Dan Salter


Articles by Dan Salter

Idles – O2 Institute, Birmingham

Idles are not just a band, nor are they just a movement. . . This night showcased their extraordinary gift: the ability to bring people together, to listen to a simple message, and to think about it, all while enjoying themselves.

Leprous – O2 Institute, Birmingham

Good looking people, great hair, and wonderful, catchy music – Leprous, in that respect, epitomise the “Three Greats” of Scandinavia. . . However, like many groups, they are evolving as much as they are maturing.

The Contortionist – The Asylum Venue, Birmingham

The Contortionist and Palm Reader gave Birmingham the perfect night of progressive metal, and hardcore

Ohhms –The Asylum Venue, Birmingham

Canterbury riffs giants lead the way in a night of extraordinary talent.

Marmozets • Black Peaks – The Kasbah, Coventry

A clash of genres at the Kasbah. Marmozets deliver emphatically in Coventry

Havok – The Asylum, Birmingham

Old-school thrash, hardcore, and death metal made for a marvellous mixed-grill at Birmingham’s Asylum.

TesseracT – Sonder

‘Sonder’ is brooding album driven by punching guitar riffs, expected complexity and pop melodies.

Conjurer – The Flapper & Firkin, Birmingham

Conjurer pay their tributes to the Flapper with an eviscerating display of strength

Giver – Where The Cycle Breaks

‘Where The Cycle Breaks’ deals in “passion, sincerity and truth”, as well as heavy choruses, gang vocals, and sublime melodic hardcore.

Xanthochroid – “Of Erthe and Axen” Act I

Blending cinematic themes and black metal over a double album is a tall order. Xanthochroid embrace the challenge and the first half of Of Erthe and Axen displays immense results.

The Tangent – The Slow Rust of Forgotten Machinery

Political commentary and instrumental technicality, The Tangent allow Roger Waters’ influence to shape their re-purposed image of progressive rock.

Josh Kay – Absence of Time

Whilst possibly a struggle for others, ‘Absence of Time’ should entertain metal guitarists of all talents.

When Icarus Falls – Resilience

Post-metal with shoegaze, When Icarus Lives perform a substantial remodelling of their own sound.

DDENT – آكتئاب

This is a strong post-metal release, especially for a debut. There are two sides to this coin, crushing riffs, and poignancy in melody; this album is about to show you both sides, and despite its hour-long length, the time flies by.

The Goat Wizard – The Anthromancer

The Anthromancer is an impressively convoluted, raw, energetic and creative release. Expect math-rock, and prog, but throw in some ska and post-punk as well.

Seven Impale – Contrapasso

A very well done, and enjoyable, progressive rock record, though more nostalgic than innovative. – By Aidan Clucas

Deus Ex Machina – Devoto

There are elements of nostalgia for those who are familiar with Deus Ex Machina, and too for those who are familiar with progressive rock. It is not ground-breaking but, rather, subtle in its innovation. Piras said he wanted the songs to feel more ‘from our guts than from our heads’ and this more primal-passion can definitely be felt, generated a more natural, earthy sound. By Aidan Clucas

Periphery – Periphery III: Select Difficulty

This is subjective, but it is not better than any previous Periphery release, as it lacks the sheer thrill or astonishment of its predecessors. But it is by no means a disappointment, it is just a very good album in amongst great albums. – By Aidan Clucas

Mechanical Monkey – Ambition Impossible

With the talent on display, and the mash of influences, this album could have strayed too far in any number of directions. It instead remains relatively grounded, yet still exceptional. This is aggressive, and heavy hitting, yet most importantly interesting and impressive. By Aidan Clucas

Seed From The Geisha – Point Nemo

This is a really enjoyable album, and one that demonstrates so much potential. The band are perfectly fine doing what they’re doing, but they should either measure their intensity in their music, or incorporate more curious, and bizarre, dynamics. Very well done. By Aidan Clucas

Black Stone Cherry – Kentucky

‘Kentucky’ is a step up from ‘Magic Mountain’, but thankfully not just making the same music they made when they were kids; they may have finally “evolved”, and Kentucky represents the closing of their first chapter, and the beginning of fresh new passage in life. – By Aidan Clucas

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