Trans-Siberian Orchestra – ‘Letters From The Labyrinth’ [Review]

Trans Siberian Orchestra - Letters From The Labyrinth

Comparing albums to rollercoaster rides is one of the greatest reviewers’ clichés of all time. But when it works, it works. Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s first full-length set of new material since 2009 is nothing if not riddled with twists, turns, loops and breathtaking tangents.

At the same time, the rollercoaster cliché doesn’t completely cover it. Think of Letters From The Labyrinth as an entire theme park, and you’re closer to the mark. For the first time in Trans-Siberian Orchestra history, this album’s overall theme is shrouded in mystery – although it has been revealed that it’s based on previous album Night Castle, as well as “…a dialogue between the wisdom of the past and the hopes for the future, via a correspondence between a child and an old friend of the child’s grandfather.”

The overarching theme of Letters From The Labyrinth is intended to be revealed through Read more…

Posted on 29 November 2015

Fifi Rong – ‘Violently Silently’ [Review]

Fifi Rong

If you’re a sucker for finely crafted trip-hop-tinged tunes, London-based Tricky collaborator Fifi Rong will make your ears prick up.

Violently Silently‘s Intro is guaranteed to lull you into spy-movie-themed daydreams, all grittily seductive beats and slowly swirling samples – but before you assume you’ve heard it all before, Once proves a right-angled tangent. Fifi Rong refuses to be easily pigeonholed, leaning hard on her experimental inclinations and digging out odd alt-pop hooks that feel awkward and alien on first listen, but slowly work their way into the mind. Beachhead established, Slow Poison bounces with Read more…

Posted on 26 November 2015

Princess Slayer – ‘Living (Single EP)’ [Review]

Princess Slayer - Living

Great musicians have a voice of their own. You can tell within a few seconds that it’s them. Princess Slayer have this gift.

The title track taken from Princess Slayer’s recent Living EP gets a full EP treatment of its own this time around. One cool radio edit gets followed up by an absolutely immense extended mix that harks back to the early days of a duo who were one of TMMP’s earliest discoveries, and remain firm favourites. Absolute Read more…

Posted on 24 November 2015

Lithium Dawn – ‘Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension’ [Review]

Lithium Dawn

This is one of the most inspiring metal albums of 2015.

With the first part of Tearing Back The Veil, Lithium Dawn have set out to stretch the boundaries of tech-heavy progressive metal. It’s an ambitious task, to say the least; with luminaries such as Meshuggah, Karnivool, Periphery, Tool and Tesseract already forging new paths into the future, it’s easy to overlook the underground underdogs out there, and assume that everyone bar the legends are paying lip service to progression while actually playing catch-up.

One of the most attractive aspects of the prog world is the fact that anything goes. It’s like watching a Thunderbirds rerun from the ’60s: “Anything can happen in the next half hour!” We expect twists, turns, and tangents – but Lithium Dawn don’t just live up to that expectation. They go beyond it, into the Read more…

Posted on 20 November 2015

Boston Manor – ‘Saudade’ [Review]

Boston Manor - Saudade

With winter creeping in and darkness arriving ever earlier, Boston Manor’s Saudade EP is pretty timely. Taking up residence at the centre of a three-pronged junction between pop-punk, emo, and indie, Boston Manor’s latest is packed with melancholic anthems.

Gone‘s gritty arpeggios and ten-Red-Bull intensity, the ruminative Trapped Nerve, and the bouncy maturity of Asleep At The Wheel are all consistently Read more…

Posted on 18 November 2015

Jordan Rudess – ‘The Unforgotten Path’ [Review]

Jordan Rudess

Outside his day job as Dream Theater’s resident keyboard wizard, Jordan Rudess has long been a prolific solo artist in his own right. From out-there electronica (frequently enabled by Rudess’s own range of personalized apps) to the most delicate of solo piano performances, Jordan Rudess has journeyed from the depths of tradition to the ever-expanding outer limits of musical possibility, inviting listeners along for the ride.

The results are, unsurprisingly, consistently beyond world-class. The Unforgotten Path is a collection of improvisations based on timeless melodies that Rudess has repeatedly Read more…

Posted on 17 November 2015

Black Peaks – ‘Saviour’ [Review]

Black Peaks

My God.

If you’re looking for the cream of the math-rock crop, you’ve found it. Black Peaks have always been fueled by ferocity, laying waste to ears and venues and festivals in the process of carving out a niche of their own. But now, they’ve hit a new…well…peak.

Saviour – the lead single from Black Peaks’ upcoming debut album Statues – sees Black Peaks employ a Read more…

Posted on 17 November 2015

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