Thursday, May 27, 2010 3 Engineers

Album: Smallman - Labyrinth Of Present

Band: Smallman
Album: Labyrinth Of Present
Label: Self Released
Year: 2010

01. Irreversible
02. Ocean
03. Ouroboros
04. The Life Of The Yellow Leaf
05. 7
06. The Cube
07. Labyrinth Of Present
08. Odyssey

Smallman is a Bulgarian ethno-alternative band. With their second album they show a growing maturity implemented in some heavier guitar riffs, bass lines and outlined rhythms. Vocals, along with the Bulgarian bagpipes and armenian pipe, bring a hypnotic atmosphere to balance the aggressive environment. Heavy, ambient, mature and Bulgarian are the words taken to best describe this second piece.

The band:
Tzvetan Khadjiiski - Vocals, Bagpipes, Percussions
Ivan Todorov - Guitars
Stefan Penev - Bass Guitar
Andon Trapkov - Drums

Friday, May 21, 2010 0 Engineers

Album: Collapse Under The Empire - The Sirens Sound

Band: Collapse Under The Empire
Album: The Sirens Sound
Label: Sister Jack
Year: 2010

01. The Sirens Sound
02. Grade Separation
03. Violet Skies
04. Beware/Lost
05. A Different Complexion

Collapse Under The Empire is an instrumental/post-rock duo from Hamburg / Germany. They formed 2007, when Chris Burda and Matthew Jason got together to develop their own music under the name of "Collapse Under The Empire". They both released the first four songs for the EP "Paintball" in summer 2008. After that they came up with their self-produced albums, "Systembreakdown" (Feb. 2009) and "Find A Place To Be Safe" (Jan. 2010). Six months after the appearance of their second album, "Collapse Under The Empire" put out "The Sirens Sound". The new album will be out over "Sister Jack" on May 28th 2010. The appropriate single "Grade Separation" was pre-publicized on April 16th 2010.

Official Site
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 6 Engineers

News: Isis...Sad But True

Good Night!

ISIS has reached an end. It's hard to try to say it in any delicate way, and it is a truth that is best spoken plainly. This end isn't something that occurred over night and it hasn't been brought about by a single cataclysmic fracture in the band. Simply put, ISIS has done everything we wanted to do, said everything we wanted to say. In the interest of preserving the love we have of this band, for each other, for the music made and for all the people who have continually supported us, it is time to bring it to a close. We've seen too many bands push past the point of a dignified death and we all promised one another early on in the life of the band that we would do our best to ensure ISIS would never fall victim to that syndrome. We've had a much longer run than we ever expected we would and accomplished a great deal more than we ever imagined possible. We never set any specific goals when the band was founded other than to make the music we wanted to hear and to play (and to stay true to that ideal), so everything else that has come along the long and winding path has been an absolute gift. As with any momentous life-changing decision (which this certainly is for the 5 of us), we feel a very dynamic range of emotions about this and cannot express all of it within the space of a few sentences, and perhaps it's best to do what we've always done in and let our music speak for us. It is and has been the truest expression of who we are as a collective and in some ways who we are as individuals for the 13 years in which we've been together. The last and perhaps most important thing we might say in relation to all this is how grateful we are for the people that have supported us over the years. It is a lengthy list that would include those who put out our records, those that played on them and put them to tape, the many bands with whom we shared the stage, all of our family, friends and companions who supported us in our individual lives and thus made it possible for us to continue on in the band, and most importantly those who truly listened to our music whether in recorded form or by coming to out to our shows (or both). It is quite true that we would never have done what we have without those people, that is many of you who are reading this. Our words can never fully express what we feel, but we hope that our music and the efforts made to bring it into being can serve as a more proper expression of gratitude for this life and for everyone in it. Thank you.

In more immediate and practical terms the tour we are about to embark upon is indeed our last. We are hoping that these final live rituals can help us bring a close to the life of this band in a celebratory and reverent way, and also provide us with a chance to say goodbye to many of those that have supported us over the years. While there is a measure of sadness that comes with the passing of this band, we hope that the final days can be joyous ones during which any and all that wish to come and join us will do so. It seems fitting that the last show of the tour and of our active existence will take place in Montreal, the site of the very first ISIS show in 1997 (though that was an unintentional move when booking the show initially). After the tour we also plan to follow through with other projects set in motion some time ago - pursuing the completion of a final EP, compiling live audio and visual material for future releases, and generally doing whatever we can to make our music available for as long as there are people who wish to hear it.

Thanks again to any and all,

ISIS, May 18, 2010

0 Engineers

Album: Hammock - Chasing After Shadows... Living With The Ghosts

Band: Hammock
Album: Chasing After Shadows... Living With The Ghosts
Label: Hammock Music
Year: 2010

01. The Backward Step
02. Tristia
03. Little Fly-Mouchette
04. Breathturn
05. In The Nothing Of A Night
06. Andalusia
07. The Whole Catastrophe
08. The World We Knew As Children
09. Dust In The Devil's Snow
10. How Can I Make You Remember Me
11. You Lost The Starlight In Your Eyes
12. Something Other Than Remaining

Chasing After Shadows…Living with the Ghosts is Hammock's fourth album, following up 2008’s Maybe They Will Sing for Us Tomorrow, the “studio performance” recording of music written for Hammock’s first-ever live show, given at the overseas debut art exhibition of Riceboy Sleeps/Jonsi & Alex (Jonsi Birgisson of Sigur Ros and Alex Somers of Parachutes). While “Maybe…” captured the duo stripped back to an irreducible minimum, with Byrd and Thompson writing and recording wordless and rhythm-less music using only their electric guitars and pedal boards, “Chasing…” is a massive sonic cathedral, meticulously crafted layer upon layer, dressed up with live, acoustic instruments (drums/percussion, horns, and strings) and pure analog tones.

Byrd and Thompson are quick to point out that while the sound of “Chasing…” stands in stark contrast to “Maybe…”, the process was the same. Byrd explains: “This record isn’t a reaction to ‘Maybe…’ but an extension of it. With ‘Maybe…’ we were stretching ourselves by setting strict limitations. With the new album, we were stretching ourselves by setting zero limitations.”

Transcending a mere listening experience through its emotional intensity and sheer beauty, "Chasing After Shadows...Living with the Ghosts" seems able to convey one's innermost longings into sound, making for an indescribable affirmation of the spirit.

Friday, May 14, 2010 0 Engineers

Album: The Flight Of Sleipnir - Lore

Band: The Flight Of Sleipnir
Album: Lore
Label: No Colours Records
Year: 2010

01. Legends
02. Of Words And Ravens
03. Asgardreid
04. Fenrisulfr
05. The End Begun
06. Black Swans
07. No Man Will Spare Another
08. Winter Nocturne
09. Let Us Drink Till We Die

Sleip∙nir -(slāp'nir) Odin's eight-legged steed, and the greatest of all horses. The off spring of Loki and the gray stallion Svadilfari, Sleipnir, the swiftest on the earth could bear Odin over sea, through the air, and to and from the land of the dead.
The Flight of Sleipnir was formed in the winter of 2007 by David Csicsely (Acheronian Dirge, Nexhymn, ex-Throcult) and Clayton Cushman (Acheronian Dirge, ex-Throcult). The project stemmed from a desire to explore ethereal and progressive sounds with lyrics that explore the rich literature of ancient Scandinavia. Keeping elements of their other projects and building a foundation upon doom and vintage metal, they released the demo "Wisdom Calls For Sacrifice" in 2008. After the release, a debut live appearance took place on the winter's solstice, which has since become an annual occasion. Immediately after the performance, the duo started forging their debut album "Algiz + Berkanan," a concept record exploring the secrets of the aforementioned runes which has since then been officially released on No Colours Records. In 2010 they released "Lore", their second full album.

Official Site
Saturday, May 08, 2010 0 Engineers

Album: thisquietarmy - Aftermath

Band: thisquietarmy
Album: Aftermath
Label: Basses Frequences
Year: 2010

01. The Hierarchy of Angels
02. Heaven and Earth
03. The Iron Harvest
04. Melted Lead on Ashen Fields
05. Finding the Fallen
06. Unearthing the Past

Eric Quach is a guitarist and sound engineer who performs under the name thisquietarmy. He is also the guitarist and founding member of the Montreal-based instrumental rock band Destroyalldreamers (Where Are My Records, Claire’s Echo).

As thisquietarmy, a one-man solo drone/ambient project, Quach composes visual guitar-based soundscapes and experimental music that goes beyond the typical song structure. By exploring his guitar as a tone generator, he furthers the boundaries of his instrument with the use of multiple effect processors & real-time loop-samplers, alternating the guitar signal’s shape and tone, blending textures over textures, merging a wide combination of sounds together and developing the melodies hidden in these walls of sound. Concrete musical ideas are often generated by the re-interpretation, the decomposition and the reconstruction of its own improvisations.

Official Site
Friday, May 07, 2010 0 Engineers

Album: Midas Fall - Eleven. Return And Revert

Band: Midas Fall
Album: Eleven. Return And Revert
Label: Monotreme Records
Year: 2010

01. Movie Screens
02. Century
03. Bright Lights Will Harm No-One
04. Nautical Song
05. My Radio Star
06. Half Horizon
07. War Pigeon
08. Fog Sky Nun
09. 17
10. Stalking Moon
Download (link removed after request, but check out the band. They worth it!)

Drawing influence from artists such as Radiohead, Oceansize and Portishead, Edinburgh based alternative rock outfit Midas Fall create epic, melodic, atmospheric music with strong progressive and post rock undertones and haunting, melancholic vocals.

Following the release of debut EP ‘Century’, the band embarked on a UK tour and have since received airplay from BBC 6’s Tom Robinson as well as several regional stations.

2010 kicked off with bang when the band secured their first headline show at King Tuts with London band The Bookhouse Boys, followed by a support slot with Japanese post-rockers Mono at a packed-out Oran Mor.

“Fronted by inimitable Elizabeth Heaton, she surprises with a strong display of vocals, asserting her position throughout the album…the debut from this Edinburgh quintet remains an engrossing listen…” Rock Sound magazine

Midas Fall has crafted a great piece of art with Eleven. Return and Revert, and just like Edinburgh’s stunning architecture, the band’s music stands out like a beautiful landmark…captivating and eerie…a heartbreaking masterpiece…” Delusions of Adequacy

“Listening to the album is an intentionally dark experience but there’s no sense of contrivance or insincerity and there’s a lot to admire in the complexity of song structure and harmony. ‘My Radio Star’ and ‘Nautical Song’ in particular, are stunningly accomplished and demonstrate hallmarks of the band’s sound.

Eleven…is an overwhelmingly enjoyable and notably competent debut and shows a band with an intricate understanding of their own style. The challenge will be to go even better than this in future.” - 9/10, Is This Music?

Official Site

Thursday, May 06, 2010 2 Engineers

Album: Toundra - II

Band: Toundra
Album: II
Label: Aloud Music /Astoria /Narshardaa /Criminal Attack
Year: 2010

01. Tchod
02. Magreb
03. Zanzibar
04. Voland
05. Danubio/Danube
06. Koschei
07. Bizancio/Byzantium

Toundra is a band from Madrid, Spain emerged in 2007, as Phoenix, from disappeared ones Nacen De Las Cenizas, who left a good taste in mouth among national hardcore followers, despite the brief of his career. In this case, the new creature has decided to dispense vocals and provides us with an entirely instrumental sound where guitars, bass and drums take on the entire role.

After some demo from before, the quartet is introduced with his first selftitled album, recorded in Sandman Studios with Carlos Santos (ex Terroristars) production at Studio Tailor Maid in Sweden by the prestigious Peter in the Betou (Arch Enemy, Opeth etc.). Through the excellent work of both, the band has managed to translate into plastic the suitable environment for the structures development and the intensity of highs and lows that characterized the band.

At times it may recall to bands like Isis, Neurosis or Pelican as Mogwai or even to the more progressive and less metal Tool.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010 7 Engineers

Album: Rosetta - A Determinism Of Morality

Band: Rosetta
Album: A Determinism Of Morality
Label: Translation Loss Records
Year: 2010

01. Ayil
02. Je N'en Connais Pas La Fin
03. Blue Day For Croatoa
04. Release
05. Revolve
06. Renew
07. A Determinism Of Morality

Somewhere around a year ago, Rosetta posted the following on their MySpace blog:

'Tonight at practice we had this collective epiphany where we threw off the shackles of the whole "post-metal" thing and decided that WE'RE DONE WITH 105 BPM. BRING ON 150 BPM! So we wrote our ENTIRE NEXT RECORD in an hour, and it's the fastest, craziest, kick-in-the-nuts thing since 1999.'

Underneath the facetiousness is some real frustration. Rosetta have always been uncomfortable being branded as a 'post-metal' group, to the point where the g section on their Facebook page currently reads 'Anything put "post"'. To be fair, their debut The Galilean Satellites bears more than a passing resemblance to the NeurISIS sound. Rosetta, however, have always been a staunchly DIY band and so the similarities to that genre are far more aesthetic than ideological.

This frustration seems to be the driving force behind A Determinism of Morality (ADOM from here on), Rosetta's third full-length and a real stylistic evolution. Far from being written in an hour, ADOM feels like a meticulously crafted piece of work that takes all of Rosetta's best qualities and shifts them towards a faster, more streamlined aesthetic. ADOM takes far more cues from post-hardcore acts such as Gospel and Frodus than it does from post-rock or metal, adopting techniques like gang vocals ("Revolve"), stop-start dynamics ("Ayil") and fast, ballsy riffs ("Renew"). But ADOM isn't just a "kick-in-the-nuts" either. Each song hosts some of the most beautiful and delicate moments of the band's career to date. As Wake/Lift did to a lesser extent, ADOM almost completely eschews traditional post-rock build-ups in favour of a more dynamically consistent approach to structure.

Instead of easing us in to the evolved sound, ADOM begins with its fastest, most jarring track. Much like Wake/Lift's opener "Red in Tooth and Claw", "Ayil" is a demonstration of the group's mastery of dynamics and full of anthemic, fist-in-the-air moments. Vocalist Mike Armine delivers one of his most intense performances to date underneath the song's galloping drumming and noodle-y guitar work. Indeed, all of the band members seem to have improved their playing both in technique and diversity. Drummer B.J. McMurtie's playing on previous releases was fancy and dynamically tasteful, but on ADOM he also proves he can rock the **** out with the best of them. Dave Grossman has always taken a solid, meat-and-potatoes approach to his bass playing (the perfect complement to Matt Weed's noisy, all-over-the-place guitar) and ADOM sees him becoming more adept, taking a more active and melodic role. Matt Weed's guitar is perhaps the thing that most sets Rosetta apart from their peers and his techniques are improved considerably here, like with the noisy stop-start riffing at the end of "Ayil" or the tasteful tapping at the end of "Renew". Weed's playing, however, moves away even further from being solely riff-based and sees him combining brutal, tight metal riffs with heavily delayed ambience that finds its niche equally in soft moments and in heavy ones.

"Ayil" is almost hardcore in its structure, riffing, and speed while still retaining the ambience and atmosphere that is crucial to the Rosetta sound. The rest of the album is equally straight-forward. "Je N'en Connais Pas la Fin", one of the best songs in the band's career so far, starts with a straight beat until vocals burst in and then gradually gets heavier until the song ends. The song avoids cliche by staying loud the entire time with guitar parts shifting from picked riffs to start-stop powerchords to spacey lead lines to tremolo picking and finally to chugging, Meshuggah-esque riffing. "Revolve", another highlight, follows a similar structure and employs gang vocals in conjunction to pretty, shimmery riffing to create one of the album's most emotionally poignant moments. "Blue Day For Croatoa" is the lone exception to the straight-forward approach of the rest of the album, being a short ambient piece in the vein of "(Temet Nosce)". Almost all ADOM's tracks stay below the seven minute mark and it's perhaps fitting that the one that exceeds it is the album closer. "A Determinism of Morality" clocks in at almost eleven minutes, not a second of which is wasted. The album version is improved in every way from the demo version that has been floating around the internet for about six months now. The drumming is more crisp and dynamic, the guitars are more clear and defined and the vocals are even more in-your-face. As a demo, the song was already one of the best Rosetta tracks to date. Now, fully realised, in all its glory with added gang vocals, "A Determinism of Morality" is a defining song that condenses everything great about Rosetta into a single track.

For me, what makes Rosetta a great band is their ability to combine all of their instrumental tricks and techniques, their tightness as a band, and their fondness for major-key prettiness into big, loud, expansive, heavy pieces. Their music in its final form becomes a wholly visceral experience because of the meticulous forethought that goes into it. ADOM adds dimensions to that sound, making it hit even harder on a gut-level but also crafting it into a more dense, thoughtful experience. In its brevity and evolution, ADOM is Rosetta's best work to date. -

Official Site
Monday, May 03, 2010 0 Engineers

Album: God Is An Astronaut - Age Of The Fifth Sun

Band: God Is An Astronaut
Album: Age Of The Fifth Sun
Label: Revive Records
Year: 2010

01. Worlds In Collision
02. In The Distance Fading
03. Lost Kingdom
04. Golden Sky
05. Dark Rift
06. Parallel Highway
07. Shining Through
08. Age Of The Fifth Sun
09. Paradise Remains

They formed in 2002. Their name was inspired by a famous quote from the movie Nightbreed.They released their debut album The End of the Beginning (2002) on their own Revive Records label. Their two music videos for "The End of the Beginning" and "From Dust to the Beyond" received airplay on MTV UK and on other MTV European networks.

All Is Violent, All Is Bright (2005) is the band's second album. The single "Fragile" from the album received plays on MTV2 UK's 120 minute show and MTV's show The Comedown. God Is an Astronaut released an EP called A Moment of Stillness in 2006. Their third album, Far from Refuge, was released in April 2007 on Revive Records and as a download via their website. Their fourth, self-titled album God Is an Astronaut was released November 7, 2008 on Revive Records. In late 2008, the band began working on a new EP. However, they later announced that they would be releasing a new album instead, entitled Age of the Fifth Sun, which is planned for release on May 17, 2010.

Official Site
Preorder CD | Vinyl

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