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This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/top-20-albums-of-2019-prog-sphere/

It’s that time of the year when writers and editors of music publications have the hardest time of going through the pile of albums released throughout the year, just to be met with a proverbial Golgotha by readers complaining how this or that release didn’t make the “best of” list.

2019 is another strong year; the amount of great releases that were put out this year is simply overwhelming, but we made it down to 20 records which in our opinion are the “creme de la creme” and the musical pinnacle of 2019. Many of these records are so far-fetched from each other in terms of musical styles, but as usual we were led by our vision of forward-thinking music.

So here it is… Top 20 albums of 2019 by Prog Sphere

20. CONSIDER THE SOURCE – You Are Literally a Metaphor

Going into this album, I did not expect this at all. Eclectic is definitely the word for this, and so is unique and amazing. As crazy as things get sometimes, it always keeps your interest as you want to hear what happens next. The effects are excellent, the musicianship is out of this world. There are many times throughout this album I was just speechless.

19. LUNAR – Eidolon

As the time in a calendar year passes by, it often happens that many of releases that are launched late in a year are overlooked. Luckily, this was not the case with the second studio album by Sacramento prog metal project Lunar. Inspired by a tragedy that befell the project in the way of loosing guitarist Ryan Erwin, drummer and songwriter Alex Bosson has put his emotions towards honing a release that is as beautiful as angry. Helping him in his vision are guest contributions from members of Haken, Leprous, Thank You Scientist, Fallujah, etc.

18. MONO – Nowhere, Now Here

The addition of electronics to Mono‘s music gave their music the element that is needed to make their music perfect. This album is absolutely amazing and the fact that it is all instrumental except for one track should not scare you away. The music is beautiful as always, almost beyond words. Each track on this album is an experience, full of emotion and expansiveness, the traits that have always existed in Mono‘s music, yet somehow, this time they have even made it better with more dynamics, many times unpredictable this time around.

17. ARCH / MATHEOS – Winter Etheral

Winter Ethereal cranks out nine hard driving prog metal tracks rooted in the previous century but clearly designed for 21st century consumption. A bit longer than the previous one and clocking in at about 108 minutes, this album bursts into the scene with the crushing “Vermillion Moons” which delivers the expected labyrinthine guitar riffs while taking a few breathers with some slower passages. Clearly on display and man of the hour vocalist ARCH shows off his high capacity pipes in an ever daring feat of vocal majesty which never fails throughout the album’s lengthy parade through the progressively imbued compositions that seem to tackle the usual prog metal melodramatic lyrical esoterica in the fullest sonic regalia. Despite the plethora of musicians on board this time, the album comes off as a tightly woven musical experience with all eyes on the prize, that meaning the overall feel of consistency in this high quality musical sector of the prog metal universe.

16. KLONE – Le Grand Voyage

Known for its trademark dark guitar tones and epic brooding soundscapes, Le Grand Voyage is a dynamic and intense album that explores nine unique landscapes, and switches between dark, luminous, heavy and powerful sounds.

15. KAYO DOT – Blasphemy

Kayo Dot is one of the most important avant-prog and experimental bands that is still quite relevant. Blasphemy seems to be the most variant Kayo Dot release. This is one of their best albums to start on if you haven’t heard them before. It gives you a good overall picture of what to expect from the band—that is, the unexpected.

14. MONKEY3 – Sphere

Sphere is an excellent album full of a lot of dynamic, and it is easy to see why this band is so well revered and is also gaining more and more fans all the time. Their concerts are quite amazing and make for a memorable experience. Since this band has been around for quite some time now, they have become quite good at working together, especially when it comes to knowing how to create amazing jam sessions.

13. BENT KNEE – You Know What They Mean

The musicianship, instrumentation  and vocal delivery on You Know What They Mean are stellar; the production is great and the use of dynamics, dissonance and unique styles is all top-notch. I love the fact that the music can easily fool you, thinking at times that you have something that is somewhat “normal” that suddenly and unpredictable becomes totally unhinged. The music is quirky, no doubt, but it is also extremely well done.

12. THE MERCURY TREE – Spidermilk

The instruments on The Mercury Tree’s newest offering were all purposefully tuned to this microtonal scale which give it the unique, yet very nice texture and sound. Spidermilk took two years to create, and much of that time must have been learning the harmonies and perfecting the sound. I know this is definitely not going to be to everyone’s liking, but you can’t deny the sound is unique, challenging and groundbreaking, and above all, 100% progressive.

11. THANK YOU SCIENTIST – Terraformer

An album of this length might be tough for many listeners, especially with the complexity of the music. But, as is the case with most of the best progressive albums, with repeated listenings and as you grow more familiar with the songs, things get better and it no longer seems like so much of an assault on your senses. Even with the lighter, jazzier sound on this album, it can seem like too much on the first few listens. But time and practice will increase your love and appreciation for this amazing album. The music is complex, yes, the album is also very long, and usually that combination can result in exhausting a listener’s head, but this album is put together quite well with the track sequence working for it when you first hear it; and later, as your familiarity with the music grows, it doesn’t come across as so much of a sonic assault.

The post Top 20 Albums of 2019 by Prog Sphere appeared first on Prog Sphere.

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/top-20-albums-of-2019-prog-sphere/

It’s that time of the year when writers and editors of music publications have the hardest time of going through the pile of albums released throughout the year, just to be met with a proverbial Golgotha by readers complaining how this or that release didn’t make the “best of” list.

2019 is another strong year; the amount of great releases that were put out this year is simply overwhelming, but we made it down to 20 records which in our opinion are the “creme de la creme” and the musical pinnacle of 2019. Many of these records are so far-fetched from each other in terms of musical styles, but as usual we were led by our vision of forward-thinking music.

So here it is… Top 20 albums of 2019 by Prog Sphere

20. CONSIDER THE SOURCE – You Are Literally a Metaphor

Going into this album, I did not expect this at all. Eclectic is definitely the word for this, and so is unique and amazing. As crazy as things get sometimes, it always keeps your interest as you want to hear what happens next. The effects are excellent, the musicianship is out of this world. There are many times throughout this album I was just speechless.

19. LUNAR – Eidolon

As the time in a calendar year passes by, it often happens that many of releases that are launched late in a year are overlooked. Luckily, this was not the case with the second studio album by Sacramento prog metal project Lunar. Inspired by a tragedy that befell the project in the way of loosing guitarist Ryan Erwin, drummer and songwriter Alex Bosson has put his emotions towards honing a release that is as beautiful as angry. Helping him in his vision are guest contributions from members of Haken, Leprous, Thank You Scientist, Fallujah, etc.

18. MONO – Nowhere, Now Here

The addition of electronics to Mono‘s music gave their music the element that is needed to make their music perfect. This album is absolutely amazing and the fact that it is all instrumental except for one track should not scare you away. The music is beautiful as always, almost beyond words. Each track on this album is an experience, full of emotion and expansiveness, the traits that have always existed in Mono‘s music, yet somehow, this time they have even made it better with more dynamics, many times unpredictable this time around.

17. ARCH / MATHEOS – Winter Etheral

Winter Ethereal cranks out nine hard driving prog metal tracks rooted in the previous century but clearly designed for 21st century consumption. A bit longer than the previous one and clocking in at about 108 minutes, this album bursts into the scene with the crushing “Vermillion Moons” which delivers the expected labyrinthine guitar riffs while taking a few breathers with some slower passages. Clearly on display and man of the hour vocalist ARCH shows off his high capacity pipes in an ever daring feat of vocal majesty which never fails throughout the album’s lengthy parade through the progressively imbued compositions that seem to tackle the usual prog metal melodramatic lyrical esoterica in the fullest sonic regalia. Despite the plethora of musicians on board this time, the album comes off as a tightly woven musical experience with all eyes on the prize, that meaning the overall feel of consistency in this high quality musical sector of the prog metal universe.

16. KLONE – Le Grand Voyage

Known for its trademark dark guitar tones and epic brooding soundscapes, Le Grand Voyage is a dynamic and intense album that explores nine unique landscapes, and switches between dark, luminous, heavy and powerful sounds.

15. KAYO DOT – Blasphemy

Kayo Dot is one of the most important avant-prog and experimental bands that is still quite relevant. Blasphemy seems to be the most variant Kayo Dot release. This is one of their best albums to start on if you haven’t heard them before. It gives you a good overall picture of what to expect from the band—that is, the unexpected.

14. MONKEY3 – Sphere

Sphere is an excellent album full of a lot of dynamic, and it is easy to see why this band is so well revered and is also gaining more and more fans all the time. Their concerts are quite amazing and make for a memorable experience. Since this band has been around for quite some time now, they have become quite good at working together, especially when it comes to knowing how to create amazing jam sessions.

13. BENT KNEE – You Know What They Mean

The musicianship, instrumentation  and vocal delivery on You Know What They Mean are stellar; the production is great and the use of dynamics, dissonance and unique styles is all top-notch. I love the fact that the music can easily fool you, thinking at times that you have something that is somewhat “normal” that suddenly and unpredictable becomes totally unhinged. The music is quirky, no doubt, but it is also extremely well done.

12. THE MERCURY TREE – Spidermilk

The instruments on The Mercury Tree’s newest offering were all purposefully tuned to this microtonal scale which give it the unique, yet very nice texture and sound. Spidermilk took two years to create, and much of that time must have been learning the harmonies and perfecting the sound. I know this is definitely not going to be to everyone’s liking, but you can’t deny the sound is unique, challenging and groundbreaking, and above all, 100% progressive.

11. THANK YOU SCIENTIST – Terraformer

An album of this length might be tough for many listeners, especially with the complexity of the music. But, as is the case with most of the best progressive albums, with repeated listenings and as you grow more familiar with the songs, things get better and it no longer seems like so much of an assault on your senses. Even with the lighter, jazzier sound on this album, it can seem like too much on the first few listens. But time and practice will increase your love and appreciation for this amazing album. The music is complex, yes, the album is also very long, and usually that combination can result in exhausting a listener’s head, but this album is put together quite well with the track sequence working for it when you first hear it; and later, as your familiarity with the music grows, it doesn’t come across as so much of a sonic assault.

The post Top 20 Albums of 2019 by Prog Sphere appeared first on Prog Sphere.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/hybridism-interview/

Belgian djent/progressive metal four-piece Hybridism released their self-titled, instrumental debut album in February filled to the brim with, in the band’s own words, “variety of melodies and samples to replace the vocals in some kind of way.” 

The group answered our questionnaire about the release.

Define the mission of Hybridism.

Well, we don’t really have that kind of a mission. This is our very first album, people can expect a very ambient album with a lot of ups and downs. We are an instrumental djent and prog band so there’s a mixture of heavy riffs all in the name of “DJENT” such as calm moments packed with beautiful melodies. The songs were actually written for people who like this particular style and heavy music, but also for those who are not so familiar with heavy music. This is why there are heavy and more soften moments on this record.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your self-titled debut album.

It was quite a challenge for a few of us who never played „DJENT“ before. Obviously we were all listening to djent bands at the time, so we liked the unique sound and it’s challenging approach. We all played in rock and metal bands before, but for us all, this was the first djent project we were involved. Jeffrey, who wanted to start as a one-man project, had already written a whole bunch of songs. As we developed them later as a band, everybody was free to bring some ideas and input, so we all felt very satisfied pretty fast. For the recording sessions we chose Babylon Studios in the Czech Republic. The album was produced by none other than Thomas Raklavsky, owner of the studio and mastermind behind the very well known djent band „Modern Day Babylon“. Coming back home with a very satisfying result was an awesome experience for us all.

Although it is an instrumental release, would you say that there is a certain message with the album that you are trying to give?

Don’t trust singers! No, all jokes aside ;) The initial idea starting out with a singer was dropped before entering the studio. We tried a few but we just had no luck. So as an instrumental band we don’t have that kind of a storyteller. We try the spread messages via our melodies which worked out quite well so far. Concerning the melodies we got some good reviews and I think this is one of the major strengths of the band. Our main goal is to continue our songwriting that way, keeping the focus on strong melodies to touch the listener and the audience.

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

We are lucky enough to have access to Logic and some recording equipment. In addition, we are using Guitar Pro, which is an awesome tool to be able to quickly document every instrument and every single note you are playing. For our samples and atmosphere we are working with different VST’s (Virtual Studio Technology). These are indispensable tools for us, getting done what we are putting together.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

I would say so, yes! Jeffrey, our guitarist is working a lot on the timings and musical dynamics on every song. Everything was written very carefully in that kind of way, as well to ensure that there is a certain balance between the heavy and the more soften parts, the change of tempos and the variation of every single song.

Describe the approach recording the album.

It was quite a challenge for a few of us who never played “DJENT” before. Obviously we were all listening to djent bands at the time, so we liked the unique sound and it’s challenging approach. We all played in rock and metal bands before, but for us all, this was the first djent project we were involved. Jeffrey, who wanted to start as a one-man project, had already written a whole bunch of songs. As we developed them later as a band, everybody was free to bring some ideas and input, so we all felt very satisfied pretty fast. The pre-production was done in Belgium at Jeffrey’s place and for the recording sessions we chose Babylon Studios in the Czech Republic. The album was produced by none other than Thomas Raklavsky, owner of the studio and mastermind behind the very well known djent band „Modern Day Babylon“. Working with this guy was just inspiring and a tremendous experience for us.

How long “Hybridism” was in the making?

Getting the band together took quite some time. Jeffrey started a few years ago writing some songs exclusively for 8-string guitars. The first guy who joined the project was our drummer Lucas. More or less than a year they were looking for a bassist. They came to me and asked me if I would be interested joining them. After a few weeks I became convinced of the project. First, I was pretty sceptic and it took me quite a while because I was doubting my own abilities. I’m more that kind of a rock bassist you know, the djent genre is a whole new area for me. After a few weeks and rehearsals our second guitarist Alex joined the band and we were ready starting things off.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

I would definitely say modern djent acts, like Periphery, Animals as Leaders, Modern Day Babylon, Tesseract, Plini etc. Their whole approach of playing their instruments, the sound they made and the atmosphere they create on every album took this genre to a whole new level. The pursuit of these sounds and all kinds of its various melodies are the real challenge for us.

What is your view on technology in music?

Oh man! My technological knowledge is so limited. The other guys are more nerdier than I am :) Those guys are the real geeks. I’m more that old school kind of a guy you know. But I think the evolution of technology has an important effect on modern music. Especially in our genre the possibilities these days are countless. You have all these kind of VST’s (Virtual Sound Technology) you can use at home to do your own stuff independent of anyone else. You can create music toghether, even if you are thousands of miles away from each other. People are using modeling amps today with a huge number of sound banks and presets which gives you more flexibility in your sound without carrying big Pedalboards with you. Of course, there are pros and cons, it all depends on your individual kind of view, but as technology continues expanding, the musical advances have a huge impact on the type of music we create.

Hybridism

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

I would not say our music, but definitely every music. Music is one of the most universal ways of expression. It’s has a crucial role in the fulfilment of our daily tasks. Being stressed and then listening to our favourite tunes makes us nearly forget everything. I mean, why are we listening to music, it certainly means a lot to us and gives us the satisfaction we need in certain moments of depression. We don’t see a certain purpose in our music, we just want to do the stuff we want to do.

What are your plans for the future?

First, we are trying to play concerts as much as we can to get that touring routine as a band, which is not always that easy beside our jobs. Three of us have permanent jobs, but we are all trying our best to manage everything. Another important thing is doing our promotional work to share our music in the best logical way. For the moment our main goal is to spread the name all over our greater region (Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Germany). This is a small step, but it should be achievable. We are pretty confident about that.

A few little tours with some bands already established in the scene are planned,  we already got some nice offers for a few festivals later next year and the songwriting mode is always ON! We are already looking forward to release another album in the next 2 years.

Hybridism is out now; get it from Bandcamp.

The post HYBRIDISM: Variety of Melodies appeared first on Prog Sphere.

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/hybridism-interview/

Belgian djent/progressive metal four-piece Hybridism released their self-titled, instrumental debut album in February filled to the brim with, in the band’s own words, “variety of melodies and samples to replace the vocals in some kind of way.” 

The group answered our questionnaire about the release.

Define the mission of Hybridism.

Well, we don’t really have that kind of a mission. This is our very first album, people can expect a very ambient album with a lot of ups and downs. We are an instrumental djent and prog band so there’s a mixture of heavy riffs all in the name of “DJENT” such as calm moments packed with beautiful melodies. The songs were actually written for people who like this particular style and heavy music, but also for those who are not so familiar with heavy music. This is why there are heavy and more soften moments on this record.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your self-titled debut album.

It was quite a challenge for a few of us who never played „DJENT“ before. Obviously we were all listening to djent bands at the time, so we liked the unique sound and it’s challenging approach. We all played in rock and metal bands before, but for us all, this was the first djent project we were involved. Jeffrey, who wanted to start as a one-man project, had already written a whole bunch of songs. As we developed them later as a band, everybody was free to bring some ideas and input, so we all felt very satisfied pretty fast. For the recording sessions we chose Babylon Studios in the Czech Republic. The album was produced by none other than Thomas Raklavsky, owner of the studio and mastermind behind the very well known djent band „Modern Day Babylon“. Coming back home with a very satisfying result was an awesome experience for us all.

Although it is an instrumental release, would you say that there is a certain message with the album that you are trying to give?

Don’t trust singers! No, all jokes aside ;) The initial idea starting out with a singer was dropped before entering the studio. We tried a few but we just had no luck. So as an instrumental band we don’t have that kind of a storyteller. We try the spread messages via our melodies which worked out quite well so far. Concerning the melodies we got some good reviews and I think this is one of the major strengths of the band. Our main goal is to continue our songwriting that way, keeping the focus on strong melodies to touch the listener and the audience.

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

We are lucky enough to have access to Logic and some recording equipment. In addition, we are using Guitar Pro, which is an awesome tool to be able to quickly document every instrument and every single note you are playing. For our samples and atmosphere we are working with different VST’s (Virtual Studio Technology). These are indispensable tools for us, getting done what we are putting together.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

I would say so, yes! Jeffrey, our guitarist is working a lot on the timings and musical dynamics on every song. Everything was written very carefully in that kind of way, as well to ensure that there is a certain balance between the heavy and the more soften parts, the change of tempos and the variation of every single song.

Describe the approach recording the album.

It was quite a challenge for a few of us who never played “DJENT” before. Obviously we were all listening to djent bands at the time, so we liked the unique sound and it’s challenging approach. We all played in rock and metal bands before, but for us all, this was the first djent project we were involved. Jeffrey, who wanted to start as a one-man project, had already written a whole bunch of songs. As we developed them later as a band, everybody was free to bring some ideas and input, so we all felt very satisfied pretty fast. The pre-production was done in Belgium at Jeffrey’s place and for the recording sessions we chose Babylon Studios in the Czech Republic. The album was produced by none other than Thomas Raklavsky, owner of the studio and mastermind behind the very well known djent band „Modern Day Babylon“. Working with this guy was just inspiring and a tremendous experience for us.

How long “Hybridism” was in the making?

Getting the band together took quite some time. Jeffrey started a few years ago writing some songs exclusively for 8-string guitars. The first guy who joined the project was our drummer Lucas. More or less than a year they were looking for a bassist. They came to me and asked me if I would be interested joining them. After a few weeks I became convinced of the project. First, I was pretty sceptic and it took me quite a while because I was doubting my own abilities. I’m more that kind of a rock bassist you know, the djent genre is a whole new area for me. After a few weeks and rehearsals our second guitarist Alex joined the band and we were ready starting things off.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

I would definitely say modern djent acts, like Periphery, Animals as Leaders, Modern Day Babylon, Tesseract, Plini etc. Their whole approach of playing their instruments, the sound they made and the atmosphere they create on every album took this genre to a whole new level. The pursuit of these sounds and all kinds of its various melodies are the real challenge for us.

What is your view on technology in music?

Oh man! My technological knowledge is so limited. The other guys are more nerdier than I am :) Those guys are the real geeks. I’m more that old school kind of a guy you know. But I think the evolution of technology has an important effect on modern music. Especially in our genre the possibilities these days are countless. You have all these kind of VST’s (Virtual Sound Technology) you can use at home to do your own stuff independent of anyone else. You can create music toghether, even if you are thousands of miles away from each other. People are using modeling amps today with a huge number of sound banks and presets which gives you more flexibility in your sound without carrying big Pedalboards with you. Of course, there are pros and cons, it all depends on your individual kind of view, but as technology continues expanding, the musical advances have a huge impact on the type of music we create.

Hybridism

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

I would not say our music, but definitely every music. Music is one of the most universal ways of expression. It’s has a crucial role in the fulfilment of our daily tasks. Being stressed and then listening to our favourite tunes makes us nearly forget everything. I mean, why are we listening to music, it certainly means a lot to us and gives us the satisfaction we need in certain moments of depression. We don’t see a certain purpose in our music, we just want to do the stuff we want to do.

What are your plans for the future?

First, we are trying to play concerts as much as we can to get that touring routine as a band, which is not always that easy beside our jobs. Three of us have permanent jobs, but we are all trying our best to manage everything. Another important thing is doing our promotional work to share our music in the best logical way. For the moment our main goal is to spread the name all over our greater region (Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Germany). This is a small step, but it should be achievable. We are pretty confident about that.

A few little tours with some bands already established in the scene are planned,  we already got some nice offers for a few festivals later next year and the songwriting mode is always ON! We are already looking forward to release another album in the next 2 years.

Hybridism is out now; get it from Bandcamp.

The post HYBRIDISM: Variety of Melodies appeared first on Prog Sphere.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/monolith-interview/

Monolith is a Berlin-based melodic death metal project by guitarist and songwriter Mario Welke, who is to release a debut album ‘Daddy Plague‘ later this month. We featured Monolith on our recent Progotronics compilation, and asked Mario to answer our questionnaire.

Define the mission of Monolith.

My mission is to push the boundaries of what metal can and should be while also not forgetting the roots.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your upcoming album “Daddy Plague” and the themes it captures.

Usually when writing songs, I start just randomly playing on the guitar until I fiend a riff I enjoy and then I build from there. I quickly add basic drum and bass samples to figure out the general feeling of the song. Once that is done I`ll work on the lyrics unless I feel the song needs some different vocals, in that case I`ll hear around who could be fitting to provide the guest vocals.

What is the message you are trying to give with “Daddy Plague”? 

The message is how dark thoughts can have a strong negative impact on your life and you actively have to decide that you want to change something instead of just hoping that it gets better by itself.

Daddy Plague

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

The first thing I do when I find a riff, I enjoy is to write it down in guitar pro. Within guitar pro I will then add a basic bassline and drum part. When I work on the structure of the song I also keep adding them in guitar pro.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

It depends a bit on the song, some songs I wrote within a couple of hours like “Vermin Among Us”. Others were growing with new ideas over months such as “Forever”. The later was the second song I started to write for Monolith. But I only had a chorus and I had to put it to the side before I could take a fresh look at it and complete it. The song also changed quite a bit once Marie recorded the first demo vocals for it. For the songs with the other guest vocalists that wasnt possible because the songs were already written for one of my former bands and there was no room to adjust anything there.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

From the very beginning I knew it was going to be an album but when recording all the instruments is done by one person you face certain issues. The obviously would be the money. Studio time is expensive and you want to make the most out of it so I decided pretty early on to split the recording into 3 sessions and release the first 2 as EPs.

This gave me multiple advantages. I could already test out the water to see how well it work to record alone and how many songs I can record in one session. For the first EP I recorded only 3 but I knew that with some focus it would be possible to record 4 so the next 2 sessions 4 songs were my goal.

How long “Daddy Plague” was in the making?

The motivation for doing a solo project came to me already in 2013. The first time my bass player cancelled rehearsal 15 minutes after it started via text message because he was wasted from the night before.

However, I only actively started working on “Daddy Plague” in mid 2018.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Amon Amarth comes to mind first, but I always listen to Misery Index or Five Finger Death Punch so they have influenced me aswell.

What is your view on technology in music?

I love fiddling around with samples and I used some in the recording too. The possibilities we have nowadays are really impressive. But I do feel that it is important that you find a good balance between what is done with virtual instruments and actually playing them.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

There are some songs which have lyrics which I crafted much more carefully than others but at the end of day it is death metal, if you take that too serious you are doing it wrong.

What are your plans for the future?

Im currently in the writing phase for the next recording sessions and i also consider finding musicians to bring Monolith to the stage but that is just an idea so far.

Follow Monolith on Facebook.

The post MONOLITH: Pushing the Boundaries of Metal appeared first on Prog Sphere.

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/monolith-interview/

Monolith is a Berlin-based melodic death metal project by guitarist and songwriter Mario Welke, who is to release a debut album ‘Daddy Plague‘ later this month. We featured Monolith on our recent Progotronics compilation, and asked Mario to answer our questionnaire.

Define the mission of Monolith.

My mission is to push the boundaries of what metal can and should be while also not forgetting the roots.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your upcoming album “Daddy Plague” and the themes it captures.

Usually when writing songs, I start just randomly playing on the guitar until I fiend a riff I enjoy and then I build from there. I quickly add basic drum and bass samples to figure out the general feeling of the song. Once that is done I`ll work on the lyrics unless I feel the song needs some different vocals, in that case I`ll hear around who could be fitting to provide the guest vocals.

What is the message you are trying to give with “Daddy Plague”? 

The message is how dark thoughts can have a strong negative impact on your life and you actively have to decide that you want to change something instead of just hoping that it gets better by itself.

Daddy Plague

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

The first thing I do when I find a riff, I enjoy is to write it down in guitar pro. Within guitar pro I will then add a basic bassline and drum part. When I work on the structure of the song I also keep adding them in guitar pro.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

It depends a bit on the song, some songs I wrote within a couple of hours like “Vermin Among Us”. Others were growing with new ideas over months such as “Forever”. The later was the second song I started to write for Monolith. But I only had a chorus and I had to put it to the side before I could take a fresh look at it and complete it. The song also changed quite a bit once Marie recorded the first demo vocals for it. For the songs with the other guest vocalists that wasnt possible because the songs were already written for one of my former bands and there was no room to adjust anything there.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

From the very beginning I knew it was going to be an album but when recording all the instruments is done by one person you face certain issues. The obviously would be the money. Studio time is expensive and you want to make the most out of it so I decided pretty early on to split the recording into 3 sessions and release the first 2 as EPs.

This gave me multiple advantages. I could already test out the water to see how well it work to record alone and how many songs I can record in one session. For the first EP I recorded only 3 but I knew that with some focus it would be possible to record 4 so the next 2 sessions 4 songs were my goal.

How long “Daddy Plague” was in the making?

The motivation for doing a solo project came to me already in 2013. The first time my bass player cancelled rehearsal 15 minutes after it started via text message because he was wasted from the night before.

However, I only actively started working on “Daddy Plague” in mid 2018.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Amon Amarth comes to mind first, but I always listen to Misery Index or Five Finger Death Punch so they have influenced me aswell.

What is your view on technology in music?

I love fiddling around with samples and I used some in the recording too. The possibilities we have nowadays are really impressive. But I do feel that it is important that you find a good balance between what is done with virtual instruments and actually playing them.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

There are some songs which have lyrics which I crafted much more carefully than others but at the end of day it is death metal, if you take that too serious you are doing it wrong.

What are your plans for the future?

Im currently in the writing phase for the next recording sessions and i also consider finding musicians to bring Monolith to the stage but that is just an idea so far.

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The post MONOLITH: Pushing the Boundaries of Metal appeared first on Prog Sphere.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/descent-into-malestrom-saturn-premiere/

After the launch of their second take on ‘Dodecaphonic Metal’ in the vein of Iconoclasm, Italian avantgardists Descent Into Maelstrom are releasing a lyric video for “Saturn.” Stream it below.

“‘Saturn’ is one of the most intense songs of ‘Iconoclasm’,” says guitarist and singer Andrea Bignardi, and adds: “It has a lot of emotional content, because it’s inspired by the painting of Francisco Goya “Saturn Devouring his Children” that has always caused me chills down my spine. We tried to give our personal interpretation of the feelings that we had watching this painting.

With IconoclasmDescent Into Maelstrom wanted to do something completely nonconformist, going beyond the rules and the “trends” of the modern metal and music industry in general. To do so, the band composed the tracks following rules of the Dodecaphonic music, finding some of their sonority in something else rather than other metal music or artists.

In Bignardi’s own words: “We also wanted to do something particularly avant-garde and artistic, choosing a painting for each song. Doing so we wanted to give to whom will listen to this album another dimension and, we hope, a different kind of listening experience.

Iconoclasm is only the first step deeper into Descent Into Maelstrom’s continuous search of new sonority, as the band’s vision is to explore the “dodecaphonic” concept more on their future releases.

Watch a lyric video for “Saturn” below. Iconoclasm is out now and is available from Bandcamp

DESCENT INTO MAELSTROM line-up:

  • Andrea Bignardi – rhythm, lead guitar and vocals
  • Mattia Panunzio – rhythm and lead guitar
  • Pietro Buzzi – rhythm and lead guitar
  • Michele Castelnuovo – drums
  • Michele Augello – bass

Links:

Bandcamp

Facebook

Instagram

The post Exclusive: DESCENT INTO MAELSTROM Launch “Saturn” Lyric Video appeared first on Prog Sphere.

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/descent-into-malestrom-saturn-premiere/

After the launch of their second take on ‘Dodecaphonic Metal’ in the vein of Iconoclasm, Italian avantgardists Descent Into Maelstrom are releasing a lyric video for “Saturn.” Stream it below.

“‘Saturn’ is one of the most intense songs of ‘Iconoclasm’,” says guitarist and singer Andrea Bignardi, and adds: “It has a lot of emotional content, because it’s inspired by the painting of Francisco Goya “Saturn Devouring his Children” that has always caused me chills down my spine. We tried to give our personal interpretation of the feelings that we had watching this painting.

With IconoclasmDescent Into Maelstrom wanted to do something completely nonconformist, going beyond the rules and the “trends” of the modern metal and music industry in general. To do so, the band composed the tracks following rules of the Dodecaphonic music, finding some of their sonority in something else rather than other metal music or artists.

In Bignardi’s own words: “We also wanted to do something particularly avant-garde and artistic, choosing a painting for each song. Doing so we wanted to give to whom will listen to this album another dimension and, we hope, a different kind of listening experience.

Iconoclasm is only the first step deeper into Descent Into Maelstrom’s continuous search of new sonority, as the band’s vision is to explore the “dodecaphonic” concept more on their future releases.

Watch a lyric video for “Saturn” below. Iconoclasm is out now and is available from Bandcamp

DESCENT INTO MAELSTROM line-up:

  • Andrea Bignardi – rhythm, lead guitar and vocals
  • Mattia Panunzio – rhythm and lead guitar
  • Pietro Buzzi – rhythm and lead guitar
  • Michele Castelnuovo – drums
  • Michele Augello – bass

Links:

Bandcamp

Facebook

Instagram

The post Exclusive: DESCENT INTO MAELSTROM Launch “Saturn” Lyric Video appeared first on Prog Sphere.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/news/lunar-comfort-single/

Ahead of its release on November 6th, Sacramento prog metal act Lunar has launched a video for the song “Comfort” taken from the Eidolon album. The animated video for the song, which features Haken‘s Richard Henshall playing a guest guitar solo, can be viewed below.

Alex Bosson, drummer and founder of Lunar, commented:

I’m very excited to get to debut the song ‘Comfort’ from the new album.  Already, this early on, it seems to be a fan favorite. I think it has a good diversity with some aspects of pop, rock and, of course, metal and I think it turned out really well. Plus getting to have a guest solo by Rich Henshall of Haken is a big honor for me. The video was done by Miles Skarin of Crystal Spotlight and he did such a phenomenal job! I hope everyone out there enjoys the song and the video as much as I do!

The core line-up besides Bosson features bassist Ryan Price and singer Chandler Mogel, who previously appeared on Theogony, in addition to NovaReign’s guitarist Balmore Lemus. Eidolon also includes guest contributions from members of Leprous, Haken, Caligula’s Horse, Fallujah, Thank You Scientist, among others.

Eidolon can be pre-ordered here. Prog Sphere has previously premiered the “Hypnotized” single.

The post LUNAR Release New Single Featuring Richard Henshall of HAKEN appeared first on Prog Sphere.

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/news/lunar-comfort-single/

Ahead of its release on November 6th, Sacramento prog metal act Lunar has launched a video for the song “Comfort” taken from the Eidolon album. The animated video for the song, which features Haken‘s Richard Henshall playing a guest guitar solo, can be viewed below.

Alex Bosson, drummer and founder of Lunar, commented:

I’m very excited to get to debut the song ‘Comfort’ from the new album.  Already, this early on, it seems to be a fan favorite. I think it has a good diversity with some aspects of pop, rock and, of course, metal and I think it turned out really well. Plus getting to have a guest solo by Rich Henshall of Haken is a big honor for me. The video was done by Miles Skarin of Crystal Spotlight and he did such a phenomenal job! I hope everyone out there enjoys the song and the video as much as I do!

The core line-up besides Bosson features bassist Ryan Price and singer Chandler Mogel, who previously appeared on Theogony, in addition to NovaReign’s guitarist Balmore Lemus. Eidolon also includes guest contributions from members of Leprous, Haken, Caligula’s Horse, Fallujah, Thank You Scientist, among others.

Eidolon can be pre-ordered here. Prog Sphere has previously premiered the “Hypnotized” single.

The post LUNAR Release New Single Featuring Richard Henshall of HAKEN appeared first on Prog Sphere.