Articles by Ben Jones
Australia’s progressive metal lunatics return after a six year break. Heavy and stirring in equal measures, Exul is a welcome return, but fails to pull the band forward.
A Man and His Nature is an album about isolation, soaked in isolation, recorded in isolation. A dark, brooding slab of European post-metal.
Massachusetts’ cosmic post-metallers hit a wall on album number three. Radiant Bloom is everything you could want from an Astronoid album – unfortunately, its very little else.
Prolific Dutch mastermind Arjen Lucassen reunites his Star One project for another blast of movie-inspired prog metal. With an army of guests in tow, Revel in Time benefits from a break with the overarching plots of Lucassen’s other projects to bring a sense of fun to the sci-fi craziness.
Former Warning man Patrick Walker strikes it alone with a lyrical collection of heart-wrenching ballads. Poetic and bleak in equal measures, Perfect Light gives us a glimpse into tormented yet beautiful mind.
Maybeshewill return with a dark slab of ecological angst, No Feeling is Final shows a band with passion, rage, and even glimmers of hope.
Norwegian progressive beast Leprous return with one of their finest statements to date. An eclectic journey through depression, Aphelion offers moments of both darkness and light within its murky depths.
Magnificently miserable, CROWN excel at crafting atmospheric tension. The End of All things is polished, considered and comfortably the band’s finest work to date.
Dark, dangerous gothic heavy metal with a progressive edge. Los Angeles natives Witherfall reach for the next level on album number three.
Umeå’s favourite sons return to round out A Dawn To Fear era with their usual skullcrushing panache. Perhaps not vintage Cult of Luna, but an enjoyable post-metal romp nonetheless.
A slab of dark, dirty, diabolical doom metal brought to you by the Primordial’s Alan Averill. Alchemical Warfare’s grime-flecked production and insistence on dragging itself out may grate with some, but ultimately only add to the evil aura.
Veteran Swedes stick rigidly to their melodic death metal template. Fans will find plenty to love here, but ultimately Moment feels like a band going through the motions.
Showcasing the lighter, more accessible side of the black metal titan, Pharos is an intriguing listen, and an excellent appetiser between major releases, but ultimately feels somewhat diminished without the Norwegian’s heavier side.
Norway’s avant-garde experimentalists return with their 14th studio album, a follow up to 2017’s The Assassination of Julius Caesar.
The Texas quartet have created a well crafted and beautifully tragic sci-fi story over a single, 32-minute track. An enchanting curiosity.
A captivating blast of ambient post rock, Kent-based moodsters debut is brimming with menacing melancholy, but unfortunately Mayfly ultimately ends up feeling a little bit too slight.
Bristolian maniacs Phoxjaw pull a plethora of influences together for their debut album, creating an unpredictably madcap adventure that, defying all logic, somehow feels coherent. Manically aggressive, yet oddly beguiling.
Long Distance Calling push very few boundaries with their conventional brand of post-rock, but How Do We Want to Live? refines the band’s more metallic take on the genre into a beautiful yet menacing package, all wrapped up with a thought-provoking sci-fi concept.
German veterans completely abandon their black metal past in favour of an arty goth rock sound. Black House is a bleak and melancholic experience, with some darkly sublime moments, but may leave older fans cold.
The veterans of British doom metal return with another slab of dirty depressive darkness. Obsidian sees Paradise Lost reintroduce more gothic elements, yet still maintain the same monolithic heaviness that has brought them such success.
Norwegian progressive metallers make a welcome return, with their grandiose sense of gothic excess still firmly intact. Leaves of Yesteryear spends a little too long wallowing in the past, but is a bold if somewhat disjointed reinvention.