What are you listening to now? - The Infinite Edition
Alphaville - Imperial Triumphant
Imperial Triumphant made a pretty big splash in the more progressive Extreme Metal community with their 2018 release Vile Luxury and they're back with an art-deco inspired release here in 2020. I wasn't as huge of a fan as others when it came to Vile Luxury, and I'm glad I came into this release unbiased because it improves on their sound in almost every single way. I think this album requires quite a bit of time to sink in, and I plan on giving it quite a few more spins to figure it out. With this release and Oranssi Pazuzu's Mestarin kynsi, 2020 is proving to be a massive year for avant-garde inspired Black Metal.
4/5 (for now)
Voivod - "Dimension Hatröss" (1988)
The fourth album from Canadian four-piece Voivod is a beautifully realised & highly consistent avant-garde progressive metal excursion that may just be the band's best work. I think the goofy vocal style probably limits its appeal for me personally but it's very hard to deny the sheer ambition & professionalism of this release. In fact, you're extremely unlikely to have heard anything like it. For fans of Vektor, Coroner & Watchtower.
maudlin of the Well - "Leaving Your Body Map" (2001)
The second of Massachusetts-based progressive metal outfit maudlin of the Well's duo of classic 2001 albums is also my favourite of the two. It takes a similar direction to "Bath" &, as with that release, I think the avant-garde element is over-stated a bit. There are certainly a couple of tracks that sit comfortably in that space (see " Stones of October's Sobbing" & "The Curve That to an Angle Turn'd") however the rest of the album sounds more fluent in its execution of an ambitious form of progressive metal that's strongly influenced by a diverse array of bands like Morbid Angel, My Dying Bride & The 3rd & the Mortal. Also consistent with "Bath" is the strength of the gentle folk inclusions. In fact, I'd go so far as to suggest that I regard the sweet indie folk ballad "Sleep Is A Curse" as the highlight of the album. There are no weak tracks here as this a high class release full of intrigue & artistic expression. It's perhaps just slightly more consistent than "Bath" was although they essentially go hand in hand. For fans of Kayo Dot, Thy Catafalque & Forgotten Silence.