Welcome to Weekend Review, where your favourite* Canadian rounds up your new favorite bands and releases. For this first installment, we’re keeping it simple – four bands, four releases. Let’s get started.
*favouriteness not guaranteed
The Odious Construct – ‘Shrine of the Obscene’
First up, from the US, we have tech death metallers The Odious Construct, with their EP Shrine of the Obscene. The Odious Construct mix tons of complex shredding with powerful growls and ethereal orchestral atmospheres. It’s a great combination of super-technical guitars and engaging songwriting, and the orchestrations help preserve a sense of the melody of the songs, even when the rest of the band is shredding about. If you’ve only got time for one track, title track Shrine of the Obscene is an absolutely killer piece. That said, at only 20-minutes, you should have time for the whole EP, and it’s worth checking out in full.
‘Shrine of the Obscene’ is out Oct. 12. You can stream the whole EP here: https://youtu.be/ygA2ILUvBak
Alchemy Chamber – ‘Opus 1: Subtle Movements from Within’
Alchemy Chamber is a Canadian neoclassical band built around cello and saxophone duets. Their debut album, ‘Opus 1: Subtle Movements From Within’ is fully instrumental, leaning heavily to the classical side of neoclassical. The compositions are really pretty, and everyone in the band delivers great performances. Unfortunately, while the mix and sound quality is mostly good, the saxophone is out of place. The tone from the sax is frequently tinny and thin, and… look. I’m sorry. It sounds like a kazoo on the high notes. Maybe I just haven’t listened to enough saxophones, but it’s really unfortunate, especially since the cello tone is absolutely gorgeous. Ultimately, though, I’d really only recommend this one to classical fans. It’s very well executed, but it’s long and unlikely to hold the interest of the casual listener.
‘Opus 1: Subtle Movements from Within’ came out Oct 8. You can check out the video for No. 1’s here: https://youtu.be/gx0F1YcfTQ0
Strvngers – ‘Exhumed Vol 2’
And now, for something a little different – Canadian dark electro duo Strvngers have a new EP, ‘Exhumed Vol. 2’, dropping this weekend. ‘Exhumed’ includes several classic covers reimagined in Strvngers’ style – the sleek, sexy covers of A.D.I.D.A.S and Party All The Time are almost worth the purchase price alone – plus a few remixes of some of fan favorites from their first two records. There may not be a lot of blast beats or chugging riffs here, but if you’re looking to try something new, you need to check this EP out. Strvngers will keep you dancing well after the last note fades out.
‘Exhumed Vol. 2’ is out Oct. 13. You can check out A.D.I.D.A.S here: https://strvngersngp.bandcamp.com/album/a-d-i-d-a-s-korn-cover
Strvngers also has a documentary People are Strvnge available on YouTube.
Shading – ‘The Vanishing of Our Lore’
Prog metal and science fiction have had a long love affair, and Italy’s Shading is no exception on their debut album. ‘The Vanishing of our Lore’ is an engaging take on humanity and the divide between man and machine. Musically, the sharp division between the heavier riffs and softer elements, as well as vocalist Damiano’s stylings give this album a metalcore edge that’s present through the whole thing, so if metalcore’s not your thing, this might be a pass for you. Otherwise, it’s well-crafted, with a momentum and energy that yours truly finds prog frequently lacks. Also, the band is promoting it with a nifty little text-based game, if you’re into old-old-school gaming.
‘The Vanishing of our Lore’ is out Oct. 12. You can check out the lead single The Scent here: https://youtu.be/iHHJ4zGQvt0