Thank You Scientist- Stranger Heads Prevail

December 9, 2016 in Reviews

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Thank You Scientist – Stranger Heads Prevail (2016)

Reviewed by Mark Nagy

If I didn’t have to express myself through the written word, this review could just consist of me cackling gleefully for however long it took for you to get my point: that this record is absolutely nuts. I can’t say how well I’ve stood by my personal stand against hyperbole and sensationalism over the years, but Thank You Scientist answers the long standing objection of mainstream critics to the often ‘too pretentious’ stylings of Frank Zappa and his imitators and prog-eny. That being, “Why doesn’t it rock harder?” Thank You Scientist is quickly emerging as perhaps a premier vehicle for listeners who want all of their prog, all at once, all the way up.

Stranger Heads Prevail is a well chosen name for a record that is at first unsettling or hard to understand. Putting a violin, a saxophone, and a trumpet alongside a traditional four piece rock band is perhaps not the inspiration of a sane man, but fortunately it’s the inspiration of an incredibly talented one, capable of fusing complex layers of intersecting rhythm parts, melodies, and countermelodies into something that puts a really strong claim to being unlike anything else.
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Hemina – Venus

October 24, 2016 in Reviews

hemina-venus

Hemina – Venus

Reviewed by Mark Nagy

Venus is the third album from Australian prog metal act Hemina, of whom I’ve been a fan since receiving a promo of their debut album, Synthetic, way back when I was just starting here at Black Wind. The followup, Nebulae, remains one of my favorite progressive metal albums to date. Hemina is a sort of an “Option D. All of the above” act when it comes to the question “why is progressive metal great?”, employing heavily warped, chunky rhythms a la progressive djent, and accentuating rich, expansive, hooky melodies and vocal harmonies to the point of excess, if such a thing were even possible.

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Theocracy – Ghost Ship

September 21, 2016 in Reviews

theocracy-ghost-ship

Theocracy – Ghost Ship (2016)

Reviewed by Mark Nagy

Athens, Georgia-based progressive power outfit Theocracy has finally put forward its next effort. Ghost Ship is the fourth album from what started out as current vocalist and songwriter Matt Smith’s one-man project, and is today one of the most respected names in American power metal. I’m a huge fan of the band’s and I’ll throw a few other caveats about potential biases in a footnote, but you should really be excited for this album. Ghost Ship is everything that’s made Theocracy great to this point dialed up just a little further. Epic, catchy, heavy progressive power metal written and recorded with exceptional attention to detail. Fun fact: If look at the album art and squint, you can make out the outline of an actual blue, distressed looking boat that seems to have sunk underwater, explaining the ghosts on the ship.

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