Tag Archives: djent

Hybridism

EP Review: Hybridism – Hybridism

Debut releases are incredibly important for many reasons. It’s a risk for any label to release a debut album. It’s important for the band to nail their sound and deliver a product that will blow the minds of those whom listen to it. It’s also the first time people will be hearing the band for the first time and this is the sound they will remember. Fortunately, Hybridism’s self-titled debut EP is something that will benefit the band, more importantly the listener.

Hybridism-Hybridism

The four-piece from Belgium give us a technical, instrumental progressive metal sound that you will fall in love with. Incorporating an atmospheric sound within this fine tuned metal outing gives Hybridism a highly enjoyable and unique sound, making this a fun and over the top brutal listening experience.

Hybridism performs with ultra precise musicianship and technicality, these guys should be the front runners for your prog metal/djent needs in 2019. Guitars, bass and drum kicks are synchronized with triplets mixed in during the hectic technical riffing. Something is always going 200 mph on this record. The attention to detail and execution of the guitar playing is phenomenal. The guitar tone itself is incredibly heavy and audible. Bass tone is low and thick and it accentuates the guitar playing even more. Giving the overall theme and vibe of the EP a rich powerful sound. Song writing is exciting and powerful, giving off a long lasting appeal that will have me listening to it for a long long time.

Recommended songs of the EP are opening “Nova,” “Animal Has Led Us,” and “Anomalies.” The songs I didn’t mention are great as well but these few stand out with how effective and heavy the song writing is. Crunchy, deadly and psychotic. I love this release.

Grab the EP from Bandcamp. Follow Hybridism on Facebook and Instagram.

Asymmetric Universe - Band

Review: Asymmetric Universe – When Reality Disarticulates

Like the supercollider, Asymmetric Universe seek to smash two dissimilar things together and see what the results are. Naturally, and experiment by mad scientists and composers coming from the home of La Vecchia Signora (google it!) to combine jazz fusion and metal into one would of course create some explosive outcomes. Not to mention some pretty phenomenal musical pieces.

“When Reality Disarticulates” is a debut EP by Asymmetric Universe, and it’s here now and ready to take you to unparalleled heights. Look to the skies: that is where the trio is going to take you.

For a totally instrumental release, this thing is four tracks of expansive, experimental and wholly gripping fusion music. Take EP opener “Trees Houses Hills” for a fine example: starting off so minimally, guitars and cymbals meekly registering their presence in the room before their flamboyance bounds forth from them with a burst of self-confidence.

When Reality Disarticulates

If there is one enduring thing to take away from listening to this release, it’s that experimentation is the key to success: be it “Hermeneutic Shock’s” flowing, flying musical escapology, “Off the Beaten Track” Holdsworthian chemistry, or “The Clouds Passing By’s” otherworldly, ethereal ambience leading to space explorations. Everything on show here is made to play with the musical form and to evoke a response from your mind. And Asymmetric Universe’s music is what makes you want to explore.

My pick would have to be the third piece “Off the Beaten Track,” clocking in at some six and a half minutes. It’s frantic, for one thing: everyone is really laying down some serious licks on this, striving for the very best in their playing abilities and pulling it off with aplomb. Masterful work and a treasure for any fan of the indefinable yet oddly marvelous.

To say what Asymmetric Universe have done is prog is inaccurate; to say that it is metal is too vague. Rather, they have thrown into “When Reality Disarticulates” all their passions, excitements and inspirations and cooked up something that is beyond compare. This is music without boundaries, without barricades and without limits.

The EP is available from Bandcamp. Follow Asymmetric Universe on Facebook and Instagram.

fayne-02

Review: Fayne – Journals

Hailing from Montreal, Fayne have been around since 2004. In the period from 204 until 2008 the band put out two EP releases, “You Took It All Away” (2004) and “Delivering the Final Blow” (2016), before they went on a hiatus in 2008. Five years later Fayne regrouped and in 2014 they launched their third EP “The Queen of Kings.” Last year Fayne returned with their debut full-length album entitled “Journals.”

Fayne play a brand of djent/progressive metal, combining ambient elements and delicately played clean layers over top of the stuttering and stabbing rhythms set in place by Meshuggah and SikTh. The difference is, the music feels much more lush and organic, setting themselves apart from the very mechanical sounding contemporaries who follow a similar formula. While the melodic djent thing isn’t new, Fayne manage to sound unique and fresh, thanks to the atmospheres and singing.

The vocal work, courtesy of Justin Furtado, on “Journals” is superb. The soaring vocal melodies and lyrics will definitely embed themselves in your memory. The screaming vocals are few and far between, but when they show up, they are in the right place.

Fayne - Journals

The guitar work is split between the dry and low polyrhythmic chugs and clean and melodic layering for ambiance. These two styles fit together in perfect harmony and create some wonderful soundscapes and textures. The bass is also very present in the mix, which is an added touch of brilliance. You can hear it slapping and popping along throughout the album, even taking a few moments here and there to be the focal point of the music from time to time. Listen to numbers like the opener “Grimspeak” or “Prototype”, and you’ll catch it. Oh, and the drumming is actually real, which is a nice change of pace for a genre that likes to program everything or play it through an electronic kit. This is one of the contributing factors for the EP not sounding like an overproduced machine.

As for the musical composition, “Journals” does feel like one song and flows through tracks logically when things take a change in pace or theme. Fayne can definitely demand the attention of the listener without having to drop a solo every few minutes. These guys know what they’re doing.

With the release of “Journals”, Fayne have moved out of the periphery (no pun intended) and into focus.

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The Image You Claim

Interview with THE IMAGE YOU CLAIM

The Image You Claim is a newcoming progressive metalcore six-piece from California, and “Painted Visions” is their debut album released back in October last year.

Singer Justin Olsen looks back at the songwriting process of the album, touring, inspiration. Read the interview after the break.

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

Life has been pretty alright, we have just been taking a well deserved hiatus for the holidays after our first batch of shows. We are back to the grindstone now, planning some new content as well as writing some new tracks.

Speaking of new music, you have an album. What can people expect from “Painted Visions”?

Painted Visions is a really unique and emotional record. I feel like it really encapsulates our style but also gives us room for evolution.

What was it like working on the album?

It was quite an experience. It was my first time in the studio recording. It improved my vocals and warm up routines as well as giving me important insight on the whole process. Chris handled a lot of the mixing and mastering, but Julian and I played a part in revision and nitpicked the hell out of it until it was ready to ship. It was really fun writing, composing and recording and i look forward to doing it again soon.

The Image You Claim - Painted Visions

Are there any touring plans in support to “Painted Visions”?

You know, the band has been throwing around the idea of like, a west coast tour since the album released, but we have had a tough time finding prog bands in our area to tour with. Not only that, we have just been dialing in tone, getting things right, and making sure things are reliable as possible equipment wise. We have had some adventures with FOH sound, and we want to make sure everything is as straightforward and professional as possible, but if there are any progressive metal or djent bands in the SoCal area, hit us up!

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

It would be awesome to tour the US, the UK, and Australia in the future. The metal scene is growing day by day and i would love to have the opportunity to travel around and broaden our fanbase.

Who and what inspires you the most?

My biggest inspiration personally is Donovan Melero of Hail the Sun, and Sianvar. both he and Jordan Dreyer of La Dispute inform a lot of my writing. It helps me think of alternate ways to structure, metaphorize, and use a unique syntax to write songs, It really helps in progressive metal with all the crazy riffs and time signature changes. Donovan’s performance really made me reevaluate how i was using my voice, so tonally it could be  cleaner and less forced without losing that sort of emotion. I’m still working on all that though, and i have a lot of room for improvement haha.

Chris, our guitarist and writer of the instrumentals for Painted Visions, is inspired by bands like Periphery, Animals as Leaders, and suchlike, but i feel like he has a “voice” of his own. His style is super distinct.

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 listen to almost anything and everything (with the exception of country). I have to say it really does. Chris and I are studio-centric (I guess that’s what you would call it) and it helps inform sound design, technique and composition. You can hear in my writing that I listen to a lot of post-hardcore stuff, as well as math rock. I also listen to a lot of Jazz, Rap, Indie, Electronic, ect. All of our horizons are broad, and our minds open, so that helps immensely, both in terms of sound and knowledge.

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?

I would like to say that we really appreciate every single person that supports us. Listen and enjoy but also don’t be afraid to talk to us. Hit us up on social media, give us some input on our videos on how we could improve, or even just to tell us you enjoyed it. Thank you guys for giving us this opportunity.

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Heyoka's Mirror

Interview: HEYOKA’s MIRROR

Heyoka’s Mirror is a progressive metal trio from Canada who has just released its debut EP “Loss of Contact with Reality.” Over the course of my time writing for this and other websites, I’ve come into many interesting and unique acts. I can certainly say that Heyoka’s Mirror are creating a very interesting progressive metal, which is often mixed with other different styles such as classic Power / Heavy Metal, Modern Metal and Opera.

The three dudes in Heyoka’s Mirror — Andrew Balboa, Omar Sultan and Bayan Sharafi — answered my questionnaire about the EP, touring, and more.

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

HM: Life is good and life is cold right now. Today (Dec. 30th) is -27C but it feels -40C with the wind chill. So yeah… But life is great right now!

Speaking of new music, you have an EP. What can people expect from “Loss of Contact with Reality”?

Bayan: People can expect a musical adventure.

Andrew: We’ve had a few reviews from other magazines and everyone is getting pretty confused hahaha. People love it but they say they have never heard anything like this before. So….. expect something new.

Omar: Even if you don’t like heavy music or prog music.. try it! This will be a great introduction for you.

Heyoka's Mirror - Loss of Contact with Reality

What was it like working on the EP?

Andrew: It was fun! It took nine months to write the three songs, and recording took ten months. We all have full time jobs so, finding the time to write and record was a bit challenging. But the overall process was really fun!

Are there any touring plans in support to “Loss of Contact with Reality”?

Omar: We would like something short to start… Three or five cities, nothing big because our main focus right now is to record the full album.

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

HM: Japan, Germany, Brazil, Russia and the States of course!

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

Omar: Hard rock! I grew up listening to hard rock and that’s the reason why I started playing when I was 16. It made my playing very musical.

Bayan: Funk! A lot of 80’s and 90’s music like Tom Jones and The Bee Gees. And it has changed the way I feel groove.

Andrew: I listen to a lot of jazz, classical… everything! Even J-Pop! … Japanese pop is beautifully composed.

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?

Omar: Get the EP, listen to it with headphones. find the time to really pay attention to it, give it a chance and you’ll love it!

Andrew: I think that you have to listen to it a few times, you can’t just listen to it once; if you do, you’ll think it’s just another “wanna be prog album”. Listen to it a few times and you’ll discover really interesting things.

Bayan: Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for cool and fun updates every Saturday!

HM: Thank you very much for interviewing us!

“Loss of Contact with Reality” is available as digital download and CD directly from the band, here.

The Earth And I

Review: The Earth and I – The Candleman

The Earth and I is a progressive metal band hailing from New York, and earlier this month the band put out their debut album titled “The Candleman.”

The album contains strong blasting riffs, which are otherwise inherently catchy and actually suit the vocalists incredibly well. They are bludgeoning when paired with vicious growls of Nick Petromilli (also on bass) and Daniel Siew (on guitar), and cleans by lead singer Kendyle Wolven. Wolven simply has such an intense level of passion and energy, like she pours his heart and soul into the music. The best example of this can be heard throughout the album, but as highlights I would mentioned “CGMTC (Life in the Sunset Zone),” “Little Frames” and “Sugar High.”

The Candleman The masterful use of the heavy verse/melodic chorus style of songwriting makes this album incredibly varied. “The Candleman” is all about balance of heaviness and melody. The instrumentation on the album is brought to perfection, and although the band’s technical skills are easy to notice, the band members work in favor of displaying a balance between masterful craftsmanship and performance.

“The Candleman” is one of those albums that is just as good the first time you listen to it as it is the fiftieth. It’s one of those rare cases where it never gets old, yet it doesn’t take any time to grow on you. Whether you’re a seasoned metal listener or someone who is just discovering heavy music, this album will appeal to you in some way or another. It’s incredibly technical and precise in its execution, yet it allows enough melody in to keep it from sounding like a typical instrumental wankfest.

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Infinity Shred

Review: Infinity Shred – Long Distance

New York City is still home to one of the most avant-garde, forward-thinking and influential music scenes of all time. Off the top of my head, I can mention more than a handful of NYC-grown bands and musicians who chellenged the musical status quo and influenced the alternative music world for years to come – from the Velvet Underground to Sonic Youth. The local metal scene is also part of the city’s diverse and intricate network of creative and innovative band, and Infinity Shred is definitely a perfect example. The sound of the band is indeed a very personal and very distinctive blend of metal and synthwave, with electronic music influences creeping in into the natural metal roots of the band’s upbringing.

Long Distance was released on October 14, 2016, and it is the band’s second full-length.

long-distance

Listening to this album is almost an enlightening experience. As the setlist progresses, the sound I hear from my speaker keeps surprising and redefining my perception of what metal could sound like when cross-contaminated with other influences. Post rock drones? Why not. 80s synth pads? You bet! No-Wave style noise burst? Oh yes. This record is a live, colorful and unpredictable beast that channels the diverse sound of NYC under the scope of its metal music scene in a truly brilliant way.

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christian-san-agustin

Review: Guamskyy – Seven Parallels

Guamskyy are a solo instrumental project with a truly unique approach, started by artist Christian San Agustin.

guamskyy-seven-parallelsThe Texas-based song-writer, performer and composer set out to explore a wide variety of genres and unleash his full creativity with this particular project, clearly stating that he is not into music to make it big, but more importantly, for his passion for creating music. One of the most striking features of their music is definitely Christian’s ability to cross different genres and platforms, incorporating elements of music from different styles: from metal to alternative and even some subtle hints of hard rock, doom and Djent in the form of really memorable arrangements.

Guamskyy will unleash “Seven Parallels” on December 20th, 2016. On this material, Christian is showing an incredible amount of versatility, as a composer, performer and musician, casting a beautifully diverse collection of songs.

Links:

https://guamskyy.bandcamp.com

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unprocessed

Review: Unprocessed – Perception

It’s not every day that one hears a modern day metal band produce an album that truly challenges the stereotypical sound that may be expected from contemporary metal acts. Enter Unprocessed — Wiesbaden, Germany based metal heads releasing a new EP just last month. I’ve spent the last four days immersed in the experience that is Perception and I can’t seem to stop listening to this incredibly versatile and talented group of musicians and this gem they’ve produced.

No more than three years on the metal scene, Unprocessed’s sound is a uniquely balanced mixture of Progressive Metal, Ambient, Metalcore, Djent, yet the seamless integration with which the band has brought these together is a testament to their musicianship and skill.

So let’s get down to brass tax – this album is not for the faint hearted. Tracks like Praludium and Ocean of Silence, kick off with no bullshit thrash, blisteringly hard hitting drumming coupled with flawlessly executed guitar riffs and bass lines to match not to mention the quintessential growl that has mosh pits swirling in unison. It’s what comes next that makes Unprocessed’s sound theirs and theirs alone.

unprocessed-perception

The album holds additional treasures such as Desert by the Sea and Perspective, both of which have a relatively greater degree of Progressive Metal evident in their composition.

Possibly the most complete embodiment of Unprocessed’s sound in 2016 are two centrepieces: Life. A Prologue of Death and Death. An Epilogue of Life. Catchy guitar riffs to kick off verses full of growls and choruses full of harmonies lull the listener into the comfort of a hard hitting songs. The ease with which the vocals jump into the growl speaks volumes of the adaptability of the vocals on the album. Truly an all-encompassing experience of the sound that Unprocessed have developed.

I can go on for hours about this release but the bottom line is that Unprocessed have absolutely nailed on Perception with their song writing, virtuosity and execution. Do yourself a favour and get the EP.

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ReverbNation

Make Way For Man

Interview with MAKE WAY FOR MAN

Looking at the name of the Perth progressive metalcore six-piece, Make Way For Man, I wasn’t really sure what to expect when their debut EP “Evolve & Repair” was sent to me through the PR wire. But two listens later, these guys made way for themselves and I’ve been listening to the EP a lot recently.

Singer John Kelly answered my questions about the EP, and then some more.

Hey folks. How are you doing?

Good thanks!

You released “Evolve & Repair” recently. How do you feel about the release?

We are really excited with the reception so far, the feedback has been amazing. This band was just a concept for so long that it’s been so good to get out and play shows and have the crowd sing the words back at us! It’s really been a great ride that we hope we can keep pushing for a long time to come.

How much of a challenge was to work on the EP?

10/10 Bullsh*t hard haha! Considering we are 6 guys with full time jobs, not to mention a few of us have other musical endeavors that take our time up, it was definitely a struggle to even get the 6 of us in the same room some times! But nothing worth doing is ever easy is it? So I think that makes it so much more rewarding.

Make Way For Man - Evolve & Repair

What other artists similar to your genre that are coming from Perth are you friends with?

Our friends in Iconoclast, At Depths, Shangrila and Havoc are doing some really great things for the Perth scene and people should definitely check them all out.

What is your opinion about the current progressive metal(core) scene?

The scene is great and only getting better! I know that personally growing up that the choice for progressive heavy music was a lot more sparce than it is today. We only really had the virtuoso musicians that were really doing complex timings and outside the box genre blends so it’s really good to see how much new prog can be found nowadays. Not to mention non prog bands incorporating prog elements. It’s a brave and exciting new world folks haha! This isn’t your dad’s scene!

Can you tell me something about your influences?

What makes us unique as a collection of musicians is that we are really diverse in our influences whilst still having an overlap of the same sort of stuff. For example we all love bands like Meshuggah, Periphery and Sikth but then I personally am influenced greatly by artists like Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and bands such as Issues, Beartooth, Incubus and Pierce the Veil!

john-kelly

What are you listening to these days?

My current playlist includes Periphery III – Select Difficulty, Beartooth – Aggressive, Issues – Headspace and BMTH – That’s The Spirit.

Your 5 favourite records of all the time?
Wow okay that is really tough and I’m sure mine would differ greatly from the rest of the band but here goes nothing and in no particular order;

ISSUES – Issues
MICHAEL JACKSON – Dangerous
INCUBUS – S.C.I.E.N.C.E.
PERIPHERY – II (This Time It’s Personal)
PIERCE THE VEIL – Collide The Sky
(I feel like I left way too many out but that will have to do!)

Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you use to record “Evolve & Repair”?

Sure! Jordan our drummer uses Mapex drums, Soultone cymbals and Evans drumheads and he tracked the drums at one of Perths premiere studios, Crank. All of the guitars were tracked in Drews home studio using Pro Tools and Axe FX. Drew used a Schecter 8 string and Josh used his custom Equilibrium giutar. Adam used his Dingwall 6 string to track bass and all of mine and Sean’s vocals were tracked at Sumo Sound Studios in Perth. The mix was then sent to Nashville to be mixed and mastered by audio guru Brian Hood.

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

We would love to tour Europe and the U.S.A. as soon as we can and get our music to as many people as possible! We love playing shows and being able to travel the world with some of our best friends whilst playing to and meeting amazing people sounds like some of the best plans you could get.

Any words for the potential new fans?

Welcome and thank you! You are the reason we do this and we hope that you can find something you can relate to in our music and our words.

FFO Periphery, Meshuggah, Killswitch Engage, Sikth.

Get a copy of “Evolve & Repair” on Bandcamp.