The State of the Scene Address 2019

At first I was going into this with a grimace on my face, ready to bitch about literally everything, but I’m actually pretty stoked with how full the shows calendar is right now. And it’s super cool to see new faces every time I venture out. And some old ones I haven’t seen in a while too. Needless to say, I’m super content, sans a few things (most of which will not be touched on here).

Dying Fetus was incredible to see. Sure, the band was dope, but it was awesome to see Mohawk Place sold out on a Sunday.
Consider the Source was equally outstanding. Though Dave and I stuck out like sore thumbs amongst the indie/ prog/ rock/ hippies? crowd, it was sweet to be surrounded by no one we knew for a change. A couple friendly faces were nice, though.
And, of course, it was killer to see a full house for a local band’s cd release show. The love is real, and it’s beautiful.

Image may contain: one or more people, crowd and indoor
Like that, but darker! 

I’ve heard some stellar news come from a few sleeping giants, and should those words come to fruiting, we have quite a few things to be stoked for. But I won’t yap about those in here, you’ll just have to ask around *wink*.  Of course, you don’t have to believe me. And I won’t tell you what happened the last time someone didn’t believe me. But things didn’t end well for them. So maybe it’s safe if you do..

Ohhh and I love seeing all these bands play out! YES! Go play other cities! Roadtrips are great! Go meet new people! Play with new bands! Make new friends! I support you and your ex Buffalo excursions. If you ever need help, we’re always here to help.
That being said, this brings me to… The one thing I will bitch about is this: Some of y’all need to take a god damn break from live shows. I swear, there’s like three bands whose logos I see on fuckin waaaaaay too many fliers for shows in the 716. You guys are way too old and have been doing this shit for way too long for me to have to explain this “oversaturation” thing.
But alas, ye, I have not come to complain without offering solutions. The solutions are: take a break from shows for a while, OR land gigs outside Buffalo, OR be prepared to churn out new music regularly before your sets get redundant. Or like, I dunno. Kick someone out and replace them with someone no one would’ve guessed. /shrug. Or at least a new cover everyone can sing to (it won’t be as great as this cover, though).

If you have the slightest inkling that I’m talking about you, I probably am.
Thanks for reading everybody, see you at the next one!

Advertisements

15.

I tried remembering the first time I heard Coheed and Cambria, but it was so long ago that it’s been lost to memories accumulated since. I do remember getting In Keeping Secret of Silent Earth: III for Christmas the year it came out, along with I think Motion City Soundtrack and maybe a Brand New album.

IKS came out in October 2003. Sooo if you wanna do that math quick, that’s a little over 15 years ago.  As someone whose tastes in music are on a constant rotation, I can’t believe I’ve been listening to this one band consistently for FIFTEEN years. I still vividly remember listening to this while falling asleep as a kid. And cleaning my room to it. And hell, even taking a bath with this on in the background, sitting in cold ass water, waiting for the album to conclude.

Image result for pruney fingers
Perpetually pruney fingers didn’t mean SHIT so long as I got to the end of “The Light and the Glass”

The nostalgia that emanates from songs like “Time Consumer” and “Welcome Home” is so intense for me.  I don’t remember how many times I’ve seen Coheed, though I don’t think it’s been so many times that they all mesh together. Sure, I wish they played longer last night. I always do. But it was awesome to hear songs spanning the entire discography, from the early days of The Second Stage Turbine Blade, to their newest, Vaxis- Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures.  Of course, I’d kill to hear more of their older material, and you can bet damn well that if they start doing some 20th anniversary shenanigans, I’ll be all over that shit.

I’m ecstatic that I get to continue to watch these dudes and their music continue to evolve and their fanbase grow.  In a time when bands rise up and fizzle out quickly after, Coheed and Cambria keep chugging along. And it’s beautiful.

So, please, if you will, pardon me while I take the rest of the day to explore Coheed’s discography, in full, from the beginning. I am usually long overdue for this kind of stuff, but I am most certainly overdue for this particular adventure. Guess while I’m at it, I might as well snag my tickets for Pittsburgh, eh?

Image result for coheed and cambria keywork
ONE AMONG THE FENCE

You’re missing out, and it’s actually your loss.

One thing that’s really been rustling my jimmies (as our self proclaimed tech-death goddess Vick loves to say) is how lazy, ignorant and stupid people are when it comes to discovering new music…..and that also includes the older crowd.  Now before we REALLY take off and spout off, I want to say we love older bands and people from older generations! Well, maybe moreso in Dave’s case. A lot of great bands helped influence who we have today, and greatly salute them.  This isn’t new for TMR as we’ve had a few zingers involving OpethMichael Keene, how much Dave loves Dying Fetus and a random article of how people need to stop being ironic and support their local scene.

First off…..music is SO easily accessible! Bandcamp exists and SHOCKER….they have more than METAL! Many people have access to the internet, and can get onto this amazing website that also barely takes any money from the artists! When you buy something off there, BC takes like 10% of the sale for profit? So if you’re not a jackass and buy your music, you’re also supporting your favorite artists and bands at the same time! I know people have bills to pay, and we all do……but if you want to see your favorites survive (even if most still work off tour.  Testament’s vocalist Chuck Billy drives truck while they’re off tour! A band around that long shouldn’t need to do stuff like that, but shows his commitment for a band that’s been around for over 3 decades! Commercial radio is well, you know….poopoo.  Satellite radio isn’t much better, as I’ve noticed in my time at least it’s still similar.  There’s certain song rotations I’ve heard, and the “new” music they’ll play when they get their hands on it are still from reputable artists…..so, whats the point? I’m not a fan of satellite radio either, if you can tell.  Bandcamp on the other hand, has a super large and wide library even countless signed artists have their own sites! You also can buy merchandise, not just music on there as well.  And what’s even cooler is Bandcamp suggests bands of similar styles, if you’re on a page so they’re already on your case showing you EVEN MORE MUSIC! BUT THERE’S NO MORE MUSIC LEFT (rolls eyes dramatically)!

This has been around for a while, but for the people that live under a rock there’s this great invention called Youtube!  Another big thing is labels and artists (signed or independent) are now more than ever (to help garner traffic and hopeful purchases) stream their releases for a period of time before it’s official release day.  So….not only can you search for damn near anything on Youtube (even US!!) record labels and artists are streaming their new releases a few days before they drop! And like most websites, they suggest similar videos which is how I found a lot of new music as well.  SEE….IT’S NOT THAT DIFFICULT!

Here’s an example.  One release I’m looking forward to from California Tech Death supergroup Continuum…..their record label streamed their upcoming album today through my boy Austin Weber at Metal Injection.  It’s out on the internet for people to check out….I understand older people aren’t into technical death metal (although it’s possible!) but many bands do these sorts of things. BTW Continuum rules and you should listen to this mind blowing album.  Better yet, get your preorders in and support them!

 

TRY SOMETHING NEW! Hey, isn’t that the title of our NEW COLUMN? YEP! We have (one and two)  two articles since we started earlier this month for all you lazy bums to…..well…..TRY SOMETHING NEW! We are trying to include all the different genres TMR promotes, and make it specifically for generally smaller bands who need the followers and fans…..and well, because there’s as many talented smaller bands and artists than in the commercial and mainstream.  So pay attention to our weekly article that comes out every Thursday, titled “Try Something New”.  TRY SOMETHING NEW WILL YA?!?!

 

Another great invention that is also diverse (who does more than music, by the way) is called Soundcloud!  Yep….this website has all sorts of music, and lots of bands use it to promote their music.  There’s also podcasts for you people who love those sorts of things (check out the one Vick and I run called Metallurgy WILL YA? kthxbai 🙂 ).  It has every genre imaginable, and yes even some bigger bands will put stuff on their website.

 

Also, check your fliers! It’s something I do, which is easy…..if you have time to bitch about your pathetic life and drama on Facebook, and act like you know everything about politics and sports…..then you have the time to look up bands on national, international and local fliers (whether its for a show or festival any kind really).  And don’t lie saying you’re old enough that you can’t follow anything and smart phones are challenging or its too much for your eyes.  I’ve seen plenty of people that look like they were in their 50’s and 60’s with smart phones in their hands! All this shit really just chalks up to people being lazy, and using the terrible mainstream scene not motivating to looking for new music.  Well, that is true……but don’t give up, if you say you love music as much as you supposedly do.  If you have the internet (again which most people do these days) you can easily look up the bands on fliers, and listen to (hopefully they have something!) music they recorded!

 

Another thing that needs to be pointed out is the lack of will.  Older people get stuck in their own world, and don’t want to always come out of the era they grew up in.  Don’t get me wrong it happens to that in many generations, that’s just the way it is.  Nostalgia is a bitch…..right? SO many innovative bands have been started in our generation, but again…..some people (some older) refuse to try new things or give anything else a shot due to their ignorance and self righteousness, not JUST their personal will.  Animals As Leaders absolutely rips, right 30 somethings? They’re a instrumental jazz metal band with two guitarists who play 8 string guitars and a drummer NO BASSIST! Did you get that sort of stuff in the 60’s and 70’s? Not really…..Some people and artists don’t dig extended range guitars which is okay, and understandable. There’s so many great bands, I could just go on and on.

One event that personally transpired recently that helped motivate me compose this opinion piece: a small group consisting of about 1,000 people on Facebook (where our internet overlords rule us all!) who didn’t like an article I shared, because IT INVOLVED DEATH METAL! Again, with the lack of will and ignorance…..they’re generally older people, stuck in the prime of their lives in the 70’s (where lots of progressive rock was starting to come out of the woodworks) not having any knowledge of newer progressive music since the 90’s.  Our writer Vick who is starting a series on technical death metal wrote a FABULOUS article on her favorite bands…..she’s a hard working, compassionate, idea brewing creative individual who’s a great friend of mine.  Why do you think she writes for TMR? Well….duh! We click about 95% of the time.  Do I agree with everything she thinks? NO! That’s virtually impossible! What I DO respect is her opinion, and value her friendship. We may make fun of each other but know it’s in good fun. And I’ll always stick up for anyone who will work with me here, especially if they’re not wrong. 52291533_10100673457055539_6975349913194332160_n

This ignorance here really kills me.  Vick stated her opinion, and I love to see what she comes up with in the future especially the rad interviews she’s done since her arrival in December (Levi of the Ritual AuraSahil Makhija The DemonstealerContrarianCory Coleman of Chernobyl Agency, and even helped with some questions on two of our biggest interviewees Hugo Doyon-Karout and Nick Padovani).  Now, that’s just a self righteous pretentious cocksucker if I ever saw one.  First off, there’s so many technical death metal bands that’ll blow that peabrain away.  Archspire, Inferi of recent memory…..we’ve had the modern godfathers Beyond Creation and Obscura force their way into modern day greatness. Possibly the two greatest tech bands ever the short lived Necrophagist and Spawn Of Possession absolutely rip house….and have plenty of melody and plenty of odd rhythms.  Death metal simple? NOT REALLY ASSHAT. Ever hear of the experimental extra dissonant and weird GORGUTS? Probably not. Modern day killers ARTIFICAL BRAIN? Probably not.  This is more proof of ignorance, and wonder why they just can’t…TRY SOMETHING NEW! Some people are stuck in the past, and don’t want to get out of it.  Only way to move forward is to do that, and move on.  Nobody said to ditch what you love, just check out some new tunes.  What’s the worst that could happen YOU DON’T LIKE IT?!?! WOW! Absolutely asinine. And we wonder why as humans we can’t move forward and work together…..well, here’s another example.

 

Why can’t we grow as a society, you ask grasshopper? Ignorant fucking pricks like this, that’s why. I love progressive music, and the people I know involved in it.  It’s so unique and different than the generic stuff that gets tossed around everywhere.  Every now and then, you get knob goblins and the admin in that small group is one of those said knob goblins. Respect people, their opinions and their well being.  It’s pretty easy to do, but not for everyone.  Stay tech and brutal my friends!

 

Happy Birthday TMR!

Wow! It’s been exactly a year since I started this website almost 300 articles in and it’s slowly (now a bit more rapidly) blossomed into a decently sized online source for underground and small label bands and artists! I started this adventure to help those different artists who don’t get the chance with bigger PR companies or sites.  I was artistically frustrated (and still am, but much better now…I think) with the bad luck in my area for dedicated musicians, but you know it happens to the best of us musicians.  This website rejuvenated me, and thanks to the billions of music email lists we’re on and bands contacting us we have discovered some awesome talents to say the least.  I started TMR on my two days off from my old job at the time, and put a lot of effort into it.  It has branched out internationally, outside of the continent of North America as well.  I have made many amazing friendships running this website and promoting all sorts of bands.  It has been one of the greatest experiences in my life, and is only going to get bigger from here on out.

I have added a few people to help with the workload, and add their opinions to the mix when they have something to get off their collective chests.  Technical Music Review is now an online empire of sorts, and we aspire to be a true online music web site that can be trusted funny and also respectable.  We DO NOT believe in drama or BS, like our counterparts MetalSucks.  We’re much better than overblowing things out of proportion and stirring the pot of BS. TMR is here to promote underground, unsigned and small label music who don’t get much light from bigger outlets.  Ironically, we are becoming a bigger (growing at a decent rate now, we have to admit) outlet as a reputable music source.  We have gained bigger and better things such as the recent Hugo interview, one Vick did with Contrarian, and even the first published interview here on TMR with Augury!  I have come up with an idea to help promote said bands by my own choosing every month (check out The Ritual Aura!).  I’ve also been given plenty of opportunity with my first stream featuring instrumental artist Infinitee and have made friends with an Indonesian record label Eastbreath Records and have helped out some of their bands (Ash PrisonINRAIN and In Asymmetry)!  Hard work goes a long way folks.

31143824_10100562837478059_6035618585022300160_n

Today, I am giving back and want EVERYONE to Donate right here! Every single penny will go to the shelter, and I am not making a thing off of this I can guarantee you that right now. This will start today, and run until next Saturday February 16th to give people time to help out the 10 Lives Cat Adoption Center.  I will be taking a picture when I drop off the donations for proof.  Why am I doing this? I’m a selfless human being, who has seen the hard work of this adoption center.  They constantly are behind, don’t have enough volunteers and don’t have enough supplies.  The people here do amazing work, work hard, and don’t profit from this…..so they need your help.  10 Lives means a lot to me, because our cute chunky and furry ginger kitty Noodles came from there.  We love him immensely, and are so happy with the big boy.

43360945_10100625042428839_7739846335171395584_n

Here is my dumb ass with said kitty, Noodles. 

Please, please help out this amazing shelter who tirelessly works to help out all cats in dire need of homes.  They bring in much more, than those who pick up a cat.  I encourage you all to donate SOMETHING even if its a little, to help these poor cats.  I also would like everyone to post pictures of their precious fur babies and talk about them.  Kitty talk is always encouraged here at TMR! Let’s run this bad boy up for a week until February 16th and let’s do some serious damage for The 10 Lives club! Please share the heck out of this article so we can make this donation drive as successful as possible! Happy First Birthday Technical Music Review and lets give a better life for these cats in need!

41829225_10100617629414579_4492945308157739008_n

Let’s give Dying Fetus the respect they’ve long deserved.

 

Do I try to pay attention to band politics? NO! It hurts sometimes when you meet your heroes, or even know the truth about them! Pretty common known (longevity wise, as all tech heads wish Necrophagist and Spawn Of Possession lasted much longer) Obscura and Beyond Creation are 2 of my self proclaimed “Tech Big Four” and I heavily believe Dying Fetus is part of that elite group as the third band (Maybe Gorod could be the other band? Who the heck knows, but I know for a fact these 3 bands are super influential to the genre).  Yeah, they had a rise to popularity because of their wild music but let me type way too much about this great band.  Maybe my boy John Gallagher is a tough dude to work with? Either way he has been in the band since its birth on 1991, and we all know (or SHOULD) their treacherous and deserving road to extreme metal insanity.  DF was on a few independent labels until they landed on the mighty Relapse Records (Mastodon got solid help from them, as well).  These guys are like the Metallica of Tech and Extreme Metal but a million times more talented and less commercialish.  Let’s be honest, technical metal isn’t commercially promotable like the standard genre Metal (ironically metal isn’t commercial, but other subgenres are pushed more than others lets be honest with ourselves here) itself.  Bands with a classic metal style have a better chance of being pushed heavier, because the public doesn’t take to guttural and pig squeal vocals that well…….fucking pussies.  That makes you love bands like DF that much more!

 

Here’s one of my favorites from one of their last albums…..NOT as tech, but you can’t deny that sexy groove man. SO TASTY.

John Gallagher’s guitar work is absolutely mind blowing.  And his guttural has become a death metal standard many have been inspired by (and may have been imitated) but there is only one of the death metal legend! Just like another death metal favorite of mine Decapitated, he’s the only surviving member of it’s original lineup just like Vogg in Decapitated.  It can’t be easy by any means, and can’t imagine all the downs you have to deal with such a rotating lineup.  Just go to the internet and check out how many drummers they’ve gone through in their history….there’s more than a handful, including their current drummer.

 

 

Another Dying Fetus classic from when they were a 4 piece as newcomers on their record label home Relapse Records.  Absolutely stellar stuff.

Now let me shed some light on another killer factor in this legendary band….Sean fuckin’ Beasley.  His mid and higher range growls absolutely are very fundamental to the sound of the band, as it totally contradicts John’s low gutturals.  It’s a great change in pace based on what type of growl you prefer…..the chemistry between the two is absolutely insane vocally, let alone songwriting wise.

Another Fetus anthem from “Descend Into Depravity”.  SEAN SWEEP PICKS ON A BASS THAT SHIT MUST HURT! Oh yeah, and he also uses a pick…..which is frowned upon by bassists….but you can’t deny how talented Beasley is, just WOW. I kinda think he’s the one that shines the most in this song, to be honest.

I was driving around the other day with these cats on the stereo, and was thinking of what to say that may have already been said about this perfect band.  John’s wild chromatic picking, sweep picking and tapping is just a serious treat as proved by the previous track “Your Treachery Will Die With You”.  And no, fuck your stereotypes! These guys not only get real political, but talk about the scum of society as well! A DEATH METAL BAND PROMOTING A BETTER BEING NO WAY! Yup. Fetus may have gained lots of attention from their band name as it was chosen on purpose when the band started out to offend people.  But they DO touch on subjects that aren’t positive, insulting them and downplaying the negatives in society and politics.  Basically, their lyrics are consistent of ripping on whats wrong with the world.

 

 

One of many favorites from the 2017 release “Wrong One To Fuck With”.  I mean come on, that introduction I can’t even dream of playing on guitar! 

Let me shed some light on possibly one of the best albums of the 2010’s, “Wrong One To Fuck With”.  Yeah the cover is nasty but the music is even nastier! The band’s technical supremacy can’t be ignored, and long time (PHEW!) drummer Trey Williams really struts his stuff on “Fixated On Devastation”.  Dying Fetus has always been a demanding band for drummers no matter who they’ve had on the throne, but WOTFW took it to another level with just as many tempo changes.  You can send all your Machine Head, Avenged Sevenfold and more popular metal releases my way but I’ll always throw DF in your face for the 10 (11 tracks if you have the bonus version like moi 😉 )  track opus that IS Wrong One To Fuck With.  Listen to the record with an open mind, and let it take you away from normal boring metal.

36270201_10155765283687055_3299935025486626816_n.jpg

The Picasso of death metal.  Doesn’t that wildness rival Cannibal Corpse? Yup….fight me.  DF is on the same level of importance in extreme metal along with bands like Death, Suffocation and Obituary!

If you’ve been looking for something different to try in metal, and are somehow unaware of the treacherous technical trio go ahead and give my boys a shot.  These guys have EARNED their way relentlessly playing shows and promoting themselves before getting on Relapse.  TMR loves DF, and they’re also coming to Buffalo February 24th with Inertia opening up for these legends (WELL DESERVED for our buffalo boys Inertia \m/).  Check out a few other Fetus faves of mine, and their 3 date NY run which ALSO includes a stop in Rochester! I’ll be there for the Buffalo show, and you should too if you can make it.  Or Rochester, if that’s closer for you.  Stay Tech and Brutal followers!

 

DAT GROOVE IN DIE WITH INTEGRITY INTRODUCTION THOUGH!

 

 

50985911_10156235973852055_7461855470290993152_o.jpg

 


DYING FETUS:

John Gallagher – Guitar,Vocals
Sean Beasley – Bass,Vocals
Trey Williams – Drums

Desert Of The Real

Desert Of The Real is an instrumental 4 piece band that blends progressive/fusion/jazz styles all into their eclectic sound.  I found out about these guys as they randomly followed our Instagram account a while ago, and decided to do an article on these cool cats.  We got caught up for the most part with requests, so I figured I’d spread the love about this killer band and finally bang out an article.  I also just got word the guys are working on new music next month! You can go to their website to check out the few tunes they do have demoed, and better yet follow them on Instagram where they post random jam sessions!

 

 

Everything about this band is solid.  Great rhythm, sweet melodies…..and it’s heavy enough to keep some metalheads interested, to a point at least.  It’s tasteful and artsy, and I personally look forward to what the lads are bringing to the table with their new music they’re talking about.  Follow that Instagram account because it looks like they’re not super active on Facebook, but either way I’m excited for new music! Check ’em out folks!

Opeth didn’t write death metal…..now let’s act like a bunch of immature punks!

13754635_10154398588598410_4138316387576057911_n.jpg

If you know me well enough, one of my favorite bands that was responsible for getting me into progressive music and it’s subgenres is the legendary OPETH.  In fact, all of their albums are legendary.  I’m not the greatest guitarist by any means, may be able to hold my own but know enough music theory and have seen enough bands smaller and bigger to know what’s what.  The pricks that constantly bring down the band because they don’t write death metal into their ever so expansive sound anymore is extremely childish and borderline ignorant.  People are acting like they tossed that sound totally away.  Wanna know what’s funny? A 45 to 60 minute set can include anywhere between 6 to 8 Opeth songs and generally include 1 song from their “treacherous trio” of the last 3 albums (Heritage, Pale Communion and Sources which are FANTASTIC you elitist pricks!).  Guess what? The other couple songs are generally from the days when they wrote death metal into their sound…..people are acting like they ditched that era, and frankly haven’t.  Mikael’s voice may have softened, but when you’re in your 40’s switching between singing and growling it’ll hurt your voice even more.  Non musicians totally don’t get that and say “they’re a pussy” and to “man up” or whatever insults they’ll throw their way. IT ISN’T EASY FOLKS.  They generally end their set with MY personal favorite opeth song Deliverance, and still jam songs from Ghost Reveries and Blackwater Park as well.  Crap I saw stuff from their Candlelight Records era in a random setlist post on social media somewhere with “Advent” on their set list before! In his mid 40’s, that only gets tougher to do switching vocal styles so you have to make that choice.  Fans may have been happy if he continued down the road….but Opeth’s career would end short and not maybe even make it past 10 albums.  I personally applause Mikael, for the longevity of his great band (technically it’s not his, he joined after it started as a bassist in the late 80’s going into the 90’s).

Another complaint perfectionists and death metal elitists have is Akerfeldt is ripping off classic progressive artists. He admitted Goblin inspired him for the instrumental track from “Pale Communion”.  I think all artists do that at one point in their career, unintentionally or not it will just eventually happen there’s only so many chords and notes in the musical alphabet (words in the english language, as well).  I’ll come forward and admit it…..oh well.  I enjoy the last 3 albums as much as their first handful of albums (Deliverance being my favorite album, Ghost Reveries on the same level as that album introduced me to Opeth).  The musicianship is top notch, and Frederik got to actually write some music for a change (knowing he was a hired hand for Arch Enemy).  Akesson’s addition has made the band only stronger on lead guitar, and am admittedly a huge fan.  Yes, I loved the classic lineup with Petr and Lopez (guitar and drums respectively).  Can’t deny the talent and how important Akkeson and Axenrot have been filling two huge voids (remember Axe is in Bloodbath the death metal project Akerfeldt helped start and ended up leaving, while Martin is still their drummer).  It’s not like Opeth started writing bad music….and as egoistic as it sounds its still true a real artist writes music FOR THEMSELVES.  You don’t like the music? Tough shit, that’s what they wanted to do.  Whine about it and say they won’t be there without their fans (which is true to an extent) but how boring can one be when a band or artist releases the same album over and over?  Heritage, Pale Communion and Sorceress are fantastic albums.  Fans think they “suck” because there’s no death metal and the band is memed more because of it.  I got into Opeth because of their vast dynamics, going from progressive death metal one section then randomly cooling it down to a psychedelic or classic rock section the next moment.  Do I miss it dearly? YES! Do I constantly whine everywhere about it? NO! Why, do you ask? Because they’re still writing great music, but without death metal.

I also love Watershed, another “bad juju” album considered by the death metal fanatics of the Opeth fan cult.  In fact, it’s damn near perfect mixing their prog death metal sound and ever growing influence of classic progressive music.  “Hessian Peel” is such a weird ass song mixed with so many sounds it’s a joyride.  “Heir Apparent” is amazing as well a straight forward death metal headbanger, with some prog musical twists and turns to keep it entertaining.

So sit back and shut the fuck up. Enjoy some recent Opeth tracks below, and cool your jets noobs.  Stay brutal my friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave’s Best of 2018 Awards!

Hello folks! I am back with my second “Best Of” Awards article…..but with more sections to spice things up. Newcomer Vick wrote hers and I’m here with my valued or unvalued opinion with some possible bias. The numbers aren’t important in my article I DO NOT RANK I just list my favorite albums. I’m going to apologize right meow as I have a lot of categories if it’s too long…..but then again its for a full year and there were lots of GREAT releases and new bands starting up that should be put to the forefront.  I hope you enjoy the new categories too.  Let’s get it on!

tmr_logo_hr-01

Up and Coming Bands

Inanimate Existence– Artisan Era (my favorite label) tech/prog death metal powerhouses released a great album “Underneath A Melting Sky” in 2017 and Guitarist Cameron Porras’ songwriting and playing only gets better every release.  The guys work great as a cohesive three piece band.  If they get put on the Summer Sumerian/Slaughter/Summer’s Disappointment tour or a big festival like Download/Hellfest/Graspop they would kick the shit out of the same pop metal bands that have graced some of those stages.  I have a lot of faith in this band and are vastly underrated.  Keep an eye on the IE dudes.

Dischordia– Oklahoma dissonant/tech/progressive death metallers released a great EP that is the most experimental and original thing I have heard in a bit in the genre.  It’s becoming blatantly obvious how much I love the different experiments some death metal bands are doing.  If a genre stays stagnant…..are you really making any progression? Does one ALWAYS have to abide by the rules and stereotype of a genre? NO! As artists, we hate feeling creatively suffocated (so to say) to a label and want to write what we want and how we want! Dischordia just keeps pushing that envelope and their crazy 2 song 24 minute EP “Binge/Purge” really surprised me.  Earlier this year I heard the guys and it blew my mind.  Ukulele, Flute, Mandolin and other various instruments are included in their latest release.  Also, there is a plethora of  heavy influence of dissonance and cool rhythms the trio has come up with.  Every release Dischordia’s sound and songwriting has progressed “Binge/Purge” has really helped push their experimentation to the forefront.  Keep an eye on them as well.  Below is my article of the EP stream through Decibel Magazine to get your Dischordia on!

Dischordia- Binge/Purge EP stream via Decibel Magazine

Burial In The Sky– Another great up and coming band that’s helping break that stereotypical extreme metal sound.  Why do I dig this band a lot? Their latest album “Creatio Et Hominus” includes a lot of saxophone! The band also has hits of psychadelic rock sprinkled throughout the album.  BITS has been pushing progressive death metal’s boundaries as well.  Their first few offerings were more straightforward but got real experimental with the album. They’re a young and promising band who you need to look out for. Originality and talent can make for a promising career….and I hope Burial In the Sky achieves everything they want to because they deserve it.

Burial In The Sky April 2018 Interview

BEST EP’S AND SINGLES OF 2018

  1. Mordant Rapture- The Abnegation
  2. Carnal Decay- When Push Comes To Shove
  3. Dischordia- Binge/Purge
  4. Widow’s Peak- Graceless
  5. Infinitee- The Possibilities Are Endless
  6. I Am Destruction- Violence Devours
  7. Between The Buried And Me- Automata 1
  8. Divine Realm- Nordicity
  9. Leprous- Golden Prayers (Single)
  10. Cynic- Humanoid (Single)
  11. Between The Buried And Me- Automata 2
  12. The Odious Construct- Shrine Of The Obscene
  13. Godless- Swarm
  14. Oppressor God- Mechanical Manslaughter
  15. Promethean- The Nameless Colour
  16. Weaponex- In The Nick Of Time
  17. Infinite Nomad- Luminous Throat
  18. Catalysis- Catalysis
  19. Astrolabe- The Hermit, The Fool, The Hanged Man
  20. Crevassian- Crevassian
  21. Fawn Limbs- Thrum
  22. Ash prison- Prophetic Automation

BEST ALBUMS OF 2018

  1. Oubliette- The Passage
  2. Aethereus- Absentia
  3. Obscura- Diluvium
  4. Jollymon- Voidwalker
  5. Lago- Sea Of Duress
  6. Xenosis- Devour And Birth
  7. The Beast Of Nod- Vampire: Disciples Of Chaos
  8. AHTME- Sewerborn
  9. Burial In The Sky- Creatio Et Hominus
  10. Unflesh- Savior
  11. Alkaloid- Liquid Anatomy
  12. The Slyde- Awakening
  13. At The Gates- To Drink From The Night Itself
  14. Skinless- Savagery
  15. Galactic Empire- Episode Two
  16. ISA- Chimera
  17. Ingested- The Level Above Human
  18. Inferi- Revenant
  19. Aepoch- Awakening Inception
  20. Slugdge- Esoteric Malacology
  21. Augury- Illusive Golden Age
  22. Rivers Of Nihil- Where Owls Know My Name
  23. Montheist- Scourge
  24. Alterbeast- Feast
  25. Decrescent- Blackened Bequest
  26. Forever In Transit- States Of Disconnection
  27. Pestilence- Hadeon
  28. Into The Great Divide- Into The Great Divide
  29. Aviations- The Light Years
  30. Soreption- Monument Of The End
  31. Exocrine- Molten Giant
  32. Trigger- The Harbor
  33. Serocs- Phobos/Deimos Suite
  34. Cognitive- Matricide
  35. Haken- Vector
  36. Gorod- Aethra
  37. Internal Bleeding- Corrupting Influence
  38. The Ocean- Phanerozoic 1: Palaeozoic
  39. Neptunus- Alien Conspiracy
  40. Torturous Inception- Arcane Dominion
  41. Dysmorphic- An Illusive Progress
  42. Inertia- Teratoma
  43. Kraanium- Slamchosis
  44. Sarah Longfield- Disparity
  45. Psycroptic- As The Kingdom Drowns
  46. Arsis- Visitant
  47. Halothane- A False Reality
  48. Zac Leaser- Redeemer
  49. Gourmand- Blossoming From The Grave
  50. Tesseract- Sonder

Best Independent Bands

  1. Aepoch
  2. Unflesh
  3. Dischordia
  4. Xenosis
  5. Promethean
  6. Bleak flesh
  7. Gourmand

What releases I’m looking forward to in 2019

  1. Bleak Flesh
  2. Promethean
  3. Inanimate Existence
  4. Black Crown Initiate
  5. The Haarp Machine
  6. Opeth (maybe a single? Just…maybe?)
  7. Animals As Leaders
  8. Mastodon
  9. Scar Symmetry
  10. Aepoch (maybe?)
  11. Abbath (maybe?)
  12. Anabasis already won the best local release of 2019 already unless something changes my mind. If you supported the Syracuse band’s campaign, you would have received a digital download of their upcoming album “Of Conviction” due out officially in January.  If you want to grab a cd or some merchandise to help out the lads on their debut full length, go ahead and do so right here.
  13. Turning Virtue
  14. The Tao Of Davey K
  15. Fire Garden
  16. Continuum
  17. Desecravity
  18. Allegaeon
  19. Divinex
  20. Disentomb
  21. Fields Of Elysium (I hope!)
  22. Godeater
  23. Blasteroid
  24. A Novelist
  25. Contrarian
  26. The Zenith Passage
  27. Fractal Universe
  28. Organectomy
  29. Arkaik
  30. The Ocean
  31. Oblivion
  32. Devin Townsend
  33. Equipoise
  34. The Ritual Aura

Personal Favorite Music Industry Trends of 2018

  1. Increasing number of bands doing as much as they can independently. Record labels are becoming bigger blood suckers. Props to the increasing number of musicians going this route, also really great for more income coming back their way.
  2. More instrumental bands! I love seeing instrumental bands! Not every band needs a vocalist, or music needs a singer….the music can sing on its own.  Remember classical music? It was instrumental, then opera singers came along.  It’s just good to change it up….ya know, like Divinex or The Surrealist.
  3. The Artisan Era signing so many killer bands that are only strengthening their roster that has been a label since 2014.  A grassroots label run by guys in bands ON THAT LABEL there’s no suits involved….a label made by musicians, run by musicians, for musicians.  How can you not love the rise of The Artisan Era? OKAY, maybe if you don’t like or appreciate technical death metal and instrumental bands I guess I could see it.  How many did they add in 2018? Like 10 bands? But….10 GREAT BANDS.

Best TMR Moments of 2018

  1.  That wild voting race for the website’s May artist of the month….who remembers? And, who voted? That was fun!
  2. Getting a handful or more of EP, song and video premieres throughout the website’s first 10-ish months of being online.  Hard work pays off, promote yourself and your work….make connections.  I’m grateful for the friendships and opportunities I have been given in the short time Technical Music Review has been online.  I’m equally as humbled for all the music I have received through many sources. Being a musician and music freak I have learned of so many solid bands through this short journey.  And to boot, I also premiered a few playthroughs as well….the musician in me absolutely enjoyed them!
  3. Becoming the Prime Minster of Indonesia.  Not really, but seriously though their music scene is very killer and uncovered.  I discovered a few bands towards the end of the year from there and developing a growing interest in that country’s metal scene.  I’m buddy-buddy with a small record label from there and a band from said label.  It’s a tech driven country with plenty of death metal bands too.  Check out a few of their bands right here.

2018’S BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS

Yeah there are always letdowns it’s a big part of life.  Let me dive into some from 2018.

  1. Machine Head’s shitty album Catharsis.  This album was so bad, it forced two of it’s long time members to quit.  Now you’re talking about someone who has been a big fan of Machine Head since I got into them during the Ashes Of Empires era.  Besides The Burning Red and Supercharger I loved this band.  I’m more Conservative than anything, and even with their Liberal lyrics I still appreciate their emotion opinions and stellar musicianship.  I get it, most musicians are Democrats or Liberal to an extent.  Rob Flynn has had a solid career as a musician but the last few years have gotten bad and leading up to Catharsis (to me at least) was a totally different band.  It’s like his songwriting was uninspired and teenager like (random lyrics about sex, drug use, and not to mention bringing back nu metal to the band sound) for a band that has put out much deeper sets of lyrics.  I try to get in bed with the album, and every time I have to leave.  “Is There Anybody Out There?” was an absolutely awful song and a rant most likely about Phil Anselmo.  I had a bad feeling if their upcoming album was going to be like this song, it was going to be rough….and in my eyes I think it was.  I thought when Robb posted the acoustic set of “Bastards” I envisioned it as another rant and spur of the moment song venting frustration….I DID NOT EXPECT IT TO BE A MACHINE HEAD SONG! Voilatile is a good song musically, but when I heard he admitted he wrote the lyrics after the Charlotteville attacks was even more sketchy.  As soon as a big event happens, you decide to write song lyrics about it…..and bitch about politics again. How, original.  Let’s see if the band is done forever, or he can pull more rabbits out of his ass like he did for Ashes Of Empires and arguably the band’s greatest effort The Blackening. Oh, and the whole band costume thing is kinda gay…..like KISS gay.
  2. Threatin.  Yeah that shit was rough too.  Great for the guy he self booked and funded a European tour for his music, but feel bad for the poor bastards that temporarily took part in this shitshow.  Nobody bought the guy’s merchandise or even went to the shows.  I feel just as bad for the bands that opened up for the few shows Threatin played.  Just an absolute embarrassment all around.  To play devil’s advocate, it is pretty impressive logistically how the guy pulled this thing off financially and got artists to play his music (well for a few shows at least).  Disappointing to say the least but was there any stigma at all when he booked? Was it his fucked up masterplan that was to create a huge online presence (after he bought many Facebook likes) and promote himself? We won’t really know…or will we?
  3. Unique Leader Records and their fuckery.  COME AT ME BRO! It’s true, and their ever-growing laundry list of bands that have left the label is just insane.  They keep signing so many bands to the point they’re overloading their roster and also possibly ignoring bands.  Death metal made that label, modern metal bands are filling up their roster and the number of bands on the record label is sky rocketing unlike The Challenger.  With the unfortunate passing of label founder Erik Lindmark (Deeds of Flesh), other label coworkers took over the work in Erik’s absence.  It took them over a month to put some of their releases on Bandcamp, and kept making excuses (when it doesn’t take long) why they haven’t yet.  They recently signed another band, and I mentioned it again on their facebook announcement of another generic death core band.  They ignored and asked me if I listened to that band yet and said they should promote the bands on their label already instead of adding more.  They immediately took down their comment on their facebook page, trying to divert my attention from my comment and they failed….like they’re failing Erik who’s currently rolling over in his grave.  AND GET THIS…..they’re currently running a contest to buy one of their albums on their band camp website, and you’re then entered to WIN A CHANCE TO OWN THEIR ENTIRE LIBRARY OF MUSIC! Doesn’t that reek of even more desperation?  This shit is fishy as fuck metalheads. While they may house some great bands, shame on Unique Leader for their unprofessional fuckery and ignorance.  Shit like this is why more bands go independent.

Power To The Ovaries: The Rise Of Female Musicians In Metal Bands

Dave here with one of my rare opinion pieces.  First off,  I want to welcome my friend Vick who is now working with me on here stopping in to write some articles.  She’s very feisty, opinionated, and passionate for the music I strive to promote and is already a great addition to the website.

I have been thinking about this topic for a while, and decided today to blabber about it.  I think its AMAZING seeing women/females getting into heavy metal and other genres artistically than the usual….you know, that female folk singer or pop or hip hop artist….you know, cultural gender stereotypes and expectations.  One thing I absolutely cannot stand is the whole “female fronted” label,  it’s stupid to me at least.  Women are musicians too, you know.  The fact there happens to be females in some bands shouldn’t be a surprise.  And no, this is anything BUT a fad or trend.

Okay, on to the actual point of this article.  As previously stated, I’m very infatuated with the growing number of women going against that artistic gender stereotype….and I’m going to promote some of them (well deserved artists that you may already know).

 

SARAH LONGFIELD

Yep.  She’s my obsession, i’ll admit it.  This young lady can not only shred and sing, but also can produce and record music.  She has a really unique style now that can’t truly be categorized.  Sarah was really metal at first with lots of shredly demos, heavily influenced by Swedish greats Meshuggah.  The older she got, she experimented with electronics and some pop influence as well to throw in her music for good measure.  If that isn’t enough of a mindfuck, she got into a more expeirmental and progressive style in her newer music.  Her success as a Youtuber is only the beginning of an extremely promising, fulfilling and diverse musical career.  She was also a member of The Fine Constant an instrumental band she had for a handful of years. Longfield is also a new artist of Season Of Mist, as well.  What HASN’T she done already in her young musical career? Her latest album “Disparity” is a serious artistic step for her, yet trying more new things to add to her very impressive sound layering even deeper.  There’s some saxophone, xylophone and even more singing.   I’m gonna let her great music do the talking, and just let you make the decision yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YVETTE YOUNG

Yvette is the guitarist in her 3 piece instrumental prog band Covet, who has a similar style to Sarah Longfield in some senses.  She also has an acoustic project under her name and an equally beautiful voice on top of her guitar playing as well.   Young is a melodic guitarist who also uses a lot of tapping in her style.  She dabbles into some math rock and jazz as well in Covet.  Both of these lovely young female guitarists are my two personal favorites in music right now and totally crushing it.  It was the “Ares” play through that caught my attention over a year ago and has kept my interest in this great young artist.  Check out some of her wild, melodic and inspiring guitar playing below.

 

Yep…..here it is….the almighty ARES.

 

 

 

 

 

SISTERS OF SUFFOCATION

Yep, time for the heavy shit now.  Sisters of Suffocation is a death metal band consisted mainly of females, except the drummer.  Why am I talking about SOS? Because they’re heavy, that’s why…..and love their death metal.  And before you ask, no they have nothing to do with the legendary death metal band Suffocation.  The gals are equally as crushing as most death metal bands, and don’t get enough recognition in their short existence as a band.  Bang your heads along with the girls (and guy) to these heavy songs.  Oh, and they’re releasing a new album next year I’M SO STOKED ABOUT.  Fucking Death Metal!

 

 

 

 

YOUR CHANCE TO DIE

To SLIGHTLY change genres a bit, here’s a great Melodic Death Metal bands with TWO vocalists both females.  A friend of mine turned be onto this band, and couldn’t be happier that I am familiar with them.  The band released a great album “Ex Nihilo” last year that finds its way back in my rotation here and there.  Their growls are utterly impressive, to say the least.  Check out this great up and coming band right below.

 

 

 

 

ABNORMALITY

 

WOW! I’ve been into this band for a few years now since I saw their grotesque video “Mechanisms of Omniscience”.  Their frontwoman Malika has such a low guttural that you would have never guessed it was a woman! The band is a great death metal band that means business, and full of groove and plenty of brutality.  They’re a straightforward death metal band that doesn’t technically woo you, but their disgusting brutality and sheer power wins you over.  And I have been a big fan ever since.  I hope you feel the same about Abnormality.  Oh, and they too are working on a new album set for a release date sometime next year in 2019.

 

 

 

Okay, so here’s a handful of my favorite bands/artists in the metal and prog scene involving women.  I think it’s great to see more women breaking the trend of where they stereotypically are, but are doing what they want.  I think it’s glorious, and pretty cool for a change in genres generally dominated by males.  If there’s any other great bands I may have missed, don’t be afraid to chime in.

Great bands from Midwest/Northwest America, and Indonesia

Yeah, there’s a TON of hot bands from these areas and I’m gonna hook you n00bs up. And verbally blowing these areas, so to speak.  There’s so many good unheard of bands between Colorado, Missouri, Washington and random countries like Indonesia. Let’s fuck shit up and hopefully some of you haven’t heard of these bands and dig them!

Dischordia-  A death metal band that isn’t afraid to experiment.  Coming out of Oklahoma  (maybe southwest or southern america? close enough I guess?) I’ve been obsessed with this band since I heard their latest wild 2 song ep Binge/Purge. All sorts of weird shit beside lots of dissonance and rhythms.  There’s some ukulele flute marimba and all kinds of random shit on this killer EP.  They’ve only progressed to greater things with every release….don’t sleep on these dudes.

 

 

Aethereus- Some sweet, sweet ass tech death with prog moments from Tacoma Washington.  Another ridiculous band that the modern day metal hotspot Artisan Era record label has recently signed.  They aren’t totally over the top tech like Brain Dill or the short lived legendary cult tech perfectionists Necrophagist, but blend their sound so smoothly and perfectly.  Great vocals, guitar work and intense drumming will keep you busy for years.  Hail Aethereus!

 

 

Ahtme-  My brothers from Kansas City put on a lights out performance in September with Micawber and Lago in Niagara Falls at STAMPS.  Their album “Sewerborn” has been on constant repeat for me.   The band present a great mix of technical death metal and the groovy side of death metal that keep you foaming at the mouth.  They have another album through the original band name “A Roman Holiday” but changed their name in their new journey as Ahtme so technically Sewerborn is their debut album.  I hope you guys love this band as much as I do.  I got a chance to talk with the guys after their set that night…..they’re even cooler and down to earth.  Support this great band!

My personal favorite AHTME rager….great grooves, some technicality….Brent’s voice is awesome on this track.  

 

Sunless-  If it wasn’t for the previously mentioned Dischordia who talked about these guys, I wouldn’t have known about these lads from Minnesota.  Sunless brings the heavy with extra dissonance, like Gorguts crazy.  Many cool ass rhythms bring this band to life.  They are also recent members of Willowtip Records one of the solid record labels out there! Horns up for SUNLESS!

 

 

Decrescent- A killer tech death release from this year from Milwaukee’s finest (quite possibly) was such a great surprise.  As a guitarist I was naturally drawn to that part of the band.  The vocals stuck with me, shortly thereafter.  They’re a great project to write down and keep an ear open for….Blackened Bequest is a great album and hell of a debut. Feast your ears on this one tech trekkers!

 

 

Vale of Pnath- A killer, killer tech/progressive death metal band from Colorado slays.  Vance Venezuela has gone through many lineups but has put out some of the most underrated music in the genre(s).  Enjoy this killer band and Vance’s wild shred, it’s one hell of a ride so hold on for dear life!

 

My favorite Vale of Pnath track….fuck yeah BLACKER THAN!

 

 

Now for a few bands from Indonesia…..yeah that’s right.  They really throw the fuck down! Here’s a few bands that will kick your ass.

Neptunus-  For you overdone tech lovers that love Brain Drill with a bit of Rings of Saturn and Necrophagist this is for you sick fucks.  Over the top, heavy, and wild technical death metal to the CORE…seriously.  Dive right into this fucker right NOW.  Product of the great Indonesian extreme label Eastbreath Records!

 

Wormrot- Okay, they’re from Singapore but they’re pretty close to Indonesia….so I guess it counts? If you like disgusting, heavy and energetic grind core this under appreciated band should get your attention. They can groove the fuck out, and then explode out of nowhere into an obnoxious realm.  They’re very, very awesome.  I have a soft spot for grind core with their heavy ass and fun quick songs….if you can’t appreciate a good grind core quickie then WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?

 

 

Cadaver- A disgusting tech death band with death metal roots from the same label as Neptunus brings the heat big time.  Some great grooves, addicting vocals and sweet drumming keep me locked in with this band at least.  These guys have a great future! Check this wild band out!

 

 

 

Okay, now that i’ve verbally wanked off these bands go check them out and their regions! Canada is churning out some great technical and progressive death metal too.  If there’s any other great bands from these areas as well don’t forget to mention them.  I figured I had to write a piece on these killer bands that more people should be familiar with.  Stay Tech my freaks!