Song Review: Megacone – ‘Absolute Magnitude’

Song Review: Megacone – ‘Absolute Magnitude’

Band: MEGACONE Song: ‘Absolute Magnitude’ Genre: Progressive instrumental Date of release: 29/02/16 Location: Ireland Reviewer: Matthew Byrne For Fans Of: Cloudkicker Okay, before I get into this review, I feel like it’s my duty to bring to your attention a very serious issue which has the potential to affect the entire world. No, I’m not talking about global warming. No, I’m not talking about how half of the world’s total wealth is in the hands of only 1% of the population, whilst the lower and middle classes continue their seemingly endless struggle to make ends meet. And no, I’m not talking about how it’s an eerily real possibility that Donald Trump could very well be the 45th President of the United States – I’m talking about something far, far larger. Obviously. What I’m talking about – well, what I’m wondering more so – is why, for some god damn reason, people think it is okay to have three or more guitarists in one band. There are very, very few artists who write music complex or dense enough to warrant such a scenario, and before you say anything, no – Periphery are not one of them. It’s something I’ve noticed becoming more and more prevalent over the years and it’s completely and utterly unnecessary. For the love of all things good in the world, just stop. Phew, okay. Deep breaths, Matt. You’re writing a review. Get a hold of yourself. Okay, so now that that’s out of the way, let us move on. Today, we’re looking at the latest single, ‘Absolute Magnitude’, from Irish instrumental prog-heads, Megacone. Let me first...
EP Review: James Norbert Ivanyi – ‘The Usurper’

EP Review: James Norbert Ivanyi – ‘The Usurper’

Artist: James Norbert Ivanyi EP: The Usurper Genre: Instrumental Progressive Metal Date of Release: April 13, 2016 Location: Sydney Reviewer: 5StringSamurai For Fans Of: Scale the Summit, Joe Satriani Track Listing: 1. A Fatal Eminence 04:29 2. The Corruption Venom 04:53 3. Avarice Curse 03:35 To the Samurai the concept of Maai is one of the easiest to understand, but also the most difficult to master. To put it simply, Maai refers to the distance between two combatants – but more importantly – it’s the ability to judge and control that distance. Even the fastest Samurai with the longest reach can be cut down with ease if they, for example, get too close to their opponents thrust, leaving their entrails spilling onto the floor. So to master Maai is not just to control distance, but to understand how it relates to the reach, speed and timing of both you and your opponent. With this understanding, you can increase your chances of survival and also increase the chance of your opponent’s head laying respectfully in their lap. If James Norbert Ivanyi were a Samurai, I would say he’d be a master of Maai. Not only does he prove to be extremely efficient with his weapons techniques, smooth notation and chord progressions, an impeccably controlled whammy bar, and blisteringly fast runs and sweeps, he proves his mastery in the way he deals with his opponents or, as they called in the musical world, accompaniments. And what an odd bunch of opponents he faces on The Usurper. Opponents not often faced in the realms of metal and few and far between even...
Song Review: Rhetoric Over Reality – ‘Reasons’

Song Review: Rhetoric Over Reality – ‘Reasons’

Band: Rhetoric Over Reality Song: ‘Reasons’ Location: Queensland, Australia Release Date: 2015 Genre: Instrumental, Progressive Metal Reviewer: Samuel Worsfold For Fans Of: Between the Buried and Me, Scale the Summit, Animals as Leaders Ah, the world of progressive metal, where we have our Animals As Leaders, our Periphery’s, our Tesseract’s, all of which have their own signature style of polyrhythmic madness and djent-inducing grooves, sure to leave somewhat of a bruise on your face after throwing down to Icarus Lives in the mosh pit. However, we aren’t here to talk about other defined progressive bands that are already riding the high horse to cloud nine, but are however, to discuss Rhetoric Over Reality’s song ‘Reasons‘ released off of their recent EP that in my eyes, is very much worthy of your time. The amusing thing I find about said track, is to me, the first minute or so is the weakest area of the song, but from there on, the track turns into this instrumental/jazz fusion/progressive metal/*insert your own ridiculous genre here* assault that really grabbed my attention to the very end. Hell, sitting in class the other day, I couldn’t help but jam out to one of these riffs with my invisible air guitar while my peers around me obviously gawked in awe after seeing their fellow classmate rock out while I was actually meant to be analysing documentary construction for English. Enough of that though, back to this technical harness of a song. Since this is an instrumental band, one of the main goals is to keep the track interesting with the absence of vocals. Aside from...
Album Review: Vipassi – ‘Śūnyatā’

Album Review: Vipassi – ‘Śūnyatā’

Band: Vipassi Album: Śūnyatā Genre: Progressive Instrumental Metal/Death Metal Date of Release: 8th February 2016 Location: Melbourne, Victoria Reviewer: Chris Giacca For Fans Of: Job For A Cowboy, Ne Obliviscaris, A Million Dead Birds Laughing Track Listing: 1. Gaia (4:30) 2. Benzaiten (3:21) 3. Jove (4:02) 4. Sum (5:15) 5. Elpis (4:45) 6. Paradise (5:55) 7. Samsara (5:55) Some people, man. Some people just aren’t content with being in a band as great as Ne Obliviscaris, or having a project as jaw-dropping as A Million Dead Birds Laughing. No, some people need to further rub their superiority in everyone’s noses by collaborating with other similarly bullshit-talented musicians and produce banger after banger, as if they were born to run some weird musical sausage machine of some sort. Also this sausage machine is located in Melbourne, because of course it is. Melburnians absolutely love sausage, I read that in a sausage magazine. Vipassi is comprised of three members of Ne Obliviscaris, and Ben Boyle of AMDBL/Hadal Maw fame. Straight away, that more or less tells you all you need to know, really. I could conceivably not say another word about the music and you’d already probably have a good guess at how good Śūnyatā is just on reputation alone. That being said, great musicians make horrible music all the time, so let’s have a look anyway. And yes, Dave Mustaine, I am looking at you. Fucker. Straight off the bat, ‘Gaia’ sets the tone for the whole album, the intro a beautiful counterpoint to the punishing riffs that kick in immediately after. The fretless bass is really prominent in the...
Song Review: Flicker Rate – ‘Valhalla’

Song Review: Flicker Rate – ‘Valhalla’

Wanna help us help support local music? Check out our Patreon! Band: Flicker Rate Song: ‘Valhalla’ Genre: Instrumental, math rock, post-rock Date of release: 14/2/16 Location: Hastings, UK Reviewer: Chemikarl For Fans Of: Slint, Drive Like Jehu, Locktender Anybody reading this that possesses more than a passing familiarity with me (read: not many of you) certainly knows that for a couple of years, I used to play guitar in an ill-conceived, ill-fated band with my friend Jerry. Now, Jerry is one of my closest mates, and I love the guy to death, but I’m sure I made life fucking hell for him in that band. Combining trend-hopping hardcore with the most obvious of bedfellows, post-rock, and shoegaze, I forced a delirious cacophony of nonsense time changes and pointlessly complex guitar lines onto the band. For a brief amount of time, we terrorized the Sydney scene with barely concealed humble-brags about how much better our music was than yours, peppered with not-so-subtle hints that we’d totally love to play at the gig you’re organising next month. These days, not much has changed, except for the fact that I’m older, playing in a different band, and even more full of myself than before – plainly evidenced by me just opening a review about someone else’s music with 100 words about my own life. Like any good, Vonnegut-esque personal anecdote though, mine has a fairly obvious moral, and this is it: young musicians are, most of the time, almost intolerably pretentious, immature, or otherwise irritating. So it’s immediately surprising when one approaches their art in such a mature, grounded, and accomplished manner,...
Album Review: Sean Ashe – Flux

Album Review: Sean Ashe – Flux

Artist: Sean Ashe Album: Flux Genre: Instrumental/Shred Date of Release: January 12th, 2016 Location: Indiana, USA Reviewer: Chris Giacca For Fans Of: Plini, Joe Satriani, Marco Sfogli Track Listing: 1. Imagine 4:19 2. Memory Lane 3:28 3. Floating Thread 2:50 4. Luminescence 3:40 5. Creature (feat. Denis Chang) 2:41 6. Hemisphere 4:22 7. Meteor Eyes 5:10 8. Abandon 4:42 I’ve attempted to start this review a solid six times now. Six times, I’ve penned an intro. Six times, I’ve erased all trace of it. Six starts, for no results, thus far. This also happens to be my seventh listen-through of the masterpiece that is Flux, by Northern Indiana’s Sean Ashe. We often have instances where the line between correlation and causality is blurred, but rest assured, this is most certainly not one of them. Make no mistake, the reason for my literary profligacy is crystal clear. This album is a time-waster of the highest order, a licentious black hole of musical genius, the likes of which I’ve not come across since Plini‘s masterful Trilogy was released last year. In Flux, you have a myriad work of infectious melodies which will suck you in and command your attention for the full half-hour-and-change of its duration. Starting out, I’ll apply the same caveat to this review as I always do whenever reviewing this particular genre. The musicians that comprise the instrumental/shred/virtuoso genre are all consummate theorists and technicians to a man (or woman), and as such, it is incredibly difficult to split the hairs required to analyze how good their respective pieces of art are. And they are all exceptional works...
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