Four years on from their ‘Nemea’ album, UK progressive sludge merchants Fissure of Riddles make a particularly intensive noise on their 2022 release ‘The Marble Realm’. Four of its six songs take a very long time to sometimes do very little, but for fans of such a slow and oppressive style, that moody and methodical approach to a riff results in the kind of album that’s almost guaranteed to make an impression.
For this Colorado based band, there’s more to progressive metal than shamelessly aping the leather trousered tedium of Dream Theater and the hundreds of copyists that have sprung up since the 90s. On this trio of tunes that make up their second release, you’ll find the obvious speedy soloing and obvious posturing, but you’ll also find influences from a post-grunge dirtiness, traces of gothic metal and eventually a love of groove and even melodic death metal. When you glue all of those together, you end up with something that at least half feels progressive, even if it wouldn’t appeal to those who love “prog”.
Canadian metal band Zero Fire’s second EP ‘Second Sun’ was packed with great riffs. By creating a brand of melodic metalcore that also included nods to groove metal and contrasted its heaviness with use of clean vocals, it managed to be very broad in appeal. A year on, ‘The Attic Sessions’ offers fans and newcomers a couple of live recordings that demonstrate both extremes of the band’s sound. While a new studio recording would have been preferable – and a full length album better still – this EP has the benefit of giving a premier to a pair of previously unrecorded tracks.
Prior to forming From Under Concrete Kings, vocalist Joseph Isayea and bassist Previte had spent many years working together in various other bands. Between Previte’s love of heavy distortion and a frontman capable of creating a sound that raised the bar in terms of deep intensive growls, the duo soon marked themselves out as being able to create a truly fearsome sound. While they obviously understand each other and share a similar vision in terms of creativity, it was the addition of drummer Freddy Valesco (sometime of hardcore band Great American Ghost) that made things finally gel.
On February 14th, progressive death metal band From Under Concrete Kings will release their second EP, ‘Modus Exodus’. The new release features four absolutely crushing pieces of music that blends death metal vocals with metalcore and progressive metal riffs, Djent influenced lead guitar work and a frightening lack of boundaries. It’s a release that all fans of inventive and extreme metal shouldn’t miss.