It's been a little more than a week since I started listening to this album, and after days of consuming little else in terms of music, I am still thoroughly floored. That so young a band could release a concept album of this caliber, both in terms of the lyrical concept and stories therein as well as the music itself is still mind-boggling.
This is the first album I've heard by Elitist, but it has grown on me very quickly. Elitist takes more of a Post-Hardcore/ Metalcore sound rather than Prog-Metal sound, as many fans of this band already know, but I did find minor Djent style and Prog-Metal elements to this album. In my few days of listening to this band I have heard this whole album and some of their older songs such as: Caves, Reshape Reason, and Unto the Sun and unfortunately, instrumentally, they seem to have stepped down a bit from the Djent style with this new album.
For those that thought Periphery were just “a band for bands”, that is, a band only to be obsessed over by tech enthusiasts and fret-watchers, you couldn't be more wrong. Periphery have gone from being low-profile and purely instrumental in their early days to becoming something else entirely – their latest double-sided offering 'Juggernaut: Alpha & Omega' is proof of that.
'Into The Dreamstate' is the second album from one-man solo project Encircle, released in early 2013. Back then, I was just getting acquainted with the Djent scene, knowing just a handful of bands and absorbing everything like a sponge, be it exceptional or mediocre. This record was one of the ones that really caught my ear with its exceptional sound and masterful writing. After almost two years, this still gives me goosebumps after every listen.
Anything that Thomas (Drop) Betrisey finds interesting enough to dedicate his masterful set of skills to will always earn a listen from me. I think the overall production deserves 5 stars! The audio levels are a little low, but being that I have some experience in production - this is probably because they were committed to retaining some dynamics (not overcompressing), which can result in slightly lower volumes. I LOVE the kick (reminiscent of In Flames). Guitars are THICK and layered. All kinds of subtle electronics in the background. Occasional melodic harmonies (which I love).
We've all come to expect a certain level of brutality from TAS. With this album, however, I think we can all agree that they have outdone themselves, lyrically. The songs are dripping wet with existential nihilism, Anti-Christian views, and a general hatred for all existence.
It's the angry honesty of vocalist Vincent Bennett that has kept TAS fans coming back for more and while even I was borderline offended by some of the lyrics, I have to objectively say that this album definitely delivers in that respect.
Before I start with my review. A very informative read just as food for thought. There are 3 types of music listeners, sitters, seekers and standers:
1. Sitters do not actively seek out new music, they ‘sit back’ and let music come to them – usually through radio, TV and media. Their only exposure to music is through what others present to them. They have a strong preference for chart-topping music.
2.Seekers actively seek out music and are always adding to their collection. They may be into more underground and less popular genres. They may get recommendations from their friends, but often seek out music on their own.
3.Standers can be hostile towards new music. They tend to stick with their own collection of music, and don’t want to add to it. They are often afficionados or fans of ‘classic’ genres. “Standers are big believers in a canon of music that is perfect and unchallengeable as the standard of excellence in the form.” (Read this guy's full write up here)
'Vectorscan' is Amogh Symphony's third album. For many fans, it's Vishal J.Singh without his technical guitar chops, without complicated time signatures of Jim Richman and minus the extreme heaviness. There are complaints from the progressive metal fans because 'Vectorscan' is not what they were looking for, especially after 3 years of wait and patience. No. Not at all.
Amogh Symphony is back. Not just with a new Russian bandmate Andrey Sazonov, but also with Goregaon Brass Orchestra and a bunch of other new members including singers (sung by Vishal's mother Kasturi Singh with lyrics written by Vishal's Grandmother Labanya Prabha Nath), instrumentalists and engineers. It means it's not about a trio of Multi-Instrumentalists but an Orchestra. 'Vectorscan' is music made by Artists, for the listeners who are Artists. That's what the problem is in this conceptual 53 minutes 37 seconds long musical montage. It's almost impossible to believe that it's the same band, same guitarist, who gave us super technical progressive metal albums 'The Quantum Hack Code' and 'Abolishing the Obsolete System', which were way heavier than 'Vectorscan'. I've seen bad ratings popping up from fans of their old sound and it's not a disagreeable fact. One of the reasons is that people are doing wrong comparisons with 'Vectorscan'.
I've always felt that Monuments have been somewhat marginalised. Born from the ashes of Fellsilent which also gave birth to Tesseract with whom, alongside Periphery they toured in the now legendary League of Extraordinary Djentlemen tour of 2010, the band have been at the core of the Djent community from the beginning. Indeed guitarist John Browne makes up one third of the holy trinity of djentleman band leaders, the three guitarists who pioneered the sound to which this website is dedicated, graduating from online demos and experiments to full length releases and full time touring. Sadly, as Periphery was launched to stardom and Misha Mansoor was elevated to the position of guitar god by the greater metal community and while Tesseract have moved on to bigger and bigger things, culminating in this month's Sonisphere performance before an audience of thousands, Monuments have remained fairly obscure.
This was all set to change in 2012 with the release of Gnosis, the band's long awaited début full length. Beset by the bane of our community, the vocalist problem, the album took far longer to complete than fans had hoped but on release was well received. However, despite stand-out tracks like Doxa and The Uncollective, when compared to Tesseract's One and Periphery's self titled début, Gnosis felt unpolished and was clearly made by a band still trying to pin down it's sound.
Now with The Amanuensis Monuments have done it. If Gnosis was exploratory and raw, The Amanuensis is polished and confident. Better production, more fluid song-writing and a fantastic new vocalist have allowed the band to produce a record of which they should be proud.
June 2, 2014
- Bird’s Robe Records (Australia), CODE 7 (UK), Nightmare Records (USA), MBM (Europe)
In the present day and age, Australian heavy music never fails to impress. Or deliver. Or to blow minds. And on June 2nd, 2014, a new chapter opens. This legendary, Perth based outfit have been plying their world class trade since the late nineties, and this is their fifth album. Whilst certainly a big fan of their previous work, nothing could have prepared me for the musical wonder that is V.