Exist’s Max Phelps on new album “Egoiista,” life for the band since their last album, advantages of longer songs, music teaching, Chuck Schuldiner’s lasting legacy, and so much more!

Exist

Baltimore, MD’s Exist have a deep lineage across the metal spectrum and with some of the most heralded bands in history. So it should come as no surprise they’ve made a splash since their mid 2000s debut or that they’ve shared tours with many elite bands. Their first two albums were an encyclopedia of how progressive metal is done and now with their third, Egoiista, ready to roll they, yet again, hold a masterclass in how to stay atop this crowded genre and dive deeper into their own mechanics to make this junior effort their best yet. Continue reading

Album Review: Black Crown Initiate — “Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape”

Black Crown Initiate - Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape

Black Crown Initiate made a splash with Song of the Crippled Bull, an EP that crawled deep into my skin and never left. On Selves We Cannot Forgive, they had struck gold with the balance of death metal and progressive tendencies that many would compare to the sound Gojira explored on Magma, albeit with a more melodic dissonance that made the album a delight to listen to. With this in tow, Black Crown Initiate managed to avoid the second album pitfall and now had a new direction to explore: whether their progressive tendencies could bloom into full technical mastery with an experimental edge. With the release of Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape, Black Crown Initiate has succeeded in this regard, creating an album that shows adept mastery into their craft while also revealing just how deeply emotional they can be. Continue reading

Profile: Denver, Colorado’s Hydraform

Hydraform

No doubt some truly amazing metal has come out of Denver, Colorado over the years and although Hydraform is not a new name from this scene, they are still a young band with one full length and one recently released, self-titled, EP under their belts. Their sound falls comfortably between accessible modern metal and cranial prog which allows them to set deep hooks early then dazzle with intricate technicality and groove. We recently had the chance to ask the band our set of Profile questions and as you read through their responses you’ll get a feel for where they are coming from and how their influences shape their sound. Be sure to hit the links contained within to show them some support.
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The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Wilderun’s Evan Berry on their latest album, patience waiting on a major label, cancelled touring plans, Berklee College of Music, and more!

wilderun-band

Wilderun have, in a short timeframe, become a household name for progressive heavy metal fans and on the strength of their third full length Veil of Imagination, first for Century Media, they quite firmly place themselves at the forefront of thinking man’s progressive metal. We all need a reason to jump, cheer, and throw the horns right now and this band, and new album, is reason for all this.
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Album Review: Hail Spirit Noir — “Eden in Reverse”

hail spirit noir - eden in reverse

The breadth of what constitutes “heavy music” continues to expand in ways that infuriate some listeners even as it brings new ones into the fold.  For every band pushing gain and clipping, blast beats and screaming to new extremes, there are an equal number challenging the notion of what it means to compose and execute heavy music, and Hail Spirit Noir, long leading that charge on their previous progressive black metal opuses, have with Eden in Reverse cast off all remaining shackles of expectation and created a revelation of psychedelic progressive rock that stands as both a natural evolution of their sound and a reinvention of what that sound is. Continue reading