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Last Active 01-27-22 12:50 pm
Joined 12-13-13

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01.11.22 January 2022 Listening Room12.20.21 Something Something 2021
03.04.21 Bring Back Prog Tournaments12.13.20 Something Something 2020
06.12.20 Let's all cry our hearts out12.12.18 2018 goes up to 11
12.17.16 Something something 2016 10.19.16 Albums that expand the borders of music
07.15.16 Coup in Turkey02.16.15 Prog Archives Pt.II
02.14.15 Prog Archives Pt.I12.24.14 A Year And Some More Days
11.21.14 Your Top 5 Bands09.07.14 Sputnikbook Maybe?
06.26.14 Digs From My Doom/gothic/folk/black Day06.25.14 Where Are You From?
06.20.14 Psychosocial Animals05.15.14 Stories And Melodies
More »

January 2022 Listening Room

I want to have a listening room to discuss the new releases of each month, while trying to provide a ''check also''. Feel free to suggest anyhting (even for the ''check also'' part) and I'll be giving them a try, but make sure to provide a link for YT or Bandcamp.
Last Boy Picked

[Indonesia] If djent is the rhythmic evolution of prog metal, then Kuntari's Last Boy Picked is the djent-equivalent for Zeuhl. The eccentric rhythmic play between guitars, drums, and percussion makes up for an alien ritualistic aesthetic, with short, abrasive piano interludes that only pretend to be ''normal'', failing to hide the avant-garde logic behind them.

Check Also: Ishikawa/Sidirokastritis/Varoutas/Lambrakis/Linardou-The Depths Above (2020)
[otherwordly improv and soundscaping]
Land of Green and Gold

[Ukraine] What seemed as another neo-prog rock album was actually a pleasant drop of Canterbury Progressive Rock. Cheesy cover art and lyrics aside, it was a great listen, with top notch musicianship, pristine production and great ideas.

Check Also: Ciccada - Harvest (2021)
[a great folk/symphonic prog rock band with a Mediterranean twist]

[USA] I never found Wilderun's music prticularly interesting, though this time around I found things to appreciate. The album takes a while to pick up pace, and the singing is not my cup of tea, however it's still a meticulously crafted album that will probably shine with repeated listens.

Check Also: Devin Townsend Project - Transcendance (2016)
[another prog darling that makes over the top bombastic music]
4Dark Millennium
Acid River

[Germany] An interesting doom/death album which tries to shake up the formula a bit with some playful guitar tricks. Far rockier than the album cover implies, it was actually pretty decent. Enjoyed the general lyrical theme and the concept of ''seven'' (7 songs, 7 minutes each), and I don't think it overstays its welcome.

Check Also: Tribulation - Where Gloom Becomes Sound (2021)
[an important album of '21, with the best representatives of goth rock]
5Red Frame

[Greece] The creative exit for a drummer, a guitarist and a violonist during lockdown time in 2021. It's quite peculiar at times without becoming ''too-out-there'', it remains heavy and interesting due to the baritone guitar interplaying with the violin.

Check Also: Mother Turtle - II (2016)
[a symphonic prog band that shares musicians with Red Frame, Baltas on drums and Kiourntziadis on violin]
Approaching Oblivion

[USA] While it was released on the last day of '21, I want you to keep an eye on this band because they have the potential to achieve greatness. Their debut album falls on the short side, clocking into less than half an hour, and yet tries to go *everywhere* from death, to psychedelic, to thrash to prog. The result is both uneven and likeable, and implies a bright future, provided that the band actually try to make their influences blend.

Check Also: Titan to Tachyons - Cactides (2020)
[if there's a band that manages to blend styles successfully, then this is it, where death, prog rock and jazz meet in a refreshing way]

[Spain] Looking at the cover I expected a lo-fi bm album, but some pristinely produced jazz sounds came from my speakers. Tasty jams, unmatched atmosphere and warm playing, this is truly a great experimental jazz album. I'm not into this kind of music, but ''mndrmooaa'' won my heart with the broodiness and comfort it provides. The music is refined, with emotional climaxes and great groove. Don't miss it.

Check Also:
8Anna von Hausswolff
Live at Montreux Jazz Festival

[Sweden] I'm not one to delve into live releases, and this is probably one of the few exceptions to be mentioned this year in my monthly report. Anna Von Hausswolf hit my soft spot when I first heard a glimpse of her genious on the single ''The Mysterious Vanishing of Electra'', and I have been hooked ever since. I don't know what pact with the devil hides behind her releases (be it the indiosyncratic lament on ''All Thoughts Fly'' or the peculiar ''Bada'', created with her other band of the same name), but Anna seems even more unstoppable live. I can't even start to imagine what an experience this concert might have been.

Check Also: Warning - Watching From A Distance - LIve at Roadburn (2021)
[Dissimilar in style, but equally impressive, a crushingly beautiful live performance that surpasses the original recording]
9Don Bolo

[Ecuador] Have you ever heard of Criminal Punk Jazz? Neither had I before stumbling upon this experimental group, who make colorful and aggressive jazz, mixed with punk and rock, and don't be too perplexed if you hear tremolo picking a la black metal.

Check Also: Naked City - Naked City (1990)
[because of course, and then John Zorn and his mates kinda invented the whole thing]

[Italy] Top 10 of the year? Perhaps, if not AOTY. Messa put out an incredible album, blending seamlessly doom, psychedelia, rock revival, blues (that unexpected guitar solo on Suspended!), black metal, and traditional eastern music. I just can't have enough of this thing, and it was so unexpected that it leaked two months prior to official release. (official video for ''Pilgrim'')

Check Also: Universe 217 - Change (2016)
[if you're looking for doom metal with the bone-chilling vocals of a certified banshee, look no further, because Universe217 might be the best thing around]

[Afghanistan] It takes a while until you realize how diverse Black Metal is, and once you do you can carve your own path exploring the genre. I adore bands like Violet Cold, who mix their black metal with gaze, electronics and severl orchestral elements, and ''Realm'' does exactly that, pouring a lot of oriental influences in the couldron as well.

Check Also: Violet Cold - Empire of Love (2021)
[a socialist/queer themed black metal album that nails it all the way through, flipping the book on the genre of black metal)
12FKA Twigs

[UK] Immaculately producted bangers, a sonic celebration of love and friend-support, evident by the various snippets of conversations Twigs had with her friends through quarantine. Different from the experimental music that made Twigs famous, more in line with her ''Magdalene'' LP, but not lacking in substance and quality. FKA Twigs is a darling and this generous release further cements her as one of the most iconic pop artists of our times.

Check Also: Sevdaliza - Ison (2017)
[I learnt Sevdaliza roughly the same time as FKA Twigs and I can't seperate the brilliance both artists show in their albums and general presentation]
13Yard Act
The Overload

[UK] Fun post-punk with great loops and grooves, a singer with immaculate delivery and theatrics, lyricism on point, and the heritage of Talking Heads. My most anticipated release of the year so far.

Check Also: Talking Heads - Remain in Light (1980)
[not only because it includes a song called ''Overload'', but also because it is one of the best albums in this vein]
14Hanging Garden
Neither Moth nor Rust

[Finland] Hanging Garden have had a similar - albeit less popular- career path to Katatonia, starting from doom/death and evolving to dark rock. On this EP you'll find perfect atmosphere, blend of rock and electronic elements, exchanges between an ethereal female voice and a guttural male one, etc etc. Nothing groundbreaking, and the production is a bit thin, but overall it's an EP that can introduce many people to this interesting band.

Check Also: Votum - Duhkha (2020)
[Another progressive-band-goes-dark-rock that shows amazing songwriting abilities, and unfortunately went under the Sput radar. Spectacular vocalist, great sound, and a feature from Anneke]
The Gods We Can Touch

[Norway] What a magnificent album this is, an ode to love and life, bursting with creativity, colour, and angelic vocals. Aurora has created an amazing pop album here, with songs that help her highlight her amazing voice, her quirkiness and talent. From frailty to passion and loneliness to joy, this album covers serious emotional and musical ground.

Check Also: Hayley Williams - FLOWERS for VASES / Descansos
[An even better follow up to her debut solo album, sees Hayley in her most vulnerable]
16Black Folks Don't Swim?
For the Source

[USA] An rnb/jazz album that is so warm, you can put your feet in it and enjoy a cup of coffee during a wintestorm. The debut album of a band wanting to ''explore narratives of joy'', succeeds tremendously in celebrating african american culture, a source that never dries up.

Check Also: Akua Naru - The Journey Aflame (2011)
[Another album that celebrates love, passion, and desire, reciting lushful lyrics over neck-tickling music]

[USA] A smooth audio companion, layered sounds, samples and such. Pretty sweet, with an eerie album cover. It's quite short, though, and don't feel like it really goes anywhere.

Check Also: Gia Margaret - Mia Gargaret (2020)
[the instrumental album of an artist who couldn't sing for a while, pretty minimalist as well as atmospheric]
18Pensees Nocturnes
Douce Fange

[France] An avant-garde black metal album that dives in the mire of french carnival and cabaret, and stays there feasting on worms and dead roosters. Manic, theatrical, varied, and downright *fun* this album is all things it promises and more

Check Also: Transcending Bizarre? - The Misanthrope's Fable (2010)
(as mentioned by a Greek music critic, they are quite similar to Pensees Nocturnes, with the theatrical element present, and - what a coincidence - the album's theme is about French phliosopher Rene Descarte's later years)
Night Parade Of One Hundred Demons

(USA) Psychedelic jams and groves galore, blistering wah solos and maze-like compositions make up for the most part of this album, the rest being atmospheric build-ups or noisy crescendos. Although it's based on Japanese folklore, the music makes no hint at that.

Check Also: All Them Witches - Lightning at the Door (2013)
[Another jam trio with long psychedelic tracks and the inredible ''Marriage Of Coyote Woman'')
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