Archive for July, 2016

Prog Ireland Feature

Prog Ireland Feature

PROG
In This feature I shall be focusing on Irish Prog metal bands, and one I’m cheating with slightly as they’re UK based. Two of Four member’s are based in Ireland so I’m including them for that reason. I’m a big fan of prog music so this is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. There’s many different styles included here but all are prog in their own right. It’s a large spectrum of musical styles which is something people forget. These bands consider themselves prog and so do I. 

Shardborne 

Shard

Limerick based Shardborne play purely instrumental prog metal and are regarded as our best prog band here by many. The lads have been around for a few years now and really exceeded expectations with their album Living Bridges which was released in 2015.
Ciaran Culhane is also one of the heads of Bad Reputation. The people that bring us Siege of Limerick twice a year now.  
Check out their track “Room Within a Room” here! 

 

The Vicious Head Society 

Vicious Head Society

The Vicious Head Society is the brainchild of one man. Mr Graham Keane. He has assembled friends to aid him in this project which he has been working on for a few years now. As of this writing, it’s almost ready. Still a bit of work to be done by the man’s own admission but I’m really, really looking forward to hearing the finished products. The song I’ve linked here is possibly my favourite prog song by and Irish act. Love this song!
Check out “Abject Tomorrow” here and prepare to be amazed!

 

 

Hedfuzy

Hefuzy

Hedfuzy are also the brainchild of one man. Mr Pat Byrne in this instance. He has released an album with the aid of friends which is getting fantastic reviews and I can see why. One example,  THE MIDLANDSROCKS .COM (UK) “A MASTERPIECE 9/10”. 
Check out “Snakes” here. Great song! 

 

Snowblind 

Snowblind

Snowblind started off as a full on Thrash metal band and while they are still thrash at their core, they have recently gone in a very progressive direction with their output. I’ve been a fan of these lads for three years now and made sure to check them out at Bloodstock last year. Not straight ahead prog by any means here, but if you’re a fan of prog there’s lots of goodness to be found here! 
Check out “Past Lives” Here! 

MEGACONE

MEGACONE

MEGACONE are a band I’ve followed with great interest since 2014. I was running a two day indoor festival and by recommendation of a member of the last band on this list below I added them to the bill. They just about had a set at that point, but after that I knew this band were going to become something amazing! In that time since, they have grown and grown. Now highly regarded and constantly improving. They’re a great bunch too so their rise and continued success will always put a smile on my face! 
Check out “Absolute Magnitude” here! The title lives up to expectations..

 

Xerath 

XERATH 3

Xerath are a band I’m cheating with slightly here, but half the band are based in Ireland so I’m including them. The English keep trying to nick all our best people so I reckon we are owed this one! 🙂 
While they are not exactly prog in regards to their previous material, the new material is definitely going in a prog direction. They recently released a demo video to showcase where their next album is going and it’s prog all day long to my ears.
I’ve been lucky enough to see this band four times in recent times. Three of which were in the UK so I’m clearly a fan of this band!
Check out their new song “Regret” here!

  

That’s been my first Irish prog feature. If there’s any bands I may have missed or not aware of? Please let me know as I’ll happily cover them here. 
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Sixth Extinction EP Review

Sixth Extinction 

Sixth ext

I was recently sent on this EP by Clonmel based Sixth Extinction and have already listened to it seven times. I have to say I’m very impressed by this EP. They mix groove, hard rock influences and loads more with a bit of prog also in there. It’s very much an original sound for this country at present. Their vocalist Liam Ryan sounds very much like Zack Wylde, but with a much heavy range also in his arsenal. He has a really fucking good band behind him too as the man himself would also have! 
The EP kicks off with “Defiance”. A really solid opening track and one of the first things you notice is they have a really good drummer in Grzegorz Skowroński. That’s a good Tipperary name! I bet he can hurl with the best of them… 🙂 Start to finish this a solid track with many times changes. Great riffs, amazing drumming, and a prog type slow down, builds back up and then into a great guitar solo. A really good start here! 
We then move into “Para/Lies”. Which is full of slow/fast heaviness. Loads of groove and great riffs/leads. I’ve linked this one below so give it a spin. 
“Eulogy” is up next and my favourite song on the EP. Again, full of groove, amazing drumming, riffs and time changes. It drops down suitably mid song and has some great lyrics. Banger of a song! 
“Built from Ashes” concluded this EP and builds up nicely and launches into all out heaviness. Then goes into a more melodic direction and absolutley nails it. Back to the heaviness and an infectious groove that gets your head banging! 
In conclusion. I was really impressed by this EP. There’s a few minor gripes at times. Such as the tempo gets a bit fast and the vocals sound like they’re playing catch up. No disrespect to Liam as he has a slower drawn out vocal delivery, and maybe the band could work on the dynamics at times. It all sounds great without the vocals, but the slower parts really emphasise the vocals. There’s a bit of over drumming at times too. As much as I rate Grzegorz as a drummer. Sometimes less is more. By all means keep all the rolls, fills etc, but at times is does drown out the vocals a bit. 
Those are very minor though and I only wrote them as constructive criticism. Considering this is the bands first EP and another few gears in the tank, I would suggest this band are really onto something here! While this EP is not perfect, it has enough to suggest this band are really on the right track and I’m very much onboard!
I enjoyed this EP start to finish and hope to see this band live at some point as I can imagine they’ll sound massive live. Really fucking impressed by this one! 

8/10 

Check out Para/Lies here! 

 

Sixth Extinction are: 
Liam Ryan – vocals
Wojtek Orlik – guitars
Dave Fogarty – guitars
Lukasz Ryz – bass
Grzegorz Skowroński – drums

Check out their EP via Bandcamp at this link! https://sixthextinction.bandcamp.com/album/sixth-extinction-ep

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