Tag Archives: progressive

Voyager – Ghost Mile (2017)

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Combining flamboyant musicianship and accessible song writing is a delicate balance which many aspire towards but few achieve. Voyager have the finesse and maturity to manage this tightrope act between awe inspiring and attention grabbing music. ‘Ghost Mile’ is an album that provides a shining example of just how heavy and how technical you can get in this genre without sacrificing a good song. Continue reading Voyager – Ghost Mile (2017)

Hemina – Venus (2016)

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Music snobs beware: never judge a book by it’s cover.. and the same goes for music. I won’t beat around the bush, the artwork, the title, the bio and overall package just puts me off. It screams ‘this is not gonna be your thing Sean, don’t bother with it’. How wrong I was. Continue reading Hemina – Venus (2016)

Sleepmakeswaves – Tundra (single) 2017

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The swirling synth lines and guitar tones that open up our first taste of new music from Sleepmakeswaves since 2014 are familiar and yet uncertain. You just don’t know where it’s all going to go and it doesn’t take long to ease that tension. Continue reading Sleepmakeswaves – Tundra (single) 2017

Seims – II (2015)

 

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Seims are from Sydney, they play instrumental rock songs so utterly slathered in synths, effects pedals and guitar trickery it’s actually sometimes hard to determine exactly what bits are guitars and which are not! It’s reminiscent of old 8-bit video game music..but with guitars…and drums…anyway this is really engaging stuff! Very inventive!

The album is simply titled ‘II’ (or ‘two’ for those who cant read good or do other stuff good) and is 9 tracks of riffy math-rock that maintains an up-tempo pace and high energy from start to finish. It’s not overly complex for a band with these leanings but is probably some of the most fun and accessible music in this genre I’ve ever heard! Highlight track for me was #3 TUN’ with its super dirty opening bass riff, fast driving drums and the glitchy but still really  cool slow-down-build-up section towards the end.

On the bands music page they have a spoiler alert: no clean tone was used in the making of this album. They are not lying and it’s clear right from the start that main man Simeon Bartholomew isn’t taking himself too seriously but still wants this stuff sound powerful. It does.

I cant recommend this enough to fans of prog/math & instrumental bands who don’t have 12 minutes to sit through a song. Or perhaps you don’t want to feel super bummed out and depressed whilst listening to your music… this is what you’ve gotta put on!

http://www.seims.net/

https://www.facebook.com/seimsmusic/

Caligula’s Horse – Bloom (2015)

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Brisbane lads Caligula’s Horse dropped their 3rd album in October, loaded with ambitious progressive rock moments, heavier metal inspired riffs and super impressive vocal work. Then…they hit the road with TesseracT. What a month!

If you don’t know the band prior to hearing ‘Bloom’ (like myself) you’ll likely experience a body of work purely as it is and not in comparison to past material. The only pretence is that the record is a) Aussie b) Proggy and c) Heavy.

So…as with any new release it’s in our nature to listen out for influences and familiarities. In this case it’s: Opeth, Jeff Buckley (yes that’s right!) and Karnivool. The song writing is at times rather lengthy and a bit of a marathon (typical of bands in this genre) however front man Jim Grey’s stunning vocal work takes the chore out of the long arrangements and give’s the material a more accessible angle.

What you’re getting is 8 tracks that range from melancholy, tense and heavy moods with each turn showcasing a different shade of the band. Guitars tones change throughout the songs, drums build and explode with a sense of dynamics and taste. Bass punches to the front tastefully for some really cool feature moments and finds the background just at the right times.

The opening track ‘Bloom’ is a soft start that seamlessly transitions into ‘Marigold’ (also the lead track of the album) as if they were one long piece merely broken up by track numbers. The latter really takes the listener on a journey that rewards you with some great off-time signatures, creative guitar work and busy drums. It’s hard not to smile!

Album highlight though was the third track ‘Firelight’ which may be the biggest sucker punch on ‘Bloom’ where the band takes an almost commercial/pop rock approach at the start of the song bringing in some lighter chimey guitar tones and a more emotional feel that left me thinking ‘wait..what..the..hell..is this?’ Before long the guitars open up and the chorus springs forward and the whole thing feels like it deserves a round of applause for its cunning and tact.

Production is modern and punchy but less polished and ‘perfect’ than other colleagues in the genre (looking at you DLC, Twelve Foot Ninja etc). There were a few moments which involved some double kick and palm muted chugging that sent an awful frequency ‘woofing’ through my speakers which wasn’t too great. Mastering is an art sure..but I was a bit surprised this made it through the process.

Overall I’m pretty impressed and a firm believer that repeated listens will yield new discoveries from this album. It is both accessible and deep enough to retain my interest. Get on it.

http://www.caligulashorse.com