Wrack- Hollow Sun

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Wrack is a progressive metal project by Tyler Cox.  It’s set to be released on June 15th of this year.  It’s a very heavy EP…..also, very rhythmic.  There’s some mood changes which give it more variation than your normal prog band, but for the most part it is a straight headbanger.  There’s a couple cool guitar duals that add some ear candy throughout the listening experience of Hollow Sun.

 

wrack.bandcamp.com

 

Hollow Sun is an energetic album, especially vocally. This turned out to be one of the better EP’S of 2018 so far, and a great surprise.  I’m glad I came across this when I did, it’s a release that’s definitely worth your time I can guarantee that. Preorder the album directly at the bandcamp link at the beginning of the article.

ISA- Chimera

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Chimera is ISA’s debut album with a psychedelic and experimental twist on progressive death metal with a mathcore twist.  It’s a very inconsistent, chaotic and entertaining album from the band mastermind Dan Curhan.  He did all the work for Chimera and holy shit is it impressive.  If you like spontaneity and progressive music that’s not of the norm ISA is a project that is for you.

I’m noticing lately I’ve been getting into more experimental and dissonant prog bands.  Dan’s project covers so many boundaries it’s refreshing.  The songs are layered well and not overdone.  You can get Between The Buried and Me, Pink Floyd and Dillinger Escape Plan all in one song! It’s such a trip I have to say it’s a ride you need to pay to get on and be a part of this adventure.

For a newcomer, ISA has received some decent accolades in its early stages so far.  32837753_2385870768305990_3996162435487629312_n.jpg

As seen above, he has even gotten props from Metal Injection! I wish Dan nothing but the best for his band and his upcoming releases.  The more I heard Chimera, the more I wanted to listen to it in its exact order…….certain albums are best listened to in the order of the songs as they are, and that’s exactly how Chimera should be treated.

The obnoxious part of Chimera puts you in a smooth state of mind when the mellow parts kick in….and then BAM! A huge grindcore or mathcore influenced section kicks in and punches you in the balls (The transition from “Lust” to “Freedom” is a great example)!  Dan’s vocals are very energetic and straightforward.  Not to put in the background of this trip, but he also did the artwork…..he’s gained respect from a fellow artist like myself.  Dan is a multitalented musician who deserves a little bit of respect to say the least which I think is a dying thing these days.

Buy the album right now, and you’ll totally get my drift punks.

https://www.facebook.com/isadanband/

https://dcurhan.bandcamp.com

 

 

Unflesh- Savior

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Unflesh’s first full length “Savior” is out this Friday May 25th.  Their debut EP “Transcendence to Eternal Obscurity” had ex Obscura drummer Hannes Grossman work with the band skyrocketing its credibility and talent.  Savior took that opportunity and then some.  The technicality and blistering fretwork on “Savior” is of a seasoned technical death metal band….but you then realize Unflesh is still very new.  The scary part of Unflesh is I don’t think Savior is their best work……they’re still very young and have lots of time ahead of them.  Unflesh can do even better and that’s bad news for the rest of the metal world to keep up with such a potent band.

Metal Injection premiered the album today and can be heard right here.  Unflesh isn’t super crazy to the point where its an unorganized mess…..they do hold some killer grooves while they’re not melting faces and messing with different rhythms.  Nothing bad can’t be said about the guys…..the material is well written and tasteful.  Maybe the world has found another great tech band to replace the Necrophagist void (Unfortunately we won’t see another album out of those legends again).   I also did an Unflesh Interview May 2018 earlier this month if you want to check it out.

Unflesh was founded by Ryan Beevers (also Solium Fatalis) in 2014. The band released an EP that was released on July 15th of 2016 called “Transcendence to Eternal Obscurity” that featured Hannes Grossmann (Alkaloid, ex-Obscura, ex-Necrophagist) on session drums. In 2016 they gained a full line up, which is now: Ryan Beevers on Guitar/Vocals, Chris Dovas on drums, Peter De Reyna on bass, and Caio Kehyayan on guitar. The band has since played their first round of shows starting in 2016 and will be touring in the summer of 2018 in support of their new album, Savior.

The band is mainly influenced by bands such as (Dissection, Emperor, Slayer, Watain, Necrophagist, Angelcorpse) to name a few. We are all in Boston, MA currently and we consider that our base at the moment. I started the band in 2014 and was composing songs for the band around that time. It was in 2016 that we got a full line up and played a lot of shows up until this point. – Ryan Beevers

I say promote the hell out of these guys.  We have too many generic and copycat bands…..they blend black metal, death metal and hints of thrash metal throughout the record.  Unflesh is one of a small group of technical/progressive bands that is helping push the boundaries of the genre and not trying to fit in.  You can preorder the album on digital outlets or physically as well.

https://www.unfleshband.com/shop

https://www.facebook.com/Unflesh/
https://unflesh.bandcamp.com/album/savior
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgIPtHYjLDKhEbszA53mY0Q
https://www.instagram.com/unfleshofficial/

 

 

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Fire Garden May 2018 Interview

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My Fire Garden homies are one of the most underrated progressive rock bands in the scene right now.  I saw the guys last summer in Niagara Falls at the Evening Star and damn, do they put on a great show.  Oh…..and they’re cool guys, to boot.  What’s not to like about Fire Garden?

As part of the monthly showcase (I tried last month for Angel Vivaldi….nobody got back to me. I at least tried!) an interview of some sorts is conducted with the featured band or artist.  I hope you get a good look into the creative minds and personalties that make Fire Garden the quality band they’ve morphed into.

Fire Garden is:

Zee Baig – Lead Vocals & Guitars

MM: Marc Malitz – Bass and Backing Vocals

Al: Allen Ladis – Lead and Rhythm Guitars

BK: Bill Kiser – Drums

TMR: How did the band come to be?

Zee: I formed this band while I was living in Kazakhstan, played few shows under the Fire Garden name and had a MySpace page as well (anyone remember?).  We wrote a few originals but there was never a serious plan to record and release music, when I moved to USA I decided to continue the journey hired few session musicians to record a 3 song EP called “The Prelude”. The response was great and people started to like it, so I decided to write a full-length record which became “Sound of Majestic Colors”.  That record caught some attention in the PROG community including Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater. So, it was obvious to do a follow-up. This time I went to find people who can play this music live as well. Luckily, I found these guys (Marc Malitz, Bill Kiser, Allen Ladis) and I am blown away with the response of Far and Near and our live shows. The good thing is whoever comes to our shows they appreciate the music. We are constantly working on our live show we try to keep things fresh and I am excited for the future ahead.

 

TMR: What is the meaning behind the band name? Is it a Steve vai reference? 🙂

Zee: Yes!!! I am a big fan of Steve Vai and the name represent perfectly with the style of music I enjoy. “Fire” is for aggressive side and “Garden” is for mellow side…does that make sense? 😉 … BTW do you know Steve Vai is a Bee Keeper? And, his garden is called Fire Garden.

 

TMR: What was it like recording the vocals for Far and Near? Did it feel more pure putting your voice on the music as Zee Baig, rather than someone else singing? Totally different sound and texture than the vocalist that sang on Sound of Majestic Colors.

Zee: It was one of the best decisions I took in my life. Sometimes you are not familiar with your own inner potential. I am a performer and I always want to play live music. When you have a different frontman with every release, it is hard for fans to relate to the band. Therefore, I decided to do vocals myself and I am happy with the results and fans loved it.

TMR: What is everyone’s favorite piece of gear past or present?

 

Zee: Probably my studio computer

MM: Schroeder bass cabinet

AL: My Fractal Axe Fx I XL

BK: My 20” Zildjian K Constantinople Medium Thin Low ride cymbal.


TMR: You guys finish playing a long set and are starving ….what’s the first food you’re craving?

 

Zee: Mediterranean food  

MM: Tacos

AL: Pizza or Burritos

BK: Pizza

 

TMR: How is the writing process for the latest fire garden album going?

 

Zee: Writing process is going well, a little slower than my expectation.  This time I am taking a slightly different approach, experimenting with different instruments and taking influences from other genres. I think the world doesn’t need another Dream Theater or Porcupine Tree. Let’s see how successful I am 🙂


TMR: What’s everyone’s favorite drink of choice at the bar?

 

Zee: I don’t drink alcohol so Ginger Ale or lemonade for me

MM: Beer

AL: Beer and Tequila

BK: Red wine. Always


TMR: Who is everyone’s bucket list band they’d love to see live?

 

Zee: Past David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, and Queen….Present Peter Gabriel, Guns n Roses (Yes I missed the last tour)  

MM: The Kinks

AL: RUSH reunion show

BK: Going to the past, early Zeppelin and Genesis 73 era.

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TMR: What band would you guys want to play with that’s also on your bucket list?

 

Zee: So many to list..but opening for Opeth or Steven Wilson would be great.

MM: Pineapple Thief, Opeth, Steven Wilson, Haken, Steve Hackett, Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, King Crimson, and Primus

AL: Symphony X

BK: Any cool band with great energy.

 

TMR: You’re putting together an all day festival….what bands are you guys booking? Let’s say for conversation’s sake 10 total including you guys, so 9 other bands.

Zee: Dream Theater, Steven Wilson, Opeth, Nine Inch Nails, Roger Waters, Opeth, Coldplay, Steve Vai, Junoon (Pakistani band) and of course Fire Garden.

MM: Pineapple Thief, Opeth, Steven Wilson, Haken, Steve Hackett, Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, King Crimson, and Primus

AL: Circle of Illusion, Frost, Voyager, Moon Safari, Haken, Dream Theater , Porcupine Tree, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani

BK: Janes addiction, tool, opeth, king crimson, Syd Arthur, Radiohead, primus, marillion, bela fleck. 🙂

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TMR: What’s everyone listening rotation usually consist of?

Zee: I listen to different styles and post my playlist every month on www.firegardenmusic.com/blog and my MixTapes on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/1235065471/playlist/7ykyYeJoJQ0ZhnH44Fa2tb?si=rEnFbP8LQgKvb4oXRjFjyg

MM: Prog, Jazz, Metal, Classic Rock

AL: Dream Theater, RUSH, repeat

BK: Constantly evolving but always includes Rush, Jellyfish, Genesis, Radiohead and Laura Marling to name but a few.

 


TMR: What 2018 releases are you guys looking forward to? And your favorites that have been released so far this year, as well.

 

Zee: Nine Inch Nails, The Sea Within, The Pineapple Thief … favorite so far don’t have one yet.

MM: Looking forward to new releases by Riverside, TesseracT, The Sea Within, Pineapple Thief, favorites so far are releases from Judas Priest, Between the Buried and Me, and Joe Satriani

AL:  Not really up on new releases.. In my bubble I guess

BK: Tool

 

TMR: You guitarists rock those Kiesel and music man guitars nicely….sponsorship would be cool! You guys should totally hit them up.

 

Zee: Would love to, but I am not a big fan of endorsements. I like to keep my options open, you might see me playing different instruments in the future.

AL: I’m a little fish in a big pond. Maybe?  

TMR: Music theory or no music theory? It’s very helpful, yet on the other end you don’t want to be so focused on music theory and not write great music….what are your opinions on it?

 

Zee: It helps but I don’t like to put boundaries when writing music. I am not good in theory at all. I just write what I hear in my head.

MM: Learning theory and music content is great, but should only be used as a tool.

AL: I never learned theory.  Wish I had.. Definitely helps writing.

BK: For drummers knowledge of rhythm is important.

TMR: What hobbies do you guys have outside of the band and being an artist?

 

Zee: I like to play sports whenever I can, cricket or tennis…. these days into tennis a lot.

MM: I collect comic books

AL: Camping, Fishing, Outdoor stuff I guess..

BK: I’m a closet guitar player and love to run, outside preferably.


TMR: What else do you guys do outside of fire garden whether it’s music related or not? Link your other endeavors and projects here for people to check out.

 

Zee: I run my own production company where I record/mix/produce other people’s music. Also, I love doing movie scores for short films and direct music videos. You can contact me at info@firegardenmusic.com

MM: I play in a Jazz group called, The Nascent Jazz Trio: https://www.facebook.com/NascentJazzTrio/

AL: No other projects right now. So mostly family, work, the band..  And most importantly my beard!!!!

BK: Of course family time, running, reading, wine drinking and a fun original instrumental band called Mute, as time allows.

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firegardenmusic.com

 

Dischordia premieres part of upcoming EP with “Binge”

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Dischordia has released part of their upcoming “Binge/Purge” EP with an excerpt of Binge.         The band’s technicality and proficiency is in the forefront on the crazy trip of this EP.  There’s all sorts of odd instrumentation throughout the ride from marimba to flute a choir even a ukulele! This progressive death metal trio is a force to be reckoned with and are one of a select few within their genre that is experimenting with less popular or unusual instruments that aren’t found in death metal.  That notion alone makes Dischordia fucking awesome. Enjoy the 4 minute excerpt and let it change your mind to preorder this raging EP.

Dischordia – Binge/Purge Line-Up
Bass, Flute, Marimba, & Vox by Josh Turner
Guitars, Ukulele, & Vox by Keeno
Drums, Guitars, & Piano by Josh Fallin
Guest choir on “Purge” by Rose State Chorus, directed by Dr. Tracey Gregg-Boothby

Grab your copy right here!

https://dischordia.bandcamp.com/album/binge-purge

 

 

www.facebook.com/dischordiaband
www.instagram.com/dischordiaband
www.dischordia.bandcamp.com

 

Unflesh Interview May 2018

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Unflesh is about to release a killer album in a few weeks and it seriously shreds……hard.  “Savior” is one of the best releases of 2018 overall, and probably the best independent release that I know of.
https://unflesh.bandcamp.com/album/savior
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgIPtHYjLDKhEbszA53mY0Q
https://www.instagram.com/unfleshofficial/

TMR: What was it like working with one of the best drummers in Hannes Grossman? The guy is legitimate drumming gold.

Ryan Beevers: It was great, he’s extraordinarily good at what he does! Definitely a great experience!

TMR: Ryan what is it like going to school at the prestigious Berklee College of Music? And do you think it adds a stigma whether its positive or negative just because someone is attending their school? If you go to Berklee…..you must be perfect, right? Like Dream Theater?

Ryan Beevers: Well, I myself personally am going to school at Berklee for very different reasons than doing Unflesh. I look at them as two different worlds with completely different motivations. I have no concern or interest about people’s opinion regarding this. 

TMR: Your sound is so fresh and so unique compared to many technical and progressive death metal bands these days……how tough is it to keep such an original sound in a slightly repetitive genre? You never want to go stale and rehash the same music over and over again.

Ryan Beevers: It’s quite tough I think when creating music as a band you wanna try and expand and try to push in all directions while maintaining the core fundamentals and also enhancing the sound as much as possible. These are ideas that I try to keep in mind at all times.  

TMR: Do you guys plan on shopping for a label or want to stay independent? 

Ryan Beevers: As far as labels go we haven’t gotten too many offers but either way we are doing just fine being independent for the time being.

TMR: What is everyone’s journey that led them to their instrument of choice? And influences that made you want to become a musician?

Ryan Beevers: Mainly what inspired me in the beginning was bands that my dad was listening to like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Overkill and Testament. That got me to want to pick up a guitar and make music like these bands did.

TMR: Between Babymetal and Corey Feldman who would you rather open up for on a tour?

Ryan Beevers: I’m not too familiar with either so I can’t answer.

TMR: Onto a serious question……what band is on your “bucket list” would you love to play a show with? 

Ryan Beevers: Oh that’s a tough one, I’d have to say that most of the bands I’d love to play a show with don’t exist anymore. But I’d love to play a show with maybe Watain, Morbid angel, Necrophagist (if they ever come back) or maybe Der Weg einer Freiheit.

TMR: Where did you derive your band name from?

Ryan Beevers: The band name was inspired by the Dark Fortress song “The Unflesh” and as the band has grown I think the band name has taken a whole new meaning in and of itself in terms of relating to the lyrical content and drive of the band.

TMR: Savior has a very cool and creepy album cover…..what primarily influenced it and the idea behind it?

Ryan Beevers: The album cover and all the other artworks inside the cover are based on the lyrical content in each song. I had several in depth conversations with the guy who designed the artworks Junki Sakuraba, explaining what each song was about. So all the artworks you see are what he envisioned after these discussions and hearing the demos I’d send to him. He’s extremely talented and he did a fucking brilliant job.

TMR: What kind of gear do you guys use? And what is your favorite single piece of gear whether its for recording or playing?

Ryan Beevers: I use an ESP guitar and Engl Amps, Ghs strings and a couple of various guitar pedals. Our other guitarist uses Peavy amps and I know he has some sort of rack unit which I’m not too sure what it is at the moment. Our Bassist uses Ibanez basses and DNA amps, Our drummer Chris uses a Yamaha recording custom kit, Vater sticks and Remo drum heads.

TMR: What is everyone’s all time favorite albums? And anything you’re looking forward to being released in 2018?

Ryan Beevers: Speaking for myself I’d say some of my favorite records would be Dissection-Storm of the light’s bane, Watain-Lawless Darkness, Celtic Frost-Monotheist and many more. This year I’m looking forward to the latest Obscura and At the Gates releases.

TMR: Please provide links here for any other project of yours or any endeavor outside of the band that anyone can check out.

Solium Fatalis:

https://www.facebook.com/SoliumFatalis/

https://soliumfatalis.bandcamp.com 

Seven Spires:

https://www.facebook.com/sevenspiresband/ 

https://sevenspiresband.com 

Pathogenic:

https://www.facebook.com/pathogenicmetal/?ref=br_rs 

https://pathogenic.bandcamp.com 

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Ingested- The Level Above Human

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Slam/Death Metal kings Ingested just released one of the best extreme albums of the year.  This album has been on repeat for weeks since April 27th when this great album came out.  It didn’t take long for it to settle in with me…..easily digestible, to say the least. It’s a lot more straightforward and as heavy as their previous releases.  What I like most about Ingested personally is their willing to keep going and push themselves….every album has gotten better since their early days of the “Revered By No One, Feared By All” EP 5 years ago.  This band is extremely energetic.

They’re not trendsetters……they’re modern day legends. I’m talking modern day Suffocation legendary.  Am I over-stretching boundaries? Hell no! They’re that good! There’s a reason behind their “Slam Kings” nickname.  The Ingested dudes are here to keep death metal great.  Anyone into death metal should love “The Level Above Human”…..if not, they probably love babymetal.

If you don’t believe me, or want to……here’s the album stream.  I rate this beast 10 blast beats out of 10.

 

 

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SLAM. KINGS.

 

Voidthrone- Kur

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Voidthrone’s latest album “Kur” is out today May 4th.  They’re a dissonant blackened death metal band who’s unlike no other band out there right now……their eeriness and raw sound is what got me into this band.  Voidthrone is an energetic band that brings the heat every second on their 24 minute release.

The album artwork is as creepy and haunting as the album itself.  It only adds to the unusual and uneasy feeling their music portrays.  Kur is definitely one of the heaviest releases of 2018.

The band had this to say about their latest release….
“Musically, Kur builds on Voidthrone’s previous release. It contrasts established, repeated central riffs and textures with the drawn-out onslaught of sounds unfamiliar to the listener. It is with this approach that we strive to master a very certain art: that of the journey from beginning to end, from substance to emptiness. This requires embracing the emotional lows equally well as the highs. We write what feels natural to channel, but unnatural in relation to mainstream extreme metal. Our goal is to create unique and dissonant music that retains traditional elements of our genre without a pretentious air.

Lyrically, the album is an exploration of isolation and desolation. The songs touch on utter psychological collapse; an untethering from the reality, society, self. Kur begins from the perspective of an everyman, focused on some MacGuffin of enlightenment- religious, personal, scientific, universal, etc. As with any monkey paw story, there is a perverse result- obsession, madness, and unholy subterfuge. The concrete narrative quickly melts away into expressionistic confusion and chaos. The meaning and music assimilate and fully delve into tones of frantic terror and seething psychological sickness.

By the end of Kur, it is our intent to leave both listener and performer drained. Within this receptive exhaustion, we leave a spark- a seed of discontent that rejects normality. A hunger engendered for the other side of the veil. Beyond which- an absolute darkness, filled with Lions and Tigers and Bears. Oh my!
The album cover is an abstract painting created by the band at the beginning of the songwriting process, before we had started writing music. It is a visual representation of the root feelings that we used as the groundwork for the aural assault of Kur. It is the preface of the chaotic emotional state that we aim to cultivate.”

Kur Tracklisting
1. Modern Hellfire
2. Kur
3. Phantasm Epoch
4. Their Recursive Communion

Voidthrone lineup:
Ronald Foodsack (ex-Obnoxious) – Guitar, Phin (Thai stringed instrument)
Mac Boyd (ex-Dad Jazz) – Guitar
Joshua Keifer (ex-A Flourishing Scourge) – Drums
Austin Schmalz (Phorusrhacidae, ex-Topless Pit) – Bass
Zhenya Frolov (MCMJ) – Vocals

Incase you haven’t read last month’s interview conducted with the band, you can check it out below. You can buy Kur directly at their band camp website.

Dischordia- Binge And Purge EP Preview

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Progressive Death Metal Experimentalists Dischordia have released a teaser video for their upcoming 2 song 24 minute EP “Binge/Purge”.  The Dissonant extremists are releasing the EP on Friday June 15th.  2:30 doesn’t do this any justice, stay tuned in the next few weeks to get more information and music on this wild EP.

Dischordia guitarist Keeno comments on Binge/Purge:
“Binge/Purge is a modern take on Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy within our own political-cultural system. We enjoy telling stories with our music. Thanatopsis was a new level for us stylistically in searching for our sound. Binge/Purge builds on that progress and allows us to stretch our skills within a concept EP. “

Dischordia – Binge/Purge Tracklisting
1. Binge (11:04)
2. Purge (13:28)

Dischordia – Binge/Purge Line-Up
Bass, Flute, Marimba, & Vox by Josh Turner
Guitars, Ukulele, & Vox by Keeno
Drums, Guitars, & Piano by Josh Fallin
Guest choir on “Purge” by Rose State Chorus, directed by Dr. Tracey Gregg-Boothby


www.facebook.com/dischordiaband

www.instagram.com/dischordiaband
www.dischordia.bandcamp.com

The Slyde- Awakening

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Canadian Progressive Rock/Metal band The Slyde is releasing “Awakening” on May 18th.  I figured I would share their greatness with everyone before their album drops. Preorder their album before its release day! Great influences of Dream Theater, Rush and Haken…..this band is definitely staged to turn some heads.

 

 

 

Here’s a few tracks to tide you over until May 18th. I’ve been listening to them for under a week now….I’m loving it.

https://www.theslyde.ca/

https://www.facebook.com/theslydecanada

twitter- @theslydecanada

https://www.youtube.com/theslydecanada

https://www.instagram.com/theslydecanada/

 

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