ALBUM REVIEW: Polar Sun – Wax –  Wane


Rising from Brighton, United Kingdom, the genre-bending quintet Polar Sun (formerly known as Porshyne) self-release their new album Wax / Wane, which presents a mix of styles from electronic and Jazz to post-Rock and Math Rock. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: ZAHN – Adria


 

German instrumental three-piece ZAHN (featuring members of Einstürzende Neubauten and Heads) combines musical elements that might seem strange on paper, but make perfect sense on record. 

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EP REVIEW: The Callous Daoboys – God Smiles Upon The Callous Daoboys


 

Much like the Atlanta band’s name is a mocking twist on the Dallas Cowboys, their take on metalcore is a mocking twist on the genre. Normally this sort of thing is not my personal taste, and I write it off as MySpace metal, however these guys have perverted in such a manner that it appeals to me. They are aggressive yet highly skilled in the mathematics of their contorted riffing. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Black Duck – Black Duck


 

Black Duck can best be described as a supergroup featuring as it does key members of the Chicago music scene such as guitarist/bassist Douglas McCombs (Tortoise, Eleventh Dream Day), guitarist Bill MacKay (Broken Things, Sounds of Now), and drummer Charles Rumback (Colorlist, Leaf Bird). I confess to only really being familiar with McCombs due to his involvement in those bands who I’ve listened to for a number of years and hence why my interest was peaked when selecting this album for review purposes. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Avenged Sevenfold – Life Is But A Dream…


Avenged Sevenfold are potentially one of the most divisive metal acts out of the US since Metallica. All you need to do is look at their previous two albums, 2013’s Hail To The King & 2016’s The Stage to see the extreme polar oppositions these albums created. The former for how the band wore their Metallica influence on their sleeve, creating their own version of The Black Album, and then the following 2016 release throwing all of their previous influences and sounds up in the air, bringing in outside sources from the likes of Pink Floyd, and creating a wholly new progressive rock/metal experience. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Yakuza – Sutra


 

This experimental Chicago band has been toying with the dark sonic corners for over twenty years. It’s been eleven of those years since we have had a new album from Yakuza, and it is good to dive back into their land of twisted shadows. The focus has shifted to a more deliberate brand of heavy, that places them not far from the sonic zip code of older Mastodon. The differences are fewer guitar pyrotechnics and a much darker trajectory than the Atlanta progsters. Bruce Lamont’s baritone moan carries a hint of anger as the opening track is framed with dissonance. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Blood Ceremony – The Old Ways Remain


 

After a seven-year wait, psychedelic rockers Blood Ceremony are back with their new album The Old Ways Remain (Rise Above Records). This is their fifth record and it sees the Canadian quartet successfully add Folk, Pop, and Jazz elements to their already multifaceted, woozy psychedelic rock. 

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CONCERT REVIEW: Soen – Oceans of Slumber Live at Lincoln Hall


 

Chicago is renowned for being home to some of the country’s most acclaimed concert venues. Lincoln Hall resides just north of downtown and has been voted as one of the best spots for live music in the city by sites like Yelp and  Foursquare. The owners of Schubas Tavern opened their second location in 2009 in a hundred-year-old building and have been hosting transcendent live appearances since. Soen picked well to make this their Midwest stop on their one-month-long North American tour. 

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