SikTh / Devil Sold His Soul / Press To MECO (Live Review – Koko, London, December 8 2017)

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Last night, Koko hosted one of the shows of the year.

In recent years, Press To MECO (85%) have earned much respect thanks to their ability to pen complex yet accessible rock songs. They’re one of the best bands to do so since Reuben – and they made the most of this opening slot, throwing new beatdown-boasting song A Quick Fix among established tunes such as Manipulate and Affinity. Press To MECO are a joy to listen to, a band with a voice of their own, and ones to watch in 2018 Read more…

Posted on 09 December 2017

Dorje (Live Review – House Of Vans, London, September 9 2017)

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The House of Vans is a unique place. Half music venue, half skate park, it’s exactly where you would expect to discover cultural components that only fit far outside the box. Dorje, naturally, fit right in. Read more…

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Posted on 10 September 2017

Arcane Roots – ‘Melancholia Hymns’ (Album Review)

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In order to create, you sometimes have to destroy. Ripping everything up and starting again can be cathartic, reinvigorating, exciting, terrifying, relieving, overwhelming, and/or everything above all at once. Forcing yourself to confront the truly blank page takes a hell of a lot of heart, and Arcane Roots certainly have that.

Through their first album Left Fire, Arcane Roots became synonymous with air-guitar-inducing acrobatics and the kind of time changes that would make the world’s physicists weep with despair Read more…

Posted on 23 August 2017

The Contortionist – ‘Clairvoyant’ (Album Review)

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In an age of constant content overload, it’s become increasingly difficult to create something that truly stands on its own. So much has been done before; so much has already been done to staggeringly high standards. Still, with 2014’s Language the Contortionist pulled off the near impossible.

Listen back further to 2012’s Intrinsic and 2010’s Exoplanet, and you’ll see how far the Contortionist leapt on Language. Over time, their fusion-flavoured influences crowded out the Contortionist’s heavy side until the results became mellower, more soulful, even ambient. Language was ultimately an uplifting prog album with strong shades of metal spliced in at just the right moments. Read more…

Posted on 16 August 2017

Leprous – ‘Malina’ (Album Review)

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With so many progressive bands hastily jumping on the djent bandwagon, Leprous’ latest is a breath of fresh air. Already known for their special blend of modern prog influences (The Mars Volta, Tool, Karnivool, Devin Townsend, Symphony X, TesseracT and Dream Theater, to name a handful), Leprous have struck out for rockier pastures than those occupied on 2015’s The Congregation. Read more…

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Posted on 06 August 2017

Marco Minnemann – ‘Borrego’ (Album Review)

Marco Minnemann is prolific. This is a fact well established over the past few years and albums such as Schattenspiel, Above The Roses, Celebration, and EEPS – to name only the releases which have received the review treatment here to date. Of course, on top of those projects you also have to add in Marco Minnemann’s work as a sideman to the likes of Joe Satriani and Steven Wilson, as well as his position as one third of The Aristocrats.

That’s a lot of work, enough to keep any musician occupied to the point of burnt-out, overstretched insanity Read more…

Posted on 30 July 2017

Oceans Ate Alaska – ‘Hikari’ (Album Review)

Oceans Ate Alaska have found a solid solution to Second Album Syndrome. Too many bands fall at that fateful hurdle and sink swiftly into creative oblivion. Oceans Ate Alaska, on the other hand, have pulled off what can only be described as a win.

These guys have already made themselves synonymous with stuttering tech-riffage Read more…

Posted on 20 July 2017

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