The Black Queen – ‘Infinite Games’ (Album Review)

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Calling The Black Queen’s debut album Fever Daydream a masterpiece is not an act of taint-tonguing, banus-licking sycophancy. It’s merely a statement of plain and simple fact. It’s been more than two years since key tracks The End Where We Start, Ice To Never, Secret Scream, and That Death Cannot Touch saw the light of day, and those converted by Read more…

Posted on 22 September 2018

Arcane Roots – ‘Landslide’ (EP Review)

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Although I wrote an entire book about why good bands break up, I didn’t see these circumstances coming. From the sound of it, neither did anyone else. Only two weeks ago, Arcane Roots debuted their first ever experimental electronic set at ArcTanGent, false starts followed by a promising showcase during which Indigo stood head and shoulders above its peers.

“Just say the word, and I’ll go, if that’s what you’re saying…”

Nobody at ArcTanGent was prepared to Read more…

Posted on 02 September 2018

ArcTanGent 2018 (Festival Review)

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Although attractiveness is subjective, ArcTanGent happens to be situated in an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – and if you visit it and look around, you’d probably agree with the government’s judgment for once. As for the music you can expect to experience at the UK’s most respected prog, math, and post-everything festival, it may serve a very specific niche, but the fans who love the styles in question tend to Read more…

Posted on 21 August 2018

Arcane Roots (Interview)

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Arcane Roots know how to throw a musical curveball. Evolving swiftly from Left Fire’s Biffy-meets-Muse approach to Blood & Chemistry’s dynamic diversity and Melancholia Hymns’ cinematic expansiveness, these guys never fail to shock and awe. With sets at 2000 Trees and ArcTanGent approaching fast, I talked to bassist Adam Burton about Arcane Roots’ plans for both festivals, the importance of spare socks, and Read more…

Posted on 08 July 2018

Mike Shinoda – ‘Post Traumatic’ (Review)

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Following a traumatic event involving loss, those left grieving and trying to pick up the pieces often find themselves experiencing a set of healing stages first described by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance do not necessarily arrive in that order; grief is a chaotic and confusing process, not a linear path. As all rock fans know full well, following Chester Bennington’s death by suicide last year, his Linkin Park bandmate Mike Shinoda – along with the rest of the band and their friends, family, colleagues, and fans – was immediately thrown into Read more…

Posted on 15 June 2018

Bullet For My Valentine – ‘Gravity’ (Album Review)

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With few exceptions, metal has become creatively malnourished in recent years. Old ideas have been recycled over and over again, while alternatives are met with resistance at every turn. Bullet For My Valentine are the latest band to step into the breach, preparing Gravity for its time in the spotlight Read more…

Posted on 11 June 2018

30 Seconds To Mars – ‘America’ (Album Review)

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Although 30 Seconds To Mars have some undeniably epic tracks in their back catalogue, their career to date has always been based on following whichever trends happened to be culturally dominant at the time. From early 2000s alt-metal to emo, then alt-rock, and now electronic pop, derivative music with just enough idiosyncrasy to stand out from the pack has always been a 30 Seconds To Mars calling card. Don’t get me wrong – I like this band, but Read more…

Posted on 06 April 2018

Submotion Orchestra – ‘Kites’ (Album Review)

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Although we sometimes take it for granted in the streaming age, music is a luxury good. When Submotion Orchestra play, that fact becomes perfectly clear. Their albums always sound expensive, high-class cultural excursions made for the benefit not of the super-rich, but all of us mere mortals.

A couple of years back, Submotion Orchestra dropped Colour Theory, an album littered with Read more…

Posted on 04 February 2018

Jordan Rudess & Steve Horelick – ‘Intersonic’ (Album Review)

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Few people are pushing the keyboard’s boundaries as relentlessly as Jordan Rudess. Rudess’s willingness to experiment with all manner of digital gizmos from the Roli Seaboard to his own range of synth apps is well documented. On Intersonic, renowned synthesist and composer Steve Horelick joins Jordan Rudess for a largely improvised voyage past the boundaries of what was once thought impossible Read more…

Posted on 12 November 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

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