Monotreme Records
Street: 04.13
Stearica = Danava +
Green Carnation + 
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
If you are a fan of progressive rock/metal, then the album Fertile by Torino, Italy’s Stearica is an album you cannot miss. Although it’s 98-percent instrumental—being broken up by an occasional spoken-word bit—Fertile never relies on the cliché of having guitar solos to cover the loss of vocals. Rather, they use sweeping musical passages that are complex with rhythmic changes and melodic structures that push the boundaries of rock. This, coupled with an extremely dirgey bass tone and unconventional chords and progressions, has the album constantly in a state of musical brilliance with much experimentation. Taking the production’s tonal quality, along with some of the synth parts and guitar composition, has Stearica easily transporting the listener back to the ’70s, yet they keep enough of a modern edge to never make it feel dated or “old.” One of the best albums of 2015, so far. –R.G.B. Robb