Jay Matharu- These Clouds Are So Undisciplined!

Guitarist Jay Matharu released this mind bending album a couple years ago in October of 2017.  He definitely pushed a lot of genre boundaries on his album, blending lots of great sounds.  Matharu mixed progressive music, jazz, blues, and I think I even heard some progressions that were influenced from classic rock and classic progressive music of the 70’s! Putting it short and sweet: his sound is very wide, and not narrow at all.  It was a joy to listen to a soulful, musical album by a guitarist and not a guitar masterclass.  That style probably turns off more people who don’t want so much speed and technical parts that they won’t bother.  In this case though, “These Clouds Are So Undisciplined” is an album full of emotion and surprises.

Jay has a really good ear, and it really helped big time when he wrote this album.  There’s a lot of subtle melodies underneath a lot of the sections, and really stand out especially on the ending of “I Regress”.  It’s a definite change in pace to your average aggressive guitarist instrumental album, and is a lot more laid back.  Sure, there’s some heavy and rocking parts but it’s more experimental and calm for the most part.  In fact, his playing isn’t really speed focused.  Jay’s guitar style is a lot more melodic, soulful and emotional.  It’s not based off how fast he can play or how many sweep picking patterns he can do in 10 seconds.  Simply put, it’s a very mature virtuoso styled album that shows its true colors (and there’s lots of colors his album shows).

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Matharu also had a plethora of guest musicians on this album.  They are as listed as follows:

Andreas Boliden – Digital Trumpet solo on “Kaleidoscope” (03:11)
Ponch Satrio – Guitar solo on “Illumination” (04:24)
Nili Brosh – Guitar solo on “Breath In, Breathe Out” (05:18)
Oscar Hansson – Bass guitar on “A Mother’s Love”
Emil Ingmar – Piano on “The Battle Within”
Kaffe Myers – Drums on all tracks
Max Nyström – Audio editing, Mixing & Mastering
Jay Matharu – Everything else

 

“These Clouds Are So Undisciplined!” is a musically engaging album that will shock you every song.  Give instrumental music a shot.  What is there to lose? He’s a totally different guitarist than the hip, fast playing guys.  He packs a lot of emotion into his leads, some groovy riffs and some psychedelic laid back proggy sections to throw you off for a bit.  Check out the album below if you’re intrigued by any of this.  I hope you are!

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The Inner Urge Self Titled

Pennslyvania’s The Inner Urge released this album ironically almost a year ago, on March 25th of 2018. If I actually knew these guys a while ago, I’d have added this to my 2018 best of list. They’re not your typical instrumental band, which is something I think our followers will love.  They blend a plethora of sounds that work extremely well.  That laundry list include: jazz, ambience, psychedelic rock, fusion, prog rock, brass instruments,  keyboard, violin, saxophone, vibraphone and random percussive instruments.  There’s a lot more instrumental bands out there (especially in the jazz/fusion world, outside of instrumental metal and it’s many subgeneres) I think these guys stand out so much especially with a debut album.

They are super talented, nobody actually stands out and sure as heck don’t mean that in an insulting manner.  This is what I respect about certain bands.  Some are guitar heavy and written for guitar riffs, vocally focused, rhythmically focused or an instrumental band/guitarist (Vai/Satriani style) shred band.  The Inner Urge has put out an album that is COHESIVE, nobody hogs the spotlight and their impressive sound layering again is key to it all.  It’s super melodic whether its the saxophone taking a melodic lead, or guitar, or a cool xylophone the guys don’t overdo it with such a densely satisfying sound.  Of course a killer rhythm is section is what you need, and that is what their big backbone is.  If they didn’t click so well, I guarantee it’d be a mess of a sound.  Again fellow guitarists,  APPRECIATE A GREAT RHYTHM SECTION. I just admitted that, and I think you all can too.

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Alex Price – Guitar/Violin
Andrew Koss – Bass/Saxophone
Jesse Griffith – Drums
Michael Garbett – Vibraphone/Percussion

Additional Live Musicians:
Nashwan Abdullah – Violin
Will King – Percussion
Josh Wertz – Tenor Saxophone
Matt Klumpp – Keyboard

The band has so many unique and unusual rhythms it’ll keep you grooving for years.  Jesse and Andrew are such a good choice on rhythm they feed off each other so well.  Drew’s fills on bass are so tasteful it’s like a perfectly cooked medium rare steak. Not hiding so far in the sound, but plays some great fills in the right spots that spice up their expansive sound.   The drums aren’t reserved by any means, and perfectly fits The Inner Urge’s sound.

Mike’s percussion and vibraphone adds more layer to their sound, which helps their songs out a whole lot.  It’s actually quite key (HAR, HAR) at some points in their songs and helps maintain the moods they aim for.  And well, what can I say about Alex? He also represents PRS as proven by that picture…..high five my friend! The young guy has a great future as a player no questions asked.  Playing on a clean channel (with some random added reverb, echo, delay and other slight additions) for a good part of the album is impressive.  He doesn’t play outside of his means, and clearly annunciates his melodies on guitar even the more subtle ones.  I think it also helps the 4 main members went to music schools.  Hell two of the members play on cruise ships and their vibraphone player drums on the Pittsburgh Steelers drum line! These young whipper snappers are music, they live and breathe it.

Listen to the self titled album below, and then buy it because pimpin ain’t easy.  If you live in the Northeast, check out their shows when they play.  I’m sure it’s a hoot.  I’ve heard this album about 8 times in the past week and have no shame in admitting that.  Great job, especially for a debut it’s awfully eye opening.  So excited for new music whenever their busy lives call for it.  Absolutely FLAWLESS job gentlemen.  Cheers!

 

 

WEK- Mystery

WEK is an instrumental progressive metal project by Kevin Oper.  WEK is a totally different beast than other instrumental bands who just shred, and his music is more varied.  It’s much more atmospheric and melodic, adding a lot more layers to the songs than most instrumental bands.  The speeds aren’t consistent either, making the music a lot more engaging and not very predictable.  There’s definitely some quick riffs, and just as many slower groovy riffs that just drive home the beautiful melodies Oper has constructed.

“Mystery” was released on the 22nd of February and a couple times through this album and I’m still digging it.  It’s the sort of album that you enjoy the first time around, then the next few listens you start to understand it more and also appreciate the atmosphere and moods Oper created.  WEK is truly a melodic and emotional experience that not many instrumental bands can offer, and that has surely happened here.

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The rhythms are pretty solid and engaging on “Mystery”.  It’s a fresh take on instrumental music with the extra melodies and synth that widen the sound, rather than a smaller generalized sound.  If you catch my drift, you can buy the album on his bandcamp website right here.  Happy shredding, melodic prog instrumental lovers!

Trayen Burke releases “Supernova”

Guitarist Trayen Burke has released yet another stellar song from his newfound solo project.  If you didn’t hear the first song “Gravity” you can check it out here.  The new song “Supernova” is extra melodic in comparison to his first single, and a lot more atmospheric as well.  The more you dig into this guy’s library, you see his potential.  While his main band Constructs is taking a nap (hopefully working on new music) Trayen’s shredly jams will surely tickle your instrumental fancy.  Give him a listen if you like modern progressive music with some electronics. For some of that awesome groove, melody and shreddies listen to this beautifully crafted song right below.  Give me some of that djent with some more djent on the side please.

Ola Englund- Master Of The Universe

Let me get all the stereotypes out of the way for you.  I was a latecomer in regards to Ola Englund and The Haunted years ago, I wasn’t there from the beginning of his band.  He’s a phenomenal guitarist who’s highly underrated and more diverse than people want to give him credit for.  Yeah he can play some cool melodic leads and some quicker stuff, but man…..the guy has always been a riffer.  And yeah, his first solo album isn’t what you’d expect…..point number 2.  He isn’t that flashy guitarist who is doing his darnedest to rip off Michael Angelo Batio.  England wrote SONGS, not guitar clinics.  Some people shy away from guitarist adventures, because they actually can be shred-a-thons and not focus on songs as a whole. That’s where one of his strengths come into play….his riffing and songwriting, not overdoing guitar leads ON EVERY PART.

Here’s my third point…..it’s not obscenely heavy, believe it or not.  It’s actually a big nod to progressive music even classic prog rock from the 70’s and years gone by.  There’s even some brass and piano on some of his songs! No, you’re not getting an instrumental death metal offering it’s actually extremely versed.  Again I’ll hammer home the point he’s more diverse than most people think he is.  It’s a truly unique display of music that is his own, and has a broad sound that is far from sounding like he’s imitating anyone.  There’s even some slight moments of jazz here and there, as well.  It’s a truly great experience. Ola is himself, and boy does it ever show in this unique album.

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Let’s not forget the fact he’s a successful Youtuber in this modern age, and not only makes informative videos with a stellar side of comedy…..but also has his own guitar company Solar Guitars.  This man is a modern day Renaissance Man in regards to music….not only writing and playing, but making videos AND a guitar company.  Oh, and he PRODUCED this album too. Again….the versatility of Englund shines as bright as it ever has right now.  He puts his heart and soul into his music, and it was put on huge display for his first solo album.  The album is absolutely crammed to with melodic sections, clean guitar parts and stellar drumming as well.  The occasional keyboard parts and specifically the sultry sweet saxophone in “Solar Part 2” is a ridiculously beautiful and moody addition to a well rounded album.

“Master Of The Universe” is such a cool album that goes against these stereotypes you’d expect from a metalhead in a successful band, and shows sides you don’t really see in The Haunted.  If you want to try something new, give Ola’s debut a serious look. The album officially will be released on March 24th, so get your preorder in and dive into the deep creative mind of Ola Englund.

Here’s one of the epics, incase you weren’t convinced.

Yoni The Bassist- The Flow Of Emotions

WOW.  Do you spoiled punks ever have quite the treat coming your way.  Yoni The Bassist has an extremely wild song they released last year in 2018.  He has an incredible talent that we totally support here at TMR.  He has an album coming out titled “Positively In Silence” and this wild song “The Flow Of Emotions” is well everything that song title says.  It’s absolutely amazing what you can do with just a bass…..we have a band in a similar vein here in Buffalo IshKabibble.  He had Ignacio JD drum for him on this song, and is there ever some serious groove.  There’s some great tapping melodies, and a great backing rhythm he provides in this insane song.  There’s a lot of great instrumental bands, and Yoni has something seriously special here.  This sort of stuff is an artistic trip that your average band can’t necessarily provide.  Lots of the same styles of music have been rehashed countless times, and artists like Yoni are pushing the genre labeling fad into a sound truly unique into his own.  Check out the song below and stay updated on when his album will drop, I’m sure it will be equally as impressive.

 

 

Ambrose release new song “Curtains”

Tennessee instrumental progressive band Ambrose have dropped a melodic fun song titled “Curtains”.   They’re not the wildly heavy type of band that’ll woo you with their loud sound, but moreso the laid back Chon/Animals As Leaders west coast type vibe.  It’s a very tasteful and melodic song, with all sorts of cool chord progressions and rhythms.  Ambrose is now a band I’m going to want to keep a close eye on.  Working in this sort of field though is pretty tough with all the bands we come across, but dang I’m going to try my hardest.  These guys have a fresh sound that can win over people who aren’t appalled with instrumental bands. Give Ambrose a shot if you want something new that is different than what you usually listen to.  Check out the song below and if you live in the area be sure to catch the guys at a show!

Consider The Source- You Are Literally A Metaphor

Well…..what can we say about Consider The Source that hasn’t been said already? To be fair, we only knew of them for a month or so before we caught them at Buffalo Iron Works on February 23rd……yeah, even with all their virtuosity they put on an energetic and jaw dropping show.  Check out our two videos below, if you want some proof.

 

 

This is just a small cut of what you can expect from this great trio, and their latest release “You Are Literally A Metaphor” that dropped on March 1st.  We have come across many solid instrumental bands since starting this site, but man these guys are taking the cake…..A studio performance of one of the songs from this album “Enemies Of Magick” convinced us to go to their show here in Buffalo a few weeks ago.

What really strikes me with this band is their complex nature AND diversity.  There’s lots of prog elements here…..the fretless guitar on a double necked beauty, which sounded great live by the way.  The bassist’s wild tapping, fills and robust talent that felt like he was also a rhythm guitarist! I just can’t get over how amazing the band is, and the drummer is equally as diverse who can play a lot of different styles that this trio calls for.

CONSIDER THE SOURCE:

Gabriel Marin- Guitars

John Ferrara- Bass

Jeff Mann – Drums and Percussion

Bands like Consider The Source are what we are looking to promote on our website….there’s not literally one band that sounds like them, in any shape or capacity.  There’s also a lot of European (specifically Mediterranean, Eastern European and Middle Eastern) sound and melody in their music, on top of some jazzy and progressive sections.  They’re so unique, you can’t label them as much as I hate labeling band’s sounds but you have to describe music somehow…..I guess? They’re like Primus, in that vein…..but a billion times more talented, diverse and eclectic.  They blend so many sounds and influences its extremely tough to pick  something out of a hat, so you just call them by their band name.

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I often find myself bored with a lot of instrumental bands, primarily because I feel that they’re lacking substance that vocals, for me, would normally fill. But all it took was a couple minutes of that 10+ minute video for me to realize that I’d have to be stupid to not check these guys out. But I was still on the fence about checking them out live. And I eventually reminded myself that you only live once, and sleep is for the weak. 

I can say, without question, that Consider the Source put on one of the most impressive acts I’ve seen in my tenure of going out to shows. Their musicianship is absolutely otherworldly. It was tough for me to choose who I wanted to watch; it’s pretty easy to miss one of the other dudes doing something spectacular while you’re watching the third one do something equally spectacular. 

The day after their show, I spent my morning immersing myself in their discography. It boasts over six hours of music that will take you on the craziest roller coaster you could ever imagine to be on. I am enamored by the complexity, variety and the heavy Eastern European and Indian influences. And with titles like “You Won a Goat!”, “Blue Steel”, and “White People Problems”, we’re reminded that a little sense of humor goes a long way. Even the best of musicians don’t take everything so seriously, and I think there’s something to learn from there. 

“You Are Literally A Metaphor” is a continued dominance of their previous works and sound.  Gabriel, John and Jeff are so tight it’s nuts. This may be some of the most demanding music I have heard yet in my short life…..Consider The Source isn’t another modern rock band, they set themselves apart from a lot of bands and genres of music.  They TOTALLY have created another genre of music that isn’t out to imitate anyone…..but is the band themselves. Gabriel’s wild melodies on guitar and John’s wild bass playing are extremely prevalent on my favorite track ‘They Call Him The Smiling Assassin”.  There’s so many sounds that go into this band every song is legitimately different and have new surprises.  Jeff Mann does so much on drums he can play about anything, anytime anywhere.  Whether its a fusion or jazz section, or even something electronically he has it all…..even the bongos.  The trio has a unique and awfully impressive chemistry.

These guys aren’t on a label, so your support means so much more than it does for your average band.  Plus, if they were they would be forced to write “catchy” and “appealing” music that would kill the band and their creativity.  You can listen to the album below, and check out their other albums that came out before “You Are Literally A Metaphor”. There are CD’S available and even vinyl as well.

We’ve been sleeping on these dudes for a decade, and we think you should learn from our mistakes. Check these guys out, you won’t be disappointed. 

Native Construct Guitarist Poh Hock announces new EP and “Evil Eye” Guitar Playthrough

Native Construct guitarist Poh Hock has announced an instrumental EP he’s putting out April 15th titled “ATMA” and released this new song through a guitar playthrough titled “Evil Eye”.  Sounds like Hock is going heavier on his solo EP, just based off this one song.  This headbanger takes you through a whirlwind of great work as expected by a guitarist as clean, fluent, and precise as Hock.  Am I surprised? No! But this kinda answers the question why Native Construct has been “asleep” so to say…..at least we get new music from their guitarist! Check out the track below, and preorder the album if you dig the tune!

https://pohhock.bandcamp.com/releases

Hybridism Self Titled EP

Instrumental djenters Hybridism have released their debut EP last week.  The band brings a lot more to their sound than just being heavy.  In the new era of metal where extended range guitars of 7+ strings tend to be of larger use to the younger crowd, a lot of those bands tend to have the same rhythms and ideas to an extent.  I’m glad to report these guys are far from that.  They’re artistic, melodic, and solid composers especially for a debut EP.  I heard lots of great melodies paired with their dynamic rhythms, some more subtle than others that stuck out more.  The fluent guitar is one big aspect that drew me in.  All the licks man, all the licks. The feeling in the guitar leads is really worthy of repeating. Lots of players tend to get lost in speed and forget about putting emotion and mood into their guitar work.

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HYBRIDISM:

Guitars – Jeffrey Wallace
Guitars – Alex Kpp
Bass Guitar – Mulli Mulles
Drums – Lucas Billon

 

The band’s empowering rhythm section really drives their sound.  Jeff and Alex are stellar guitarists, but are lucky to have a stellar drummer and bassist to keep them on point.  Hybridism has that laid back western USA Animals As Leaders vibe, which isn’t a bad thing by any means.  If you aren’t really into the genre, try these guys out for size.  They’re not your stereotypical djent metal band, and they’re instrumental to boot if you’re not one for an aggressive vocal set.  They pack a lot of atmosphere into there sound, and a little bit of synth too.  Hybridism has a fairly expansive sound, and brings that wall of sound directly to those ears of yours.

 

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Hybridism is really a good band, and in my opinion is off to a great start in their short existence with their self titled debut EP.  Check it out below and if you live within the realms of Belgium what is there to lose? Go check them out live!