NEGATIVEHATE: Solipsis

Negativehate began in 1995 and have had a lot of ups and downs and especially lineup changes, but the one thing that remained after all of this was the guarantee of music that is challenging and full of emotion and talent. Based in Monroe, NY the band is comprised of Mike Stewart (keys, vocals), Eric Stewart (bass), Chuck Scandura (guitar, vocals), Sergio Sanchez (drums), and Freedom Scheyd (guitar, backing vocals).

The music is a mix of many styles; ambient, prog rock, alternative, and post-metal, but it all seems to work in their favor creating a sound that will astound and confound in places. The songs are mostly long and do have meandering parts like “The Expansion of the Universe (via magnification of the infinitesimal)” does, but you find yourself just going along and floating during those moments and then when it gets heavy and the growled, almost death metal vocals come in, it fits perfectly. The songs on the album are conceptualized after a story of the same name also written by the band, so it has a definite meaning to it and actually makes for a great listen. This is not an album to throw on and party along to, unless you have really weird parties….and I want to party with you! This is one of those listen to it in one shot to get the full effect of the music, even though you will find tracks that stand out more for you like I did with “The Expansion of the Universe (via magnification of the infinitesimal)”. The songs do flow from one to the next without a lot of difference between them, but that’s not a complaint, it just makes the whole thing work in ways that most just can’t seem to do.

Give your ears a treat and freak them out a bit with the time changes, vocal variations and other non-traditional sounds on here and let them grow and evolve into something better than just holes where sound goes in, but turn them into something special and lovely, but demented at the same time. A great listen and one that just seems to get better the more I listen to it.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/NEGATIVEHATE

https://negativehate.bandcamp.com/

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AURGANIC: Distant Echoes & Close Encounters

Aurganic is an experimental electronic/alternative studio project of two long-time friends Michael Kossov and Leo Pisaq. Originally high school classmates, they were members in a number of local punk rock bands until life and distance separated them for a number of years. They reconnected musically in 2010 finding a lot of common ground. This time it was electronica, art rock, and jazz that dominated the ideas. The reunited duo recorded instrumental sessions in New York and worked on their completion via internet resulting in a self-titled EP. Rooted in friendship, the project proved its longevity with four independent releases to date. Hailing from the Toronto/New York area, Aurganic’s sound revolves around experimental electronic elements blended with rock, post-rock, progressive rock and indie rock ingredients.

“Signs” has multi-layered vocal harmonies, intelligently placed electronics, and some crunchy guitar drives and starts off the album on a definite high. “Empires” has a Muse feel to it, but without sounding like a copycat with the electronics and guitars creating a great mix that makes the track stand out. “Invincible (In The Shadows)” has strong harmonies and continues the high quality of the previous songs. “Levitate” is a fantastic electro-pop song and is one of the best tracks on the album filled with great tracks. “Distant Echoes” has a slow melodic vibe that gives a nice change to the album, and also has great guitar playing. “Shaman” is a ballad with vocals electronically treated, acoustic guitar and very able drumming. The closer “Close Encounters” is an all-instrumental track that shows off the progressive leanings of the band and makes for a great ending to a fun album.

With various styles and textures, this album really gives the listener something to sink their teeth into and an exciting listen that makes you want to hit the play button again. Go out and give your ears a treat and pick this one up.

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/10/aurganic-distant-echoes-close-encounters.html

https://www.aurganic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Aurganic/

PATRICK GRANT: A Sequence Of Waves (Twelve Stories And A Dream)

Patrick Grant is originally from Detroit, now living in New York City, he studied at the world-famous Juilliard School and worked with Billy Joel and Quincy Jones on an international project for the Millennium, and in his work with Robert Fripp (King Crimson, Brian Eno, and David Bowie) & The Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists. The musicians on the album include Patrick Grant on guitar, bass, viola, piano, keyboards and percussion; John Ferrari on drums, mallet instruments and percussion; Nick Didkovsky on guitar; Dan Cooper on 7-string electric bass; Lynn Bechtold on violin; and Dan Barrett on cello.

A thirteen track, all instrumental album that has many moods and feels, like a soundtrack to an exciting movie that you want to keep listening to. With some rock, classical and progressive, you have a mixed bag with more choices than going out to a buffet. “Lucid Intervals” opens the album with strings, chimes and hand drums and sets you off on a great start. “Driving Patterns” has great electric guitar playing, piano, peppy percussion, and a fun drum beat. “Seven Years At Sea” has a field recording of echoed and looped vocals from the Hoffpauir sisters (Elita, Mary, and Ella), which was recorded in Louisiana in 1934. I have only touched on a few tracks here, but really, you can’t go wrong when you hit play, just pick a track and it will thrill you and take you away on an exciting trip.

Grab a copy and visit somewhere else, a place you may not have any idea where or when it is, but you will definitely enjoy the trip. A collection of songs that will keep you coming back for more and listen to over and over again, and keep a smile on your face at the same time.

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/10/patrick-grant-sequence-of-waves-twelve.html

http://www.peppergreenmedia.com

https://www.facebook.com/patrickgrantnyc

MAVARA – Consciousness

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Mavara is Iran’s first and premier progressive rock band, now based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and the name Mavara translates to “beyond everything you think.” The band was formed in 2001 by composer/keyboardist Farhood Ghadiri and over the years has had a fluid line-up of members, but currently Mavara is comprised of Ghadiri along with Ashkan Hamedi (vocals and guitar), Sina Khodaiefer (bass), Anis Oveisi (keyboards), and Jim Welch (drums).
Starting off with spoken word, “Invasion (636 Gregorian Calendar)” has an 11:39 running time that grabs you and gives you a look at how good they are at playing, as well as where the album is heading. The album has a flurry of dynamic vocals, shape-shifting rhythms, and technical guitar work and really gives the listener a lot to ingest as a first track. “Love for Centuries” begins with a haunting piano line, a great melody and just a great flow of emotions followed by the emotive vocals of Ashkan Hamedi. “Living the Fast Life” there are some truly soulful moments on this song, such as the fantastic guitar playing accompanied by terrific drumming. “High on Power” is almost a ballad and has a strong vocal performance that really stands out. “Consciousness” closes out the album the piano playing really impressed me, the additional keyboards and swirling guitar effects make this a monumental song.

With so much talent and the ability to grab your ears, this band really takes you on a journey and makes you want to hear more from them. With three other albums out there, this is proof that bands from countries you never think about can rock your ass off.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/09/mavara-consciousness.html

https://www.facebook.com/mavaraband

http://www.mavaraband.com/

https://mavara.bandcamp.com/album/consciousness

JACQUI L: PLANET PARALLEL 5

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Australian prog artist Jacqui L has released her debut album that is a conceptual piece that has ten tracks of intriguing music that will capture your attention. She states that she is a scorpion/alien from the planet PP5, but let’s not hold that against her.

Starting with an a capella that did nothing for me, I thought that this was going to be a hard listen, but then comes the first song with its Middle Eastern sound and then it started to happen, “Frankenstein” got into my head and I had to hear more. “I’ll Covet” has a great chorus and is a pretty heavy track that I just loved from the start. As I continued to listen, the songs became better and better, maybe this alien was corrupting me through her music, you never know. With great songwriting and tight playing, this was continuing to draw me in and then I got to “Cold” which had a great ‘70s vibe to it and almost a Supertramp sound to the keys.

I was thinking that this was going to be some sort of pretentious tripe, but it really was a fantastic album from start to finish. The people from planet PP5 are coming, and they can take me as their slave, as long as I can listen to this over and over again.

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/09/jacqui-l-planet-parallel-5.html

http://www.jacquil.com/

https://www.facebook.com/PlanetParallel5/

https://jacquil.bandcamp.com/releases

WINTER CALLING: Faces

Formed in Florida in 2013, the band began as a side project between Wayne Hoefle (percussion, piano, and keys), who was composing film scores at the time, and guitarist Ian Medhurst who was touring with national recording artist John Wesley. They soon recruited Texas-bred bassist Tim Gilbreath, and finally to Los Angeles-based vocalist Chris Hodges. They have released two albums and some new videos for their latest album Faces.

This progressive metal band has a powerful sound that I couldn’t get enough of and had to listen to “Not Like You” over and over again. The song is tight, full of emotion and vocals so strong, Superman couldn’t stop them if he tried his best. Chock full of energy and a chorus that got stuck in my head, I listened to the song at least four times before continuing. “Follow Me Down” has more subtle moments in it, a quieter moment here and there, but not wimping out, just not as in your face, and is another amazing track that makes you amazed at the talent in this band and the ability to create such blistering sounds. “A New Me, A Few Me” has whispered vocals mixed in with growling, angry vocals and it adds a sense of menace to the song that carries onto the music which is played both heavy and more subtle in parts. The song has a creepiness to it that is both scary and sends the hairs on your arms on end with the beauty of it. The whole album is great with so many songs that are sure to become favorites, but these are the ones with videos out and ones that you would be able to listen to first and get an idea of the album, which is a treat to listen to.

This band just became one that I will be playing in my car over and over again, especially now that the weather is nice, I will be rolling down the windows and cranking this up loud. I suggest that you grab a copy and do the same.

http://www.wintercalling.com

https://www.facebook.com/wintercalling

MATT CHANWAY: Self-titled

Coming from the death metal band Assimilation, Vancouver, BC’s Matt Chanway has his debut self-titled solo record out now that has hints of his day-job band in it. The one major difference between the two projects is that this solo album is all instrumental.

I will be honest, instrumental albums are far from my favorite things to listen to, mostly because I love hearing vocals, something to grab a hold of and keep my interest throughout, but with that said, I did still enjoy this album. This is a bit more in the progressive sound, but still straight up metal, no Pink Floyd noodling here, plus no guitar wankering like Malmsteen. Each track on here ranges from roughly six to eight minutes in length and has enough changes in the songs to keep things sounding fresh and interesting. The added drums (drum machine) and bass really help to keep things flowing and giving the album a depth and thickness. All of the playing is tight and extremely focused with the songs not going on for too long or becoming boring. You can hear the love of playing the guitar that emanates from the fingers of this extremely talented player with song after song of thrills and heavy shredding. I actually liked all the songs the same on this release, mostly because they were tight, heavy, interesting and energetic, and without a vocalist that sometimes can ruin a good album with weak or over-the-top histrionics.

Yes, I did enjoy an instrumental album, luckily the technicality wasn’t overbearing, the songs were engrossing, and the guitar was played with heart and pure talent. This is not an album just for shredders, it’s for anyone who wants an album of great metal that will get your head banging and wear your air guitar out.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/03/matt-chanway-self-titled.html

https://www.facebook.com/mattchanway/

http://mattchanwayguitar.com/

https://mattchanway.bandcamp.com/releases