Astrolabe- The Hermit, The Fool, The Hanged Man



This band totally surprised me and caught me off guard.  After I checked out their upcoming 3 song EP, they got me hooked.  This progressive psychedelic rock band kept me interested with the fact one of my favorite prog drummers Marco Minneman stepped in and recorded the drums on this EP! HOLY SHIT! That isn’t even the best part.  The melodic guitar playing of Victor keeps the music even fresher than it already is.  You have a great psychedelic classic prog rock vibe, with some occasional yelling and shouting here and there to make sure you’re paying attention as well.  It’s a well written EP that is very artistic and tasteful.

Astrolabe has successfully blended many eras, influences and ideas into one wild melodic roller coaster.  Although the songs may be kinda technical and more unusual in comparison to oversaturated commercialized music, that shouldn’t stop anyone from checking out Astrolabe.  The heavy amount of keys, synth and organ tracks really give it the classic prog rock vibe the guys were going for.  The further the EP goes on, the more you musically and artistically understand how hard these guys really worked on this EP.  Not just musically, but the theme and lyrics as well.  This was anything BUT a half assed effort from Astrolabe.  I totally recommend this insane piece of music to anyone looking to try something new, or artistic.  Check out this EP when it’s released December 7th and buy it right away!



Catalysis Self Titled Debut EP


Catalysis is releasing their self titled debut EP in groovy and melodic fashion.  This groove and melody driven metal band is worth your listen if that makes you tingle all over.  The guys got help from Mendel from ABORTED mixing their EP! Now let’s get to some tuneage.

I’ll be honest….modern metal (in the commercial sense) has turned to absolute breakdown riddled bullshit (at least in my continent of North America, Europe is a glorious scene and totally different in my opinion).  The better metal bands in my opinion are smaller and don’t want to sacrifice their sound to sound catchy. Catalysis though proved me wrong, with a smile on my face.  Their aggression and passion remind me of the younger, more talented Machine Head (not the Catharsis era shit).  There’s plenty of growling and some singing as well that perfectly compliments their sound.


Here are some of the band’s upcoming shows in support of their Self Titled EP.  If you live in Europe, get to these shows!



Drew Cochrane – Lead Guitar
Sean Ramson – Rhythm Guitar
Col MacGregor – Bass & Vocals
Calum Rennie – Drums




I wanted to change it up around here, for a few articles.  Something not as tech or experimental, but still in your face.  Catalysis is a great band that brings the energy and headbanging without sacrificing any quality in their music.  Cochrane and Ramson’s chemistry on guitar is great for a fellow shredder to hear, there’s some good leads on the EP but they’re not oversaturated that they kill the songs and take up the whole EP.  The band was another fun surprise I got the chance to check out and thoroughly enjoyed their debut EP, as should the rest of the world.  The EP drops December 14th, mark that day on your calendars and get your preorders in as well at the link right below.

Geoff Barone- Acquiescence



Geoff Barone is a local musician from Western New York who writes and records his music as a mutli instrumentalist.  He has a unique sound that propels the listener to multiple galaxies all at the same time.  There is a big operatic and cinematic influence mixed in with some Devin Townsend chunks of past and present.  Acquiescence is a rock opera concept.  And how cool is that album cover? That TOTALLY SCREAMS western new york.  I enjoyed the album because there aren’t many true artists (or maybe I haven’t stumbled upon the right ones) around my area.  Not trying to be kvlt or trve, ya know.  What I’m struggling to say is an artist that not only is a multi instrumentalist and at least mixes their own music, but also dips into many genres and isn’t afraid.  We have so many one genre bands and artists that guys like Barone are a good reminder to hold out hope for those types.  He has plenty of heavier sections, but doesn’t overdo it musically.  He isn’t out to rip your heart out playing at 300 BPM, Geoff is focused on song layering and writing.  There’s acoustics, clean guitar, saxophone and lots of different piano and keyboard tracks.  Even the trumpet makes an appearance towards the end of the album!

He has that knack on not repeating himself musically.  Some bands tend to write the same exact way or stick to a certain formula.  Barone has masterfully put together a solid   album that is so diverse it should see a wider audience.  His prog background makes for a wild trip that occasionally reminds you of the old days of Zappa here and there.  He had plenty of guests make appearances vocally and instrumentally that bring this album to light.  If you’re looking for a fresh prog sound that isn’t extreme, and like a good concept album with some nods to some great artists in the genre…..Geoff Barone is your man for the job.  “Acquiescence” has been out since April and should check out the sales on his bandcamp.  He currently has a deal that includes lyrics, a few bonus tracks and iPhone voice memo recordings of the 16 songs! Oh, and there’s plenty of other albums to check out too don’t you worry. The man is a true musician and artist, don’t be a cheapskate and listen for free.  Try to support the man’s journey, at least.

Thoren- Gwarth 1


My Thoren buddies are at it again, but with a much more straightforward and equally as fucked up and wild follow up to Brennenburg.  They’re an instrumental project with a shit ton of dissonance, weird rhythms and some jazz influences here and there.  “Gwarth 1” is a wild ride of that, but less experimental and proggier.  Their second born is a much more straightforward and heavier (I’m fairly convinced) offering that can appeal to metalheads with shorter attention spans.  The amazing blend of Gorguts and Ulcerate influence in this band is never-ending, and isn’t for the stupid or narrow minded (I mean that in an honest and non offensive way, for the pussies).  This band knows how to write weird songs and keep you zeroed in. If still need more motivation, the band partnered up with Kenny from Imperial Triumphant (experimental black metal with horns!) and  Alex Cohen (ex-Pyrrhon with their weird ass indescribable sound) on drum duties. Toilet Ov Hell has an early stream that started monday November 5th to check out the full album.

thoren 2018 for print ORIG

“Gwarth 1” is an artistic and fucked up trip not many people can appreciate so all you Disturbed loving mofos can go take walk around the block while the adults roll with some real art!  There’s also lots of creepy acoustic guitar on the band’s sophomore release, which really makes this album flow.  Just like Brennenburg, Gwarth 1 is a creepy offering that again is similar but still fairly different musically and theme wise.

Check out the album above, and buy it starting this Friday November 9th. The preorder links are below to get your digital copy (sorry no CD’S unless there’s a dramatic rise in popularity with Thoren).  This instrumental band knows how to kick ass and take names.

Thoren – Gwarth I
1. Firith
2. Agarwaen
3. Galvorn
4. Scatha
5. Daleb Dath
6. Angos
7. Ebrietas
8. Kos
9. Tyranny

Thoren – Gwarth I Line-Up
Anthony Lipari – Guitars (Evilyn, Vihaan)
Joseph Paquette – Bass (Evilyn)
Alex Cohen (Live for Malignancy, ex-Pyrrhon, Epistasis, Involuntary Convulsion)
Session Drums (Tracks 1, 2, 4, & 6-8)
Kenny Grohowski (Imperial Triumphant, Secret Chiefs3) – Session Drums (Tracks 3, 5, & 9)
Maggie Cocco – Session vocals (Track 8: “Kos”)

Additional Gwarth I Album Credits
-Mastered by John Strieder (Magma Art & Sound, formerly Magma Studios, Berlin, Germany)
-Drums recorded at Solitude Studios, Carversville, PA
-Guitar and Bass recorded in respective members home studios
-Cover Art by Anthony Lipari

Great bands from Midwest/Northwest America, and Indonesia

Yeah, there’s a TON of hot bands from these areas and I’m gonna hook you n00bs up. And verbally blowing these areas, so to speak.  There’s so many good unheard of bands between Colorado, Missouri, Washington and random countries like Indonesia. Let’s fuck shit up and hopefully some of you haven’t heard of these bands and dig them!

Dischordia-  A death metal band that isn’t afraid to experiment.  Coming out of Oklahoma  (maybe southwest or southern america? close enough I guess?) I’ve been obsessed with this band since I heard their latest wild 2 song ep Binge/Purge. All sorts of weird shit beside lots of dissonance and rhythms.  There’s some ukulele flute marimba and all kinds of random shit on this killer EP.  They’ve only progressed to greater things with every release….don’t sleep on these dudes.



Aethereus- Some sweet, sweet ass tech death with prog moments from Tacoma Washington.  Another ridiculous band that the modern day metal hotspot Artisan Era record label has recently signed.  They aren’t totally over the top tech like Brain Dill or the short lived legendary cult tech perfectionists Necrophagist, but blend their sound so smoothly and perfectly.  Great vocals, guitar work and intense drumming will keep you busy for years.  Hail Aethereus!



Ahtme-  My brothers from Kansas City put on a lights out performance in September with Micawber and Lago in Niagara Falls at STAMPS.  Their album “Sewerborn” has been on constant repeat for me.   The band present a great mix of technical death metal and the groovy side of death metal that keep you foaming at the mouth.  They have another album through the original band name “A Roman Holiday” but changed their name in their new journey as Ahtme so technically Sewerborn is their debut album.  I hope you guys love this band as much as I do.  I got a chance to talk with the guys after their set that night…..they’re even cooler and down to earth.  Support this great band!

My personal favorite AHTME rager….great grooves, some technicality….Brent’s voice is awesome on this track.  


Sunless-  If it wasn’t for the previously mentioned Dischordia who talked about these guys, I wouldn’t have known about these lads from Minnesota.  Sunless brings the heavy with extra dissonance, like Gorguts crazy.  Many cool ass rhythms bring this band to life.  They are also recent members of Willowtip Records one of the solid record labels out there! Horns up for SUNLESS!



Decrescent- A killer tech death release from this year from Milwaukee’s finest (quite possibly) was such a great surprise.  As a guitarist I was naturally drawn to that part of the band.  The vocals stuck with me, shortly thereafter.  They’re a great project to write down and keep an ear open for….Blackened Bequest is a great album and hell of a debut. Feast your ears on this one tech trekkers!



Vale of Pnath- A killer, killer tech/progressive death metal band from Colorado slays.  Vance Venezuela has gone through many lineups but has put out some of the most underrated music in the genre(s).  Enjoy this killer band and Vance’s wild shred, it’s one hell of a ride so hold on for dear life!


My favorite Vale of Pnath track….fuck yeah BLACKER THAN!



Now for a few bands from Indonesia…..yeah that’s right.  They really throw the fuck down! Here’s a few bands that will kick your ass.

Neptunus-  For you overdone tech lovers that love Brain Drill with a bit of Rings of Saturn and Necrophagist this is for you sick fucks.  Over the top, heavy, and wild technical death metal to the CORE…seriously.  Dive right into this fucker right NOW.  Product of the great Indonesian extreme label Eastbreath Records!


Wormrot- Okay, they’re from Singapore but they’re pretty close to Indonesia….so I guess it counts? If you like disgusting, heavy and energetic grind core this under appreciated band should get your attention. They can groove the fuck out, and then explode out of nowhere into an obnoxious realm.  They’re very, very awesome.  I have a soft spot for grind core with their heavy ass and fun quick songs….if you can’t appreciate a good grind core quickie then WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?



Cadaver- A disgusting tech death band with death metal roots from the same label as Neptunus brings the heat big time.  Some great grooves, addicting vocals and sweet drumming keep me locked in with this band at least.  These guys have a great future! Check this wild band out!




Okay, now that i’ve verbally wanked off these bands go check them out and their regions! Canada is churning out some great technical and progressive death metal too.  If there’s any other great bands from these areas as well don’t forget to mention them.  I figured I had to write a piece on these killer bands that more people should be familiar with.  Stay Tech my freaks!


Fractal Cypher- Prelude To An Impending Outcome


Prog Melodic Metal outfit Fractal Cypher is releasing an EP “Prelude To An Impending Outcome” November 8th and I have the scoop for the people of the internet right here right now! The Canadian Quintet released their debut album in 2016 “The Human Paradox” and hope to raise the bar yet again.  Fractal Cypher puts up a great effort of establishing a lot of cinematic overtones on the EP and really layer their music masterfully. The music is not overdone to any point, like some progressive bands tend to do.

Fractal Cypher:

Vincent Bruneau (Guitars)
Ludovick Daoust (Keyboards)
Simon Lavoie (Vocals)
Tommy Fradette (Bass)
Steven Cope (Drums)


Prelude To An Impending Outcome:

1. Coming Back To Life
2. The Grandeur Of It All
3. From The Above And To The Stars
4. Red Lady

The keyboards are fairly up front, but not totally in your face regarding the mix.  There are some great occasional keyboard leads that fit the mood perfectly, and aren’t overdone…..some bands tend to overuse keyboards and synthesizers, thankfully this is not the case with Fractal Cypher.  Steven Cope’s performance on drums is an absolute pleasure to listen to on the band’s EP.  In their short time as a band, they have already managed to open up for legendary power metal band Hammerfall and The Agonist as well.

Fractal Cypher is for the prog fan that wants to be wowed with talent and lots of melody and not just showing off…..there is sure a lot of it from Vincent Bruneau on guitar.  The band has seamless transitions and heavily layered songs that will keep you very occupied.  Pick up their EP next Thursday if this is screaming your name.  There are physical and digital copies available as well to preorder.