album review:Sithu Aye – Invent the Universe

listen here.
Hopefully by now you’ve realized I don’t review current material.  Through the magic of spotify I’m able to find material I missed when it was first released, check it out and pass it along.  I have a constant love and need to explore the new music that’s available, as well the stuff that I might have missed when it first came out.  I’m always looking and am interesting in hearing bands you like in the comments or drumnmiker (at) gmail DOT com.

They’re a Djent style band, with progressive metal, instrumental and even electronica as their subcategories.  To borrow from Wikipedia, “Djent /ˈɛnt/[1] is a style of heavy metal music that developed as a spin-off of traditional progressive metal.[2][3] The word “djent” is an onomatopoeia for the distinctive high-gain, distorted palm-muted, low pitch guitar sound most notably employed by bands like Meshuggah and Sikth.” If that’s not your thing, move along.

Being a student of punk rock before metal I’m more prone to like music with blemishes, but that’s just my affinity for punk.  This release sounds almost too perfect with no out of place notes or hits.  The release starts with a dramatic, electronic build into the opening real snare hit, where the band kicks in and the rock begins. They play around with electronics later in the song and touch on it later in the album, but electronics are by no means the main focus, just something to punctuate the breakdowns.  The entire album is full of shredding solos, double bass drumming and crazy fills. Although this is metal and the music is certainly heavy, it’s definitely on the cleaner side of metal.  This is to progressive metal as Chon is to progressive rock.  The lack of vocals keep this music cleaner while still keeping it heavy.  They never go into the faster side of metal, staying mostly in the mid tempo range but typically upbeat. They even veer off into dance for a bit.

This is a solid album with cool musicianship. It’s a cohesive piece of music that ebbs and flows and has some differing moods, whilst still remaining heavy. If you’re looking for something a little less aggressive but still on the heavy side check it out.

album review: Chon – Grow

listen here.
my buddy Nate, a musician and former band mate, current chef and good dude, turned me onto this band when he saw them open for Circa Survive a few months back.

I’m somewhat conflicted by this band.  I’m a big fan of progressive style music where almost all the playing is one giant solo, but the tones they use are different than what you’d expect.  These guys to me sound like a smooth jazz version of Save us From the Archon, a band who’s album will be reviewed soon.  The majority of the songs are instrumental and the 2 vocal songs almost sound out of place.  They work, but the band calms down on these tracks and makes the songs a little easier to digest for most folks. The album was promoted via Red Bull so I’ll assume they wanted something more easily digestible.  Or I’m cynical.

It’s an enjoyable release through it’s entirety. It could pass as an album on a chilled playlist, but could also pass on a more upbeat playlist.  The 2nd vocal song, Echo, sounds fairly similar to a R&B song.  You can probably put this on your girlfriend/wife’s playlist as a song that she may like to try and get her into other music. I can’t quite place what song it sounds like so if anyone knows please post a spotify or youtube clip.

One of my favorite things about bands like this is actually watching them perform the music, and the tightness that’s required to fully bring it. I’ve never seen them live so if anyone has any insight I’d be curious to hear about it.

**After doing additional reading about these fellas it looks like a couple of these songs are re-recorded from their EP’s and 2 tracks feature Matt Garstka from Animals as Leaders. I’m not offended when bands re-record songs that they put on an EP because typically those release don’t get as much attention.  If they felt they could rework them better I’m happy to see them take a stab at them.  Also Matt rules.

This was their first official full length, although they’ve released a few EP’s since 2008.  As with Between the Buried & Me, I’m excited to hear their progression through the years.  Follow them on their FB page for updates.