TOP 10 MODERN PROG-DJENT ALBUMS OF 2012
2012 was a year filled with massive albums, massive eps and massive controversies as well (yes, im talking about Rings Of Saturn and Attack Attack!). But the overtly saturated djent scene did see some star studded releases which can easily call this year as ‘Year of Modern Prog/Djent Metal’. The debate that djent is a genre yet or still just a guitar sound over power chord play , is still unresolved but there is no denying that the bands incorporating this sound INNOVATIVELY , do sound amazing.
It took quite a few days, opinions of friends and tons of album spins and digging into the scene deep – Presenting the top 10 Modern Djent albums of 2012.
10.Cloudkicker : Fade
Starting the descending list with one of my most loved ‘one man projects’ is B.M Sharps Cloudkicker. Each release kicks you in the sweet spot with a unique production and theme each time.This album musically is more inclined to mellower landscaping. Certain songs like ‘Seattle’ and ‘From the balcony’ have really groovy ,proggy and contain emotionally stirring sections. Categorizing Cloudkicker is nearly as impossible the music is largely based on what goes on in Sharps mind before he makes it, but one thing is for sure- you DON’T miss out on a Cloudkicker release because it will be in every top 10 list.
9.Elitist : Reshape Reason
Their previous Ep titled ‘Earth’ had the most amazing guitar wizardy at display and the eyes were set on their new record. The expectations were met precise as their record goes into the depth of synth laced ‘core’ .
Reshape Reason could’ve been the ‘death/djent-core’ record of the year if they actually were an instrumental project. The vocals are top notch no doubt, but apparently, after their EP, I really felt they could do better wo vocals.
8.Intervals : In Time
Canadian badass project, which blew up the minds of prog fans with their debut Ep, are back and how. With guest solos by David Micic of Bilo fame and Olly Steele of Monuments, the album boasts of heavy djenty sections and warm clean ambient parts. Especially the track Epiphany has been written in a completely unique way, which makes you pleasantly surprised at this bands abilities. And the best part – it’s a 100% instrumental project!
7.GlassCloud: The Royal Thousand
Joshua Travis makes an entry 2nd time into the list with GlassCloud. Basick record’s most amazing find from the saturated death-core scene, it takes you to through the clean-growl-clean trip with elegance. ‘White Flag’ is how I found them and there is no stopping since then. The band boasts of catchy choruses coupled by sick breakdowns all packed in a very concise album. Joshua does his ‘tones’ a lot more justice in this record as it blends more easily I would say than the Tony Danza record.
6.The HAARP Machine : Disclosure
This band. Musicians go extremes in finding weird instruments and add them in their albums under the pretext of making an ‘experimental release’ and ruin the foreign instruments repute and sound. THM on the other hand, did the simpler deal, they took the usual western scales and played it the Eastern way. The bands trump is Mike Semesky who has heavenly cleans and shuddering growls . His other project Vestascension is equally a treat to the ear. THM has elements of thrash, experimental, eastern music and ofcourse prog and super techy production holds the songs as one.
5.The Korea : Chariots Of The Gods
The Korea’s reciepe includes : take some nice straightforward grooves, mix a pinch of deathcore vocals, add strategically placed super-catchy high pitched cleans and you have a winner. Mass appeal and class appeal combine on this immensely talented album, yet ridiculously underrated. The language comes across as a surprise (Russian) but kicks in like their Vodka.
4.Skyharbor : Blinding White Noise
hailing from the league of Internet-bred bands, Keshav Dhar picks up on of his best songs written in span of 4 years and makes them even more epic with collaborations from Dan Tompkins (ex Tesseract) , Marty Friedman (ex Megadeth) Vishal J Singh (Amogh Symphony) and Sunnieth ‘sunny’ revankar of Bhayanak Maut (Check these lads out).
Warm landscaping guitars with Dan’s soulful lyrics capture the essence of life n beyond on ‘Illusion’ CD . Sunny lends his angst and powerful growls and screams on ‘Chaos’ CD to complete this epic , two part concept album.
3.Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza: Danza IV
‘Give a black man a guitar and he will make it purr’ .
Tosin Abasi and Joshua Travis do exactly the same. Joshua has gone full throttle on this epic release. Its gorgeous and its heavy. The 8-string madness with his signature motor-sound has made this THE heaviest release of this year in my opinion. If you are going for an interview or a break-up, make sure you plug this in for jumpy grooves, battering brutality and short sweet clean sections.
2.Periphery II: This time it’s personal
Words cannot express how much the periphery lads have progressed in one album. The vocals have gone a level ahead, with inclusion of Mark (Mraky) from Haunted Shores on guitars and Nolly from Red Seas Fire made this band beyond perfect.
With guest solos from Guthrie Govan and John ‘jesus’ petrucci , it was bound to hit the sweet spot. The album boasts of sick groove with electronic interludes that mix perfectly and give you a djenty,heavy yet proggy trip .
AND FINALLY THE ALBUM OF THE YEAR!!!
1. Monuments – Gnosis
The band which has John Browne , has to be special. After all,most of the rip-off bands ‘FELLSILENT’ when asked where their djenty riffage came from (pun intended). The pioneering modern djent band Monuments , after a painfully long wait after their EP , came out with an album that smashed all charts.
With one listen catchy choruses and yet prog influences, the album is a delight from start to end. Although the inclusion of their new vocalist did gather a bit of mixed reviews, the overall album is on top of many lists.
It was obviously difficult to choose the first position because ‘this time it’s personal’ (yes pun intended) but these guys go up solely because of the edgy production. To be honest, it was really impossible to pick between Monuments and Periphery but HEY! there can be only one winner and i chose them solely because they started as a heavy band, and maintained that root direction, whereas Periphery experimented and kind of let me down with more clean vocals (my opinion).
2.Chimp Spanner – All Roads Lead Here
3.Sithu Aye – Invent The Universe
4.Sectioned – Monotonne
5.Novallo – Novallo EP