Ad Astra Self Titled Album

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Instrumental Progressive Fusion band Ad Astra dropped their self titled album and I’m here to blabber all about it! The guys have put out a more than stellar output, to be honest with you all.  The guitar work is absolutely brilliant, and does what it has to do…..some fusion guitarists just aimlessly noodle (like technical death metal occasionally, too) without a good song structure.  Well, I’m relieved to say Ad Astra goes against that generalization big time.  The band has worked together to create compositions, not just a band aimlessly playing their instrument.  There’s great melody, sweet keyboard work as well, and some killer rhythms.

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The drummer holds a solid and steady output on the kit, while maintaining great flavor in the recipe of Ad Astra’s music.  The bassist holds a fine steady rhythm, and is totally locked in with the drummer’s parts. He also has some sweet fills, that compliment when the keys and guitar when they have leads and vice versa. The mood is ever so relevant in the band’s album. Considering how laid back their sound can be and then bust out of nowhere like a bat out of hell.  I really dig what these guys are doing, and have clearly thought their music.  Head over to their website to check out more on the band, their music, and upcoming shows.  While you’re there, grab a physical copy of this album! I might just do the same!

 

Coma Rossi Self Titled Debut Album

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Coma Rossi is a progressive rock band from India who just unleashed this great debut album upon the world.  They’re a very cool band with a very large and diversified sound who draws you in with lots of melody and lots of mood and emotion.  Drawing influence from classical progressive rock bands, and some from the better modern prog greats the band has fused a well written sound that only means there will be even better releases in the future.  Lots of bands start off great with their first full length and then may fade afterwards, which happens sometimes.  I don’t think that will be the case with Coma Rossi.  You can check out the album here.

COMA ROSSI: 

Tom Borah – Vocals
Udayan Kashalikar – Bass & Vocals
Juby Thomas – Keyboards
Gaurav Govilkar – Guitars
Anupam Panda – Drums

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The album is a great piece of art with the band working as a collective unit.  It’s on the more experimental, melodic, melancholic and atmospheric sound of progressive music rather than the mind blowing technicality of the genre. It has a heavy Pink Floyd influence, mixed in with the sound and depression of Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree.  It isn’t so psychedelic and soft, it has some heavier moments as well (not death metal heavy, sorry headbangers).  Give them a shot, you’ll love their emotional music and beautiful soaring vocal melodies.

 

Tortoise Forest Debut Album

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Instrumental Progressive Jam Band Tortoise Forest released their debut album this past Saturday January 12th at their show at the Mohawk Place in Buffalo.  I was lucky enough to receive the album on release day to help the band promote, and I jumped at the opportunity! With tons of repetitive genres around the area (let alone anywhere else) this band is very artsy and original, which is something I love personally. The guys dive deep into their original sound, letting loose as much as they possibly can.  Tortoise Forest has created an impressive and eclectic sound with surprises around every corner.  There’s plenty of melody, wild effects, and killer groove that’ll entertain people of all ages and backgrounds.

TORTOISE FOREST:

Dan Gagliardi – (Drums/Pads)
Mike Cassidy – (Guitar, Pedals)
Max Davis – (Guitar, Pedals, Samples)
Tom Varco – (Bass, Pedals)

All four band members groove hard, and are totally in sync.  There’s all sorts of random audio samples from movies or TV shows in their music (and the one time I saw them live too!) which adds more flavor to their original sound.  I was so impressed with their sound I haven’t seen them since then! Cut a guy a break, there’s so much music to check out it’s tough to be in multiple places at once…..mmkay? Point is, they’re a well oiled machine and built well for the long haul and not playing in scraggly bars.  Their self titled album is a beautiful, melodic machine for the patient and artsy.  People with short attention spans will wanna stay away……unless if you dig Short Attention Span Theatre (har har)!

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The guitar work is absolutely blistering, and a great rhythm section that keeps their entertaining and diverse music alive every single moment.  Tortoise Forest has configured a wide array of sounds that will keep you guessing what they’ll be doing next.  I do know for a fact the guys will be booking heavily for some bigger shows and opportunity so they may be getting out of Western New York and playing in other areas sooner than later.  I really love this band and wish them nothing but the best.  Along with Anabasis the guys may have released one of the area’s independent releases so far of 2019 (with others expected from DivinexTurning Virtue, Forever In Transit, Squatch, and plenty of others around Western and Central New York I may not know of off the top of my head right now).

Thrailkill- Everything That Is You

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Thrailkill is a sweet instrumental progressive metal band that released this album “Everything That Is You” last year.  After giving it a decent ear, I really dig this band even more.  They’re not your typical instrumental metal band…..there’s much. much more to them than they lead on.  The band members went to the Musicians Institute in California, so you know where that leads musically at least…..some pretty killer songs.  They have a modern take on instrumental music (laid back instrumental bands like Chon, Animals As Leaders, Plini and Polyphia let’s say).  Don’t worry, they’re still heavy enough…..but not obscenely heavy.

THRAILKILL: 

Guitars – Wes Thrailkill
Drums – Lang Zhao
Bass – Yas Nomura

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The music is moody, melodic and wild.  It’s a modern take on progressive music, with some killer guitar work from Wes who is a beast I’m gonna have to admit. The guy came up with some sweet, chunky riffs….and equally as beautiful chord progressions with a decent clean sound in his setup to boot.  He can not only rip an emotional lead (especially some of my favorite clean leads he took throughout the record), but can easily hold his own when he wants to go crazy.  The rhythm section of Lang and Yas keep it tight with some of his bass peeking out every now and then in the songs.  They have created a masterful, wide and sonic sound for a 3 piece instrumental band.  Keep tabs on these dudes, as this is really phenomenal.  You can check out the record here and take part in some of their merchandise like a wall flag with limited quantity left!

https://www.westhrailkill.com

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

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pathos And Logos- Black Budget

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The Pathos And Logos guys released “Black Budget” a couple months ago.  For the guys, I personally think this track is equally as good as “Mergers And Acquisitions”.  What really stood out this time around is it’s slightly shorter, and really is a huge nod to modern instrumental prog metal.  If you dig the first two Animals As Leaders albums, you’ll love this track of the two they have posted.  This is like their “Cafo”, but with a moodier output.

That opening melody on guitar is just the start of some sweet things to come on “Black Budget”.  If you need a change in new music, or a testament that there isn’t “anything out there”…..which to me is an excuse because you’re just way too lazy to check out new bands with this invention we have called the internet.  Pathos And Logos presents a fresh sound to the instrumental movement, and wish nothing but the best for the guys.  If you’re into this style, they’ll satisfying your musical cravings without a doubt.  Check out the song below!

Short Attention Span Theatre

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The weird Progressive/Funk/Metal/Experimental band Short Attention Span Theatre bring a much needed and fresh sound to our local Western New York music scene.  Music is watered down these days, and it’s cool to see weirder and more artistic bands slowly come out of the woodworks.  These cats draw heavy influence from classic and modern progressive bands.  They’re very quirky like Protest The Hero and Dillinger Escape Plan….are they THAT good? That’s up for the listeners to decide, but I think they’re pretty good no matter what.

If you don’t know the band’s rhythm section (Gus on bass and Kenny of Avulsion on drums) make up a great instrumental band I absolutely love from our beloved Buffalo area Ish Kabibble.  I’m a sucker for these bands, if you know me well enough….SAST is not a one trick pony and bring lots of versatility and talent to the drawing board.

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Ryan Mis- Vocals
Gordon Carlson- Guitar
Augustin Brand- Bass
Kenny Brand- Drums

 

Ryan’s voice is so pure, and can also fake you out with such a low guttural you wouldn’t think someone could get down that low for a guy that has a higher range.  Its wildly impressive, to be honest.  Gordon’s guitar work is all over the place, but is pretty sweet for the Primus fan in me. I think he has a lot of those weird ‘Ler guitar movements on his leads if you know what I mean.  I don’t need to say anymore on the greatness of the Brand father and son combo, they’re aliens from another multiverse. It’s well documented in their band, and now in here with Short Attention Span Theatre.  If you remember Avulsion from back in the day, Daddy Brand used to do some serious blasting for the Buffalo Death Metal heroes. You can check out the band’s wild musical adventures on their band camp and see when they will play out next by stalking their Facebook page.

Pathos And Logos Unleash “Mergers And Acquisitions”

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Instrumental Progressive Metal Duo Pathos And Logos unleashed a killer track upon us unworthy earthlings.  “Mergers And Acquisitions” brings a great well rounded sound to the table with not just lots of heavy sections, but lots of mood and phenomenal guitar melodies provided by Kyle.  Paul’s drumming perfectly compliments his riffs and melodies, totally zoning in on their sound.  I really dig how inconsistent the band is, with surprises and mood changes around every corner.

From progressive music to rock to metal to  some jazzy sections and some classic rock mixed in on some of the guitar leads as well, Pathos And Logos brings a diverse sound to the dinner table waiting to be feasted.  I’m an obvious cheerleader of instrumental bands It would be sweet to see more Animals As Leaders/Polyphia/Plini/Intervals on the forefront, fucking shit up in bigger festivals and tours changing the face of music.  This sort of music is for the artsy and open minded, dive into this great track and keep track of the dudes in their musical adventure.

 

Marc Durkee- Remain In Stasis

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Marc Durkee is releasing his album “Remain In Stasis” January 18th of 2019 and it’s a great progressive rock treat! You can also check out a guitar play through of the song “The Dark Dimension” above this sentence.  He is a wealth of talent writing not just all of the music, but also recording it!  He is a jack of all trades, like Steven Wilson…..maybe I shouldn’t go that far, or SHOULD I? His voice is very diverse, he cansing a beautifully sung part and then add some gravel to his voice to give his music and lyrics more emotion.  His approach on guitar reflects his wide spectrum of his voice, which makes a killer combination.

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Marc is giving you that “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” look.  He is annoyed because you need to preorder his album to help him keep making great music.

Durkee’s approach is multi faceted and has many sounds blended into his music.  He would be a great support for an Opeth, Steven Wilson or Katatonia tour….simply put he has broad horizons as an artist, and his music clearly reflects it.  Let’s all do the guy a favor and not only grab his upcoming album, but also get his great music out there.  2019 has many solid releases lined up and “Remain In Stasis” should be there the whole time.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/marcdurkeeofficial/

https://durk.bandcamp.com/

https://www.instagram.com/darcmurkee/

https://open.spotify.com/track/2tkbr1TjxjSLKKkBiN51Vm?si=5tgmlug4SgOG97EENvKIfw

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/a-way-to-escape-single/1441984409

The Surrealist launch new song “Kaleido”

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Instrumental experimental prog duo The Surrealist have FINALLY released the single they were teasing for weeks yesterday December 14th.  As expected, it’s very melodic and well layered when it has to be.  Roopam’s guitar playing is mind blowing as usual and will launch you into another atmosphere.  If you’re not familiar with The Surrealist, then I suggest you get familiar with their music! If you don’t remember they were my featured band from November.  There are no limits on their massive potential and “Kaelido” is another testament to their original and unique sound Roopam has established for The Surrealist. Check out the song!