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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 FANT‘MAS, 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 | 1348 ratings
LATERALUS
Tool
4.35 | 119 ratings
IMAGINARY SONICSCAPE
Sigh
4.22 | 646 ratings
PART THE SECOND
Maudlin Of The Well
4.28 | 168 ratings
THROUGH SILVER IN BLOOD
Neurosis
4.19 | 596 ratings
TERRIA
Townsend, Devin
4.16 | 640 ratings
JUDGEMENT
Anathema
4.16 | 533 ratings
ZILTOID THE OMNISCIENT
Townsend, Devin
4.19 | 298 ratings
LEAVING YOUR BODY MAP
Maudlin Of The Well
4.58 | 36 ratings
FEA JUR
Lye By Mistake
4.18 | 270 ratings
BATH
Maudlin Of The Well
4.16 | 252 ratings
IN A FLESH AQUARIUM
Unexpect
4.14 | 341 ratings
THE MANTLE
Agalloch
4.19 | 135 ratings
SOMEWHERE ALONG THE HIGHWAY
Cult of Luna
4.13 | 310 ratings
LIGHT OF DAY, DAY OF DARKNESS
Green Carnation
4.09 | 803 ratings
∆NIMA
Tool
4.11 | 305 ratings
FABLES OF THE SLEEPLESS EMPIRE
Unexpect
4.43 | 40 ratings
KHAOOOHS & KON-FUS-ION
Pan.Thy.Monium
4.12 | 238 ratings
PANOPTICON
Isis
4.07 | 558 ratings
ALTERNATIVE 4
Anathema
4.09 | 300 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

SAL Y MILETO
Sal Y Mileto
BLESSED ARE THE BONDS
Pax Cecilia, The
MONOLITH
Twin Zero
SPOILS OF FAILURE
Buried Inside

Latest Experimental/Post Metal Music Reviews


 Vagabond by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.95 | 11 ratings

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Vagabond
Subterranean Masquerade Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars US formed, Israel based band SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE have been around for two decades at this point. Those 20 years have seen them release two EPs and three full length albums. "Vagabond" is the most recent of the latter and was released through Swedish label ViciSolum Records in the early fall of 2017.

This is a band that made a name and a reputation for themselves as a highly creative progressive metal band back in the day. These days I'd say that they are primarily a progressive rock band, using elements from progressive metal to flavor their compositions rather than the other way around. That being said, these folks are rather more creative and innovative than merely combining genre elements from these two genres, as there is a lot going on here in addition to that.

Even of one didn't know that this band operates out of Israel, most people would probably guess as much. If not pinpointing this band specifically to Israel then at least to the Middle East. This due to the liberal amount of world music elements from that region that is a mainstay throughout this album. Additional percussion details, violins using the tonal range particular to that part of the world, reeds and brass doing pretty much the same, and occasionally also female backing vocals of the kind you would have to be uninformed to not categorically place somewhere in the Middle East as far as origins goes.

These elements are used in material that does, indeed, combine elements from progressive metal into a greater whole that correlates closer with progressive rock. Folk music details are obviously a big part of this greater picture too, and a few token jazzier details does appear here and there too. The saxophone is used frequently throughout as well, complementing both the rock and the metal oriented escapades, and effectively in both modes too I should add. The piano also has a central role throughout, often alternating with the organ to supplement whatever guitar mode that is present - be it wandering plucked guitars, firm guitar licks or more majestic and dominant metal riffs.

The band have opted for clean lead vocals in the greater majority of the vocal sequences, but still with room for some dark growls to take over now and then, either taking the lead vocal spot or as an underlying contrast to the clean and melodic lead vocals. Both aspects works very well too, surprisingly also when the band isn't operating inside a metal context.

Subterranean Masquerade describes themselves as a symphonic prog powerhouse these days, and that description comes across as rather appropriate. More progressive rock than progressive metal these days, and with something of an emphasis on easy to like material. Despite some rather advanced structures here and there this album comes across as both compelling and inviting, a production that should have a fairly broad reach despite of rather than because of it's at times complex and sophisticated movements.

A slight letdown is the cover of Bowie's classic Space Oddity at the very end. It is difficult to replicate the sheer amount of emotion in this song, especially when you decide to alter the song, even if only ever so slightly. In this case by reducing pace and adding a darker, heavier sheen, plus adding violins at the end to possibly emphasize the drama. This take on it is rather good, but it lacks the momentum and subtle emotional grip of the original. An interesting cover, but not a cut that elevates the overall album experience as far as I'm concerned.

If you tend to enjoy innovative and creative progressive rock, and finds the notion of a band that blends in a liberal amount of world music elements, quite a few metal touches and a select few extreme metal details into a progressive rock context to be appealing, then this latest production from Subterranean Masquerade is one that warrants an inspection.

 …cailles De Lune by ALCEST album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.02 | 276 ratings

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…cailles De Lune
Alcest Experimental/Post Metal

Review by ProgAlia

5 stars The main word that comes to mind for this album: Gorgeous. A few others: Ethereal, dreamy, lush, soothing. Maybe sometimes also intense or somber. It's a succinct and heavily atmospheric album that knows its sound and knows what it wants to do with it, and thus ends up being quite a joy to listen to. I like the unpredictability of the songs.The harsh vocals bring a whole new level to Alcest's music. Far from being depressing, this album is beautiful, tinged with nostalgia as always. ALCEST combines several elements from shoegaze, black metal, ambient, and progressive all into one album. which is extremely impressive and something not a lot of bands can pull off and sound GREAT doing it. For fans of atmosphere and relatively pleasant-sounding, …cailles de lune is one of the most interesting and fascinating albums you will ever hear.
 Ex Eye by EX EYE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.04 | 8 ratings

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Ex Eye
Ex Eye Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars EX EYE are a new band out of the USA but the members are all experienced musicians to say the least. Colin Stetson is incredible on sax while SECRET CHIEFS 3 multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily adds bass and synths. We also get Toby Summerfield on guitar and Greg Fox on drums rounding out the lineup. These guys had helped Colin with one of his solo albums and they decided to get together to make some music of their own. The music reminded me somewhat of the American band YETI. This is Post-Metal and it's dark and usually quite intense and powerful. It's all instrumental with four tracks although I did get the bonus track with the download.

"Xenolith; The Anvil" gets us started and it's drums and a heavy sound right from the first notes but it settles quickly with synths and drums. The guitar does come in over top in the Post-Rock tradition. The sax runs come and go starting 2 1/2 minutes in.

"Opposition/ Perihelion; The Coil" is uptempo with the guitar and drums standing out. Intense is the word. It settles back after 2 minutes tempo-wise but it's still intense. It kicks in again after 2 1/2 minutes including some great sounding bass. The guitar is ripping it up then some powerful pulsating sounds kick in before 4 1/2 minutes. Just an all out assault really that includes sax after 5 minutes. A dark calm before 6 minutes as sounds like drums and bass come and go, sax too. Love this section. It starts to wind down late as we get an experimental ending.

"Anaitis Hymnal; The Arkose Disc" could be the soundtrack to the apocalypse. A dark atmosphere to start with guitar expressions and more. Drums start to slowly beat as they come and go starting before 1 1/2 minutes. Synths sort of drone in and out as well as it slowly builds, sax too. The intensity is rising quickly before 4 minutes. So powerful and it's unrelenting until before 5 minutes as we get some minor relief with the sax and drums coming to the fore. The sax then steps aside and the sound will start to become more intense like earlier. Is that someone crying out before 8 1/2 minutes? Sax follows. It's almost doom-like before 11 minutes. So dark and haunting when it settles back and this continues right to the end.

"Form Constant; The Grid" opens with sax and pulsating sounds. The drums start to beat after 1 1/2 minutes and picked guitar joins in as well. A heavier, doomy sound takes over before 3 minutes. It does lighten up some and takes off before 4 1/2 minutes with Post-Rock styled guitar. This is still heavy and the sax is still lighting it up.

"Tten Crown; The Corrupter" is a bonus track but it really should be part of the main album in my opinion. It is similar to the rest but I would describe it as being more innovative and interesting. My favourite really but bonus tracks don't affect my rating either positively or negatively when I do reviews. I really like the guitar around 5 1/2 minutes.

This is one dark and intense album that ticks a lot of boxes for me when we're talking Post-Metal. Each member really blows me away here with their skills.

 Time & Withering by MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.31 | 7 ratings

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Time & Withering
Mouth of the Architect Experimental/Post Metal

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

4 stars The departure of MotA, and the back to their roots. "Time & Withering" has been released in 2004 as MotA's debut album, and they've remastered and rereleased this album in 2017, finally. I'm interested and quite curious if they would grab the debut stuff out and squeeze their newer intention into it, and my expectation's been guaranteed obviously.

Easily imagined that the first shot "A Vivid Chaos" should get to be their sound basis. As the title says, vivid, young and promising flavour with hints of some post-metal vanguards can be heard, filled with distorted voices and exaggerated guitar plays, all of which can be thought veteran too, surprisingly. Again mentioned, the basis of MotA. The following "Soil To Stone" sounds deep and onyx leaning towards Japanese traditional (aka 'enka-ish') melody line ... its oriental taste could get sympathized with also by Asian, especially Japanese rock fans. Beautiful atmosphere veiled in hardcore voices and metallic instrumental rumble is another characteristic of MotA, let me say. Impressive is distorted violin vibe like David Cross in the shortest track "Heart Eaters". Heavy guitar attachment as if beneath the deep green sea should completely eat not only our heart but also whole body. Mass of the simple repetition of the same phrase cannot bore us but improve our musical motivation definitely. The last 'must' one "The Worm" could remind the audience of a worm wandering out from the underground, I guess. Along with kind of Krautrock-ish psych-electro texture all around the stuff, dramatic keyboard phrases and massive heavy guitar movements go forward, based upon inorganically strict drumming and bass plays ... like the dark, lonely life of a small invertebrate. Amazing is such a comfortable aftertaste of this track, flooded with warmness regardless of post-metallic loudness and dissection.

Kinda treasure.

 Vagabond by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.95 | 11 ratings

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Vagabond
Subterranean Masquerade Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Sagichim
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars That one came out as a surprise for me, I wasn't expecting another album by the band so soon, after waiting for about 10 years between the highly regarded debut Suspended Animation Dream and The Great Bazaar, this is a treat especially considering that this has now become my favorite album by them. So this is the third album by multinational band Subterranean Masquerade, now seems to be comprised mostly by Israeli musicians, the line up from the previous album is pretty much intact, only with a slight change Paul Kuhr is not participating this time. The album continues where the previous Great Bazaar album stopped. More over the middle eastern influences picked up in the Great Bazaar are even more evident and now brought to perfection, also the orchestral almost symphonic influences are still present, helped by the heavy growling and the metalic nature of the bands sound, giving the music a very rich and colorful blend. Strangely enough although the music is metalic and some impressive growling vocals are involved (sparsely actually) the outcome is not that heavy because, first of all the always present rich instrumentation softens the music, but also the melodic nature of the songs, and the somewhat cheerful vocals of Kjetil Nordhus (Green Carnation) definitely do the trick. The arrangements overall and particularly to string instruments, and brass are stellar, a real craftmanship. I love how every part with its own different instrumentation flows so naturally to the other, making this a very fluid and accessible album.

Place for Fairy-tales is a fantastic opener, going through several parts, from the middle eastern falvored intro it then continues with a saxophone and piano, great sound! it gets heavier half way while the saxophone is wailing and continues to a middle eastern party, the Orphaned Land connotation is inevitable here. Nomad although doesn't abandon the middle eastern influences, is perhaps the heaviest song on the album introducing us to Eliran Weitzman growling, man this guy is good! his vocals suits the music perfectly adding that missing edge to the metalic riffing. Kippur is another killer track here, beginning like something off of Yossi Sassi's head (Orphaned Land) an exploding klezmer metalic riff drive the song until it slows down to the sound of vocals and no less than an accordion! top that with some violins as the growling comes back, this is good. Half way through distortions gives way to a danceable 80's like synth, I did not see this coming, beautiful work. Daled Bavos is again a very rich and textured instrumental, besides the excellent melting pot of heavy metal and middle eastern influences, there's some beautiful emotional playing here, check out those clarinets and violins! The final Hymn Of The Vagabond again blending all the band's styles together in a perfect way, there's a strong Indian feel here with tablas and female vocals, all go together so well as the songs ends in a big celebration. I can't help but feel that the David Bowie Space Oddity cover closing the album is out of place, there isn't much to it only it is played slower with an almost doomish flavor, good but nothing special.

Subterranean Masquerade continues to push the boundaries of their music to the point where the debut now is entirely different beast. This is their most coherent album imo, and marks a peak in their creativity, songwriting and sound. Don't miss on this album! Easy 4 stars.

 The Optimist by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.54 | 94 ratings

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The Optimist
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

5 stars A collection of wonderfully engaging, melodic songs all melding together quite well.

1. "32.63n 117.14w" (1:18) more like a dramatic intro to a radio theatre play.

2. "Leaving It Behind" (4:27) computer rhythm track of pops and clicks with guitars and vocals for the first two minutes before the drums and full band join in. Driving and insistent and typical of the band, though a bit more hard and heavy than recent songs. Good song. (8/10)

3. "Endless Ways" (5:49) A sensitive piano-based song featuring the incredible vocal talents of Lee Douglas from start to finish, this is just one awesomely beautiful song--one of the best songs I've heard all year. In true Post Rock fashion, it builds and crescendos, yet it never loses its heart-wrenching, romantic spirit--thanks to the stupendous performance and presentation of Douglas's vocal. Plus, I adore its chosen message. "The dream I created." Say no more. (10/10)

4. "The Optimist" (5:37) opens as if a reprise of the previous song, but then one of the Cavanaugh brothers's voices enters to tell you differently. (Lee does pop up in the background at the end of the first and second minutes.) It does take over two minutes until the full band joins in, but that's about my only complaint to this beautiful song. I love it when the band use orchestral support (as in the album Falling Deeper--my favorite album they've ever done) and the fact that the final two minutes is a Post Rock instrumental, buildup, crescendo, and fade. (9/10)

5. "San Francisco" (4:59) again there is a tremendous familiarity to the piano opening of this song--like I've already heard it in a variation on this very same album--but then, as it plays out as an instrumental, we are treated to the buildup coming from--surprise--the computerized rhythms (and, later, synthesizers). It could almost qualify as a house/rave song! Still, a very satisfying, engaging song, start to finish. (9.5/10)

6. "Springfield" (5:49) a true Post Rock song with Lee Douglas's haunting background repetitions of "How did I get here?" and "I don't belong here" the most memorable parts. (8.5/10)

7. "Ghosts" (4:17) another stunning piano-based song featuring Lee Douglas on lead vocals. I like the drum play here very much. (9/10)

8. "Can't Let Go" (5:00) a true rock song--a good one! (8.5/10)

9. "Close Your Eyes" (3:39) a true jazz torch song. Very much like a sensitive, masterful Kate BUSH piano-based song from her last 50 Words for Snow album. Cool! (9/10)

10. "Wildfires" (5:40) could be an ULVER song (whichmakes sense since the Cavanaugh brothers have been working with Garm and crew a lot over the past few years)! Awesome and powerful! Amazing crescendo! (9.5/10)

11. "Back To The Start" (11:41) a great, sensitive 7-minute prog song (' la STEVEN WILSON) followed by four minutes of emptiness and then four minutes of vacuous family stuff that does not belong on the album. Too bad! (9/10)

A minor masterpiece of progressive rock music. I like their sound, love the songs, and, after five months with the album, I'm finally convinced that this one is ready for the elevated status.

 Marrow Of The Spirit by AGALLOCH album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.93 | 193 ratings

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Marrow Of The Spirit
Agalloch Experimental/Post Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars I absolutely love Agalloch, and this atmospheric black metal genre. I have other bands that fit this style of music, but none that are as good as Agalloch. There is a reason why Agalloch is being used as a tag for other web sites, and why groups are compared to them. They are absolutely the best at what they do. I can change my mind each week as to which album is my favorite, but I always return to Marrow of the Spirit. Into the Painted Grey is just a stunning work of art, and all the surrounding tracks are just as stellar. Marrow of the Spirit is likely their most atmospheric full album excluding singles and EPs. I find Agalloch to be one of my favorite bands to work to, and this album in particular, is just perfection. It is highly recommended as a starting point into this fantastic band.
 Vagabond by SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.95 | 11 ratings

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Vagabond
Subterranean Masquerade Experimental/Post Metal

Review by The Jester

4 stars The multinational / Israel based band Subterranean Masquerade with its rather unique sound is back with a brand new album! I learned about them with the release of their previous work The Great Bazaar (2015). It was an album I really liked, listened to it a lot, and played lots of its songs on my radio show. And finally, I included The Great Bazaar in my annual Top-10 albums list of 2015. Almost 2 weeks ago I learned about Vagabond, and having in mind how much I loved the previous album, I added it in my music collection without a second thought. Vagabond continues where The Grand Bazaar stopped. Everything is present again; the beautiful melodies, the strong Mediterranean and Middle Eastern 'essences', the sudden changes of music styles and even the growls from time to time. Although the sound and style is almost the same, the major change is the addition of Brass instruments which makes their sound even richer. I will not get into details this time, because the album is still fresh, and I haven't listened to it as much as I would like; because I believe that this is an album that requires lots of listenings in order to be appreciated. But based on the first 3-4 listens, I have to say that it is a very good work, with strong and very interesting compositions. Subterranean Masquerade are inviting us in a "Mediterranean Feast" of sounds and colours once more, and it's up to you to accept the invitation. I did, and haven't regretted it. This is a 3.5 (out of 5.0) star album for me, but I will add half star more, for the excellent and unexpected cover version of Space Oddity, that closes the album in the best way possible! 4.0 stars from me!

 8 by UFOMAMMUT album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.00 | 2 ratings

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8
Ufomammut Experimental/Post Metal

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

4 stars First of all let me say thanks to my progmate Eetu for notifying me of such a fantastic combo. UFOMAMMUT are one of experimental acts in the Sludge Metal scene (that I'm not familiar with, actually). Their distorted, roughly dissected sounds remind me of the similarity to Ministry ('Psalm 88' is one of my faves), but their texture characteristic is not simple at all. Some complex rhythmic bases, weird electronic waves, and comfortable chorus and harmony amongst deep, harsh phrases should add glamour to their style itself. Very innovative are these addictive charms and vibes, which we might get easily immersed in. Imagine the audience and they both should be synchronized and well-unified on and in front of stage at a gig, too.

They have grabbed and digested completely various elements - doom, death, psychedelic, stoner, electronic, and so on. Crazy impressive are also melodic / rhythmic variations - convoluted melodic quirkiness, horrible quiet moments, or electronic solvent, based upon massive deformation of soundgarden. Musically offensive attitude against (for?) the audience might be heard in general really, but their colourful play / sound essence can be blended with experimental sludge metal style, and needless to say, be well- matured. Flowery flavour here and there in a strong heavy vision ' it's not bad.

 Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.64 | 83 ratings

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Devin Townsend Project: Transcendence
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Negoba
Prog Reviewer

3 stars More Focused but Still Searching

I love Devin Townsend. He has been my favorite artist for some years now, to the point that my children wear his t- shirts around the house casually. I've given him a number of 5 star reviews. I've seen him live, hmmm, old men have a tough time counting. Most recent concert was in support of TRANSCENDENCE and it was an amazing night.

However, things have been slowly stagnating in Devland for awhile. Most of the newer albums contain scattered glimpses of brilliance with too much good but typical Devy. While the creative well was very very deep, I see less and less new coming from my favorite artist. The prime example of this is his choice to re-record old classics, which actually worked with "Hyperdrive" on ADDICTED due to Annike's new vocals, and to a degree on EPICLOUD's "Kingdom" due to vastly improved production.

But on TRANSCEDENCE, Devy opens with a remade version of INFINITY's "Truth" and completely sucks the life out of it. While the layers are thicker, the sounds more refined, and the sound clearly more polished, the emotion and dynamic impact of the song is dim in comparison. Listen to the two "Alleluia" sections side by side to hear this most obviously. The song is phenomenal, but this version is a shining example of what should have been a bonus track instead of the album lead. Similarly, the cover of Ween's "Transdermal Celebration" just lacks the emotional impact - though I appreciate being introduced to a great song, check out the original if you haven't.

Luckily, there is some spark in this album. "Stormbending," while clearly prototypical Devy, hits the vast space-metal vibe that I love, which is enhanced by it trippy video, and has a fun tapping solo by guitarist Dave Young. "Time is a human construct" should have been the opening line of the album. The lead single "Failure" did not blow me away on first listen, but with a few spins I've come to really appreciate its depth. It highlights how much Devy's already range-y voice has improved substantially over the last decade, and his wah-solo is one of his best. The syncopated riff was awesome live. "Secret Sciences" is a mixed bag moving from elements of 80's power ballad to symphonic quirkiness - ok but not my fave from the album. "Higher" and the title track follow the lead of "Stormbending" - very strong examples of the Devy sound but familiar. "Stars" and "Offer Your Light" fill the now requisite ballad and power-pop slots on the album. "From the Heart" is actually two songs stuck together - another power ballad, and then a New Age exploration which is pleasant enough.

Unlike Z2, TRANSCENDENCE holds together quite well. The flow of the album's high and lows works well. Dev says that he allowed more songwriting input from his band mates and I believe that the performances of the band members benefit from this. The bonus tracks are worth a listen, with "Into the Sun" clearly alluding to Strapping Young Lad days, and "Monkey Mind" representing Dev playing around in the Guitar Hero playground.

Overall, this is exactly what it is - the product of a marvelously talented musician, having honed his craft to a unique signature sound but also having slipped into middle age and struggling to find inspiration. Old fans like me will keep buying and attending concerts, but also reaching for our INFINITY records.

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Experimental/Post Metal bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
*SHELS United States
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 LOST STATE OF MIND United States
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
AUSSIT‘T 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
BRAIN TENTACLES 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
DōDSVERK 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
EX EYE United States
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
FIRMAM3NT Spain
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
KHEMEŌA 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
L÷BO 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
MOANAA Poland
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 M÷BIUS 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
÷OOOOOOOOOO France
ORANSSI PAZUZU Finland
ORDO DRACONIS Netherlands
ōRKENKJōTT Norway
ORPHANED LAND Israel
ORTHODOX Spain
OSI United States
OSTROVA Spain
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SKY United States
OUTOPSYA Italy
OUTRUN THE SUNLIGHT United States
OVERMARS France
÷XX÷ X÷÷X 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
RIVIERE France
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
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
SKUGGSJŃ Norway
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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