Monuments – ‘Phronesis’ (Album Review)

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Since 2014, Monuments have managed to stay near the top of the tech-metal pile on the back of The Amanuensis, which happens to be one of the greatest albums to ever emerge from that particular scene Read more…

Posted on 14 September 2018

The Arusha Accord – ‘Juracán’ (EP Review)

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The Arusha Accord named themselves after a set of failed peace agreements, and their own history has been defined by dramatic struggles and attempts at conflict resolution. After an extended absence and 2017 comeback, both vocalist Alex Green and guitarist Tom Hollings departed into the sunset while the remaining members fought to Read more…

Posted on 01 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

SikTh (Interview)

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Standing out has never been an issue for SikTh. Even surrounded by alternative minds on bills from Tech-Fest to 2000 Trees, the Watford sextet just keep pushing the bar to even more extreme heights. Following on from an interview last December, guitarist/producer Dan Weller and I talked about secretly supporting Metallica; the ultimate fantasy band; and SikTh’s next Read more…

Posted on 09 July 2018

Sikth (Interview)

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Shortly before SikTh took the stage at Koko to play Death Of A Dead Day in full, I got talking to guitarist Dan Weller about billion-dollar live shows, and dealing with music-related mental health issues…

It’s almost the end of your tour – how’re you feeling?

Excited for tonight, playing Death Of A Dead Day in its entirety…

Yeah! How come you’re doing that tonight?

We just thought fuck it – why not? We know what people want to hear, they want the stuff you’re known for. We could’ve played more from the new album, and thought about it, but instead we decided to play more from Death Of A Dead Day.

What’s the most random thing you’ve had happen at one of your shows?

We’ve did a show in Newport where a lot of guys who’d just been released from prison came to our gig to celebrate their release. Really lairy dudes – they came up to the front row, real metalheads. They cracked open some bottles of champagne as we came on and covered us with drink Read more…

Posted on 10 December 2017

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

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

Sleep Token – ‘Two’ (EP Review)

Sleep Token split open not just one can of worms, but at least two.

The first concerns that most easily maligned approach to marketing music: The Gimmick. According to the press materials which landed in my download folder alongside Two, Sleep Token are “the mortal representatives of the ancient deity known only as ‘Sleep’, led by Read more…

Posted on 12 July 2017

Animals As Leaders / David Maxim Micic / Nick Johnston (Live Review – Koko, London, July 5 2017)

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As Animals As Leaders’ only UK show of 2017, this gig was literally one of a kind. As is becoming my custom at Koko, I set up camp near the ceiling and prepared for a bird’s eye view of a very special show.

Nick Johnston (95%) was the only act on this bill I hadn’t seen live before, although having reviewed his previous two albums Remarkably Human and Atomic Mind and chatted to him at length about the former for this interview, I knew to expect great things Read more…

Posted on 06 July 2017

Maxi Curnow – ‘STEM 2.0’ (Review)

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Since Maxi Curnow dropped the original version of STEM back in 2014, he’s been one of my all-time favourite progressive musicians.

STEM – a through-composed, twenty-five-minute behemoth of a song structured in five movements and home to some of the most original musicianship I’ve ever experienced – was, in a word, immense. In two words: Read more…

Posted on 25 June 2017

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