Top 15 EP’s of 2015

2015 was a great year for EP’s. Here is a list of my favorites!


Honorable Mention: Anchor by Birds of Tokyo

Location
Australia

Label
EMI Music

Music Videos
Anchor

Past Releases
› Day One
 (2007)
› Universes (2008)
› Birds of Tokyo (2010)
› March Fires (2014)

Support
Birds of Tokyo Store

BIRDSOFTOKYO.COM

Honorable Mention: Cycles by Dharmata

Location
West Palm Beach, FL (USA)

Label
Independent

Music Videos
Pursuit of Perfection

Past Releases
Dharmata (2012)

Support
 Bandcamp


15. Gone by Watu

Location
Göteborg (SE)

Label
Unsigned

Music Videos
 Gone

 

 

 


14. Bloodlines by Vain Velocity

Location
Thessaloniki (GR)

Label
Unsigned

Music Videos
End It All

Past Releases
› The Odds Are Even (EP) 
(2009)
› Synergies 
(2011)
 Emerge & See (2013)

Support
 Bandcamp


13. Obedience by Kubark

Location
Milano (IT)

Label
Unsigned

Music Videos
 Bleach

Past Releases
 Kubark (2009)
 Ulysses (2011)

Support
 Bandcamp


12. City of Glass • Sky of White by Absent Hearts

Location
Perth (AU)
Kirkby (UK)

Label
Unsigned

Past Releases
August Earth (2012)

Support
Bandcamp

 


11. With These Hands* by Tell Amarosa

Location
Melbourne (AU)

Label
Unsigned

Support
› Bandcamp

 

 

 

*2014 RELEASE


10. The Calm, the Storm by The Sun Explodes

Location
Carlisle (UK)

Label
Unsigned

Music Videos
 The Unnatural

Past Releases
 Emergence (2012)
 We Build Mountains (2013)

Support
 Bandcamp
Big Cartel


9. Dark Waters by Enova

Location
Phoenix, AZ (USA)

Label
Unsigned

Music Videos
 Hell (Is A Far Way Down) [Lyric Video]

Past Releases
 Counterpart (2012)

 

 


8. Neon by Port Noir

Location
Södertälje (SE)

Label
› Razzia Records
› Century Media Records

Music Videos
Neon

Past Releases
 Puls (2013)

Support
 Port Noir Store

PORTNOIR.COM

7. Iridescent by Majora

Location
Newcastle (AU)

Label
Unsigned

Music Videos
Iridescent (Live in Studio)

Support
Bandcamp

 

 


6. Stellar Circuits by Stellar Circuits

Location
North Carolina (USA)

Label
Unsigned

Music Videos
Penny Dreadful

Support
Bandcamp
Merch Store

STELLARCIRCUITSMUSIC.COM

5. Hats, Gloves, and Grandfather Clocks by Forecast Tomorrow

Location
Sydney (AU)

Label
Unsigned

Music Videos
Despondent Become

Support
Bandcamp

 


4. Latitudes by Red Light Sound

Location
Adelaide (AU)

Label
Unsigned

Music Videos
Latitudes

Past Releases
Signals Fade
(2011)

Support
Bandcamp


3. ‘I’ III I III by To Whom It May

Location
Galveston, TX (USA)

Label
Unsigned

Music Videos
Bypass
Ghost

Support
Bandcamp
To Whom It May Store

TOWHOMITMAY.NET

2. Collide by No Transitory

Location
Aukland (NZ)

Label
Unsigned

Music Videos
Vessel (Lyric Video)
Wingspan (Acoustic)

Support
Bandcamp

 


1. Caripito by Miosis

Location
Gothenburg (SE)

Label
Unsigned

Music Videos
Scotoma

Past Releases
Konvolut
(2007)
› Albedo Adaption
 (2009)

Support
Bandcamp
Miosis Store

MIOSIS.SE

Thanks for taking a look at my favorite EP’s of 2015! For more music updates, follow me here on this blog, like The Undertow on Facebook and subscribe to NewGenerationSlave on YouTube!

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Heavy Progressive // Autumn 2013 Update

Recently

It has been quite some time since my last post, and with my current schedule it has been difficult to make room for writing among the other things that are currently occupying my time. But nevertheless, to say many things are happening in progressive music would be an understatement. Loads of great releases have been happening in just these last two to three months.

Dethroned & Uncrowned by Katatonia, Ninth of May‘s self titled debut, Puls by Port Noir, Lux by Gemini Syndrome, Blacklistt‘s self-titled album, Infinitas by Circles, Dayshell and Emergent‘s self-titled debuts, With Wings by Knave  and what ended up being possibly the most surprising album for me this year and a personal favorite, The Tide, the Thief & White Moth Black ButterflyRiver’s End by Caligula’s Horse.

Also recently, Dan Tomkins (Skyharbor, Absent Hearts, ex-TesseracT) released a new album under one of his many side projects, White Moth Black Butterfly. The album is much nearer to his work with Absent Hearts… A melodic, ambient wave of sound that will leave even the greatest of metal fans in an ethereal daze. And just a few days from now (November 22nd) another release will be happening. It is one I have been looking forward to for quite some time now – an EP titled Cognitive Dissonance by Glass Empire.

Of course among the list of new albums, there are many bands also releasing singles which only increases the hype of new music for 2014 or possibly even later this year. This would include bands such as Guards of May with “Numbers,” Mercury Sky with “Victim to the Sea,” Forever the Optimist with “Revolutions,” Head Filled Attraction with “Kom Ombo,” The Isolation Process (featuring ex-Lingua members) Glass Empire - Cognitive Dissonancewith “A Simple Gesture” and a new album set for December 12th, Opus of a Machine with “Parallels,” The Hungry Mile with “The Heretic,” etc.

Many of the singles listed were released in conjunction with music videos, but another recent release has come from Socionic with a second stunning music video from their Identity EP; this time for the track “Epiphany.” And for even more news, Broken Iris has released an audiobook/novel which is an extension of their debut release, The Eyes of Tomorrow.

Just when I thought 2013 couldn’t get any better, the ex-Rishloo members who had created a fan-funded project called The Ghost Apparatus (due to the unsettling departure of vocalist, Andrew Mailloux) announced the return of Andrew and the rejoining of Rishloo!

Rishloo - 2013

Up-and-Coming Releases

That is only what has already been released! So much more is in store for the next year and by too many bands to even list in one article. I can hardly even keep track anymore. But to give just a few more I’m looking forward to, Carthasy has a full length release on the way, Saturate have announced new material for 2014, but unfortunately they have parted ways with lead singer, J. Miller. They are currently searching for a replacement (my vote is that they get ahold of Darroh Sudderth since he is no longer busy for Fair to Midland).

I believe Divine Ratio have announced a new EP or something of that nature for 2014, Thrones by Basick Record‘s Alaya is sure to be released in the near future, Pinwheel posted “Fear not, new music in the works!!! 2014 has a lot in store!!!,” and Malrun has been working on their third album, in the midst of the unfortunate break-up of vocalist, Jacob Løbner’s, other band Boil. Ursa has had new songs in the works now for a while, Order of Voices and Empty Yard Experiment have been recording, Stealing Axion are near their goal for a fan-funded album, one of my favorite female-fronted bands,  Antonamasia, have officially announced new material for 2014, and let’s not forget Bill Sanchez and Jason Broussard‘s new project, Tranzhumanist, who will be releasing their debut EP (wrote an article about them that you can view HERE).

Sounds of Sirus have also announced their second release is close to ready, although it was completely shocking news to find out their incredible singer, Josh Day, had passed away. My humblest condolences to everyone in the band or close to Josh. His voice, ideas, and passion will always be with us in such an inspiring way.

Cog 3

While not all bands have made much open discussion about their recent studio work, some have dropped small hints or informal estimates, and others I just hope to hear new content from in 2014. These include groups such as Breaking OrbitChaos Divine, In the Silence, JurojinKauraSocionic, SkyharborSurrender the Sun, etc.

Finally, let’s not forget some of the legends. The Occupants, which features the Gower duo from Cog, has been working on brand new tunes, as well as Lesser Key – a band which includes Tool’s founding bassist, Paul D’Amour (who also has another project called Feersum Ennjin which is very worth checking out) and is signed to Sumerian Records. Last but not least, I don’t mind the lengthy gap and don’t want a new album until the guys think it’s ready, but I certainly still have my fingers crossed that Mr. Keenan will make his way into the studio to track some vocals so that Tool will finally be able to release their fifth LP. I’m sure there are bands that I forgot to mention there, and I will add more as I think of them. But this next year is sounding more exciting by the minute, wouldn’t you say?

Lesser Key

Future Writing

Although I’d love to keep writing individual articles for each band that I follow, it has proven to be a very time-consuming endeavor. Not to say it will never happen in the future… I’d love to dedicate paragraphs to each band that keeps me going day after day, but 2013 is quickly wrapping up and there is so much going on, both in my life and progressive rock/metal, that I thought this summary would be the best way to highlight everything rather than separated articles/reviews. I sincerely hope everyone has enjoyed the new music this year as much as I have and I am always willing to discuss music, whether in the comments below or on a more personal level via Facebook, Twitter, etc. My info is in the Page Info section of The Undertow.

As far as the rest of this year goes, I will probably try to get out at least two more articles (hopefully more) by the end of 2013. I have just added a few new bands to my list on the Tool: For the Fans – Part II & Helpless and Awake in the Undertow articles. If you are not familiar, they started out as lists of bands I enjoy who have a similar sound or have found inspiration in Tool. Over time the list has progressed from solely Tool-inspired bands into a list of my favorite bands, many of which I have just recently discovered. Dead Letter Circus - Catalyst FireAlthough the list has become quite extensive there are some bands who I have not added simply because they have so little in common with Tool.

It is for that reason that my next list will be dedicated to a heavier genre of music. Recently I have become more and more intrigued by progressive metal and djent. Of course the word “djent” stirs countless controversies as to what its definition is, whether it’s a genre or not, etc. To tell you the truth, I only have seen mixed ideas as to what “djent” actually refers to after reading definitions and arguments in the comments on various YouTube videos. But overall, I am not that concerned with specific genres/sub-genres of music or arguing about what is what. I use djent merely to categorize a unique, innovative style of music that has roots or elements of progressive metal, and that is partially due to the perception I have gotten from seeing the word used in other contexts. Hopefully other fans of this music will be able to see past whether I’m using the word correctly or incorrectly and just focus on our similarity in taste.

After that, and more toward Christmas, I plan on writing about my favorite albums of 2013. It will include releases such as Altered State by TesseracT, The Catalyst Fire by Dead Letter CircusInfinitas Puls - Port Noirby Circles, Lux by Gemini Syndrome, Nothing More‘s self-titled sophomore release, and of course as I mentioned earlier The Tide, the Thief & River’s End by Caligula’s Horse.

I am also hoping that Puls by Port Noir will be on the list, but I am still patiently waiting for either a US release of the album or a release that ships internationally so I can buy it (I am picky about buying music digitally unless I absolutely have to). But from what I’ve heard from the album so far, they sound like an incredibly refreshing up-and-coming band, and I very much look forward to hearing Puls all the way through.

Well, this has certainly been one of my lengthier articles, but as always, I hope that all the heavy progressive listeners out there are able to find at least one piece of worthwhile info from my writing. Until next time!

“Prying Open My Third Eye” // Tool: For the Fans – Part II

Tool - Third Eye

As promised, part 2 of the Tool post. In the first section I went over some of my “favorites” as a way to pay respect to the band who has completely carved the taste in music I possess today. For me, Tool has become more than a band… As stated by Soen vocalist, Joel Ekelöf, We are inspired by Tool but I consider them not only a band but a genre. Over the last few years, that is exactly what Tool has become for me – A whole genre. I have seen many complaints throughout the internet by “hardcore”Tool fans out there aimed at other bands who have taken inspiration for the great forerunners of such a unique sound. The main complaint is that the other bands are “Tool rip-offs.” Though possibly this is true here and there, I am still thankful that there are bands that have not been too scared to dabble in the “Tool-esque” sound that has enlightened us for the last couple decades. One thing is for certain…it cannot be easy. It is also obviously not a 100% popular thing today. On YouTube I have even seen many bands receive comments diluted with profanity for “trying to hard to imitate Tool.”

I’d like to address a few issues. I mean no disrespect if you have been harsh toward one of these such “Tool-inspired” bands. But I would also appreciate my thoughts to at least be taken into consideration before plaguing another band with swear words without a second thought.

tool_desktop_1920x1080_hd-wallpaper-986540

Tool knows how great they are (at least they better know). Whenever any kind of movement is started, people are sure to follow. Tool has an incredible fan base – one of the strongest in the industry. Personally, I would almost view it as disrespectful if no one attempted to follow in their footsteps. If no bands attempted to continue on the path Tool set out to tread, it would almost be like the world saying, “Your music isn’t good enough to continue.” So if you come across a band who has obvious strong Tool-influence, rather than being angry or offended, it would seem more reasonable to share the feeling of honor Tool lives with, knowing there are people out there who love the band as much as you do and want to take their own stab (at that genre mentioned earlier).

Now it might be possible, but I doubt many bands, if not any, set out thinking, Let’s try to copy Tool as much as we possibly can. Searching for bands has become one of my major hobbies. As embarrassed as I am to admit (not really), I’ll sit by the computer for hours, going through Facebook and YouTube in search of a new band. I am very particular about what I listen to. I don’t just automatically “love” any band I come across. But I must say this… Out of the hundreds of bands I’ve listened to, not ONE has resembled Tool too much to the point where that is the reason I don’t prefer their music. My point is, I strongly believe people (Tool fans) really need to open their minds a bit, pry open their third eyes, and be much more accepting of bands who draw inspiration from the legendary band we all love (even if you don’t want to follow them in the long run). Going around spreading hate over the ambition of others does absolutely no good to anyone. Most people have a pretty particular taste in music, and everyone comes across bands or artists they don’t prefer. But if that’s the case, it doesn’t ever justify writing hateful comments to the band telling them why their music doesn’t appeal to you (whether it’s their Tool-resemblance or anything else).

So two points.

1. Let Tool be honored by other bands who attempt to follow in their footsteps (many of which succeed, in my humble opinion).

2. Bands don’t set out with the mindset to duplicate another band as much as possible and piss off music fans. You might not like their music, but no one is forcing you to listen to it! There’s no reason to pick apart bands for the sole purpose of being a hater. And if you must criticize, at least make it constructive.

tool_desktop_1024x819_hd-wallpaper-477305

That being said, the purpose of this blog is to share bands, and the purpose of this particular post is to share bands who show that Tool-influenced sound I’ve been talking about this whole time. You might not be thrilled with each band’s particular sound, but who knows… There might be one, or two, or more that you end up loving. I will simply list out the bands here without many links to their music, social pages, etc. (although each band is linked to their Facebook page). As quickly as my schedule allows I will begin to write more in-depth posts about each band listed here. This page will also be updated each time I come across another band that fits this category, and they will instantly be added to the list.

My goal is to make this a community where music-listeners (who share similar tastes to each other and myself) can come to find bands, talk about them, and suggest their own favorites – basically like a forum.

Bands are listed alphabetically (if you didn’t catch that)…

As promised, I will be giving each of these bands their own separate post to highlight their individual work. They are ALL killer, so stay tuned! Thanks for bearing through these drawn out articles (if you even made it this far without skipping over half of it).

Also, a huge shoutout to The Aussie Alternative! Many of the bands listed here have been shared by their page, so I definitely recommend checking them out.

Happy Listening!