Serpents- The Sunset And The Silhouette

Serpents released a song “The Sunset And The Silhouette” recently from their upcoming third album.  The band is a really avant-garde/slightly prog death metal band.  The vocals are really stellar and consistent, channeling lots of energy and emotion.  The music isn’t technical, but its really moody and kind of atmospheric too.  The occasional keyboards are really sweet displaying the band’s diversity and artistic side.  When they groove, they groove heavy. The drums and bass are absolutely phenomenal. Serpents have a great modern spin on death metal with a little extra added occasional weirdness here and there.  I haven’t listened to their first two albums yet, but the band has my attention now with this ground breaking single.  There’s a lot of layering and fantastic rhythms in this track that keeps me entertained.

If you like your death metal layered, more experimental and guitar leads not overdone to the point its more melodic…..you’ll love Serpents.  It’s great to see more and more bands doing their own thing in extreme metal, with more bands trying something new and not keeping the same wheel rolling.  Serpents has added their own touch in death metal, and I think they stand out.  You’re going to want to keep an eye on this band and see what they have cooked up, as they have Logan Mader recording their upcoming album! You can preorder their album right here. Enjoy the track and music video!

 

Denis Shvarts- Dreamology

 

Dark Matter Secret mastermind Denis Shvarts released his second solo effort “Dreamology”.  It’s a pretty different sound compared to his wildly technical instrumental band, but still has that trademark sound he’s achieved.  His first album “Through The Universe” came out in 2014, but the further I went into “Dreamology” the more I came to the realization it’s more polished.  His debut album was raw, yet still very heavy.  I feel his newer release is well written AND produced, his sound is wider and more melodic than the first album.  This guy is so underrated its sickening, and not many people know of his wild talents on guitar.

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Lineup for “Dreamology”:
Denis Shvarts – Guitars & Music
Pavel Semin – Fretless Bass (Dark Matter Secret, Irreversible Mechanism)

Here’s a playthrough from “Dreamology”.  You’ll see another video below of how his projects differ in sound…..his own moniker is more melodic, a bit less wild and more diverse.  

Shvarts’ playing has caught my eye since I heard his band’s full length “Perfect World Creation” 2 years ago.  He has the talent where he makes music, not boring and annoying shred repeating the same pattern…..OVER, AND OVER.  Denis will surprise you at every chance he gets, and then some.  Give his second album a try, it’s extremely entertaining and a bit jazzy at times.  There’s a rock sound in here, that isn’t obviously present in Dark Matter Secret.  Pavel’s bass playing is absolutely flawless.  The two of them have a great chemistry and understand each other PERFECTLY.

And here’s the mighty Dark Matter Secret.  You can tell the total difference in sound right away…..much more technical, heavier, extreme and the rhythms are more complex and weirder than his solo project.  Either band is a stellar choice, but both don’t necessarily sound the same.

“Dreamology” is out now and available on his bandcamp.  It will eventually be on the Apple platforms sooner than later.  Check out the album below! Enjoy this amazing piece of music!

Wounds Self Titled EP

Chicago based technical death metal group Wounds recently released their self titled EP and since I’ve seen it in many places on the deep dark web…..I think its time to promote it.  After seeing some people share it around and even more in groups…..I think it’s a perfect time to listen to this beast a few times through.  Yeah….it’s a beast.  The Warforged guys were one of the first I saw the link for Wounds, and then more people starting promoting the band.  Let me tell you, it was worth checking out to say the least.  They have enough technicality to keep your ears entertained, but are laid back enough to where they just rip some serious groove.  It’s quite a ride!

WOUNDS: 

Red “David Lee Roth” Beard- Vocals
Rick Mora- Guitar
Franco Caballero- Bass
Nate Burgard-  Drums

The drums are absolutely powerful, and as up front as could be in the mix without dominating it too much.  Nate’s fills are so sweet they never get old and as I type this is my 3rd time through they’re as nasty as they were the first listen!  The vocals have a great mix of all 3 low mid and high ranges, very impressive.  The string work on both guitar and bass are absolutely brutally devastating.  The riffs are so disgusting, but get tech enough to where Rick isn’t repeating the same style and pattern to the point it bores you.  His riffs are varied and tasty, NOT repetitive and bland.  Franco’s bass just adds to the sound attack that is Wounds.

For a new band I just heard about, damn am I impressed.  But looking back and facebook creeping them they were originally called “Wounds Of Ruin” in 2006.  They did play with Dying Fetus in 2012, so there’s their technical metal credentials. Wounds has a massive wall of sound, where I believe they bridge the late 90’s/2000’s tech heads to the newer wave of the 2010 technical metal fans.  And again to repeat, they have enough of it to interest your average metalhead……which is the obvious and very valid complaint of people not into technical metal. Some say its overdone, which is very provable and plausible….there’s some bands I don’t listen to because there isn’t some form of songwriting it’s like its 5 musicians practicing! In this case however, Wounds is NOT in that mix….and have 5 great songs you can check out below.  Keep your ears open and stay tech!

The Ritual Aura Official Premiere Of New Song “Elysian Flesh-Divinity”

How fitting that TMR’S 300th article is a premiere from an amazing band?! No disrespect to the awesome music I’ve premiered before, I didn’t know of those bands before we communicated.  This instance however…..I’ve been following The Ritual Aura shortly after the debut was released and have an emotional connection and already know the band.  I am extremely honored and excited with permission from the guys to premiere their first single from their upcoming album “Velothi” titled “Elysian Flesh-Divinity”.  The Ritual Aura still bring the heat, don’t worry people.  And how freaking sweet is that we got this track, just in time for their monthly artist showcase for this month? Dumb luck I gotta say, but awesome! What I dig about the band is their personal will, and listening to their own artistic desires and what to write…..their guitarist Levi personally told me that “this album has been no-rules so far as writing goes”.  Well hot dang, are they EVER accomplishing that.

Maybe you all might give them the Irreversible Mechanism treatment, but open your ears and minds people.  It took me a few listens to come around to “Immersion”, and to understand their sound and mission as artists.  I love “Infinite Fields”, but the second album is a different sound I legit had to “immerse” (HA HA) myself in it and be taken away figuratively to another world.

In regards to The Ritual Aura, it’s not as “tech” as their previous work….but I’ll be damned. It’s a progressive, melodic adventure with SO MANY LAYERS! Strings, singing, and shredly guitar work from their amazing duo.  There’s a bit of black metal influence here channeling their inner Immortal or Dissection and that raw black metal sound Opeth had on their first 3 albums.  I love it, because it’s different.  TRA never had a black metal sound I’ve seriously noticed until now…..and I love it.  I didn’t need a few listens to enjoy the new song…..I think it was a great change in pace from their wildly technical sound, and something more melodic with some black metal and strings mixed in for a wild song.  I hope you all enjoy the track as much as I did!

 

 

Try Something New Thursday 2-14-19

Hello people! We’re back with more bands and more wacky fun with our second edition of “Try Something New Thursday” on this Valentines Day Edition! We have some sweet stuff lined up for you all today enjoy! We have more progressive and instrumental bands this time around, but don’t worry there’s a few banging death metal bands for you extreme metal lovers to check out.  You can check out the other bands from our previous installment right here.

SPIRITUAL DECEPTION

This newer death metal band really grooves hard…..and they just released their first music video.  Their upcoming EP “Etemenanki” is their second so far, and have a lot of potential.  Their vocalist is awesome, some great groovy guitar riffs and handsome rhythms backed up by the rhythm section.  I love their latest song “Malum”.  Check out the track and their first EP while you wait for “Etemenanki”!

 

CULT OF LILITH

This death metal band adds a little technicality to their sound and still hit hit heavily.  The Icelandic band has crafted a spectacular sound and really peaked our interest to say the least.  Great vocals, guitar work, and the ever changing rhythms fuel the attack of Cult Of Lilith.  Try this band for size if you want something awesome!

TURNING VIRTUE

Turning Virtue is one of Buffalo’s best hidden gems not enough people know about.  The long time progressive rock band released a spectacular album a few years ago “A Temporary Human Experience” and are currently working on a follow up album as they’ve been promoting the heck out of their last release.  Their frontman Davey K also recorded a solo acoustic album and is releasing the EP shortly, you can check out a track from that upcoming acoustic effort here.  The band disbanded in the 90’s at one point, and came back with ATHE with fresh material and a new vision.

 

 

FIRE GARDEN

Fire Garden is a progressive rock/art/metal band by Zee Baig out of Chicago.  The band has put out an EP “Prelude Of Colors” and LP “Sound Of Majestic Colors” before unleashing their groundbreaking album “Far And Near” in 2016.  I had the privilege of checking out Fire Garden a few years ago when they came around to Niagara Falls at the Evening Star with Tiles and the previous band Turning Virtue.  Zee is a pretty stellar guitarist, and also recorded vocals on “Far And Near”.  The latest full length really cemented the band in today’s progressive scene and Zee has been tirelessly working on new music.  We’re pretty excited for the follow up, maybe 2019 brings a new single from the upcoming album? Let’s wait and see. He had a cast of guest appearances featuring Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) on keyboards for “Life of a Drifter”, Jimmy Keegan of Spock’s Beard performing all the drums on the album, Bruce Soord (Pineapple Thief) mixing the album and the artwork completed by the legendary Travis Smith.  You know it’s a solid album if this stellar group of artists decide to stamp their name on this record. In the meantime, blast “Far And Near” right below.

OTHERS BY NO ONE

Dave has been following this progressive metal band since their EP “Part 1: The Book Of Dr. Breacher”.  This band combines progressive elements with rock, sporadic jazz sections and is awfully tight.  The guys released a single recently “Oni-Chan!” an obvious tribute to anime the moment you see the single photograph.  Others By No One really went even further outside the box adding some growls and blast beats to their expansive and wacky sound.  What really is awesome about this newer band is their spontaneity and unpredictable nature if you’re not familiar with them.  The guitar work, drums and bass are so versatile it’s mind blowing.  The vocals are so cool consisting of a wide range. Others By No One has found a great sound. The band has put together great music that should be reached to broader audiences.  Check out “Oni-Chan!” below!

SHROUD RITUAL

Here’s some smashing instrumental progressive extreme metal done all by one man…Patrick.  The debut album “Five Suns” is a 7 track trip through insanity that any prog fan of the extreme realms will definitely enjoy if you’re into the instrumental world.  It’s a damn fine piece of music, with a classic blackened touch to his music on top of it all.  He is working on new music last time I knew in November of 2018, but you can listen to the debut right below.  Enjoy metalheads!

ECHOPRAXIA

This instrumental prog metal/gypsy jazz studio project grabbed Dave’s attention with the debut EP “Candle Cove”.  The wild guitar melodies, riffs, and djenty breaks make for a seriously fun time traveling through the world of Echopraxia. The band also released a Halloween themed EP titled “Pumpkin Palace” in 2017, which was pretty creepy. Are there any more offerings in the works? We don’t know. But it’s a great project for guitar nerds, Meshuggah and djentlemen.  Check out the band’s music right below! Don’t be a bitch and buy the music.

DARK MATTER SECRET

Denis Shvarts is the mastermind behind his technical/progressive death metal instrumental band Dark Matter Secret…..and so is his wildly talented bassist Pavel Semin who also plays in the vastly talented tech/prog death band Irreversible Mechanism.  He released his second full length album under his own name this past monday the 11th titled “Dreamology”.  It’s a ripper, like his debut album.  A bit less wild and more melodic than Dark Matter Secret.  DMS has a lot of odd rhythms, sweet clean sections and tons of amazing guitar work with a killer bassist that backs him up the whole time.  It just proves Shvarts is a wildly talented and diverse musician, which we already knew…..but not enough people know of.  Oh, and Dark Matter Secret is signed to The Artisan Era as well. Check out his new album “Dreamology” and Dark Matter Secret’s album “Perfect World Creation” below!

#Vickspicks
OSSUARY ANEX

Probably my favourite brutal death band from Russia, I was introduced to them when I caught wind of them on a sweet tour going through Europe last year. With Devangelic, Antropofagus and Relics of Humanity filling the rest of the bill, I knew I would be in for a treat with whatever Ossuary Anex had in their arsenal. And I was not in the least bit disappointed. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you’re into any of the bands listed above, you won’t be either. I promise.

Last Of Lucy’s Brandon Millan drops drum playthrough for “Advertent Avidity”

The Last Of Lucy’s drummer Brandon Millan released a playthrough for the band’s song “Advertent Avidity” off their latest album “Ashvattha”.  The band is working on recording new material, but that’s all we can find for now…..but at least we know the wild band is working on new music! His drum work is an absolute pleasure and got to see the band live last summer, and can confirm his insanity on the kit.  Enjoy the playthrough and don’t forget to keep tabs on the band with their eventual new music!

Equipoise release “Waking Divinity” Guitar and Bass Playthrough

It’s no secret to the metal world Nick doesn’t tour…..but his bandmates Phil Tougas (guitar) and Hugo Doyon-Karout (bass) have time to do an Equipoise playthrough of “Waking Divinity”!  You shouldn’t be shocked at the wizardly fret work of both players, always worth seeing such wild songs translated to a playthrough is always mesmerizing…..and that’s what these lads just did.  The real question is……where’s Nick? Is he in the back of a dumpster at Chili’s again? It’s HIS band…..why isn’t he in his OWN videos? He started the band…..he doesn’t know his own songs? What the heck? Anyways, check out the amazing playthrough video below courtesy of their label The Artisan Era.  Maybe if Nick toured, he would be in his own band’s playthrough videos…..maybe.

 

In Asymmetry “Edge Of Divergence” Official Guitar Playthrough Premiere

My buddy Victor of In Asymmetry has recorded a great play through of “Edge Of Divergence”.  It’s a serious treat for you guitar wielders out there, with his wild technique and style that’ll woo you for days on end.  The band is working on even more new music for a full length that will be done well…..whenever.  He caught my ears with the two song demo including this song and “The Transcendence”.  He also has stick player Darren Joy playing bass in the band.  Check out the play through and pay attention to their label Eastbreath Records as well who’s signing some great bands including In Asymmetry. Enjoy people!

Brave The Waters January/February 2019 Interview

I interviewed Rick from Brave The Waters about the band and a few other things.  Their second effort Chapter II- Days Of Solitude was just released, you people need to check it out if you’re into atmospheric psychedelic instrumental music.  They’re different, and I mean that in a good way.

TMR: Explain how your band started. What motivated you guys?

Tom and I are in two other bands together. Those bands had a monthly rehearsal room for a short time in 2014. I don’t remember how it exactly happened, but I think we were fucking around with our pedals one night after practice and just playing some clean, trippy shit, and it sounded cool. We put together some blueprints for songs and then quickly went into the studio to record them. 

TMR: I understand you guys play in other bands. Explain the sound and history of them.
Grey Skies Fallen has been around since 1997. We started out a year previously, under the name Eve of Mourning and released a demo tape under that name. Once we heard there was another Eve of Mourning, we quickly changed the name to Grey Skies Fallen. Over the years, we’ve released a lot of albums and EP’s, and recently completed recording the new album, “Cold Dead Lands,” which will be out later this year. This will be the first time we have worked with Dan Swano, who will be mixing and mastering the new album. 
In 2012 I joined Buckshot Facelift. Sal, who plays drums in GSF had been in Buckshot since they started in 2005. Tom plays bass in Buckshot, and my tryout was the first time we met. Right before I joined the band, they were releasing their third full length album “Elder’s Rasp.” We played a bunch of shows in support of that album, and quickly put together “Living Ghosts of the North Shore,” which was the 2014 EP, and the first with myself and Terrell Grannum on guitar. Terrell is also in Thaetas, who are awesome. In 2016 we released the “Ulcer Island” full length. This was a 40+ minute slab of grindy death metal which we are very proud of.  
In early-2013, Tom joined Grey Skies on bass and we released “The Many Sides of Truth” in 2014, followed by the “Earthwalker” 7″ inch in 2015.
TMR: What made you guys want to start this type of atmospheric and melodic band?
I think it was purely accidental. We were just screwing around with some effects pedals one night and it evolved from there. We got some weird sounds going and it sounded cool enough to pursue. With the first album, we jammed maybe once with a few ideas we had already in mind, and then we went right into the studio to record. 
TMR: Who are your biggest artistic influences now and who influenced you starting out as an artist?
Well, according to Spotify, my top 5 most-listened-to bands last year were Iron Maiden, Camel, Nightingale, Desultory, and Death. If you look at the new GSF album which we just finished recording, it’s a good mix of all those influences, I think. Growing up back in the 80’s and getting into guitar in 1989, it was Metallica, Maiden, Helloween, Megadeth, Overkill, Zeppelin, Sabbath, etc. 
TMR: Explain your choice to go instrumental. Do you think your music is best portrayed instrumentally? Would it not achieve the same effect if there was a vocalist?

This band wouldn’t be the same with vocals. Once or twice, one of us mentioned “do you think maybe there can be a vocal here…?” but it always gets immediately shot down. This project is all about an escape from reality, and putting the listener at ease and in another place for a half hour or 40 minutes at a time. I think vocals would screw that up in this particular instance. 
TMR: Explain the album theme, artwork and title.
We try to tell a story without words. We want the songs to flow together seamlessly to paint a picture in the listeners mind. It’s up to you to conjure up the emotions that go along with the music. It’s a custom experience. Travis Smith handled the artwork for this, as he did the first album. The work he does for this project is among my favorite stuff he’s done, and I’m a huge fan! The cover depicts a previously-abandoned cabin the the middle of the woods. It is now occupied by someone who wants to be left alone with his thoughts. 
TMR: How did you guys come up with the name Brave the Waters?
I just blurted it out when we were brainstorming for a band name. Always found it to be an interesting phrase. 

TMR: Is it just album based or do you guys want to get a band out to play shows?
Right now we are just recording records. We’d like to get started on the next one very soon. However, if something really interesting came along, I’d be down to trying this in a live setting, for sure. It would have to be an ideal situation, I think. 

Equipoise- Demiurgus

The metal community is always keen to talk about emerging “super groups”, but frequently pass over Equipoise, comprised of some of the underground’s technical elite.  By the grace of the metal gods, mastermind Nick Padovani (Virulent Depravity, Kossuth) has managed to recruit a league of truly extraordinary gentlemen; Chason Westmoreland (ex- Hate Eternal, Burning the Masses) anchors the rhythms with his incredible drumwork, Hugo Doyon-Karout (Beyond Creation, Brought by Pain) contributes all of those sultry but complex basslines, and Steve Boiser (Inferi, Tethys, Ashen Horde) offers a stunning rage of vocals. And of course, the techdeath triforce of guitarists, Phil Tougas (First Fragment, Cosmic Atrophy, Chthe’illest), Sanjay Kumar (Wormhole, Perihelion) and Nick himself.  Jimmy Pitts (NYN, Eternity’s End) also makes a very huge effort on keyboards and synth for the album.  

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Alchemic Web of Deceit and Waking Divinity are just two of the singles released so far, be sure to check those out while you’re reading through this- that way you’ll have a much better idea of what we’re talking about here.

(And yes, this is another co review between Vick and Dave! TECH TEAM POWERS ACTIVATE!)

So, where to begin? We’re gonna go on a huge limb and say this is one of the bigger releases of the year.  We don’t deny or ignore the band’s talents… we just didn’t know it would be THIS PERFECT. Equipoise is just another huge reason why The Artisan Era is the best up and coming record label (ran primarily by both guitarists Malcom Pugh and Mike Low of Inferi.)

And I think that’s one of my favourite things about this project; everyone brings in such an incredible amount of musical prowess, albeit their own flavour, that it’d be damn near impossible to adequately fill the shoes any one of these dudes would leave behind. 

The production is crisp and clean, but not overproduced; each instrument is adequately audible throughout the course of Demiurgus‘ fourteen tracks.  However, don’t think for a second that it’s crispness will make it easier to digest. Even listening to this for the n-teenth time, I am still pretty overwhelmed by the sheer amount of *stuff* that’s going on. And it’s over an hour long; ye of short attention span needn’t tread here. Sure, each track is outstanding on their own, but one must listen to the whole thing to really grasp the brilliance of the entirety. This record was certainly written with a very specific demographic in mind, and Demiurgus leaves me questioning my position in said demographic.

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From Nick himself; listen to the man, he knows a few things about jamming stuff.

I’ve noticed in my tenure in the death metal scene that bass tends to get buried beneath endless guitar riffs and solos, and the bassist ekes on as the unsung hero of the project. But man, you’d have to be out of your mind to want to bury any of Hugo’s bass lines. And though we have ourselves three stellar guitarists, I find that Hugo’s parts in the mixes are often more prominent than the guitar work in a lot of the tracks.  But here’s not to say that he is the focal point of Demiurgus; he is just one out of many, many focal points. 

Every string player has a lead, and takes full sonic advantage of their moments.  The melodies present on the record are absolutely mind blowing.  The classical guitar passages between every few songs are really, really awesome. They offer a brief respite from the absolute barrage of complexities and intricacies that the rest of the album offers.  

Steve’s voice really cuts through on the record, I gotta say.  He’s very up front, and I sure as hell don’t mind it. Initially, I was unsure how I felt about his vocal style, but I’ve come to appreciate what he brings to the table. He has a solid range, never staying with one tone too long. His voice really brings this band together, no lie.

Nick has done a stellar job of layering his songs….especially on “Dualis Flamel”.  Not just that wild guitar solo section the middle….but very present keyboards (thanks to Pitts), which is sweet.  And, the leads are pretty good! When the keys aren’t too busy shredding, they add a lot to the atmosphere and melody of the Equipoise songs creating a more than unique atmosphere for a technical death metal band. 

There are so many guitarists I can barely differentiate them all, being there’s like 10 on the record. I’m pretty sure every guitarist in the band had a lead in the solo section for “Dualis Flamel” the whole song is a wild adventure. Nick really worked hard on the album and his hard work payed off recruiting some of the genre greats who respect and enjoy his music. He’s gotten his band off the ground and with such a great start only makes you wonder how great the second album will be. The melody in the leads are a beautiful touch, everyone wasn’t shredding faces every lead they had. There’s plenty of melody and feel to go around for days that’ll motivate any guitarist to practice their craft more.

Chason’s drums are extremely impressive on the album.  Do I expect any less from a solid drummer? No, but it’s great to hear.  Gotta give lots of props to guy who has to change speeds a lot and play really, really fast fills in such a wild sound like Equipoise.

We don’t really know what else people expect from a technical death metal band, but Equipoise really brought their A game here big time.  Everyone made a stellar effort, and are really gonna turn some heads here.  If they didn’t make a mark with their EP… well this should definitely do it with Demiurgus.  

Though I am a sucker for longer tracks to immerse myself in, I think I can safely say that my favourite track is “Suit of My Flesh”.  I think it’s the heaviest out of the fourteen tracks, and I can’t help but be pulled in by that opening riff. When you hear it, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. One does not simply turn on this song and instantly headbang. “Ouroboric” is a pretty close second, another perfect example that heaviness doesn’t need to be sacrificed for beauty to be incorporated. 

Demiurgus is out March 8, via The Artisan Era. Do yourself a favour and jam those singles, and then jam Equipoise’s EP, Birthing Homunculi. And then read what Nick had to say about the record. And then hop aboard the hype train, we’ll see you aboard. We will update you on the status of Equipoise’s 2019 tour as the information is released. 😉