Aradia are an experimental post rock four piece from Portland who have self-released their self-titled EP.The drawn out, brooding intro to opening track Exile builds up a huge sense of anticipation before developing into a masterful track full of swirling guitars.Next up is Frantic a slow burner of a tune which leads you into a false sense of security before reaching a crescendo including a closing section which fits the title perfectly.Skin Changer follows the quiet/loud format which Aradia seem to do so well as well as demonstrating on this instrumental record that vocals are not always needed as excellent musicianship can speak for itself.The thought provoking Rotten has more than a shoegaze feel to it as well as featuring an introspective tone that ensures Aradia draw things to a close in a fine manner.
Chris Lazo is a Cardiff based musician who produces music under the Flailhead moniker has self-released his debut EP The Art of Absolution. The EP is an instrumental only metal record which came as a is surprise as I have not heard much of this kind of music without vocals, however this allows the virtuosity of Lazo’s musicianship to shine throughout. The Art of Absolution is full of hard hitting riffs as well as inspiring solos that contain a sense of urgency as can be heard on EP opener Omega Supreme. Melody is also key to Lazo’s musings on this record and you hear the influence of bands such as InFlames and Opeth on tracks like Diabolda and Purge. Although they take influence from others, Flailhead have enough originality to make this an EP that’s well worth giving a listen.
Southgate were a metal band from Portland, Oregon who formed in 2010 who have now since Taken on the name of Crackling Dawn. Adrift will be the band’s debut EP and is full of intense riffs that are prominent for the duration of this progressive metal record. Coming in at and epic 14 minutes this one-track EP takes you on a gargantuan voyage covering a range of emotions, that raises you up before sending you plummeting back down to earth. There is also plenty of melody on the record that often breaks down into more, calm serene moments with harmonious vocals that build up to the more deep gritty ones that make for a wide range of variety that allows you to stay engaged throughout Adrift.