With the shorter numbers this month, there wasn't a ton of new music hitting my ears in April. What little there was, mostly already has/had a review posted about it, so don't expect a ton going on here.
Ambeon - Fate of A Dreamer
Another mast on the Arjen Anthony Lucassen ship of awesomeness, Ambeon's Fate of A Dreamer is a light and semi-atmospheric adventure into progressive metal. Not his best work, Ayreon and Guilt Machine are both way better, but it's nice seeing the man try new things. He has a couple of other acts/releases that I want to listen to, but I have a lot on my plate
I just wanted some chill music to ease into my day, which is why I chose the psych/stoner act Arbouretum and I got what I wanted. The Gathering is a great, relaxing piece for anyone who just wants to let their eyes go slack and zone out. The album was a great mix of tranced-out tunes and story-telling that reminds me of Warren Zevon. My personal favorite is "The Highwayman" because it combines both of these ideals; the music is simple and relaxing while the story is deep and entertaining. I wanted to do a full review of The Gathering, but I have a hard time reviewing psych albums, at least to the length of a full review. A great album.
[Edit] After hanging out with Andrew Clayton this week, he played me the version of "The Highwayman" by The Highwaymen (outlaw country supergroup featuring Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson). Half way through the song, I remarked that I had heard this song before, and recently, and after a little bit of a search, I re-came upon the Arbouretum version. I played it for Andrew and he liked it enough to take a copy of the group's album. Kind of a neat story I think.
Drone, doom, psych, stoner and a host of other ambient genres come together to assemble this Dark Buddha Rising album. Can't say I enjoyed much of Abyssolute Transfinite - if any at all - and as such will never listen to it again. I hate to have such a negative little snippet, but I can't recall enjoying this album at all.
Freedom Hawk - Freedom Hawk
Freedom Hawk is some good southern-tinged stoner metal. Strikes me as if Black Sabbath had been from Tennessee instead of cheery old England. Their self-titled album isn't anything truly special, but it's enjoyable nonetheless. If you like southern-style stoner with a hint of doom then Freedom Hawk may be right up your alley.
Continuing my post-metal experimentation, Grayceon seemed like a decent choice. I had heard good things from the band, and their latest release, All We Destroy, seemed like a good place to go with my knowledge seeking. The album has some highs, and it has some lows, but I have to ask; what is with the screaming? The tracks without the seemingly-pointless screaming are actually pretty good, reminding me of SubRosa's release I listened to last month (a little more within the post genre though), but those with the screams are just plain crappy. The noise destroys any semblance of song and/or rhythm within. Try it out delicately.
When I picked up Places To Hide by Jack And The Bearded Fishermen, I was led to believe it was a venture into the psychedelic stoner way of things, and while this is technically true, I got a much more post-metal vibe from Places To Hide. I can hear the stoner, the psych, and for some reason some 90s alt-metal influences, but over all that is the bleaching of style and sound that is present throughout most post-metal acts (that I've heard). The album isn't bad, it's just kind of uneventful, with certain sections being really jamming (aka: great) and others being kind of dull (aka: not so great). Hard to pin down one way or another.
This is the beginning of Kylesa's collection, and I have to say I like the end/current era more (as I've already stated). Their debut is a sort of crossover between sludge and hardcore (not my favorite genres, but I'm sure there is a name for this style). If I had heard this style, I would have never tried them again. The only song I liked was the final one, "Parent's Song," and even that was fleeting (plus with a name like that, it makes me feel like I'm a lame old fogey). As it is I liked their newest, and so I will suffer through to hear the progression of the stylistic change from then to now.