Metanoia – s\t (Australia, 2016)
Modern prog rock, kinda in the vein of Karnivool or Porcupine Tree. While some ideas are good, the arrangements are maybe lacking elements\fullness in places. The vocal performance seems very low in confidence and enthusiasm, resulting sometimes bland. I’d also say that the songs are very similar one another. Didn’t hear anything new or unexpected, but this is definitely a nice debut, and the production is discrete too. Fair starting point.
Hate & Merda – La Capitale Del Male (Italy, 2016)
Follow-up to the duo’s debut “L’Anno Dell’Odio”, it carries the same sludge-ambient aesthetic but slightly expanding on the drone\noise side of things. A Sunn O))) influence is more explicit in the opener, for instance. The nihilistic spoken words, the band’s trademark, are still present. Muddy riffs and screams as well as more meditative ambient tracks is what you’ll find.
Sikth – Opacities EP (UK, 2015)
The modern metal masters have made their comeback after 9 years of silence. So, cough cough, Periphery, Destrage, and all of you folks in the “wave”, please step aside and welcome the pioneers back home. This condensed 6-track effort confirms everything Sikth has ever been: a groovy, wacky, creative powerhouse which never forgets about what at the end of the day remains the most important thing in music, actual songwriting. A very enjoyable kind of “best of” set of tracks which encompasses all of the band’s traits as we got to know them in the early 2000s, and with enough diversity to keep you interested, spanning from full-energy tracks to sort of power ballads while passing through a spoken, slam poetry piece. Nothing terribly new for 2016, but f*ck that, Sikth are back so that hopefully means new material incoming! I bet you’ll keep this on repeat and you’ll come out of it with melodies stuck in your head and awesome inventive riffs tickling at your fingertips. Let me tell you, I sure did!
Giulio Carmassi – The Innocent (Italy, 2016)
The Italian multi-instrumentalist genius of Pat Metheny Group fame comes back with a second independent solo album. After 2013’s mostly instrumental and jazz-oriented “Enter To Exit”, “The Innocent” is a chiller, simpler, kinda pop-soul and more vocal-based collection of songs with a somehow cinematic quality. Yet again, top-notch arrangements and incredible vocals. For a name-your-price release, this is a must-have.