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 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.
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.
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.
Guamskyy are a solo instrumental project with a truly unique approach, started by artist Christian San Agustin.
The 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
One of the most striking aspects of this debut EP from Make Way For Man is a rather majestic flow, which takes a run of six songs and turns them into something with much grander allusions. Taken at surface level you may think that there is not an awful lot of new going on, but taken as a full on narrative, a whole new world opens up.
Evolve & Repair starts with a gallop with the self-titled song which is full of rolling vistas of bass and drum rolls, and portentous riffs. Full on metal with one foot in prog and the other in djent, Make Way For Man have done their homework and know what makes each sub-genre tick. By the time the inevitable whinny of a horse leads into a clatter of hooves on second song “We Will Surely Drown,” all reservations have been cast to the wind and you will be fully on board.
The great thing about Evolve & Repair is that the quality level not only stays the same, but actually rises up a notch and on arguably the best song here, “The Other Side of Fear,” they move on to another level as the pace slows down, but the music gets heavier. Following this with two last pieces on the record “If You’re Going Through Hell Keep Going” (instrumental) and “The End is Up to Me” serve to make an unbeatable part of the record that more than matches anything else released in 2016 so far.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Italian prog metal/djent band Prospective have come up with the release of their debut EP “Chronosphere” in March. In the interview below the band speaks about the EP, future and more.
How would you described your debut EP titled “Chronosphere”?
We guess Chronosphere is a mix of anger, melody and groove. The songs are very metal but also lovely! Syncopated grooves are also a main event in the ep.
What kind of gear did you use to record ”Chronosphere”?
Our EP is completely D.I.Y., we recorded everything in Flavio’s little room. We used a Line 6 toneport UX1 to record guitars, bass and voice. Guitars were dialed in pod farm, bass was D.I. and in Cubase we made the tone, voice was recorded with a classic SM58. For the drums we used Superior Drummer.
I wonder what inspired the story behind the “Increase” songs?
The first part is about a dream, the second is about 2 people toghether in space (or some sort of dream) trying to escape.
As a very young band, do you think there are things that need to be improved in music business to encourage new starting bands and artists? What are these things?
At the moment, for our genre, the music industry “is on the internet”. There are a lots of great bands and not-so-great bands out there, the trick is to have luck and to play something that no one ever did. Nothing has to be improved in the music industry in this sense, because is all about the people’s taste.
What are you guys up to these days?
In these days we will playing at a Metal-Fest in our town Bologna and we’re also pre-producing the last songs for our upcoming album.
Where do you see Prospective 10 years later from now?
We hope on tour with some great bands. We know a lot of young bands here in Bologna and Italy in general, maybe one day we will tour with them, it would be awesome!