Blog Archives

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:

Facebook      Bandcamp

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2013, #20 – #16


MetalCatWhile I’ve been playing with so much metal in the last few months I’ve wondered about my taste, which isn’t the same as yours or anyone else’s. Your taste is also unique. Two or three people with a common interest in certain types of metal may agree on their favourite album of a particular year. If those three were to make their top ten lists for just three or four years, however, it’s almost 100% certain there would be three quite different sets of lists.

What is taste? Can it be defined? There is some concensus among critics about what is good. There is never universal agreement. Music is too intangible and personal.

What then about the bottom-line question: What is the best music? I have only one answer to that, and it’s been my answer for many decades… the best music is the music you enjoy the most. It would be gravely presumptuous of anyone to tell you otherwise.

Ultimately there are only two types of music for anyone – music you like and music you don’t.

~ Dark Metal Cat, defending his chorus with a marauding stray cat last night

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2013, #25 – #21


MetalCatSince this is the last week of my year-by-year hit parades, I’m overindulging myself completely by posting my top 25 songs of last year. This’ll be good practice for making my list of my top albums of 2014.

Next week I shall reveal the true identity of Dark Metal Cat unless he gets me first with his very big paws and his very, very sharp claws.

 

 

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Album Review: Skyharbor – Guiding Lights


RGuidingLights_Coverelease Date: 10th of November 2014

Tracks:  10     Length: 69 minutes

Genre:  Progressive/ambient/rock

Previous releases: Blinding White Noise: Illusion and Chaos 2012

Location: India/UK/US

Label: Basick Records

Recommended for fans of:  Karnivool, Deftones, TesseracT, Steven Wilson, Tool

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