Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pandoras.Box - Barriers

Artist: Pandoras.Box
Album: Barriers
Label: Clinical Archives
Year: 2009

01. A Modarete Breeze
02. This Tenderness
03. Golden Spoon
04. Arrows & Bows
05. Next To Mine
06. Dolphins & Seaquakes
07. Sight unseen
08. I Don´t Care
09. City Cultures
10. Chaos Back
11. You Master
12. Interlude
13. Virtual Sun
14. Minerals

Download Arrows & Bows (RMX)

One of the best moments during music discovery is the one when you hear an album the first time and instantly are addicted to it. To know that you will hear it over and over again, that after hours of mediocre or boring music you found a new pearl in the ocean of music.

The independent rock band Pandoras.Box from Lower Bavaria with their album Barriers gave me the last incarnation of such a moment. The album could as well be sold on CD, the quality of song-writing and production does not need to hide behind commercial releases. I would be surprised to not see their next release in stores.

Their sound reminds me of Muse’s rich instrumental arrangements and Blur’s distinct vocals. The album is very balanced and features both slow melancholic (Next to Mine) and fast paced (Golden Spoon) songs. Golden Spoon is my favourite (non remixed) song of this album. The song Interlude is an instrumental meditation with guitar and strings. The final song is a danceable Remix of the fourth track “Arrows & Bows” by Rampue which I personally like best because it frees the original song from its lethargy. -by (

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Oak Is Keeping - Animal Style

Artist: Oak Is Keeping
Album: Animal Style
Label: Self Released
Year: 2009

01. SiNk
02. No Kiss
03. How We Treat Girls
04. Tell Me These Things
05. Tempt
06. Book of Matches
07. Devil in the Truth
08. Burn It All Down
09. So Sweet
10. What We Live


Oak Is Keeping’s first full length studio album is a successful straightforward alternative rock album from a band that is still making a good name for themselves. Animal Style is a title that that leaves little to the imagination. That animalistic behaviour can be, and still is, very much a part of people. This is the subtle theme throughout but can also be given as a direct and obvious sign in the album’s first few tracks; most notably “No Kiss”. The solid direct guitar riffs matched with unison vocals sound like they challenge you to think about humanity – that were not as refined as we make ourselves out to be: “The human race cut off a nose despite the face – let’s split some hairs let’s see what were about” Animal Style can feel like it’s an opinion piece cloaked in a musical compilation. The words are as direct as the music in terms of delivery.

Delivery may be one of the most admirable qualities of the record. Almost every track sticks with the solid forms of traditional alternative rock but each guitar riff is set with a unique quality. Each song has a tight melody but perhaps the most interesting examples are seen at the end of the album. “Burn It All Down” and “So Sweet” definitely have the markings of a rock influence but they really use a more spacious sound with a recurring swoop of a fast drum line. In tone they sound more optimistic than the others but they still demonstrate the overall theme Animal Style tries to create. There are many sides to people, on the outside there may be subtle differences. Beyond that, we all share the endearing animal style theme of humanity.-by (

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sihr - Beneath The Twelve Mile Zone

Artist: Sihr
Album: Beneath The Twelve Mile Zone
Label: Self Released
Year: 2009

01. Russian Legs
02. Comes With The Territory
03. Working With Knots
04. Running Wild
05. Unbecoming Misdeeds
06. Kumari Kandam


Sihr are heavy, sludgy, fuzzed out metal with elements of experimental noise, progressive, psychedelia and stoner groves. For fans of Neurosis, Electric Wizard, Mastodon, Melvins, Clutch, Bongzilla, Intronaut, Big Business, Kylesa, Minsk, Young Windows, Cursed, The Sword, Mouth Of The Architect, Hawkwind, Ufomammut, 35007 etc.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rising Winter - In Times Of Great Storm

Artist: Rising Winter
Album: In Times Of Great Storm
Label: Self Released
Year: 2009

01. H0st
02. Remnants Of Society
03. New World Rising
04. pH45
05. Another Empty Shell
06. Hyperborea
07. Rural
08. In Times Of Great Storm
09. Upon The Winter Way
10. Rebirth
11. Where Moment Lasts Eternity


Formed in January 2009, with the idea of playing rock music, Rising Winter has achieved much in past couple of months. From its very beginning band was meant to be international project, a collaboration of musicians from around the world. Line ups came and went and recording became more or less a problem. Also due multiple composers band had too much space between sounds of the songs. From 18 composed songs, only 10 were selected for debut album “In Times Of Great Storm” which is finished recording and its being slowly prepared for mixing. Band decided to release the album as internet release.
Concerning the band line up, band is open to collaborate with session musicians but there are four permanent members in line up at this time – Nordawn, Dušan, Mathijs, Igor and Marko. The line-up is working on the second album whose recording is expected to start in October 2009. Much more work will be dedicated to it. Meanwhile work on small EP called “Svet U Ogledalu” is in progress. EP will be sang in Serbian and also available for free download when completed.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Backward Glance On a Travel Road - A Backward Glance On a Travel Road

Artist: A Backward Glance On a Travel Road
Album: A Backward Glance On a Travel Road
Label: Self Released
Year: 2009

01. Regular Barbary
02. Falling
03. Johny Got His Gun
04. In Absentia part I
05. In Absentia part II
06. Hier Régnant Désert
07. Approximativement Moi

As a musician and producer, I find it truly amazing to be introduced to something new that touches my mind so intensely, I not only hear the music, but I also feel and see the music. A Backward Glance on a Travel Road, or ABGOATR, is a project born of the group Hypno5e. Knowing the work of gifted, multi-instrumentalist Emmanuel Jessua and drummer Thibault Lamy, my first thoughts predicted pieces of intense, powerful progressive metal that the band Hypno5e master. I would have welcomed a new record of equivalent weight, but I was encouraged by this album’s alternative beginnings.

A dark mix of progressive rock, experimental landscapes, and unique emotional texture, infused with multiple layers of ethnic styles, instrumental arrangements and moments of vocal majesty, A Backward Glance on a Travel Road is not music for your average listener. It contains some moments of heartfelt sincerity that mercilessly pull on your hearts strings, and in the same moment, can send dark, threatening visions of evil though your mind seamlessly. Without a true category which to be placed, this collection can only be looked at as beautiful unique, art form from the minds of true innovators.

"Regular Barbary", hypnotic and desperate, takes some illusive vocal samples and intertwines them with colorful acoustic guitar to add a perfect level of dramatic appeal. This is beyond a song or a just a good tune. It is too grand to be attached to such a small label. A sonic painting would be a much more accurate description. The middle-eastern and Spanish influences make this piece live beyond ones hearing. The second, "Falling" expands on the same architecture and fills you with a feeling of sadness and dread, but somehow holds you comfortably as the voices sore. Again, the brush strokes paint a very powerful picture if you are listening carefully. It makes you visualize more than just listen. Threatening at times, but consistently beautiful.

The classically, progressive influences come out clearly within "Johnny got his gun". It is horror, sadness, gloom, and a touching stroke of pleasurable pain set carefully between each and every one of its notes. Clearly an experimental homage to both Dalton Trumbo's 1939 novel of the same name, and Metallica's "One," the overall production, use of dynamics and chanting of "S.O.S. help me" makes a truly frightening and brilliant ending to the song. The beginning cascade of "In Absentia part 1" floats down softly, but darkly. The overall shapes and musical arrangement achieved in this composition is tight and warming. Again, it is an audible, but truly visual experience if your ears are tuned carefully.

As the remaining half, "In Absentia part 2" reaches for your senses, it's mood follows an upward motion like ascending slowly to the light from a deep, dark pool. There is still an underlying coat of darkness but you can feel it climb to something powerful and bright. "Hier Regnant Desert," a rhythmically aggressive ride away from the heavier textures and space of the earlier pieces, it latches on and pulls you down a road of tight, thumps and clicks joined by the same mystical phrasing that makes the other pieces so inviting. By the time the vocal cadence appears, you are held captive. These musical journeys are full of change, adventure and stories waiting to be written. It has beautiful breath and stamina which over powers you by its conclusion. "Approximativement Moi" wraps up the piece with less detail but with huge scope and depth. Soundscapes with obvious restraint, its tone and ambient quality is fitting to end a great album of pure, human emotion. (-by Bryon Turcotte)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Caravels - The Earthling Sessions

Artist: Caravels
Album: The Earthling Sessions
Label: Self Release
Year: 2009

01. Dark Obsession
02. Snake Plissken
03. Flawless Victory


Caravels is 5-piece band from Las Vegas, Nevada, who play a unique brand of progressive hardcore, owing just as much debt to early screamo acts (Portraits of Past, City of Caterpillar) as they do to Botch and These Arms Are Snakes.