.......................................A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FEATURED ARTIST AND CD REVIEWS - 2008
Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal - Logo
LAST UPDATE 11/12/2008..
. CORTE AULICA - "Il Temporale E L'arcobaleno"
The progessive rock band Corte Aulica starts playing on january 2006, formed from Gustavo Pasini, the drummer of the "Notabene", Nicholas Gasperi - keyboards, Luca Saccenti - guitar, (already member of always founded the Lithos group from G.Pasini, and the bassista David Fedreghini replaced for time issues and a job from Emanuele already bassista Jaforte of the trio jazz rock Ypsilon, with the objective to create music which reminds to the Canterbury setting of the seventies, "Camel", "Caravan" and "Hatfield and the North" above all, but at the same time keeping its strong originality both in the composing and in the sound. On December 2006, after only a year from the birth, the group records 9 pieces of its own composing. Corte Aulica is a young band that came from Italy, and creates its own music with a vintage sound, inspired by great old british bands and, drawing some musical influences from renowned Italy progressive rock groups, where the band play a magical and elegant Symphonic Progressive Rock style. The band has a strong sense of melody, great musicianship, and a perfect instrumental that makes a difference, where the music is centered around guitars and keyboards, exploring delicate bass sounds with a dynamic drums. From time to time a new bands appears in the progressive scene that surprises for its freshness and originality, in fact, Corte Aulica certainly will attract a lot of attention and deserve a special attention. "Il Temporale E L'arcobaleno" contains many interesting instrumental tracks filled with swirling, shifting textures that almost verge on symphonic orchestration, just listen "Il Temporale E L'arcobaleno", "Corte Aulica", "Tiziana", "La Principessa Del Parco", "Via Rua Sovera 19", "Grazie A Te"and "La Ragione D'autunno" and you will find only pure emotions, crowned by the immense symphonic instrumental. Using some references, Corte Aulica´s music and style is very similar to "Camel", "Caravan", "Le Orme", "PFM", "Locanda Delle Fate", "Mangala Vallis", "Foglie Di Vetro" and "La Maschera Di Cera". The musicians on the band are: Luca Saccenti - Guitar, Nicola Gasperi - Keyboards and Vocals, Emanuele Jaforte - Bass and Gustavo Pasini - Drums and Vocals, Guest musician Anna Paderni - Flute. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
01/13/2008.................For more details and everything about the band please check out CORTE AULICA HOME PAGE...
. ALAN MORSE - "Four O' Clock And Hysteria"
Members of "Spock’s Beard", one of the best modern prog rock groups, the Morse brothers have gained much respect from all fans of the genre. After all they totally deserve it as they both are considered to be among the most talented musicians of our times. The whole prog rock community hails them both as two of the leaders of this kind of music. Apart from his contribution to "Spock’s Beard" records, Neil Morse (who has now left the band) has released several solo albums. Now it’s time for his brother Alan to do exactly the same. “Four O’clock and Hysteria” is Alan Morse’s first solo effort. And it’s a quite successful one. Although the other "Spock’s Beard" members, as well as Neil Morse, make their musical contribution to this cd, the end result is not similar to a Beard release. After all, when such high-class musicians surround you, it is quite logical to use their abilities for a solo release as well. What we’ve got here is an instrumental guitar-driven album. Through these 12 songs, the listener can easily appreciate Morse’s guitar virtuosity as well as his open-minded musical taste. There is a lot of variation in styles: from straight blues to slow funk and from there to melodic prog songs and extended jams, Alan Morse proves that he is capable of playing successfully any kind of music. In other words, it doesn’t really matter what music style you chose to play as long as your songs contain beautiful melodies and make the listening experience a pleasant one. That’s exactly the case with “Four O’clock…” The participation of top-notch musicians makes any comment regarding the music performances unnecessary. They are all extremely skilled player and Alan gives them enough room to show their abilities. In addition the fact that both Morse brothers hold the production duties guarantees a well-produced result. As a conclusion the first solo release of Alan Morse certainly deserves our attention. Especially "Spock’s Beard" fans (and prog fans in general) will be pleased. “Four O’clock and Hysteria” is an excellent addition to the growing catalog of InsideOut Music, the perfect home for Alan Morse...  (Comments By Marcelo Martins)
01/13/2008...................................,............Interested to know more about the artist? Visit ALAN MORSE HOME PAGE...
. AHOORA - "All In Blood With You"
Ahoora came from Iran and was formed in late 2001 by Milad Tangshir and Kiavash Kia. Joined by a bass player and a guy to handle the vocals, Ahoora seemed to try to play heavy metal music with Persian lyrics. This is interesting to say the least. A surprisingly quality metal masterpiece, from a scene I am not familiar with (Iranian Metal). It definitely belongs to the heavy end of the progressive metal spectrum, taking cues from "Nevermore" and "Megadeth", as well as some gothic contemporizes. With the ferocious riffs that open the record, I was thinking thrash, but as the song settled into its dark groove, the album revealed its true colors. The next song shows more gothic and intricate colors with well thought out crushing and clean sections. The eastern arpeggios definitely provide an eastern flavor, with the chop heavy musician ship and structures make for a thoroughly enjoyable listen. "A History of Extinction" further displays the band's innovative riff arrangements being alternately haunting/doomy and riff-alicious, making a great instrumental. The whole record has an overall cohesive feel, that shows a mature focused outfit. I love the way that the music incorporates tonnes of time-and-scale changes without sacrificing an iota of the oppressive atmosphere."Between Maybe and Never" is another example of crushing dynamics, with the haunting licks raising hairs in places. The listenability of the whole record is very high, and repeated spins revealed a detail to the songwriting that the listener may miss the first time. The by the numbers metal production is merely average and the band would definitely from a bigger studio and producer. There is enough variety to make Ahoora more than a sum of its influences, and warrant a major signing. I would like to thank Carlos Vaz (Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal - E-Zine) for sending this my way and thus introducing me to a rising start of the Asian Metal Scene. Yhe line up on Ahoora are: Milad Tangshir - Rhythm Guitar, Ashkan Hadavand - Voice, Alireza Saeidian - Lead Guitar and Mohamad Baei - Fretless Bass, Ida Norheim-Hagtun - Female vocals on "Hunger Within". All lyrics written by Milad Tangshir. This band deserves some serous attention NOW!!!   (Comments By Syed Suleiman Ali)
01/13/2008................................,.....Interested to know more about the this artist? Please visit AHOORA HOME PAGE...
. 25 YARD SCREAMER - "Cassandra"
25 Yard Screamer came from South Wales and was formed in 2002 after Donal (drums) and Matt (Bass) helped Nick (Guitar) with a record company showcase gig for some of Nick own material. That label was not interested but they worked well together and so decided to carry on with it. To date they have recorded 3 CD's. The latest "Cassandra" has been far and away the most popular, receiving great reviews across the web and in many magazines. 25 Yard Screamer are amazing power trio that blends perfectly styles as Progressive Rock, Hard Rock, Symphonic Rock, Classic Rock with touchs of Metal, into their own unique jam of sound. The style and influences of 25 Yard Screamer moves between bands such as "Rush", "Deep Purple", "Kansas", "Porcupine Tree", "Dream Theater", "Opeth", "Marillion" and "Yes". Their music is very solid and powerful on the arrangements and melodic in some compositions, the musical concepts are based on blazing guitar solos, bombastic drums and impressive bass sounds, adorned with sweet and harmony vocals. 25 Yard Screamer certainly is a prog band that deserves all our attention. "Cassandra" can be experienced on a number of different musical levels, that should appeal to a variety of listeners. Among the four tracks on the almost 58 minutes album, we find two songs that really stands out, the first one is "Blacklight" with 19min filled of powerful guitars solos and beautiful vocals, and the second is "Cassandra" with 29:20 min, a big suite and contains beautiful instrumental passages, the instrumental arrangements are very tasteful with diverse interplay between passages of guitar and bass, with pulsating drums and harmonic vocals, overall the balance of the song is so amazing, making it my favorite track on the album. "Cassandra" is distributed online by The music Index. The musicians on the band are: Matt Clarke - Bass Guitar, Nick James - Guitars & Vocals, Donal Owen - Drums. Brilliant and an indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
01/13/2008...............................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit 25 YARD SCREAMER HOME PAGE...
. HOLDING PATTERN - "Breaking The Silence"
Holding Pattern was formed in 1981 and quickly gained notoriety as being one of the most important progressive rock bands hailing from the U.S. Through the release of their debut album, videos, radio air play and performances with "Steve Morse", "Kansas", "Rick Wakeman" and "Steve Howe" to name a few. Holding Pattern quickly built a loyal following of prog rock fans from around the globe. Guitarist/composer Tony Spada’s split with Holding Pattern in 1992 prompted him to start a new band to support the release of his critically acclaimed solo album “Balance Of Power” and a chance to return to a more progressive/guitaristic style of music. “Balance Of Power” was enjoyed not only by fans of Holding Pattern but helped create a solo career to a growing audience in just about every country. In January 2005, Tony Spada released his last album titlet “The Human Element” that, created a buzz in the prog community based on reviews, requests for advance orders and strong coverage in various media. Holding Pattern should appeal to anyone who likes atmospheric music, or symphonic instrumental progressive rock in general, their music is centered around symphonic instrumental arrangements, where very intense and virtuoso guitar work dominates the music, combined with symphonic keyboard solos, working extremely well with all bass parts and drums. Today, Holding Pattern is leaded by Tony Spada, a veteran of the progressive rock genre and a wizard on the guitar, together with excellent and talented musicians, the band know how to play a cool and versatile Progressive Rock Music. "Breaking The Silence" is totally instrumental, and contains nine tracks, almost 51min of a dynamic and adventurous Progressive Rock style. Recorded and also distribution by Surveiliance Records. The highlights of the album are the following tracks: "Breaking the Silence", "Fishbulb", "Once as One", "Back to the Tunnels", "Blaster" and "Like Waves" may be the best song on the album. The musicians on Holding Pattern are: Tony Spada - Guitar, Tony Castellano - Bass and Keyboards, Robert Hutchinson - Drums and Percussion, Mark Tannenbaum - Keyboards and Rob "The Drummer" Gottfried - Drums. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
01/17/2008.....,.....Want to learn everything about the band and its members? Visit HOLDING PATTERN HOME PAGE...
. GREY SKIES FALLING - "Tomorrow's In Doubt"
This is a joyride. What starts out as a promising gothic doom outfit turns into melodic death metal (mid paced) and then proceeds to touch almost all metal genres (barring the -cores). The wonderful thing is that it has originality and songwriting of a high caliber going for it. The singer does clean and powerful singing sections but intersperses them with equally forceful Swedish rasps and growls to bring a sense of class to the proceedings. There is a lot of emotion displayed here, with well written personal clearly enunciated lyrics. And the music: a boiling pot of the best elements of progressive / classic rock, melodic death metal, doom/gothic and traditional metal that does not dissolve into the faceless hogwash of 99% of extreme metal today. Can you believe it, a band with personality and actual songwriting talent? There is nothing below the 6 minute mark here, but without resorting to typical doom pacing. Meaning the songs are epic, but busy with very involved structures. The cleaner sections show real ability, while the heavier ones reflect an outfit who understand metal dynamics. The only comparison I can think of (being a lazy music reviewer) is In the Woods and My Dying Bride, and that too very occasionally. Otherwise this is un-pigeonholable and the originality and maturity is surprising give that this was their second full-length. If you, like me, have had enough of the flood of recent sludge/doom releases and horribly poppy 'gothic' bands, get this to be depressed in style. And just to once again emphasize the fact, they were too original and classy (that word again) to have stable record contracts. Infact all 3 of their releases are offered as high quality mp3 right here by the band themselves. Nothing released after 1996 is evident as an influence here, to my relief. But the way the amalgamation is effortlessly achieved is nothing short of masterful. How a band can avoid gothenburg cliches, dream theatre wankery, sabbath imitation, samples, drum machines, oscillators/filters, orchestras and operas and yet remain a relevant musical metal entity is aptly documented here. If I pointed out individual tracks here, I would be nitpicking since they are ALL great (though the heart wrenching guitars and piano in the closer need mention ). Highly recommended!...   (Comments By Syed Suleiman Ali)
02/03/2008.............................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit GREY SKIES FALLING HOME PAGE...
. DARKWATER - "Calling the Earth to Witness"
Initially came together in Sweden in late 2003 and spent the next several years perfecting its material before signing with Ulterium Records in early 2007, features four of the five original members of "Harmony". The band played a brand of power metal with a slight progressive edge, one that on the surface reminded me of "Circus Maxiumus", but lacked that heavy progressive sound. The band "Darkwater", consisting of four of the five members in "Harmony", takes the progressive banner and raises it high. What "Harmony" is only on the surface, Darkwater is that through and through. They don't break the mold that bands like "Zero Hour" and "Wastefall" and the aforementioned "Circus Maximus" create, but they do reinforce it. Calling "The Earth To Witness" is Darkwater's Ulterium Records debut, having only released one song prior, in 2004, on a compilation called "The Sweet...According To Sweden". The album is nine songs deep (one being a short intro), and clocks in at just under sixty-nine minutes. "All Eyes On Me" - preceded by the short intro "2534167" - sets the progressive metal bar high; crushing guitar and drum work (very solid, heavy tones on both), powerful vocals with thick, lush harmonies, subtle keyboard flourishes that create depth, outstanding lead work, and - most importantly - brilliant songwriting. "Again" and "Habit" step up next and land a perfect one-two combination, with the latter pushing the thirteen-minute mark, showing a more dynamic and experimental style. Darkwater doesn't deviate from this heavy progressive style on the whole of the album, but they do add some different elements from song to song to keep things fresh: the short piano ballad "The Play, Pt. 1", the keyboard heavy and aggressive "Shattered", a little acoustic guitar work and a cappella on "Tallest Tree". While not breaking new ground, "Calling The Earth To Witness" is a formidable album in the field of progressive metal. While so many bands of this genre have too many loose ends flapping around while they try too hard to create something "progressive", Darkwater manages to keep things compelling and dynamic without getting sloppy. It's not always easy to make something memorable and tasty when so many ingredients are used, but Darkwater will both satisfy and keep you hungry for more. The full line up are: Henrik Båth - Vocals And Guitars, Tobias Enbert - Drums, Magnus Holmberg - Keyboards, Markus Sigfridsson - Guitars and Karl Wassholm - Bass...   (Comments By Marcelo Martins)
02/03/2008..........................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit DARKWATER HOME PAGE...
. MONSTERWORKS - "Spacial Operations"
Opening with a majestic intro that shows the band to be clearly influenced by bombastic Progressive Hard Rock, it explodes into the first song proper 'Firefight'. This lies somewhere at a crossroads between hevy devy metal (its a genre now), rogressive metal, melodic death metal and power metal. A very fresh sound indeed, which is surprising how hackneyed the inspirations have become in themselves. This has a passion and a sense of honesty often missing in musicians and albums of such virtuosity. The vocalist is like a one man war between the aforementioned devin (minus the reverb OD) and Impaled Nazarene. Lovely atmospheric keyboards drench the proceedings but never intrude on the seriously attacking guitars. Thankfully the leads avoid the dreaded Maiden syndrome as well as the abhorred pretty-ness of the Amotts. Instead the guitars and the organic song structures evoke the free flowing spirit of 70's progressive hard rock (as on "November") and  the classic (doomy) metal rumblings ("Stars Malign"). This traverses the entire classic and extreme metal spectrum in its 48 minutes, without once sounding forced or contrived. "Defenders of the Southern Cross" is another masterpiece but its all good really. Its great the way the same instruments (guitars, drums, bass, keys) in the same genre (metal) can still sound so fresh and vital, without resorting to non-traditional composition techniques. The way the band makes "Lynrd Skynrd" collide head on with Strapping Young Lad has to be heard to be believed. This band has single handedly revived my faith in progressive metal, infusing it with an almost punk enthusiasm and a true sense of adventure. For those who have had enough of the navel-gazing bloat metal of "Opeth" or the sheer pomposity (and pedestrian nature) of "Dream Theatre", give this a spin to see what you have been missing. My only regret is that this could not be included on my Yearly Top Ten List. The way the free-bird-esque acoustics of "Lonely Crown" erupts into the raging wall of sound and how the composition continues will give any metal fan the shivers. "Paralellysis" is another heartfelt acoustic interlude leading to the monstrous track "Alliance". Overall the vocals are some of the most passionate I have heard in a while (though very occasionally interspersed with a more generic growl) while the instrumentation takes the best elements of progressive and extreme metal (as well as 70's southern rock) and comes up with a winning mix. I could go on and on but suffice to say get it now. This is a concept record, being something of an action-space-drama, but the cohesive concept is only the icing on the cake, because the music stands tall on its own. And finally the cherry on the icing of this monster metal sundae : its available for free download (hi quality mp3) directly from the band's site...    (Comments By Syed Suleiman Ali)
02/03/2008...........................For more details and in the meantime please check out MONSTERWORKS HOME PAGE...
. PRIME MOVER - "Imperfekt"
Prime Mover is a Finnish band, formed in 1998 by young musicians Michael Karlsson and Roger Nyman, where they started recording various stuff together way back when they were kids in the late 80's. This was in Nykarleby/Uusikaarlepyy in Finland. As time went by, they learned how to play the guitar and bass respectively, and started forming bands, writing songs and recording demos. By that time, Roger and Michael had become better and more ambitious musicians, and therefore decided to try to record some own music that was good "for real". The first demo, "Mr Zingelmann" (1999), was basically a 40 minute concept album. The first real album was however "Put In Perspective" (2001), which was also the first release with the whole line-up. For the second album, "Prime Mover Alias Drivkraft" (2004), the band wrote all the lyrics in their native tongue: a minority version of Swedish spoken only in Finland. "Imperfekt" (2007), their last album, was at first intended to be an EP with only three songs, but it got expanded several times and the final result was an over one hour long album with eleven songs. Prime Mover plays a fine Progressive Rock with influences from many style directions, blending styles such as  Jazz Rock, Classic Rock, Melodic Rock and Folk, in a perfect musical combination, adding some nice symphonic trends. Like many old bands, Prime Mover can be considered as a typical prog rock group, using classic progressive instruments, such as Keyboards, Guitar, Bass and Drums, but in perfect doses and, the result is a dynamic and very cool music, we can enjoy an incredible instrumental arrangements, of which consist of very tasteful and diverse interplay between passages of guitar, keys, bass and drums, the vocals, although sung in Swedish/Finnish, fits perfectly with the music, creating exciting prog music to be long treasured. "Imperfekt" contains eleven songs and 61 minutes that, illustrate the songwriting talent that is present within the band. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Telefonsamtal Från Norr", "Sväljer Mina Ord", "In I Dimman", "Ingenting", "I Verkligheten", "Sånt Vi Behöver", "Enbart Psykopat" and the last song "En Yrkeshjältes Vedermödor" that´s in my opinion, the best track on the album. The musicians on Prime Mover are: Dennis Nordell – Vocals, Michael Karlsson – Guitars, Sebastian Teir – Keyboards, Roger Nyman – Bass Guitar and Kenneth Lagerström – Drums. Guests musicians: Olivia Häggblom, Miklos Längvik - Acoustic Guitar on "In I dimman", Klaus Canth - Drobro Solo on "Sagt Och Gjort" and Ellen Karlsson - Backing Vocals on "Ingenting". Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable....  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
02/03/2008...............................,.....More information? Better check it out for yourself at PRIME MOVER HOME PAGE...
. AYREON - "01011001"
Ayreon mastermind and multi-instrumentalist was born Arjen Anthony Lucassen April 3rd, 1960 in The Hague. Both Arjen and his older brother Gjalt were good students, but unlike Gjalt, Arjen wasn't interested much in studying. A notorious trouble-maker in class, Arjen decided to persue a career in the music business after graduating highschool. During his teens, Gjalt always teased Arjen a lot, and ever since the Ayreon albums were released, Arjen has been paying him back by playing jokes on his brother in the credits of his CDs. If you look carefully, you'll find a Gjalt 'joke' in every booklet of CDs released after 1995. Arjen's love for music was sparked in the 60s, when he became a big fan of the Beatles. He started buying albums in the early seventies when the glam rock era started and bands such as "T-Rex", "Alice Cooper", "The Sweet", "David Bowie' were rising stars. Arjen really wanted to be in a band but he was too lazy to learn to play an instrument so he started a play-back band mimicing his heroes "Alice Cooper", "Slade", "The Sweet"... Ayreon (Arjen Anthony Lucassen) is known for having many different musical styles and, considered like a magician or mago of the Epic Prog Rock Metal music, he has an ability to create one musical world that extends beyond all known musical genres, blending elements from Progressive Rock, Prog Metal, Art Rock, Electronic Music, Melodic Metal, Classic Rock, Neo Progressive, Folk, Hard Rock, Power Metal and Classic Music with an atmospheric instrumentation, something very special for everyone who appreciates a sophisticated Music. "01011001" is the seventh studio album by this extraordinary musician, or may be, the last release from Ayreon. A magnificient "Rock Opera", where it´s possible appreciate marvellous melodies and furious instrumental sections. The music and lyrics, it turns around at a fiction scenario called Planet Y, the seafaring 'Forever' have long ago forgone their emotions as well as becoming dependent on machines, in order to become immortal. In fact, "01011001" started to be developed into the albums "Into the Electric Castle Universal Migrator" and "The Human Equation". "01011001" is divided in two albuns, and the first one is dominated by, driving drums, symphonic keys, hard guitar sounds and lush vocals, the songs also takes a turn towards a Progressive Metal, Melodic Metal, Hard Rock, Art Rock and Classic Rock, strong compositions with pompous vocals in close harmony of a atmospheric sound, refined instrumentation are dominant all time. The second part is more dominated by long Symphonic, Prog Power Metal and Progressive Rock styles, almost like an epic music, with several passages that combines sometimes, symphonic guitars with sophisticated keyboards and, sometimes the guitars become familiar with the power metal style, featuring complex interplay of melodies, and pompous vocals, full of musical expressions and a rich instrumentation. Everything on "01011001" is done to lead you through this very special universe of fiction, full of rich, sensual, sweet and strong melodies, rich arrangements and sophisticated orchestration, generated by expert instrumental performances, because of the professionality of all musicians. Technical, "01011001" is the binary form of the number 89, which is the ASCII code for the letter 'Y'. If you consider yourself a fan of Progressive Music you must have this double album. The main musicians on" 01011001" are: Arjen Anthony Lucassen - Guitar, Keyboards, Synths, Bass Guitar, Programming, Vocals, Ed Warby (Gorefest) - Drums And Percussion, Lori Linstruth (Ex-Stream Of Passion) - Guitar Solo On "Newborn Race", Michael Romeo (Symphony X) - Guitar Solo On "E=Mc2", Derek Sherinian (Planet X, Yngwie Malmsteen, Ex-Dream Theater) - Keyboard Solo On "The Fifth Extinction", Tomas Bodin (The Flower Kings) - Keyboard Solo On "Waking Dreams", Joost Van Den Broek (After Forever) - Piano And Keyboard Solo On "The Sixth Extinction", Jeroen Goossens (Flairck) - Flutes, Ben Mathot (Dis) - Violins and David Faber - Cellos. Special vocals - Forever: Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian, Demons & Wizards), Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain of Salvation), Tom S. Englund (Evergrey), Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), Jørn Lande (ex-Masterplan, ARK), Anneke van Giersbergen (Agua de Annique, ex-The Gathering), Steve Lee (Gotthard), Bob Catley (Magnum), Floor Jansen (After Forever, Star One) and Magali Luyten (Beautiful Sin, Virus IV). Man: Simone Simons (Epica), Phideaux Xavier, Wudstik, Marjan Welman (Elister), Liselotte Hegt (Dial) and Ty Tabor (King's X). “01011001” is an excellent addition to the growing catalog of InsideOut Music, the perfect home for Ayreon... Brilliant, amazing and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
02/06/2008..............Want to learn everything about "01011001" and more about the band, go to AYREON HOME PAGE...
. DUG PINNICK - "Strum Sum Up"
Being the singer/bassplayer in one of the most unique bands in rock is not an easy task. But Doug Pinnick (or Dug as he puts on the cover) is good at it. "King´s X" forged a sound that comprises rich and soulful vocal, multi-voiced choruses and heavy/detuned guitar - in that case anticipating what the grunge scene made so popular. His second solo album is full of this. So full that is like a lost work of the band instead of solo output that makes way for the ideas that the musician can´t put in his day job. He invited some friends such as Wally Farkas ("Galactic Cowboys"), Steve Stevens ("Billy Idol", "Vince Neil") and Natasha Shneider and Alain Johannes ("Queens Of The Stone Age", "Eleven") and jam with them. Most of the songs are divided in two parts: the first one is the actual(?) song and the second one is the jam section. The later are comprised of the first takes from the sessions. This jamming mood describes the album best, mixing a soulful/funkier side (“Coming Over”, “Smile”) with a heavy detuned sound (“Perfect World”, “Hostile World”)...  "Strum Sum Up" is a another great release from Magna Carta Records...   (Comments By Claudio Borges)
02/12/2008...................................,.....Interested to know more about the musician? Visit DUG PINNICK HOME PAGE...
. ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO - "Last Day In Paradise"
Formerly a metal shredder, Alex Skolnick became a jazz virtuoso. From the bay area thrashers Testament to New York´s New School University, he transformed not only his career but his entire playing. Emerging as a cross between "Pat Metheny", "Jon Scofield" and "Larry Coryell". In combining the styles of the greats with his own Skolnick forged a unique sound. "Last Day in Paradise" is his third album and unlike predecessors shows more original compositions than remakes of heavy metal classics. But this is not a false jazz album done by a guitarist in mid-life crisis. This is the true work of a man that loves the style and embraced it with so much passion and knowledge that his past is almost forgotten. Through improvisations and modal tones the "trio" makes his way through the superb “Mercury Retrograde” - an almost live improvisation that breakes any preconceptions. One can imagine the album as an egocentric journey but it isn´t. There´s plenty of room for Nathan Peck (double bass) and Matt Zebroski (drums) as showed in “Channel 4” and “The Lizzard”. With the fluid and dreamy title track, Skolnick ventures in an unexplored territory. New territories are also explored in the rocker “Western Sabbath Stomp” with his slide guitar reminiscent of Ry Cooder. In Rush´s “Tom SawyerSkolnick makes the song almost his own until he replicates the original vocal lines with his guitar and you know wich song it is. Even Testament got a latin flavor in the rework of “Practice What You Preach”. All in all this is their best album to date, one to listen and discover every beauty in his sound waves. "Last Day in Paradise" is a another great release from Magna Carta Records...  (Comments By Claudio Borges)
02/12/2008...................Interested to know more about their history? Please visit ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO HOME PAGE...
Daryl Stuermer is best known for his work as live bassist/guitarrist for prog rockers "Genesis" and the solo career of "Phil Collins". "Go!" is his ninth solo album. He delivers  ten instrumental tracks that burst with so many colors and melodies that is impossible not to be blown away. His many styles are shown in the myriad of sounds that he plays. He´s not the shredder who plays 150.000 notes per second, instead he plays with good taste and beauty. Plaing for the song and making it a pleasure to listen to. This is a powerful fusion album where the guitar revels  sparkling, creamy melodies line. You can lose yourself in the rythms of  “The Archer”, “Meltdown” and “Omnibus” will speak to the more technical minded. The opener “Striker” will bring some "Satriani" to mind.  As the beautiful ballad “Heavy Heart” is also very fond of the guitar player that once surfed with the alien. If you like him you´ll surely like this one. Make no mistake, "Go!" is an astonishing album by a great musician.  “Go!” is an excellent addition to the growing catalog of InsideOut Music, the perfect home for Daryl Stuermer...   (Comments By Claudio Borges)
02/24/2008.............More infomation about the artist and his history are available at DARYL STUERMER HOME PAGE...
. CAAMORA - "She"
Clive Nolan ("Pendragon" and "Arena") and Agnieszka Swita met back in February 2005, when she visited England from her homeland of Poland. After working together for a short while, they formed Caamora, and began preparing for a Rock Opera version of the H Rider Haggard novel, "She". Both Clive Nolan and Agnieszka Swita assume vocal characters, with Alan Reed ("Pallas") and Christina Booth completing the cast. Instrumentally, an impressive array of familiar names support Clive's symphonic keyboards and orchestrations. The entire project is composed and produced by Nolan, with "Threshold's" Karl Groom lending a hand on the technical side. Agnieszka Swita was born in Poland. When she was five, her mother took her to see a musical version of Snow White, and she was immediately drawn to the stage, and to the idea of singing. "Caamora It refers to a ritual that certain characters perform in a series of novels called The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Within these books it means to cleanse by fire". I have no words to express and describe the power of this project, an incredible Rock Opera full of beautiful melodies, complex harmonics and elaborately arranged compositions, a remarkable combination of Symphonic Rock, and Progressive Rock with touchs of Melodic Rock. Very melodic music, carried by incredible compositions and arrangements, including a number of symphonic passages and several great mellow pieces, which have the sophistication, and sometimes musical colors of "Arena", "Pendragon", "Pallas", "Mostly Autumn" and "Strangers on a Train",  between those references you are taken on an incredible journey through the depths of time and space, either outer or inner. The highlights are the tremendous lead vocals by Nolan and Agnieszka Swita that fit perfectly with this type music. Believe me, "She" is definitely one of the most prominent prog albums of 2008, so it deserves the maximum rating. Just listen, listen and listem many times, you can bet how spectacular this album is. "She" was released in various formats: "CD studio album", "Double CD digipack (with bonus track)", "Triple vinyl album (with bonus track)" and Box set (inc. double studio CD, double live CD, DVD, bonus DVD with 6 acoustic tracks and extra interview footage), the music was based on the novel by H. Rider Haggard. Music, Lyrics and production by Clive Nolan, Mixed and Mastered - Karl Groom. Recorded and Mixed at Thin Ice Studio. Engineered by Clive Nolan, With - Karl Groom, Agnieszka Swita. The musicians on this project are: The Singers: Ayesha - Agnieszka Swita, Leo - Clive Nolan, Holly - Alan Reed and Ustane - Christina Booth. The Instrumentalists: Guitars - Mark Westwood, Oboe - Alaster Bentley, Horn - Mark Kane, Cello - Hugh McDowell, Keyboards and orchestrations - Clive Nolan, Basses John Jowitt and Drums and Percussion - Scott Higham. The Choir: Anoushka Reynolds, Jamie Fletcher, Tina Riley, Penny Roberts, Siobhan Clarke, Agnieszka Swita, Pete Morton, Mark Westwood, Scott Higham, Clive Nolan, Daniel Holmes. Brilliant, fantastic and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
03/16/2008..................,.....Interested to know more about the Project and Band? Please visit CAAMORA HOME PAGE...
. PANZERBALLETT - "Panzerballett"
Released in 2005, Panzerballett is the debut album of the homonymous heavy jazz-fusion band from Germany that makes a intriguing kind of instrumental music. Leading the way are the metal guitar of mastermind Jan Zehrfeld and the jazz-fusion tenor sax of Gregor Bürger. But the rhythm section of bassist Flo Schmidt and drummer Max Bucher shows what polyrhythms and funky grooves are made of. When they put all this musical styles together you hear a heavy- metal- jazz- funk of a song like opener "Zehrfunk". In "Schmitz Kadtse" the mix between heavy riffing and bebop sax sounds like a light version of John Zorn. In a very special way, the complex "Iron Maiden Voyage" and "Meschugge" seems to pay homage to two great metal bands (guess what are their names). Judging by this remarkably start, this band will make a name that will be on the minds of the more open minded metal heads and on the jazz fusion enthusiasts. On this albums features Zehrfeld on guitar, Gregor Bürger on tenor saxophone, Flo Schmidt on bass and Max Bucher on drums. In 2006 another guitarist, Andreas Dombert, was added to the lineup. A new Austrian drummer, Sebastian Lanser, has also joined in recently...    (Comments By Claudio Borges)
03/23/2008...................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit PANZERBALLETT  HOME PAGE...
. P:O:B - "Crossing Over"
P:O:B (Pedestrians of Blue) is a melodic and progressive hard rock band coming from Haugesund in Norway. The band has recorded a demo and an EP which both received great reviews and spawned interest from various record companies around the world. The band however decided to finish their first full-length album without signing to anyone - and 2007 the first full length album has been released in Norway on their own FishFarm label. The official release date of "Crossing Over" in Norway was June, 4th 2007 and, the album is being distributed by Mudi Musikkdistribusjon. "Crossing Over" is their first full length release and shows an excellent result. Mixing influences such as "Queensryche" (mainly), "Dream Theater" and "Marillion" (Steve Hogarth´s era) this album shines with strong songs and a fine production made by the two main members Torfinn Sirnes (guitars and programming) and Johannes Støle (vocals and keyboards). If you listen to "Promises", "The Garden", "Where the Rain Falls" and "Crossing Over" and don´t be moved to sing their choruses than you´re dead. The instrumental "The Line" is a good clash between "Dream Theater" and "Rush". The closer "Out of the Rain" - with it´s "Queen" influence - is an epic-progressive theme that made the end such a nice place to be. There´s so many emotions floating on air that´s virtually impossible not to press the play button again after the album runs out. "Crossing Over" was produced by the founding band members Torfinn Sirnes (Guitars) and Johannes Støle (Vocals) and was mixed by Daniel Flores ("Mind's Eye") and mastered by Mika Jussila ("Nightwish", "Masterplan"). It´s a shame that no record company shows interest in releasing this gem. With a wider distribution this album will put P:O:B where they belong: at the top! The line up on the band are: Johannes Støle - Vocals, Harald Levang - Drums, Torfinn Sirnes - Guitars and Rudolf Fredly - Bass...    (Comments By Claudio Borges
03/23/2008..........,.....Want to learn everything about the band and more about their music? Visit P:O:B HOME PAGE...
. PORT MAHADIA - "Echoes In Time"
Port Mahadia brings together a group of true rock heavy weights. Drawing from their inspirations in the music world Port Mahadia takes Progressive Rock in a new direction. Influenced by famous bands and musicians, Port Mahadia has evolved into a style and sound of their own. This is the next level of Progressive Rock. I´d like to invite all progressive rock listener to a journey in this incredible music piece and, one of the most interesting new arrivals on the Prog Rock scene, I´m talking about Port Mahadia, a band that creates a vibrant music, full of beautiful melodies, fantastic compositions and arrangements, exploring vast musical soundscapes. Five musicians with a rare sense of freedom, performing a kind Progressive Rock with a strong spiritual emphasis, featuring wide vocal arrangements, including many dynamic and lively instrumental sequences, where we can hear killer guitars solos, atmospheric keyboards, accompanied by incredible bass sound and powerful drums. Together with Port Mahadia, we can hear famous and talented musicians such as "David Ragsdale", from legendary Prog Rock band "Kansas", "Hugh McDowell" cellist for "Electric Light Orchestra" and "Damian Wilson" who sang on Rick Wakeman´s "Out There" - CD/DVD", lead singer for "Threshold" and "Landmarq", also worked on projects with "Ayreon", "Star One" and "Gary Hughes", whose contributions bring continuous source of energy to the songs. The musical identity of Port Mahadia, is diverse enough to recall seventies bands like "Kansas", "Rush", "Yes" and "EL&P", without forgetting the power of Progressive Metal from bands as "Dream Theater and "Symphonic X". In fact, Progressive Rock has been brilliantly incarnated into this band. The tracks range from power ballads to a deep symphonic and melodic compositions. Take for instance songs like "Prologue", "Sirens Call", "Requiem Of The Mind", "Riding The Wind", "Times Companion", "Distant Shores", "Epilogue" and you will be impressed, "Horizons" is just a delicious and vibrant song and, "I Of The Storm" is very symphonic with epic passages, containing lots of different musical orchestration. "Echoes in Time" album was released in 2007, produced by Don Kelsey and Giordano Entertainment. Recorded at Peradise Recording Studio. The musicians on the band are: Erinn Waggoner - Bass, Cameron Castle - Guitar, Rusty Clutts - Drums and Percussion, William O'Connell - Keyboards, Dave Gilbert - Vocals. Special guest: David Ragsdale - Violin, Damian Wilson - Vocals, Hugh McDowell - Cello, David Lee - Narration and Natalie Grace Chua - Vocals, Rachel Arant, Jenna Broege, Kelli Jo Compton, Megan Little - Choir. Brilliant, fantastic, amazing, an indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
04/01/2008..........If you want know more about this great band and their history? Visit PORT MAHADIA HOME PAGE...
. GYPSY CARNS - "The Watchman"
"AZA" - "The General" - "The Blues Messenger" - Gypsy Carns started performing in clubs in 1963 and making records in ‘66. He has anointed the United States, Japan, France, England, Germany, Italy, Amsterdam & The Netherlands, China, and Israel with his vocals, percussion, and 12-string Dobro bottleneck prowess. Carns is also known as a blues songwriter, co-penning a Koko Taylor tune with Fred James and Mary Ann Brandon that garnered 2 Gremmy nominations. Blues Revue states: “Gypsy Carns, A one-man wrecking crew who plays a “stompbox” tambourine / kick drum combination, harp, 12-string resonator guitar….this is hammering, powerful stuff, driven by Carns’ energy and rough-hewn vocals”. Using the delta-blues musical format, Gypsy Carns combines Messianic lyrics for a unique blend of authentic American music. His energy and commitment are evidenced through his powerful live performances. Gypsy Carns became well known for being a preacher-musician that barks his message through blues driven heavy rocks. And is exactly what he does in The Watchman, delivering 12 powerful song-messages that takes the listener on a trip in the back of his Harley. "The Battle Rages on" roars the tale of spiritual wars that we live in modern life with a very distinctive and ferocious guitar work. His gravely voice makes all more poignant when he compels you to "Sound the Trumpet". Sometimes all this messianic talk is a little too much, but if you concentrate on the sounds you´ll be just fine. Like on the uplifting "Under a Rainbow Sky". "Jerusalem in Ruins" brings some "Bo Didley" beat and craks the sky open with its heavy wah wah solo. Another presence (not the Lord) runs through "End Time Generation": "The Who". The riff is homage to the "My Generation". For "The Watchman" rockin' project Gypsy called on long time musical buddies to record 8 tracks: Sean "O.B." Smith on bass and Joe "Thunder" Schobelhoffer laying down the drums. In addition, 4 new tracks were recorded using legendary sessionmen: drummer Greg Morrow and bassist Mike Brignardello. The mixing and editing was done at Fox Mountain Studios with producer/engineer Brad Vosburg. In fact, you must hear the voice, the power of the guitar or the message if will, but hear this man!...    (Comments By Claudio Borges)
04/14/2008....................Interested to know more about this great musician? Please visit GYPSY CARNS HOME PAGE...
. OZ NOY - "Fuzzy"
Since his departure from Israel, the guitarist Oz Noy has performed, recorded and toured with a multitude of established artists such as "Richard Bona", "Chris Botti", "Jeff 'Tain' Watts", "Harry Bellefonte', "Toni Braxton", "Phoebe Snow", "Gavin Degraw", "Nile Rogers", "Roger Glover" and "Cyndi Lauper". He also played on numerous commercials and movie soundtracks. Bringing a mixture of pop, rock, blues, funk and jazz, into a cohesive and intoxicating groove he´s third album is a cohesive display of his talent and vision. As we can see by the quality of the musicians that played with him - drummers Anton Fig, Keith Carlock & Vinnie Colaiuta; bassists Will Lee, James Genus & Jimmy Johnson; and keyboardist Jim Beard, George Whitty and Shai Bachar. His fluidity is all over the songs and he never gives you the impression of listening to a record that only shows his skills. From the groove of "Epistrofunk" to the gentle melodies of "Sometimes it Snows in April", passing through the amazing new sounds of the jazz-jam title track, you´ll be moved to know more of his little universe. "Fuzzy" is a another great release from Magna Carta Records...   (Comments By Claudio Borges)
04/14/2008.................................................,.....More infomation about the artist are available at OZ NOY HOME PAGE...
. RITUAL - "The Hemulic Voluntary Band"
Ritual have been showered with accolades. Since the arrival of their debut album in 1995, fans and media alike agree that this act from Sweden is one of the most unusual and innovative phenomena on the international Prog Rock music scene. With their new album, compared to its predecessors, "Ritual" (1995), "Superb Birth" (1999), and "Think Like A Mountain" (2003), "The Hemulic Voluntary Band", the foursome from Scandinavia prove again that they elude all classifications and have delivered an album that’s independent in every respect, with a creative range that is almost impossible to describe. Or, as vocalist Patrik Lundström, who is also a member of Swedish prog legend "Kaipa", puts it so aptly: “Labeling music is always risky, but I think progressive rock is probably the most suitable description of this album. Commonly, Progressive Rock stands for music where the compositions are more elaborate than in standard rock – or pop song structures and arrangements that incorporate influences from other musical styles; both these characteristics apply to the new Ritual album.” Ritual is a band characterized by consistently extraordinary melodic sense and a powerful musical atmosphere, full of texture and energy. There is something unreal on their music which leads the listener to the real spirit of the 70's Progressive Rock style, mixing original elements of Progressive Rock, Folk and Symphonic Rock. The musicians on the band, have found creative approaches to their instruments as well, offering some fantastic musical orchestration, including complex compositions and extended instrumental explorations, all the instruments are very well balanced and clear, especially I like the brilliant colors in the acoustic and electric guitar sounds. The main musical style of the band, on "The Hemulic Voluntary Band" album, turn around Gentle Giant's instrumentation, but it is possible to hear influences from others renowned prog rock bands such as "Yes", "Jethro Tull" and "King Crimson". "The Hemulic Voluntary Band" album contains six tracks, 53 minutes full of high moments. It’s difficult to choose a favourite track, but listen "The Hemulic Voluntary Band" song, where you can hear strong influences from "Gentle Giant", "In The Wild", "Late In November" and "The Groke" are full of energy, but the album closes with "A Dangerous Journey" where we can find a pure meeting of many different musical styles. The main musicians on Ritual are: Patrik Lundström - Lead Vocals & Guitars, Fredrik Lindqvist - Bass, Bouzouki, Whistles & Backing Vocals, Johan Nordgren - Drums, Nyckelharpa & Backing Vocals and Jon Gamble - Keyboards, Harmonium & Backing Vocals. "The Hemulic Voluntary Band" is an excellent addition to the growing catalog of InsideOut Music, the perfect home for Ritual. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
04/16/2008.........................................,.....More information? Better check it out for yourself at: RITUAL HOME PAGE...
. BEARDFISH - "Sleeping In Traffic: Part two"
The history about Beardfish started in 2000, Sweden, by brilliant and talented musicians like the guitarist David Zackrisson and singer, guitarist, keyboardist Rikard Sjöblom, that together with Petter Diamant on drums and Gabriel Olsson on bass, creating a new generation of a progressive rock style. Around two years of changes in their line up, Beardfish records their debut album "Från En Plats Du Ej Kan Se..." The end of 2003 was a very productive period for the band and some demos are recorded. In 2004, Beardfish starts the recording of a second album. The first session includes five songs; A love story, Sun is the devil, Ask someone who knows, Now, Akakabotu (unreleased). After this it takes almost a year before the band records again. In the mean time, the band secludes in a cottage outside the little town of Gävle, Sweden to record the rest of the material for the upcoming album. Björn Arnell, a friend of the band, lends them recording equipment and an arsenal of keyboards and effect pedals, helps them set things up in a big old dining room and then leaves to let the band record. This was a truly beautiful process and many songs were recorded, most of them live, so many in fact that Beardfish had to release a double album. "The Sane Day" 2CD was released in December 2005, almost immediately the band starts to rehearse new material and in june/july they record what is to become "Sleeping In Traffic: Part One". Beardfish signs to Inside Out. Now we have a pleasure to listen the new trip "Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two", by this modern Progressive Rock band called Beardfish. Their music is a prime example of how good Progressive Music can sound perfect, blending a wide range of musical styles, combining elements from Progressive Rock, Hard Rock, Symphonic Rock, something that very few bands were ever able to play well. The performance of each musician is extremely creative and pleasant, drawing new elements and creating some astonishing, enjoyable and moving music. Between magical keyboards sounds and dreamy guitar solos, accompanied by cool bass and powerful drums, Beardfish will take you to unexplored land into the Prog Rock world. The band combines elements of various inspirations where, their primary influences are a diverse range of "Gentle Giant", "King Crimson", "Caravan", "Genesis", "Kaipa" and "Yes", featuring modern musical elements, found on bands such as "Porcupine Tree", "Paatos" and "Frost". "Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two" continues the story which the band began in 2007 on "Sleeping In Traffic: Part One", where the storyline is 24 hours in a person´s life, from one sunrise to the next. "The Part One" is the day and the second one the night. The album consist on eight tracks almost 75 minutes, where you will find only pure musical emotions. It's not easy to choose a specific favourite track, as this album contain so many terrific songs, you must listen carefully "Into the Night", "South of the Border", "The Downward Spiral/Chimay", but the magnum opus of this album is probably the 35:44 minutes long cinematic prog rock composition "Sleeping in Traffic". In fact, all the songs on the "Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two" are extensive and extremely delightful to the ears. The band is composed of: Robert Hansen - Bass, Rikard Sjöblom - Vocals, Keyboards, Guitars Accordions and Percussion, David Zackrisson - Electric and acoustic Guitars and Magnus Östgren -  Drums and Percussion. Fantastic, brilliant and an indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
04/21/2008....Want to learn everything about the band and more about their history, go to BEARDFISH HOME PAGE...
. BY BLOOD ALONE - "Seas Of Blood"
Portland Maine's By Blood Alone knows this quite well, having spent the first few years honing their craft. On the cusp of the national release of their debut full-length entitled "Seas of Blood", they have quickened their pace and are poised to fly. Upon formation in 2004, by talented five musicians. They gigged frequently throughout New England and soon afterward, rushed the release of the band's debut EP "Eternally". The four songs on the debut EP were enough to quickly give By Blood Alone a foothold in the diverse Portland scene by garnering critical acclaim from local media outlets, spaces on year-end "Best Of 2005" lists and dates supporting national acts such as Joey Belladonna of "Anthrax", Metal Blade recording artists "Goatwhore", ex-Misfits leader Michale Graves, and New England doomsters Ocean and Shroud of Bereavement. More importantly, the band cultivated a strong local following. The catalyst for change was when original drummer left amicably to concentrate on a burgeoning health care career. This led to the recruitment of Runtt, who relocated to Maine in the fall of 2005 to take over behind the kit, and finalized the definitive By Blood Alone lineup. "Getting progressive was always the goal," affirms the guitarist. "We were not able to do it until Runtt came along. He was able to handle everything we wanted to do musically and more."... Listening to the Hard Progressive Rock and pleasant sound of By Blood Alone, the main musical elements are very obvious in often power and symphonic climates with frequent use of the sensitive electric guitarplay, cool bass and power drums, followed by symphonic keyboards and lots of attention for the edgy vocal parts. The first impression is that, their musical influences indicate Melodic Progressive Metal, but listem carefully their music, we can hear some major influences around styles such as Progressive Rock, Hard Rock and Art Rock. In fact, the band plays a kind of Prog Music founded especially in Europe during the years 70, something truly original created and played by some German bands as "Octopus", "Epitaph", "Birth Control", "Frumpy", of course, they included touchs of some modern melodic prog metal elements in the style of "Nightwish", "The Gathering" and "Within Temptation". "Seas Of Blood" is full of various orchestral elements, which each band member contributing their musical talents and spending every last bit of energy to make sure their music become sensitive, powerful and full of emotions. If you are looking for something a little bit different, "Seas Of Blood" is a good opportunity to discover "By Blood Alone", especially if you like the original Hard Progressive Rock. "Seas Of Blood" was released in 2007 by "Jericho Hill Records". Including eight tracks, produced & mixed by Steve La Cerra at The Woodshop in Brooklyn NY. Art Direction by John Graveside and Cruella, Layout by John Graveside. Cover painting “A Mediterranean Brigantine Drifting Onto a Rocky Coast in a Storm” by Willem van de Velde, the Younger (1633–1707) used by permission of the National Marritime Museum in the UK. There are no favourite songs, I think all the tracks deserves a special attention, you must listen "Serpentarius", "Wants Me Dead", "Nidhogg", "Lovely Lies", "Seas of Blood" and "Deny Yourself", of course an amazing music for global ears. By Blood Alone band consist of five musicians: Cruella - Vocals, Jenny Williamson - Keyboards, Jack Doran - Bass, John Graveside - Guitar and Runtt - Drums. I would definately recomend this album to all types of Progressive Rock fans. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
05/04/2008..............Want to learn everything about the band and their history, go to BY BLOOD ALONE HOME PAGE...
. MUSKELLUNGE - "A Thousand Casts"
From the calous and meditative demeanor of the mighty Muskellunge the band records life as it goes by, through interpretive, emotional, abstract means. They aim to serve only that which falls out of their minds, mixing their collective passions in a bowl and serving it to the public through music. All three of them have worked with other bands in the past and have a broad range of styles and influences. This provides for a tantalizing feast of music. The band was formed in Vancouver BC Canada in the early months of 2006 and have just finished recording our first full length album with Loud Chris at Harbourside studios in North Vancouver. This canadian power trio has a nice mix of influences. Mostly in hardcore/punk, post-punk and grunge. From their first cd, "A Thousand Casts", we can hear elements of the great trios from the nineties such as "Nirvana", "Therapy" and the most underrated of all God Machine. But it´s a work in progress. Since the band was formed in 2006, they got a lot of work to do. The line-up are: Brad Anderson - Vocals and Guitars, Jamie Cleary - Drums, Piano and back up vocals and Jay Aitken - Bass and back up vocals...    (Comments By Claudio Borges)
05/18/2008......................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit MUSKELLUNGE HOME PAGE...
. NO CONSENT - "Mindsiege"
This rocking outfit from the Netherlands is rather aptly named, as it truly does offer no compromise. It is an angry and intense band that combines elements of hardcore and thrash with a sprinkling of modern metal for a short but powerful punch that is their promo. There are only 3 songs but they are more than enough to establish the band as force to be reckoned within the European thrashcore scene. Strangely, though the band's press release mentions the dreaded metalcore tag, the music is almost entirely devoid of typical metalcore theatretics (as well as silly breakdowns, emo choruses, maiden rip-offs). Instead it opts for the brutality of the legends, maintaining a fast to mid-tempo groove that just does not let up. The impeccable musicianship demonstrates the band's roots in death metal, which is also re-inforced by the vocalist more mid-ranged shout/growl (once again avoiding the clichéd high rasp). The band utilizes repetitive vocals and pounding rhythm sections as a song hook tool, but not in the conventional hardcore sense. Instead it follows more interesting structures, once again hearkening back to the greats of 80's (Cro-Mags, DRI, MOD), but updated with the modern production and a brutal metal edge. The vocalist keeps the venom coming, and the lyrics are standard old school hardcore fare, lashing out at sociological ills as well as documenting personal issues etc. Sometimes it seems there are more than vocalists, but that will be clearer with the full-length. There is a clean sung section in one of the songs but it still avoids sounding whiny in any shape or from, and just comes across as a brief respite before the next assault. Here's to a long and punishing career from this promising new band, a worthy addition to the more serious and uglier end of the thrashcore spectrum...    (Comments By Syed Suleiman Ali)
05/18/2008................................................................................................,.....Sorry, there is no home page avaliable...
. KINGSCROSSING - "Kingscrossing"
Kingscrossing is the creation of guitarist Zak Grimm and was formed in 2002, when he moved to Las Vegas, right after he disbanded his previous project "Steele Life". "Ex-Aftershock" members, including singer Greg Williams, bass player Rob Shock and drummer D. Hying completed the band's line-up. They recorded their debut album in 2005, but there's a big difference with the copy I'm holding now in my hands. The band decided to re-record the CD, since vocalist Greg Williams left on March 2006 and this incident led the band to try a new approach on the already performed songs. New singer named Michael Adams (ex "Cyrus Zain") and also second guitarist Rich Pagan (ex "Avatar", "Spend", "Original Sin") joined the band, so and this line-up the "new version" came out. Kingscrossing perform solid and really powerful Heavy / Power Metal, the American Way! Don't expect keyboards or any other additional sounds here, it's only pure sounding Metal here that rules! The self-titled track that opens the CD is their most melodic and hymn-like moment, while the rest of it includes mostly powerful, mid-tempo songs, with precise vocals and combined guitar leads from the two guitarists. In songs like "Powersource" the double guitar leads prove my previous sentence! I also enjoyed "Angels in the Night" (short but great riff!), "Stalker" (melody returns here, while power is never absent!) and "Rapid Fire". Kingscrossing's intention was to create an album with an atmosphere that can travel anyone back to the glorious 80's and I think that they couldn't have done it better. Today the line-up consistg of: Michael Adams - Vocals, Zack Grimm - Guitars, Richie Pagan - Guitars, Rob Shock - Bass and D. Hying - Drums...    (Comments By Claudio Borges)
05/18/2008...................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit KINGSCROSSING HOME PAGE...
. SGT. SUNSHINE - "Black Hole"
This is the second album of the Swedish trio and the first of the new rhythm section. Cuban born Eduardo Fernandez is the mastermind of the trippy stoners. But Michael Mino (bass) and Robin Rubio (drums) seems to fit really well. With great bands from the sixties, seventies and nineties as influence, they delivered a very strong and powerful album.  The opener "Music Sweet Master" and the closer "Hidden Propaganda" mix "Black Sabbath" with the weirdness of "Captain Beefhart". In "Dreams of Wonder" a great trio comes to mind: "Cream". Tripping in psychedelic colors comes two instrumental tracks: "Overload" and "Mar Borrascosa". Another highlight is the latin stoner "Monte Azul". Instead of being just a clone band, Sgt. Sunshine pours their influences out along with their own dexterities. And they´re great... (Comments By Claudio Borges)
05/18/2008......................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit SGT. SUNSHINE HOME PAGE...
. LE GRAND BATON - "Le Grand Baton"
Le Grand Baton is the latest project of french, native Caribbean, guitarist composer and singer Jean-Christophe Maillard (aka Mbutu), well known for his work in Gwoka music (traditionnal drum music from Guadeloupe); it is a powerful fusion of this heritage with rock music. To describe his music, Jean-Christophe would refer to the "primitive-sophisticated" style of Jean-Michel Basquiat's painting. Le Grand Baton plays many different musical styles combining elements from Progressive Rock, Alternative Rock, Heavy Metal, Melodic Metal, Psychedelic Rock, Kraut Rock and Experimental Rock, putting together influences from bands such as "King Crimson", "Frank Zappa", "Mahavishnu Orchestra", "Henry Cow", "Can" and others. In fact, their music is a collection of musical contrasts, characterized by ambitious lyrical themes, with a variety of musical techniques, that sounds sometimes harmonic and sometimes rhythmic experimentation, where rapid rhythm drumming contrasts with layered atmospheric guitar textures, including different vocal tones, giving the music a unique and special vibration. Le Grand Baton have created a collection of songs, that deserve special credits for trying something different, a deep instrumental excursion to all fans of all different progressive music styles. "Le Grand Baton" album was recorded and mixed from April 2004 to August 2006 in Guadeloupe (Caribbean), Claret (Frence) and Paris (France) at "The Living Roon", by Gilles Olivesi and Mbutu. Mastered by Eric Chevet at Masterdisk Europe. Producing and artwork by Mbutu. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Ou La Ka Palé-intro", "Atoupannan (Ou La Ka Palé)", "Filé", "Zafè A Koulè La", "Gran Rivyè", "An Mitan Pit", "Toutlè Dépi Dé Jou", and the best song is "Les Jours S'allongent". The musicians on this project are: Pascal Rey - Drums, Philippe Makaïa - Ka Drum and some spoken voices, (Jean-Christophe Maillard) Mbutu - Lead Vocals, Ka Drums and all Guitars, as a guest musicians Etienne Mbappé and Cyrile Nobilet - Bass Guitar. Highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
06/23/2008..................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit LE GRAND BATON HOME PAGE...
The original Soft Machine Legacy line-up came together in 2005, as a follow up to the short-lived Soft Works, featuring bassist Hugh Hopper, saxophonist Elton Dean, drummer  John Marshall and John Etheridge, the guitarist. John Marshall is the link that tied the original Soft Machine Legacy together, and the only member who played with Hopper, Dean and Etheridge. When Dean passed away unexpectedly in early 2006 (08-02-06), woodwind multi-instrumentalist Theo Travis was recruited, bringing a fresh perspective and youthful edge to this evolutionary and unequivocally contemporary group. Steam is Soft Machine Legacy’s second studio album and it is a real trip back in time for jazz-rock fans, and the first featuring Theo Travis. This album was recorded by Jon Hiseman at the Temple Studios, in december 2006. The music textures created by the contrast between Etheridge's powerful but delicate guitar playing with Hopper's trademark 'fuzztonics', and between Travis's saxes and flutes with Marshall's muscular drumming are memorable. Really impressive, though, is the enthusiasm, joy and sheer energy that infuse everything the band plays. Special notice for the songs “The Steamer”, “The Last Day” and a new version of Mike Rattledge’s “Chloe and the Pirates” , from the album Soft MachineSix”. "Steam" was recorded on December 28/29/30 2006 at Temple Music Studios in Surrey, England by Jon Hiseman. Produced by Leonardo Pavkovic (Moonjune Records) & Soft Machine Legacy. Executive producer Leonardo Pavkovic. Mixed by Soft Machine Legacy and Jon Hiseman in January and February 2007 and mastered by Jon Hiseman in February 2007...   (Comments By Claudio Borges)
06/25/2008........................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit SOFT MACHINE LEGACY  HOME PAGE...
. MAGIC PIE - "Circus Of Life"
Magic Pie was born a bit after the new century around 2001 - 2002 by six experienced musicians from Moss and Fredrikstad two cities in the southeastern County of Østfold in Norway. They started in the early stage of their yet short career doing covers of Progressive acts playing always a couple of complex own material that they kept gathering until the year 2005 when they release the excellent debut album “Motions of Desire”. Magic Pie consist of six experienced musicians, all of whom have played in different bands and projects before. In December 2007, lead singer Allan Olsen left the band, and was replaced by Icelandic rocker Eiríkur Hauksson, previously in Artch. In the world of progressive rock scene, there are some bands that make a special feeling in our musical life, I consider Magic Pie one of those bands who will grab our attention with their magic and symphonic music. The band is steeped in the traditions of Progressive Rock played by early 70's prog bands, adorned with Symphonic elements and layered within strong songwriting, in few parts of the arrangements, the style tends to be more powerful, something a little bit into the prog metal category. We can hear thousands of fascinating guitar solos, in a perfect combination with amazing keyboards, together with heavy drums and powerful bass section, creating many dramatic and impeccable musical passages, where each composition takes us on a different musical journey. Fans of groups like "Marillion", "IQ", "Pink Floyd", "Yes", "Genesis", "The Flower Kings", "Transatlantic", "Spock´s Beard", "Dream Theatre", "Arena", "Jethro Tull", "Kansas" and "Camel" will love Magic Pie. Production, arrangements, orchestration, instrumental and everything in "Circus Of Life" is fantastic and, I feel that the band produced this album with a high level of quality, where the result is an amazing album, featuring fantastic and atmospheric sounds, just listen to the title track "Circus Of Life", you'll understand what I mean. Produced and recorded at Progstock Studio and Kim's home basement by Kim Stenberg & Gilbert Marshall. Mixed and mastered by David Johansen at Audiovisjion. "Circus Of Life"is a another great release from Progress Records and a perfect home for Magic Pie. The musicians on Magic Pie band are: Kim Stenberg - Guitars, Eirikur Hauksson - Lead Vocals, Guitars and Keyboards, Lars Petter Holstad - Bass Guitar, Jan T. Johannessen (Jt) - Drums and Percussion, Gilbert Marshall - Keyboards, Organ, Lead Vocals and Eirik Hanssen - Lead Vocals, Acc.Guitar. Brilliant and amazing, an indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
06/25/2008................................,.....For more details and in the meantime please check out MAGIC PIE HOME PAGE...
There has been absolute glut of covers albums in recent times and, likewise, an equal number of so-called "supergroups" putting records out. Northern Kings kill two birds with one stone and blend four relatively successful metal vocalists into one band and recorded an album of 80's classics, but in a metal vein. These Fins could very well be the exception to the rules that states all cover albums are, for the most part, crap and all 'supergroups' never quite live up to the sum of their constituent parts. To the blend of the four voices you can also add a full symphony orchestra, a ripping guitarist and a production that sounds as if Jim Steinman were at the controls. The general formula for "Reborn" takes  a classic AOR/melodic rock song from the 80's adds a classic metal riff and then adds the orchestrated parts and gothic tones to taste. Some of the album works, other parts don't but it's brave and certainly different. Kicking things off is Journey's "Don't Stop Believin". To chose a song that absolutely epitomizes all that is AOR is brave. The only thing that still sounds vaguely like the original is the short keyboard intro from where galloping riffs, layered strings and a shredding guitar solo take over. Next up for the Northern Kings is Tina Turner's "We Don't Need Another Hero" which takes the opening bass line to "No More Tears" and mates it with the original melody, huge strings and multiple vocal layers. As mentioned where the album works it works very well indeed. The band have changed Mr. Mister's "Broken Wings" from a soppy power ballad and mated it with Dio's Rock N' Roll Children turning the songs into heavy melodic rock workout. Likewise the Bowie classic "Ashes To Ashes" is given and almost Stone Temple Pilot's feel initially until the operatic vocals and orchestra take over. Different, but good. However for all of the good points to "Reborn" there are also moments when things don't quite work as planned. "Rebel Yell" goes on a bit to long and the arrangement is somewhat lacking and then there's "I Just Died In Your Arms" Tonight. Here Northern Kings have taken what was a ballad originally and instead of rocking it up they made it even more laid back, just simple strings and piano. The same could be said for the arrangement on Phil Collin's "In The Air Tonight". Despite the orchestration the song misses the insistent drum fill that was so much a part of the original and therefore despite the guitar work it somehow feels lacking. Luckily for every low point there is a high. Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" just kills and they even done a good job on Lionel Richie's "Hello", taking another soppy ballad but this time turning it into a rocking AOR track. Finally to round out the album is a decent stab at Dire Strait's "Brothers In Arms" that keeps the melancholic feel of the original whilst increasing the heaviness a hundred fold. It's an album that shows that cover albums can be different, entertaining and interesting and that they don't mean simply following the original song down to the last note. The line up are: Marco Tapani Hietala  - Vocals ("Nightwish", "Tarot"), Tony Kakko - Vocals ("Sonata Arctica"), Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto - Vocals ("Charon"), Jarkko Ahola - Vocals  ("Teräsbetoni")... (Comments By Marcelo Martins)
07/13/2008..................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit NORTHERN KINGS HOME PAGE...
. BODRAGAZ - "Awaken"
Founded in the mid-90's by frontman Michael Layer, Bodragaz has evolved into a relentless powerhouse of melodic hard rock. From it's AOR roots, Bodragaz's sound has continuously grown more compelling, the music and songwriting deeper and richer, with each consecutive release. The music of the four-piece band Bodragaz could be classified as a classic "Heavy Metal" but, after you listen carefully you realize that, the musical style is very near in spirit and in sound to the melodic metal movement, adding some prog metal atmospheres. The instrumentation, rhythm, and vocals are somewhat different this time around, drawing influences from a variety of sources, sometimes using agressive musical passages with hard guitar sounds, sometimes adding melodic structures over it using extraordinary keyboard synths, melodic vocals and occasionally metallic guitar riffs to great effect, the end result is a true excursion into the best world of Melodic Metal, Heavy Metal and Prog Metal styles. "Awaken" the band's sixth full-length cd, represents the culmination of that growth. The album was recorded at Highland Studios. Produced by Michael Layer and engineered by Gusty Christensen at 2008 Fox Street Records, contains ten tracks with 50 minutes full of an amazing music.  A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Awaken", "Rise", "Forever", "Dusk" and the main highlight are the the epics songs called "Beautiful", "Beyond", "Shine" and "Dreamtry this", but in fact "Awaken" is a great album and deserves the maximum rating, of course Bodragaz will be loved by the fans of true Melodic Metal and Heavy Metal, because the material on this album is very impressive and is a real winner for fans of  "Nightwish", "Lacuna Coil", "Within Temptation", and "Queensrÿche". The musicians on the band are: Michael Layer - Lead & Backing Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Jim Wescott - Bass Guitar, Lead & Backing Vocals, Charles J. Dickey - Lead Guitar, Keyboards and Mike Taft - Drums. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable. Bodragaz band is a must for lovers of Melodic Metal, Heavy Metal and Prog Metal fans around the world... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
07/13/2008..................,.....Want to learn everything about the band and their history, go to BODRAGAZ HOME PAGE...
. TIME - "Beyond The Wall Of Sleep"
Can you imagine Mike Portnoy firing James La Brie from "Dream Theater" and hiring a girl to sing in his place? Well... If the answer is yes, you have a little Idea what you will find in this EP from italian five-piece band. With a good mix of prog-metal and some good vocals by Monica, they do a very interesting job in tracks like "The Mush-Room" (heavy elements) and "Distances", to reach the top of their performance in the good "Beyond The Wall Of Sleep", with a good mix of slow parts and speed moments. The heavy moments come back with "A Strange Whisper" and with the beautiful "Life", that I consider a good rock song, with some acoustical elements and good instrumental moments. A band that is doing great in some festivals in their country and can do a lot in the european scene. The current Line Up are: Monica – Vocals, Cesare – Guitars, Alessio – Bass, Enrico – Keyboards and Simone – Drums. Good Luck for them!...    (Comments By Rafael Carnovale)
07/28/2008.......................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit TIME HOME PAGE...
. NESS - "You Can't Afford To Feel"
The music of Chicago's Ness is based around many different musical concepts, where the musicians are deeply influenced by the mystical and instrumental nature of Classic Rock, Hard Rock and Progressive Rock adding touchs of symphonism. Ness is a concept of modern band with a strong sense of melody, towards classic 70's styles and sounds full of energy and complex arrangements expertly played and written, but with a modern feel. The musicians developed a remarkable instrumentation, featuring a solid bass, vibrant drums and percussions, solid vocals, refined acoustic and electric guitar solos, adorned by fascinating keyboards layers. Ness is a truly fantastic band, I can recommend to all fans of progressive music, especially to fans of "EL&P", "Pink Floyd", "Yes", "Genesis", "Sweet", "ELO", "Jethro Tull", "Journey", "Neil Young", "Bad Company", "Procol Harum", "Queen", "The Who", "CSN&Y" and "Led Zeppelin". "You Can’t Afford To Feel" was produced by Neal Ostrovsky at B-Side Audio in the band’s native Chicago during the barren months between January, 2005, and April, 2007. Including nine tracks with 70:47min of pure musical emotions. Neal also produced the Ness 2004 debut Up Late With People, an album whose audacious arrangements can now be heard as an eclectic harbinger of the band’s current album. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Where's Guns?", "I Intend", "Weary By The Day", "Losing Track (Of All The Things I've Lost)", "Elena Margaret", but the highlight on the albuns is "The Future Used To Be Cool", a long track with 24:55min of pure progressive rock music. The musicians on the band are: Rick Ness - Guitar, Piano and Vocals, John San Juan - Bass, Guitar, Keyboards and Vocals, Bill Swartz - Drums and Vocals, Phil Young - Keyboards, Bass and Vocals. With guest appearances by: Scott Ligon - Organ, Guitar and Backing Vocals On tracks 6 and 9, Ken Champion - Pedal Steel On track 8, Michael Smith - Trombone On track 9, The Vanishing Girls - Carolyn Engelmann, Karen Lewis and Meg Porter Backing Vocals On track 5. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
07/28/2008...................For more details and everything about the band please check out NESS OFFICIAL WEB SITE...
. MIKE GRANDE - "My Dash Between The Numbers"
Instrumental Guitarist Mike Grande has been playing guitar for over 20 years. Mike started teaching guitar at the age of 15. At 16, Mike was performing all over the Tri-State area. Many times Mike needed to have his parents accompany him to play shows because he was too young to get into the local bars. Over the course of twenty plus years, Mike has maintained a steady student clientele while also doing session work in New York City. He spent many years performing his own songs live with numerous bands. It wasn’t until 1994 that He decided to focus primarily on instrumental music. “Frustrated with rising studio costs, I decided to open my own recording studio”. With nothing more than a reel to reel, a few guitars, an amp, drum machine and some keyboards, Mike was soon writing and recording his own material on a daily basis. Since the nineties, Mike’s home studio evolved into a full recording studio suite, with live rooms, a vocal booth and a state of the art control room. With his new studio, Mike would now be producing, recording and engineering his debut album. Mike Grande and the musicians on the band, have captured a nice seventies and early eighties sound, putting together rich arrangements and sophisticated orchestration. "My Dash Between The Numbers" would satisfy any rock fan with its mixture of Hard Rock, Classic Rock and Progressive Rock. The album is totally instrumental, the guitars that dominate the instrumentation, are really stunning and abundantly present all the time, with clean and symphonic solos, adorned by thunderous drums and great bass lines, complemented with pleasant keyboard works, we can listen amazing compositions, precisely played with a perfect balance between energy and softness. In fact, Mike recorded a very impressive album, which is easy to listen and produced pretty well. "My Dash Between The Numbers" all songs written by Mike Grande except "If I Can Learn To Fly" and "Butterflies" written by Mike Grande and Eddie Parelman, album design Concept by Mike Grande, recorded in 2007 including eight tracks. A special and particular attention to all songs, listen carefully the vibrant songs such as "Crossing Neverland", "Two Miles to Ana Lese", "Skeleton Jack" and "Stovie", but my personal favourites are "Walk in November", "If I Could Learn to Fly" and "Butterflies". The musicians on Mike Grande Band are: Mike Grande - Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Adam Reich - Bass Guitar, Rob Racalbuto - Drums and Percussion and Eddie Perelman - Piano and Keyboards. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...   (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
07/31/2008.........................If you want know more about this great musician please visit MIKE GRANDE HOME PAGE...
. LANFEAR - "Another Golden Rage"
The German band Lanfear was formed in late 1993 and have gathered quite a few years of experience by now. After a couple of trial they found their way to "Massacre Records" for the release of their third album "The Art Effect" in 2003. Now they have finished there fourth which is their most mature album and perhaps a small breakthrough is in sight for Lanfear with this release. These Germans do not offer us anything new but their high quality "Stratovarius" and "Rhapsody" tinged power metal will certainly appeal to many fans of the genre. The band has a very strong asset in both guitarist and founding member Markus "Ulle" Ullrich and frontman Tobias "Neo" Althammer. Both of them have an incredible sense for catchy melodies and "Neo" uses his voice to the fullest extent. This album does however suffer from two problems that prevents it from being even more enjoyable. First off the drums tend to become annoying a little too often, second the guitar melodies and vocals do not always fit that well together, the high-pitched vocals often drowning the previous. I would also have left out the growling vocals in "Shades Of Black" as they don't sond all too good to be polite. Nonetheless Lanfear have a lot to offer those of you who fancy talented guitarists, nice melodies and passionate rock / power metal vocals. They are a very promising band indeed, if only they manage to put all pieces together. "Another Golden Rage" was mastered by Andy Horn at Famous Kitchen studios, Dec. 2004. Engineered and mixed by Jan Vacik at Dreamscape studios, Munich, Oct./Nov. 2004. European release via Massacre Records, 01/24/2005, and U.S. release via Nighmare Records, 05/31/2005. The band consist of five musicians: Jurgen Schrank - Drums, Richie Seibel - Keyboards, Markus Ullrich - Guitars, Tobias Althammer - Vocals and Kai Schindelar - Bass...  (Comments By Marcelo Martins)
08/26/2008................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit LANFEAR HOME PAGE...
. BLACKMORE'S NIGHT - "Secret Voyage"
Blackmore's Night is a Renaissance-inspired folk rock band led by Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night. The origins of the band lie in 1990, when Candice Night met Ritchie Blackmore, then of "Deep Purple", on a soccer field. He has taught her so much. Since then, She has worked with "Deep Purple", "Rainbow", done backing vocals and guest spots on other projects and began singing lead vocals and writing lyrics in 1997 for Blackmore's Night. The two became romantically involved and discovered that they shared a passionate interest in the Renaissance. Their debut album "Shadow of the Moon" was an instant success, particularly in Europe. In subsequent albums, particularly "Fires at Midnight", there was an increased incorporation of rock guitar into the music, whilst maintaining a folk rock direction. Over time, Candice Night has increasingly participated instrumentally as well as singing the vocals, and is competent in a wide variety of Renaissance instruments. Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night have found their own way to walk, beside and together, musically creating a sublime fusion around styles as Renaissance Music, Folk and Progressive Rock. The main emphasis, in their music, seems to be the strong compositions, with beautiful and soft vocals from Candice Night in close harmony and refined electric guitar solos very well played by the magic and wizard Ritchie Blackmore. The compositions are varied and imaginative, some moments are even only in a symphonic progressive rock way, but, all time the folk instrumentation is the main highlight around the compositions, where the orchestral arrangements add even more elements to the songs. "Secret Voyage" consists of twelve new tracks, almost 51min of nice and amazing music. Recorded by Candice Night,  Ritchie Blackmore and their Band Of Minstrels, the album was released in June 2008, produced by Pat Regan. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Locked Within The Crystal Ball" (is the best on the album), "Gilded Cage", "Toast To Tomorrow", "Rainbow Eyes", "The Circle", "Sister Gypsy", "Can’t Help Falling In Love", "Peasant’s Promise" and "Empty Words". "Secret Voyage" is full of beautiful melodies that are way more memorable than on other first albums. The band lineup are: Ritchie Blackmore - Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Mandolin, Swedish Fiddle, Tambourines, Hurdy Gurdy, Mandola, Mandecello, Various Percussion Instruments, Candice Night - Lead & Backing Vocals, Shawms, Recorders, Pat Regan - Early Music Consort, Various String Instruments, Bard David, Joe Castle, Jim Manngard - Backing Vocals and Gypsy Rose - Violin. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
08/26/2008................Interested to know more about the Band? Feel free to visit BLACKMORE'S NIGHT HOME PAGE...
. SAINT - "Crime Scene Earth"
Saint has been a mainstay in the Christian metal scene since the mid-eighties. The band debuted in 1984 with the classic metal of its six song EP "Warriors Of The Son" before following up two years later with more of the same on the full length effort "Time's End".  Returning in 1988 with "Too Late For Living", by far the groups finest effort musically to this point, Saint went on extended hiatus until 1999 when it put out the commercial influenced metal of The Perfect Life. Saint took another lengthy break until 2004, releasing its comeback album "In The Battle" (and returning to its classic metal roots in the process) in addition to re-recording "Warriors Of The Son" with two previously unreleased bonus tracks.  "The Mark", an excellent concept album based around the book of Revelation, followed two years later before Saint put out its latest work in the winter of 2008, "Crime Scene Earth". On "Crime Scene Earth" Saint stays true to its form by giving us another slab of quality classic metal.  All of the usual "suspects", of course, come into play when inviting a direct comparison: "Judas Priest", "Armageddon", "Metal Church", "Accept" and older "Utlimatum". This is best demonstrated on the albums more noteworthy pieces such as the energetic "Half A Time Measure", apocalyptic "Terror In The Sky", weighty "Crime Scene Earth" and catchy "Lost", a musical tribune to the metal scene of the eighties. Saint "mellows out" - if only just slightly - for the melodic metal of the worshipful "Everlasting God" only to head back in a classic metal direction with the straightforward sounds of "Judas In Me" and "Bent Knee".  Rounding things out is the "Judas Priest" cover "Invader". The Line Up on the band are: Josh Kramer - Lead Vocals, Richard Lynch - Lead Vocals & Bass, Dee Harrington - Guitars & Bass, Jerry Johnson - Guitars & Bass and Larry London - Drums. In general, a great album....   (Comments By Marcelo Martins)
09/24/2008.....................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit SAINT HOME PAGE...
. TOM DE WIT (TDW) - "The Haunts"
The basic fundaments of the TDW project were created in the summer of 2003. Tom, 15 years old then, started working on a project involving the creation of a videogame. “…I just broke up with my girlfriend then, I quitted my first band and I really wanted to work on a project of my own...” He started working on this videogame performing all the tasks by himself, including programming, designing etc. However, at the moment he got to the composing phase his interest stuck there and after time passed he gave up on finishing the videogame and started to focus on the music instead. Along with several years Ton De Wit recorded many interesting albuns such as "First Draft", "Reflection, part 1", "Up close and personal" and "Reflection, part 2". In the autumn of 2006 however, something did happen on the musical front. The single "Brother" saw the light of day. This song was about a friend of Tom, who fled from his homeland of Angola from the civil-wars that raged in that country and who was sent back there by the Dutch government. In the winter of 2006 Tom once again picked up working on Reflection. A new album is come out,  "The Haunts" is a concept-album which deals with the life of a man named Juan Jacobson. This man is a highly sensitive person (or HSP for short) which makes him feel emotions in a more intense fashion then most other human beings. TDW are a new sensation project to follow in the paths of modern bands tradition such as "Opeth", "Dream Theater", "Symphony X", "Royal Hunt", "Riverside", "Ayreon", "Anathema" and "Nightwish". Their music travels a wide range of intense emotions, the drums go on forever in typical progressive metal style, but in some parts tends to be more powerful and aggressive, something a little bit into the symphonic power metal category, keyboards parts add a touch of symphonism fusing with energetic guitar solos and heavily atmospheric singing, where the vocals are sometimes highly melodic, sometimes harder. "The Haunts" has an amazing thunderous production sound and, all songs are equally effective and mix the best elements of Melodic Metal, Progressive Metal, Symphonic Power Metal and Progressive Rock. "The Haunts" was released in September 2008,  produced by Tom de Wit at The Imagineering Suite, Amersfoort. Engineered by Harry van Breda at Oerknal studio's, Utrecht. Record label Nano Music NL. The album including nine tracks with  51 mins of pure progressive emotions. The first release of "The Haunts" is limited to 300 copies. (Reprints will follow in the future on demand). A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Chameleon", "2006 AD", "Home", "The Bright Child", "Desert Of Memories", "The Daze" and "The Haunts". The main musicians on Ton De Wit band are: Tom de Wit - Lead and Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Michiel van der Werff - Guitars, Leander Doornekamp - Bass Guitars and Mr. Andersóhn - Drums and Percussion. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
09/24/2008................,.....Want to learn everything about the band and its members? Visit TOM DE WIT HOME PAGE...
. IAN TESCEE - "A Traveler's Guide to MARS"
Ian Tescee (tee' see) composes the electronic music soundtrack of inconceivably grand space-related themes, both inner and outer. Born in Indiana and raised in Colorado, Ian Tescee has early musical memories (his dad’s jazz albums and his mother singing showtunes). Soon Ian was listening to rock’n’roll, playing drums, and creating his own light shows. As he entered his teens, he started recording songs and learning to play guitar and keyboards. During high school he played tympani in the concert band (even today he uses the sound of those orchestral drums on all his recordings), played in rock bands ("Perihelon" was named after the astronomical term for the point in a planet’s orbit that is closest to the sun), and listened to music ranging from classical (Jean Sibelius’ Finlandia and the soundtrack to the film “2001: A Space Odyssey”) to classic rock ("The Doors", "Iron Butterfly" and "Focus"). After graduation he toured the Midwest for a year in the band "Autumn" before moving east to attend Cornell University where he took courses on computer programming, classical music appreciation and physics. Ian’s roommate was majoring in astronomy, which intrigued Tescee, but he spent most of his time in his room recording music. In 1982, he released his debut album, "Io", as a red-vinyl limited edition LP. Its unique packaging and powerful Electronic Music style quickly garnered critical acclaim and international airplay, the echoes of which continue to this day. Recent 2004 review by on the Encylopedia of Electronic Music website, based in Russia, states: "Sometimes a recording shows up that just grabs you and doesn't let go. Ian Tescee's "Io" is exactly this kind of album...I'd like to recommend this classic to all lovers of EM...It's simply a must!" Ian Tescee is favorably compared to "Jean Michel Jarre", "Larry Fast", "Mike Oldfield", "Vangelis" and "Yanni" using some influences from "Tangerine Dream" and "Pink Floyd", fans of progressive electronic music, and soundtrack music, will find only pure cosmic emotions on his music, crowned by the immense and elaborate symphonic arrangements. Ian Tescee makes us navigate through atmospheric instrumentation, playing an impressive number of electronic keyboards and synths, the music flows gently, dragging you to the depths of the "Mars". The wide instrumental spectrum makes "A Traveler's Guide to MARS" spectacular and beyond phenomenal, just press play again and listen, listen and listen what a wonderful album. "A Traveler's Guide to MARS" album was released in september 2008 by The Creative Service Company, including 14 tracks of a pure eletronic music delight. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "The New World", "Passport", "Aquamarine", "God Of War", "Beneath The Ice", "It's Time To Go Back - Part 1", "It's Time To Go Back - Part 2", "SpaceTourist Mars", "Life On Mars" and "Billions And Billions Of Stars". Ian Tescee plays many kind of keyboards and some of them are: Yamaha DX7, ARP Axxe, Moog Opus-3, Yamaha upright acoustic piano, Sequential Circuits Drumtracks, drums. Brilliant, amazing and an indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
10/07/2008.............................Want to learn everything about this fantastic musician? Visit IAN TESCEE HOME PAGE...
. EVERGREY - "Torn"
Though Evergrey took somewhat of an ill-fated left turn with their last release Monday Morning Apocalypse, they are back with a new record label, SPV/Steamhammer, and a return to their dark & melodic progressive/power metal attack with "Torn". It might not be Recreation Day, In Search of Truth, or Inner Circle, but it's damn close, and a step back in the right direction for these veteran Swedes. Led by the always unique and strong vocals of Tom Englund (let's face it, he's got some of the best pipes in the business), the band once again have put together a strong selection of songs here that combine haunting melodies, crunchy power riffs, blazing leads, atmospheric keyboards, and pounding rhythms. Production wise, "Torn" is a powerful sounding record, perfectly adorning these strong songs...the cool cover artwork is just the icing on the cake. Longtime fans will rejoice at the opening crunch of "Broken Wings", a trademark Evergrey song with all the drama, melody, and metal power that we've come to expect from this band. A piece like "Soaked" is the perfect segue to the churning number "Fear", a real heavy prog-metal number with crushing guitar riffs from Englund & Henrik Danhage, as well as some ultra-catchy hooks to go along with the bombast. "When Kingdoms Fall" is a moody & atmospheric symphonic metal number, Rikard Zander's synths & piano providing the majestic backdrop to some brooding riffs, while the fantastic "In Confidence" might just be the strongest song Englund & Co. have written in years. This one features some frantic rhythms and catchy guitar patterns, but more importantly one hell of an addicting chorus that will stay with you for days. More atmospheric metal rears its head on "Fail", a decent number but one of the weaker ones here, which is followed by the rocking "Numb", another hook laden power metal number showing off the supreme vocal talents of Englund. Grandiose melody is the name of the game on the title track, Englund's poignant & tortured vocals soaring over loads of synths and heavy riffs for one of the CD's most majestic and stirring numbers. The band returns to chugging progressive metal on "Nothing Is Erased", complete with lots of intricate guitar passages from the duo, and the raging "Still Walk Alone" follows suit, another busy number with inventive instrumentation and memorable melodies. Evergrey ends the CD with the equally heavy "These Scars" (and with some stunning guest female vocals to boot), making for a blistering trio of killer tunes to close out "Torn" with, letting everyone know that they are back doing what they do best. Now that they've gotten the commercial sounding Monday Morning Apocalypse out of the way, Evergrey have come back with a fine return to form here on "Torn". Though it's not a perfect CD, it certainly holds up well alongside the classics in their discography and will once again have metal fans agreeing on their place in the genre today. Evergrey are today: Tom S. Englund - Vocals and Guitar, Henrik Danhage - Guitar, Jari Kainulainen - Bass, Jonas Ekdahl - Drums and Rikard Zander - Keyboards.
10/19/2008....................................,.....More information? Better check it out for yourself at: EVERGREY HOME PAGE...
. ULYSSES - "The Gift of Tears"
Ulysses is a Dutch symphonic progressive rock band initiated back in December 1998 by Ron Mozer, and Sylvester Vogelenzang de Jong. They decided to form a band in which they could express their musical ideas. In the first months additional musicians were added to the line up to complete the band to a five-piece band. After some line-up changes the band has a steady line-up since May 2001. Right from the start Ulysses focussed on writing material and trying to develop an own distinctive sound. Since the release of the CDemo, Ulysses concentrated on the promotion for "Eclectic" and performed at some festivals, radio shows and had quite some reviews in all kinds of magazines. In 2002 Ulysses decided to take a pause to use the time to work on the new album. After some months of talks it got clear to the band members that independence was very important. In order to release an album and keep independent they started their own production company "Eclectic Productions". On this "label" they were going to release the debut album "Symbioses", that received good reviews world wide and expectations for a new album are quite high. In the summer of 2007 the band started recording demo tracks for the long awaited second album and in September the demos were ready and the final recordings were in progress. Around the first months of 2008, Ulysses scheduled for mixing and mastering of the new album titled as "The Gift Of Tears". The members of Ulysses bring to the world a perfect kind of sound, blending a stunning Symphonic Progressive Rock with a powerful Progressive Metal, with an atmospheric instrumentation. This band brings amazing original forms of these musical genres, where melody beautifully harmonizes with massive and dreamy guitar solos full of sound effects, while intense keyboards add a total symphonism to the compositions, both dominating all the arrangements, all time the drums sounds in a typical progressive metal style, special highlights are the sensitive vocals by Michael Hos that gives a perfect complement to the melodies. Ulysses is a band that should be at the top of every Progressive Rock and Progressive Metal fan’s. Better than the first work, "The Gift of Tears" is a fine album, which can be enjoyed by people who like the music made by bands such as "Versus X", "Rush", "Dream Theater", "Pain of Salvation", "Kansas", "Jane", "Spock's Beard", "Porcupine Tree", "Arena", "Ayreon" and others in the same line. "The Gift of Tears" was released in october 2008 by Symbioses Music, a brand new name in the music industry. The seven tracks on this album are relatively long, and deserves a special attention to all songs, the opening track "Family Portrait", hits hard with strong vocals and dominated guitar riffs, "Guardian Angel" is very epic, authentic and emotional, sometimes heavy, sometimes symphonic. "Lost" is adventurous and melodic, "How Much More" is very powerful, including some aggressive sections, but full of symphonism. The title track "The Gift of Tears", displays a deep Progressive Rock feel, but the strongest and my favorite track on the album is "Anat", an incredible and creative song, in synthony with the more authentic symphonic progressive rock metal spirit. In fact, here is an outstanding album that will have a huge emotional impact on all who hear it. Ulysses band consist of five musicians: Michael Hos - Vocals, Ron Mozer - Synths, Casper Kroon - Bass, René van Haaren - Drums and Sylvester Vogelenzang de Jong - Guitar. Read the interview  about some ideas of the band Ulysses. Brilliant, fantastic and amazing, an indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
10/19/2008..........,.....If you want know more about this amazing band and its members, visit ULYSSES HOME PAGE...
Mahogany Frog came from Canada and they are a Winnipeg-based outfit. Over the past decade the group has been saturating their own brand of psychedelic jazz-rock, an instrumental brew that is hard-hitting, challenging, experimental and noisy, but catchy as hell. Mahogany Frog plays a kind of improvised instrumental music that seems to capture a lot of styles and sounds, full of complex arrangements, of which consist of, very tasteful and diverse interplay between passages of many kind of synthesizer sounds and electric guitar effects, which have been often interplaying harmoniously with vibrant drums and percussions, adorned by strong bass sounds. They know how to develope a dreamy soundscape, creating complex compositions and mystical themes, the musicianship of each of the band members and their joint performance, as well, are sometimes amazingly strong and masterful, capturing many musical styles and bringing together elements of Progressive Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Electronic Ambient, Industrial and Jazz. Their music is very well connected with influences of legendery and known bands such as "King Crinson", "Soft Machine", "The Mahavishnu Orchestra", "Niacin", "Stereolab", "Tortoise", "EL&P", "Paatos" and "Porcupine Tree". "DO5" album was produced by Mike Petkau & Mahogany Frog recorded around October 2006 from May 2007, recorded and mixed by Mike Petkau at MCM Studios, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, all songs written, arranged and performed by Mahogany Frog, except the nine track, written by Andy Audolph, including nine tracks, almost 47min of pure energy. Mahogany Frog and "Do 5" are an excellent addition to the growing catalog of Moonjune Records. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "T-Tigers & Toasters", "Last Stand At Fisher Farm", "Demon Jigging Spoon", "Medicine Missile" and "Lady Xoc & Shield Jaguar". The musicians on this project are: Graham Epp & Jessie Warkentin - Electric Guitars, Micromoog, Farfisa Organ, Farf Muff, Arp String Ensemble, Korg Ms2000, Electric & Acoustic Pianos, Scott Ellenberger - Electric & Acoustic Bass, Briscoe Organ, Percussion and J.P. Perron - Drums, Conch & Electronics. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable... (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
10/19/2008...........,.....If you want know more about this band and its members, visit MAHOGANY FROG HOME PAGE...
The Italian project Universal Totem Orchestra (U.T.O.) was founded in 1998 by Uto Giorgio Golin (drummer) and Dauno Giuseppe Buttiglione (bassist). The first album, entitled "Rituale Alieno" (Alien Ritual) was released in 1999 by the Italian label Black Widow Records. All tracks of the album were composed by those two musicians. The line-up was completed by Ana Torres Fraile - Vocal, Marco Zanfei - Keyboards and several guest musicians, among which were Marco Mauro and Giuseppe Saiani - Guitars, Antonio Fedeli - Saxophone, Gianni Nicolini - Percussion, Francesco Ciech - Cello and the chorus of the Festi brothers. Their first album was characterized by impressive, lengthy compositions that blended jazz rock and classical music, intermingled with experimental choruses of male voices that sang dark, rhythmic and ritualized odd melodies with the often incursions of melodic-operatic lines performed by a female voice. After the release of "Rituale Alieno" the U.T.O. project performed some live presentations and took part in some compilations of the Black Widow label: "Daze of the Underground" (2002) doing a cover of Hawkwind's song - "Alien (I am)" with new arrangements made by the band and "Not of This Earth" (2003), which includes the song "Lacrima di Tempo". In 2005 Dauno Buttiglione, at that moment working no more as a bassist of U.T.O but only as it's artistic director, left the band. After his departure Uto G. Golin (with assistance of the Black Widow Label) reformulated the band, recruiting young talents of the mainstream jazz-rock scene: Lorenzo Andreatta (bass), the guitar player Daniele Valle (who had already collaborated in the record of the song "Alien (I am)" and performed alive with the band) and Fabrizio Mattuzzi (keyboards, electric piano). The line-up was completed with Antonio Fedeli (saxophone) who had already performed as a guest musician in "Rituale Alieno", and the original band member Ana Torres Fraile (vocals). The male vocals were performed by Francesco Festi (also a former collaborator in "Rituale Alieno") and Adriano Vianini (only in the song "Vento Madre"). A chorus of male voices also performed in the song "Les Plants Magiques". With this new line-up, U.T.O. released in 2008 the second album entitled "The Magus", which concludes a Trilogy ("Hidden Opera" - not released yet, "Rituale Alieno" and "The Magus"). Quoting the band itself, this Opera is "dedicated to the Human Alienation; from the most esoteric state to the most psychological complex one, crossing extreme forms of analysis and auto-analysis". The time span of almost a decade separates the release of "Rituale Alieno" from that of "The Magus". Nevertheless, the outcome quality of the later attests that it was worthy of waiting. The new album is a masterpiece comprising six compositions - some of which are very long, surpassing 10 minutes - that show that the band evolved musically, yet keeping its original roots and style. "The Magus" sounds less dark and alien than "Rituale" and includes a somewhat softer, progressive orientation. Nevertheless, it brings well balanced compositions that, although sounding more jazzily than in the first record, still have insertions of classical sections and many psychedelic keyboards, saxophone and guitar solos. The choruses of hypnotic and rhythmic male voices and melodic operatic female voices, a typical trait of the band, are fortunately still present. In each composition, however, a musician is put into evidence, making the record more varied, avoiding the mere repetition of a formula. For instance, in "De Astrologia" - the first and longest composition - the electric piano of Fabrizio Mattuzzi is the bridge over which the other instrumentalists can create their solos, alternating hard and melodic parts. The musical flow is interrupted by abrupt changes of rhythm - probably representing the contrasting characteristics of the Zodiac signs. The bass phrasing of Yanik Lorenzo Andreatta in "Coerenza delle Percentuali" is an essential companion to vigorous keyboards and guitar solos. A step farther in the evolution of U.T.O.'s music, this composition brings a "song within a song" - a tranquil part in the middle with a "triplike" mood that serves as the background for the beautiful vocal solo of Ana Torres Fraile. She is also the star in "Les Plantes Magiques" - the most operatic piece of the album and one of the best compositions - in which a chorus of male voices gives support to her. The following "Ato Piradime" rivals the precedent in beauty, and ranks with it as a representative of the evolution of U.T.O.'s composing technique. After a sad introduction sang by Ana Torres Fraile, this music goes through modern jazzy parts, in which the saxophonist Antonio Fedeli meets his best moments performing sensible solos. Ana Torres Fraile shows to be a versatile singer, switching into a less-operatic style. In "Mors, Ultima Linea Rerum" - the only instrumental composition of the album - all musicians have their moments of highlight, but guitar player Daniele Valle takes some steps of advantage, thanks to his dramatic performance. He also contributes with powerful guitar riffs and solos in "Vento Madre" - the last composition of the album that keeps the same level of quality of the others. The cofounder of U.T.O., Uto Giorgio Golin (drummer) takes care of his musical project by showing rhythmic competence in all tracks. To the unaware, non-experienced listener the sound of U.T.O. may appear a bit strange at first, but the continuous listening of their music will convince the open-minded enthusiast that this band is one of the best in activity within the progressive scenario. Both records would be precious items if added to any collection. A third release would be welcomed by the fans that hope that it will not take another decade. Band members and collaborators involved in the U.T.O. project are: Uto G. Golin – Drums, Lorenzo Andreatta - Bass, Daniele Valle – Guitar, Fabrizio Mattuzzi - Keyboards, Electric Piano - Antonio Fedeli – Saxophone, Ana Torres Fraile – Vocals, Francesco Festi  and Adriano Vianini - Vocals.  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
11/02/2008............,..........More info about the band may be found at: UNIVERSAL TOTEM ORCHESTRA HOME PAGE...
. AESMA DAEVA - "Dawn Of The New Athens"
The North American symphonic metal band Aesma Daeva was formed in 1998 through the close collaboration of Nick Copernicus (production) and John Prassas (guitar, composition). The musical influences ranged from experimental (Penderecki - a Polish contemporaneous composer) and classical (Palestrina, Bach, Mozart) to heavy metal ("Blind Guardian", "Nevermore", "Dream Theater", "Opeth", "Ayreon", "Iced Earth") and Electronic ("Nina Haggen", "Mike Oldfield"). Aesma Daeva debuted in compilations (Orkus Magazine: Best of, and Diva X Machina) with two songs ("Stay" and "Introit II"), before they finally release their first full album: "Here Lies One Whose Name Was Written in Water" (1999 - Accession Records Germany).The operatic vocals were performed at that time by Rebecca Cords. In the following albums "The Eros of Frigid Beauty" (2002 - Root of All Evil Records) and "The New Athens Ethos" (2003 - Scarecrow Records, out of print) Rebecca was substituted by Melissa Ferlaack. She also performed with the live line-up, in which took part Earl Root (guitars), Craig Ohren (drums) and Prassas himself. In December 2005 Aesma Daeva attended a concert at the Star Central club in Minnesota, which was filmed for the internet DVD "Last Rites". This release is marked by being the farewell show of Melissa Ferlaak (currently in the band "Visions of Atlantis"). After four years out of studio, band leader John Prassas felt it was time for a new recording, and called Grammy award-winning producer Neil Kernon to help.  With a renewed line-up, completed by Lori Lewis (vocals), Chris Quinn (bass), Michael Platzer (lyricist), Earl Root (guitar), Tim Klatt (drums) and Kristine Kautzmann (backing vocals) the CD "Dawn of the New Athens" (Scarecrow Records) was finally released in 2007. To promote the new album, Aesma Daeva joined forces with the Swedish symphonic metal band "Therion" in a tour throughout the USA and Canada. "Dawn of the New Athens" represents not only a new step in the evolution of Aesma Daeva's composing technique, but also their greatest contribution to the development of the Symphonic Metal genre as a whole. In this record, the use of world instruments such as the Chinese bawu (a kind of flute) and several brass instruments adds new exotic sonorities that blend perfectly with the more traditional sound of Gothic/Doom/Melodic Metal guitar riffs. The songs alternate from a doom-dominated slow tempo to a faster and vigorous heavy rhythm. The themes come from different inspiration sources. The wild beauty of Nature is ever present, either in the opening tracks "Tisza's Child" (after the Hungarian Tisza River) and "The Bluish Shade", or in the melodic "Hymn to the Sun". Mythology plays its part in "Artemis" and in "D'Oreste e D'Ajace" - the later being a heavy metal adaptation of the Opera "Idomeneo", by Mozart. Sadness - a recurrent theme in Gothic/Doom Metal - is also evoked in the soulful melody of "The Loon" - that describes the suffering of a woman who lost her beloved companion. Literature is the main source, however, and is represented by one of the most beautiful tracks of the record: "The Camp of Souls" - a musical adaptation of a poem by Isabella Valancy Crawford (1850-1887). The dark scenarios foreseen by George Orwell in his book "1984" are remembered in "Ancient Verses" (a strong and melodic song, obligatory in any live set list) and "Since the Machine" - a dark and dramatic composition decorated with somber male vocals. The album's title itself is inspired by the sci-fi novel "Childhoods End", by Arthur C. Clarke. The singing parts are the best surprise of the album, for the melodies, although long and complex, flow easily into the ears, and parallel the great opera arias of the classical composers of the Past. Lori Lewis, whose soprano voice fits perfectly into the symphonic style of Aesma Daeva, astonishes the listener with her interpretative ability - being capable of singing long melodies with different moods, reinforcing some passages and softening others, so that the melodic phrasings, if ever repeated twice, never sound the same. The great quality of all compositions makes the choosing of a representative one an impossible task. Yes, "Dawn of the New Athens" is one of those rare records that, from the first song to the last, keeps the listener within the same highest feeling of pleasure - and when it is all over, one finds no other way, unless pushing the "repeat" button. The musicians involved in "Dawn of the New Athens" are: John Prassas - Compositions, Guitars, Bawu, Lori Lewis  - Vocals,  Chris Quinn - Bass, Michael Platzer - Lyricist, Earl Root - Guitar, Tim Klatt - Drums and Kristine Kautzmann - Backing Vocals. Highly recommended - the fans of "Nightwish", "Within Temptation", "After Forever" and "Therion" will certainly love it...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
11/12/2008........................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit AESMA DAEVA HOME PAGE...
This page was optimized
for use with Netscape
and IE 4.0 or later
Best view 800x600 HiColor
Bands and Artists Contact, comments, live dates and news

Please send e-mail to: Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal

Back To
Main Page
© Copyright Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal