This is the part where I get all gooey and shower my readership with nausiating compliments. Like I’ve always said, though people send us a ton of stuff, I receive surprisingly few bad records. I may sometimes let something slip through the cracks without responding or even downlaoding it and forgetting to review –and believe me I am deeply remorsful for this. Seriously, like I would cry with regret if I wasn’t, ya know, a gland-less space alien– but 90% of stuff we receive in the cargo bay of the space station is awesome. Last week, I got a barrage of progressivly inclined music that for the most part defies conventional genre labels. I’ve assembled these into a digest type thing. Below you’ll find music from Portland’s The Restitution, Sirens and Leka.
The Restitution (Portland, OR, USA) These northwestern neighbors of ours play a melancholic fusion of hardcore and progressively metal. There’s some good layering going on between the polyrhyhthmic syncopation and atmospheric lead and the vocals are delivered in a wide variety of textures and styles, some songs almost entirely shouted and others sung clean. This is only a demo, itself a prelude to an upcoming EP, but already it seems this band has good chance of taking the substance of atmospheric prog and strip it of the unintentional silliness that plagues many bands of this style. The demo is a name-your-price download via the bandcamp player below.
Sirens (Terre Haute, IN, USA) Ah ambidjent, my fav (sort of srs). Though the deeper, more guttural vocals seem a little out of place on some of the songs, this Midwestern band does do the same kind of stuff which drove me to tirelessly spin records from projects like Cartoon Theory. If you like ambient music and various electronica, then this band will likely resonate with you. If you like crisp, polyrhythms and deathcore-leaning vocals, then you should finds something to like as well.
Leka (Finland) – So if Alestorm decided to shag Tyr and they had a singing baby that was all about surreal personal experiences with a touch of environmentalism, the result would be Leka. Whatever it is that they are going for, the result is definitely original. Most times, it’s a folky melodeath, complete with accordion breaks of the Finnish variety, and all the while there seems to be a hint that under the playful aesthetic is a more urgent message. The riffing and the underlying basslines are sharp and executed with superb musicianship, even sometimes sounding like a more accessible attempt at black metal. The aggressive passages don’t last long, however, and it’s back to the bouncy, clean, singalong. Get these three awesome songs by naming your own price on Leka‘s Bandcamp page.