This month, I have three very solid releases to share with you. These albums are good enough to feature on their own, but they just didn’t spawn many words in my mind, though they are of high quality. I have one metal, one post-prog, and one prog rock album for you, so I hope you can find something to like here.
Bioplan’s new EP “Epipath” is one of those records that I never knew I wanted. The primary musician here is Andi Kravljaca from Sweden. He handles rhythm and lead guitars, keyboards, and bass, but he has several guests on each track, too.
The primary purpose of Bioplan is to combine 80s synthwave with modern progressive metal. Now, I’ve heard some bands do this before, and the results were mixed. Bioplan, however, understands the strengths of each of these genres, and capitalizes on them. You will hear plenty of djenty, powerful riffs and grooves, but just as many atmospheric, spacious synth soundscapes. Andi weaves these two sounds together seamlessly and addictively.
You can hear this from the very first track, “Ingress”. Andi doesn’t hold back the retro sound at all. “Perspex Cassidy” brings the metal, and you’ll notice how purposeful and melodic the stabbing guitars are, too. One of my favorites is “Atomic Era Cocktails”, a seriously colorful track not afraid to break into dance grooves. Overall, “Epipath” is a triumph for what it set out to be, and I hope a full album is in the works.
Collectress’ debut could not be any more different than Bioplan. Rather than over-the-top color, Collectress offers something mysterious and subtle. The band hails from the UK, and includes: Alice Eldridge -on cello, Korg MS10, laptop feedback, piano, Rhodes, vocals, and percussion; Rebecca Waterworth on cello, piano, vocals, and percussion; Caroline Weeks on flute, guitar, Yamaha VSS200, piano, Rhodes, vocals, and percussion; and Quinta on violin, piano, Rhodes, Korg MS10, Yamaha VSS200, vocals, percussion, and saw.
As you can probably tell, there are many instruments and many layers involved with this music. Collectress plays what I would call post-prog, but with heavy psychedelic, folk, and ambient elements. Their music is quite abstract at times, presenting portions that are very dark or very bright. Honestly, some of the songs are unnerving and strange, almost liked they are laced with incense. It’s a hypnotic sound, one that will feel weird at first, but soon you will understand what the band is trying to accomplish.
Each track is pretty interesting, but I think that my favorites are “In the Streets, in the Fields” and “Roaming Bones”. The former is spellbinding and thematic, sounding like the bustle and urgency of the city, but then moving into the elegance and silence of nature. It honestly reminds me of the soundtrack to Song of the Sea as the children’s grandma drives them from the country into her city life. “Roaming Bones” is the album closer, and it feels evocative, ambient, and violin-led. It creates a 9-minute atmosphere that is beautiful and satisfying. The album as a whole has this effect, and I’m looking forward to exploring it further.
From the Dust Returned are a very interesting band. They come to us from Rome. The lineup includes: Alex De Angelis on vocals, backing vocals, and guitars; Leandro Nini on bass and harsh vox; Danilo Petrelli on keyboards; Andrea Vagenius on drums; Claudio Pelliccioni on Tibetan bell; and Roberto Cerrino as an actor.
“A Seven Days Long Wait” is grand record, one that knits in many different genres and eras. At first, you might think they are trying to emulate 70s-era progressive rock, and there is plenty of that particular sound here. You will also hear prog metal on a couple tracks, theatrical vocals, ambient portions, and an overall structure that screams “concept album”. The music can often feel untamed, colorful, and soaked in melody. One of the strongest points here is Alex’s lead vocals, as they are wild, expressive, and powerful. He leads the album down this road, throwing caution to the wind.
It’s difficult to pick favorites here, but “A Narrow Passage”, “White Noise”, and “The Undertow” are probably the standouts for me right now. “A Narrow Passage” is a balls-to-the-walls prog rock song with Alex wailing in grand fashion. “White Noise” is more reserved and spacious, and I love the guitars that come marching in eventually. “The Undertow” flirts with prog metal, and there are even harsh vocals. It, however, progresses smoothly through various genres, and it feels like a great representation of the whole album. This is a solid album, through and through, and I think music fans of various stripes can find something they will like.
Find Bioplan online:
Find Collectress online:
Find From the Dust Returned online: