May 2014

Rock Meets Classical, Part 5: Interior City

Now that I’ve shown how classical quotations and concepts can be used in progressive rock, I’d like to share how I used these things on my debut album, Interior City by The Gabriel Construct.

Merkabah - Moloch

"Saxophone motherfucker!" This could be all I have to say about this album. Merkabah (from Poland) create avant-garde metal, but I don't like to call it instrumental because the saxophone speaks...we just don't understand the language. Moloch is an open-minded metal fan's heaven as it cooks a meal out of genres like post-hardcore, progressive rock, and jazz all thrown in the metal cauldron. This music can put you on the defensive with its unrelenting assaults and simultaneously puzzle you out of your own skin, so blatant it is in its weirdness. 

Alan Parsons Project - Live in Madrid (2004)

 

As most of you already know, Alan Parsons is known as one of the greatest sound engineers of the 70s progressive rock era. His most known engineering credits include Abbey Road, Atom Heart Mother, and The Dark Side of The Moon. More recently, he engineered Steven Wilson's The Raven That Refused to Sing.

Destiny Potato - Lun

Can you take a band named Destiny Potato seriously? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, because they make high-quality and unique prog metal and no, because they are in truth a pop band and their music is supposed to be fun, not life-changing. Check your pretensions at the entrance before stepping into the potato world, these guys know their prog metal and can perform the shit out of their instruments, but the vocal melodies are not much different from those few good hits on the radio.

Album Review: Agalloch -The Serpent & The Sphere

At this point, I don’t think anyone would fault Agalloch if they decided to simply rest on their laurels. After all, their discography has been so consistently excellent that if the band were to just phone one in and make Pale Folklore: Part II, few people would probably mind. This is a band with absolutely nothing left to prove, especially after 2010’s nearly universally lauded Marrow of the Spirit.

Lantlôs - Melting Sun

Chances are if you’re familiar with German post-black metal/blackgaze outfit Lantlôs it’s because of their association with Alcest, whose mainman Niege provided vocals on the group’s two very Alcest-sounding previous full-lengths, 2010’s .neon and 2011’s Agape.

Mammút - Komdu til mín svarta systir (2013)

Mammút are one of the most successful indie bands in Iceland, the land that shaped the unmatched imagination of musicians like Björk and Sigur Rós. Their third album Komdu til mín svarta systir ( Come to me dark sister ) is a great example of keeping dignity while giving life to radio-friendly rock music. Their music is more complex than the average rock band, dreamy and dark with lots of blind spots left for you to fill with personal thoughts.

Failure release new song 'Come Crashing'

Failure have released their first new song in nearly two decades, which can be heard in the embedded player below and at http://failureband.bandcamp.com/releases. The song, entitled 'Come Crashing', feels like a perfect marriage of Greg Edwards' post-Failure project Autolux and Ken Andrews' solo work (and earlier solo outfit ON).

Devin Townsend's 'Casualties of Cool' sees release

Casualties of Cool is a new ambient country duo, consisting of Devin Townsend and Ché Aimee Dorval. Dorval previously worked with Townsend as a vocalist on the Devin Townsend Project's debut album 'Ki'. CoC's crowdfunded debut concept album is now available, and can be ordered at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/casualties-of-cool/exclusives in a variety of versions, included a double album version which contains a number of songs from Townsend's shelved album 'Ghost 2'.