Next To None - Phases album review

Rising US proggers turn up the heavy on album number two

Cover art for Next To None - Phases album

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Pennsylvania’s Next To None are progressive metallers who place the emphasis very firmly on the spectrum’s chunkier end. Phases is their second album, and in heaviness terms the band have really cranked the dial, becoming noticeably more confident since their 2015 debut, A Light In The Dark. Besides supplying those scratchy turntable sounds, keyboardist Thomas Cucé continues to mix growls with clean vocals. Derrick Schneider’s immensely detuned guitar riffs are redolent of Slipknot and Sepultura, though Alone and Kek display bags of melodic content. The progressive element comes via bassist Kris Rank and engine room colleague Max Portnoy, who is already shaping up to be a notable drummer, just like his father Mike. Second time around there are no guest appearances – not even from Portnoy Snr – and the band wrote and produced every last note themselves, railing against those who accused them of nepotism on The Apple. This is a brave, accomplished sophomore set.

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.