Progarchives.com Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Progressive Music Lounges > Prog Blogs
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed: Discovering Australian Prog
  FAQ FAQ  Forum SearchSearch  Calendar   Register Register  Login Login

Discovering Australian Prog

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123 5>
Author
Message
AtomicCrimsonRush View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Symphonic Team

Joined: July 02 2008
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 13614
Post Options Post Options   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Discovering Australian Prog
    Posted: September 08 2012 at 08:54

Discovering Australian Prog

Australian Prog is certainly not something that is prolific and many of the bands fade into obscurity due to not being as popular as UK, USA or Italian prog, and that is understandable. However there is a heck of a lot of great Oz prog out there and it deserves some commendation. 

Some info on Australia:


We have 6 states and 2 territories. 


Australian Capital Territory (ACT) ..... Capital city: Canberra

New South Wales (NSW) ..... Capital city: Sydney

Northern Territory (ACT) ..... Capital city: Darwin

Queensland (QLD) ..... Capital city: Brisbane

South Australia (SA) ..... Capital city: Adelaide

Tasmania (TAS) ..... Capital city: Hobart

Victoria (VIC) ..... Capital city: Melbourne

Western Australia (WA) ..... Capital city: Perth

We have our own slang:



but of course this is stereotypical....

ahem...


We are known for the following iconic images:

Animals - 

Kangaroos

Tasmanian Devils


which look nothing like this, nor do they spin on their bums


Koalas (that are not really bears!)

and the Platypus

None of these animals wander or jump around the streets as much as one may think, rather they are more likely found in zoos or wildlife reserves. (although a bunch of Tassie devils were found killing my chickens years ago when I lived in the bush).


Farmers do not chew straw or wear straw hats, in fact the only straw farmers use is to feed the cows.


Our landmarks are well known:

Ayers Rock 

Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge



Great Barrier Reef


Parliament in Canberra


Its a place of beautiful scenery found in places such as:

Cradle Mountain


Great Ocean Road


Bondi Beach


Fraser Island


Shark Bay


The Australian Alps


and

Kangaroo Island




On Tv our kids watch:



Hi-5


The Wiggles


The teens watch

Home and Away


The X Factor


The adults watch

Packed to the rafters.... and other shows


Were always on time - Australian EPG


Occasionally our TV shows make an impact in Great Britain:

They go nuts over:




and:



Australian movies often make some kind of world impact:



Crocodile Dundee Poster



We tend to eat:


Sweets


Meat


and

fish N Chips



we cook on barbeques



and we drink beer




We drink these while watching our beloved Aussie Rules Footy




And many of us Aussies also love prog!


 

As an Australian myself I feel it in my interests to fly the flag and create a prog  blog dedicated solely to Australian prog artists. I want to review their albums here and share info on the individual artists. 

To start here is the list of Oz Prog as listed on PA:

(marked in Blue as I introduce/review each band) - 

AEON OF HORUS Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
AHKMED Psychedelic/Space Rock
ALARUM Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
ALCHEMIST Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
DAEVID ALLEN Canterbury Scene
ALPHA OMEGA Psychedelic/Space Rock
ALTERA ENIGMA Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
THE AMENTA Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
ANUBIS Neo-Prog
APRICOT RAIL Post Rock/Math rock
AQUANAUT Psychedelic/Space Rock
ARAGON Neo-Prog
ARCANE Heavy Prog
ARIEL Prog Related
ARNIOE Crossover Prog
AYERS ROCK Jazz Rock/Fusion
BAK Experimental/Post Metal
BAKERY Heavy Prog
BECAUSE OF GHOSTS Post Rock/Math rock
IVAN BERTOLLA Progressive Metal
BRAINSTORM Psychedelic/Space Rock
BREAKING ORBIT Heavy Prog
CHRIS BROOKS Progressive Metal
CALIGULA'S HORSE Progressive Metal
CHAOS DIVINE Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
THE CHURCH Prog Related
CIRCLES Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
COSMIC NOMADS Heavy Prog
BEN CRAVEN Crossover Prog
CYBOTRON Progressive Electronic
DEAD CAN DANCE Prog Folk
DEAD LETTER CIRCUS Neo-Prog
DEAD LETTER OPENER Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
THE DEAD SEA Post Rock/Math rock
THE DEATH COBRA Heavy Prog
DIRTY THREE Post Rock/Math rock
VIRGIL DONATI Jazz Rock/Fusion
DRUNKEN GUNMEN Psychedelic/Space Rock
ENNÏS TÓLA Crossover Prog
ENTER TWILIGHT Progressive Metal
FEARSCAPE Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
FRACTURE Progressive Metal
FRATERNITY Eclectic Prog
GALADRIEL Prog Folk
HALCYON Experimental/Post Metal
HEIRS Experimental/Post Metal
HEMINA Progressive Metal
HOTEL WRECKING CITY TRADERS Psychedelic/Space Rock
IRONWOOD Experimental/Post Metal
KAISER AND THE MACHINES OF CREATION Progressive Metal
ARIEL KALMA Progressive Electronic
KANGURU Indo-Prog/Raga Rock
KARNIVOOL Heavy Prog
KATABASIS Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
KETTLESPIDER Heavy Prog
PAUL KIDNEY EXPERIENCE Psychedelic/Space Rock
LAURA Post Rock/Math rock
A LONELY CROWD Heavy Prog
THE LONGEST DAY Psychedelic/Space Rock
IAN MACFARLANE Progressive Electronic
MACKENZIE THEORY Jazz Rock/Fusion
MADDEN AND HARRIS Prog Folk
THE MASTERS APPRENTICES Proto-Prog
MENISCUS Experimental/Post Metal
THE MERLIN BIRD Prog Folk
MARIO MILLO Symphonic Prog
MONTRESOR Heavy Prog
MUSHROOM GIANT Psychedelic/Space Rock
MYRIAD Psychedelic/Space Rock
NE OBLIVISCARIS Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
CHRIS NEAL Crossover Prog
NEATH Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
NEXUS Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
NIMROD Crossover Prog
NOCTIS Experimental/Post Metal
GAVIN O'LOGHLEN & COTTERS BEQUEST Prog Folk
OCHRE Progressive Metal
THE OVALS Psychedelic/Space Rock
PATCH Crossover Prog
PEAK Progressive Electronic
PIRANA Crossover Prog
PIRATE Heavy Prog
PORTAL Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
PSYCROPTIC Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
PVT (PIVOT) Post Rock/Math rock
QUANDARY Progressive Metal
RAINBOW GENERATOR Progressive Electronic
RAINBOW THEATRE Symphonic Prog
SCLERA Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
SEBASTIAN HARDIE Symphonic Prog
SERIOUS BEAK Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
SH'MANTRA Psychedelic/Space Rock
SLEEPMAKESWAVES Post Rock/Math rock
SNAKES ALIVE Crossover Prog
SOLKYRI Post Rock/Math rock
SPECTRUM Crossover Prog
SQUAT CLUB Heavy Prog
THE SUN BLINDNESS Psychedelic/Space Rock
SUPERDENSECRUSHLOADFACTOR RIO/Avant-Prog
SYZYGY Progressive Metal
TALIESIN Progressive Metal
TAMAM SHUD Crossover Prog
TANGLED THOUGHTS OF LEAVING Post Rock/Math rock
TARAMIS Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
THE THIRD ENDING Crossover Prog
THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN SPEAKING Post Rock/Math rock
TRANSCENDING MORTALITY Progressive Metal
TULLY Eclectic Prog
UMLÄUT Eclectic Prog
UNITOPIA Crossover Prog
VANISHING POINT Progressive Metal
VAUXDVIHL Progressive Metal
VIRGIN BLACK Experimental/Post Metal
VOYAGER Progressive Metal
WHEN DAY DESCENDS Experimental/Post Metal
TAL WILKENFELD Jazz Rock/Fusion
WINDCHASE Symphonic Prog
WITHOUTENDING Progressive Metal


Of these bands there are many that come from the 70s era, such as Tully, Spectrum, Daevid Allen, Tamam Shud, Rainbow Theatre and Sebastian Hardie, but lately there has been an upsurgence of Oz Prog of recent times, making an impact in the prog community such as great bands like Breaking Orbit, Anubis, Hemina, Syzygy, and Unitopia. 

Enjoy this blog as I unveil the world of Australian Prog.


Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - May 16 2013 at 08:03
Back to Top
AtomicCrimsonRush View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Symphonic Team

Joined: July 02 2008
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 13614
Post Options Post Options   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2012 at 09:09
Sydney Australia

An iconic place with a Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Here's a photo I took in Sydney last week.



From this beautiful State comes a very accomplished band that have released 2 excellent albums.

Anubis
Anubis picture

The debut album is:

230503

Anubis 230503 album cover

The line up of the album is

- Robert James Moulding / vocals, percussion, bass
- David Eaton / keyboards, vocals, guitars
- Douglas Skene / guitars, vocals
- Nick Antoinette / bass, vocals
- Steven Eaton / drums, vocals
- Dean Bennison / guitars, lap steel, vocals

It mixes 70s style Pink Floyd music with a modern Mellotron sound. There is a lot of electric guitar soloing, and melodic vocals. The effects of water flowing, phones ringing and and spoken narrative add to the ominous atmospheres. There is an ambient sound and at times it is punctuated with heavy guitar and percussion. 


The second album is the latest:

A Tower of Silence

Anubis A Tower Of Silence album cover

I wrote a review after the band sent out a promo copy for review,



5 stars A towering symphonic journey of compelling concepts.

Anubis have a commanding sound with swathes of synths and electrifying guitars. Hailing from Australia, not renowned for its prog output, the band fly the flag with admirable virtuosity proving that excellent prog does not necessarily have to come from UK, USA, Italy or other far off places. The music deviates from spell binding synth soaked ambience to heavy crunching guitars. At times there are complex time signatures and at other times the melody dominates with a simple chord progression. Anubis create soundscapes of poignant themes and glorious lengthy instrumental breaks. There is a tension of light and dark with shades of light and dark using a variation of styles that range from symphonic to Neo Prog. The actual concept according to the band's website is based on the "Earthbound spirit of an 11 year old pauper's daughter, lost within the walls of the Victorian poor asylum in which she lived and died, and how she became trapped there" and is now in limbo crying out for release. Interestingly enough I never interpreted it as such but it certainly holds interest as a compelling tale of someone attempting to escape entrapment. The tale is akin to Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Cask of Amontillado' where the villain entombs his nemesis in stone walls brick by brick in a tower, thus silencing his jibes once and for all. The album cover depicts an object trapped in time, a stop watch floats in an orb discarded on a desolate landscape. The vibrant blue is a striking design evoking pure images on a crystalline palette. The gatefold has a vibrant design of sparks trailing to a darkened sky. The booklet is adorned with a closeup of the clock, and inside are the lyrics. The CD also has an enigmatic clock design tying in with the theme of time standing still.

'The Passing Bell' is such a majestic piece of music, a 17 minute epic, wiith magnificent structures, odd time sigs, and organic flowing music encompassing many emotional resonances. I particularly like the way the song shifts into several pentatonic sigs, notably the guitar riff. The searing lead break over shimmering Hammond and pounding drums of war round off the dramatic epic feel. Pink Floyd springs to mind at times in terms of style. The vocals are replete with questions to invoke consideration; "Where is he who can't be found, where is she who calls me fear, who are you to call me here." The ambience of sustained keys and spacey effects is a mesmirising soundscape that will pervade throughout the album. There is a sudden sig change and intense vocals; "I'm feeling no connection to those who cage me here, I'm feeling no protection from the words I hear." The earthbound spirit is now calling out for redemption from the corruptible but immortal state, reaching out an unlineal hand as it were to no avail. A bell tolls with sweet synth tones leading to the next section. Ambience permeates the atmosphere, as gentle piano continues to the next verse; "I wish I could stay by your side again." The concept of searching for spiritual enlightenment appears to be the main focus, but once one knows the main premise it is actually the cries of a spirit who desires the things once enjoyed; "I wish I could pray again". She may have lost faith due to the terrible things she has had to endure, but she is searching for assurance that what she once believed is the truth; the things we may take for granted are now foremost on her mind as she is helpless to sense and to touch and to feel, well at least that is my take on it. The drums and vocals at the end are portentous of impending doom, or it could be a gateway to a new enlightenment. This is perhaps the best song on the album with some of the most inspired riffing and expressive playing by all concerned and especially the expressive vocals of Robert James Moulding.

This moves seamlessly into 'Archway of Tears' with delightful acoustic twin work virtuoso musicianship of Douglas Skene and Dean Bennison. The lyrics continue the darker themes; "evil woman with dark stare, said I was the cause of this, I lay upon the covered floor, as the tears stream down my face, I shiver from the cold night's breath, whispering my name". The vocals are clear and have a passionate and vibrant tone. This song is more like the Neo Prog of Pendragon, IQ or Arena. The acoustic phrases and mellotrons work beautifully with each other. The echoes of heavy steps at the end are foreboding perhaps signifying someone leaving the archway, escaping the tragedy that has befallen them metaphorically.

The melody is strong with 'This Final Resting Place' and I am particularly taken with the everpresent sparkling organ played by David Eaton. It is a dynamic sound from Anubis that is generated using layered multi tracking and very powerful keyboards and guitar. The glockenspiel is a nice touch and this song is one of the more reflective tracks about death. 'A Tower of Silence' is a slow melancholy piece with some potent lyrics about the tragedy of death and the spirit looks out of her silent tower envying the living humans; "lives that change, feel so light, bright, white". The lead guitar builds into the instrumental over some gorgeous organ and the percussion embellishments of Moulding. The song changes with acoustic picking and synth layers. The lyrics may be interpreted as dealing with grief and how time heals the pain; "in time you'll see, no time to grieve." The lead break that follows is vibrant with high string bends and strong sustain. The musicianship enhances the mood of sadness and reflections of a spirit who is trapped in a sepulchral tomb not able to experience the human senses; "I cannot see, I cannot breathe, I cannot feel my love." A simply haunting song that grows on you with every listen.

'Weeping Silence' is a shorter song that has beautiful music and soft harmonies; "who would bring me to this place and never show their face, they beat me to believe and push me on my knees." This track has a nice melody especially when the vocals sing; "I remain alone and faithful misguided by angels." The thunder and storm effects lead to the ominous drone of 'And I Wait for my World to End'. A spacey sound is punctuated by driving lead guitar riffage and a pulsing bassline by Nick Antoinette. The time sig is odd and especially the percussion sparks with vitality. The melody is memorable and it has a fantastic bridge with heavy distortion and Moulding's vocals sound like Roger Waters at his most manic. The ascending chord changes have a dark feel as it builds to an outbreak of more grinding organ leading to the chorus.

'The Holy Innocent' is a measured metrical shift with a steady rhythm. The lyrics are the protagonist crying out, desperately pleading; "I want to hear your voice calling out my name, with your words I'm paralysed, I need to hear them all the same." The piano motif is lovely and imposing lead guitar swells create an atmosphere of melancholia. The music sounds like Porcupine Tree or the style of IQ in places. The protagonist declares; "I live inside this cage." Escape seems impossible and it appears that she is eternally entombed; "And this dream I dream it has no sound as I lay still beneath the ground." The song ends with an incredible saxophone solo, as good as Dick Parry or Jaxon. It really lifts the music to another level and, as icing on the cake, makes this one of the classic songs on the album that should be heard by anyone who enjoys virtuoso prog. The way the song fades out with scorching sax and keyboard pads is similar to Pink Floyd's 'Money'. The clock ticking further cements this impression of sounding like "Dark Side of the Moon" in places.

A tolling piano note opens 'All That Is', a three part multi movement suite. It features in the first section 'Light of Change' mellotron dominating until heavier guitar riffs come in, and sporadic drumming. The verses include chiming keys, aggressive drums and reflective vocals; "I scale these walls that I can't see, they make no sound, they whisper to me, rescue me, from within". The way the quivering Hammond organ sound grinds in always is an effective augmentation, and there is a dreamy synth passage leading to the second section, 'The Limbo of Infants'. The cadence picks up, and the vocals are more urgent; "you and I will never know we lost that chance some time ago." Another lead break resounds with spacey textures and we are into the last section with 'Endless Opportunity'. There are choral intonations and the layered music fades out as the choral section is mixed to the front. At this point we can hear the harmonies, soaring and spiritually edifying. It sounds as if the angels have arrived and finally released the entombed spirit, well I like a happy ending so I am sticking to that.

At the end of the album there is a lasting impression that we have heard some accomplished musicianship with powerful conceptual themes. There are parts of this album that feature incredibly proficient musicianship. It washes over the listener evoking reflective thoughts and spiritual guidance. The lyrics focus on finding answers and are typically obscure enough for one to make up their own minds as to what the themes are conveying. It is certainly one of the better Neo prog albums with strong symphonic nuances throughout, especially coming from Australia, and I am so glad I was priveliged to hear such a wonderful concept album from Anubis.


Try them out here!





Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - September 09 2012 at 07:43
Back to Top
infocat View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar
VIP Member

Joined: June 10 2011
Location: Colorado, USA
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3438
Post Options Post Options   Quote infocat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2012 at 11:59
yay!
Frank Swarbrick
--
"I know that there's no time; I know that there's no rhyme!" -- Van der Graaf Generator, 1972
Back to Top
ScorchedFirth View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: May 16 2012
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 218
Post Options Post Options   Quote ScorchedFirth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2012 at 12:36
I didn't realise I wanted this until now, but now I realise I definitely I do! I was born in Australia, but moved to Britain around the year 2000. I've only just been getting into the aussie prog scene, but there seems a lot more to it than I had previously assumed.

So... should I suggest the wiggles to the submission team for addition to the archives, or is someone else going to do that?
breathing, eating, defecating, screwing, drinking, spewing, sleeping...

Back to Top
hellogoodbye View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar
VIP Member

Joined: August 29 2011
Location: PARIS
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3285
Post Options Post Options   Quote hellogoodbye Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2012 at 13:16
Very good Job Clap  Can we expect a chronological history ?
Back to Top
Sagichim View Drop Down
Collaborator
Collaborator
Avatar
Eclectic Prog Team

Joined: November 29 2006
Location: Israel
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3911
Post Options Post Options   Quote Sagichim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2012 at 13:27

Yeahhh...The Masters Apprentices!!



"One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain.."
Back to Top
The Bearded Bard View Drop Down
Collaborator
Collaborator
Avatar
Errors & Omissions Team

Joined: January 24 2012
Location: Oslo, Norway
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 8615
Post Options Post Options   Quote The Bearded Bard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2012 at 13:37
Woohoo! I'm gonna follow this blog!
Back to Top
andrea View Drop Down
Prog Reviewer
Prog Reviewer
Avatar

Joined: May 20 2005
Location: Italy
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1362
Post Options Post Options   Quote andrea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2012 at 14:13
Excellent start! I will follow this blog...
 
By the way, a little contribute:
AUGIE MARCH, from Melbourne. Maybe not enough prog for this site but... Have a try!
 
 
More info:
 
Back to Top
irrelevant View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: March 07 2010
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 9485
Post Options Post Options   Quote irrelevant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2012 at 18:03
Cool, I will definitely be following this!  
Back to Top
AtomicCrimsonRush View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Symphonic Team

Joined: July 02 2008
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 13614
Post Options Post Options   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2012 at 07:40
Thanks for all the nice compliments! I will service the thread to the best of my ability and ensure that Australian prog gains some serious attention. I am going to attempt to do this in a kind of alphabetical order.


Next is...

AEON OF HORUS



This Tech/ Extreme metal band hail from Canberra. They have a self titled Ep:


and an album" The Embodiment of Light and Dark", mixing brutal riffing with melodic touches. 

Aeon Of Horus The Embodiment of Darkness and Light album cover

The members on the album are:

- Andy Annand - Vocals, Keyboards
- Ben Hocking - Drums
- Chris Pratt - Bass 
- Barry Feeney - Guitar




 


A review by UMUR:

Review by UMUR 
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "The Embodiment of Darkness and Light" is the debut full-length studio album by Australian death metal act Aeon of Horus. The album was released in November 2009 and is a self-released affair.

On "The Embodiment of Darkness and Light"Aeon of Horus play technical/ progressive death metal. The tracks are pretty complex in structure and there is an emphasis on technical playing. There are melodic playing too though and atmospheric sections. While the playing is skillfully executed Iīm not as impressed by the songwriting. There doesnīt always seem to be a goal to the many ideas and sometimes the songs sound like they are just made out of lot of different ideas but not with a full song in mind. In that respect the music on "The Embodiment of Darkness and Light" somewhat reminds me of the music by an act like Anata. That means a lot of skillful technical playing and impressive ideas but songs that lack memorability and direction. The fact that the sound production is a bit thin (I canīt for the life of me detect that there is any bass playing on the album) doesnīt help on my impression of the album either.

So all in all "The Embodiment of Darkness and Light" is a pretty standard technical/ progressive death metal album. The most interesting thing about the album is the musicianship, so while the tracks come off a bit disjointed and lacking memorable moments, the strong musicianship saves much. I guess a 3 star rating is warranted.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



A taste of their music - "As The Earth Shatters" - this begins with ambient atmospherics and then gets into a very complex metal riff and then extreme growls in the vox. The lead break is incredible, very original style. It should appeal to fans of Opeth, Death and Psycroptic.




Back to Top
AtomicCrimsonRush View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Symphonic Team

Joined: July 02 2008
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 13614
Post Options Post Options   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2012 at 07:52
Next:


Ahkmed

Ahkmed picture

A space rock 3 piece unit that released 3 singles, and an EP in 2006 Chicxulub:


plus an album in 2009 called Distance:


Band members are:

- John-Paul Caligiuri / drums, vocals
- Carlo Iacovino / guitar
- Dan McNamara / bass

only 1 review of the album is on PA but you can hear some of their music here:




Back to Top
AtomicCrimsonRush View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Symphonic Team

Joined: July 02 2008
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 13614
Post Options Post Options   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2012 at 08:04
Next is...

Alarum


This Melbourne Tech metal band are akin to Cynic or Pestilence in style. Growling vocals, ad some clean, like Opeth, and incorporating very technical guitar work, intricate time sigs and a jazz metal style. The lead guitars re incredible and the voice sounds like Believer at times. The band released 3 albums:

1999 - Fluid Motion


2004 - Eventuality


2011 - Natural Causes



a review by UMUR:

Review by UMUR 
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Natural Causes" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Australian progressive metal act Alarum. The album was released through Willowtip Records in October 2011. Itīs the bandīs first album since "Eventuality... (2004)", so "Natural Causes" has been a long time coming. I guess all good come to those who wait, because "Natural Causes" has certainly been worth the long wait.

The band pretty much continue the progressive death/thrash metal style they played on "Eventuality... (2004)", but itīs obvious that they have grown as songwriters in the intermediate years. The music is influenced by acts like Cynicand Pestilence ("Spheres (1993)" era). Excellent fusion tinged drumming, jazzy sections, a very busy and audible bass and riffs played with great technical skill. The vocals are not growling, but frontman/bassist Mark Palfreymanrather sings in a harsh type thrashy singing style. He also sings clean vocals which remind me slightly of the flat and toneless vocals of Page Hamilton from Helmet. His vocal style took a bit of warming up to for me, but repeated listens have revealed that they suit the rest of the music well. The clean vocals provide the music with an alternative vibe, but itīs not the most dominant feature on the album.

The sound production is detailed and suits the music well. I could have wished for a bit more power and maybe a bit more "open" sound, but itīs not a big issue and Iīm pretty sure this is exactly how the band want the album to sound, because "Eventuality... (2004)" had a somewhat similar sound. The sound has the effect on the music, that even the most harsh parts sound pleasant and almost calm. I guess sophisticated isnīt the worst term to use in this case.

"Natural Causes" has taken me a while to get into and Iīd call it a grower. For me itīs been about accepting that the sound production isnīt based on power and aggression but rather on sophistication and detail, but once Iīve gotten past my initial not so positive reaction, "Natural Causes" has become quite an excellent listen. Alarum are certainly an act who has found their own sound while still progressing and I find that admirable. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.



some taste of their music - well worth checking out!














Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - September 09 2012 at 08:08
Back to Top
AtomicCrimsonRush View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Symphonic Team

Joined: July 02 2008
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 13614
Post Options Post Options   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2012 at 08:21

Alchemist


Alchemist picture

Alchemist hail from Canberra, another technical extreme metal band, with a difference as they implement spacey sounds and atmospherics into the metal riffing. 6 albums have been released:

1996 - Jar of Kingdom


1995 - Lunasphere


1997 - Spiritech


2001 - Organasm


2003 - Austral Alien


2007 - Tripsis


The music ranges from spacey ambience to brutal growls and intricate riffing with technical percussion. The psychedlic sounds are enhanced by brutal vocals and atmospheric melodies. 

A prime example of the band at their best can be heard here from "Organasm":






and from "Spiritech":






A review of Spiritech by Bonnek:

Review by Bonnek 
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal & Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars If you think that a prog band should have at least one member dressed in a long cape, and/or feature a keyboard player going tweedeledoo on his organ, or should be all about album side long tracks with lots of guitar solos and/or weird mathematics in the time signature area, then you can stop reading this review right away and start doing more interesting things like preparing a meal for your beloved. If however, your prog rock can be a no-nonsense metal attack from outer space, embedding influences from many musical dark forces, you better bare with me as Alchemist might be just the band for you!

Ok, now that we have the non believers out of the way, let's get to the point. After two inconspicuous death metal albums, Alchemist took a drastic turn towards a more diverse musical idiom and delivered their most varied, most progressive and best album to date. On Spiritech they play a brutal, intense but intelligent take on space metal. The music is highly eclectic and can be traced back to many sources with a good balance between atmosphere, melody and power.

First of all Voivod comes to mind, somewhere between the scourging fury of Dimension Hatross and their Floyd covers Astronomy Domine and Nile Song That leads to a second obvious influence: Pink Floyd from the 60's. The melodies are very psychedelic and eastern tinged, complete with tribal drumming and even featuring a chilling rendition of the Careful With That Axe Eugene scream by their excellent vocalist.

Talking about the vocalist, he's quite a versatile chap, next to the mentioned reproduction of Eugene, he varies between a low register clean voice, a hoarse 90's style Killing Joke bellowing and coarse but soulful metal grunts in the vein of Entombed (or Motorhead if the Entombed reference would scare you). Of course, the first time you will miss these subtle differences but repeated listens reveal his range!

Now, Killing Joke you say? What kind of prog is that? None at all of course. As I mentioned somewhere before, the band takes influences from many sources: metal obviously, psychedelic/space/prog or whatever you name it, ethnic influences and also new wave. Especially the first generation gothic bands that used haunted atmospheres and hypnotizing tribal drumming, like Bauhaus, Killing Joke and Siouxsie are in the melting point.

I've been longwinded enough so I will abstain from track by track reviewing. They are all excellent anyway. Instead I have got one more argument to make. Why 5 stars? Well to start with, you must have guessed I deem this band very high. Their unique approach to space rock combined with their energy and song skills makes them one of my favourite bands of the millennium era years. All of their albums from Spiritech onwards are 4 stars. This one gets one on top because it is their best. A most diverse release with a prominent prog dose.

A sad note to conclude: This album is not available for sale anymore! So why did I bother you for so long? Well you can find most of the songs back on a compilation album called 'Embryonics 90-98'. I'll be delighted though if it sees a full re-release but I'm afraid it may be not commercial enough for that. Thanks for you patient indulgence and give them a shot!



Back to Top
AtomicCrimsonRush View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Symphonic Team

Joined: July 02 2008
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 13614
Post Options Post Options   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2012 at 08:46
Next a famous artist from Melbourne, the incomparable:

Daevid Allen


A man who needs know introduction for those familiar to the Canterbury Scene. Of course he was a main instigator of nutter prog such as Gong and their Radio Gnome Invisible Flying Teapot trilogy. The acid fuelled music was always whimsical from Allen's solo albums and he injected a harmless fascinating brand of poetry into the lyrics. His vocal style was acid folk and his themes were definitely influenced by certain substances, but it was always an endearing sound generated that has captured generations over the years. He lives in Byron Bay now. 

He has released a plethora of albums to savour.

  The 1970s


3.18 | 30 ratings
Bananamoon
1975
3.73 | 22 ratings
Good Morning!
1976
3.18 | 23 ratings
Now is the happiest time of your life
1977
3.00 | 9 ratings
N' Existe Pas!
1979

  The 1980s

3.93 | 6 ratings
Divided Alien Playbax 80
1982
  
The 1990s


3.80 | 5 ratings
Who's Afraid? ( with Kramer )
1992
4.00 | 1 ratings
Twelve Selves
1993
3.12 | 7 ratings
Dreamin' A Dream
1995
3.00 | 2 ratings
Hit Men (with Kramer)
1995
2.96 | 5 ratings
Eat Me Baby I'm A Jelly Bean
1998
3.85 | 8 ratings
Stroking The Tail Of The Bird Parts 1 & 2
1999
2.18 | 2 ratings
Twenty Two Meanings (The Art Of Glissando Guitar Vol. 1) (with Harry Williamson)
1999

  The 2000s


5.00 | 1 ratings
Australia Aquaria
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Soundbites 4 Tha ReVelation
2012


Live albums

0.00 | 0 ratings
Divided Alien Clockwork Band
1997

A review of the Popular "Good Morning" album:

Review by Warthur 
COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars Daevid Allen's first solo album after his resignation from Gong after You is a collaboration with Euterpe, a mainly acoustic group of Spanish musicians. The album is a bit more cohesive than his previous solo effort, Bananamoon, and finds Allen in a contemplative mood. His famed sense of humour and whimsy is still present, of course, but this time around there's heavy doses of reflection and ponderings on the way people hurt each other and the struggle not to repeat the mistakes of the past - topics which are of great interest to Allen, but which had only been communicated through whimsical comedy in his previous work.
Euterpe are a fine backing group for Allen's musings, Gilli Smyth is of course on hand to add Gong-esque space whispers, and the album comes to a peak with The Wise Man In Your Heart, on which fellow Gong veterans Mike Howlett and Pierre Moerlen guest, and which in its swirling futuristic-psychedelic rhythms seems to provide a precedent for the dance music of a couple of decades later. On the whole, Allen couldn't have judged this one better - the album not only reassures fans that he's still the mischievous wizard of times past, but also has a distinctly different sound from his work with Gong, proving that there's more to Allen than pothead pixies.

Some of his music can be heard here:










Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - September 09 2012 at 08:59
Back to Top
AtomicCrimsonRush View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Symphonic Team

Joined: July 02 2008
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 13614
Post Options Post Options   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2012 at 09:11
Next:

Alpha Omega

Alpha Omega picture 

Space rock from Brisbane, in the same style as Hawkwind, and in fact the band played a song on a Hawkwind tribute album. The chugging guitars with repetitive rhythms are prevalent and the spacey effects such as one would hear on a Hawkwind album. The guitars are spacey using a wah wah effect, over lengthy jamming guitars, and there are psychedelic lyrics about aliens, mind trips, space travel, and other mind expanding topics.

The band released 3 studio albums:

2001 - Electronic Mind Project


2004 - People of Earth, We have come to Blow your Mind


2007 - The Psychodelometer

 

1 Live album in 2002 - Live at Terra Australia



The latest line up:

- Paul Power / guitar, vocals
- Greg / bass
- Stuart Hodgson / drums


A clip from the Terra concert performing The Eye!





Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - September 09 2012 at 09:12
Back to Top
AtomicCrimsonRush View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Symphonic Team

Joined: July 02 2008
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 13614
Post Options Post Options   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2012 at 09:24
Next:

Altera Enigma


A tech metal band that have released a great album with intricate time sigs, metal riffs, and varied structures. The bio written by the band reads that the band incorporate "modulating time signatures, rich jazz-fusion inspired chord progressions and memorable, emotion driven melodies, and expressive, stunning lead work. Always conscious of melody and utilizing tight, powerful arrangements, their music takes listeners on an aural journey via sophisticated harmony and elaborate, engaging rhythms." This is an apt description of the music, and it sounds like the type of metal generated by Liquid Tension Experiment.  



The Line up:

- Jason De Ron / guitars,bass,keyboards,samples,additional vocals
- Jefray Arwadi / guitars,bass,vocals,samples
- Kenny Cheong / bass

The album:

Altera Enigma Alteration album cover

A track from "Alteration"




Back to Top
AtomicCrimsonRush View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Symphonic Team

Joined: July 02 2008
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 13614
Post Options Post Options   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2012 at 19:50
Next:


The Amenta


More brutal speed death thrash extreme technical metal with this lineup:


Cesium 137 - vocals 
Ethion - guitars 
Endrin - bass 
Chlordane - keyboards 
David Haley (Diazonon) - drums

The band released 2 albums:

2004 - Occasus

The Amenta Occasus album cover

2008 - N0N

The Amenta n0n album cover


Australian metal is often fast and furious but these guys, like Psycroptic, take it to the next length, with intricate riffing and complex structures. The vocals are often growls and the riffs are galloping and frenetic, with massive attacks of percussion and bass. 


Here's a taste of their brutality - dark lyrics, black metal sounds, breakneck speed drums and gravel vox with some interesting key pads to add ominous atmosphere.  Not for everybody! But at 2:40 it settles into a beautiful spacey keyboard sound then really powerful riffing guitars break through.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts2X_e2TK_4&feature=fvwrel




Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - September 09 2012 at 19:53
Back to Top
AtomicCrimsonRush View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Symphonic Team

Joined: July 02 2008
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 13614
Post Options Post Options   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2012 at 20:05
Next:

Apricot Rail

Apricot Rail picture

Perth Post Rock band with emphasis on guitar hypno riffs and beautiful wind section floating along with clarinet and flute. The ethereal atmospheres may remind one of Tortoise, especially with the use of drums and strings. 

No reviews yet but I can describe it as very relaxing, shoe gaze music, with mesmirising guitar note repetition, and ambient textures. It is very beautiful music, and at times sends you off to sleep, at least mentally, as it has the effect of soothing the senses. This is definitive chill music, with very strong references to Sigur Ros, without the vox, and Kayo Dot, without the quirkiness. One to try for sure, after a hard day at work with the feet up and the curtains drawn.

The line up:

- Jack Quirk / Guitar, Glock, Trumpet, Electronica, Voice
- Daniel Burt / Bass guitar, Saxophone
- Matt Saville / Drum Kit/Percussion
- Mayuka Juber / Clarinet, Flute, Keyboard, Melodica, Voice
- Ambrose Nock / Guitar, Glock, Keyboard

The album:

The band released "A Public Space" in 2009:


Apricot Rail Apricot Rail album cover

The music:

From that album here are some samples:











Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - September 09 2012 at 20:06
Back to Top
AtomicCrimsonRush View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Symphonic Team

Joined: July 02 2008
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 13614
Post Options Post Options   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2012 at 20:20
Next:

Aquanaut

Aquanaut picture

Psychedelic Space Rockers with very obscure following, hardly any reviews and no youtube clips at all! Despite the obscurity they released an EP and 2 albums and have a small following. Not to be confused with Aquanaut from Canada, the stoner doom band, this Australian band have some interesting albums to discover.

I would describe the music as free form stoner spaced up mostly instrumental. The vox are a very downer style, bleak but captivating, with all the weird guitars and off sync drumming. Great production and worth listening to for Space Psych prog addicts.


The Line up:

- Damien Salomons / keyboards
- Luc P / guitars, vocals
- George Velenik / drums
- Carl Belle / bass, vocals

The EP:

2008 - The Taste Maker Suite


The albums:

2009 - The Psychonaut


2010 - Golden



My review:

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush 
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team

4 stars A hidden treasure of space rock from Australia.

Aquanaut are an obscure Australian Psych Space rock band with 2 great psychedelic offerings. This album "Golden", their 2010 and latest release, is an example of the type of sound found on space rock albums from the likes of Hawkwind, or The Ovals, but with sudden time shifting tempos like Cardiacs.

The vocals are often echoing like Dave Brock, and the guitars lock into hypnotic riffs, though not as consistent as Hawkwind riffs. The band prefer to veer into odd guitar sounds and varied time sigs, making them a different beast than the typical Space rock approach.

"Golden" opens with 'Days of Pollen', a raucous guitar approach and the strong vocals of Luc P also on guitars. The keyboards of Damien Salomons are prominent, as are the drums of George Velenik, and bass of Carl Belle. Songs like 'Jaguar Politics' certainly remind me of the manic sounds of The Mars Volta or the frenetic pacing of Cardiacs. It is a solid track that highlights the unusual style of Aquanaut. The lyrics are as odd as space rock gets, such as "Hall ways nightmares, watching stars burst, fourth wind, Hallowed, sun burnt yellow".

The very fast pace of 'Who Got Horsie' is quite astounding for a space rock band. There is a heavy riffing guitar distortion that drives it along. The odd vocal delivery is an original touch, even sounding machine like at one point. There is a time sig change at 3 minutes that breaks up the speed, but the heavy chugging riffs return later and are augmented by spacey keyboards and horse sounds.

'Way of the Wolf' has heavy guitars crunching along with layered lead guitar phrases. The vocals are again strangely delivered with psych lyrics, "In ancient Egypt, oh Haiti Princess, the devil calling the angel falling, the book of fever, break the receiver, a pawn of its mind, it is forsaken, the nervous caller, forever praying." The lead solo sections are terrific, very fast and hypnotic over all the other guitar sounds. It also has a strong time sig change, and I was reminded of the type of music that Cardiacs might come up with on their masterpiece "Sing To God". The keyboards at the end make a fitting closing coda to this excellent song.

'Machine Lives' comes after seamlessly flowing and features some wonderful retro keyboards. The vocals are confident as usual and the guitars ceaselessly chime out spacey textures. For me the synth lines are the best part about this track, reminding me of Gary Numan's style or The Human League. The percussion is all over the place and really boost the feel of the song and I love the spacey effects on the vox at about 2:30. The lyrics are again very strange, "When in doubt first law, harness light beams, circuit break instinct, synchronising."

'Severed Heads' is a steady tempered song with a cool guitar phrase, and some nice wah wah effects as it builds to some spacey textures. The lead solo is smooth and cruises nicely over the jaunty rhythms. Again, this is a song that is well performed and will grow on the listener over time. It transitions with a sonic static sound.

'The Answer' has an effect on the voice and a steady beat. The lyrics are psychedelic and the voice becomes cleaner as he sings, "sidewalk sins and dirt cops, calls me Betty to my face, walks around in a disgrace, technophobe it knows its days, are numbered yes, the gamma haze, martian girls and secret sun, snort the coke from seven tongues." The Australian accent is more noticeable on this song for some reason, reminding me of Midnight Oil's sound or The Angels. There is still a spacey section and lots of synth in the instrumental passage. The low buzzing retro synth is a nice touch and this is one of the shorter tracks.

A drone and prominent synth begins 'This Omniverse', and I admire that Moog sound and chugging guitar rhythm. The vox only come in briefly on the 2 verses, with weird lyrics, "time is a snake, watched it from space", but the rest is really a feast of retro synth and mechanised percussion. I like this one very much especially how it chugs along on those guitars with synth lines taking over powering out a rather odd melody.

Next is 'Skylock (t.i.g.o.f.s.) which stands for "the infinite grace of falling stars". This has a fast guitar rhythm and the chanting title with machine vox, otherwise it's instrumental. It takes off with an effective lead break and some galloping distorted riffs. It is great the way the melody is repeated but gets lower and lower on descending notes until a fast trilling electric guitar phrase and very odd time sig. Interestingly, there are no synth solos on this one, rather it relies on guitars. Eventually it slows down with acoustics and ethereal spacey atmospherics. The ending is classic space prog, with the high pitch echoing guitars and sustained key pads.

'Chameleon' is another instrumental with one chant, "All is said and done, I'm a chameleon." The guitars are aggressive and there are some awesome riffs that lock in. Guitars are the emphasis, especially on the extended lead breaks, but there are some nice spacey nuances and electric piano that augment the sound.

'Think About' closes the album with more unusual lyrics, "Hologram mirror haze, feel so cold empty hall, machine doubt, silver walls." It has a bright uptempo sound, and cool droning synth with spacey swirls. This one is more focussed on synthesizers and has a fast percussion attack over slow verse phrases. It is an effective device and the low buzzing synth provides an ethereal soundscape. The instrumental has a simple chord structure but it is effective over the frenetic rhythms. The lead guitar solo comes in with some nice chord shapes and hammer ons, with soaring string bends. The synth effects to follow are mesmirising, and have that retro Moog sound heard in the 80s. It ends with more spaciness with a swathe of sustained synth grinding.

Overall, "Golden" is a hidden treasure that many still need to discover. The spacey sound is a delight, but the real drawcard for me are the way that the band structure the songs, with sudden tempo shifts and lengthy solos on guitar and keyboards, and none of the songs sound alike. It is a diverse album yet somehow maintains that original sound of Aquanaut. It should appeal to space rock fans, and is yet another of those obscure bands from Australia yet to be discovered.


The music:

Listen to their albums in FULL for free or purchase here at official website:




  


Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - September 10 2012 at 00:34
Back to Top
AtomicCrimsonRush View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Symphonic Team

Joined: July 02 2008
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 13614
Post Options Post Options   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2012 at 20:41
Next:

Aragon

Aragon picture

Neo prog that is quite hard to find in many countries, but nevertheless is great music to indulge in. There is a heavy emphasis on keyboards, and many time changes on the album tracks. The vox of Les are clean but often raspy delivered with a lot of passion. The music is overall a softer form of rock, with interjections of distorted guitars, and a steady percussive beat dominates the sound.  


The current line up:

- John Poloyannis / guitars, back vocals 
- Les Dougan / vocals 
- Tom Behrsing / keyboards, piano

The albums:

1987 - Don't Bring The Rain


1992 - The Meeting


1993 - Rocking Horse and Other Stories


1995 - Mouse


1998 - Mr Angel


2004 - The Angel's Tear


A review of The Angel's Tear:

Review by SouthSideoftheSky 
Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars A mature band

It is sadly not an easy task to find the albums by Aragon, and indeed their previous, fifth, album, Mr. Angel, still eludes me. This sixth, and to date latest, release of the band took some effort to track down, but it was well worth that effort. After having reviewed the whole discography of Aragon (minus Mr. Angel), I feel that The Angel's Tear is the album that best brings together the respective strengths of all their previous releases while at the same time avoiding most of their flaws and also at the same time introducing something brand new into the band's sound. All this helps them to sound more confident and also more original than they did on their early releases. The vocals of Les Dougan have never sounded as passionate and powerful as they do here and the same must be said of the guitars of John Poloyannis that get a more prominent place in the sound than ever in the past. The lyrics are thoughtful and often existential in nature.

The "mechanical" rhythm section of songs like the opening track, Growing Up In Cuckoo Land, and the midi-like keyboards of the short Discovery might trouble some people, but both tracks grew on me significantly after repeated listens. Indeed, all of the eight songs featured on The Angel's Tear are very strong. Favourite tracks for me include the nine minute In The Name Of God and the almost folky album closer The Silent Field with its Celtic-sounding drums. The album's longest track is the 13 minute title track while the shortest track, the aforementioned Discovery, is just under two minutes. The latter does indeed end rather abruptly and might perhaps have been extended somewhat. Another very short track is the weirdly titled Copper Bob And The Pirates At The Gates Of Dawn. This is actually quite weird musically too and features some notably theatrical "pirate" vocals and an almost Metal-like beat!

There is a nice flow and a good balance throughout the album between acoustic and electrically based songs and between upbeat passages and more serene ones. This makes for a very appealing variation that keeps the album interesting from start to finish and invites recurrent listens. Thankfully, Aragon have also avoided the common pitfall to put too much music on the same album just because the space available on a compact disc allows for it. A running time of just over 40 minutes is often optimal.

If you want to check out Aragon, The Angel's Tear is a great place to start. Let us hope that the band will return with another album in a not too far distant future and that they will also tour and perhaps record a live album/video that brings together songs from throughout their whole career.

Excellent addition!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The music:

Prime examples of Aragon at their best are here!

An amazing epic from the debut!




and the 20 minute Rocking Horse epic!



Official Website!




Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123 5>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.69
Copyright ©2001-2010 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.203 seconds.