Black Peaks – ‘All That Divides’ (Album Review)

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Some bands are born special. I first came across Black Peaks (then known collectively as Shrine) back in 2014, within a year or so of their initial formation, and it was obvious even then that these guys would go on to achieve big things. Fast-forward past their Closer To The Sun EP, 2016’s beautifully batshit debut album Statues, massive amounts of touring, and more than a few Read more…

Posted on 16 September 2018

Thrice – ‘Palms’ (Album Review)

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Thrice have always thrived on diverse creative approaches. Their on-record history has already taken in a set of post-hardcore classics (The Artist In The Ambulance), experimental compositional sorcery (Vheissu), and the all-encompassing masterwork The Alchemy Index. Since the latter epic saw the light of day, Thrice have never quite managed to Read more…

Posted on 12 September 2018

Vennart – ‘To Cure A Blizzard Upon A Plastic Sea’ (Album Review)

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Mike Vennart has a reputation for turning musical messes and chaos into moving, engrossing, living and breathing songs. With To Cure A Blizzard Upon A Plastic Sea, he’s at it once again. This album can be chalked up as another success, awarded the latest approving check mark on a list of long-playing releases that date back to his work with Oceansize and Read more…

Posted on 06 September 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

Rolo Tomassi – ‘Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It’ (Album Review)

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Rolo Tomassi are batshit crazy in the best possible way. If you fancy trying to pigeonhole them, good luck. You’d probably have to come up with some ridiculous new genre label to make it work – something like “box of mathy death-frogs” or “kitchen sinkcore”.

Alternatively, you could just call Rolo Tomassi “Rolo Tomassi”, and be Read more…

Posted on 06 February 2018

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

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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