Godsticks – “Inescapable”
Release Date: 7 February 2020
Godsticks are a band that definitely get better with each album. There have been times in the past where I wasn’t sure just how much I liked them. But they are a band that’s a “grower.” The more you listen to them, the more you appreciate them.
“Inescapable” continues their growth and could be their heaviest album to date. Godsticks have always walked the line between prog rock and prog metal with a dash of alt rock mixed in. Darran Charles has turned up the volume on these riffs and they are more meaty as well.
“Denigrate” is the opener and one of those tracks with a big ass riff. Great way to start the album. The moody “Victim” follows and I love the whole vibe on this one. It’s definitely a favorite. “Relief” is has an interesting riff and an abundance of the word “fuck.” It’s a good track and different enough from the rest.
The near ballad “Surrender” is another song that I really enjoy. It’s tracks like this that showcase the dynamics of Godsticks. I also like the epic “Change” which is another moody atmospheric song. While Charles can certainly write heavy riffs, he also understands setting the mood as well. The album closes with “Time” another riff-tastic tune that has an awesome guitar solo in it. Darren Charles can play, if you didn’t know.
“Inescapable” is a great album though I am not sure that I like it more than their last outing “Faced With Rage.” However, it’s clear that Godsticks are on an upward swing. Kscope made a wise investment as this band has a bright future. I still think Charles’ voice takes getting used to and that could pose an issue for some. It took me a bit but he has a unique tone that I’ve grown to appreciate. Hopefully more will feel the same.
Pyogenesis- “A Silent Soul Screams Loud”
Label: AFM Records
Release Date: 14 February 2020
Pyogenesis caught my attention with the first part of their steampunk trilogy “A Century In The Curse Of Time.” It was actually the stellar artwork that caught my attention. “A Silent Soul Screams Loud” is the third part of the trilogy and continues the high quality that includes part 2 “A Kingdom To Disappear.” Each album have big riffs, powerhouse vocals and a massive closing epic track.
Pyogenesis remind me of a more proggy Killing Joke. “Survival of the Fittest” is the big and bold opener and it pounds! I love the swing that the band can infuse into their music too. The two part “I Can’t Breathe” is one of those songs that picks you up and takes you somewhere thanks to the swing of their rhythm section…and those big choruses.
“Modern Prometheus” has one of the coolest guitar parts on the album starting it off. Once it kicks it, it also has a mid tempo groove that glides into yet another big chorus. But the track that makes this album worth it is the big epic at the end, “The Capital (A Silent Soul Screams Loud).” Like the epics on the previous two albums, the song takes you somewhere the way an epic should. It’s a journey to be sure.
The Night Flight Orchestra – “Aeromantic”
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: 28 February 2020
Plain and simple? Holy shit this is awesome! The Night Flight Orchestra have quickly become a personal favorite. They are fun first and foremost but also they just write great tunes: hook laden, high quality and great musicianship. Imagine if Dream Theater decided to be Toto mixed with Journey. Even that doesn’t quite sound right though.
The band is led by Soilwork vocalist extraordinaire Speed who can sing anything and make it sound good. But the good news is that the music that NFO create is amazing regardless. This makes for an unbeatable combination and it makes me wonder if Speed doesn’t prefer doing NFO over Soilwork. NFO has been cranking out albums with regularity. The latest masterpiece is called “Aeromantic.”
“Aeromantic” doesn’t sound too much different from the previous albums, because if it ain’t broke…don’t fix it. The lead off track “Servants of the Air” has a very prog intro! I love that because this would make a good concert opener as well. The song kicks in and then kicks ass. A real barn burner!“Divinyls”is the next track and the first single from the album. No the song does not sound like the band of that name, thankfully. But it has an infectious chorus that you will be humming after one listen.
The album has great song after great song. “The Boy’s Last Summer” is a relentless driving track while “Curves” has this really cool funky vibe to it. “Curves” sounds like it was a hit or should be one! Each track has it’s own identity which is what makes NFO great and “Aeromantic” yet another killer album by them. “Transmissions” is the second single and it’s hard to argue that. The throbbing synths and the lead violin make for an interesting combo. But it’s that catchy chorus that will grab you. The title track is another favorite of mine. This one had me going “wow” when I heard it (even the disco bass). Your head WILL be bobbing right away. And that damn chorus gets me.
Without question, “Aeromantic” will be one of my favorite albums of 2020. The Night Flight Orchestra take classic rock, make it fun and just know how to write great songs. This is the band I’ve been wanting for many years now. If you want to lose yourself in great hooks and timeless music, “Aeromantic” is essential. I cannot recommend this album enough! Masterpiece!