Album Reviews

Posted Friday, January 8, 2016 - 12:37pm by Lucas Biela

When I read that jazz musicians are involved and hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar was a major source of inspiration, I wondered what Blackstar, which was released on the day of the white star's 69th birthday, would sound like. Unclassifiable musician, the legendary vocalist and multi-instrumentalist already accustomed us to musical changes from one album to the other and from one character to the other. For his new offering, the English chameleon returns to the eclecticism that grabbed our attention in Outside.

Category: Album Reviews

Tags: David Bowie, Blackstar, art rock, 2016, jazz, hip hop, Kendrick Lamar
Posted Wednesday, December 30, 2015 - 9:13am by Ryan Skaggs

In 2015, there have been a number of great progressive rock albums. Among these releases, none has been more remarkable than Chelsea Wolfe’s Abyss. Abyss, her fifth studio album, dropped in August on the Sargent House label. Abyss is her strongest body of work to date, blending elements of folk, doom metal and electronic music into divinely ethereal concoctions. In an era where irony and kitsch still reign supreme, Chelsea Wolfe offers material that is refreshingly sincere. The sound composures on Abyss range from being delicate to overwhelming. Chelsea Wolfe displays mastery of her craft as Abyss flows from the devastating and haunting to the lush and awe inspiring. Abyss is remarkable from start to finish.     

Category: Album Reviews

Tags: doom metal, folk metal, dark prog, dream pop, Sargent House
Posted Sunday, January 25, 2015 - 5:11pm by Gabriel Riccio

I had the pleasure of being introduced to The Mercury Tree at Progtoberfest this past year. This Portland band was easily one of the most interesting and modern sounding bands on the bill. They are far from being just another prog band, as they incorporate influences from math rock, jazz, alternative rock, and more. All of this is evident on their latest record, Countenance, which displays an enormous stylistic range (and a huge progression from their previous records). If you're a fan of bands like The Mars Volta, Tera Melos, Tool, and King Crimson, then give this record a listen.

Category: Album Reviews

Tags: The Mercury Tree, Countenance, Progtoberfest, progressive rock, math rock, Portland, Tool, King Crimson, The Mars Volta, Tera Melos
Posted Monday, December 29, 2014 - 1:46pm by Gabriel Riccio

Zorbas Crisol's debut EP, Criollo, is somewhat reminiscent of a mostly instrumental version of Mr. Bungle's debut album, but it doesn't feel the slightest bit derivative. The song structures are highly unpredictable but never random or directionless. For example, the first song begins sounding very reminiscent of The Mars Volta - if you had told me that Omar Rodriguez-Lopez played guitar in the first half of this song, I wouldn't have been surprised, and the similarities are cemented by prominent saxophones, soloistic bass playing and some very cool odd time grooves. Much of it feels very off kilter, which adds to the excitement.

Category: Album Reviews

Tags: Zorbas Crisol, Santiago, Chile, prog-jazz, The Mars Volta, Mr. Bungle
Posted Friday, December 19, 2014 - 9:00am by Gabriel Riccio

Not many new records manage to grab my attention enough to take me away from listening to music that came out before I was born - the truth is that I tend to be quite jaded when it comes to new music. Nonethleless, a few great albums come out every year, so here's a few of my favorites from this year. Since I'm not a fan of ranking albums, they're in no particular order:

Category: Album Reviews

Tags: Best of 2014, aphex twin, flying lotus, run the jewels, blut aus nord, Scott Walker, sunnO))), earth, Trioscapes, funk ark

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