Tag Archives: progressive death metal

“Progeny” by Hung

Artist: Hung
Title: “Progeny”
Label: Independent Artist
Release Date: 7/25/2008
Genre: Progressive Experimental Metal
Rating: Excellent

Hung’s newest CD “Progeny” is one that immediately draws you into their musical web from the moment that the album begins to play. To me this was based on the overall depth of the dark melodies that start it off and their clear understanding about the progressive side of things as well. It opens with the title track which was a slower number and despite this it held an essence of sorrow thanks to Lyris Hung’s singing violin which manifests itself very tastefully all around. The vocals of Dmitry Kostitsyn are largely growling ones yet he manages to slide in some clean lines as well which add to the songs drama. There are a number of calm interludes that seemed to focus on the bass playing of Sam Roon and of course when placed all together I found it very satisfying and a band that was as intriguing as they were talented. The track ran for some ten minutes but it was not a boring span and instead one that found me eager to continue into the release. “Desert Of Sad” came up second and was what I considered the head banger of the album since it was a lot more driving than the opening track. This one has a couple of points where you feel the urge to get more into it. As an EP there are only five tracks delivered and while this was the case it seemed that after the opener that my favorite number fell to “Sediment Of War” and this was based on the really “live” sound it had to it.
Continue reading “Progeny” by Hung

“Watershed” by Opeth

Artist: Opeth
Title: “Watershed”
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 6/3/2008
Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Rating: 5/5

When Opeth first signed to Roadrunner Records there was scuttlebutt about the label interfering with the bands creative vision and ruining it for everyone as a result but despite this kind of talk the band gave us “Ghost Reveries” which was a stunning release. It was an album that presented new worlds of heaviness meets progginess to their fans and found them reaching for higher ground in terms of musical quality. The response that the release earned them made many wonder how the band could possibly hope to follow up the album and have the output be as good or impact the genre as much as this one had done and when you place “Watershed” in your CD player you will be happy to discover that the group has surpassed all expectations with flying colors. Such seems to be the common practice with a band like Opeth for they can never be referred to as a band of predictability or following the acceptable standard and instead make great strides in their material with each and every release. They are a band that has become as important to the Death Metal genre as Rush had become to the Progressive Rock genre so many decades ago. That being said, the scene and its ever changing geography are in excellent hands.
Continue reading “Watershed” by Opeth

“The Roundhouse Tapes” by Opeth

Artist: Opeth
Title: “The Roundhouse Tapes”
Label: Peaceville Records
Release Date: 11/20/2007
Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Rating: 5/5

When Opeth gave us “Lamentations – Live At Sheperd’s Bush” as a live DVD release it was indeed awesome but on it we found the band primarily focused on their “Damnation” album and choosing to perform it in its entirety and then close the show with six numbers from their earlier releases. A great performance without a doubt, but one that left the older fans wanting a little more from those classic releases in the bands catalog. “The Roundhouse Tapes” makes up for this and then some by offering the fans a live concert album from their most recent tour and one that takes you back to review something from almost every Opeth release that has come before. The tour would be in support of their already classic album “Ghost Reveries” and give us a mind-blowing rendition of “Ghost Of Perdition” from this popular release. They bring us back to their beginning with the early classic “Under The Weeping Moon” and bring new dynamics to life during my own favorite number “Blackwater Park”. The set is crushing overall and proves to anyone who listens to it that Opeth is one of the most important bands in the realms of Progressive Death and Progressive Metal on the whole. Having seen them in concert a number of times I was happy to find that the release shows just how tight and energetic they sound in the live sense. In terms of their execution of their material in concert the band is just as adept as we find Rush and Dream Theater based on how together the group sounds and how dead on accurate they remain. Its incredible to hear how simply leader Mikael Akerfeldt switches between his two vocal styles during the set and of course how easy the band makes it seem to go from crushing Death Metal to subtle Psychedelic Progressive. Akerfeldt also speaks a few times during the set and even kids with the audience as he announces “Windowpane”, as the number that will get the chicks backstage. This is a stunning tune and when compared to the heavier side of the band will have you wondering if you are listening to two distinct acts instead of one incredibly talented entity. There is just something about these guys in concert that is hypnotic and the feeling comes across even as you listen to the concert in your living room.
Continue reading “The Roundhouse Tapes” by Opeth

PiercingMetal Talks To Into Eternity’s Stu Block & Tim Roth (9/16/2007)

If you are one of those people who hits a lot of Metal shows and has kept this practice up over the past two years most specifically then the band Into Eternity should come as no surprise to you. I remember that I first caught them when they opened for Amorphis in 2005 and since that time feel that I have seen them perform about ten additional times. Statistically they are closing in on some bands that I have supported my entire life based on the amount of gigs that I attend and find them appearing on. During their most recent visit to New York City as the direct support for Germany’s Ed Guy I managed to catch up with band founder and guitarist Tim Roth along with lead singer Stu Block. Having met a number of times before we chose to cover a lot of different topics about music, touring, band life and also decided to have a few laughs with each other. Below is the transcription of our entire conversation for your enjoyment.

Logo - Into Eternity

PiercingMetal: We are sitting here talking to Into Eternity, backstage at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill and it’s always great to see you guys on tour and since we have all interacted for a couple of years now lets go back in time a little bit. To my knowledge the rollercoaster of musical activity began with your appearance on the tour that Amorphis was doing a few years ago. Would you tend to agree with me on that?

Tim Roth: Ooh I like where this is going already so yes we were in Europe at the time and we couldn’t get anything in the states and even though we had toured the states before it was just in these one-off festivals like the Prog-Powers and the Milwaukee Metal Fests and the Minnesota Metal Fest and the Kataklysm tour but we couldn’t get anything else going. So when we were in Europe they asked us to do that Amorphis tour and as soon as we kicked ass on that it sort of kick started everything.

PiercingMetal: Stu you wanna add anything in here, and please feel free to do that as we continue.

Stu Block: Yeah well this is when I joined in and of course I wasn’t over in Europe as Dean was singing for them at that time but yeah, then I joined on and with that first tour we really didn’t know what was going to happen in the future right and it just came back as the year 2005 was a really busy one for us and it really broke us over the edge. Now we are here as direct support for EdGuy – NOT OPENING UP for EdGuy (laughs)
Continue reading PiercingMetal Talks To Into Eternity’s Stu Block & Tim Roth (9/16/2007)

“The Scattering Of Ashes” by Into Eternity

Artist: Into Eternity
Title: “The Scattering Of Ashes”
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 10/3/2006
>Genre: Progressive Black Metal
Rating: 5/5

Into Eternity’s new album is finally here and I am amazed that they were able to find time to record it for the band has been on tour almost non-stop, with the exception of an early 2006 pause to hammer this release out. Many supporters of the Metal effort realize this because the band had opened for a literal who’s who in Metal since late 2004. “Buried By Oblivion” was the focus at most of these appearances and now with “The Scattering Of Ashes” we find them taking the next step in their musical journey. The group had a couple of lineup shifts and this recording finds original drummer Jim Austin returning to the fold and providing insane levels of percussive expression to the album. All guitar shredding is handled by Tim Roth who is showing more and more that he is probably the new shooting star on the horizon. His technical displays on the axe are dizzying to listen to, and just try to figure what he is doing in concert. Bassist Troy Bleich firmly holds this all together while also offering some of the needed Black Metal growls as well as harmonies for you see Into Eternity is not a band that sticks to one form. Instead they choose to mix it up quite a bit and this album shows that their recording return has a purpose and a renewed focus on pushing the expected limits. Traditional views on how one can deliver Progressive Black Metal go right out a the window here and songs like “A Past Beyond Memory” blister by you yet slow down enough to have an almost Classical music feel to it. “Surrounded By Night” begins with something more akin to Kansas than a Metal group before it takes off to the skies. Kudos have to go to lead singer Stu Block who while a member of the band in the touring sense for some time, has never recorded with them until this album.
Continue reading “The Scattering Of Ashes” by Into Eternity