Thomas Gerwitz- Another Place In Time

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Tom is a progressive rock artist out of Buffalo, New York.  He has released a full length album “Blackwell” before this EP was recently released. I’ve followed his progress initially through his progressive death metal band Eira which is awesome by the way.

He has come a long way as an artist, vocally especially.  To be honest, like any artist we learn from mistakes and valuable lessons along the way……there’s much worse singers out there and wasn’t the greatest to begin with.  After the Era EP and full length I noticed on “Blackwell” his voice got much better and his ear for melody was improving.  His vocals sounded much richer and pronunciations were a big improvement compared to previous offerings.  There’s lots of great music along the way, as well.  Blackwell was very progressive as well, but definitely heavier.  It had some cool guitar riffs and very melodic leads along with very cool artwork.  This time around though, it was a lot mellower and acoustically dominated with some electric guitar thrown in here and there.  I personally love the added keyboard and synth patches that enhance the moods at times.

Another Place In Time is a standout release for Tom, and clocks in just around 31 minutes for the three songs “Nostalgia”, “Naissance” and “Nadir” in that exact order.  It’s well written EP all around.  Everyone can only hope he keeps continuing on the same path, and even getting better along the way.  Maybe he can put a band together and play some shows? Maybe Eira can come back from the dead as well?

You can listen to all of Tom’s music on his Bandcamp…..after you listen, don’t be a jerk and buy the music.

Also, you can go to the Eira Bandcamp to listen to their music…….and then buy it……wink, wink 😉

 

Who knows what the future holds.  All I know is that it is very bright.

Pestilent Reign- Pyres

Pestilent Reign is a technical/groove death metal band from Germany.  “Pyres” is slated to be released on March 16th with two EP’s to the band’s credits.   The debut full length is extremely important to a new band but in this case is extremely groundbreaking.  Pyres starts out with a line from Alex Jones….you know it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

The technicality from Pestilent Reign is downright filthy…..like Dying Fetus groovy. This is not an exaggeration.  The guitar work is out of this world……a great mix of heavy rhythm and melody.  It isn’t too fancy, and far from boring…..it should make any guitarist smile ear to ear.  The drumming is very heavy and straightforward.

Gutter’s Filth

The theme and lyrics behind the album are very generic yet very real.  The band’s goal was to expose human idiocy, religious bigotry and injustice…..all 3 very real issues in this world.  Can you blame someone being fed up with such travesties? Not at all.  I think it’s fresh to see popular issues in this world talked (growled, in this case) about in the extreme world rather than random grotesque unimportant song titles.

Martyr

Pestilent Reign is here to melt faces and make your necks hurt for days on end.  Pyres is a stellar debut and only can go up from here.  There is untapped and unlimited potential in this band.  The vocalist seems to have unlimited energy…..the whole band itself is relentless.  If you don’t get a shot of adrenaline from this band then you must definitely be of another planet.

I hope you enjoy the two songs and preorder the album before its release date.  It would mean a lot to the guys especially starting out.  Any bands sales in their first week are important to a new release…..don’t wait and get your hands on this record ASAP.

Rising Nemesis Records Store: http://risingnemesisrecords.bigcartel.com/product/pestilent-reign-pyres-cd-pre-order
Bandcamp: https://risingnemesisrecords.bandcamp.com/album/pyres
iTunes    https://apple.co/2CMcFPW
Apple Music    https://apple.co/2CObAY3
AmazonMP3    http://amzn.to/2CVtM21
Google Play    http://bit.ly/2CKI4AS
iTunes Pre-Order Link    https://apple.co/2CMcFPW
Apple Music Pre-Order Link   https://apple.co/2CObAY3
https://www.facebook.com/Pestilentreign/
https://pestilentreign.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/RNRecords/
https://risingnemesisrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://risingnemesisrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/rebirththemetalproductions/
https://rebirththemetalproductions.bandcamp.com/

 

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Between The Buried & Me- Automata

 

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Between The Buried and Me have released another spectacular piece of music titled “Automata” an EP.  The rumor has it there is more on the way, the other half to be released around summertime this year.  BTBAM has never disappointed and has only evolved every album they have progressed.  Since the “Parallax” series and the last full length “Coma Ecliptic” the band has progressed into a greater understanding of melody, more singing and more experimentation.  BTBAM has been always very heavy, but lately tailed off in that sense and added many more keyboard and synthesizer parts.  More acoustic and clean guitar tones occasionally, and some string work and more singing as well.  The band can not do any wrong…..but what brought a smile to my face was the heaviness that hasn’t really been around the infamous “Colors” and “Alaska” era…..the heaviest of the heavy for the North Carolina gentlemen.

BTBAM is the epitome of modern day progressive metal, and in general one of the best storytellers lyrically and musically which enhances the stories being told.  They have taken a liking to concept albums starting with the aforementioned “Parallax” EP and full length continuing with “Coma Ecliptic”. Lyrically it seems with “Automata” there is another concept about dreaming and reality.  They are not a dull band and wow you more than just musically there’s some cool vocal melodies, lyrical themes and melodies as well.

Automata is not a departure of any sorts.  Some fans may not be happy with the experimentation they have been doing on the last few releases, but whats the point of releasing the same material every time? Automata is a great start to hopefully the other half is just as promising.  There’s great drumming, bass lines and guitar duals all over the new album.  I can’t honestly say enough good things about Automata.

 

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Æpoch Song Premeire

Æpoch is a technical death metal band from Canada that is releasing its debut album “Awakening Inception” on Friday April 13th. The band released its first single from the album today titled “Tabula Rasa”.

So many great progressive and technical death metal bands are coming out of the great white north…..is that a new trend? If this single doesn’t convince you to preorder their debut album, well then…..what is there to say? Enjoy this shredly single from Æpoch.

Tabula Rasa

Pre-orders for Awakening Inception can be found at the following links:
https://aepochmetal.bandcamp.com/​
http://aepochmetal.bigcartel.com/

Æpoch: 
Greg Carvalho – Drums (Brazen Bull, ex Ostium Nex, live for Becomes Astral)
Brett MacIntosh – 5 string Fretless Bass / Lead Vocals (Brazen Bull)
Kyle Edissi – Guitar / Backing Vocals (on “Time: Perspective” & “The Expiration”) (Invicta, Raider)
Taylor Wroblewski – Guitar (Brazen Bull)

www.facebook.com/AepochMetal
https://www.youtube.com/user/AepochMetal
https://www.instagram.com/AepochMetal/
https://twitter.com/AepochMetal

Augury- March 2018 Interview

The first ever completed interview for Technical Music Review was conducted with Canadian Technical Death Metal wizards Augury.  The band is promoting their upcoming release “Illusive Golden Age”.  The band has had two prior releases to their upcoming release…..”Concealed” in 2004 and “Fragmentary Evidence” in 2009.

TMR: How was the songwriting different for Illusive Golden Age compared to Fragmentary Evidence or Concealed?

(Patrick Loisel- Vocals and Guitar) 

It wasn’t that different. We used the same ingredients and strategies, but perhaps in different proportions. We mostly write arrangements over each other’s riffs, that unless the composer has a specific harmony in mind or else. We don’t come with sheet music and go “Play this!”. Each song had its own modus operanti when it comes to composition. 
Some songs were written live in rehearsals, some others were studio work, you really have every way possible.


TMR: What is the meaning behind your band name?

I was inpired by some texts about the Salem Witch Trial, and then people with unusual insight or knowledge would be rounded up and accused with the “felony of augury”. Basically it means “forbidden knowledge’ It also means foreseeing the future from signs in nature but the prediction side of it came by accident; still it fits nonetheless. On previous albums, I hinted at the fact that history repeats. 
I went full force with this one. I happen to be a historian, and it’s a bit like a weather forecast but for human behaviour. We have patterns that keep returning, so we can sometimes predict how thing will go.

TMR: There were huge gaps between your albums….you guys didn’t have a drummer for a while. Did any of you feel down or felt like the band may have been done?

We all had our downs and everybody once left, but not simultaneously, and everybody ended coming back. We simply love this band too much and, most important, we were friends prior to its inception. The one thing that was harsh was the pressure to tour circa 2008-2010 and the ensuring financial and personnal recovery. We all moved several times, re-located the studio many times, lost data, got anything beside a nuclear war! We are also extremely busy.

TMR: How tough is it to carry on artistically and chemistry wise as a band with many lineup changes? It took a while to find stability in your lineup.

We kept rebulding it relentlessly, and it wasn’t that much of a problem since we stayed within the same bunch of friends. We only ditched the opera vocals after the first album;if you take a look at the rest, it’s the same instrumentalists, only Antoine recorded the drums rather than Etienne on this one. Antoine and Etienne are friends; when we had Seb and Chris on bass in 2010, Forest helped them with the songs, family stuff. What gave this impression is that we had a different touring rhythm section for each of our 09-10 tours, but that was the situation then. The three original composers are back together, so everything resumed naturally.

TMR: There’s a very original sound here…..some bands in the technical death metal and progressive death metal genres tend to sound similar. How do you guys keep on that path of originality? It’s very unique.

Thank you!! Well, it’s funny, and perhaps it’s the actual reason…we play what we like and don’t do it on purpose to sound “technical death metal”, and I actually don’t listen to it much. I am a black metal freak, I love Portal and post-black metal and some ethnic stuff. On the other hand I love Babymetal and Banghra pop music from India! The other members exhibit a similar dichotomy in musical choices, and each of us could go for long with contradictory tastes. The technical death metal we initially listened to the most when we started was French band Symbyosis, Anata and lots of local bands such as Obliveon , Gorguts, Cryptopsy and Martyr.

TMR: How did you score one of the best bass players in the scene in Dominic? You guys know you have a tech death prodigy in your band…..right? Haha

Forest is a founding member of Augury and our original bass player since the beggining back in 2002. We actually met 20 years ago and I remember seeing him live with one of his old bands in the mid 90’s. He came back, but everyone talks like if he joined for the very first time. That is hilarious! We did score him…before everyone else! 
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TMR: What feels different this time around with “Illusive Golden Age” compared to your first two albums in general? Writing style, production, producers, different recording style or technology…..anything applies. 
(Patrick- Vocals and Guitar)
We wrote pretty much the same way than with the two others ; I would say that ”Illusive”  sits halfway between both since we wanted a more organic production and perhaps more gloomy ambiances. One big difference is that we recorded it ourselves. Antoine recorded the drums at his studio and Mat recorded everything else with me handling the comp while Mat was recoding his parts. Thus I learned ”space bar…3”! But actually I couldn’t turn on Pro-Tools. Mat had to show me.
Mat and myself even built an isolated booth to prevent my vocals from scaring neighbours!
TMR: Have you guys learned anything from your first two albums and recording your latest full length?
Personnaly I would say that we learned to turn our backs from pressures and standards, and do things our way. It is the first album where I am fully satisfied with every detail and have no regrets. And I mean it’s like my 10th recording and I am in my late-40’s!!!  We once got imposed a mastering that we disliked, and image that wasn’t us, covers that had nothing to do with the lyrical content.  Another thing was that being realistic, and stopping to pretend we could live off music one day was kind of liberating. I feel bad for those bands who have to pump out new songs in order to have new material because a tour is coming, or who have to alter their songwriting to fit into a trend. Those days are over.
TMR: You were on Nuclear Blast at one point I saw…..big metal label.  What happened? If you feel comfortable answering this….if not you guys can skip this question.
Well the American side of it treated us very well and did their best to help. Sadly, the main entity in Europe saw us as lesser priority. When we started with them it was all about being squeezed in a mold and getting pressures to drop everything in order to tour all the time. I was shopping for a house, I was about to get married etc. and got told to forget all about it since I will tour all year long. My other commitments were disregarded as childish tantrums and everything crumbled… I still pay debts from the 2009 tours. Luckily I was able to start over and resume my teaching career. Lots of people would have quit being in this situation in their 20’s, I was 40! The fact that I still do music nowadays have people scratch their heads. Stubborn is my middle name!
TMR: How do you guys like The Artisan Era so far? I wrote a feature on them recently and I love a lot of the bands they signed…..and you guys are no exception.
Well, this is like night and day. Specifically, I am an artisan myself (build custom guitars at home) and I just dig the overall attitude and values. The staff and associated bands are cool and funny, whatever I can glimpse from that bunch makes me want to take a plane and go party with them.  They are into content rather than pompous gimmicks. I am out of words to say it properly but it’s like that label was made for us.
TMR: Do you guys have any shows coming up to support Illusive Golden Age? 
First we do Eastern Canada in April and May. Then we will see what is within reach for short stints since we are not available for long tours since we are still solidifying our professional situations. We will see if in the future if we can make ourselves available a bit longer. Fact is : The less pressure we put on ourselves over this, the more likely it will happen.
TMR: If any of you have any other projects or art you want to promote feel free to link them here and chat about them here.
Mathieu is about to finish a new Humanoid album that took him years to record. It’s like a monument of a billion tracks. Forest and Antoine are involved in enough band to fill a top 10. As for myself, I wrote a small book to explain the obscure references behind the lyrics. I am also training on drums and intend to record a few solo albums in the next few years. I save my guitar ideas for Augury, so whenever I play with someone else it’s always on drums. I also wrote a few drum parts on ”Illusive” and filmed myself with a cellphone to show them to Antoine. He took it to another level, like you give him a kite and he makes a space shuttle out of it. BTW Antoine also plays additionnal solos on the album. He totally outshines me as a soloist!
Here are a few tracks the band have put online before Illusive Golden Age is released.  If you haven’t preordered already, you should stop slacking and get on it. Enjoy these killer tracks. This album is set to release officially on March 30th.
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Start The Reactor

Start The Reactor is an experimental math core band from Albany, NY.  The motto for TMR is promoting the obscure and original……well STR definitely fits that category, and isn’t for everyone.  There’s all sorts of cool rhythms, odd effects, technicality, unusual vocals, experimentation and killer grooves all around……

I have to say theres all sorts of things for an oddball of a band.  This isn’t just another filler metal band, its awfully original and sets them apart from many bands.  All sorts of crushing breakdowns and guttural vocals are scattered throughout their songs.  They’re a very chaotic band, which is very good in this case.  There’s all sorts of dissonance that only add to the chaos of Start The Reactor.

There’s moments where they sound like the Dillinger Escape Plan’s cousin, and then the next moment a groovy Meshuggah inspired riff.  They have two sets of recorded demos to listen on their bandcamp website.  Time will tell what this crazy yet controlled band has in store for everyone.  STR is a very punishing and brutal band, to say the least.

Start The Reactor has a show at the end of March on the 24th if you live in the Albany, New York region.

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Turning Virtue- March Featured Band Of The Month!

Technical Music Review will be featuring a band or artist of the month selected at random.  Progressive rock outfit Turning Virtue has received the nomination for our first ever featured artist of the month! They are based out of Buffalo, New York.

Turning Virtue’s Lineup is as follows:

David Karczewski -Vocals & Guitars

DPA – Bass

Carl Cino- Guitars

Mark Zonder- Drums

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The band recently released their critically acclaimed album “A Temporary Human Experience” in 2016. Tim Palmer (Porcupine Tree, Pearl Jam, U2, Robert Plant, David Bowie) mixed the album. The album was mastered by another great – Andy VanDette (Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree, Rush, Dream Theater, Fates Warning). Those are two huge names in the production field that worked on this great album. The band is currently working on a follow up album hoping for a 2018 release.
Turning Virtue played with some great bands in 2017…….Pain of Salvation, Fire Garden, Tiles, Geoff Tate (That night they played acoustically!), Aisles, Thank You Scientist and Haken to be specific.  David also has his own booking company called Gazing Rabbit Productions.  Not only did he put on some of the previously mentioned shows last year with his own band, but did a few without as well…..Leprous, Earthside and Dissona was a great show unfortunately Binary Code broke down and couldn’t make it that evening at the now defunct Waiting Room.  He also put In The Presence of Wolves, Five Of The Eyes and Dream Spectrum (amazing local instrumental classic rock band out of Buffalo!) together on the same show as well.  Dave is also working on an acoustic album…..and is also planning an acoustic tour with former Pain Of Salvation guitarist Ragnar Zolberg.  2018 is going to be an extremely busy year for all 3 of these projects.  Tune in to Gazing Rabbit Productions to stay updated with any shows he puts on or anything Ragnar Zolberg related.
The brilliance behind Turning Virtue is a great mix of technicality, mood changes, and melody.  There really isn’t one dominant factor throughout their music……it’s truly well blended.  When you enlist the help of such a great drummer like Zonder….you know the end result. DPA puts on one heck of a lyrical show.  You really get put on another planet during some of their songs, and Davey K’s voice brings his words to life.  The ultimate gravy on the top of such great music is Carl Cino’s amazing guitar leads that make your jaw drop.  Turning Virtue is one of the most underlooked bands in all of Western New York that a decent amount of people have yet to discover in our neck of the woods.
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Don’t forget to head on over to Technical Music Review on Facebook to check out anything and everything Turning Virtue for all of March! Also, there are plenty of other things to check out on there as well.  Maybe 2018 brings new TV and Davey K albums…..time will only tell.  There are many exciting things on the horizon we just have to sit back and wait.
“A Temporary Human Experience” can be purchased in many digital outlets especially iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby.  You can buy a physical copy of the album through their website or at any of their shows.  It can also be streamed as well on Spotify.
@turningvirtue- twitter
Turning Virtue- instagram
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Unique Leader Records & The Artisan Era….Get familiar with these labels and their bands

I may be promoting these labels with just a bit of bias, but in my defense what bands they’re signing and promoting are groundbreaking.  I have nothing against the larger, prominent record labels that gave legendary metal bands their chances back in the day.  In my honest and almost objective opinion, these two labels have not only some of the better metal bands of any subgenre but also the most young potent bands just starting out I’m hoping will make serious dents in heavy and progressive music.

The Artisan Era

My homies in The Artisan Era are based out of Nashville and are as fresh as 2014 in it’s FOURTH YEAR of existence! That is how new they are to the metal community.   Now for my favorite bands from this young label.

A Loathing Requiem is an instrumental project by Malcom Pugh (Inferi, Virulent Depravity, Ex-Diskreet, Ex- Enfold Darkness) who initially intended it to be an experiment.  However, he has pumped out a few albums and plans on working on another one at one point as his primary focus is his band Inferi and the record label.  The website compares Malcom’s albums to Necrophagist which is some obscure stuff in the tech world (a great band that lasted 2 albums which is most likely done, but still heavily influential for many technical death metal and progressive bands and artists) and quite a comparison.

Augury These guys are freaks of nature, and I mean that in a good way. They are a progressive death metal band out of Canada.  They’re releasing a new album in the next few months you should keep an eye on.  The linked song should convince you to preorder that bad boy.  Their debut album “Concealed” was released in 2004 after they were founded in 2001.  The followup “Fragmentory Evidence” was released in 2009 and the band plans to release their 3rd full length album “Illusive Golden Age” this year. Don’t sleep on these dudes either.

Dark Matter Secret This is a highly impressive Instrumental Progressive/Technical Death Metal band started by guitar aficionado Denis Shvarts and Pavel Semin (of the AMAZING Irreversible Mechanism you definitely need to check out).  They’re very technical…..and very perfect.  There’s hints of jazz sprinkled throughout the debut album “Perfect World Creation” that was a part of my best of 2017 list for many reasons.  Stop reading this and pull up that album right now……that’s an order.

Inanimate Existence This band is quite possibly my favorite on this label.  They’re a Progressive Death Metal/Technical Death Metal band based out of California.  They captured my ears when I heard their 3rd release “Calling From a Dream” primarily between not just guitar work but the beautiful inconsistency of growls and a female voice.  Now that is the only album so far there’s singing and hope they try it again at one point it’s a modern day masterpiece of an album.  Their main songwriter and guitarist Cameron Porras is a stud on guitar none of his work bores me ever.  He has great speed and clarity in his guitar leads, and also very great melodies scattered throughout his band’s offerings the more I listen to them.  The latest release “Underneath A Melting Sky” is linked above which is barely 8 months into public exposure…..the crazy part is over the holidays Cameron was already writing a follow up! And not only that, the band has it demoed and ready to start recording in the fall! I love how busy the band keeps themselves striving to be better and pumping out music.  I hope it is as great as Underneath A Melting Sky.

 

Inferi is another heavy hitter from The Artisan Era.  This is Malcom Pugh’s mainstay in the Technical Death Metal/Melodic Metal vibe.  They have currently released 2 albums to date with the 3rd on its way in a few months. Behold The Bearer Of Light is the first single released from their upcoming release “Revenant”.  It’s a technical and crushing track……oh, and this Trevor guy from Black Dahlia Murder is a guest vocalist. What could possibly go wrong here? Nothing. This is a killer band to watch out for in the near future.

All the bands on Artisan Era are solid, these handful being my favorite.  Also included on the label: Enfold Darkness, Equipose, Graveslayer, Order Of Diptera and Oubliette.

 

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This label is equally as heavy as Artisan Era who specializes in death metal but also wanders into the tech side of the genre just not as much as the Artisan Era.  A lot of the bands I have been getting into recently in these genres also reside on Unique Leader.  Now for my favorites…..

Abominable Putridity is heavy as hell and just as technical.  They will instantly make you want to mosh and wreck your vehicle.  They’re a death metal band from Russia.  Odd enough I’ve been finding some killer bands from their neck of the woods…..maybe they like to do more than drink vodka and play hockey. Russians also like to write some heavy ass death metal as well. Check these dudes out and throw your Avenged Sevenfold discs to Goodwill!

Alterbeast is a kiler technical death metal band based out of California who just released their sophomore record “Feast” on February 23rd……Check out my article of the album if you haven’t already. Their blistering guitar work and super fast drumming can’t be ignored.  Their vocalist has such an extreme range of low and high growls it keeps your blood pumping for so long. These dudes can’t simply be ignored and will only get better over time.

Arkaik released one of the best technical albums last year “Nemethia”.  Just like Alterbeast, Arkaik also resides in California.  Arkaik is a very technical and intense band that is a bit more experimental and progressive than most of the bands on Unique Leader which immediately drew me to them.  Don’t sleep on these guys either they really know how to play their instruments.

Beheaded is a great death metal band from Malta who has been around since 1991! There’s so many great extreme bands that the less popular (ironically talking about popularity in death metal when its very underground) bands who have stood the test of time are still around.  I’ve only known about them for a few years now and hot damn they’re heavy and can hold a great groove.  They have a very classic death metal sound that is for the fans of groove not so much the technicality.  This band should be in every metalhead’s rotation.

Cognitive is a progressive death metal band from New Jersey who is just keeps coming back for more. They’re currently working on new music and playing a handful of shows in April supporting their 2016 release “Deformity”.  They have a very original edge to their sound and never leave you hanging. Cognitive brings it, don’t putz around on this band.

Cytotoxin is one of the best kept secrets in all of heavy metal.  They can make any popular band look like a fool. Their guitar work is all over the place matched with extremely thunderous drumming and very heavy vocals.  Their style is so unique and incomparable it is best explained with their insane music.  In their short existence Cytotoxin has dramatically improved on each album especially on their latest release “Gammageddon”.

Deeds Of Flesh is another unsung hero in the extreme metal scene like Beheaded.  They have been around since 1993 and have commanded the ears of the tech community for quite some time now.  Their relentless fretwork and dedication to originality has kept them a mainstay in extreme music for a long time now.  I am new to this band within the last 2 to 3 years just like Beheaded.  I wish I knew of this band a long time ago….but you know better late than never, if you believe in that saying.

Disgorge is another band of the same realm that has been around since the early 90’s. They are a brutal death metal band with grind core influences as well.  They’re relentless and always full of energy.  Their punishing vocalists over the years have had such a heavy sound you can’t even make out one word……that’s br00tal. Levi Fuseiler, Matti Way, Nate Twyman and current vocalist Angel Ochoa have fronted a classic band with such power and stage presence as well.

Dyscarnate is a great technical and groove death metal band out of England that I just discovered last year who has been around for almost a decade now.  The band is full of groove and technicality all over the board.  What is most impressive is they are a 3 piece band which is very tough to pull off these days.  Don’t scroll past this and listen to their music they will show you why they are one of the most overlooked bands right now.

First Fragment is a perfect band.  They’re a progressive and technical death metal band from Montreal Canada…..whose lyrics are French.  What isn’t to love about this band? Amazing guitarists….a bassist that basically plays like a lead guitar player…..the heaviness…..it feels like there are no mistakes or loopholes with these guys.  They are a well crafted and well oiled tech death machine who doesn’t feel afraid to experiment from time to time.  There are mumblings they are working on the follow up to their debut album which I’m totally excited for.

Hideous Divinity is a crazy technical death metal band currently based out of Italy.  These guys are far from generic and boring.  They have crafted such great groove and technicality that it leaves you thinking about them for months on end.  They aren’t a tech band that writes to show off their talent…..HD knows how to slam, and know how to fire up the fretboards.  They have a few albums out and now have a crazy opportunity playing with tech death legends ORIGIN! If you live in Europe go to one of their shows….please. Your ears will be filled with so many notes you won’t be able to function.

Ingested Make no mistake these guys are one of my favorite modern death metal bands.  They’re so groovy and add a new level of brutality it makes Metallica look like a pop band.  Seriously if you don’t know about Great Britain’s slam kings then now is the time. I urge you to……now.

Internal Bleeding is a killer classic death metal band from good ‘ol New York…..Long Island, specifically. Another great band also is out of the same city……..Suffocation, I think you have heard of them right?  Anyways these guys have been impressively trekking on since their drummer and founding member Bill Tolley recently passed away in the line of duty as a volunteer fireman. Internal Bleeding is a great group of guys that carry on the band that Tolley helped start that has been a growing name in death metal for a long time.

Oblivion is a very cool band that has been growing on me.  Their first album “Called To Rise” was such a unique offering it caused a bit of a stir in the metal community.  Not only was it another technical offering, but it had a lot of orchestral strings all over the album…..they’re much more than another extreme metal band.  Its such a cool album I can’t really put a finger on it. Their second release “The Path Towards” found its way on my best of 2017 feature for a million reasons.  The tasteful guitar solos and straight up heaviness in comparison to Called To Rise makes one wonder how much more this band can do.  Guitar duals and catchy rhythms are all over this technical extravaganza.  They also have a great sense of the genre with members who used to be in The Zenith Passage and All Shall Perish.

Organectomy are New Zealnders that demand your attention right now.  They have a very heavy debut “Domain Of The Wretched” that blends nearly every extreme genre you can think of.  They are possibly the best death metal band out of their country right now and have a lot of potential right now.  They also found their way onto my 2017 best releases article for countless reasons. Let their music do the growling for you.

The Zenith Passage is the brainchild of guitarist Justin Mckinney.  This band is very, very good and I really don’t mean it like any other band.  These guys are very experimental and very original.  They stay true to their death metal rules but bring a lot of technicality to the shredding table. It would be foolish for anyone to let this band slip off of their radar.

Now, there’s a crap ton more artists on Unique Leader (around 50 or more) I just hit the tip of the iceberg with my personal favorites. I might go check out the rest of their roster after this article is finished for all you know.

After such a long article, it’s time to check out all of these bands on both labels.  There’s so much commercialized and generalized metal that is so dumbed down to me.  I think both of these labels have signed such unique acts that can easily be differentiated and aren’t lost in translation.  I honestly wish the best for both of these labels and am constantly keeping up with the new bands they sign and promote.

Stay metal.

 

 

Divine Realm- Nordicity

Divine Realm is a 4 piece instrumental technical metal band from Ontario, Canada.

After hearing the 5 song EP……wow. Especially from a guitarist’s point of view. These guys know how to construct a killer song.  There are actually two previous offerings before this release…..an EP in 2014 titled “Abyssal Light” and a full length album released in 2016 called “Tectum Argenti”.  I have not heard this band until I was told about these guys and damn, do they play their instruments perfectly.  The guitar work between Leo and Marc is just top notch.  There’s so many beautiful melodies throughout the offering and a couple awesome dual guitar harmonies as well.  The soundscape on the EP is awfully impressive with a couple clean guitar parts that transitioned beautifully, and a couple acoustic sections as well.

There’s so many great guitar parts…..you temporarily forget about the rhythm section.  The drumming of Josh is not to be put in the background by any means…..not only is he full of fills throughout “Nordicity” he is quite the heavy hitter.  Josh and Tyler are in sync the total album without any doubts whatsoever.  I am extremely impressed with the overall flow of the album, and in general how smooth everything is transitionally and musically as well.

Don’t hesitate…..preorder this EP right meow.  Seriously, I mean it.  If you love bands like Between the Buried & Me, Animals as Leaders and The Human Abstract you will dig Divine Realm.  The guitarists Marc and Leo did a very good job on the production, nothing was drowned out in the mix, I think it was mixed well. Enjoy this music when it comes out Friday March 2nd.

You can preorder the album on iTunes and through their Bandcamp page which you can click on at the bottom of the article.

Divine Realm guitarist Leo Diensthuber had the following to say regarding the new heights Nordicity reaches:

“I feel like out of all our releases, this one reflects us as players more than any other. This is the first release our longtime drummer Josh Ingram has actually played on, and I think people will be blown away by what he brings to each song. Also, a first, Marc Roy recorded/produced the entire EP, aside from post-production which was done by myself. With Tyler Brayton being our producer on Abyssal Light and Tectum Argenti , I feel like passing the torch to Marc cleared his mind to focus on what he really loves to do, which is create music and perform, both of which resulted in a complete cohesion between locking in with Josh’s drum parts and taking the frontline in many sections. I think some of our strongest melodic sensibilities shine through on Nordicity, yet at the same time, I can hear my inner fifteen-year-old self, influenced by Chuck Schuldiner, Marty Friedman and others on parts of my solos/leads. I made the decision on Tectum Argenti to give Marc half the guitar solos, and once again it was the best decision I could have made. Marc’s instinct for melody/phrasing makes for some of the most memorable guitar parts that have ever made it on to a Divine Realm record.”

“As far as the concept behind the title, Nordicity represents a place in our lives annually where our Canadian weather forces us into musical hibernation. The days are short, dark, and we are indoors creating the majority of our work and finessing our craft. I believe this is a parallel that can be drawn with many Canadian bands, especially in Ontario that play similar music. With many instrumental bands (respectively) taking on a more pop approach, I’m happy knowing that we truly created a “Progressive Metal” album once again. We will be releasing singles leading up to March 2nd, stay tuned and get stoked!”

Divine Realm -Nordicity

Tracklisting

1. As the Crow Flies

2. Autumn

3. Whitewater

4. Revival

5. Hanging Valleys

Divine Realm – Nordicity

Line-up & Additional credits

Leo Diensthuber – Lead/Rhythm Guitars

Marc Roy – Lead/Rhythm Guitars

Tyler Brayton – Bass Guitar

Josh Ingram – Drums

All songs written by: Leo Diensthuber, Marc Roy, Tyler Bra yton, Josh Ingram

Recorded and Produced by: Marc Roy and Leo Diensthuber

Mastered by: Marc Roy

Nordicity Artwork by: David Journeaux

-This is first release produced entirely by guitarist Marc Roy, secondary production help by guitarist Leo Diensthuber.

-Ernie Ball Music Man family artist sponsored band

– Josh Ingram ’s first official appearance playing all drums (Has played for Vampires Everywhere, recently was drummer for New Years Day on last summer’s Warped Tour)

-Guitar World video premieres from 2014’s Abyssal Light

-Approached directly by Tim Millar at Sheet happens for tab book release for Abyssal Light (owned by Tim Millar / Luke Hoskin of Protest the Hero)

– Worked with Ben Dundas Cinematography to release previous playthrough videos (Intervals work, etc)

 https://www.facebook.com/DIVINEREALM/

Gilad Hekselman: The jazz man who’s as smooth as can be.

First off, I want to thank one of my favorite guitarists Tosin Abasi for promoting Gilad a few years ago which led me to discovering such an amazing guitar player.  Theres a lot to discuss, so let’s dig in shredders.

I have been on a huge search personally for finding a great modern day jazz guitarist and took me quite a while.  He is at the top of my list currently without a doubt in my heart.  Gilad as an instrumentalist from Israel who currently resides in New York City.  He has put out a handful of albums so far most recently “Homes”.  Verona is one of my favorites from the album. In college I took music classes and one I took was the History of Jazz.  Initially and understandably I was interested in classic players most notably Django Reinhardt and Freddie Green.

What really strikes me about Gilad is his amazing ear for melody while he’s playing…….artistically I’m trying to say he’s sneaky.  Sneaky as in playing a quick lick or a few melodic notes in between chords that add a ton of flavor to his compositions.  He goes off on some tangents, then comes back down to earth to keep a great rhythm.  Gilad and his band have never ever bored me anytime.

For a guy in his early 30’s he has some serious credentials he isn’t just playing around town.  Gilad won the 2005 Gibson Montreal Guitar Competition which is a huge blues and jazz festival.  He started studying classical piano at 6 and guitar at age 9.  Gilad has won various Israeli awards as well for his excellence.  He was born in Israel in 1983 having only been in New York City since 2004.  He opened for Paco De Luca in 2006 at the Montreux Jazz Festival.  Gilad is no slouch and not only has impressive music but a huge catalog of awards and honors to back him up at such a young age who is on track for serious greatness.

He has a killer band that backs him up and lets him play so freely.  Marcus Gilmore is a very good drummer.  He has a great knack of playing ever so smoothly…..and knowing when to go all out.  What impressed me most with Gilmore’s drumming is he knows how to add flavor to the songs.  Joe Martin has such great chemistry with the band that its absolutely inspiring.  He plays the classic standup bass which has always had a great tone to them.  The acoustics are just so natural and are like no other.  Joe has a great feel of what to play in every occasion and doesn’t overplay or underplay anything.  Hekselman has also recruited Mark Turner an extraordinary tenor saxophone player to play on a few of his albums recently as well.

Gilad is a jazz prodigy who personally isn’t even at his highest potential yet…..I fully believe he is extremely capable of greater things artistically than he has already accomplished.

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