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.

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album review:Between the Buried and Me – The Parallax II: Future Sequence

"The Parallax II Future Sequence - Between the Buried and Me" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Parallax_II_Future_Sequence_-_Between_the_Buried_and_Me.jpg#/media/File:The_Parallax_II_Future_Sequence_-_Between_the_Buried_and_Me.jpg listen here.
Typically any ‘metal’ band that has a name longer than 1 or 2 words isn’t typically just a metal band.  Progressive Metal is probably the best description, although the music veers to technical death metal, progressive rock, and acoustic with pretty vocals. This album also has them incorporating non-typical instrumentation, such as strings .  The heavy parts bring it to spazz style death metal with extremely aggressive guttural yells, quickly switching to slower more melodic breakdowns showing off the singing prowess of Tommy Giles Rogers.

The album can only be called epic, with this being a strong example for bands to see that the more releases you put out the tighter you’ll all become and the stronger your vision as a band becomes.  Sometimes bands are able to achieve that within their first few albums, but there’s nothing wrong with continuing to hone your vision until you produce your masterpiece.

As to be expected of a band switching so smoothly between different genres some of the parts can come off as strange and sometimes too out there.  Every time I listen to Bloom I can’t help but be recalled of the Flight of Bumblebee, whether intentional or not.  Maybe I’m even missing out on a joke. It then jumps to a 60’s doo wop style before jumping to a Mr Bungle style breakdown.

Five of the twelve songs on the album are nearing if not over 10 minutes long, producing creating a 74 minute epic.  The longer songs do a great job creating different movements and producing “mini-symphonies”, as stated by about.com.

All of the musicians are very talented at what they do.  Being a drummer I have to give a special shout out to Blake Richardson and the insanity he creates behind the kit. He’s great at capturing how to play metal, but also adds textures to the non-metal riffs, effectively using ghost notes, cymbals as sounds instead of bashing the heck out of them and all together cohesiveness.

They’ll be releasing a new album July 7th called Coma Ecliptic. With the growth they’ve shown through the years it’ll be interesting to hear what boundaries they’ll push with the new release.