Blog Archives

Mammal’s FREE!!! song pick: The Deadstation – Limitless, Or So It Seems


Episode 1When I reviewed The Deadstation’s debut EP last year, I asked two questions: “Where are they hiding the rest of their albums?” and: “Why aren’t there more?” I gave the EP a top rating. It’s superb prog metal.

Yesterday the band posted a Bandcamp stream of a song they’re offering to give away. You do have the option of naming your price, and I’m sure the band won’t moan if you’d like to pay something for the download. However, they want their music to reach lots of people, and giving away an excellent song is one way they’re doing this.

Check out the free download at Bandcamp. Then meet The Deadstation on Facebook. They are Shjon Thomas (guitar, bass and vocals), Ryan Mattheu (guitar) and Greg Murphy (lead vocals and drums). One of their favourite hobbies seems to be interacting with fans.

 

EP Stream: Major Denial – Self Titled EP


Major Denial hails from Athens, Greece and boasts a melodic progressive sound in a ballpark with Fates Warning.  In fact, they enlisted special guest Mark Zonder formerly of Fates Warning from 1988-2005 and again in 2010 to drum on these tracks.  Despite forming in 2013, their songs are reminiscent of 80s-90s progressive metal, clean, with crisp with strong vocals.  Their 4-track EP is available for streaming or downloading at Bandcamp.  Enjoy!

A Metal-Prog Interlude: VOLA – Gutter Moon


I know and love VOLA, from Denmark, for their earlier and largely unheralded music. When I first heard them in 2009 they were a progressive rock band with a strong flavour of math rock in their compositions.

The new VOLA album, “Inmazes”, features a different line-up and a much more exploratory approach. It’s a beautiful merging of prog and math rock, prog and math metal and djent. I believe this must greatly broaden VOLA’s potential fan base. From my point of view as a metal-prog hybrid, this album will be too good to miss. It should be available now.

Find out more at VOLA’s Facebook page.

“Gutter Moon” is from the new album.

For comparison, “Like The Rainbow” is the first track on the 2009 EP, “Homesick Machinery”. Both songs are deeply satisfying.

 

Album Review: Arcane – Known/Learned


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Release Date: January 20th, 2015 on Sensory Records

Tracks: 2 discs, 16 tracks

Length: A little over 2 hours

Genre: Progressive metal

Location: Brisbane, Australia

Previous releases: Ashes 2007, Chronicles of the Waking Dream 2009

Recommended for fans of:  Pain of Salvation, Dream Theater, Caligula’s Horse, Fates Warning, Anathema

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Various progressive metal releases to get excited about in 2015


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This is only a small selection of the best upcoming progressive rock/metal releases, some that have already been announced and others from bands who are working on new material.

*It’s been almost four years since the last Symphony X and now it’s time for their ninth work of art to reach our ears. The band says they are going back to their older sound, a mix of previous albums “The Odyssey” and “Paradise Lost” (those are not very old…), less heavy,  more melodic and classic sounding. Interesting! It’s set for an early 2015 release. Listen to older Symphony X.

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*A couple of days ago I read a claim that “Australian prog will take over the world”, and felt there’s hope for a bright future after all! Arcane are contributing to this cause, after a successful crowd funding campaign, with their ambitious 2-disc concept album “Known/Learned”, fronted by Caligula’s Horse’s brilliant vocalist Jim Grey. The songs are divided on two discs – the first one being on the heavy, traditional side of prog and the second goes into lighter acoustic/folk songs. A deep, thoughtful story of a father and his daughter on a bittersweet journey through life. Release date: January 20th.

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Album Review: Soen – Tellurian


soen-tellurian-7113“I will fight the system, break it down and redesign it, I don’t want anything the way it’s created by them. Where is my right to choose, if all the options are theirs?

Release Date: November 4th 2014 on Spinefarm Records

Tracks: 9

Length: 53 minutes

Genre:  Atmospheric progressive metal

Previous releases: Cognitive 2012

Location: Sweden/US

Recommended for fans of:  Opeth, Leprous, Rishloo, Riverside, Karnivool

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2013, #5 – #1


MetalCatAnd so we reach the final countdown in my personal 21-year journey through metal. If you all promise to behave nicely, I promise not to post that song by Europe.

It’s been a good ride. Thinking back to the first time I heard Sabbath, metal has given me a wonderful ride for more than 40 years.

What’s really beautiful about metal – to me, at least – is that it keeps growing bigger, more diverse and better. I greatly look forward to continuing the journey until my brain atrophies again, as it did a couple of years ago when it turned into a fossil like the rest of me.

 

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2013, #10 – #6


MetalCatI haven’t referred to my list of top albums of 2013 that I posted on Metal State at the end of last year. I don’t need to because I know it’s markedly different to my current sets of year-by-year hit parades. This series has featured my favourite songs, not albums. It hasn’t included non-metal, whereas my top albums list did.

I set another condition for myself at the start of this exercise, which has been a wonderfully enjoyable game. To spread the pleasure among the artists who’ve given me so much pleasure over the years, I chose only one song per year per artist. There too I’ve been arbitrary at times. There are albums so good that just about any song would be a contender for top song by that artist.

No doubt my lists would look different if I re-did them in a year’s time. Music shapes itself to our moods.

 

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2013, #15 – #11


MetalCatThree lots of prog metal today, from Dante, Oceanborn and Leprous. Also deathcore from Within The Ruins and melodic death from Amon Amarth.

I hate it when Dark Metal Cat goes gallivanting with feline temptresses and isn’t here to write my intros for me.

 

 

 

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Streaming: Opus Of A Machine – Simulacra


Opus of A Machine started out in 2012, formed by Caligula’s Horse‘s guitarist Zac Greensill and they play a brilliant mix of raw and honest-sounding progressive rock/alternative metal reinforced with powerful clean vocals. Check out their newly released album here:

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