Review: The Arusha Accord – Juracan

647501

Label: Arusha Records

A band that can scratch the same kind of itch as The Dillinger Escape Plan and Tool used to (before TDEP split and Maynard James Keenan was accused of rape) is undoubtedly an interesting proposition on paper. It’s also the kind of elevator pitch that sounds almost impossible to deliver on. And yet returning tech-metal band The Arusha Accord do just that with new EP Juracan. The first of four planned EPs, Juracan sees The Arusha Accord overcome some real adversity to deliver a varied, confident performance, as full of technical wizardry as it is emotion.

Continue reading

Review: Piah Mater – The Wandering Daughter

423864

Label: Code666

Sometimes, a shadow hangs heavy over a record; a spirit, haunting every note, whispering in your ear, taking hold of your thoughts. Often, this is a bad thing; a solid enough record rendered less enjoyable because it makes you think of another, better band. And, for sure, the shade of Opeth looms large over The Wandering Daughter, the new album from prog-death band Piah Mater. But rather than taking anything away from the album, the comparison helps make clear just what an achievement The Wandering Daughter is, as this is a style of music many have attempted, but few have done so well, and this can stand right up to the best of those Swedish titans.

Continue reading

July 2018 Blasts

After a break of, well, much too long, the (hopefully) monthly review round-up is back. Truth be told, I missed writing these, despite the work involved. I intend on publishing these towards the end of each month, covering… well, as always with TSNTW, covering whatever I feel like that I think is worthy of your time. This month’s selection takes in the progressive metal of Khôrada (featuring former member of Agalloch and Giant Squid); high-speed thrash from Black Fast; a first-time on vinyl reissue of a Sarcófago album; dark ambient courtesy of ELMA; punk-infused thrash metal nastiness from Butcher in the Fog; and crushingly negative hardcore from Sense Offender. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Album of the Day: Sepultura – Machine Messiah

613230

Label: Nuclear Blast

I confess, somewhere along the line, I lost my faith in later-day Sepultura. I have soft spots for Against and Nation, but from Roorback onwards, nothing had grabbed me. It’s not that they’re not the same band as Max-era Sepultura – they might as well be different entities completely now – and I’m longing for the old days. It’s just that the albums weren’t that, well, good. So, imagine my surprise when Machine Messiah didn’t so much change that streak as it did grab me, shake me around, and realise just how great their prog/thrash/groove combination can be. Their best album since Chaos A.D? As far as I’m concerned, yes.

Continue reading

Album of the Day: Iron Maiden – Brave New World

182

Label: EMI

Brave New World was the first Iron Maiden album I heard, and as such it inevitably holds a special place for me. As with every single Iron Maiden album, it has some absolutely world-beating songs – but also a few moments that let the overall quality down. Songs like ‘The Wickerman’ and ‘Out of the Silent Planet’ are superb, and made obvious singles – but then there’s a song like ‘Nomad’ that never really goes anywhere, and the generally weak choruses. Even so, Brave New World is a great album, and one that I return to almost every summer.

Continue reading

Review: Boss Keloid – Melted on the Inch

CD Digifile - 6 page - 2 end pockets

Label: Holy Roar Records

The issue I have with a lot of prog music is that it fails to be progressive, and ends up instead feeling quite regressive and backwards-looking – a painful irony for music that, by its very name, should be forward-thinking. So, it’s a pleasure to hear a band like Boss Keloid who creature music that is both prog-inspired and progressive in outlook. Melted on the Inch is an album that toys with the concept of song-structures and convention, letting the songs wander where they will, to stirring, life-affirming effect.

Continue reading

Album of the Day: Aynsophar – Abysmal Secrets of Unknown

cover_1519045853652997

Label: Neverheard Distro

Think of solo metal acts, and you’ll probably think of people in their bedrooms or basements, typically hammering out primitive, raw-as-fuck black metal. Aynsophar go against that cliched image, with the solo project of Barbara Teleki unleashing some highly complex, progressive death metal on Abysmal Sevrets of Unknown. Whilst the EP features contributions from guest vocalists, what really stands out throughout the record is Barbara’s playing, and her incredibly intricate song-writing, that is heavily influenced by Death’s most forward-thinking moments. These compositions would be impressive enough from a full band, but that they’re the work of one person makes them even more incredible.

Continue reading