cliche as it sounds, I think it’s true. Music has been maybe the most important thing in my life since junior high school and being able to compose and release my own music is really something that gives me a purpose as I don’t have much going on besides the studies at the university. Listening to these two EPs is one thing but seeing that other people enjoy them as well is the best reward we can get.

Drums on your EP are programmed. Was it planned like that since the beginning or you couldn’t find a drummer that would answer your challenge?

It was the plan since the beginning and still is. I had learnt the basics before founding Cyranoi so I didn’t have to start from a scratch. It’s also a thing that I want to get better at and even though it doesn’t require actual skills, it’s still a new area from a viewpoint of guitarist. However, I’m not excluding the idea of finding a permanent drummer or someone to record real drums at studio.


Which bands or musicians influence you at the most?

I have always adored the songwriting and playing of JB Brubaker from August Burns Red. Also Jesse Cash from Erra has made a great impact on my musical taste. There’s so many other bands and musicians I’d love to mention but I think these two summarizes pretty well my musical influences.

Thank you for the interview!

Get a copy of “Exist” from Bandcamp, and follow Cyranoi on Facebook.

News, Interviews & Reviews from the Metal World and Beyond