Hey folks! Two more segments of this obnoxiously long interview are now available. Don’t worry, we’ll keep teasing you until the full interview is posted. Enjoy these two segments.
Hey folks! Two more segments of this obnoxiously long interview are now available. Don’t worry, we’ll keep teasing you until the full interview is posted. Enjoy these two segments.
Technical Death Metal shredders Unflesh have unmasked the first single from their debut full length album “Savior” titled Bestowal Of Decay. This band really has a great crushing and technical sound that sooner than later will put them alongside genre greats Obscura and Beyond Creation. The band released an EP in 2016 “Transcendence To Eternal Obscurity” with the mighty Hannes Grossman on drums (Akaloid, Ex Obscura).
Ryan Beevers (Solium Fatalis) – Vocals and Guitars
Chris Dovas (Seven Spires) – Drums
Peter De Reyna (Seven Spires) – Bass
Chris Gardino (Pathogenic, Wolfsmyth) – Guitars
Pre-order “Savior” here:
Remember Tabula Rasa? Well, the title track of Æpoch’s upcoming debut full length is as crazy as the first song. The band has an unlimited amount of potential. Now lets remember this band is very new……they have perfectly crafted their own sound to the point it’s like they have been around for a few decades already. On top of their matured songwriting, they tapped Hideous Divinity’s vocalist to make a guest appearance on the track as well.
Æpoch Fretless Bassist/Vocalist Brett MacIntosh has this to say about the band’s debut album:
“This album is a large step forward for us, although most of the songs were started during the time of writing our ‘Æpochalypse’ EP (2015 release) as well, we have had more time to refine them. We are completely satisfied with this effort and hope the fans will enjoy what we have to offer. Awakening Inception as a whole is very dark. There’s no single concept to it, but it is generally anti-human in focus. Touching on topics such as misanthropy in” Burn Them At The Stakes”, to night terrors/sleep paralysis in “Awakening Inception”, to space and science to mental illness in “Delirium Of Negation”. “Serenity Of Non-Existence” is even about an out of body experience I had when I was younger.”
This album is slating up to be one of the most unheard of releases of the year…..and extremely shattering. It’s very tough to build up attention and gain the respect of your peers as a musician especially in such an unusual and artistic genre. I fully believe Æpoch will turn heads and kick ass with their debut album that will be out in a few weeks on April 13th. One thing is for sure…….the band has made their mark with a very impressive debut full length. Let’s hope the rest of the world sees this in the same light.
Pre order “Awakening Inception” now!
The face…..the sound…..the epitome of legendary death metal band Suffocation Frank “The Tank” Mullen who has been the band’s only vocalist (minus fill ins since 2012 on tour when he picked up a full time job that demands lots of hours) in its 30+ year existence. That is old as myself……holy crap. Anyways, he posted a video on his Facebook fan page stating a tour at the end of this year will be his last with the band who knows if he might just stay on to record albums. We unfortunately know he’s done with shows but maybe just be a part of the albums from here on out……but if he can’t handle that anymore, personally I want to thank the man for everything he has done for such an obscure genre of heavy metal. Suffocation was one of the first bands that got me into death metal outside of other legendary acts such as Obituary, Death, Morbid Angel, Possessed and later on Decapitated.
He was never a slacker at all……he helped put together some of the most memorable albums in death metal. “Effigy Of The Forgotten”, “Pierced From Within”, “Breeding The Spawn” and “Human Waste” ring any bells metalheads? The latest offering “Of The Dark Light” is also turning into another Suffocation classic as well.
What set apart Mullen apart from your average extreme metal vocalist wasn’t his talent or poise…..but his admirable personality. He had serious fun in an extremely unprofitable genre. He was very funny and uplifting, which you wouldn’t expect out of an average frontman for a death metal band. Would he be in this long haul for it? Death Metal doesn’t pay the bills folks, lets be real. That’s what came down to it all for Frank…..and he did it for as long as you could. This is why its super important to support the music you’re into especially if its obscure and not popular…..theres lots of financial trouble. Suffocation being one of the best death metal bands since the genre’s beginning in the later part of the 1980’s is still very lucky to be able to do what they love to do.
As a native of the Buffalo region in New York, I have a closer bond to the guys in Suffocation (who originated in Long Island….close enough, same state right?). I remember seeing the band at the old Club Infinity in Williamsville when they released “Blood Oath” when the classic lineup was together for the millionth time….
Frank Mullen- vocals
Terrence Hobbs- guitars
Guy Marchias- guitars
Derek Boyer- Bass
Mike Smith- Drums
Sadly that was the only time I saw Mullen, but also the only time I saw Mike Smith (another favorite drummer of mine in the death metal game) who left and joined the band countless times. I wasn’t totally into the genre then, and one local band (I forgot who) may have been on the bill and stayed late enough to check them out. I was just getting past Between the Buried & Me and Lamb Of God vocally I wasn’t always into growling so it took getting used to. Good god, they kicked my ass. Not just the sweet shred work of death metal’s best guitar duo but Frank’s insane amount of energy that catapulted the band to one of the best performances I’ve seen of any band.
Some of my favorite Suffocation tracks:
From the bottom of my heart…..thanks for everything Mr. Mullen. You fronted one of the greatest death metal bands, and one of the most underrated metal bands in general (should be up in the same legions as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest go ahead fight me!). Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts on Frank and the band. Hail Suffocation. Hail Frank.
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.
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)
Since I wrote a welcome article, I figured I would do one mainly about myself what prog bands I’m into and what influenced me to start this shindig a bit more in-depth than what i slightly touched on in my first article.
I just turned 30, 3rd year homeowner and getting married at the end of July….hooray adulting. Onto the fun stuff…..I started guitar when I was around 12-13ish. My father got me going 2 years on an acoustic then switched to an electric guitar…..my first gee-tar was a Fender telecaster, a Mexican not the pricy American version. I liked how diverse it was (and still is i love ’em compared to strats yes they have great clarity and very stellar I still think teles are well rounded) and still is. I’d like a killer strat one day but for Fenders i’m always a tele-dude. My first guitar teacher was Mick Hayes. He’s a ridiculous blues/soul/funkish guitarist with a stellar voice who’s made an amazing name for himself. I’ll never forget the immature preteen-teen shit he put up from me and everything he taught me. He was in Atlanta for a bit and moved back to Buffalo for a handful of years now. Words can describe how lucky I was to learn from a local prodigy (who should be arguably playing nationwide in my opinion) although he might disagree. Paul Reed Smith is still by far my favorite company.
My father got me that tele and a fender frontman practice amp being the huge fender fan. My music and guitar/gear obsession only skyrocketed from there. By my late teens to early 20’s I got into Dream Theater and Rush. I only was getting into Rush’s hits before I plunged into the rest of their catalogue. Dream Theater I was browsing their catalogue when they released Systematic Chaos. Some people give that record lots of crap, but honestly I think it’s pretty good…..so bah. I dabbled into King’s X and Symphony X, still do but seldomly….maybe I should change that. Shortly thereafter my prog/experimental journey continued to Mastodon. Loved Blood Mountain with all of my bacon grease filled heart, and found out about them when that was released. Heard the mighty “Blood and Thunder” but not all of Leviathan. The Wolf is Loose caught my ear big time with that sweet rhythm on the verses and that crazy intro by one of my favorite modern prog drummers (not named Blake Richardson or Matt Gartska) Brann Dailor. That dual solo in the middle sent me through the roof.
Only about 5-6 years ago I heard about the almighty King Crimson started with Lark’s Tongues thanks to Dream Theater and that crazy cover of theirs. I also have dabbled into the experimental pre-pop versions of Genesis and Yes as well in the same time fame same for Jethro Tull. Around the same time I picked up a landmark record (of my generation at least) for cheap from that joint Circuit City before they closed….now I read they’re making a comeback? I got COLORS from Between the Buried & Me for like $6 at their closing…..and Alaska for like $10. I heard the title track and since Colors was their latest release I was like why not. Now put into perspective I was into classic metal, I was used to singing and the heaviest voice at that point I heard was Anselmo, Robb Flynn and Jonathon Davis…..so listening to BTBAM even Randy from Lamb of God was super heavy vocally I couldn’t listen to them for long periods of time. But fell in love with BTBAM slowly and kept with it…. now Tommy Rogers is one of my favorite vocalists of modern day music.
The first song I heard from Animals as Leaders was Wave of Babies (definitely my favorite AAL jam along with Tooth & Claw and Kascade) I forgot how I heard of them. Oddly enough, they have some happy and upbeat melodies. I’m a very somber person, and no I’m not depressed I just can’t get into overly excited music generally to me feels like its forced. Maybe that’s why I love minor keys and chords, dissonance and flats compared to sharps…..and dislike the major keys and chords generally. I swear, I’m really not depressed. Same for Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson I don’t remember how I got into him/them and the people that know me I can’t stand pop music and 99% of commercialized stuff……I’ll admit it even on the internet Steven Wilson is a damn near perfect writer and is the one artist I can enjoy even love (tell me “Postcard” from his solo career and “Lazarus” from PT aren’t amazing, I’ll debate you until the day I die!) the poppy and commercial songs he has written in his underrated yet amazing music career. And yes haters, I did enjoy To The Bone. He did not “sell out” he constantly experiments and there were some proggy moments here and there on that album so shaddup. And yes, i can djent with the mighty Meshuggah for hours. All hail the rhythmic masters of modern extended range prog djent metal.
Now time to try not to put too many paragraphs about Opeth. I previously stated Ghost Reveries was my first album I heard, and the Grand Conjuration video got me thinking about Opeth. That was when MTV2 had Headbanger’s Ball and would play music…..think that over for a minute. I loved that Still Life to Ghost Reveries era in terms of their classic element of surprise from switching between singing and growling and all of their mixed styles from one section to another. I love the dissonance of Deliverance my favorite track with about another 30 behind that song. Ironically it’s also my favorite record they have released. And yeah, I love their last 3 albums haters. I love extreme music, but artistically look at it from the fact Mikael has always loved classic rock and prog rock and was in his 40s when Heritage was released. I personally liked Pale Communion and Sorceress as much since they were much easier to get into initially. Opeth was always in for the shock factor the dramatic sound change from Watershed (my second favorite album tied with Ghost reveries) to Heritage. They would play their heavier offerings at rock festivals, and play a few (generally) mellower songs at metal festivals just to throw the crowd off. One vocalist switching from guttural vocals to singing is a total different strain of your voice and when you grow older you are a lot more susceptible to losing and hurting your voice. People act like they don’t play material from that era….on an hour set 8 songs or so about 6 are from that era whether you think his gutturals are half assed they’re still playing the tracks sometimes busting out obscure tracks occasionally from My Arms or Morningrise when they have an almost 2ish hour set (I swear i saw a setlist they posted once that had advent, karma or nectar one of those oddball songs they don’t play from that era thats not demon of the fall). It isn’t like they totally ditched that era and predominately play songs from Heritage, PC and Sorcress. I live, breathe and eat Opeth.
Now onto what motivated me to start this bad boy. As you can tell with my half assed timeline of my 20’s….I gradually got into experimental and prog music as I grew older especially bands that add that awesome death metal element to it ;)….so it was all uphill from there. Now a lot of classic rock and metal bands Priest, Maiden, Megadeth, Sabbath, even Pantera and Slayer are like pop music to me in the sense I have gotten into the deep deep realms of death metal for a handful of years now as well. Some people think those bands are heavy and I can roll with Dying Fetus or Ingested and be like “I’ve heard heavier”. Along with Valhalla Java (yes my favorite coffee is the blend my favorite guitarist stamped his name and approval on it NO IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ZAKK WYLDE its a damn tasty coffee my favorite player happens to endorse so BLAH!) extreme music generally helps get my groggy ass awake in the morning before work or most days. And those bands I mentioned earlier in this paragraph yes I owe a lot to their great catalogs that got me into metal, but as talented as they were and are (to the ones still alive and playing at least) its too simple for my quest on finding technical music and more unusual and original. I can quote a decent amount of those bands lyrics rattle off song titles but honestly can say I haven’t really listened to their songs consistently in years. I listened to that stuff a lot in my teens and early 20’s maybe I got bored with it by my mid 20s maybe? Then Dream Theater and Rush appeared on my plate and started a heavier diet of those 2 then the rest of those bands that got me into metal slowly faded in my music diet. I’ll still listen to them occasionally but not as much as I used to. Progressive music is not meant to be mainstream and is generally very artistic. It doesn’t have a formula it’s also very improvised when they write songs. There really isn’t a method to their madness, generally speaking. Being such a unique genre and pretty much unattractive commercially (especially these days with short attention span who wants to sit through a 15 minute song these days considering your average person) it’s not a real recognizable style of music. I love those obnoxious epics, it’s like 2 or 3 songs in one…..like that insane transition around the 5 minute mark of Opeth’s Hessian Peel (that’s an artistic goal of mine to write a song as odd as that one!). It’s almost better to keep progressive style and experimental bands underground or less popular, as a lot of those casual fans in popular music would kill the greatness of the genre. Maybe prog music is kinda like a cult but not? My quest for the obscure, proggy, and unusual music seems to only grow stronger these days.
Also, I’ve been into crazy fusion artist and instrumentalists…. Al Di Meola, Holdsworth, Frank Marino and another crazy players. Very unusual and a breath of fresh air from the usual Satriani and Vai style instrumentalists as great as those types of players are fusion and experimental prog players are a whole new level. I’ve gotten into older jazz based on the fact i took a history of jazz class in college. I do really like this one modern player Gilad Hekselman don’t be a slouch and listen to his music he’s an absolute jazz animal. Tosin from Animals as Leaders talked about him and I’ve been into his work so much for a few years now. Zakk Wylde took a photo with Al di and looked up who the heck that guy was….then found out quickly. Two of my favorite players introduced me to two players equally as good as them!
Back to my musical talents as I attempt to try to end this babbling post. I had a bunch of music I wrote in a melodic hard rock style for literally 6ish years I tried many lineups nobody committed no matter how hard I worked I had an album plus worth of material. That’s the beauty and beast of the internet….you can be judged immediately when you put stuff on it. I had some friends and session musicians help achieve my goal, thanks to everyone that did I still appreciate it to this day even if these songs died. I have great memories and unfortunately lots of money gone yet I’m fairly proud of what I had written over 10 years ago. I had a vocalist at one point who wasn’t the greatest, so take it easy. I wrote the lyrics melodies and guitar. I had ideas for drums and bass, couldn’t play a decent enough bass yet to record and not that coordinated to drum but had an idea of what I wanted. I either couldn’t find the right artists or dumb drama occurred and couldn’t take my couple bands I had a while ago on the stage because of that kind of crap. Take it easy on me, please….lol
You can easily tell the typical teenage “i hate women theme” but that main riff is fairly heavy.
Keep My Eyes Open you can tell here the prog was influencing me more and more, yo.
Brick Wall this one has a special place in my life it was the first full song I wrote not just bits and pieces of a song or lyrics.
Betrayal I think this might be my best overall track lyrics energy music guitar work and my buddy Eareckson from Cain kicked ass on drums for me. We had pretty good chemistry, I must say. Amazing drummer, he is.
New Life a short acoustic instrumental i wanted to use as my album opener.
Tribute This wasn’t recorded in a pro studio I had lyrics but didn’t get around to a pro recording. I had lyrics about deceased relatives I missed and the title is obvious it was a, well….tribute.
Star Spangled Banner A Dave with 3 or 4 Heinekens in recording the SSB on a digital portable studio. I remember how frustrated I was with slightly missing the melody being a bit sharp or a bit flat in a few parts and recording it took like 5 hours it was pretty bad. And almost having a 6 pack of Heineken made it a bit more challenging…..
I still have more completed originals, but again….haven’t found the right artists. It happens.
Again, play nice. Enjoy any of my originals or any parts. If not….oh freaking well.
A shoutout to my homies in The Metal who have been posting great slam/death metal and have read some of their stories/interviews that have in turn inspire me to start this. Thank you guys for kicking ass.
A shoutout to Distortion Overload who has a predominate rock following and some metal posts/discussions as well who inspired me to start this in the vein of how clean they keep their page and have tons of in depth discussions without people going down each other’s throats for thinking differently. Lots of respect for these dudes check them out.
I’m out on a mission to spread the prog and experimental music, hopefully showing people more great music and discovering more on the way. Also, hoping at the same time I can keep myself motivated to write more music.
I think I’ve babbled enough for one article hope you’ve enjoyed me ramble on about myself and how I got into the prog world and its countless sub genres.
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.
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…
Want your music or album reviewed? Send us your music and we will gladly do so. We are looking for submissions.
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.