Artist: Fallujah Album Title: Dreamless Label: Nuclear Blast Records Date Of Release: 29 April 2016 ‘Dreamless’ represents my first foray into the world of Fallujah but it most definitely won’t now be my last. Hailing from San Francisco, this heavy metal behemoth has produced a startling third album which has to be heard to be […]
Artist: In Mourning Album Title: Afterglow Label: Agonia Records Date Of Release: 20 May 2016 In Mourning is a name that that have flitted around the very edges of my consciousness for a few years now. ‘Afterglow’ however, takes the Swedish quintet out of my personal periphery and re-positions them at the very forefront of […]
Artist: Novembre Album Title: Ursa Label: Peaceville Records Date Of Release: 1 April 2016 This album has proved to be one of the most difficult to write during 2016 so far. And the reason for this is the simple fact that this album has had me torn in two for such a long time. However, […]
Artist: Spiritual Beggars Album Title: Sunrise To Sundown Label: Inside Out Records Date of Release: 18 March 2016 If you’re looking for a musical experience to surprise you and offer something completely different from what has gone before, I wouldn’t recommend Spiritual Beggars to you. Theirs is not a blueprint that seeks to challenge listeners […]
Artist: InnerWish Album Title: InnerWish Label: Ulterium Records Date Of Release: 18 March 2016 I’m going to begin this review by stating that I know nothing of InnerWish. Or at least, I didn’t until I decided to give this album a try having been sent the promo. I mean, it would be rude not to […]
Artist: Thunderstone Album Title: Apocalypse Again Label: AFM Records Date Of Release: 1 April 2016 The Blog Of Much Metal seems to have been inundated with albums that have a strong power metal influence recently. Arguably however, this is the most straight-up no-nonsense power metal record of them all. And it comes in the form […]
Take a big paper bag. Got one? Good – now toss in some 1970s King Crimson, some Frank Zappa, a bit of the 1969 ‘Crims, a healthy dose of their 80’s classic “Discipline“, a large amount of 90s-era ‘Crims, some Steely Dan, a bit of Toto, a very healthy quantity of the 1970s ECM catalog, a pinch of Edvard Grieg, a modicum of Steve Reich, a soupcon of Ulrich Schnauss’ textures, and some 50’s and 60s Blue Note Records for good measure. Got it all? Great. Now shake.
Keep shaking. Shake hard.
Right. That’s enough shaking. Now: Dump out the contents of your paper bag, and you should get the music of Seven Impale – “City Of The Sun”.
“WHO?” I heard someone in the back ask.
Let’s turn to their label, Karimsa Records, for some details:
SEVEN IMPALE consists of Stian Økland on vocals and guitars, Fredrik Mekki Widerøe on drums, Benjamin Mekki Widerøe on sax, Tormod Fosso on bass, Erlend Vottvik Olsen on guitar and Håkon Vinje on keyboards, and was formed in Bergen, Norway in 2010. The album itself, which was recorded and produced at the Solslottet and Duper Studio by Iver Sandøy, who has produced bands such as Enslaved and Krakow.
The band’s second release, due out in September of this year (2014), is a fantastic Progressive Rock album. Rock? Check. Jazz? Check. Progressing the genre? Oh yeah. Moody, light, heavy, melodic, pounding, dark, making the odd-meters groove? Yup. Most certainly.
Let me tell you, when I first heard the opening track “Oh My Gravity!” from a post on reddit/r/progrockmusic, I flipped. “What the…”, I said to the paper cut-out TARDIS sitting on my crowded desk. “Who are these guys? What is this? This the some of the best progressive rock I’ve heard this year!”, I said. The track starts out in the middle of the dynamic range, and by the final third of the song is heavy, heavy, heavy. Slamming guitars, saxophone, key changes that add tension to an already tense situation, rhythmic pounding that slams home the point… and finally the guitar and bass and B3 get us back to a contemplative solace: “…2000 years, and counting“.
Here’s what the press release from label Karisma Records has to say:
Whilst the prevailing influence throughout “City Of The Sun” clearly lies within the Classic Progressive Rock genre, SEVEN IMPALE’s music actually transcends several genres fearlessly and with deceptive ease. The five musically complex tracks that form the album are each distinctly different, something that only a lineup of musicians from a variety of disciplines as diverse as classical orchestra and big band, metal and jazz, and rock and electronica, could hope to create.
That’s a good description, thank you record-label-person.
The production is clear, the writing and arranging very creative, and the dynamic range between quiet, mid, and heavy is produced beautifully. These guys are not shy about getting heavy, and even less shy about melody and harmonic movement. They’ll pound their fists on the table one moment, and sing about it with their saxophones the next.
One moment complicated, complex; the next elegant and simple; one moment it’s a nightmare of prime-number-fueled angry metal, the next a gorgeous and plaintive melody, the album is a joy-rode through eidolons, fever-dreams, textures, philosophy, contemplation, quiet rumination, and angular rage.
Jason Rubenstein is a musician and technologist living in San Francisco, CA. His music can be found at http://music.jasonrubenstein.com and can be reached at jason-(a)-jasonrubenstein.com.