Caligula’s HorseRise Radiant

★★★☆ Like other Australian prog bands that I happen to love, C-Horse deliver a fascinating suite of tunes that are heavy yet dynamic, with captivating vocals, unusual riffs, and tasty shredding throughout. This reminds me a lot of what I love about Leprous and Textures. I don’t know that it’d go on heavy rotation, but it’s a worthwhile listen if you get a chance.

Old Man Gloom -- Seminar IX: Darkness Of Being

Old Man GloomSeminar IX: Darkness Of Being

★★☆☆ Be careful what you wish for: Seminar IX does indeed have less noise-filler and more musical content, but the songs here are not as solid as the ones on Seminar IX. It also feels less like OMG and more like, well, Mutoid Man or Cave-In, frankly. I can respect the band’s commitment to underdeveloped song ideas; it’s just not for me.

Oranssi Pazuzu -- Mestarin Kynsi

Oranssi PazuzuMestarin Kynsi

★★★☆ I did not expect this. Oranssi Pazuzu’s latest album is a blend of… their previous black metal excellence, plus Nine Inch Nails? plus Steve Reich?! Also, why hadn’t I really considered how well black metal and industrial sensibilities would blend together before now? It’s potent and methodical and devastating. Run, don’t walk, to your headphones!

Sylosis -- Cycle Of Suffering

SylosisCycle Of Suffering

★★★☆ Tasty and super inventive riffs adorn this latest from this British prog melodeath band (if that’s even a thing). More memorable than their 2015 album "Dormant Heart," this is also mroe cohesive. And did I mention those riffs yet? Impressive to hear this kind of uniqueness coming consistently on track after track, like they have this creativity in a firehose.

Five Finger Death Punch -- F8

Five Finger Death PunchF8

★★☆☆ I was prepared to thoroughly hate this, give FFDP’s most recent missteps. But this groove metal album is the least offensive thing the band has made in years! It’s too manicured to evoke real rage, but it’s appropriately big and epic, albeit overlong. Give it a shot, I say; you might be surprised!