A while ago, we held a round table and theorized about what bands would meet the criteria for both math rock and prog. They’re out there to be sure, but sometimes when you hear the word prog, you can’t help but think about music that’s a little older.
Come on, math rock is old, but it’s not that old. It’s basically a millennial. Gen-X at its oldest. Regardless, one of the more recent bands that manages to slam these two cousins together in a sonically successful way is After Nations, based out of Lawrence, Kansas.
While both are oversaturated genres at times, there is still fertile creative ground to break – you just need to go and break it. That being said, the method is different for everyone.
Joseph E. Paregine, for instance, recently created an incredible in-between space spanning math rock and djent, by consciously channeling Don Caballero while embracing the instincts of Meshuggah. It’s a winding, often unwieldy mix, but After Nations is one of those rare bands that seems capable of mining this space with intention and purpose. Check out this exclusive playthough video for “AON” below.
We’re not sure what their method is – assigning musical values to DnD, making sacrificial offerings… it could be a lot of things. But the results are worth it. At times, moments across the record sound a bit like lauded proggers like The Contortionist and Between the Buried and Me, maybe even with a dash of Scale the Summit.
But there’s a sense of vision here that keeps it fresh, and a huge variety of tones to keep your ear holes busy, so why not throw in a nifty little playthrough as well? We’ve got more coming up from the band next month, so keep your eye out for more cerebral shred here soon.
If you haven’t already, check out the most recent After Nations album, Endless Mountain, on their website here, and if you want to shrink our tiny veins with some caffeine, bless you, do it here. Coming up we’ve got Two Brothers, The Bob Lazar Story, Twitch recaps, and more. Thanks for reading!