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EXPERIMENTAL/POST METAL

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Experimental/Post Metal definition



Experimental Progressive Metal

Experimental progressive metal is a sub-genre of progressive metal characterized by the incorporation of innovative, eclectic elements, large-scale experimentation and the use of non-standard and unconventional sounds, instruments, song structures, playing styles, and vocal techniques. Experimentation in the music is a major criteria to define the genre where artists often add unique elements to the overall sound, while progressive metal usually has more focus on traditional metal instrumentation and higher levels of technical complexity.

It's nearly impossible to pinpoint the exact origin of Experimental Progressive Metal since experimentation is common in all music genres. Still it is clear that experimentation in the progressive metal sub-genre has slowly but steadily grown in popularity ever since its humble beginnings in the early 1980s.

Just like any other style, Experimental Progressive Metal has a few defining moments that have changed the rules for its sub-genre for years to come. Two of such moments are the releases of the debut album by MR.BUNGLE of August 1991 and its iconic follow up "Disco Volante" of 1995. MR BUNGLE became notorious for their heavy sound and mid-song shifts of musical style. The band has later spawned an array of established avant-garde side projects such as FANTMAS, SECRET CHIEFS 3 and ESTRADASPHERE but also inspired new Experimental Metal acts to take the music scene to new heights.
Another crucial artist in the development of Experimental Progressive Metal was the leading Avant Metal band of the 80s, CELTIC FROST. Their eclectic mix of Thrash, Doom, Symphonic and Goth Metal created a dark theatrical mystique that became a major influence among the experimental Extreme Metal bands of the 90s such as MY DYING BRIDE, ULVER, ARCTURUS among others. These bands served as an important source of inspiration for the experimental movement within extreme metal.

The bands listed under Experimental Progressive Metal have all, in various degrees, shed their extreme heritage in favor of embracing influences of the eclectic style going from art rock and ethnic up to free-jazz and even modernist music.

Art Metal
Art metal is a direct continuation of progressive metal but with the longing to expand the themes and styles of music while maintaining the technical complexity of the sub-genre.
These bands are more artistic than their progressive metal peers and tend to experiment, to a certain extent, but not as openly as the bands of the eclectic and avant-garde metal styles. Art metal comes in many shapes and forms. The virtuosity and complete unpredictability of DEVIN TOWNSEND, OSI and TOOL always manages to draw attention of both fans of traditional metal as well as the progressive music audience, while bands like ANATHEMA, DEADSOUL TRIBE and GORDIAN KNOT attract many fans of groove and atmospheric music into their vibrant soundscapes. Other notable acts include GREEN CARNATION, DARK SUNS and ANTIMATTER.

Eclectic Metal
These bands often add unconventional elements to their metal sound, whether it's experiments with various new sounds and styles that are otherwise uncommon in metal or by blending many styles, with metal being the referential core. Whether it's the ethnic elements of ORPHANED LAND's music that combines Middle Eastern folklore with the more traditional progressive metal sound or a completely unique mix of atmospheric, almost ambient, elements fused with metal that can be found in the sound of THE GATHERING, eclectic metal artists will always certainly bring a host of different styles and ideas to the table. Experimental metal can be found in numerous forms while featuring notable acts like INDUKTI, IN THE WOODS... and MAUDLIN OF THE WELL.

Avant-garde Metal
This style is generally considered to be more extreme in both its arrangements but most importantly extremely complex and unpredictable song structures. Compositions have the ambition of trying to breach boundaries of music and generally have significant experimental approaches to metal music. Most of this music borders on the realms of pure avant-garde while still maintaining a solid foundation in metal with technical instrumental prowess. Notable acts include UNEXPECT, EPHEL DUATH and VIRUS.


Post Metal

Post metal arose following the subsequent emergence of numerous newer, grittier metal genres like sludge, stoner, doom, and drone in the late 80's and early 90's, as well as the budding post-rock scene that emerged in the early 90's in Europe and North America. The scene's origins can be heard in several distinctly like-minded, moderately experimental groups in the early 90's, ranging from the noisy grind of GODFLESH, the sludgy, melodic, sometimes punk-like riffs of the MELVINS, and the proggy time signatures and grungy riffing of TOOL or HELMET, to the textural work of DON CABALLERO and the more melodic moments of early BARK PSYCHOSIS.

Arguably the first true and definitive realizations of post-metal emerged in the mid 1990's. The most concrete example was NEUROSIS, who moved farther away from their crust-punk origins and into more atmospheric territories with releases like Souls at Zero and Through Silver in Blood, the latter album in particular being regarded as one of the most definitive releases in the genre even to this day for its revolutionary blend of dark, spanning atmosphere and massively heavy sludge, something that would later come to define the post-metal genre as a whole (indeed, post-metal is often called "atmospheric sludge" as well). It wouldn't be until the early 2000's, however, that the genre's capacity would be fully realized, with releases like ISIS's "Oceanic", CULT OF LUNA's "Salvation", and PELICAN's "Australasia" paving the way for a true scene to emerge, and post-metal has since become a widespread phenomenon that has captivated the attention of many adventurous listeners worldwide.

Post-metal's unique sound is often very long and extremely drawn-out, utilizing oft-repetitive and simple riffs and guitar texturing to create massive buildups and musical climaxes. At times very emotionally evocative, it can be equally soft and soothing as it can be massively dense and crushing. Vocals are used sparingly, if at all (instrumental post-metal is a popular genre, with groups like PELICAN and RUSSIAN CIRCLES even achieving some degree of mainstream credibility), and when they are, they're usually gruff and barked as opposed to growled or screamed, a signature trait of the genre's hardcore roots.

Variations of Post-metal

While it should be noted that many post-metal bands have their roots in sludge metal, there are many post-metal bands that are rooted in other genres of metal. While post-sludge was an almost uniquely American phenomenon, a number of European doom-influenced post-metal bands have risen to fame, namely groups like ANATHEMA, YEAR OF NO LIGHT and CALLISTO; their slow-churning riffs and depressing mood of doom metal fit very well into the post-metal formula. These groups later gave way to more western post-doom-metal projects like JESU, GIANT SQUID, and MINSK.

A number of post-metal bands are significantly influenced by hardcore and post-hardcore, crafting the melodic elements of modern hardcore into their own brands of textural and atmospheric post-metal. This is exemplified by groups like ROSETTA, THE OCEAN COLLECTIVE, CAVE IN, MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT and BURST.

A subgenre that has emerged to a considerable degree in the last decade is an amalgamation of post-rock and black metal. Black metal has traditionally not been a stylistic influence on post-metal over the years, but bands like ALCEST, FEN, AGALLOCH and ALTAR OF PLAGUES have used the more atmospheric qualities of black metal and the tremolo riffing and incorporated it with a shoegaze-like affinity for heavy, dreamy sounds and guitar effects to create a unique and evocative subgenre that shares many visional and sonic characteristics of post-metal. While the explosion of bands exploring this style is a rather recent phenomenon, there are some instances of this occurring very early in the lifespan of the post-metal genre as a whole. ULVER's debut could be seen as possibly the first album to fall under this definition. For clarification's sake, these post-rock influenced bands are placed in the post-metal subsection of ProgArchives as opposed to the black metal subsection of Tech/Extreme because they eschew much of the harsh tonalities, minor modes, and shrieking vocals of black metal and add a melodic and emotional aspect that makes it much more accessible than their progressive black metal peers in the tech/extreme section.

Today, the most popular post-metal groups are much of the genre's godfathers like ISIS, NEUROSIS, PELICAN, and CULT OF LUNA, though a number of newer bands have risen to fame in metal and prog circles within the last 5 years like INTRONAUT, ROSETTA, and THE OCEAN COLLECTIVE.


--- Definition by Alex and Kevin and the Progressive Metal Team, February 2012 ---

The Progressive Metal Team
Karl (bonnek)
Kevin (Necroncommander)
Alex (Rune2000)
Thanos (aapatsos)
Dave (Prog Sothoth)
Louis (rdtprog)

Experimental/Post Metal Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Experimental/Post Metal | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.22 | 1244 ratings
LATERALUS
Tool
4.23 | 613 ratings
PART THE SECOND
Maudlin Of The Well
4.22 | 572 ratings
TERRIA
Townsend, Devin
4.34 | 105 ratings
IMAGINARY SONICSCAPE
Sigh
4.28 | 154 ratings
THROUGH SILVER IN BLOOD
Neurosis
4.19 | 508 ratings
ZILTOID THE OMNISCIENT
Townsend, Devin
4.16 | 614 ratings
JUDGEMENT
Anathema
4.19 | 280 ratings
LEAVING YOUR BODY MAP
Maudlin Of The Well
4.56 | 35 ratings
KHAOOOHS & KON-FUS-ION
Pan.Thy.Monium
4.18 | 245 ratings
IN A FLESH AQUARIUM
Unexpect
4.17 | 249 ratings
BATH
Maudlin Of The Well
4.14 | 299 ratings
LIGHT OF DAY, DAY OF DARKNESS
Green Carnation
4.60 | 28 ratings
FEA JUR
Lye By Mistake
4.19 | 130 ratings
SOMEWHERE ALONG THE HIGHWAY
Cult of Luna
4.08 | 757 ratings
NIMA
Tool
4.29 | 60 ratings
SOULS AT ZERO
Neurosis
4.09 | 539 ratings
ALTERNATIVE 4
Anathema
4.10 | 321 ratings
THE MANTLE
Agalloch
4.11 | 225 ratings
PANOPTICON
Isis
4.09 | 295 ratings
MABOOL - THE STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF SEVEN
Orphaned Land

Experimental/Post Metal overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Experimental/Post Metal experts team

THIS GRAND SHOW
Grayceon
POWER HR
Lesbian
THE SECOND PHILOSOPHY
Nahemah
MONOLITH
Twin Zero

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Latest Experimental/Post Metal Music Reviews


 Transcendence by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.87 | 6 ratings

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Transcendence
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by keriboi

5 stars Wow. This is good. Real good. Devin is back to his best. The dynamic range and wall of sounds that we all love. This by far the best drumming on any album. It is epic. The guitars are back with some sneaky solos.

1. Truth - Great remake. Its wider. The angelic vocals. It is beautiful. 2. StormBending - Could be a score to a movie! 3. Failure - That Solo! 4. Secret Science - Ok song 5. Higher - Little bit toolish at times. Proggy - Could easy be on Ziltiod 3 6. Stars- Great song. I prefer the Toon Tracks version of vocals. These ones are a little soft. 7. Transcendence - That Drumming!!!!! 10/10 - Reminds me a bit of Ayreon Day 20 8. Offer your light - Upbeat 9. From your heart - Nice Balad 10. Transdermal Celebration - Some great 12 string by Dave. Very poppy with some hummer to finish.

Please Devin, Next album please do a remake of Ocean Machines of Ass Sordid Demos

 Purple by BARONESS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.22 | 18 ratings

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Purple
Baroness Experimental/Post Metal

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I came across Baroness a few years back when I read about sludge metal and wondered how that sounded. I bought Baroness's "Red Album" and found it rather impressive, powerful music with a progressive edge in places. I knew I'd get another album and actually kept "Yellow and Green" on standby at Amazon for over two years. Then "Purple" was released and I figured why not just get the latest album.

It most certainly is the Baroness sound that rumbles and booms through the opening riff of "Morningstar". The song switches to a melodic heavy power rock tune that strikes me as consistent with my impression that "Yellow and Green" was leaning more towards melodic over raw bellowing vocals. The song wraps up by reprising that awesome opening riff, which would fit perfectly on a Mastodon album.

Track two "Shock Me" begins with some simple and soft keyboards. Where's Baroness going to take this? Of course we get another strong power melody rocker but with an impressive more technical instrumental mid-section which is followed by a melodic bit of lead guitar. A strong track for sure.

"I will bury your bones inside my garden / Underneath, your eyes can't burn through me no more." Is this Danzig? "Try to Disappear" carries the banner of a song with the guitars pushed to the red and busy drumming that seems to abhor a steady beat without anything in between and half sung half bellowed vocals intent on insisting that there's a melody here. The guitar work is different, separating track three from two and from one. But the musical theme is becoming apparent. This is Baroness's "Purple" album. Heavy melodic punk/post metal?

Though I do begin to lose interest once a musical theme sets in and becomes the sole atmospheric element of an album's sonic palette, the next three tracks snap my interest back. Granted, "Kerosene" follows the same style as we've heard so far, but the loud simple bass in the chorus and another interesting instrumental break have my attention. Then "Fugue" goes somewhere else completely and reminds me of one of the reasons I liked Baroness at first, which was their ability to break a continuing musical theme with an instrumental that offers something different. The change in flavour is continued during the intro to "Chlorine and Wine". Though this simple, slow and haunting melodic music style, complete with scratchy echoes, seems to be common today, one can't help but wonder where Baroness will take it. Of course, we find ourselves back in familiar "Purple" territory, but the slow journey back is pleasing. One ear-catching line: "I've never felt so uncomfortably numb." Another thing to point out is that so far all the lead guitar work has been melodic rather than technical or ultra-aggressive. This song wraps up with a crescendo of power melody.

"Iron Bell" is another rollicking and rolling power rock melodic song. Quite good and making it difficult to say which of all these songs is the best. "Desperation Burns" gives us another heavy riff, a welcome return to the into-the-red heavy distortion. Melody is still a factor but heaviness is emphasized, especially in the instrumental break.

The final song, "If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain)", takes the tempo down for a kind of heavy sludge ballad. Perhaps the song to least impress me but nevertheless a good idea at least for variety. This song is followed by a brief robotic voice speaking for the final track.

I've given this album a fair bit of praise and mentioned several favourable points. Honestly, it is while attention is focused on the music for this review that I sniffed out what I like about the album. However, after the first three or four listens I had a tough time saying what songs I liked or why. This album is easy to have on the car stereo while driving or in the air buds while commuting because the overall approach is as I've described: a kind of loud power rock with bellowed vocal melodies. It's quite a step from "The Red Album" and for that I think it's great that Baroness are approaching each "colour" with a different flavour. They are evolving their style while still sounding like Baroness. I find that I enjoy the rawness of "The Red Album" more, on which the post metal/sludge/progressive/technical elements stood out more. But even though I prefer the other album, I give the band credit for producing a cohesive and solid piece of work here. But I'll add that it was a good idea to keep it to 42 minutes. A sixty-minute album of similar songs would be too much.

 Undertow by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.17 | 462 ratings

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Undertow
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Rodrigo Andrade7

4 stars This is not Tool's debut album but its their first studio album and also a big improvement from "Opiate" "Undertow" combines this raw sounding with very strong upbeat and heavy songs. For a first studio album it is superb, you can hear the sounding of the music turning more and more progressive with very progressive guitar riffs, amazing vocals and really strong lyrics. There is no single deviation on this album from the beginning to the end of it, all the songs are reasonably short and fast (except for the last track) but all of them are memorable. I actually consider this album to be Tool's real debut, since "Opiate" wasn't anything special for me, "Undertow" excites me in every way because it has a way bigger approach to progressive music and gives a taste of whats to come in the future for this band, this is the real start of Tool for me. For many fans, this is the only album they like from tool, however for other fans, they only like the other 3 and dislike this one and "Opiate". Can be quite understandable since Tool only started to have a big carreer since "nima" having very complex music, but I personally love them all, Tool is my favorite band, but you gotta consider that this album is still the beginning for tool, but don't ever think this is a weak or a less significant album, you'd be really wrong, this is a album I love to listen and Tool is in my opinion the strongest modern progressive band there is. Songs in this album like "Sober" , "Prison sex" , "Undertow" , "Swamp Song" and "Intolerance" are just completly unforgettable and remarkable.
 Amaran by KRAKOW album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Amaran
Krakow Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
4 stars Norwegian band KRAKOW has a history going back a decade or thereabouts, and I understand that all members are fairly seasoned musicians in their own right. As a collective unit they have released a good handful of EPs and albums since their formation. "Amaran" is the most recent of their three studio albums to date, and was released through Norwegian label Dark Essence Records at the start of 2015.

Dark Essence is a label I understand are well known for their orientation towards metal, and Krakow is most certainly a band that resides within that sphere of music. They are not your typical purveyors of aggression and darkness however, and they do bring quite a lot to the table on this particular production. There's not too much aggression at hand here either, although it does pop up now and then, whereas those more fond of introspective, bleak and subtly oppressive moods and atmospheres will find a lot to enjoy on this CD.

I think a good place to start here is with doom metal and possibly grunge and stoner metal as well, as I kind of get the impression that these make up the foundation for the escapades of this quartet. More often than not as distant echoes and shadows lurking beneath, but fairly often also with elongated passages and sequences exploring a more or less well defined take on those genres as well. Not all that often without some additional features however, so those fond of these styles in a more purebred manner will perhaps not be intrigued by this specific album.

What Krakow adds to these fairly popular takes on hard rock and metal are cosmic and psychedelic instrument details, subtle amounts of post-punk angst and vibrancy, a fairly liberal amount of fluttering nervous instrument details and textured instrument motifs post-rock style, occasional dips into m ore of a black metal inspired sound and a bit more liberal use of black metal inspired backing vocals complementing, supplementing and contrasting the mostly more melodic, controlled and compelling lead vocals. Arguably with something of a progressive rock approach to the art of compositional structures, theme and arrangement development to boot.

The album as such is fairly diverse actually, but the ongoing dark, bleak and subtly oppressive atmospheres does give it more of a cohesive expression overall, one that might be experienced as one-dimensional as well by those listening to music in in more of a superficial manner. Hence this is a CD that calls for those who listen with a certain amount of focus and concentration. Those who recognize themselves in such a description, who tends to find bleak moods compelling in general and who enjoys some variety to such landscapes such probably give a listen to this album at some point. Especially if these are explored within a context of doom and stoner metal.

 The Freak is Alive by MOMENTUM album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.95 | 3 ratings

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The Freak is Alive
Momentum Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Icelandic threesome MOMENTUM was formed back in 2003, and have so far explored their self described brand of psychedelic progressive doom metal on two EPs and two full length albums. "The Freak Is Alive" is the most recent of the latter, and was released through Norwegian label Dark Essence Records at the start of 2015.

The band's self-described placement in the genre jungle is one that comes across as fairly apt and appropriate. It doesn't reveal everything of course, but there's no denying that both doom metal, psychedelic rock and progressive rock have had an impact on their sound, the way their compositions pan out and the scope of their individual compositions. There is more to this band and this album than an amalgam of genre details of course, and this CD comes across as rather more of a cohesive affair than this initial description might indicate as well.

The doom metal aspects of this album are handled mainly by the guitars. Dark toned, slow and rich guitar riffs is a dominating aspect throughout, and the occasional soundbytes referencing vintage doom metal Black Sabbath style are indeed present. But on this occasion these aren't monumental, slow and massive riffs. Instead the band opts for a more careful approach, giving the guitars are rather more dampened placement in the general mix, often resulting in a sound that has something of a textured tinge to it. Plucked guitar details and clever use of frail piano details also adds a more delicate sheen to this aspect of the material, providing somewhat more of a brittle, emotional touch. With at times impressive drum patterns underscoring in a careful yet busy manner, these aspects combines into a perfect underscore for the dominant aspect of this album, at least as I experience it.

The lead and backing vocals comes across as the driving force of thus album for me. Deep, rich lead vocals, occasionally alternating with slightly more of a growl delivery, somewhat more often with more of a reined in approach, backed beautifully by rich, full and layered harmony backing vocals. All of these serve as effective contrasts to the often more dampened instrumentation, yet also serves to enhances the impression of being in a dark and at times bleak atmosphere. And rather than coming off as oppressive or abrasive, this is a darkness filled with melancholy, longing and sadness, with occasional glimpses of anger pouring through.

This all adds up to be a well made album for those with an interest in music exploring the more subtle shades of darkness. Those fond of melancholic landscapes and mournful moods, explored with some elegance and sophistication, should have a field day with this album, especially if you have a soft spot for artists operating out of a doom metal foundation on such excursions.

 Departure Songs by WE LOST THE SEA album cover Studio Album, 2015
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Departure Songs
We Lost the Sea Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Watchmaker

— First review of this album —
5 stars It is rare (at least for me) that an album you know nothing about shows its excellence from the first listen. I understood it had something special but I had no idea that I was about to change my top 5 for good. I know albums released nowadays have no chance beating the 70's masterpieces in the popular opinion but, in all honesty, this is the case here.

It is a concept album and, as the band says, it is "inspired by failed, yet epic and honourable journeys or events throughout history where people have done extraordinary things for the greater good of those around them, and the progress of the human race itself. This is a celebration and a tribute. Each song has it's own story and is a soundtrack to that story". The four stories "talk" about a man who sacrificed himself for the salvation of his friends, three brave men who did the same to prevent a huge catastrophe (the Chernobyl disaster), a diver who broke the limits to recover the body of a fellow dead diver, but eventually overestimated his abilities and the well known Challenger disaster. The seed that gave birth to this collection of stories was the death of bandmate Chris Torpy two years before and that is evident throughout every composition. Actually not his death, but the band's overcoming of that. Every track is full of emotion, even if not a single word is sang. There are some recorded speeches by influential men though.

The music can certainly be described as post-rock. I personally am not a huge fan of the sub-genre although the post-rock aficionados will feel like home. As you can see, there are lengthy compositions that build up perfectly to a climax (or several climaxes for that matter). The tracks I like the most are the opener and the centrepiece, but all of them are equally moving and emotional. What amazes me is that after all these years of music writing some people in Australia managed to write original music. There is still hope!

There are albums that make you feel and there are albums that make you think. And then there is Departure Songs that does both. It throws the pseudo-inspirational efforts you forget after the first listen (if you can make it that far) in the gutter. This is a work of art of the highest calibre, phenomenal by today's standards, something that you will remember for a long, long time. I cannot stretch it enough. You have to listen to this album. You can do it for free on the band's bandcamp page (where you can also find a lot of interesting background information and buy this masterpiece) or on youtube.

 Sculpture by BAK album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.13 | 17 ratings

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Sculpture
BaK Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars BAK is a duo from Sydney, Australia who released their first album SCULPTURE in 2011 and to date is only available as a digital release. The duo of Beau (guitar / bass / baglama) and Kit (drums / percussion / keys / piano) are the two members who write, compose and arrange the compositions. While the band like to tease about the meaning of their name suggesting that they could possibly have taken it from an ancient Egyptian sculptor or from a Holocaust survivor turned painter or even a metaphysical flower, i surmise that it is actually he first initials of Beau And Kit which when written properly would be seen as BaK seems more likely. The band is famous more for their live shows that can have 30 to 100 extra people on stage as they include large symphonic orchestras that cover strings, brass and woodwinds, operatic and choir vocals as well as Middle Eastern and Indian ethnic musicians presenting all kinds of percussive and stringed instruments.

On SCULPTURE this band excels at creating melodic Middle Eastern musical scales that add progressive metal to the mix. What we get is a nice melodically driven symphonic metal type of sound that focuses more on the folk instrumentation than metal most for the majority of the time but does allow the metal have its time in the sun as well. Some of the lead vocal parts on the album remind me of James Hetfield on Metallica's black album. There is a lot of attention paid toward two male vocalists harmonizing melody lines and backed up by all kinds of instrumental solos. The compositions are quite catchy with bellydance type grooves and percussive drum circles providing the backbone as the rhythm section while the vocals and symphonic touches deliver the hooks with the addition of an exotic ethnic flair. Some of the vocal trade offs can bring Andrew Lloyd Weber's works to mind as well.

While the metal elements are only one ingredient in this atmospheric ethnic smorgasbord, when it is allowed off its leash can deliver some nice heavy riffs and grooves. While the vocals mostly reside on the clean side, during some of the metal outbursts death growls are allowed to get down and dirty as well. This part reminds me a bit of Therion because the female operatic singers are harmonizing with the death growls and distorted metal riffs. There are even occasional rip roaring guitar solos but only when the energy is elevated to the point where some contrast is needed. This is a pretty cool album that is excellently executed with all the elements on board working quite well together. Anyone interested in the harder rock and metal bands like Secret Chiefs 3, Orphaned Land or Myrath who fuse Middle Eastern and Indian ethnic elements with metal will absolutely love this since BAK mix it all together perfectly and always keep the prospect of too many chefs in the kitchen from getting out of hand.

 Painter by BAK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
4.04 | 4 ratings

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Painter
BaK Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars PAINTER is the second release in the form of a short 23:28 EP from the Australian progressive metal band BAK. Once again all the compositions are written, composed and arranged by Beau (guitar / bass / baglama) and Kit (drums / percussion / keys / piano). Also on board is a whole army of session musicians who create the lush symphonic orchestrations, extra strings, brass, woodwind, operatic and choir vocals as well as all the ethnic sounds that span from Middle Eastern to Indian in flavor. While not quite a full- fledged follow up to their 2011 debut album "Sculpture" its four tracks are nonetheless quite strong examples of their unique style of mixing and melding symphonic and progressive metal with Arabic folk music all touched up with classic era traditional metal. So far this one is only available as a digital format.

"Us All" begins the set with tribal drumming and Middle Eastern orchestration and strings and hooks the listener in instantly with a nice guitar groove and passionate exchange of sung and spoken vocals alternating. This track reminds me of a prog metal band like Fates Warning teaming up with some Middle Eastern orchestra and perfectly fusing into one. The metal takes over at times but is always enshrouded in the ethnic influences. A nice melodic guitar solo is included.

"Creation" begins on a lighter note with slow string sections that lead up to a female vocalist that makes the track feel like it's going to burst into a bellydance number at any moment. The tribal percussion finally enters the scene but stays in the symphonic acoustic range with lots of vocalists harmonizing over the Middle Eastern musical scales. This one has a cool baglama (Turkish stringed instrument) solo. No metal appears until the last quarter of the track when some power riffs thrash it up and then fade out with the track.

"What We Have Done" is the longest track at over 9 minutes and begins with Indian percussion and soon becomes joined by the prog metal type vocals without the metal. But soon the power chords come in and it becomes more metal. It reverts back to the ethnic musical accompaniment. The two styles basically trade off between the ethnic and the metal with each taking their turns jumping into the limelight. Towards the end after the metal has a chance to build up a bit we get some extreme vocals that alternate between death growls and shouting which are simultaneously accompanied by an operatic choir. Pretty cool.

"The Tragedy Of Isabella Lockhardt" is a short two minute instrumental that sounds more like something off of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" than anything else on the album. OK, whatever.

This one is more sophisticated than "Sculpture," which had many moments of sounding like Metallica's black album meets the Istanbul Oriental Ensemble with other ethnic sprinklings. On PAINTER the ethnic and symphonic efforts are much stronger and it feels like a much larger production as well. While i absolutely love the music of BAK, it does sound a bit like Myrath with Fates Warning vocals at times but unlike those bands, BAK use the metal parts sparingly on PAINTER. This is quite an enjoyable album for those who love Indian and Middle Eastern music and love metal folk fusion at its most melodic. A very decent album that i only wish was a full length one because this isn't long enough!

 Ziltoid: Live At The Royal Albert Hall by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover DVD/Video, 2015
3.89 | 18 ratings

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Ziltoid: Live At The Royal Albert Hall
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars It took one year and a half of preparation for this project to see the light in Royal Albert Hall. The previous shows on smaller venues were modified versions of what he did on this Blu-Ray. The first set is the whole Ziltoid 2 album with the Ziltoid character, which begins to take shape when Devin saw the movie "Dark Crystal" at 8 years old. Don't try to understand how this character of a space alien had an influence on Devin over the years and what is the meaning behind that story. The music is what it counts and this musician succeeds to create some intense atmosphere with his unique Progressive Metal, where the melody find his way out of a dense and chaotic wall of sound. I wish we could hear more the keyboards sound and the bass that seems to be overshadowed by the guitars and the vocals. The second set is songs request by fans on Facebook. Yes, I think we're going to have more of this kind of thing in the future. If you want to have success on your tour, ask the fans what songs they want and we'll give them! It's not a surprise that the second set has some inconsistency in the quality of the songs for my personal taste. Some songs are a bit too raw if we compare the set list of the previous DVD "Retinal Circus". But this one has a better picture quality and better visuals with a lot of projections on the big screens. The song "The Death of Music" was a nice discovery for me with his slow pace and the nice ending when the vocals are getting louder. It sounds a lot like "Biko" of Petre Gabriel in the Devin Towsend style.
 Prehistoricisms by INTRONAUT album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.09 | 73 ratings

BUY
Prehistoricisms
Intronaut Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars After a debut album and two EPs under their belt the members of INTRONAUT were only getting warmed up it seems. Another member change with Dave Timnick taking over guitar duties after the departure of Leon del Muerte seems to have been the necessary ingredient to grant INTRONAUT that magical prestidigitation to whip up and unleash their absolute wildest and most experimental album of their career. PREHISTORICISMS continues their reputation as an intellectual extreme metal band that seamlessly blends together elements of post-rock, psychedelia and crushing sludge metal brutality all laid out in the most satisfying of musical deliveries of the ages. This is the album that even made the critics go gaga and publications such as Decibel, Metal Maniacs, Outburn, Revolver and so on praised INTRONAUT as the next best thing and after hearing this musical masterpiece it isn't too overly difficult to understand why.

The band goes about their usual business as before intermingling placid post-rock segments that once the listener is lured into a state of hypnotic bliss is sonically assaulted with catchy brutal riffs that sustain long enough to establish their dominance only to have the false sense of security shattered by unpredictable time signature changes that wend and wind the compositions through highly progressive head bangin' territory. While all the members are brilliant on their respective instruments, it's worthy of mentioning the above and beyond the call of duty of fretless bass player Joe Lester who infuses the sound with the technical jazz fusion aspects. Equally vital to the new technical achievements is former Jane's Addiction engineer Josh Newell, who blends together the seamless transitions between the soft and silky contemplative parts and the hardcore brutality by smoothing out any potential awkwardness between the contradictory styles on display.

While PREHISTORICISMS is undeniably the sound of INTRONAUT, the band went for broke and evolved every aspect of their sound to the next level. The compositions have been crafted carefully as to retain their signature sludge bombast all wrapped up with creative uses of slide guitar, fretless bass, highly technical drumming and ambient jazz-infused soundscapes. Timnick's riffing style is top notch with its fuzzed fury graciously fusing with Sacha Dunable's aggressively screamed vocals with an emphasis on lyrical intellectualisms and concepts of the most primitive and atavistic aspects of the human experience. As mentioned, what really sets this release apart from its predecessors isn't the excellent musicianship that is present on all of their material but rather the infusion of the jangly post-rock and jazz-infused technicalities. While throughout the majority of the album we are treated to brutal jarring dissonant orotundity, on the final track "The Reptilian Brain (Sleep, Eat, Shit, Fight, Fuck)" we are treated to a five part suite that begins like an Indian raga with sitars and tribal drums and slowly evolves into a 16 minute plus progressive behemoth that develops into a sludge metal monster that satisfies on all musical levels.

Not only is this my favorite INTRONAUT album but this is one of my favorite albums of all time. This is not only a desert isle pick but one that takes many of my disparate musical interests and throws them all together. The success lies not in the fact that these elements are all included but rather in how well crafted their inclusions are and how meticulously placed together in a logical sequence they exist while still finding improvisational space to deliver jarring surprises when least expected. The heavy down-tuned guitars and fretless bass work together in harmony while the percussion takes the listener on an exotic counter-journey. The rhythms, tones, timbres and tempos are all sorted out in a way as to allow the psychedelic and the sludge to not only coexist but to play together and dance the night away. This is highly recommended for anyone who craves mass quantities of intelligent design stamped upon every musical measure and imbued with exemplary musical maestrohood.

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Experimental/Post Metal bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
11 AS IN ADVERSARIES France
19 A.D.D. United States
21 EYES OF RUBY Netherlands
THE 3RD AND THE MORTAL Norway
413 United States
5IVE United States
6:33 France
A((WAKE)) United States
AABSINTHE France
ABANDON Sweden
ABYSSE France
ACROSS TUNDRAS United States
ACYL France
ADMIRAL BROWNING United States
ADRIFT Spain
AFTER MY OWN United States
AGALLOCH United States
AGES GONE Germany
AKPHAEZYA France
AKROMA France
ALASKAN Canada
ALCEST France
ALTAR OF PLAGUES Ireland
AMARA United States
AMATERAZU Portugal
AMBEON Netherlands
AMENRA Belgium
AMESOEURS France
AMIA VENERA LANDSCAPE Italy
ANATHEMA United Kingdom
ANCESTORS United States
AND HARMONY DIES Italy
ANGEL EYES United States
ANTIGUA Y BARBUDA Spain
ANTIMATTER Multi-National
ANUBI Lithuania
AORIA Sweden
APOCALIPSIS Mexico
APOCRYPHAL VOICE Finland
APOKATASTASIA Switzerland
APSE United States
ARCADE MESSIAH United Kingdom
THE ARKITECHT Mexico
ARKTIKA Germany
AS LIGHT DIES Spain
ASIDEFROMADAY France
ASPIRATION Norway
ASTROHENGE United Kingdom
ASTRONAUT DOWN United States
AT THE SOUNDAWN Italy
THE ATLAS MOTH United States
ATMOSPHERES Belgium
THE ATOMIC BOMB AUDITION United States
ATROX Norway
AUSSITT MORT France
AUSTARAS United States
THE AXIS OF PERDITION United Kingdom
AZIOLA CRY United States
BACK WHEN United States
BAK Australia
BARONESS United States
BAT CASTLE United States
BATTLE OF MICE United States
BATTLEFIELDS United States
BAUDA Chile
BEAK United States
BEECHER United Kingdom
BEFORE THE EYEWALL United States
BEHIND THE SUN Israel
BEING United States
ADRIAN BENAVIDES United States
BIRUSHANAH Japan
BISON B.C. Canada
BLACK MATH HORSEMAN United States
BLACK SEA Brazil
BLACK SHEEP WALL United States
BLACKWAVES Germany
BLINDEAD Poland
BLOOD & TIME United States
BLUT AUS NORD France
BOBEL Costa Rica
BOSSK United Kingdom
BOTANIST United States
BRIDGES TO DREAMS Canada
BUNKUR Netherlands
BURIED INSIDE Canada
BURN DOWN ROME United Kingdom
BURWEED Finland
BUTTERFLY TRAJECTORY Poland
CAINA United Kingdom
CALDERA France
CALLISTO Finland
THE CANCER CONSPIRACY United States
CANDIRIA United States
CAPRICORNS United Kingdom
CAPTURE THE SUN United States
CARNIVAL IN COAL France
CARONTTE Spain
CATACOMBE Portugal
CAVE IN United States
CELEBRITY SEX SCANDAL United States
CELESTINE Iceland
CHASE THE SUNSET United Kingdom
THE CHRONICLES OF ISRAFEL Canada
CHRYST Austria
THE CIRCLE ENDS HERE Italy
CIRUELO CILINDRICO Spain
CLERIC United States
CLOUDKICKER United States
COALESCE United States
COLD BODY RADIATION Netherlands
A COLD DEAD BODY Italy
COLDWORLD Germany
COME SLEEP Sweden
COMITY France
CONIFER United States
CONSECRATION Serbia
CORMORANT United States
COSMONAUTS DAY Russia
COUNTERVELA Ireland
CRIB45 Finland
CULT OF LUNA Sweden
D.U.N.E. Italy
DAKRYA Greece
DAMASCUS United States
DARK CASTLE United States
DARK SUNS Germany
DARKESTRAH Germany
DARKSPACE Switzerland
DAUGHTERS OF FISSION United States
DAY WITHOUT DAWN United States
DE OMEGA United States
DEADBIRD United States
DEADSOUL TRIBE United States
DEAFHEAVEN United States
THE DEATH OF HER MONEY United Kingdom
DECORTICA New Zealand
DEEP IN THOUGHT Germany
DEFYING Poland
DETERIOR United States
DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL United Kingdom
DIESTO United States
DIGRESSION ASSASSINS Sweden
DIRGE France
DISAPPEARER United States
DIVINA ENEMA Belarus
DDSVERK Norway
DORNENREICH Austria
DOTZAUER Italy
DR. SLAGGLEBERRY United Kingdom
DRAWN Norway
DREARE Czech Republic
DREARINESS Italy
DYING SUN United States
EARTH United States
EAST OF THE WALL United States
EBONY LAKE United Kingdom
ECHOES United Kingdom
ECHOES OF YUL Poland
ECHOSILENCE Estonia
EGOIST Poland
EHNAHRE United States
EIGHT BELLS United States
EINNA France
ELLIPSIS France
EMPIRES United States
EMPTY YARD EXPERIMENT United Arab Emirates
ENDER New Zealand
ENDNAME Russia
EPHEL DUATH Italy
EPISTASIS United States
ETERNAL DEFORMITY Poland
ETHERSENS France
EVIL INSIDE Spain
EX CURIA Australia
EXOTIC ANIMAL PETTING ZOO United States
EXTINCTION ALGORITHM Romania
FALL OF EFRAFA United Kingdom
FALLOCH United Kingdom
FALLS OF RAUROS United States
FEN United Kingdom
FLEURETY Norway
FLOOD THE DESERT United States
FOLLOW THE WHITE RABBIT Russia
A FOREST OF STARS United Kingdom
FORMLOFF Norway
FOUNTAINHEAD Germany
FROM OCEANS TO AUTUMN United States
FUTURIAN Canada
THE GABRIEL CONSTRUCT United States
GANON United States
GARDEN OF SHADOWS United States
GARY SUICIDAL KIDS COMMANDO France
THE GATHERING Netherlands
GENERATION OF VIPERS United States
GENGHIS TRON United States
GIANT SQUID United States
GIGANTIC BRAIN United States
GIRE Hungary
GLETSCHER Switzerland
GNAW THEIR TONGUES Netherlands
GODSEND Norway
GONIN-ISH Japan
GORDIAN KNOT United States
GOSPEL United States
THE GRASSHOPPER LIES HEAVY United States
GRAVITON United States
GRAYCEON United States
THE GREAT OLD ONES France
GREEN CARNATION Norway
HAIKU FUNERAL Multi-National
HAIL SPIRIT NOIR Greece
HALCYON Australia
HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE United States
HAND United Kingdom
HARVEY MILK United States
HEIRS Australia
HELIUM HORSE FLY Belgium
HELLAS MOUNDS United States
HERETOIR Germany
HIPOSPADIA Spain
HUMANFLY United Kingdom
HVOSCH Russia
HYDRA Mexico
HYPNO5E France
IDENTIFIED United States
IDIOT SAINT CRAZY France
THE ILLNESS United States
IN THE WOODS... Norway
IN.OVO Canada
INCOMING CEREBRAL OVERDRIVE Italy
INDUKTI Poland
INTER ARMA United States
INTRONAUT United States
IO United Kingdom
ION United States
IREPRESS United States
IRONWOOD Australia
IRREVERSIBLE United States
ISIS United States
ISTHMUS United States
IZAH Netherlands
JAKEL Canada
JANVS Italy
JESU United Kingdom
JEWY SABATAY Serbia
OLIVER KAAH Finland
KAILASH Italy
KALKI AVATARA Italy
KARABOUDJAN Sweden
KEELHAUL United States
KEKAL Indonesia
KHANATE United States
KHEMEA France
KHOMA Sweden
KHUDA United Kingdom
KICK THE BUTTERFLY Australia
KINGDOM Belgium
KLABAUTAMANN Germany
KOLLWITZ Norway
KONG Netherlands
KONGH Sweden
KOSMOGRAD Canada
KRAKOW Norway
KRUGER Switzerland
KYLESA United States
LANDFORGE United Kingdom
LANTLOS Germany
LATITUDES United Kingdom
LEFT BRAIN United States
LENTO Italy
LESBIAN United States
LIGHT BEARER United Kingdom
LITHIUM DAWN United States
LBO Portugal
LOOK TO WINDWARD New Zealand
LORUS United States
LOTUS THIEF United States
LUDICRA United States
LYE BY MISTAKE United States
MADE OUT OF BABIES United States
MAHESH Chile
MAMMOTH New Zealand
MANATEES United Kingdom
MANDIBULBE France
MANES Norway
MANUSCRIPTS DON'T BURN Italy
MAR DE GRISES Chile
MARE United States
THE MASS United States
THE MATTERHORN PROJECT United States
MAUDLIN Belgium
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL United States
MEANDERING MINE Germany
MEMORIES OF A DEAD MAN France
MENISCUS Australia
MINDFOLD EXPRESS Bulgaria
MINSK United States
MIOSIS Sweden
THE MIRE United Kingdom
MIRRORTHRONE Switzerland
MISANTHROFEEL Russia
MOD FLANDERS CONSPIRACY United States
MOLOKEN Sweden
MOMENTUM Iceland
MONDRIAN OAK Italy
MONUMENTUM Italy
MORAINES Croatia
MORNE United States
THE MORNINGSIDE Russia
MORTIFERIA Norway
MOSE GIGANTICUS United States
MOSKAU Germany
MOUNTAINS BECAME MACHINES United Kingdom
MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT United States
MUTYUMU Japan
MY SILENT WAKE United Kingdom
MYSTER MOBIUS Multi-National
MYSTIC Netherlands
NAHEMAH Spain
NAHRAYAN Spain
NANDA DEVI United States
NATIONAL SUNDAY LAW United States
NAUTICUS Finland
NEBRA Switzerland
NERO DI MARTE Italy
NEUMA Poland
NEUROSIS United States
NEVBORN Switzerland
NIHIL Serbia
NINTH MOON BLACK United States
NO HOME FOR HEROES Australia
NO MADE SENSE United Kingdom
NOCTIS Australia
NOEKK Germany
NORTH United States
NOVEMBRE Italy
NUCLEUS TORN Switzerland
OBSIDIAN KINGDOM Spain
THE OCEAN DOESN'T WANT ME South Africa
THE OCEAN Germany
OCOAI United States
OHGOD! South Africa
THE OLD DEAD TREE France
OLD MAN GLOOM United States
OMB Israel
THE OMEGA EXPERIMENT United States
OMEGA MASSIF Germany
ORANSSI PAZUZU Finland
ORDO DRACONIS Netherlands
RKENKJTT Norway
ORPHANED LAND Israel
ORTHODOX Spain
OSI United States
OSTROVA Spain
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SKY United States
OUTOPSYA Italy
OVERMARS France
XX XX France
PAN.THY.MONIUM Sweden
PANOPTICON United States
THE PAX CECILIA United States
PECCATUM Norway
PELICAN United States
PET SLIMMERS OF THE YEAR United Kingdom
PIKE Sweden
PINKLY SMOOTH United States
THE POSTMAN SYNDROME United States
PRISMA Switzerland
PROGHMA-C Poland
THE PROPHECY United Kingdom
PRYAPISME France
PSYCHOFAGIST Italy
PSYKUP France
PYRAMIDS United States
QUALEACEANS United Kingdom
QUARANTADUE Italy
QUBE Poland
QUESTIONER United States
RADAR Finland
RADIATION 4 United States
RAIN DELAY Serbia
RAINROOM Finland
RAXINASKY Belgium
RED PAPER DRAGON United Kingdom
REFRACTION Ireland
THE REPTILIANS United States
RETURNING WE HEAR THE LARKS United Kingdom
ROSETTA United States
ROUTE NINE Sweden
RWAKE United States
RYOKUCHI Japan
SAL Y MILETO Ecuador
SALVICTION Poland
SANNHET United States
SCHIZOID LLOYD Netherlands
SCORCHED SHORE United States
SECONDSKIN United Kingdom
SENMUTH Russia
SENSUAL NOISE Belgium
SEPIA DREAMER Sweden
SEVEN United States
SEVEN NAUTICAL MILES Sweden
SEVENTH EVIDENCE / KA.MMEN Ukraine
SHELS United States
SHELTER RED United States
SHELVING Switzerland
SHEPHERDS OF CASSINI New Zealand
SHRINEBUILDER United States
SIGH Japan
SIKA REDEM United Kingdom
SISARE Finland
SKAGOS Canada
SKEWED SKIES Germany
SLEEP MAPS United States
SLEEPING IN GETHSEMANE United States
SMALLMAN Bulgaria
SMOHALLA France
SNOWBLOOD United Kingdom
SO IS THE TONGUE United States
SOEN Multi-National
SOLSTAFIR Iceland
SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI United Kingdom
SPACEKING Russia
SPRING & YOUTH Serbia
STALINGRAD Spain
STANDING OVATION Finland
STARE AT THE CLOUDS Australia
STATS United States
STEAK NUMBER EIGHT Belgium
A STORM OF LIGHT United States
SUBROSA United States
SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE Multi-National
SUFFOCATE FOR FUCK SAKE Sweden
SUMAC Multi-National
SUNPOCRISY Italy
SUPERCONTINENT United States
THE SUSPENDED CONGRESS Ireland
SWARM OF THE LOTUS United States
A SWARM OF THE SUN Sweden
SWITCH OPENS Sweden
SYDERALUS Argentina
TACOMA NARROWS BRIDGE DISASTER United Kingdom
TARANTULA HAWK United States
TELEPATHY United Kingdom
TEMPEL United States
TENOCHTITLAN Russia
TEPHRA Germany
TERRA TENEBROSA Sweden
TESA Latvia
TETRAFUSION United States
THANATOSCHIZO Portugal
THENCE Finland
FREDRIK THORDENDAL'S SPECIAL DEFECTS Sweden
THY CATAFALQUE Hungary
TIDES United States
TIDES FROM NEBULA Poland
TIME ZERO United States
TITAN Canada
TODTGELICHTER Germany
TOMYDEEPESTEGO Italy
TOOL United States
TOUNDRA Spain
TOWN PORTAL Denmark
DEVIN TOWNSEND Canada
TRANSMISSION0 Netherlands
TREPHINE United States
TRIBES OF NEUROT United States
TROLDHAUGEN Australia
TRUTHSEEKER United States
TUSK United States
TWIN ZERO United Kingdom
UARAL Chile
UFOMAMMUT Italy
UNA CORDA United Kingdom
UNEXPECT Canada
UNHOLD Switzerland
UNSOUL Germany
UPRISING FORMALHAUT Ukraine
URNA Italy
USER NE Spain
VAKA Sweden
VAURA United States
VED BUENS ENDE Norway
VIRGIN BLACK Australia
VIRUS Norway
VISCERA/// Italy
VOID United Kingdom
VOID OF SILENCE Italy
VOID OF SLEEP Italy
VULTURE INDUSTRIES Norway
THE WATERS DEEP HERE United States
WE LOST THE SEA Australia
WE MADE GOD Iceland
WEAKLING United States
WHAT MAD UNIVERSE France
WHAT THE BLOOD REVEALED United Kingdom
WHEN DAY DESCENDS Australia
WHIRLING Sweden
WHOURKR Multi-National
WIDEK Poland
WINDHAM HELL United States
WINDMILLS BY THE OCEAN United States
WINDS Norway
ANDY WINTER Norway
WIZARD RIFLE United States
WOBURN HOUSE Germany
WOODS OF YPRES Canada
A WORKING MODEL United States
WORM OUROBOROS United States
WYTCHCRYPT United States
YAKUZA United States
YAVU Chile
YEAR OF NO LIGHT France
YOB United States
YTO SOLREISER Norway
ZEBULON PIKE United States
ZENI GEVA Japan
ZOZOBRA United States
ZVOYN France

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