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Porcupine Tree

Mar Palafox lead the vanguard in his latest spacey hard rock single, Battle.

After a string of successful singles, the alt-rock solo artist Mar Palafox has released his debut self-titled album; expect an adrenalizing ensemble of power metal, prog rock and spacey hard rock.

Any fans of Dir En Grey, InMe and Porcupine Tree will be easily absorbed by the atmospheric textures in the soundscapes that coincide with frenetic solos as they blaze through the complex time signatures. Each single on the album is a feat of ingenuity, but none more so than the standout single, Battle. The slightly lo-fi feel to the single gives Battle a punky garage rock edge that is cutting, to say the least.

You can check out Mar’s debut album for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Prog rock meets grunge and flirts with hardcore in Touch by Mirror’s latest single, Something New.

Touch by Mirror

Prog rock meets grunge in South African artist Touch by Mirror’s single, Something New; it’s exactly what it says on the tin. So, if you have heard enough ripped-off Nirvana riffs to last a lifetime, you will definitely appreciate the alternative artist’s explorative instrumental inclination and complex time signatures.

If you could imagine what it would sound like if the styles of Porcupine Tree, Thrice and Alice in Chains merged, you will get a good idea of how Something New unravels. While, lyrically, Something New is the perfect track to vent your societal angst through; it unravels as a poignant snapshot of the tension that has turned social discourse into a cesspit of distraction and senseless misdirected anger.

After entering Cape Town’s alt-rock scene in 2020 with his debut EP, ‘Solitude’, Touch by Mirror is well on his way to bringing his soulful take on hardcore into the mainstream.

Check out Touch by Mirror via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Quentel the Cryptid – Ghost Trap: Obsession-Worthy Dark Alt-Rock

When the prelude to a previously unheard track demands maximum volume, you know you’ve just stumbled across a gem, which is exactly what happened when we dove into the cataclysmically superlative single ‘Ghost Trap’ by Alt-Rock artist Quentel the Cryptid.

Fans of the darker side of the Alt 90s sound will definitely want to indulge in Ghost Trap which offers the same atmospheric effects as Cradle of Filth, the same progressive momentum as Porcupine Tree and vocals carrying the cutting reminiscence of Brian Molko. But that isn’t where the dynamism ends, the heavy use of psychedelically-laced synths allowed Quentel the Cryptid to well and truly stamp down their ensnaring sonic signature sound in Ghost Track.

It’s an obsession worthy track from the first hit.

You can check out the official video to Ghost Trap for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Superflush deliver a bitter-sweet romantic kick with their Alt Indie debut single ‘Answer’

Californian Alt-Indie trio Superflush have made their 2020 debut with the stunningly hazy Shoegaze single ‘Answer’, expect plenty more than just another My Bloody Valentine or Slowdive derivative as Superflush weave their way right across the tonal palette.

With a progressive feel to the ode to the Alt 90s sound, the dreamy melodies synergise with the lucid vocals which come with a bitter-sweet romantic kick. Everyone from fans of Radiohead to fans of Porcupine Tree will want to jump on this authentically crafted, served straight from the soul feat of Alt-Indie. As far as debuts go, they don’t come much more promising than this.

You can check out Answer for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Oliver Cheung – Remembrance: Pacifying Progressive Rock

Remembrance by Oliver Cheung

Oliver Cheung is a solo artist from Hong Kong who has assembled his skills to produce his latest ensemble titled Remembrance in which he created the perfect track to accompany the worn-out meditation tracks on your chill out playlists.

The deftly talented guitar player has mastered a melodic track with minimalist entrapments that lead you into a transgressive cacophony of sound through the duration of the 8-minute track which turns into an overpowering discord of annalistic rock that even the most pretentious metal fan couldn’t turn their nose up at. Throughout his standout track Remembrance, he demonstrates that his ability to manipulate the strings is a straight up match with Prog Rock giants such as Dream Theatre, Tangerine Dream and Porcupine Tree.

This instrumental track couldn’t be long enough. Lucky for me, it comes off the Remembrance EP which has just been released. Throughout the EP Cheung demonstrates his versatility over arrangements, with each moment of his EP more captivatingly sonorous than the last.

The Remembrance EP is available for you to check out and download via Bandcamp right now!

https://olivercheung.bandcamp.com/track/remembrance

or you can head on over to Spotify to sample some of his earlier sounds!

https://soundcloud.com/olivergtrhk