This month, I had so many bands on backlog to review, that I decided to do a Triple Feature all by myself. In this post, you’ll find three of the more exciting ones that I didn’t have lots of words to describe, but I still feel they deserve your time.
Sometimes, amazing music can come through the mind of just one person. Corque is the name of a solo project from Australian artist Chris Warren. His debut album is called “Far Out”, which is meant more with a sense of wonder and distance, rather than as cool 90s slang. I have to say, though, that I’m very impressed with what I hear from Chris.
The music style here is progressive metal, though being “metal” really isn’t the point. Corque offers instrumental tracks with tons of energy, immersion, and plenty of “wow” moments. I would say that you would find the melody and purposeful guitar phrasing of Plini here, only mixed with the rumbling polyrhythms of bands like Karnivool, Intervals, and other modern prog metal artists. Everything feels fresh and new, and the amazing drums and breezy keys certainly add a sense of urgency and purity to the music. On top of that, the mix sounds great, letting the keys and bright melodies bleed in past the hefty grooves.
All five songs are absolute monsters. The first couple tracks, “Awake” and “Steal Away”, really blow you away with the depth of everything going on, but then “Spliced Again” and “Gruff” show a different side, offering stranger sounds and different song structures. “Spawn” is my favorite, though, as it is melody-heavy and cinematic. Overall, “Far Out” is an excellent way to spend around 30 minutes of your time. I recommend picking up a download, and definitely pay something to this artist!
Grill is yet another Australian band that first garnered my interest through the amazing artwork for their debut album, “The Eternal Presence”. The band consists of Kalon Captain on drums, Andres Rodriguez on guitars and vocals, Jarrah Dhyan on guitars, and Robert Mouat on bass and vocals. This is an album that I’ve been considering for a few months now, and I feel like I finally have some words to say about it.
Let me just say that this album is weird as hell. I constantly found myself saying to myself, “What in the world, guys?” For that reason, I can’t help but like it to some extent, but it definitely has to become a labor of love to grasp exactly what the band is trying to do here. Honestly, that makes the album all the more interesting because it really is outside the box and you really don’t know what is coming next.
The band mixes rock edge with a nostalgic prog sounds, but with strange melodies, weird instrumentals, and this feeling that they are figuring things out as they go. You won’t really hear the standard soloing or epic moments here. No, the band focuses more on bluesy grooves, understated melodies, and odd ideas. So, while they have a bit of 70s to their sound, they also sound modern. They definitely are influenced by jazz to some extent, too, and also world music.
The singer caterwauls a bit here and there, reminding me of singers that can be found in prog metal epics and even 70’s classic rock. Combining that with the mix I described above, and you have an album that feels colorful and eccentric, even though there aren’t many non-standard instruments present. In fact, this album is the least technical of the three in this post, but this is the only album that I’m still trying to figure out fully.
The album is only five tracks long, though they total about 40 minutes in length. All five tracks are pretty different and honestly pretty difficult to describe. I do specifically like “Circadian Patterns” with its organic and rhythmic sound. I also like the ending track “Voyager” for its feeling of setting out into the unknown. All of the songs evoke various feelings. In the end, “The Eternal Presence” is a solid debut for a band that I think has tons of potential. Check them out and give them some support!
Hago is a band that, surprisingly, hails from Boston. They have a sound that definitely does not sound American, and I mean that as a compliment. The band consists of Nerya “Goosbumps” Zidon on sax and guitars, Yoel “Shredmeister” Genin on guitars, Tom “Tombarland” Bar on keys, Guy “#Swagalicious” Bernfeld on bass, and Yogev “Idon’tplayunlessit’sin19\16” Gabay on drums.
Yes, the band has a sense of humor, even calling their musical style “Falafel Djent”. Humor aside, these guys are seriously talented musicians. I would personally describe their musical style as Egyptian electronic jazzy post prog rock/metal. It really is an interesting mix that you won’t hear anywhere else. That description basically means you get jazzy sax mixed with electronic accents and a Middle Eastern vibe, with some metallic moments and driving rock guitars at times, plus the general feeling that these guys wanted to make something bigger than “prog”, almost like it was on a dare.
The album itself clocks in at just over an hour long, which honestly might be a little too long for its own good. Regardless, the album offers lots of variety, even surprising you with vocals around halfway through the album. Outside of that, you will especially be drawn in by the delicate Egyptian melodies being played on sax, the driving guitars that appear from time to time, and the ominous and cinematic ideas that are littered throughout the album. My favorite tracks are “Gefilte Kabab” for its spectacular ending, and also the extraordinary “Ancient Secrets” which mixes so many genres that your head will spin. “Dawn of Machine” is also a great short track, but exemplifies the great sound design and cinematic qualities of the album. All of the tracks are pretty amazing, though.
Overall, this self-titled album puts sounds into play that I’ve literally never heard, and it’s all done with ease, humor, and technical ability. Hago is one of those bands that could make the next progressive masterpiece, and I fully expect that from them once their ideas gel even further in their minds.
Find Corque online:
Find Grill online:
Find Hago online: