With a very well defined Progressive Rock sound, Case in Theory really makes an impact with the 11compositions presented in this very professionally crafted release. “Cinematic” marks the full-length debut of this band and its atmospheric/melodic approach to music, very similar to 3’s “The Ghost you gave to me”. Funded through kickstarter.com, this release packs a lot of punch and hopefully lands the band a label deal.
Opening with the emotional “Mavericks”, the band showcases very ethereal and well crafted atmospheric elements. The guitar work is very engaging and the backing vocals nicely build up momentum, culminating in the hypnotic song “The Night”. In the second song of the release, the vocals of Jonathan Posadas add an extra dimension to the melodic aspect of this album. Paired with the atmospheric rock guitars and some progressive elements, this song is the perfect indicator of things to come.
As one of the first band’s that got me into more ‘melodic’ and ‘different’ sounding music back in 1998 with their excellent album “Etherial”, Dies Irae returns after a 10 year hiatus with “Secret Veils of Passion”. In this very interesting release the band goes all over the place with so many musical influences that seem a bit disconnected at times, but that in fact create a very solid release with a wide palette of textures and very high-creativity.
While many band’s in Mexico are clones from European ones, Dies Irae crafted two of the most interesting releases of Mexican metal in the late 90’s and the disappeared. With a hint of an European sound, “Etherial” was a landmark release with its hefty Jazz/Fusion influences that puzzled many. With “Secret Veils of Passion” they continue through their exploratory musical journey and have produces 10 unique tracks that have some memorable moments.
Blowing past the boundaries of Depressive Black Metal and ending up on the Alternative Rock side of things, today we have Svarti Loghin and their latest skillful release “Sea of Green”. The band since their last release “Drifting Through the Void” was showing extreme signs of moving away from BM, and on this latest release they complete the transition.
Evoking elements from Alternative Rock to Grunge, “Sea of Green” features five very interesting tracks that need your complete open-mindedness or you will completely hate this release. The depressive vibe of the band is totally present in this release; this is excellent since the band has a very unique sound. However, you will have to deal with almost no Metal elements, and a very mellow and ‘alternative’ approach to things.
Super talented multi-instrumentalist Duncan Patterson gives us his latest project Alternative 4. In this band, Duncan produces a very interesting and cinematic experience that merges some of the old elements of Anathema (from back in the day) and Antimatter (before he left obviously). This combination produces a very interesting and organic sound that we have missed since he started doing his last projects Íon and The Aftermath.
With a very mysterious opening track titled “The Brink”, this album nicely generates some expectation before “False Light” sets the tone of how (most) of this release is going to go. With nice distorted guitars and a very somber atmosphere, this song nicely delivers a very experimental yet familiar sound. Having recorded the album in several parts of the world including Ireland and Mexico, the overall product is very well integrated and full of atmospheric surprises. For the Anathema fans, the bass guitar line near the end of the song will nicely bring you back to the band’s old albums for sure.
After four years since the band’s last release (“The End Is Begun”), 3 returns with a more consolidated but equally excellent release under the title “The Ghost You Gave to Me”. With a very eclectic mixture of styles in each of the band’s previous releases, it feels that they have now unified their style and deliver a very well crafted mixture of Progressive Rock elements with a modern alternative music edge, and a few surprises here and there.
Before you go running out the door after reading ‘alternative music’, 3 delivers plenty of powerful guitar melodies and well crafted riffs to satisfy any Progressive music fan. The vocals are very well crafted into the overall structure of the songs, allowing “The Ghost You Gave to Me” to have a very rich sound and never get dull (like many prog releases tend to get).
Featuring a very ethereal and fresh sound, today we have What Mad Universe, a two man band from France that plays a particular combination of Atmospheric Rock with Sludge and Post-Rock elements. For over 50 minutes we are treated with very enchanting compositions that will transport the listener to unknown realms of consciousness.
With a hefty mix of distorted guitars, atmospheric elements, some electronic ones, and the use of a banjo (Deliverance, anybody?), “A Cosmic Chapter with Gaia” nicely stands aside from the rest of atmospheric releases due to the intricacy and effectiveness of its songs. The masterminds behind this project PEP and RK do a great job in executing all these elements to perfection in order to create very engaging and interesting tracks.
Usually all releases from Neurot Recordings are very interesting and Across Tundras seventh full-length release “Sage” is not an exception. Blending Psychedelic Rock, Sludge and some Americana elements, the band creates a very dense and multi-faceted album that will take a while to fully enjoy.
Opening with the very intricate “In the Name of River Grand”, we immediately notice the majestic guitar work paired with the pounding bass guitar line. Once the vocals find their way into the song the overall atmosphere shifts to a more direct combination of Psychedelic Rock and Americana influences. Clocking in at eight minutes, this track is the perfect appetizer for what is to come in “Sage”.
In the same vein of U.S.Christmas, Hawkwind, and other Psychedelic Space Rockers, today we have Tasha-Yar and their very impressive self-released self-titled album. In this release we are treated to 8 tracks of pure atmospheric brilliance that will transport the listener to lands far far away.
Featuring ex-members of U.S. Christmas and Chad Davis of Hour of 13, this band creates a very unique and hypnotic atmosphere infused with Psychedelic elements that will blow you away. Each of the songs in this album nicely flows after each other and before you know it, you will find yourself hitting the play button again.
Releasing yet another compilation album, today we have Antimatter and their latest offering “Alternative Matter”. While we like these types of compilation releases that have unreleased tracks and alternative versions, we are kind of getting tired of Antimatter taking their fans to the cleaners with 2 non-new albums after their great “Leaving Eden” back in 2007.
That being said, “Alternative Matter” comes in two different versions: the standard double-CD digipack (reviewed here) and a premium art-book edition with 3 CD’s, one DVD, and a 104 page book. Out of the 22 tracks presented in our promo version, we are mostly interested in Duncan Patterson’s remixes and some enhanced versions.
We at Infernal Masquerade are usually very busy reviewing all the stuff we get from labels, bands, etc., that we rarely have free time to go out and discover something new. Few weeks ago we found ourselves at a friend’s house being serenaded by this great band that we had no idea who it was, turning out to be The Man-Eating Tree, and we had been listening to “Vine” for almost 3 hours non stop. Long story short, we immediately got a copy of this album and became almost obsessed by it.
Featuring Vesa Ranta (ex-Sentenced) on drums, Janne Markus (Poisonblack) on guitars and Tuomas Tuominen (ex-Fall of the Leafe), The Man-Eating Tree boasts a very impressive line-up. The music in “Vine” can equate to the quality of musicians performing on it. The band plays a very Atmospheric brand of Gothic Metal that will surely grab you attention very quickly since it’s extremely good and appealing.