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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 FANTÔMAS, 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)

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

4.23 | 1049 ratings
LATERALUS
Tool
4.23 | 535 ratings
PART THE SECOND
Maudlin Of The Well
4.22 | 506 ratings
TERRIA
Townsend, Devin
4.21 | 432 ratings
ZILTOID THE OMNISCIENT
Townsend, Devin
4.18 | 529 ratings
JUDGEMENT
Anathema
4.28 | 127 ratings
THROUGH SILVER IN BLOOD
Neurosis
4.20 | 239 ratings
LEAVING YOUR BODY MAP
Maudlin Of The Well
4.18 | 211 ratings
BATH
Maudlin Of The Well
4.12 | 279 ratings
LIGHT OF DAY, DAY OF DARKNESS
Green Carnation
4.13 | 237 ratings
IN A FLESH AQUARIUM
Unexpect
4.08 | 474 ratings
ALTERNATIVE 4
Anathema
4.07 | 662 ratings
ĆNIMA
Tool
4.20 | 101 ratings
IMAGINARY SONICSCAPE
Sigh
4.12 | 187 ratings
PANOPTICON
Isis
4.09 | 274 ratings
MABOOL - THE STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF SEVEN
Orphaned Land
4.08 | 277 ratings
THE MANTLE
Agalloch
4.63 | 24 ratings
KHAOOOHS & KON-FUS-ION
Pan.Thy.Monium
4.03 | 723 ratings
WE'RE HERE BECAUSE WE'RE HERE
Anathema
4.15 | 107 ratings
SOL NIGER WITHIN
Thordendal's Special Defects
4.07 | 215 ratings
OCEAN MACHINE: BIOMECH
Townsend, Devin
4.12 | 120 ratings
SOMEWHERE ALONG THE HIGHWAY
Cult of Luna
4.06 | 217 ratings
S.U.S.A.R.
Indukti
4.09 | 150 ratings
OCEANIC
Isis
4.21 | 64 ratings
SUSPENDED ANIMATION DREAMS
Subterranean Masquerade
4.04 | 276 ratings
SYNCHESTRA (THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND)
Townsend, Devin
4.04 | 239 ratings
ÉCAILLES DE LUNE
Alcest
4.05 | 165 ratings
WAVERING RADIANT
Isis
4.24 | 48 ratings
WRITTEN IN WATERS
Ved Buens Ende
4.62 | 20 ratings
FEA JUR
Lye By Mistake
4.09 | 98 ratings
OMNIO
In The Woods...
4.21 | 51 ratings
SOULS AT ZERO
Neurosis
3.97 | 710 ratings
WEATHER SYSTEMS
Anathema
3.99 | 220 ratings
OFFICE OF STRATEGIC INFLUENCE
OSI
3.97 | 285 ratings
FABLES OF THE SLEEPLESS EMPIRE
Unexpect
3.98 | 234 ratings
EPICLOUD (DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT)
Townsend, Devin
4.19 | 44 ratings
THE MALEDICTION FIELDS
Fen
4.03 | 100 ratings
IF_THEN_ELSE
Gathering, The
4.09 | 66 ratings
LEAVING EDEN
Antimatter
4.53 | 19 ratings
TűNő IDő TÁRLAT
Thy Catafalque
4.00 | 117 ratings
THE PAINTER'S PALETTE
Ephel Duath
4.26 | 29 ratings
THE GALILEAN SATELLITES
Rosetta
3.92 | 248 ratings
THE NEVER ENDING WAY OF ORWARRIOR
Orphaned Land
3.91 | 344 ratings
DECONSTRUCTION (DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT)
Townsend, Devin
4.74 | 12 ratings
MYSTER MÖBIUS
Myster Mobius
3.94 | 134 ratings
EPOCH
Fen
3.96 | 107 ratings
NIGHTTIME BIRDS
Gathering, The
4.02 | 63 ratings
PREHISTORICISMS
Intronaut
3.90 | 258 ratings
ADDICTED (DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT)
Townsend, Devin
3.91 | 175 ratings
ACCELERATED EVOLUTION (THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND)
Townsend, Devin
3.95 | 88 ratings
VERTIKAL
Cult of Luna
3.91 | 131 ratings
HOW TO MEASURE A PLANET?
Gathering, The
3.86 | 435 ratings
A NATURAL DISASTER
Anathema
4.12 | 34 ratings
PAINTING ON GLASS
3rd And The Mortal, The
4.30 | 21 ratings
OPPORTUNISTIC THIEVES OF SPRING
Forest Of Stars, A
4.04 | 45 ratings
RÓKA HASA RÁDIÓ
Thy Catafalque
3.82 | 687 ratings
10,000 DAYS
Tool
3.83 | 379 ratings
A FINE DAY TO EXIT
Anathema
3.85 | 191 ratings
ALL IS ONE
Orphaned Land
3.99 | 48 ratings
TEETHED GLORY AND INJURY
Altar of Plagues
3.86 | 138 ratings
GORDIAN KNOT
Gordian Knot
3.83 | 280 ratings
GHOST (DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT)
Townsend, Devin
3.87 | 116 ratings
THE ACOUSTIC VERSES
Green Carnation
3.90 | 86 ratings
THE FIRE IN OUR THROATS WILL BECKON THE THAW
Pelican
4.32 | 17 ratings
ABSOLUTE ZERO
Tetrafusion
4.43 | 14 ratings
HEX: OR PRINTING IN THE INFERNAL METHOD
Earth
3.89 | 86 ratings
PELAGIAL
Ocean, The
3.83 | 249 ratings
KI (DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT)
Townsend, Devin
3.94 | 59 ratings
ANTHROPOCENTRIC
Ocean, The
3.82 | 332 ratings
FALLING DEEPER
Anathema
4.52 | 12 ratings
TERRAFORMING
Postman Syndrome, The
4.04 | 35 ratings
THE BEES MADE HONEY IN THE LION'S SKULL
Earth
3.92 | 63 ratings
THE EYE OF EVERY STORM
Neurosis
4.85 | 8 ratings
ELIL
Fall of Efrafa
4.17 | 22 ratings
CARHEART
Virus
3.83 | 173 ratings
ASHES AGAINST THE GRAIN
Agalloch
4.08 | 28 ratings
RENGETEG
Thy Catafalque
3.86 | 103 ratings
SOUVENIRS D'UN AUTRE MONDE
Alcest
4.27 | 17 ratings
THE LOCUST YEARS
Hammers of Misfortune
3.83 | 141 ratings
IN THE ABSENCE OF TRUTH
Isis
3.82 | 161 ratings
MARROW OF THE SPIRIT
Agalloch
3.98 | 39 ratings
SEA OF THE DYING DHOW
shels
3.83 | 136 ratings
MANDYLION
Gathering, The
3.81 | 176 ratings
LES VOYAGES DE L'ÂME
Alcest
3.89 | 67 ratings
PRECAMBRIAN
Ocean, The
4.74 | 8 ratings
MELANCHOLIE˛
ColdWorld
4.26 | 15 ratings
MANTIIS
Obsidian Kingdom
3.96 | 37 ratings
UNDERSTANDING CONSEQUENCES
Day Without Dawn
4.10 | 22 ratings
A SHADOWPLAY FOR YESTERDAYS
Forest Of Stars, A
3.92 | 44 ratings
IN SOMNIPHOBIA
Sigh
3.86 | 68 ratings
A SUN THAT NEVER SETS
Neurosis
4.19 | 17 ratings
THE RITUAL FIRES OF ABANDONMENT
Minsk
4.12 | 20 ratings
EARTH 2: SPECIAL LOW FREQUENCY VERSION
Earth
3.91 | 44 ratings
BLESSED ARE THE BONDS
Pax Cecilia, The
3.92 | 42 ratings
HEART OF THE AGES
In The Woods...
4.17 | 17 ratings
CENOTES
Giant Squid
4.10 | 20 ratings
KÖLD
Solstafir
3.84 | 67 ratings
GRAVE HUMAN GENUINE
Dark Suns
4.21 | 15 ratings
THE HABIT OF FIRE
Kekal
3.82 | 73 ratings
EXISTENCE
Dark Suns
4.13 | 17 ratings
NOIR
Callisto

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

ENTHEOGEN
Sika Redem
METRIDIUM FIELD
Giant Squid
TRANSMUTATIONS
Yakuza
IF_THEN_ELSE
Gathering, The

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Latest Experimental/Post Metal Music Reviews


 Aion by LITHIUM DAWN album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.54 | 8 ratings

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Aion
Lithium Dawn Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Speling Champeon

4 stars I heard "Perpetual Loss" on Power Prog Radio online, and thought it had a really good sound to it. I went looking online for the group and found the entire album is free at Bandcamp. I liked every song on the 1st listen, and hopefully it will hold true for many more listens. The way the music flowed was really good, and for a debut album, I'd have to say Lithium Dawn has a bright future.

This album is not a groundbreaking album, but I'd be hardpressed to find fault with it. The guitars were very good, as was the drumming. I especially liked how the vocals were matched up real well with all the music. There was a few spots where I thought it was a little too repetitive musically, but I was really impressed with the musicianship and polish of a this 1st album.

 Casualties of Cool by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.76 | 85 ratings

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Casualties of Cool
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Casualties of Cool" is the self-titled debut full-length studio album by Canadian act Casualties of Cool. The album was released through HevyDevy Records in May 2014. Casualties of Cool is a project by prolific musician/producer Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad, Devin Townsend, Devin Townsend Project, The Devin Townsend Band), who handles Vocals, Guitars, bass, and Keyboards on the album, and Ché Aimee Dorval who handles Vocals, and Guitars. The duo is helped out by a varity of session musicians including Morgan Ĺgren (Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects, Kaipa...) on drums, Jřrgen Munkeby (Altaar, Shining, Jaga Jazzist) on saxophone. Townsend partially funded the recording of the album through a crowdfunding campaign on the PledgeMusic website.

"Casualties of Cool" is a concept album and all 15 tracks on the 73:52 minutes long album seque into each other to form one long piece of music. The story tells of a traveller who comes to a planet that feeds on it´s visitor´s fears, and he is eventually forced to contront his fears to find peace (this is the simple version of the story).

The music on the album is a combination of several stylistic elements. The basis in the music is predominantly country/roots/folk rock, but there are also traces of blues (great short guitar solos) and a dominant ambient element in the music too (even a psychadelic element in "The Bridge" which features citar and flute). Devin Townsend and Ché Aimee Dorval compliment each other well and the vocal parts on the album are both pleasant and delivered with conviction and passion.

While the music is predominantly vers/chorus structured and might seem pretty simple upon initial listens, there are quite a lot going on in the background of each track. Atmospheric keyboards, sound effects, backing vocals, saxophone, and all sorts of other little details that make "Casualties of Cool" an interesting listen throughout. Devin Townsend is known for his multi-layered sound productions, but most of his productions are for metal-related material and as a consequence loud and massive. The sound production on this album is a lot more subtle as the layers of sound are mostly placed in the background, while vocals, guitar, bass, and drums are usually placed higher in the mix. So this project has probably proven to be a challenge both when it comes to the music but also when it comes to the production job.

"Casualties of Cool" is overall a quality release performed by skilled musicians. It´s well written, arranged, and very well produced, but I can´t help feel that it´s a bit too long and that not all tracks are equally interesting. Some of the more ambient sections work as a sedative on me, and while they don´t disturb the flow of the album, I prefer the more rock oriented tracks on the album. It´s an album that is hard to rate fairly, because on one hand it´s relatively original and it features a pleasant laid back atmosphere, but on the other hand it does have some flaws, that make it a less than perfect release. When listened to in moderate bits, it´s absolutely brilliant though, and even with a few reservations I´ve come to the conclusion that I enjoy it quite a bit. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is fair.

 Distant Satellites by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.71 | 234 ratings

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Distant Satellites
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

2 stars It's my birthday so I gave myself time to listen to and review a new album of a band that's new for me. It is time to introduce the English band "Anathema" which has done eleven studio albums between 1993 and 2014. The genre "Experimental/Post-metal", I have no idea what it is but it(the genre title) doesn't sound good. I would like to call it boring music but I cede. This eleventh album by Anathema: "Distant Satellites" from 2014 has a red and quite anonymous cover and it features the musicians "Vincent Cavanagh"(voice, guitar, vocoder), Danny Cavanagh(guitar, keyboards, vocie), Jamie Cavanagh (bass), John Douglas(drums, keyboards) and Lee Douglas(voice).

I am sorry but after some listening to this music I can't help but feeling bored and a bit tormented. I have hard to see charm and hear lovely music in this even if I try. I found the compositions whiny and the performances so unvaried that I felt it was all the same song. That hadn't of course been a problem if it was a good song. Of course the album has great moments! Just as the landscape has its valleys are there mountains to climb and views to oversee. This lowland has some hills of which the second part of "Arial"(6/10) is the highest. From that hill you can stand and feel the power of being a living man. But the climbing uphill was whiny as usual. The track with the famous name "Anathema" had similar merits(6/10) that made me overlook my difficulties. The instrumental ending of "Take shelter" wasn't bad at all(6/10).

The other compositions weren't necessarily bad but definitely boring and I do not recommend this record to anyone. I know music is a matter of taste and this was not in my taste. Though do I recommend one song: "Ariel" for its instrumental second half and I feel generous enough to give the record two stars.

 Ocean Machine: Biomech by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.07 | 215 ratings

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Ocean Machine: Biomech
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siegese7en

4 stars Ocean machine is combination of hard rock, ambient, progressive and alternative sounds released under the moniker Biomech by Devin Townsend. Ocean machine is a very good album from start to finish.Devin's style of combining rock/metal with multilayered sound palletes for ambient noises is done with absolute perfection in this gem of an album. The writing is very good and Devin chose concepts like depression, death, isolation and life in general. Though the album contains different styles of music , its amazing how well it flows throughout.Also there are no virtuoso artists involved in the album, the composition of Devin Townsend carries the album on its shoulder. I consider Devin townsend to have a high degree of precision on his composition which is evident in this album.

Best moments on the album : The Death of Music (Devin at his absolute best combining operatic style vocals and a very thick layer of ambience in this experimental masterpiece) , Night( A great hard rock song with many changes throughout. The later part of the song especially is very good), Bastard (Over minutes of absolute head pounding start and a great shift in direction in the middle part), Life & Greetings : Devins' staple songs combining very catchy chorus, catchy licks but yet so well composed due to little details he adds in those songs) I also loved the change in direction the album took after completion of "Hide Nowhere" to "Sister" and "3 A.M." where the album changes to a very mellow atmosphere.

Weak points : Too many 'OK' filler moments.

All in all it is a great album and is essential to the listeners of experimental metal since it feels fresh even now.

 All Is One by ORPHANED LAND album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.85 | 191 ratings

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All Is One
Orphaned Land Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Progulator

4 stars Known as the master's of oriental prog metal, Orphaned Land is back with an album that rivals Mabool in power while presenting itself as much more accessible to the non-metal fans. Gone are the harsh vocals (on all but one song), being replaced by the melodic and nuanced voice of Kobi Farhi. All is One delivers a dynamic and powerful message of peace and coexistence which is bolder than ever before, presenting uplifting, and even heart wrenching, lyrics over a palette of symphonics and electric guitar. This time around, the Israeli band included a full orchestra as well a Turkish violin orchestra, the likes of which must absolutely be heard, to create a moving and picturesque record. If there is anything that I would change about the album, it would be the track order, which seems to be a bit front loaded. That said, the band manages to deliver some of the most moving music and messages of their career with the absurdly catchy groove in seven and marvellous chorus of the title track, as well as the heartwrenching ballad, "Brother," which reminds of ancient family ties between the major Abrahamic religions of the world. All is One, while not a perfect album, is most certainly a record that will please fans of symphonic rock and even touch their hearts.
 Orange by DARK SUNS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.61 | 40 ratings

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Orange
Dark Suns Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Progulator

4 stars Have you ever listened to an album that didn't impress you for the first few tracks and then suddenly it took off and blew you away? That's exactly the experience I had with Dark Suns' album Orange. Once this album got going, it really got going. Orange has a bit of pop rocky feel, but in a good way. There's lots of great vintage organ and the music is a bit quirky. In fact, the organ sound is absolutely fantastic and it's incorporation is beautiful. In terms of style, there's a ton of diversity on this record. There's slower pieces like "Not Enough Fingers" which had really good atmosphere, laid back grooves and a very strong mood that the guitars conjure up. Other songs, like Ghost have subtle shifts between ultra-aggressive organ driven rock and evocative jazz tinged sections. There are some very frantic pieces on this album as well, like "That is Why They All Hate You In Hell" with high energy rhythm and screaming falsetto vocals. Pieces like "Vespertine" have great dissonant chords, jazzy elements, and wild sax solos. "Scaleman" is simply a great track, and the closer "Anti Pole" does a great job at melding post rock, avant-rock, and prog. My guess is one of two things is going to happen with you. Either you're going to love this album from minute one until the end, or you'll be bored with the first 4 tracks but then rest of it will not you off your feet so hard that you buy it anyways for its sheer brilliance. This is a killer album and a good buy no matter how you look at it.
 Ćnima by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.07 | 662 ratings

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Ćnima
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Obsidian Pigeon

4 stars I at first viewed Aenima as a juvenile album. While the music was very nice and the songwriting top-notch, I thought that the lyrics and the angst were fairly over-the-top. Over time, though, I've come to simply appreciate nearly the entire album, despite the lackluster lyrics at parts and the angst that's present throughout the entire album. I've found that Tool is excellent at melding the distorted guitar with the great rhythm section that's present in every track on here.

Songs like Stinkfist, which seem like mainstream hard-rock/grunge radio, are surprisingly really nice to listen to. Other, more progressive tracks such as Eulogy and Pu[&*!#] are also very well- written and even don't seem to take up the entire 8/10 minutes that they respectively consume from the album. I've even come to really enjoy some of the interludes in the context of the album as a whole, with the sole exception of Cesaro Summability, which simply annoys me.

This album is on the cusp of a 4/5 for me, and deservedly so. I am leaning more towards a 4 for now, but that is subject to change. I disliked Tool at first, but over time I grew to really appreciate their music, and I feel like it really only takes patience for many progressive fans to warm up toward their style.

 Lateralus by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.23 | 1048 ratings

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Lateralus
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by russellk
Prog Reviewer

4 stars An enormous slab of many-faceted metal, 'Lateralus' is considered by many TOOL's masterpiece. For me 'Aenima' is slightly the better album, a little more raw, a little more passion, a little less control. But, make no mistake, 'Lateralus' is the real deal, a showcase of progressive rock cast in an metal context. Even if you don't like such things - especially if you don't - you should have a listen.

The rage is a little more constrained by the complexities of this album's construction, but it is still there. KEENAN's voice flays you just as it did on 'Aenima'; the guitars grind into your skull and the rhythm cracks and punches you into numb submission. There are half a dozen genuine classic tracks here: 'The Grudge', the Grammy Award-winning 'Schism', 'Parabol/Parabola', 'Ticks and Leeches' and the title track are the heart of this album. A bit like 'Aenima', this album disintegrates into madness, induced partly by the effort of getting there (an opaque 80 minutes) and partly by design. The musicianship is peerless, the lyrics challenging, the music never anything but commanding. The only fault is that it asks too much of us.

 Casualties of Cool by TOWNSEND, DEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.76 | 85 ratings

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Casualties of Cool
Devin Townsend Experimental/Post Metal

Review by arcane-beautiful

5 stars Devin Townsend is a genius. I don't need to say anymore. But is he going mad?

After a 5 album string which pretty much showed no weakness, Devin pretty much did whatever he wanted and received a lot of success. But this was backed by record companies who oddly enough had enough faith in his music. So on this album, why did Devin turn his back on financial backing? To be honest, it makes perfect sense.

Devin is a modern music cult hero. Taking secret audiences around the world he has been able to sell out a lot of big gigs and festivals. But, having strayed away from his metal roots and gone for a rather odd country and blues rock sound, this may have alienated fans, or as he stated himself 'people who liked Epicloud are gonna be pissed.' So did it work?

Ha. Did it work? Let's just say Devin became a rich man in only a short amount of days. Now, being the artist he is, a good amount of money is funding his next project, the ever awaiting sequel to 'Ziltoid The Omniscient', but if their ever was a reaction from fans to show their love, this surely is.

Now lets get down to the meat of the album and that is the music. Now this isn't too much of a dramatic change for Devin musically, in fact Devin experimented with some of this older rock and blues sound on 'Ki', but decided to flesh it more out. The album is also a daring leap for Devin because this isn't a solo album. In fact the album is a collaboration with singer songwriter Ch' Aimee Dorval who did vocals before on 'Ki.' As much as I love Devin's songwriting I always found a lack of cohesion in his stuff at times, and I think Ch''s vocals, songwriting and lyrics really fleshed out Devin's experimental songwriting style. The only negative I can have with this album is that it is so different musically that you have to kind of getting used to it and I think that this is an album that needs a few listens before you can really love it. I can't see anyone hating this album though.

Opener 'Daddy' is a brilliant introduction to the album. Taking the blues rock sound and adding a lot of Devin's personal quirks, the song soon turns into a sonic hailstorm of sound. The same can be said with 'Mountaintop' which continues the blues sound and mixes with some rather melancholic melodies, especially with Ch''s vocals.

My favorite song on this album would have to be 'Flight.' A very simple idea with some beautiful melodies and a few interesting changes throughout, the song is incredibly beautiful. Lyrically the song deals with suicide and is one of the best penned lyrics about the subject. A beautiful piece of music and definitely up there with some of my all time favorite tracks of all time.

A very interesting track can be seen in the form of 'Moon.' Starting off very spacey and with a lot of limited space, the song then explodes into a mix of groaning vocals and some beautiful saxophone playing.

One of the albums strongest tracks has to be 'Bones.' Lyrically the song is one of the most relating to the concept, with some very interesting words and images being presented. The music of the song adopts a rather baroque pop feeling and it works incredibly well, especially with Ch''s vocals.

One of the oddest tracks on the album would have to be 'Deathscope.' Supposed to be the angry side of the protagonist, the song shows off some of Devin's metal material from the past and the dynamic vocals he has.

The album closer 'The Bridge' is very reminiscent to the track 'Ki' for me. Starting off slow and calm before building up to a massive climax and pays off very well. Experimenting with choirs and flutes, the song is a very experimental move for Devin's work. Great ending to the album (not including 'Pure' which is a bit silly and long).

Overall, this album impressed me and confused me. It confused me because I don't know whether I should love it or like it. At the moment I'm on the cusp of loving it. Devin has really been able to create something very unique in his catalogue and really step out of his comfort zone for this one.

8.5/10

Genres: Blues Rock, Country, Alternative Country, Country Rock, Ambient, Progressive Rock, Baroque Pop, Experimental Rock, Post Rock, Experimental Metal

Country of origin: Canada

Year of release: 2014

 Kepler by LOOK TO WINDWARD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
3.98 | 3 ratings

BUY
Kepler
Look To Windward Experimental/Post Metal

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Some years ago I found this band from New Zealand, whose music belongs to the post rock/metal genre, and I liked their first EP. A month ago I found out they released a new one, entitled "Kepler" which is composed of four songs that make a total time of 26 minutes. I downloaded it (name your price stuff) and I am happy with it, because though this kind of music has nothing to do with my regular tastes, I enjoy it and that's what counts.

It starts with "Dwell" whose first 15 seconds are a nice electronic introduction that later vanishes in order to open the gates to the post metal sound, which is wonderfully complemented by a female voice. Then the male one appears and takes the leadership, the music flows and produces that powerful sound that make us move our head. After two minutes the music slows down, a new pastoral passage begins, it lasts for some seconds, but I loved that change; later, the power returns, but the song itself grabs your attention, at least it did it with me.

The sound of guitar and drums in "Mantle" continue with the same vein, and what I also like is the accurate use of keyboards, which may not be the main character of the music, but its work appears in the right moment. Now here I have a problem, because I am not into growling vocals, and though the music does not harm my attention, the voice does. But well, later the female voice returns and softens the music a bit, though the brutal spirit prevails. After two minutes it vanishes, a new structure appears and a moment of calm is shown. Some names such as Rain Delay or Grayceon come to my mind in some passages.

"Glint" is an odd track, like a strange mixture of rage and softness, metal, jazz and electronica. For me the female voice is a real help, otherwise I think I would not keep my good intentions with just growling vocals. The sound is faster at first, and it flows perfectly; the introduction of trumpets is nice, though I don't know if purist metalheads like it, to me is actually something new, innovative, something I would like to clap.

Finally "Kepler", with over 11 minutes of music, is the main reason of the existence of this EP. I would not say this is like all the previous songs put together, but the sound might sum up the first 3 tracks. Anyway it is obvious that the structure and composition is different, but the Look to Windward particular touch is placed here, with that faster and furious moments that contrast with delicate and soft passages. The addition of winds is very provocative, that slice of jazz makes me want to dig more about this band, because not everyone dares to include them. I cannot deny that when the male growls appear my moment of joy vanishes, but that's just me, the band does not need to stop doing that, because it is part of its essence.

Well, if you are looking for new, good music that can be free and legal to download, you can choose this one. My final grade, 3 solid stars in a subjective way, 4 in an objective one, I bet people who like metal will really dig this one.

Enjoy it!

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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
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
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
APOCALIPSIS Mexico
APOCRYPHAL VOICE Finland
APOKATASTASIA Switzerland
APSE United States
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
THE ATOMIC BOMB AUDITION United States
ATROX Norway
AUSSITÔT MORT France
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
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
DETERIOR United States
DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL United Kingdom
DIESTO United States
DIGRESSION ASSASSINS Sweden
DIRGE France
DISAPPEARER United States
DIVINA ENEMA Belarus
DŘDSVERK Norway
DORNENREICH Austria
DOTZAUER Italy
DR. SLAGGLEBERRY United Kingdom
DRAWN Norway
DREARINESS Italy
DYING SUN United States
EARTH United States
EAST OF THE WALL United States
EBONY LAKE 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
ETERNAL DEFORMITY Poland
ETHERSENS France
EVIL INSIDE Spain
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
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
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
HELLAS MOUNDS United States
HERETOIR Germany
HIPOSPADIA Spain
HUMANFLY United Kingdom
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
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
KHEMEĎA 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
LÖBO Portugal
LOOK TO WINDWARD New Zealand
LORUS 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
MAUDLIN Belgium
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL United States
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
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
NIHIL Serbia
NINTH MOON BLACK United States
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
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
ŘRKENKJŘTT Norway
ORPHANED LAND Israel
ORTHODOX Spain
OSI United States
OSTROVA Spain
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SKY United States
OUTOPSYA Italy
OVERMARS 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
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
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
SOLSTAFIR Iceland
SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI United Kingdom
SPRING & YOUTH Serbia
STANDING OVATION Finland
STATS United States
STEAK NUMBER EIGHT Belgium
A STORM OF LIGHT United States
SUBROSA United States
SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE United States
SUFFOCATE FOR FUCK SAKE Sweden
SUNPOCRISY Italy
SUPERCONTINENT United States
THE SUSPENDED CONGRESS Ireland
SWARM OF THE LOTUS United States
A SWARM OF THE SUN Sweden
SWITCH OPENS Sweden
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
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
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
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
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
YAKUZA United States
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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