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The Erkonauts - I Shall Forgive album review

Switzerland’s prog metallers cough up the goods

The Erkonauts’ singer Ales Campanelli (formally of Sybreed) rehearsed so hard he claims he “coughed a little blood now and then”. Thankfully, their grafting shows from start to finish. I Shall Forgive is an engaging, well-produced prog metal record offering shimmering melodies, tumbling hooks, resonant bass grooves and a nod to the more commercial facets of Mastodon. Their debut, I Did Something Bad, was a sterling effort but here they’ve uncorked their full potential. Opener Little Mary pinpoints their artistic growth, kicking off with a cheeky bass twiddle before smashing into a thick mass of snarling gravel and quickfire proggy riffs. Elsewhere, tracks stay on the not-too-zany side of the genre by fixing accessible hooks and air punching choruses to their prog bedrock. Produced by Drop from Samael, technically this is a tight record, but Ales’s bloody larynx captures a sense of pounding rawness.