Band: Ars de Er | Album:Other Side | Genre: Progressive rock, Avant-prog | Bandcamp
Ars de Er’s last album leaned heavily into avant-prog and RIO, but Other Side is a little more grounded in “traditional” prog. There are especially strong echoes of Porcupine Tree’s heavier stuff, like Fear of a Blank Planet. This album still has plenty of influences from jazz and modern classical music, which makes the overall palette well-balanced and diverse.
Band: Bantamweight | Album: Sounds + Haptics | Genre: Experimental rock | Bandcamp
This is a loud, unsubtle record. The mixture of metal, rock, and electronic elements are utilized to pummel the listener. It’s an intense listen, so in this case the album’s short runtime (only 29 minutes) is a virtue. A runtime of more than 30 minutes would have run the risk of becoming too exhausting. Beyond the intensity, the compositions are creative and full of great textural contrasts. The vocals are powerful and impassioned, and the array of synth tones are able to conjure a wide ray of moods and emotions.
Band: Dimwind | Album: Slow Wave Violence | Genre: Post-metal, Progressive metal | Bandcamp
This instrumental Swedish duo crafts moody, impactful music. They strike an effective balance between bludgeoning metal and more delicate passages, often with the latter laid over the former. Like the vast majority of instrumental records, this release feels a bit long for me, but the constantly shifting emotions and atmospheres are enough to keep this record engaging.
Band: Squid | Album: Bright Green Field | Genre: Post-punk, Krautrock, Art rock | Bandcamp
Angular guitars, unorthodox vocals, and rubbery rhythms dominate this album. The most obvious influences here are artsy post-punk and new wave acts, like XTC and Talking Heads. Lots of original irregularities are woven in, and repetition is often utilized as a tool to increase tension and drama. This is a weird, anxious, energetic record that hits its mark perfectly.
Band: Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster | Album: The World Inside | Genre: Post-metal | Bandcamp
Good ol’ Gallopin’ Gertie. Though a bit cumbersome as a band name, this sort of disaster is certainly good metal band name fodder. Unfortunately, this band doesn’t quite live up to the potential of its name. This work is a generic post-metal record. Nothing about this album stood out to me when I listened to it, and I struggle to recall any details as I write this review. If you like post-metal, you might enjoy it, though.
Artist: Andrew W.K. | Album: God Is Partying | Genre: Power metal, Progressive metal | Bandcamp
Well, I never expected to be covering professional party animal Andrew W.K. on this site, but here we are. This is a decent album. It’s big, it’s loud, and it’s pretty fun. The progginess of this release is somewhat inconsistent. Highlights like “Babalon” and “I’m in Heaven” show a lot of creativity and ambition, but there are also some pretty schlocky cuts here too. It’s an overall enjoyable and dramatic album that’ll be worth the listen if you’re in the mood for big and bombastic music.