Apr 162019


(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new album by the French progressive death metal quartet Fractal Universe, scheduled for release by Metal Blade on April 19th.)

I am a HUGE fan of Fractal Universe and what they do.  I find myself, as a result, actually pretty perplexed (from within my small window view) at the extremely mixed opinions on this band across the scene.

It’s progressive death metal with the sort of oddball cross-genre hybridization that I feel we need more of.  The biggest complaint I’ve always heard about this band is that these guys don’t quite have an identity, or that they sound confused in terms of what they want to be. I strongly disagree with this assessment, and honestly wonder if people just don’t “get” it.  I don’t mean that in a pretentious way. I simply mean that I think people don’t get where this band is coming from, or make comparisons that are, in my mind, plainly wrong. Continue reading »

May 112017

(We present another edition of Andy Synn’s three-line reviews.)


That’s right, it’s time for the return of everyone’s favourite irregular (in more ways than one) column, Reviews in Haikus.

This time around it’s an intriguing mix of Icelandic Black Metal, American Doom, and French Prog-Death, so there should be something for (practically) everyone! Continue reading »

Jul 202015

ni art


(In this multi-part post that began last week, Austin Weber brings us his recommendations for some of the best albums released during the first half of the year. Part 1 is at this location and Part 2 is here.)


Ni are a French mathcore band whose madness you have to hear to understand, though to try to explain, they give off a demented Mr. Bungle vibe that’s paired with a hefty jazz influence and more mind-bending polyrhythms than you can possibly keep track of. Their new record, Les insurgés de Romilly, has been blowing my mind for the last week with its funky, headbang-inducing grooves and quirky, disorienting nature.

This record is an interesting exercise in combining highly technical, groove-oriented math-metal with prog and experimental inclinations. If death metal and other subgenres try to batter you with speed, then what ni do would be more akin to giving listeners a hit of acid and putting them in a vast, surreal labyrinth. Continue reading »