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This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/bandcamp-undercover/wroht-worship-rot-bandcamp-undercover/
Wroht

On Worship Rot, the San Francisco Bay Area death metal crew’s debut full-length album, Wroht deliver what is without a doubt one of the best death metal debut albums of the year so far. This is a record deeply indebted to the old ways of death metal, drawing inspiration from early Morbid AngelPestilenceDeath and Obituary, with a few tasteful modern stylistic flourishes. The result is an album which sounds refreshing on every level, in its honest and unabashed emphasis on the ancient art of sick riffcraft in the service of merciless, crushing death metal.

As quite a few tracks on the album convincingly demonstrate, this is a band whose relentlessly heavy death metal is all shred, bruising grooves and downtuned thrashy riffs. The brutal riffs are surprisingly technical given their more traditional inclinations, but never anything less than instantly memorable and neck-injury-inducingly heavy. Frontman Ivan P’s howls are another fantastic old-school throwback, and drummer Mitchell T. puts in a sterling performance behind the kit. The dense, chainsaw-like guitar tone is a kick to the teeth, and owes something to Morbid Angel’s classic albums Gateways to Annihilation and Altars to Madness, a perfect pairing if there ever was any. The guitarwork by Joey B. and Paul O. is really what sets this album apart, with ferocious old-school riffs.

Worship Rot

The punishing rhythms and grooves on “Slaughter of the Mibd” never let up, and the band only slows down briefly in order to sink into even heavier, grinding grooves. The opening of “Blood Ritual” with the pounding guitar riffs and prominent bass is a pretty clear nod to Polish greats like Vader, but the album transitions naturally back towards their closer North American influences and their assault renews. The opening section of “Lead You to Your Light” is one of the heaviest moments of any song so far this year. The album packs in a dizzying array of whiplash-inducing riffs, leaving the competition in the dust. Worship Rot clocks in at just above 40 minutes, which is absolutely perfect for a record this unrelentingly heavy. The production is relatively clean but gives every instrument enough room to breathe without being compressed or loud in a way which can make albums like this a testing listen.

Worship Rot is without a doubt one of the best death metal albums of the year so far. It demonstrates a single-minded devotion to delivering a bruising but memorable death metal album, free from gimmicks or pretentious experimentation. This is an album to play loud and on repeat. Get it from Bandcamp.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/umae-echo-lyric-video-premiere/
UMÆ - Echo

After successful launch of their debut single “Turn Back Time” via PROG Magazine, international progressive rock outfit UMÆ are back with a new track taken from their upcoming full-length Lost in the View which comes out on December 18th. New single titled “Echo” — available now via Spotify and Google Play Music — once again features guest contributions from John Wesley (solo, Porcupine Tree) on vocals and Conner Green (Haken) on bass, in addition to guitarist Eric Gillette (The New Morse BandMike Portnoy’s Shattered Fortress) who is playing an enticing solo. Watch a lyric video for the song below.

Commented UMÆ guitarist Antony Cliplef: “This is our straight ahead rocker for the album, full of energy and attitude in all the riffs. I remember the main riffs for ‘Echo’ coming together at Faders Music, the store I work and teach at in my home town. I was tuning up, and playing guitars, and I just sort of came up with the first couple riffs of ‘Echo’ at that time. When Guðjón and I were discussing making music, prior to my first trip to Iceland, I would occasionally send video and audio clips, as well as MIDI files of music I was working on. So, I filmed this riff and sent it off to Guðjón. Later on, during the demoing phase, I brought it back up, but this time with a bit more of a structure to it.

He continued: “This song was one that we had almost zero idea what direction to go in with the drums. It remained as the drum-less demo on our album until we got together with Samy and he went to work on carefully crafting the drums to reflect the energy buried within the riffs. His drums made for this awesome groove that Conner was able to lock onto and really highlight in his performance. After I was back from my second trip to Iceland, I managed to catch Eric Gillette performing in Florida. I had known him for his playing in The Neal Morse Band, as well as his involvement in Mike Portnoy’s Shattered Fortress. I had been thinking of having a guest soloist on this track, and he had impressed me so much over the last few years that I decided to contact him. Before long, he got back to us with a real badass solo. This is also the second song featuring John Wesley on lead vocals. He did an incredible job of capturing the power, energy, and attitude of the track with his great vocal dynamics and character.

Lost in the View is out on later this year. Save new single “Echo” to your library on Spotify and Google Play Music.

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This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/bandcamp-undercover/death-of-an-astronomer-bandcamp-undercover/
Jairo Estrada

Death of an Astronomer is a brainchild of guitarist, keyboardist and composer from Los Angeles, Jairo Estrada, and what we have here is his debut single with the project.

There is more than enough of a variety to keep the music present in “Digital Conversation” from sounding stale or rehashed. Although DOOA’s true calling lies in melody-driven progressive metal guitar, the stylistic curveballs here are fully-realized and sound great. This fine tune is an excellent example of the musician’s skills as a multi-faceted composer. There is a very cinematic feel to the song, not surprising considering everything that’s been said so far.

It’s time for some more music now!

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/uncategorized/vane-interview/
VANE's "Rise to Power" is Pirate Melodic Death Metal You've Been Longing For

Krakow’s VANE are a new force on the Polish melodic death metal scene. After last year’s promo release ‘The Prologue,’ the five-piece is set to launch their full-length debut album ‘Black Vengeance‘ this November 30th. Topping groovy hooks of their instrumental work is a story about a pirate’s life. Guitarist Robert Zembrzycki answered our questions about the group’s formation, the name of the band, the upcoming album, and more. Hit a play button on the video below, and enjoy reading.

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Hello! First of all, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to answer this interview. How are you?

Hello and thank you. I’m super busy with all the promotional hassle around Black Vengeance, but it’s good to finally be promoting something that we’ve worked on for the past year, so I’m a bit tired, but I’m very proud and very happy.

Where did you get your band’s name from?

The answer is very simple – from Charles Vane himself – the fiercest and most brutal pirate to ever sail the seas.

If you had to describe your band’s sound in short terms, how would you? 

It’s a nice blend of groovy riffs, machine-gun drum onslaught and all manner of growling and screaming vocals, but it’s a mix enriched with interesting melodies, some cool arrangements and an occasional tip of the hat to way more melodic and easy listening subgenres of metal.

What are the bands that have inspired you most with regards to your own music?

I think it will come as no surprise, that we like Lamb of God, Machine Head, DevilDriver, but we’re also fans of classic heavy metal.

What’s the story behind the formation of VANE?

I’ve always wanted to play something together with Mateusz (Gajdzik) – we’ve been friends for a long time. And around the end of 2016 we decided to make it happen. The beginning was rough, but with Mateusz pushing me very hard, we managed to create something, that people will hopefully like.

Vane - Black Vengeance

You have an album coming out on November 30th. What do you have to say on the concept behind “Black Vengeance”?

Basically it’s a chronicle of a pirates life, one particular pirate, who was quite a peculiar character. The hints about who he is are scattered all around the lyrics, artworks and even on the cover of the album. We’ve just taken a few liberties with the story, to make it more compelling, more cinematic if you will, to draw the listener in and make him or her fall in love with the Golden Age of Piracy the way we did.

How do you think the music interacts or reflects on the themes you’re touching on in this album?

Well, these are no shanties, let me tell you that! We tried to compose the tunes that were beating inside our hearts, while also rolling out this grand story and adorning it all with pirate imagery. The music itself does not invoke images of the sea, but I think it fits the lyrics just right, and after all, there are many ways to tell the same story.

What went into the writing process of “Black Vengeance”?

Well, boatloads of work, tons of coffee, blood sweat and tears… some friendships on the brink of ending, some studio dramas, some nervous breakdowns and household warfare with our wives and girlfriends, twenty-something sets of strings, but most importantly – tons of passion. Yeah, I think that’s a complete list.

VANE (Poland)

What’s the idea behind the artwork? It’s one of the best covers I’ve seen in a while.

Thank you – it been done by our friend, Michal Loranc, aka Xaay. He’s an amazing artist and I’ve always loved his works. The idea was to create a design that would be deeply rooted in history and would invoke immediate association with old book cover or maybe an old label, but the again, we wanted it to be very detailed and polished the way only modern artworks are. And I think we achieved just that.

Poland is legendary for its contributions to metal. What’s the current scene looking like these days?

I think it’s quite healthy – all the good bands are still around and pushing on, carving their own path to success. We can’t wait to join all our friends on the stages of various clubs and festivals.

What advice might you have for other musicians, whether from a creative or business perspective?

Don’t do it! Seriously, go get a proper job! Jokes aside? If you have passion for music, and you have something to tell, musically and lyrically, then go for it, but do it either 200% or don’t do it at all.

What lies in the future for VANE?

We hope to tour a bit, show you some more videos that we’ve shot, and get to work on some more music for you. Be sure to follow us on social media, because there’s going to be a lot of nice things happening.

“Black Vengeace” comes out on November 30th; pre-order it here. Follow VANE on Facebook and Instagram.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/vane-interview/
VANE's "Rise to Power" is Pirate Melodic Death Metal You've Been Longing For

Krakow’s VANE are a new force on the Polish melodic death metal scene. After last year’s promo release ‘The Prologue,’ the five-piece is set to launch their full-length debut album ‘Black Vengeance‘ this November 30th. Topping groovy hooks of their instrumental work is a story about a pirate’s life. Guitarist Robert Zembrzycki answered our questions about the group’s formation, the name of the band, the upcoming album, and more. Hit a play button on the video below, and enjoy reading.

[embedded content]

Hello! First of all, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to answer this interview. How are you?

Hello and thank you. I’m super busy with all the promotional hassle around Black Vengeance, but it’s good to finally be promoting something that we’ve worked on for the past year, so I’m a bit tired, but I’m very proud and very happy.

Where did you get your band’s name from?

The answer is very simple – from Charles Vane himself – the fiercest and most brutal pirate to ever sail the seas.

If you had to describe your band’s sound in short terms, how would you? 

It’s a nice blend of groovy riffs, machine-gun drum onslaught and all manner of growling and screaming vocals, but it’s a mix enriched with interesting melodies, some cool arrangements and an occasional tip of the hat to way more melodic and easy listening subgenres of metal.

What are the bands that have inspired you most with regards to your own music?

I think it will come as no surprise, that we like Lamb of God, Machine Head, DevilDriver, but we’re also fans of classic heavy metal.

What’s the story behind the formation of VANE?

I’ve always wanted to play something together with Mateusz (Gajdzik) – we’ve been friends for a long time. And around the end of 2016 we decided to make it happen. The beginning was rough, but with Mateusz pushing me very hard, we managed to create something, that people will hopefully like.

Vane - Black Vengeance

You have an album coming out on November 30th. What do you have to say on the concept behind “Black Vengeance”?

Basically it’s a chronicle of a pirates life, one particular pirate, who was quite a peculiar character. The hints about who he is are scattered all around the lyrics, artworks and even on the cover of the album. We’ve just taken a few liberties with the story, to make it more compelling, more cinematic if you will, to draw the listener in and make him or her fall in love with the Golden Age of Piracy the way we did.

How do you think the music interacts or reflects on the themes you’re touching on in this album?

Well, these are no shanties, let me tell you that! We tried to compose the tunes that were beating inside our hearts, while also rolling out this grand story and adorning it all with pirate imagery. The music itself does not invoke images of the sea, but I think it fits the lyrics just right, and after all, there are many ways to tell the same story.

What went into the writing process of “Black Vengeance”?

Well, boatloads of work, tons of coffee, blood sweat and tears… some friendships on the brink of ending, some studio dramas, some nervous breakdowns and household warfare with our wives and girlfriends, twenty-something sets of strings, but most importantly – tons of passion. Yeah, I think that’s a complete list.

VANE (Poland)

What’s the idea behind the artwork? It’s one of the best covers I’ve seen in a while.

Thank you – it been done by our friend, Michal Loranc, aka Xaay. He’s an amazing artist and I’ve always loved his works. The idea was to create a design that would be deeply rooted in history and would invoke immediate association with old book cover or maybe an old label, but the again, we wanted it to be very detailed and polished the way only modern artworks are. And I think we achieved just that.

Poland is legendary for its contributions to metal. What’s the current scene looking like these days?

I think it’s quite healthy – all the good bands are still around and pushing on, carving their own path to success. We can’t wait to join all our friends on the stages of various clubs and festivals.

What advice might you have for other musicians, whether from a creative or business perspective?

Don’t do it! Seriously, go get a proper job! Jokes aside? If you have passion for music, and you have something to tell, musically and lyrically, then go for it, but do it either 200% or don’t do it at all.

What lies in the future for VANE?

We hope to tour a bit, show you some more videos that we’ve shot, and get to work on some more music for you. Be sure to follow us on social media, because there’s going to be a lot of nice things happening.

“Black Vengeace” comes out on November 30th; pre-order it here. Follow VANE on Facebook and Instagram.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/bandcamp-undercover/haaze-swamp-mama-bandcamp-undercover/
HAAZE

Well if judging by this upcoming EP by Red Deer, Alberta’s Sludge/Doom Metal power trio Haaze, 2019 seems to be another great year for the Metal genre. The group is set to release a follow-up to their 2017’s EP RIFF on January 7th.

At just 28 minutes in length, Swamp Mama is filler-free for the most part (barring the acoustic interlude “The Mechanic”), delivering six (technically five) tracks that bash and thrash and grind. Just a few seconds it the opening “Beast of the Bog” and Haaze already kick into high energy. It’s striking how important every member is. The drums by Alex Adamson force the song along. After “Beast of the Bog,” the group expertly tears through a series of skull-crackers, with guitarist and singer Mitchell Soloway and bassist / singer Jack Sutherland creating the foundation of the band’s sound. The record isn’t exactly the most original document ever created, nor does it aspire to be as such. The intensity is more than enough. There’s a certain beauty in such no-frills rock, in such meaty riffs and booming drums. This is the kind of release where the influences are obvious, but instead of governing the thought process they provide a foundation from which Haaze have built their identity. Swamp Mama is an unkempt affair.

Swamp Mama does have enough raw edge to make your metal and punk friends happy campers at your back-yard soiree. What the EP lacks by way of boundary pushing and newness, it makes up for with a cohesive sound and deliberate thickness. You won’t find the metal nerds cramped next to the speaker trying to figure out the riffs and beats; but to hell with it, it’s time to get out of mom and dad’s house and go party with the crew.

The EP is released on January 7th, 2019; pre-order here. Listen to the lead single and title track below. Read our interview with the band here.

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HAAZE - Swamp Mama

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/death-of-an-astronomer-interview/
Jairo Estrada

Death of an Astronomer is a Los Angeles-based instrumental progressive rock/metal one-man band by guitarist and keyboardist Jairo Estrada who back in September debuted a single “Digital Conversation.” We had an opportunity to chat with Jairo about his mission with the project, working on a single, and what we can expect in the future.

Define the mission of Death Of An Astronomer.

The mission from the beginning has always been to write music that I feel has no real limitations. I’ve always wanted to create music that was not only able flow across multiple genres, but I never wanted to be trapped in any sort of box. While I would definitely say DOAA is still metal/rock in the end, I love that I feel so inspired to write music that doesn’t have stay within the parameters of those genres.

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Tell me about the creative process that informed your recent single “Digital Conversation”.

I had been writing all sorts of stuff and didn’t know exactly where to go. I began to try strip things down as much as possible and figure out a way that I personally approach technical music but still infuse melody and keep it as simple as I could. Once I compiled a few riffs that I felt worked together, I started messing with keyboard sounds which ended up giving the song more to latch onto which I had been searching for some time.

Does “Digital Conversation” have a background story? What is your interlocutor in this conversation?

I’ve noticed more and more every day that we all including myself, are attached to our phones and other devices. I find that we sometimes would rather have a conversation through text messages over actually meeting in person and having a discussion, hence the title “Digital Conversation”. Even though it’s an instrumental song, I feel that you can still convey a feeling or idea through the music because the music itself is the voice. The riffs and keyboards are all speaking to the listener and can sometimes force you to listen closely to catch certain details which I feel work so well with this track. So, as I was writing this song, I was talking to some friends a lot but never seeing them in person and it only seemed like I would speak to them through this device whether it be because they live far away or just have a different work schedule that complicates spending time together. For whatever reason, this concept just stuck with me throughout the writing process.

Digital Conversation

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

I usually record any riffs that I come up with on my phone. Even though I just mentioned that I feel too attached to my phone, it serves a purpose as I am able to record anything in it and keep it for reference. I also tend to sit and play guitar for a long time and really memorize my riffs (for the most part) before I crack open logic or any recording software to begin any demoing. So, for this track, I had been writing for a while so once I memorized a few of the riffs, I would record short demos of them using logic and once I felt ready to officially record, I had memorized the entire song in my head. It was a very interesting process for sure.

Is the dynamic flow of the song carefully architected?

Yes definitely! It’s important to me that the song feels as cohesive as possible rather than a ton of riffs thrown together. I tend to dismantle my songs pretty quickly figure out which part sounds best in the arrangement. Once I wrote the intro, I knew that I wanted the following sections to get slightly heavier but not overdo it, which is why I feel that the breakdown at the end hits so hard. I love that this song has so many ups and downs and only repeats a few sections.

Describe the approach to recording the single.

Recording it was amazing. I worked with two very talented engineers who are also great friends. The main rhythm guitar tracks were recorded with my friend Ryan Williams. We used his Kemper which was awesome. We messed with tons of tones until we found the one that fit the best. Heavy but clear and dynamic. Then my friend Ryan Johnston helped me track all the other instruments. I never intended to be a sort of “one man band” type situation, but it was fun playing all of the other instruments aside from drums. This process was both fun and taught me a lot about analyzing my songs and narrowing down what fits and what can go, which is what I did a lot of while recording.

How long did it take you to complete the work on “Digital Conversation”

Between the writing process which took a few months because I was also working on other songs, and working around the engineers’ schedules I would say it took about two months. Tracking the rhythm guitars in an apartment and then recording everything else in a full-on studio, it did take some time to complete. I wouldn’t have it any other way as I couldn’t be happier with the result, which I have to thank my friends Ryan Williams and Ryan Johnston for helping out and being so amazing to work with.

What bands or artists influence you?

I have many different influences that range from so many genres. I would say bands such as Between The Buried And Me, Animals As Leaders, The Contortionist, Meshuggah to name a few, really helped me develope my style as a guitar player especially within the last ten years or so. They really showed me that you can create heavy, technical and progressive music and still work in some melody with ease. I also love bands like Thrice because of their heartfelt and enthusiastic songwriting. They in particular have changed the way I approach writing music and the way I play my guitar.

Jairo Estrada (Death of an Astronomer)

What is your view on technology in music?

Technology is a very interesting concept. I feel that it definitely benefits everyone including musicians. There are so many advances in gear every day and I feel that it will only progress more and more as the years go by. I also feel like technology has changed the way people listen to music for better or worse. Most people listen to music through streaming which is great because you can create playlists and share songs across the globe at the click of a button, but I feel it’s taken a lot of people away from what it’s like to listen to physical music such as cds which is what I always loved to do. Although, vinyl is huge again which is also really sick.

Do you see your music serving a purpose beyond music?

I guess I would like it to in some way. Not sure how but I guess if it brings someone joy then I guess it’s done more than I ever really imagined. It’s funny to think about that as I’ve always written music and not really given it a thought as to what anyone else would think of it. We’ll see if serves a purpose in time but for now I’m just so happy that anyone is enjoying even a moment of music I’ve put out there.

What are your plans for the future?

Well right now I am preparing something else to be released and I can’t wait for everyone to check it out. I have a lot of music I am working on and I will probably compile it all into an EP or a full length sometime soon. I also plan on touring as much as possible. That is one thing I have been looking forward to so when the time comes, DOAA will be out there in a city near you! I am extremely excited and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Support Death of an Astronomer and buy “Digital Conversation” from Bandcamp. Stay tuned with what the project releases next by following it on FacebookInstagram and YouTube.