It’s a big universe. Of its various parallels, here are two. One harbours Vektor; the other needs an introduction—teeming with eminence, whose extrusion is a curve inclination yet to go up or down. With Vexovoid at its forefront, it at least has a few light years catered for. Easy as pointing out Vex inhabits Vek’s shadowland, Vex’s future might not be so. Only certainty is it’ll be compelling. Mini-portals may be allowing Hawking-like leakages enriching the parallel Vexo-region—until they run at par. Talk of (negatively) charging the void.


Where straight Thrash is razor-sharp rage enforcement, this sounds—as with various Prog/Tech Thrash outfits—like the equivalent of the lathery oil, in all its viscous heating, that engulfs the forementioned outpour, to disinfect the riffs before a more surgical arrangement. An arraignment as close to skyforging as starforging is, since either smithing defines the other. And more to the Vex universe, it being a sonically expanding one, the heavy stuff is yet to pummel ears, as each of its Helios gets charted.

There comes a time when the Vexovoid and Vektor parallels will meet, mini-portals merging unit by unit, creating a fleeting loop into both worlds and Vexovoid will give Vektor a run for their spatial martials. Or could it be more of a bane to them if they resemble Vektor too much, Vektor will finally land into Vektor’s shadowland, and wonder how they exist twice at once? Time won’t tell. Space might.

Rather than pass along as a clone band, there are enough excursions to stake the claim on being good at that—a bassist relentlessly flailing closely, with a helping of his curvature while handling the vocals; and easy to follow drumming. It is Portal who would be grateful for a tasteful application of their name. Better a good duplicate than a bad one. Better an interesting (not a by-the-book) copy than a good one.

Not stately, although it’s a solid debut—after they came across writings Vektor was at a loss to use or discard, but they decided to have a look before dismiss them all together. That, or their subconscious rearing its future-wagging tail from a still to be distant past, all memories of Vektor retained.


A Metal Map from a Punk Perspective




Thanks to sin—sheer musical gluttony, The Mad Mane Machine’ll proceed with this bitchin’, rash, Metal hairsplitting.

The focus is Punk as the root genre. So punk rockers unite! there’s a lot to hold together. It however, is not a showcase of how many sub/genres can be mashed together or be spawned/related to a given genre, but rather how they can cohesively flow beyond two commingles. Neither is this an influence chart— though it incorporates such where befitting or possible. It’s all for kicks, primarily.


As much as quotes have become relegated to people who couldn’t be better than adage regurgitators by a mantra’s length; it is Einstein’s (massively paraphrased)—imagination floors knowledge on any given day—that charges my view of Draco Hypnalis’s album. Wouldn’t be much of a stretch to figure how the above mindless perpetrators fare in regard to this aphorism. With the right means of expression, the saying stands, true and solid, as a case in point, Neuromancer—inspired more by thoughtful prediction than thorough tech know-how (and yes, I haven’t read the book).

The furthest of the Metal spectrum shines with touches of uncommonality—album title applying from start to stop, with implication that annuls most of Progressive Death Metal. Not to pass it as riddled with similars, but it sure does emphasiize a lot on forefront guitar work. Draco differs by application of baance, and magnificent Neo-Classical keyboard prominence. Even with its tendencies to lean on Black Metal repository, the keys have perspective—no musical overshadowing (many symphonic bands? check), or unnecessary passages (unmemorable intros/pastludes etc. ? check). Neither should it proceed without a need for expansion. Accruing from a pleasure of leisure, listening and its reward. The intricate and captivating melodies are unmatched.

Being yet to come across cohesive Neo-Classical that sucks, some is much easily ingrained—less implying Drang is an effortless project—while Draco refines with re-runs that clock on the multiple.The Sincere Wander Through Illusion Untouched is a slight shimmering of non complacency resonating with the now defunct Abyssaria, seamlessly running down to track 04—Yet They Come and Leave No Distress—where a touch of Demonic Resurrection kicks in with a pressing prominence. Each instrument biding its time by ultimate prejudice to distinct melodic association; a strange symphony on first play but a sure aeddictive and moreso inspiring grower. Times are when the haunting tunes convey the need for a singer, espousing a what if? picture of someone like Rhapsody of Fire‘s Giacomo just breathing golden. Imagination‘s beauty is that it still works well with mostly non-vox parts though the growls could have been more. And when was the last time a band’s track titles said much than others’ lyrical expanse?

An almost ultra-progressive record that wastes no time in either showmanship and indulgence or catering for low common denominator urges. Symphony in E – Minor—and most of the tracks’ parts—pours its soft, lush templates to what is currently played as Djent, gleaming into Sithu Aye from a likely to be overlooked distance. Key fluctuations at times work conveniently conspicuously like drama, forget not hard to ignore blast beats.



For Draco Hypnalis, assemblage would be a replicate for knowledge. Classical training with nought diversion or musical practicality procreates redundant technicality. Progressive Death Metal does ofgfer an ensnaring opportunity to promulgate such. Draco magically straddles two fields providing a chance to be musically elitist, with total disregard. Much respect to the trio for rising above such triviality (and neither compromising), as the less imaginative would be wont to do. Fucking bliss.


The warm radiance that is Illuminance shines its blissful intersection in a transmogrifying brilliant resplendence. From the way the Mad Mane Machine has been seeing technically inclined Death Metal bands lean towards glowing/bizarrely gleaming covers has been off-puttingit really recalls every quasi-Djent/Deathcore aims at being super proggy and/or transcendent or something in that line. As a downside, Illuminance jumbled with such releases, barely labeled as progressive stands a huge disadvantage of being overlooked.

An instance of unrepentant dissociation—by indiscriminately indulging overflowing, yet insane progressive Death Metal is what I’d term Illuminance. Solid songwriting, awe-striking musicianship, discipline in instrument handling—or a failure to let dexterity drive urgent points home. Outlasting an experience as this makes Virvum‘s efforts more effective and the album something to really dig into—without demanding one to  wrap around its contents. Which really is a shame, as one tries figuring out why—though not present here—a bassist as Nikola Somborski would go ahead to form a band as mediocre as Cordyceps. Fitting of every Slam stereotype, and then some . . . fun? Saddening.

Asserting to say the high stature that is maintained here, right off the bat, down to the epic closure. Sonically suggestive to create (non queer) uplifting an atmosphere—one that could be enhanced to stimulate creative activities that stretch imagination; painting et. al. The mighty The Cypher Supreme has incredibly catchy leads which floors by clicks of considerable beauty. Even from first listen, it is a stand out that out-listening such craft’s nary a point of regard. A jutting that foretells Virvum are not heady for an all-drawn-out orientation to the jugular. An album I’d vouch fro as a solid progressive Death Metal representative—heck, a testament to why progressive DM is better than technical DM, and more-so on instrumentally articulate progressive DM. Not to state that non technical Progressive DM is a paler strain, but it’s less amusing trying to come around intense song assemblies competing with hooking tech death full of riffs not as impressive as on previous listen.

The tantalizing excellence conveyed is a constant, peaking with II: A Final Warming Shine: Ascension and Trespassing. Matter-of-factly the most appealing track appears to be the first—also containing one of some of the heaviest parts of the album, right at the track’s end. Another heavy traction aids purge the title to iron melting magnitude. Drummer Diego Morenzoni is on a rhythmic urge to complete the snare catastrophe with a gushing speed. Nothing haphazardly spasmodic like Brain Drill, who demand intense follow-up to discern—even recall—their sound structure. This is an almost faultless release and it’s sudden impressiveness on first listen fails to fade away. Aiming for that is only a formula to cater for an ADD audience. I’m willing to believe Virvum are above such—for clarity, it is not only hooks that make music something to recall, with neither of that here—although this album could sit on a couple shelves, gateway progressive DM being one. Which is completely assailed as a compliment.


  When a band touts itself as the thinking man’s metal, it leaves more to question than it intends to tackle. Normally, such a case is an effort at best aimed at denouncing if not deriding metal clichés, and only a marketing thoughtful group would really care as much about it. Reason being—a thinking man’s metal is less concerned with typifying  as opposed to to being one and letting whoever comes across it decide. At any scale, that should be Singularity. Compacting Singularity. By Void Walker, its progressiveness is the first pointer to this direction.

  Damning as it is, space euphoria has superseded short impulsive lapses indulging myriad bands’ sleeve art only and captured this four piece—by a sleight-fully, timely, infinite grip. When all the right sounds align, they gravitate towards an up-swelling whole which takes pole position—and eargasm revolves such a perfect assemblage. Album art never escapes the Mad Mane Machine’s exploration, because it is more than just a bonus. Here, it might as well surpass sound simulation. Really neat, surreal inception of far shores—conceiving a Saul Bass angularity and Jon Anderson’s impact. Imposing to preformed ideas of outside space as it would best precede explorations—as sincerely speaking, most of high distance spatial images are reconstructions with a touch of informed predicaments. On such worlds, Void Walker would fare effortlessly—be it in their creations, laying down, conquistadatoring, exploration, sojourning. . . .

  Musically pummeling on the unbound fringes of technical progressive Death Metal, it incorporates classically played keyboards in a style channeling a Black Metal atmosphere. Not exactly a recipe/symphony for destruction, given the measured approach in their embodiment and an affirmative setting—it falls in place as the build-up for the guitars and a support element once the riffs scaffold the song. Rightly mixed where others are content to prefer keys overshadowing accompanying musical sections. That is not to say it is a fully inclusive aspect, as it only keeps segmented in track 01, an instrumental break—the rest being minimal. Keeping an intact soundtrack aura . . . for the space opera. This was one of the rare times when I didn’t fully appreciate a band’s vocals—not a full flung growl, as a deeper one would be sleek—even though the backing’s compensate. They do betray the band’s age, but likely a fault not.

  Void Walker is a rightful contender to quality beats quantity, even for an EP. Such is what I would really care about tech death. A mass of disorienting superbness over unseemly and non eloquent jarring with palpitating seeds—whose only promise is to blossom, never to heed anywhere. Fantastic work.


 The way of the cenotaph. When viewing older DM band pictures, rampant graveyard shots pop up. In an effort to capture the spirit of the dead shift, below are monoliths of unhallowed spontaneity—kicking off with the most ghastly looking. Grey Mist delivers unhinged Doom, albeit touching on that aspect as Alunah extends on their most doomy—female vocals galloping too. Not far from where the Doom bands illustriously depict gargoyles and burial grounds sculpts. Wolf Dawn—the oddball here, is unrelenting blackened Speed Metal; which is enough to imply major ass kicking. Die already. . . .

Misty Grey