Independent Bandcamp artists – they can be quite the unassuming species, can’t they? Amongst the layers of aspiring lo-fi bedroom artists; waves of opportunists jumping on the vaporwave memewagon and a scattering of experimental oddities, there is gold to be panned.
Vancouver-based artist Glaswegians is one of those rarities, with 2017’s Severancebeing better than an underground independent release has any right to be. Severance is 65 minutes of progressive, folk and post-rock excellence that puts most professional artists’ work from this year to shame.
Boston-based art rock act Bent Knee have been about since their 2011 self-titled release, and on the playlists of almost every Prog Talk admin since their explosive 2014 sophomore release in Shiny Eyed Babies and the excellent Say So from last year.
The band has gained a reputation for pushing the boundaries of pop, rock and the avant-garde simultaneously, and many here at Prog Talk would gladly label them the most exciting upcoming act of the 2010s.
That said, does their most recent release, Land Animal, live up to our notably high expectations? Are we asking too much of the band? Will Leth, Cerpin and Symphony make it to the 21st Century? Find out the answer to all of these questions on this upcoming episode of… “Roundabout“!
As ever, we’d like to remind you that our Roundabouts are compilations of each Prog Talk admin’s individual and subjective opinions. While we may or may not have expressed our thoughts on the album in private beforehand, we do not collude while writing our reviews. So without further ado, let’s talk progressive art rock.
The band, from Belgium, has been making hardcore music since 2008, and allegedly got better with every album. Rheia, which is due on September 30th, is their third release. From this music video for ’10:56/Second Son of R.’, you can see the band’s frontwoman in a strange and eerie a capella piece in the beginning, until all hell breaks loose and the post-hardcore blast beats – which is almost just like a black metal section, in fact – hit in. Their sound isn’t too far from Sweden’s No Omega band, which I adore.
What does this do on Prog Talk? This is an example of poignant and quality progressive post-hardcore. I suggest you familiarize yourself with Oathbreaker as soon as possible, while we patiently wait for the official release of Rheia. Meanwhile, you can stream the entire album on Noisey.
On January 29th, Dream Theater released their thirteenth studio album: a two-disc “rock opera” simply named The Astonishing. Amongst a mixed reception at first, the band’s second ever concept album received generally favourable reviews, but nowhere near their more acclaimed releases, such as Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes from a Memory, Images and Words, and Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. Recently, the band shared an updated version of the song “Our New World”, with Halestorm frontwoman Lzzy Hale. Now, why would Dream Theater create a new version of their song more than seven months after its release, and what does it say about The Astonishing? Continue reading →
Mike Portnoy often said, on social media, that what we now know as The Similitude of a Dream – The Neal Morse Band‘s next double concept album -, is the best thing he’s ever played on, and is unlike anything they have ever done before. I’m paraphrasing, but he did succeed in raising the expectations of a lot of people, myself included. We all know Neal Morse to be a stellar composer, and a great multi-instrumentalist and singer, but his compositions can feel a bit formulaic at times. The most striking example might be the twin sisters on Transatlantic’s Bridge across Forever, namely “Duel with the Devil” and “Stranger in Your Soul”. The two songs share the same length, and go through similar phases in their development. Now, maybe that was the whole concept behind the album, but you can definitely see strong similarities in other works, such as Sola Scriptura and The Whirlwind. Once again, all these albums and songs I mentioned are some of my favourites, but you just know they came from the same guy. Continue reading →