Tag Archives: Progressive Metal

Kitshickers & The Majestic Unicorns From Hell – Split EP

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Today’s post is not really going to be a review, just to be clear. By now, I don’t think you need an introduction to the two bands that are the subject of this piece, but Kitshickers and The Majestic Unicorns From Hell teamed up to release a short but sweet split EP this Saturday and play a very special show for it. So if you are into instrumental, and not so instrumental, music make sure to not miss this possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

The Kitshicorns fiesta is going to take place on October 26th at the legendary Kulturfabrik in Esch/Alzette, so make sure to swing your behind over there and have some fun with the bands! More info can be found on the bands’ respective Facebook pages. See you there!

Hybridism – Hybridism

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Hybridism - Hybridism

I am not a musician, nor do I have any experience when it comes to writing a song, but I know for a fact that composing purely instrumental music while being confined to the setup of a typical rock or metal band is insanely difficult. Case in point: there must be at least a thousand bands out there that only utilize drums, bass and one or two guitars, but only very few stand out from the masses. Today I’m writing about a fairly new band that, in my opinion, manages to have that extra little something to differentiate itself from the others: Hybridism! Their self-titled debut EP was released almost exactly two months ago and after giving it a first listen recently, thus discovering what I had missed, I decided to bring my thoughts to virtual paper.

The issue I have with many instrumental bands, is that they have not found the balance between variation and catchiness: it’s either too repetitive, with two riffs being repeated ad nauseam or it’s an uncoordinated mess of “look what I can do”…and I do understand that it is very fine line between both ends of that spectrum, but I just can’t get invested in the majority of bands that try to achieve that balance act. What sets the quartet apart from the rest, is that every instrument knows exactly how often to play its part before switching it up, and especially the guitar parts are built and arranged in a fashion that they feel like an evolution of each other, rather than completely new parts.

I know, the main question on your mind is probably the one that is always on everyone’s mind: does it djent? It does. Yes, it very much does. The six tracks are packed with tasty bass riffs and a non-negligible amount of open A guitar strings being played, but as I mentioned earlier, it’s never too much and always thrown in at just the right time. Especially since the second guitar provides a sonic variation in those instances in the form of more intricate parts.

I remember on my first listen, I wasn’t completely paying attention until the fourth track, Glitch, came around and that was exactly the moment that I knew that I had something special ahead of me with these thirty-two minutes. I guess that my affinity for said track is because it starts with a video-game-like midi track being played before erupting into a fast-paced riff explosion that I immediately fell in love with. At this point I also have to mention the flawless production of the EP, because it lends a ton of gravitas to the well-crafted compositions.

All in all, what can I say? If you are not averse to music without vocals and liked the heavier spectrum of it, absolutely give Hybridism a shot! The guys managed to cook up a nice and well-varied debut release that deserves to be heard. So be sure to click on the video below for a full stream and if you want to keep up with them, head over to their Facebook page.

Kitshickers – III.0

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Kitshickers - III.0
Instrumental music: you either love it or you hate it. Generally-speaking, it’s difficult for that type of music to win me over, which is why I wasn’t a huge fan of today’s band in recent years. But as chance has it, the Luxembourgish progressive veterans, Kitshickers, are returning to their roots and have a proper vocalist again, instead of guest appearances. For their seventh album, III.0, they’ve recruited Yann Dalscheid, who was the singer of An Apple A Day for quite some time and has recently been added to the Scarred roster, to add a fresh but familiar layer to their complex sound spectrum.

For the second time in a row the band has decided to use the crowdfunding model, in order to cater to the exact needs and wants of their dedicated fanbase, and thus set out to best their previous effort. To cut to the chase, spoiler warning: they absolutely achieved that goal and then some. While their sound is still recognizably them, I feel like they’ve shed some of the overly experimental fluff in favor of a more concise and, for lack of a better word, streamlined style. Don’t get me wrong though: these six tracks are anything but simple and boring. Massive riffs coupled with hard-hitting drumming hammer you into the ground, just to pick you up again and repeat the process.

No need to lie here: the concept, birth and death, behind this new record is one that has been done a million times and yet the quintet managed to captivate me on my first listening session and have kept doing so even after the tenth time through. But be warned: if you’re going to take this ride, you better bring some spare time and the ability to let music have an effect on you, because at one hour and one minute, III.0 is not the type of record you put in while you run and grab some bread from your local shop. At least in my opinion, this is the kind of album where you only get the full experience if you listen to it with headphones and are able to forget about your surroundings.

No small part of this beautifully immersive journey is due to the resurfaced (almost) permanent use of vocals. When I first read that Kitshickers got a new vocalist I was slightly excited, then upon learning who it was going to be I was initially skeptical…since I was definitely underestimating what the guy could do. Finally, when I got to listen to the finished product, I was totally blown away: I knew he could scream, growl, shout and pretty much do everything in the repertoire of a “typical metal vocalist” to a T…but when he switched to perfectly sung clean vocals after an initial scream at the beginning of the first song, I had total goosebumps that lasted for the remainder of the track.

What can I say? III.0 is not a record for everyone, especially in today’s fast food world…but if you allow yourself some time off and dive into the trip that the band has cooked up for you, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. And if for some reason you are not into the vocals, there is the possibility for you to listen to the entire record in a purely instrumental form also. Head over to the band’s Facebook page for more information and do yourself a favor and move your butt to the Rotondes in Luxembourg this Saturday, October 22nd, since that’s where the guys will be holding the release show for their new baby! See you there!