Next To None - Phases album review

Rising US proggers turn up the heavy on album number two

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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.