Album Review: Atma Weapon – The Fields Where Nothing Grows

Album Review: Atma Weapon – The Fields Where Nothing Grows

Band: Atma Weapon Album: The Fields Where Nothing Grows Genre: Progressive metal Date of release: 23/11/15 Location: North Carolina Reviewer: Benjamin Muir For Fans Of: Karnivool, Between the Buried and Me, Opeth Track Listing: 1. Winding Roots (2:05) 2. Everything You Won’t (7:04) 3. Clear Blue Skies (5:54) 4. Autumn Leaves (6:45) 5. The Wasteland (5:52) 6. Every Ship (8:04) 7. Fields of Sorrow (5:31) 8. The Silent and Still (4:02) 9. The Fields Where Nothing Grows (6:24) I review mostly hardcore with the odd exception based on what needs a reviewer for IPHYB. Atma Weapon is most certainly not hardcore, but they’re not bad either. I have sometimes discussed that a lot of my musical discovery as a kid came in the form of 2000’s metalcore bands in my earlier teens before I got more into mathcore, mosh, and beatdown as I got older. In retrospect, a lot of the Metalcore bands I enjoyed as a kid are fairly hard to listen to now next to recordings with contemporary production. I do still however, harbour a warm nostalgia for melodic death metal leads and gratuitous palm muting once in a while. Atma Weapon could best be described as progressive metal band if we have to label it strictly, but for a more accurate description they’re a kind of cross between Karnivool and 00’s Metalcore with occasionally more specific melodeath, prog-death and prog-metal influences, (most notably Opeth) admittedly with much more polish than the vast majority of older bands in any of the genres that were apparent influences. I came across Atma Weapon in a piece of writing I...
Album Review: Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence

Album Review: Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence

Band: Devin Townsend Project Album: Transcendence Genre: Progressive/Symphonic metal Date of Release: 09/09/16 Location: Vancouver, Canada Reviewer: Harvey Danger For Fans Of: Devin Townsend, walls of sound, reverb Track Listing: 1. Truth 2. Stormbending 3. Failure 4. Secret Services 5. Higher 6. Stars 7. Transcendence 8. Offer You Light 9. From The Heart 10. Transdermal Celebration Devin Townsend is back with Transcendence, the seventh album in his ongoing Devin Townsend Project series of albums. I’m going to come straight out with it and say that in my opinion, this is some of Townsend’s best work. The entire album is characterised by the artist’s “wall of sound” production style, dislocating your jaw from the moment the music begins and continuing to lay waste to everything in its path until the album’s climax. Starting with a re-recording of ‘Truth’, the opening track from 1998’s ‘Infinity’, the album moving onto the symphonic masterpiece ‘Stormbending’, resplendent with its subtle keys, riffs, and plenty of solos throughout the track. The mood changes on ‘Failure’, with angry chugs and quavering vocals adorning the entire song, with a lengthy guitar solo and keys also featuring heavily. Acoustic and distorted guitars are layered during the intro of ‘Secret Sciences’, giving the impression ol’ Hevy Devy is about trade in his beautifully polished baldness for a mullet and go all country-rock on us, however, this is forgiven once the riffage kicks in and Townsend’s soaring voice reminds you just whose album this is his idea of a good time, with haunting female backing vocals and more ridiculous solos rounding out the symphonic ballad. Thankfully (or disappointingly, depending on...
Album Review: The Dali Thundering Concept – When X Met Y

Album Review: The Dali Thundering Concept – When X Met Y

Band: The Dali Thundering Concept Album: When X Met Y Location: Paris Release Date: 2016 Genre: Progressive metal, djent, mathcore Reviewer: Samuel Worsfold For Fans Of: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Veil of Maya, bands with more guitar strings then they really need I’ve probably pissed you off already by describing this band as “djent”, so if that did annoy you, I have quite a few more jokes lined up for this review so try not to cry too hard if and when I offend you. I first heard The Dali Thundering Concept back in 2014, when their glorious full-length Eyes Wide Opium first dropped and drove me headfirst into a wall of ambience and more “0-0-0-0-1-1-1-0-0’s” than I could shake a stick at. All jokes aside though, as this album was phenomenal to me (and without sounding as pretentious as the lyrics for ‘Astral Body’ by Between the Buried And Me), it took me on a journey. If you haven’t already checked out Eyes Wide Opium, do it NOW, and then go into hibernation for a couple of months to listen to it on repeat then come back to reading this review. Okay, so you liked it? If the answer was no then shhh, because you should read this review anyway of their remastered EP titled When X Met Y. So this EP came before the marvellous Eyes Wide Opium, but has since been remastered from its 2012 release, and even has a new bonus track which was recorded recently featuring a vast array of guest vocalists. This EP is actually quite different to the full-length, it sounds as...
Album Review: Haken – Affinity

Album Review: Haken – Affinity

Band: HAKEN Album: Affinity Genre: Progressive metal/Progressive rock Date of Release: 29th April 2016 Location: London, England Reviewer: Matthew Byrne For Fans Of: Dream Theater, Leprous, Casio Keyboards Track Listing: 1. ‘affinity.exe’ (1:24) 2. ‘Initiate’ (4:16) 3. ‘1985’ (9:09) 4. ‘Lapse’ (4:44) 5. ‘The Architect’ (15:40) 6. ‘Earthrise’ (4:48) 7. ‘Red Giant’ (6:06) 8. ‘The Endless Knot’ (5:50) 9. ‘Bound By Gravity’ (9:29) What was it about the 80’s which causes so many of us to reflect upon it so fondly? Was it the shoulder pads? Michael Jackson? Pac Man? Or, perhaps, was it simply the sheer beauty that was Ronald Reagan’s hair? Whether it’s masked crusaders from outer space saving the world with keytar in hand (a.k.a. Tupper Ware Remix Party) or a leather jacket clad kung-fu cop travelling backing in time to kill Adolf Hitler, there’s no denying that, for some reason, people fucking love the 1980’s. Or they don’t. Whatever. So, imagine my surprise when I discovered that the fourth album from British prog-metallers, Haken, would have some 80’s flavor to it. I mean, it’s somewhat of a logical step to take after their previous album’s (The Mountain) 70’s prog-inspired sound, but what initially crossed my mind was that time that guy made an 8-bit version of Tesseract’s Altered State. Fear not though, this isn’t an elaborate prank by Haken to release a chiptune album. Entitled Affinity, the album’s 1980’s influences are tasteful rather than in your face and wanting attention. The album opens with ‘affinity.exe’, which serves more of an abient/electronic lead into the album’s first real song and single, ‘Initiate’. When this song was...
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...
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