The trainwreck that is Michael Keene.

Michael Keene of The Faceless has recently opened up about his very obvious problems with drug abuse according to this recent article on metal injection. Did it really have to be publicized? Unless you have lost all of your brain cells, all the hints the last few years have gotten bigger and bigger.  Let’s recall a bunch of those moments, shall we?

  • Cancelled string of tour dates in Australia and New Zealand last year
  • The “missing” gear that was an excuse for those cancelled shows which were possibly sold for narcotics
  • The “flight issues” causing to miss most of those shows and scheduled flights
  • Their tour manager immediately dropping out when all of that Aussie ruckus went down…….makes you scratch your head, doesn’t it?
  • Lack of a PR team on their social media, leading to constant message deleting and Keene even insulting his own fans that have purchased music and merchandise to keep his dream alive
  • Last year’s Summer Slaughter Tour…..well we can just leave it at that.
  • More lineup changes than you can even count in the band’s history
  • Speaking of lineup changes…….where the hell is their bass player? What’s with the backing bass tracks at live shows (the ones they show up to)? That’s bush league!
  • The Faceless released “Becoming A Ghost” and has upcoming tech death giants Inanimate Existence kicked off their album release tour due to false accusations of rape concluded through heresy and Keene’s distaste for their marijuana use……that reeks of irony, no?
  • The false accusations of rape were from a psychotic girl Cameron from IE grew up with who’s pulled this stunt before, and told the drummer of the Faceless then ended up kicking them off their tour
  • The fact the current drummer of the Faceless assumed that girl was telling the truth without letting Cameron initially explain his side of the story or even do some sort of research

 

So……Keene can shoot up all he wants,  smoke as much crack and drink alcohol like water but get pissy over someone’s recreational marijuana use? He takes to social media (remind yourself they have nobody running their pages, and for all you know he could have been higher than a kite) to defend every single one of those instances.  Fans including myself (now former, proudly cancelling my preorder of Becoming a Ghost and showing it on their FB page you can even look at the posts check my screenshots and I also posted a snapshot of listening to Inanimate Existence). I’m pretty sure your fans (whatever ones are left) would be furious at all of these instances of consistently missing a multitude of shows and acting like a child on social media. He isn’t a kid anymore he is in his 30’s, its time to grow up Keene.

Is this where I can throw in the dry joke about Keene of the Faceless trying to save face by admitting his problems? The sad part of this great musician’s downfall is the multitude of talent he wields but the larger ego he doesn’t care to hide.  Check out his interviews…they’re not about the band or whatever poor saps are in his “band” at that moment. It’s all ME, ME, ME. It seems to make sense why so many band members leave sooner than later and he can’t hold a lineup to save his life.

 

So, what now? He released a new album and is trying to bring back his popularity and whatever reputation he has left back to life.  Again, I doubt he’s even thinking of his current bandmates. Keene now is trying to show a mature and understanding side, vouching music being his outlet to express his struggle with drugs.  The way he has handled himself is absolutely embarrassing.

 

There’s two very obvious situations that play out.  He falls flat on his face in a pile of snow…….or he mans up and releases greater music in his newfound sobriety.  I would rather see the latter happen and Michael take charge of his life.  He could then continue to write music, show up to the shows that are booked and gain back the trust of his fans? That would take a lot of effort (including myself) to pull off such a feat and convince everyone that would be behind him.

 

Closely related to this situation is the infamous Blake Judd of his band Nachtmystium.  Blake was in a similar boat but maybe the size of his boat was the Titanic.  He not only robbed his fans of their money for his drug addictions…….but also kept their money and forgot about their orders for I don’t know….like a decade? People never got merchandise or albums they ordered for the longest time because their money was funneled to Judd’s addictions! That caught a lot of heat everywhere and turned into a mess.  The big difference here is Judd brought back his band and was very apologetic.  Unfortunately so far in Nachtmystium’s rebirth it looks like they have only been in California.  He has reached out to fans and publicly stated offering free merchandise and show entry to everyone he has wronged.  Is he perfect? Did he make a mistake? You can’t fault the guy not only apologizing but trying to right his wrongs taking the mature route.  I don’t know how successful he was in this attempt, but anyone who lived in the California area could have some merchandise or a free show entry.  I believe he also had setup an email to deal with those problems and offer refunds.  The fact of the matter of this comparison is Judd admitted his wrongdoings and tried to make it right with his fans.  Maybe Keene should take the same route, and at the same time maybe reach out to Blake and ask for advice.

 

Signed,

A former fan of The Faceless

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Squatch- Jafar’s Calamari Safari

The second album review by TMR…..is the instrumental trio from Buffalo called Squatch!  I love this band and they’re real cool dudes to boot. Wielding a very unusual, mind boggling and memorable album cover your emotions are thrown all over the place on what to expect and a crazy album title.  You already know you’re in for one hell of a ride when theres a photo of sassquatches using humans like a carousel. It’s very safe to say the cover catches your attention before you even get into the music.

Now for the music……one of the many highlights of Squatch is the undeniable chemistry of their rhythm section of their drummer Collin and bassist Erik.  There’s all sorts of slap bass throughout the album and sweet fills he jams between the thunderous drumming of Collin. The diversity of guitarist Jeremy is appealing playing heavy rhythms at one point that perfectly compliment the trio, and then the next moment seamlessly playing licks and leads smoother than butter itself.

To say there is a standout track would be an insult because honestly the whole album flows start to finish with a bunch of mood changes.  The album is clocked in under a half hour with 7 songs.

  1. The Marshall Tucker Program
  2. It All Starts With Socks
  3. Cold Bodies
  4. Pocket Full of Jebidiah
  5. Pasghetti And Beatmalls
  6. Merry Go Round
  7. Pastrami Nipples

The beautiful thing of instrumental bands is not having lyrics! Also, having random song titles that may or may not have anything to do with the theme.  I mean, these song titles make you laugh right? But then you listen to the heaviness of Squatch and it changes everything.  There are lots of unusual effects supplied by Erik and Jeremy that just totally go with the songs especially in “Pocket Full of Jebidiah”.

To label Squatch would be awfully tough.  According to their website they are a progressive hardcore band.  There are many moments throughout the record they are more than either genre.  There are some funk influences, some parts that remind you of Primus, some that are a bit laid back and cleaner and a couple punk rhythms in some of their songs.  They are a truly diverse trio that specializes in groovy rhythms, and very heavy sections as well.  The guys are not afraid to experiment and I am very excited to hear any new music they are working on and what the future holds for the guys in Squatch.

You can check out the band and their music at the following links:

Squatch website

Facebook

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Forever In Transit- States Of Disconnection

Hello people of the internet.  I have yet another post for you all but in the form of an album review! Forever In Transit is a progressive band of local artist Dan Sciolino.  Prodigy might be an understatement.  The guy can drum (real damn good, I have to say), play bass, play a keyboard like a lead guitar, write lyrics and ALSO dabbles on guitar! What can’t this guy do? Honestly, the sky is the limit for Dan. If you’re into Dream Theater and Haken you will love this album.  Future Mike Portnoy without the ego? That might be a bit of stretch for all we know but this record is worthy of serious consideration outside of Western New York.

The album artwork grabs you right away.  It’s very futuristic and focused on layered shapes. It brings you right to the center of attention near the album title. The background is very cool looking as well, adding to the theme of the album and it’s title.  Quoting Dan himself (via the FIT Facebook page) “The album is an attempt to integrate my biggest musical influences, combining disparate forms of music into a unique sound that represents who I am as a composer. The lyrical themes explored on the album deal with connection— how we relate to one another, the world, how we define our identities and the seemingly arbitrary lines that divide.”  It is a deep album with meaning not just another cheesy or goofy progressive offering.

Well, the music for States of Disconnection is insane to say the least.  You can immediately tell a good chunk of his influences right off the bat.  There are moments of fusion, a bit of world influence, and some video game influences for the gamers out there.  There’s a chunk of harmonies all over the place vocally and musically (between guitar and the keyboards as well) it would take a long time to map them all out.  There’s some very good melodies throughout the journey.

The lineup for the album is as follows:

Dan Sciolino – Keyboards, Drums, Bass Guitar
David Dickinson – Vocals
Andrew Huefner – Guitar, Bass Guitar
James Jagow – Guitar
Jeremy Schroeder – Guitar
Dave Scibilia – Guitar
Amanda Terragnoli – Vocals

 

There’s some seriously top notch guitar work on this album which makes guitarists like myself smile ear to ear.  Not only is there plenty of shred in the leads, but there’s lots of feel in the leads.  Too many times there’s lots of generic sweep picking and a race to play as fast as the mighty John Petrucci of Dream Theater.  The gentlemen Dan picked to play guitar on his album did one hell of a job keeping my ears filled with beautiful melodies on their leads, and very good riffs that did not repeat throughout the album.  One great thing I can draw from States Of Disconnection is all the guitar work does not feel repetitive which tends to happen occasionally with some progressive bands.  It’s very diverse and very energetic.

The vocals of Amanda who sang the majority of “Trial By Fire” can not be understated either.  Some vocalists sometimes tend to reach back for way too much but I personally think she did not and added lots of great vibrato that didn’t overshadow the great music. The other vocalist David has an accomplished voice as well.  I have to say I really liked it when he reached back into his gut and put in an energetic yell on “The World That Never Was” (borderline growl for us extreme metalheads) that was equally as heavy as Robb Flynn or Phil Anselmo.  When Dan released that track online and heard it I was thrown off, didn’t expect such a heavy growl it caught me off guard! Both vocalists put in a solid effort and enhance Dan’s music even more.

Dan’s drumming is top notch.  You can’t deny he is one of the best drummers in Western New York.  I initially had the chance of watching him play at last year’s Drummer Showcase at the Evening Star and that’s how we ended up chatting.  He has tasteful fills and very good command of his double bass.  What drew me to his playing was how technical he can get, but knows when to chill out and add some flavor instead of just overplaying to show off. His keyboard playing is so smooth it sounds effortless!  It’s a serious treat and an inspiration to anyone wanting to start drumming look no further than Danny!

 

Overall I’m extremely impressed with not just the music but art as well. I fully believe a great album needs great art to compliment the music. All around this is a top notch album that needs to get out of Buffalo.  I think it could turn heads if put in the appropriate outlets.  I wish him nothing but the best on his artistic journey and what is next for his band.  One off shows? Forming a band to play his music? Either way you should not slack and buy this album as soon as possible if you’re into experimental and progressive music.

 

Forever in Transit links:

Facebook

BandCamp

YouTube

 

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Best Albums and EP’S of 2017

TMR was founded and started in 2018 which means there’s a bit of catching up to do.  I personally believe there were lots of great releases in 2017 so I won’t be limiting my lists. Here are the best full lengths and EP’S of 2017 in alphabetic order.

Best Full Length Albums of 2017

 

  1. Al Joseph- All Of Creation
  2. Alluvial- The Deep Longing For Annihilation
  3. Analepsy- Atrocities From Beyond
  4. Angel Vivaldi- Synapse
  5. Arcadea- Arcadea
  6. Arch Echo- Arch Echo
  7. Archspire- Relentless Mutation
  8. Arkaik- Nemethia
  9. Between The Planets- Of Inner Sight
  10. Black Dahlia Murder- Nightbringers
  11. Broken Hope- Mutilated And Assimilated
  12. Chon- Homey
  13. Contortionist- Clairvoyant
  14. Cytotoxin- Gammageddon
  15. Dario Lorina- Death Grip Tribulations
  16. Dark Matter Secret- Perfect World Creation
  17. Decrepit Birth- Axis Mundi
  18. Divinex- Create. Affect. Repeat
  19. Dying Fetus- Wrong One To Fuck With
  20. Dyscarnate- With All Their Might
  21. Echopraxia- Candle Cove
  22. Enslaved- E
  23. Felix Martin- Mechanical Nations
  24. Fractal Universe- Engram Of Decline
  25. Galactic Empire- Galactic Empire
  26. Hideous Divinity- Adveniens
  27. Immolation- Atonement
  28. Inanimate Existence- Underneath A Melting Sky
  29. Incantation- Profane Nexus
  30. Intervals- The Way Forward
  31. Kennedy Veil- Imperium
  32. Last Of Lucy- Ashvattha
  33. Marty Friedman- Wall Of Sound
  34. Mastodon- Emperor Of Sand
  35. Mendel- Oblivion
  36. Ne Obliviscaris- Urn
  37. Nova Collective- The Further Side
  38. NYN- Entropy: Of Chaos And Salt
  39. Oblivion- The Path Towards
  40. Organectomy- Domain Of The Wretched
  41. Pain Of Salvation- In The Passing Light Of Day
  42. Parasitic Ejaculation- Isolation
  43. Persefone- Aathma
  44. Sarah Longfield- Collapse Expand
  45. Scale The Summit- In A World Of Fear
  46. Squatch- Jafar’s Calamari Safari
  47. Steven Wilson- To The Bone
  48. Suffocation- Of The Dark Light
  49. Vinsta- Wiads
  50. Virulent Depravity- Fruit Of The Poisoned Tree
  51. Wintersun- The Forest Seasons

 

Best EP’S Of 2017

  1. Aborted- Bathos
  2. Among The Sleep- Casket
  3. Cognizance- Ether Of The Void, The Foreboding Impasse (released separately as singles)
  4. Coma Cluster Void- Thoughts From A Stone
  5. Constructs- Shapes
  6. Echopraxia- Pumpkin Palace
  7. Eximpertus- W2246-0526
  8. Ichika- Forn
  9. Incipience- Bloom
  10. Mastodon- Cold Dark Place
  11. Others By No One- Book 1: Dr. Breacher
  12. Scour- Red

 

Honorable Mentions

  1. Decapitated- Anticult
  2. Act Of Defiance- Old Scars, New Wounds
  3. Fleshkiler- Awaken
  4. Gruesome- Fragments Of Psyche
  5. Narcotic Wasteland- Delirium Tremens
  6. Neck Of The Woods- Passenger
  7. Pestilence- Hadeon
  8. Sons Of Apollo- Psychotic Symphony
  9. The Surrealist- Echo End, Lux, Origami (singles released separately)

 

 

2018 Albums To Look Forward To

  1. Obscura
  2. Beyond Creation
  3. Fire Garden
  4. Turning Virtue
  5. Forever In Transit
  6. Between The Buried And Me (technically 2 EP’S)
  7. Alterbeast
  8. Augury
  9. Kataklysm
  10. Ingested
  11. Kamelot
  12. Memoriam
  13. Napalm Death
  14. Rivers Of Nihil
  15. Inferi

 

As you can see there’s lots of albums I truly enjoyed of many facets this past year.  Way too many solid releases to make a top 30, let alone a top 50 list!  Lots of good extreme metal releases as well. There’s plenty that I’m looking forward to as well that I know of so far to be released in 2018.  Leave your comments, opinions or voices of despair.  Even any releases in 2017 that were great that I did not know of feel free to link anything. Thanks for reading!

As the mighty Archspire says…

STAY TECH!

Dave

Welcome! Inspirations, Influences, Ideas and everything in between.

My personal goal for the Technical Music Review is to prominately  promote bands of the technical death metal, progressive metal, progressive rock, jazz, jazz fusion, instrumentalists and instrumental band genres.  Promotions and networking will occur through video and text interviews of local and national (one day, hopefully!) bands and artists, album reviews, concert reviews, and multitudes of different videos.  As an artist and fan I personally enjoy and like bands that have all sorts of stuff going on rather than a simplistic style with generic guitar riffs, lyrics, grooves and very obvious influences.  I like to have a lot my ears can listen to rather than a lot of space in between sections. As seen on our website, my prominent favorite prog band of my generation that got me to dig into the genre deeper past and present is the mighty Opeth.  To me they’re a perfect mix.  The classic era Opeth (Still Life,Deliverance, Blackwater Park, Ghost Reveries) caught me when I saw the music video for The Grand Conjuration. Now I was probably around my early 20’s and was initially into nu metal, 90s hip hop, alt rock and grunge rock some punk before I really branched out to the obscure and experimental big time as I just hit my 30’s. The music video was so messed up and a bit long (5 and a half minutes) with so many mood changes between an odd rhythm constant vocal changing between growls and a whisper layered keyboards instruments tuned to drop D I was in awe and slightly bothered with the creepy video with nasty creatures and a blindfolded man in a wifebeater and slacks it was very unusual. I was even more in awe they made the music video to get some sort of reputation and playtime as I found out the full track is over 10 minutes and 30 seconds! Here’s the video that started my love for this fantastic band…  Opeth- The Grand Conjuration

 

I love their dynamics between the extreme and mellow or experimental in that era, which initially drew me to the band.  My obsession has only grown more and more throughout the years with them.  Mikael’s blend of extreme metal, folk, jazz, pop, rock, prog rock, acoustics and so many subtle influences throughout their catalog of their 20+ year history has influenced me more and more as an artist and music lover. That has changed recently and Mikael in his mid 40’s is losing his growls and sticks to singing on the last 3 Opeth releases which are still fantastic many people don’t like them because of that  yet they all have been fantastic records (Heritage, Pale Communion and Sorceress). People that aren’t artists may not consider how much it hurts vocalists to growl and sing it’s a totally different strain on your voice. Growling more over the years hurts your singing voice, and I think many people would agree (maturely hopefully) that you would rather see Opeth around for another 20 years rather than end abruptly if Akerfeldt lost his voice by age 40. I have discovered lots of bands because of Akerfeldt as well with the millions of interviews he has done over the years.

I want to give the Opeths, Dream Theaters, BTBAMS, Joe Satrianis and Jeff Becks of the whole world a better shot through exposure, conversation and promotion because we all know there are tons of bands that get so much of the limelight.  My goals are pure and dedicated to bringing great music and hard working artists to the forefront hopefully motivating more folks to dive into greater music and exploration of bands that aren’t on different satellite radios and different syndications that aren’t popular.

 

I am a guitarist of 20ish years of many styles.  I have written lots of music of different varieties and lately my instrumental band The Binomial Complex I had going that has gone through the ruffling of some feathers right before we were going to record our debut album. It will remain a studio project in the foreseeable future as my buddy moved to Ohio who was our drummer and the bassist quit shortly thereafter.  The two of us will record the album with some friends of mine who play guitar I  plan on having on some spots throughout the album. 2019 is looking as a foreseeable option for our album to being recording. I also have music for instrumental virtuoso music not just for rock and metal but progressive blues jazz and acoustic styles mixed in as well.  I also have this TMR business I want to start so I have a few things keeping me busy artistically until the Binomial Complex can record it’s debut. The B Complex is my most diversified music I have written since I decided a long time ago to be an artist, not a hobbyist.

 

I hope everyone that gets involved enjoys the website and my opinions not just as a music fan but artistically as well.  Now time for me to work on an article of my favorite releases of 2017.

 

Cheers!

 

Dave