.......................................A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FEATURED ARTIST AND CD REVIEWS - 2009
Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal - Logo
LAST UPDATE 12/02/2009..
. DELIRIUM - "Live 2006 - Vibrazioni Notturne"
Formed at the end of the seventies under the name of "Sagittari" (Pino Di Santo, Ettore Vigo, Mimmo Di Martino, Marcello  Reale) later jioned by Ivano Fossati in 1970. In 1971 the band presents their first album "Dolce Acqua" which offers an atmosphere based on a soft acoustic sound mixed with soft rock and a touch of jazz,  enriched by Fossati's flute creating a sort of latin version of the more famous "Jethro Tull". The popularity of the band took a giant step in 1972 by appearing at the Sanremo song festival with the song "Jesahel" soon becoming a number "one" seller with over a million copies sold. Despite Fossati leaving the band (for military service) and being replaced by english flute and sax player Martin Grice, Delirium record their second album "Lo Scemo e il Villaggio" reaching a new level of full artistic maturity with a splendid album of progessive rock jazz. In 1974 it's the turn of "Delirium 3-Viaggio negli Arcipelaghi del Tempo" the most progressive of their works, enriched by a full string section and for the first time Di Martino uses the electric guitar. This album is generally considered amongst the top works in italian prog. In 1975 the group disbands. After years of silence and thanks to drummer Di Santo's insistence in 2003 the band reforms with Vigo, Grice and two new members Fabio Chighini bass and guitaris and vocalist Roberto Solinas. Delirium always considered, by international prog community, as one of the best and favourite Italian Progressive Rock group from 70's. The band fuse Progressive Rock with Jazz Fuzion elements, occasionally introducing a symphonic edge in their sound, lyrical romanticism meets memorable guitar solos, pounding drums, driving bass and truly passionate vocals, where everything is done to lead you through this very special musical universe full of rich, sensual, sweet and strong melodies. Now, Delirium are back in splendid form with their first ever live "Vibrazioni Notturne", there are no words to describe the feeling you should get while listening a collection of songs that were perfectly selected from the albums "Lo Scemo e il Villaggio" and "Dolce Acqua", including old single tracks, where the musicians have done all their best with a high level of musical feeling. In fact, on stage Delirium sounds perfect and very very powerful. "Vibrazioni Notturne" album was Recorded on 24.07.06 at “C. Battisti” park, Brentonico (Trento, Italy), mixing and mastering: Verdiano Vera – Mediatech Communication Studio, Genoa, Italy, released and distribuited by "Black Widow". You must definitely listen: "Villaggio", "Culto Disarmonico", "Gioia, Disordine, Risentimento" and "Johnny Sayre: Perdono" originally released in "Lo Scemo e il Villaggio" (Fonit, 1972). "Movimento I: Egoismo", "Preludio: Paura" and "Dolce Acqua: Speranza originally" released  in "Dolce Acqua" (Fonit, 1971). "E' l'ora"  di Mogol / Lavezzi  originally released as single "Treno/E' l'ora" (Fonit, 1972). "Notte a Bagdad" unreleased 2006. "Jesahel" originally released as single "Jesahel/King's Road" (Fonit, 1972) and you will find only pure emotions. There are two songs that really deserve credit: the first one is a Medley Jethro Tull  (incl. "Bourée" & "Living in the Past") and the second is a splendid version of "With a Little Help from my Friends". The musicians on the band are: Ettore Vigo - Keyboards, Martin Grice - Sax, Flute and Keyboards, Peppino Di Santo - Drums and Vocals, Roberto Solinas - Guitar and Vocals and Fabio Chighini - Bass. Brilliant perfect and an indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
01/15/2009..........,.....If you want know more about this amazing band and its members, visit DELIRIUM HOME PAGE...
. ELECTRIC SWAN - "Electric Swan"
The Italian guitar player Lucio Calegari started his musical career in 1987 as the founding member of "Wicked Minds" (W.M.) - a power trio with influences of the Hard Rock of the 60's and 70's. Between 2000 and 2004, with the admission of keyboardist Paolo "Apollo" Negri and vocalist J.C. Cinel, that band went through more "progressive" paths. Verging on the sound of "Deep Purple", "UFO", "Uriah Heep" and "Mountain", they released some records by Italian label Black Widow Records - "From the Purple Skies" (2004) and "Witchflower" (2006). But Calegari, maybe missing the hard-rock orientation of the earliest years, decided to go back to his roots and prepared his first project solo album: "Electric Swan". The record counts with the participation of other "Wicked Minds" members and guest musicians, and brings 11 tracks, 2 of which are old "Wicked Minds" compositions never recorded before, and 3 are covers. The sound is influenced by "Jimi Hendrix", "Led Zeppelin", "Tommy Bolin", "Black Sabbath", "Atomic Rooster", "Jeff Beck", "Free", "UFO", "Michael Schenker", "Frank Marino", "Grand Funk Railroad", "Whitesnake", "John Sykes", "Pink Floyd", "Soundgarden", "Metallica", "Gov't Mule", "Black Crowes" and many others famous bands. Drinking of the fountain of the Hard Rock of the 60's and 70's, but adding the energy of the 21st century, Calegari shows competence in his endeavor. "Electric Swan" is neither a kind of "guitar-hero-that-plays-all-time-alone" album, nor a mere collection of hard-rock clichés. It is a record that brings straight and balanced songs, with room for the supporting musicians also to show up. As a "Highway Car" that accelerates into the listener's ears, the album begins the attack with "In the Hush of Daze" and "Electric Swan", two compositions with catchy guitar riffs, and ever dynamic and pulsing rhythm. Bass and drums are always present, building the structures and bridges over which Calegari's guitar flies and hovers. His "Wicked Minds" friend Paolo "Apollo" Negri also leaves his mark by adding a killer organ solo at the end of the title's track. The thundering voice of Luca "Mitch" Rancati pulls the listener to the next curve, where the car slows down at "Your love been so good to me" (Ruth Copeland's cover - whose original swing is kept alive by the great voice of "Sophya Baccini"). As the car accelerates again, the initial vibrant mood is brought back to "Eleventh Angel" (instrumental); "Beyond the Rising Sun" (with a semi-acoustic introduction that turns into an electric blues with alternating vocals and guitar solos) and "Calibro 9" (full of Hendrixian inspired guitar effects - and much more Hammond keyboards). The car slows once more at "Crossing the Line" - a modern Stoner styled song with sad vocals - before it enters the dark realms of "Redwitch" (instrumental). Then follow "Teaser" ("Tommy Bolin" and "Jeff Cook's" cover - with lively new colors added by the rhythm section) and "Apollo's Dream" (an instrumental hard-progressive piece that has the closest resemblance with the seminal music of "Wicked Minds"). The album ends with a creative cover of Metallica's  "Creeping Death", which is wisely smoothed down from its thrash-metal verve to a hard rock pace without loosing its original essence. Summing all up, "Electric Swan" goes down the throat like a chilling cup of beer under the burning sun. The album was recorded in 2008 at Mofo Studio (Piacenza, Italy) by Marco Gandolfi for Bad Chili Records (distributed worldwide by Black Widow Records), and has the participation of the "Wicked Minds" members, Paolo "Apollo" Negri - Hammond and synths, Ricky Lovotti - drums, Enrico "Deep" Garilli - bass; and the guest musicians Edoardo Giovanelli  - bass on some tracks, and Sophya Baccini  ("Presence") and Luca "Mitch" Rancati ("Tough") on vocals. Well recommended for fans of Hard Rock and Stoner Rock in general...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
01/15/2009.....................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit ELECTRIC SWAN HOME PAGE...
. ULI JON ROTH - "Under A Dark Sky"
Owner of an extensive musical career, the German multi-instrumentalist "Uli Jon Roth" (born in Düsseldorf in 1954) has already become a legend in the rock scene. From the early beginning as a member of the world-wide known metal band "Scorpions" (from 1973 to 1978), and later with his own solo band "Electric Sun" (from 1978 to 1985, with 3 official releases), Uli has proved to be one of the most outstanding and influential guitar players in activity. More than that, Uli is also composer, producer, painter (some of his paintings have appeared on record sleeves), writer (mainly poetry and philosophical texts) and even inventor of his own instrument - the "6-octaves Sky guitar". In 1986, however, strongly influenced by the Classical style, this ever-uneasy artist started a new musical phase. Like an inexhaustible cornucopia of musical creativity, Uli has been producing intensively since then. To date, 5 official records have been released: "Aquila Suite"(1991-a piano concert); "Prologue to the Symphonic Legends - Sky of Avalon" (1995); "Transcendental Sky Guitar vols. I & II" (1999/2000-Double CD); "Legends of Rock at Castle Donington" (2001-Live Double CD); and "Metamorphosis of Vivaldi's IV Seasons" (2003). Parallel to those releases, Uli has also worked in a series of long orchestral compositions known as "The Symphonic Legends", a new musical concept in which he polishes the symphonic-rock style itself by integrating his guitar skill and versatility to orchestra and chorus, adding the basic elements of the Rock of the 70's and blending everything in an original and ingenious way. The new album, "Under a Dark Sky" (2008) belongs in that series and represents that concept very well. The record was released by the German Label Steamhammer/SPV Records, and has the participation of vocalists Mark Boals (ex-"Yngwie Malmsteen", "Royal Hunt") and Liz Vandall (ex-"Sahara") and many other musicians. The first composition, "S.O.S", is a true opera opening, bringing a tenor aria. "Tempus Fugit", with its impressive operatic choir and interesting percussion in the background prepares the entrance of "Land of Dawn", the first long piece of the album (11 minutes). It is a blend of Rock of the 70's full of orchestrations, in which the voices of Mark Boals and Liz Vandall alternate. The following "The Magic Word" has the same pattern, bringing a great guitar solo. The instrumental "Inquisition" - a lavish guitar solo - is an interlude before "Letter of the Law", a strong music marked by a choir of male voices. "Stay in the Light" is a "Rainbow-like" ballad with a romantic guitar theme. "Benediction" is a beautiful whipping guitar solo performed against a background of violin strings that keeps the sad mood for the decorative piano that introduces "Light and Shadows" a slower composition that brings back the old swing of the 70's, with similar styled vocals and backing vocals. "Tanz In Die Dämmerung" ("Dance in the Twilight") is the longest piece (almost 19 minutes, with 12 sections) and the best one!  Introduced by a flamenco acoustic guitar, it has many Classical influences that range from a kind of "Missa Solemnis" to "Paganinian" inspired violins solos, and even some Arabic scales and percussion. Uli's destroying guitar solos alternate with Mark Boals as he sings escorted by the whole choir. After a vocal tempest that is soothed by a slide guitar, the listener is in for the Grand finale - a crescendo of ultra-fast guitar solos and female choruses that end up unexpectedly, living the listener literally bombed over the ground, but happy to know that true artists such Uli are still at the Music's service. "Under a Dark Sky" is the first "Symphonic Legend" to be released. The others are: "Europa Ex Favilla" (1992-1993) "Hiroshima De Profundis" (1994-1995) "Soldiers of Grace" (1986-1997); "The Transfiguration of Peace" (1996-2001) and "Requiem for an Angel" (1996). Although still unreleased, some parts of these works appeared in "Prologue to the Symphonic Legends - Sky of Avalon", while "Europa Ex Favilla" was performed by the "Brussels Symphony Orchestra" and broadcasted several times on German Television. The musicians that took part in this record are: Uli Jon Roth - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals, Mark Boals - Vocals, Liz Vandall - Vocals, Peter Ewald - Tenor, Kerstin Domrös - Alto, Michael Flexing - Baritone, Akasha Dawn Roth - Vocal, Gwen Adams - Harmony Vocals, Michael Ehre - Drums, Nippy Noya - Ethnic Percussion, Chris Lowe - Orchestral Percussion; plus the musicians of the "Sky Orchestra" and "The Sky Chorus " - to many to be cited here. Highly recommended - for fans of guitar heroes, music of the 70's, and progressive orchestral music in general.   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
01/15/2009...........,.....Interested to know more about the musician and the album? Visit ULI JON ROTH HOME PAGE...
. THE WRONG OBJECT - "Stories From The Shed"
Formed in 2002, The Wrong Object is a Belgian heavy avant-prog-jazz-rock quintet which began their musical activity as a "Frank Zappa" tribute band, but switched over to creating their own blend of original repertoire. "Stories From The Shed" is the third full-fledged official release by the band, though both its predecessors, "The Unbelievable Truth" and "Platform One", are in fact the products of their collaborations with "Elton Dean" and "Annie Whitehead", respectively. This album marks a return to the rockier and densely overdriven stance that characterized the band's earlier productions. With influences ranging from Zappa's whimsical complexities to Squarepusher's glitchy electronics, from "Soft Machine" and "Electric Miles" to "Stravinsky" and "Béla Bartok", "Stories From The Shed" will surprise with its genre-defying compositions, eclectic jam improvisations and intricate arrangements. Listen carefully all songs you must have a special attention to "Sonic Riot at the Holy Palate", "15/05", "Sheepwrecked, Strangler Fig" and "Waves and Radiations" will cause a very good damage to your ears.The Wrong Object" is an excellent addition to the growing catalog of Moonjune Records. The members on the band are: Michel Delville - Guitar, Guitar-Synth, Loops, Electronics, Fred Delplancq - Tenor Sax, Jean-Paul Estiévenart - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Damien Polard - Bass, Electronics, Samples and Laurent Delchambre - Drums, Percussions and Samples... 
01/15/2009.............................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit THE WRONG OBJECT HOME PAGE...
. GOAD - "In the House of the Dark Shining Dreams"
Formed early in Florence, in 1974 by the Rossi Brothers - Gianni and Maurilio, and still in activity nowadays, the Italian band Goad is a real survivor of the progressive genre and a true example of perseverance. Maurilio Rossi is the driving creative force of the band, being responsible for the compositions, lyrics, the playing of keyboards, bass and guitar, and also the vocals. His main influences are "Cream", "Procol Harum", "King Crimson", "Van Der Graaf Generator", and "Genesis" (of the earliest albums). The themes are inspired by other forms of art, such as literature (the masters of terror Edgar Alan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft), cinema and theatre. Goad has performed many live shows until they finally released in 1983 the first album only of covers: "Who Can It Be" (Golden Hits, Disco Mix and Northcott Production N.Y.) followed by "Criatures" in 1984 (EmmeGi - afterwards distributed by Polygram in 1985). Between 1985 and 1988 they prepared a record entitled "Perfume" that was never released. Over the following years, they have intermittently released other albums through different labels, resulting in an extensive discography: "To Mars with You - a Sight" (1985); "Tribute to Edgar Allan Poe" (1995) and "Glimpse" (1998) - both released by Multipromo Records. Maurilio Rossi also worked in soundtracks for theatrical plays, such as "Streghe?" (1998) "Il Minosse"(1999) and "Dark Virgin" (2001). The last two are independent productions available only through contact with the website. He also participated in the soundtrack of the movie "La Scacchiera" ("The Chessboard") by director Massimiliano Mauceri. In 2002 Goad associated with Mellow Records and released a double album, "Raomen - Spoon River Anthology Songs", bringing a collection of symphonic and hard rock pieces based on the poetry of the American writer Edgar Lee Master. They also took part in the tributes "The Letters - An unconventional Italian guide to King Crimson" (2004) performing the song "Epitaph" and "Higher and Higher - A tribute to The Moody Blues" (2006) with the song "Have You Heard". In 2006 Goad released their last album by Mellow - "The Wood", which was dedicated to the North American writer H.P. Lovecraft and had the participation of many guest musicians. In 2005 Goad finally found a new home in Black Widow Records.  The newest album, "In the House of the Dark Shining Dreams" is based on both new material and on old arrangements of "Dark Virgin", which were modified to sound more atmospheric, darker and cruder. The resulting music matches perfectly with the style of the Italian label. The sound in general is neither classically nor jazzy oriented, but more like hard-progressive, strongly influenced by the English bands of the seventies - the songs are even sung in English. "In the House..." brings many passages of keyboards, guitar solos and harmonies with several instruments played at the same time. The best tracks are "Yet Another Battlefield" (a song of war built over a dramatic crescendo of heavy keyboards) and the pair "Dark Virgin" and "Dark Virgin 2" which have a theatrical mood - the former brings some "Genesis-like" passages of organ, while the later has a powerful guitar riff with keyboards behind. In between, the quieter "Olympia" (trip-like, with a crescendo guitar ending in a solo) and the dark ballad "As Nothing has Changed" contrast with "Killer" (an impressive cover of "Van der Graaf Generator"). Both "Steep Path" (sad and suffering - the best place for Maurilio's voice) and "It's Always the Same Thing" (full of dramatic tension, decorated with some experimental noising) prepare the entrance for the vigorous performing of the second cover-hit of the album: "21st Century Schizoid Man" ("King Crimson"). The album finishes with "Genius of Europe", an interesting adaptation of Wagner's Intro of "Siegfried's Death". The album has an odd equalization - it is not known whether on purpose or not - that preserves a crude sonority, at first of difficult assimilation. The atmosphere is even darkened by the hoarse voice of Maurilio Rossi, which may be disliked at first glance. However, the interpretive weigh he puts on it imprints an authorial unique mark to the music of Goad, so that one cannot exist without the other. With a more careful production - as deserves a band with the past history of Goad - their sound will be easily appreciated in its whole. Band members and collaborators involved in Goad are: Maurilio Rossi - Vocals, Music, Lyrics, Arrangements, Bass, Keyboards, Nylon/electric Guitars - Gianni Rossi - Guitar, Francesco Diddi - 4- 5 Strings Violin, Flute, Guitars, Moog, Sax, Synth-guitar, Paolo Carniani - Drums, Roberto Masini - Violin-guitars, Giampaolo Zecchi - studio/live sound engineer, Alice Rossi - sleeve designs, concept art, Lorenzo Pecchioni - video films.  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
01/15/2009..................................................More information? Better check it out for yourself at: GOAD HOME PAGE...
. GARGANTUA - "Kotegarda"
The Polish band Gargantua released their first album - "Gargantua" - in 2003 (see the review in this site). It soon became clear that this band would attract much attention because of its unconventional and creative work. Owner of a style that cannot be easily labeled or classified, Gargantua is one of those bands that will never reach commercial success, remaining instead in the selected sphere of the "cult" bands. Nevertheless, courageous bands like Gargantua are extremely necessary to Music itself, for they push experimentalism to its best, bringing much innovation to the regular scenario. In their second album "Kotegarda"  the music turned upside down" (released in 2007 by the independent label "Roadkill Music") Gargantua explores the ooze settled in the depths of the musical ocean to bring out a fossilized deep-see anglerfish - a metaphor of the strangeness of Gargantua's music - which is displayed on the sleeve design of the album as a bait to capture the unconventional listener who is in search of musical novelty. Difficult to describe, the songs of "Kotegarda" could perfectly fit as musical representations of the "impossible structures" depicted by Dutch artist M.C. Escher in his lithographs; or they could be used as the soundtrack of a film about the life of Rabelais and his most famous characters - "Gargantua and Pantagruel". The sound is mainly instrumental - a blend of modern music, jazz, rock and chamber music, with inspiration in literature texts. Vocals, when present, are reduced to syllabic vocalizations or associated with something referred as "facial noise" in the credits. With unexpected drumming and percussion, mocking violin passages, unpredictable keyboard melodies, elusive bass phrasings, surprising guitar solos, and intermittent interventions of vocal effects, the musicians seem to play independently from each other. At first, this way of performing gives the impression that the music is unstructured and chaotic, but once the ears get used to it, one will realize that the notes are not executed at random, but rather follow a pattern to which most of us are unfamiliar with. The abusive use of unusual techniques (dissonance, odd rhythms, polyrhythms, mixed meters, unorthodox harmonies, altered chords and polyphony) places Gargantua side by side with bands like "Univers Zero" as true representatives of the "Rock in Opposition" progressive style. The album has 10 tracks, but the short pieces known as "Kotegarda, I, II and III" are just instrumental interludes. The remaining seven tracks are settled at a high standard. My favorites are "Wzdy Czelestnik" (the opening movement and the first shock); "Interrferrometerr" (brain and ears begin to assimilate the sound), "The Augurs of Spring - Dances of the Young Girls" (a competent adaptation of Stravinsky's composition that tells quite clearly the orientation of the band), "Paralaksy Dyzaskorufin" (with a spooky "terror-movie-like" mood) and "Gargoyles"(the longest composition, full of dissonances and somber melodies). By the end of the hearing you are already converted to a devoted fan of the band. Gargantua is highly recommended for fans of "King Crimson", "Frank Zappa", "Univers Zero", "Rock-In-Opposition" and "Avant-Guard" Progressive styles. The members of Gargantua are: Marcin Borowski  - Drums, Facial Noise, Whistle, Tylda Ciolkosz  - Violin, Facial Noise, Vocals, Pawel Kubica - Keyboard, Facial Noise, Rain, Leszek Mrozowski - Bass Guitar - Bartek Zeman - Guitar, Sustainer, Facial Noise.   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
01/26/2009..........................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit GARGANTUA HOME PAGE...
. IL BACIO DELLA MEDUSA - "Discesa Agl'inferi D'un Giovane Amante"
The musical  project called “Il Bacio Della Medusa” (Medusa’s Kiss) begins at the end of summer of 2002, on the north-west bank of Trasimeno, a lake near the city of Perugia (Italy). They want to restore artistic dignity to the musical arrangement and lyrics finding music inspiratin by the great Progressive Rock band of 70th and lyrics inspiration by italian song singer-writers as Fabrizio de Andrè, Branduardi etc. After a long creative  season ,in June 2004 the Il Bacio Della Medusa completed its first work, the homonymous “Il Bacio Della Medusa”. In December 2004 the band won a rock contest, “Rock ‘n Centro” organized by the municipality of the city of Perugia, to which all the best groups of the region have partecipated. They also won a short stay in Aix en Provance (France) and the opportunity to get live performance there. Il Bacio Della Medusa knows how to create a fine music with a vintage sound, fresh and exciting, an perfect combination of Progressive Rock, Art Rock and Hard Rock, sometimes full of symphonism, with a touch of Jazz Fuzion. The band has a sophisticated instrumental, including many of the best attributes of early 70's, where the musicians combine a strong sense of melody, exploring many deep arrangements, with a perfect connection between all the instruments. The latest album, "Discesa Agl'inferi D'un Giovane Amante", delivers an delightful music, using the best Progressive Rock style, very dynamic and totaly symphonic, featuring a monumental keyboard work, dominant electric guitar solos, passionate vocals by Simone Cecchini, in close harmony with bass and drums, followed by beautiful flute passages, in the similar explorations by "Jethro Tull", while the violin flights, given the sounds a dreamy textures. In fact, their incredible musicianship and technical level defines ll Bacio Della Medusa as one of the amazing Progressive Rock band that have appeared these past few years. If you enjoy Progressive Rock in the same musical line of: "Premiata Forneria Marconi", "Banco", "Museo Rosenbach", "Delirium", "The Trip", "Campo Di Marte", "Il Rovescio Della Medaglia" "Biglietto Per L´inferno", "Osanna", "Locanda Delle Fate", "Foglie Di Vetro", "Malibran", "Monte Feltro", "H2O", "Nuova Era" and "La Maschera Di Cera", certainly will must give a special attention to ll Bacio Della Medusa. "Discesa Agl'inferi D'un Giovane Amante" album was released in January 2008, recorded and distribuited by "Black Widow Records". The musicians on the band are: Simone Cecchini - Voce, Chitarra Acustica 6 & 12 corde, Chitarra Classica, Sax Tenore, Cori, Simone Brozzetti - Chitarra Elettrica, Federico Caprai - Basso, Diego Petrini - Batteria, Organo, Tastiere, Piano, Vibrafono, Percussioni, Eva Morelli - Flauto Traverso, Ottavino, Daniele Rinchi - Violino, Viola. Brilliant amazing and an indispensable work, highly recommendable for all progressive fans around the world...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
01/26/2009......For more information about the musicians and the band, visit IL BACIO DELLA MEDUSA HOME PAGE...
. PRESENCE - "Evil Rose"
Presence formed in early 90's, when they completed their first recording, the concept EP "The Shadowing". The group consist of three well know Neapolitan session musicians. All three musicians are musically trained, sight-readers. What makes Presence different than peers is the emphasis they have placed on their musical studies, Sophya Baccini, daughter of a tenor, has worked continuously to perfect her vocal technique, then blues-oriented, complementing it with operatic studies. Enrico Iglio, who represents the third generation of a musical family, attended a private Musical Academy, studying percussion, composing, and orchestration. Sergio Casamassima, also belonging to the third generation of a musical family, studied classical guitar and is a graduate of Los Angeles´ Guitar Institute of Technology. Presence is an italian band that fuse perfectly Progressive Rock, Art Rock with strong symphonic elements, occasionally introducing some Gothic and Dark Power Metal edge in their sound. The musicians, on the band, put out some consistently awesome instrumental compositions, sometimes the instrumentation tend to be very complex, with intricate arrangements, adding creative dark/metal/gothical textures, sometimes highly symphonic, melodic and atmospheric, featuring amazing interplay between symphonic keyboard orchestrations and melodically tasty guitar sounds, but the other highlights are the extraordinary, predominant, sensual and enigmatic vocals from Sophya Baccini that sounds epic and medieval. "Evil Rose" is a powerful, energetic and symphonic album, which clearly shows that the musicians display a rich and varied soundscape with a surprising talent in composing orchestral symphonies. Everything is done to lead us through a very special universe, full of innovative instrumental ideas, sophisticated orchestration and memorable vocal lines. Is not so easy define their musical influences, but we can hear a little "Emerson Lake & Palmer" and "King Crimson", passages in some songs. "Evil Rose" is the 7th official Presence album and was released in May 2008 by Black Widow Records. All songs arranged by Presence. Recorded at Hellish Studio, Napoli, Italy. You must definitely listen carefully all songs, but a particular attention to my favourite songs are: "Cassandra", "Evil Rose" (The best song on the album), "Subterreans", "The prophet's Song", "Gates of Babylon" and "Orphic", almost 69 min long album with pure energy, combined with epical intrumental trips. The musicians on the band are: Sophya Baccini - Vocals, Sergio Casamassima - Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Enrico Iglio - Keyboards and as a Special Guest Valerio Silenzi - Drums. Brilliant and an indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
01/29/2009...................,.....Want to learn everything about the band and its members? Visit PRESENCE HOME PAGE...
. ALITHEIA - "Chthonick"
The North American band Alitheia was founded in 2001 in Miami, Florida by guitarist Raul Valentine, bassist Ricardo Diaz-Albertini and vocalist Alfredo Vicente. The line-up was completed in 2006 by drummer Xavier Vanegas. In 2008 Alitheia released a debut album, "Chthonick" which was produced by the band itself. The word stems from the Greek "khthonios", which means "Belonging to the Earth" or "relating to the gods and spirits of the underworld". "Chthonic" is also a Psychological term referring to the "primitive, instinctual, unconscious aspect of the self that is in search of personal evolution" In this regard, the word mirrors the musical aspirations of the band, whose songs approach complex themes such as self-consciousness, evolution of the being, questioning about the meaning of existence and personal impressions about the universal sense of life and death. The album has 6 long tracks - each one lasting from 7 to 9 minutes in average - that clearly show the musical proposal of Alitheia: a fusion of Progmetal, Techmetal, and Dark-Progressive, following the style of influential bands such as "Dream Theater", "Watchtower", "Spastic Ink", "Event", and "Riverside". Songs like "Sanctum of the Symbol" and "Penumbra" have powerful progmetal guitar riffs, while in "Solid of Revolution" and "Root of Infinity" the melancholic and hypnotic guitar, psychedelic bass and primeval drumming furnish a typical dark-progressive mood. The best songs are the last two: "The Empty Set" brings somewhat more complex instrumental parts - including melancholic bass soloing - and changes of rhythm at the middle; and "Potamos" is highlighted by the powerful guitar riffs, aggressive vocals, some oriental and progressive atmospheric guitar passages, which are bordered by intricate drums and bass. Although one cannot expect must perfection of a debut album, the instrumental background constructed by bassist Ricardo Diaz-Albertini and drummer Xavier Vanegas tells us that Alitheia is evolving towards the right direction and has much potential to explore in the future. They still have some hard work to do, particularly Alfredo Vicente, whose vocals are still not well integrated within the band's musicality. Better studio production is necessary, especially regarding voice equalization. Band members of Alitheia are: Alfredo Vicente - Vocals, Raul Valentine - Guitars, Ricardo Diaz-Albertini - bass and Xavier Vanegas - drums and percussion...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
02/03/2009.................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit ALITHEIA HOME PAGE...
. XCENTRIK - "Welcome to the War"
The Danish band Xcentrik debuted in 2007 with the album "Welcome to the War", which was released by the independent Label BioMechanical Music. The style ranges from Hard Rock to Thrash Metal, being very reminiscent of the heavy metal of the 80's. Guitar player Jan Weincke composes some heavy guitar riffs, mainly influenced by bands such as "Megadeth", and "Savatage". He is also on duty of the vocals, varying from somber and dark tones to theatrical interpretation, in a kind of "Type O Negative" style. Other band members, Niels W. Knudsen (bass) and Valentino Olsen (drums) are good musicians and follow the same influences, giving weight and versatility to the whole album. The opening track, "Welcome to the War", is a Power Progressive Metal piece. The following songs "Domino" and "Gertrudestein" slow down the tempo to a traditional heavy rhythm, bringing dark passages of bass. From this point on, the style of the compositions vary in "Sweet Idol" (with cool, ironic vocals and a different jazzy rhythm section) and "Spinning" (a hard rock piece). "Color and Light" sounds more modern and industrial with its megaphone/electronic vocals. "Fabulous Machine" is a ballad which encloses the best guitar solo of the entire album. "Vanity" returns to the dark, heavy metal vain, and "The End of Nowhere" closes the circle bringing a dark-progressive melancholic atmosphere - and good passages of bass and guitar solos. The band has good potential to go forwards (specially regarding the interpretative vocal skills of Jan Weincke) but still needs a hit or something more original to call the attention of the general public upon it. The variety of composition styles, however, is proof that Xcentrik is searching for a formula to get its place within the metal scene. The musicians involved in Xcentrik are: Jan Weincke - Guitars and Vocals, Niels W. Knudsen - Bass, Valentino Olsen - Drums, Casper Bausager - Keyboards...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
02/16/2009.....................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Please visit XCENTRIK HOME PAGE...
. HÁBITAT - "Puente"
Hábitat began in the early 80's when the band stopped their activity with two concerts at General San Martin Cultural Center, in October 1984. In those concerts they also played soft moments of ancient music with lute too. A brief second period took place in 1987 with some new musicians. This new music was played with much more rhythm. But they performed just four shows at pubs, recording a demo with two songs. In those periods Hábitat played a symphonic and progressive rock emphatising in melodies, writing in literary aspect fantastic images inspired on Tolkien's Book, with words in Spanish. The era began in 1994, "Historias Oliviadas" ("Forgottem Stories"), their first independent production, includes old songs from two other periods played it with new arrangements. "Historias Oliviadas" was released in cassette in September 1997 and therefore in CD (October 1998) with four live bonus tracks. "Baúl Repleto De Sugerencias" ("Chest Filled Up With Suggestions"), the second production, was released in June 2001. A darker music than the former one, with new sounds and tendences. The third Album "Puente" ("Bridge"), released in October 2006, includes the most powerful songs. Hábitat came from Argentina and combines the finest elements of Symphonic Progressive Rock, Melodic Rock and Folk. The band, in many musical parts, forges a symphonic melodic sound showing constantly a variety of sounds, always traveling into the european progressive rock arrangements, at the same time following all traditions into the Latin America Progressive Rock style. Their music is so personal, sincere, original and truely enjoyable, full of musical textures, complex harmonics and elaborately arranged compositions, featuring vibrant interplay between guitars and symphonic keyboards, the strong point on the music is the varied instrumentation, very well played by Aldo Pinelli, a musician who display a special talent, a hunter and researcher of differents symphonic sounds, all vocals are in Spanish, but that isn't a problem at all, because the music is highly evocative and colorful that reminds me a lot of "Pablo El Enterrador", "Crucis", "Banana", "Espiritu", "Invisible", "Agnus", "Mia"and "Alas". "Puente" was released in October 2006. Recorded at Tapir (II) Studio, Adrogué, Buenos Aires in March, May and December 2003, January 2004 and from April to September 2006. 2.21 Studio from June to September 2004, March / December 2005 and June and August 2006, including ten tracks.  A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Puentes", "Requiem", "Juguetes Durante El Día", "Labradora Espacial", "La Última De Las Arañas Buenas" (in my opinion, the best song on the album) and "Guardianes Del Jardín". The line up on the album are: Ricardo Henestroza - Keyboards and Chorus, Aldo Pinelli - Voices, Bass, Nylon, Acoustic And Electric Guitars, Tambourine, Rainstick, Triangle, Hindu Drum And Ocasional Keyboard and Mario Pugliese - Drums. Guest musicians are: Enrique Hittos - Lute, Juani Guzzo - Keyboards and Roberto Sambrizzi - Drums. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
02/16/2009.................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit HÁBITAT HOME PAGE...
. SACRUM - "Cognition"
The first official release by Argentinean band Sacrum, arrived without any supporting material. Overall, it would be safe to mention that this album finds its makers taking for the most part after the style established by "Dream Theater", though they definitely having their own, quite specific vision of it, lavishly spicing it with techno thrash and progressive doom metal devices, putting a somewhat greater emphasis on the diversity of riffing as well as temporal (derived from "tempo", if you are willing to accept this pseudo-neologism) shifts than on the soloing battles between instruments. Played in a more aggressive and abrasive way than those in classic contemporary Prog-Metal, the guitar riffs here remind me structurally of a crossover between the aforesaid band, early "Pain Of Salvation", early-'90s "Voivod" and classic "Threshold". In the end, comparisons with "Black Sabbath" are at times inevitable also, some moves instantly bringing me mentally back to their "Born Again" album. With their raging, ultra-hard guitar riffs (some of which are really monumental), powerful drum beats and throbbing bass, "Translation", "The Dream Prisoner", "Stay", "Made As One"and "Innerself" are all extremely intensive and busy compositions, sort of turbulent heavy waters with usually only one tiny island of calmness in their midst. Since each combines, say, a traditional progressive finesse with raw energy, I can offer you one more expression as a comparison: a hybrid between a hi-tech computer and a quarry bulldozer. Standing out for some airy, seemingly fragile, sonic constructions of a largely acoustic nature (involving piano, classical guitar and synthesizer strings), as well as a couple of keyboards-laden, more widely used within the genre, basically symphonic instrumental interludes, the song bearing the same title as the band does is in all senses the most diverse as well as compelling track here and is the one that just keeps changing. While featuring fewer acoustically-driven moves, "In Memory" is still a classy prog-metal opus, in many ways similar to Sacrum, almost irresistible in its turn. Unlike the five songs described first, where Estanislao Silveyra sings stably in a classically-restrained manner not too dissimilar to James La Brie's, these two depict him as a possessor of an amazingly broad voice diapason, sounding equally convincing whether he provides high-pitched vocals or takes on a black metal screaming, to say the least. It's a pity that Silveyra wasn't allowed to display his chameleonic abilities on all the heavier songs on the disc (which explains why it didn't receive the highest rating). The more or less solid quantity of guitar histrionics is only featured on the track that gives the recording its title. The sole instrumental here, "Cognition" does not keep the band's basic stylistic course throughout, at times evolving as an art-rock piece; plus there are also some emotional bluesy guitar leads developing alongside the piano passages. Featuring only piano, acoustic guitar and vocals, the closing track, "No Turning Back", is a thoughtful atmospheric ballad. A minor masterwork in its category, this is generally a very apt conclusion for the disc, especially bearing in mind how heavy the others tracks are. Ther Line Up on the band are: Martin Guerrera - Guitars; Backing Vocals, Estanislao Silveyra - Lead Vocals, Mariano Herraiz - Keyboards, Agustin Acosta - Drums and Diego Cipolla - Bass...    (Comments by Marcelo Martins)
02/26/2009.................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit SACRUM HOME PAGE...
. FEN - "Congenital Fixation"
Fen has laboured for a decade on three recordings, they are come from Canada. The latest, "Congenital Fixation" is a Freudian-esque phantasmagoria, an acid drop into the subconscious, vividly rendered. Before this, came Heron Leg, a story of incest and matricide, which Discorder Magazine has called “one of those great CDs the listener can get into more and more deeply as buried details are unearthed.” Three years prior, the debut release, Surgical Transfusion of Molting Sensory Reflections, identified Fen as “the only band of its kind on the coast” (The Nerve Magazine), likely due to the abundance of odd time signatures and through-composed song forms. Fen is a band with endless potential and possibilities to become one of the great modern Rock bands. They are a band that will draw the listener through a mesmerizing, sonic voyage of numerous instrumental emotions, their music oscillates between styles such as Alternative Metal, Art Rock, Progressive Rock, Hard Rock with touchs of a Melodic Heavy Metal edge. Fen offers a sound that combines epic cinematic compositions, vibrant and thundering drums, dominated by guitars solos, sometimes aggressive sometimes symphonic and melodic. This is a band that's obviously very concerned with songwriting and arrangement unlike so many of today's new prog rock bands. Fen play a kind of musical style that should be familiar to fans of groups like "System of a Down", "Frost", "RPWL", "Pain of Salvation", "Arena", "Blind Ego" and"Paatos". "Congenital Fixation" album was released in 2006.  Produced and Mixed by Fen with Mike Southworth at Creative Recording Studio In North Vancouver, mastered by Jamie Sitar at Suite Sound Labs, all songs writen by Stam Levin and Doug Harrison, Bass arrangements by Jeff Caron and Mike Young, lyics by Doug Harrison. Including nine tracks among 38 minutes for Hard and Heavy Rock music. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Cockroach Eyelids", "Hermit Hole", "Fossil Bed", "Rubicon Iris", "Pit Trap", "Hourglass Desert" is on of the best on the album and "The Orchard". You can hear some MP3s checking their Myspace site. The main musicians on the band are: Doug Harrison - Voice, Guitar and Songs, Sam Levin - Guitar and Songs, Jeff Caron - Bass, Mandola, Vibes and Randall Stoll - Drums. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
02/26/2009...........................................,.....For more details and in the meantime please check out FEN HOME PAGE...
. SERPENTINA SATÉLITE - "Nothing to Say"
The Progressive band Serpentina Satélite was formed in 2003 in the city of Lima, Peru. It debuted officially by the end of 2004 with the release of the first EP (titled "Long Play"), which featured 5 songs. In the following years the band appeared constantly in festivals of the local underground scene. In 2007, Serpentina Satélite recorded brand new songs which were later mastered at Perplex Tonstudio, in Walldorf, Germany (the same studio where influential bands of the German Progressive scene, such as "Guru Guru", "Embryo" and "Kraan" had already done much of their work). The outcome was a new EP, entitled "Nothing to Say", which was released in 2008 through the independent label Trip in Time (distributed by World in Sound, Germany). Along with the curiosity of being a progressive rock band from Peru, Serpentina Satélite is also surprising for refusing the roots of the local traditional "Andean Music" - embracing instead the lysergic-psychedelic influences typical of the "Krautrock" of the seventies. At the same time, the musicians imprint their own mark by playing in a much modern way - aggressive and fast. Most conspicuous is the energetic background of bass and drums surrounded by guitar solos and guitar effects that results in a thick torrent of distorted sound that fill in all the empty spaces left on the sound matrix. The opening track - "Nueva Ola" - is an instrumental piece with abusive use of tribal drumming and cymbals, being therefore very reminiscent of early atavistic experiments of "Pink Floyd" ("Ummagumma"), "Popol Vuh" and "Amon Düül II" ("Phalus Dei"). The second song, "Nothing to Say" is fuelled, however, by angry guitar chords and punk-rock styled vocals, resulting in a "Psychedelic-Punk" cross-over, as if such thing might exist. I just wander what kind of music the youngsters of Lima are listening to, to mix up such unexpected influences. The third song, "The Last Drop", is marked by whispering hypnotic vocals, and psychedelic-bluesy guitar solos that fluctuate over a low pitch guitar riff. In my opinion this track, together with the first, are the best compositions of the album. The fourth track - "Madripoor"- works as the instrumental continuity of the previous. The last track, "Kommune 1", is lengthy (23:33 minutes), and brings a turbulent atmosphere built by powerful bass and drums sections and many guitar solos and guitar pedal effects, while the atonal voice of a child narrates a kind of horror story.  Because the sound is so raw and energetic, Serpentina Satélite will probably gather, at the resent moment, more fans among the underground and experimental rock scene than among the regular fans of traditional Progressive Rock. Increase of the number of fans will depend on how fast the band learn to assimilate the guidelines of "Krautrock" style and refine its sound. Band members involved in Serpentina Satelite are: Dolmo  - Lead-Rhythm Guitar, Guitar Textures, Renato Gómez  - Lead-Rhythm Guitar And Guitar Manipulation, Vocals, Félix Dextre - Bass And Vocals, Aldo Castillejos  - Drums And Percussion, Flavio Castillejos - Voices, Poetry, Hope And Providence...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
03/01/2009..........................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit SERPENTINA SATÉLITE HOME PAGE...
. MAZE OF TIME - "Lullaby For Heroes"
Maze of Time was founded in 2001 by guitarist, composer and lyricist Robert I Edman gathered some musicians from the Stockholm music scene and his hometown. Music has been a vital ingredient throughout his life with a number of constellations. Over time, he grew weary of playing other peoples compositions as a designated guitarist for various productions and decided to take a road less travelled. About decade ago, in the outskirts of our fair city of Stockholm, composer and guitarist Robert I Edman was growing weary. Playing music created by others just didn't do it for him as there was so much in him longing to come out, and to incorporate his own ideas in commercial music evidently was a no go. Neither was pleasing organizations, record companies and other big dogs on the mainstream media scene, by adapting to more commercial offerings. In November 2006 the debut album "Tales from the Maze" was released, giving the band some really good reviews. 2007 saw a change in the band as Christer Lindström left the band and was replaced by vocalist Jesper Landén, who´s voice has created a truly intriguing impression. Devoted progressive rock fans, once again, have the opportunity to listen a band that captures the essence of Progressive Rock with of the seventies sensibility that appeals on many famous bands, their music is a blend of Symphonic soundscapes, using touchs of the best Progressive Metal, layered with incredible melodies and, intricate rhythms that, reflects a wide variety of influences while retaining a sound that is amazing and also very catchy. Maze Of Time is a band which places strong emphasis on melody, powered songwriting, with awesome instrumental, creating atmospheric effects, using musical elements that take us on an incredible journey through of fantastic arrangements, always, dominated by symphonic guitar solos, grandiose, pompous and bombastic keyboards sounds, as well, an impressive vocals, generously spread throughout the arrangements. Different from the fist album,  "Lullaby For Heroes” is more layered, the melodies are highly developed, there are more harmony vocals by the singer Jesper Landén with the backing from Robert I Edman and Alex Jonsson, all instrumental are dominated by long "dreaming" symphonic guitar solos, however, in some moments, the solos sounds really aggressive in the field of the progressive metal. In fact "Lullaby For Heroes” is a very professional album with nice easy accessible Progressive Music. Maze Of Time is recommended to all fans of bands suck as "Genesis", "Yes", "IQ", "Led Zeppelin", "Deep Purple", "Rush", "Finch", "Apogee", "Anyone´s Daughter", "Like Wendy" and "Galahad". All Progressive Rock fans will finally have the opportunity to listen 65 minutes of brand symphonic progressive rock music. "Lullaby For Heroes" is the second album and was released in December 2008 by "Art Performance Production".  Produced by Mikael Lundin, Robert I Edman and Johnny Rosengren, recorded at Over the Hill Studio, Sweden by Mikael Lundin. The album is packed with 8 songs. There is no favorite song, so, listen carefully all tracks and you will be caught by this amazing music. The line up on the band today are: Robert I Edman - Guitars, Vocals and Keyboards, Jesper Landén - Lead Vocals, Jan Persson - Bass, Alex Jonsson - Keyboards And Backing Vocals and Thomas Nordh - Drums and Glockenspiel. Brilliant and amazing album, I can highly recommend  for any progressive rock lover...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
03/08/2009.........If you want know more about this amazing band and their music, visit MAZE OF TIME HOME PAGE...
. D'ARCANA - "Premonitions"
The North American band D'arcana was founded in 2004 in Nevada City (CA) by Jay Tausig (multi-instrumentalist, main composer), James Camblin (lead guitar) and Shelby Snow (bass). There are two previous releases of the band: "D'arcana" (2005), and "As Worlds They Rise and Fall" (2006). The third album is a double CD entitled "Premonitions" (released in 2007 by the independent label Lemuria Music). The songs were composed by Jay Tausig, who also played (very well) the drums. The beautiful artwork was executed by Ed Unitsky (who also made covers for "The Flower Kings"). As all D'arcana's  previous releases, "Premonitions" was recorded at "The Pyramid" - an actual pyramid made of wood and stone, built in a quiet place, isolated from any neighbors that might complain about the noise. As many progressive bands from America (e.g "Spock's Beard" and "Glass Hammer"), D'arcana follows the sonority of the British Progressive Rock bands of the 70's, but performs in a much American way - that is: alternating melodic, easy-listening vocal lines with many sections of solos (guitar, synths and violins), and supporting everything with an energetic rhythmic background of Rock, Folk and Psychedelic. I could realize influences from important bands like "Genesis" (James Camblin plays the guitar in a kind of "Steve Hackett" style); "Yes" (early albums - "Yes Album" and "Fragile"); "Caravan" (vocals); "Camel" (modern phase); and even "Van der Graaf Generator" (at least in the track "Premonitions Part 2"). Those influences, however, are not so evident, remaining rather diluted along the tracks. That's because D'arcana refuses to act as a mere clone of those bands, doing everything its own way instead. The outcome is a series of excellent compositions, in several different styles of Progressive Rock. CD-1 is 47:40m long and features 10 tracks. It opens with the title song "Premonitions (Part 1)" - an excellent progressive piece, full of unexpected guitar and synth solos, that lasts more than 10 minutes. Other very progressive tracks are "Chameleons" (largely influenced by "Camel"); "Turquoise Blue" (short composition with "Genesis"-like flute solo); "World of Shadow" (that alternates heavy and soft moments) and "Vapor" (with a sad vocal melody). Some tracks sound not so Progressive, but are very good anyway: "Code of Silence" ; "Tremors" (with heavy guitars); and the ballads "Crime of the Century" and "Wheel of Life" (with acoustic folk-like guitars). The remaining songs ("We are not Alone" and "Through the Fire") have more commercial appeal, but do not discord in quality from the others. CD-2 is longer (60:23m) and has only eight tracks - the most progressive ones. "Gnome Matter (Chapter 25)" (with the astral sound of synthesizers), and "Trisevenine" (with oriental melodies and percussion) are short, introductory instrumental pieces. "Rain" has beautiful acoustic guitars and makes a contrast with the following "Desert Song" (in "Pink Floydian" style). "Smoke and Mirrors" is a modern progressive piece in "fusion" style. "Touch and Go" is an acoustic ballad that sounds very "Kansas" like due to the intervention of a violin (by guest musician Michael Snow), while "Children of the Universe" is distinguished from all other tracks by the oriental rhythm. The greatest feature of CD-2 is, however, the title track "Premonitions (Part 2)". With 31 minutes and 28 seconds of duration, this track has many solos, rhythmic changes and complex harmonies, resulting in a progressive masterpiece that stands side by side with other long-lasting classics of the genre, like  "Supper's Ready" ("Genesis") ; "Gates of Delirium" ("Yes"); "Snow Goose" ("Camel");  "A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers" ("Van der Graaf Generator") or "Garden of Dreams" ("The Flower Kings"). With the excellent work presented in "Premonitions", D'Arcana proves to be not isolated in a time-bubble, intending to promote a revival of the old British School. On the contrary, the band musicians are well connected with the present time, and are well aware of their importance within the Neo-Progressive surviving context. In this regard, D'Arcana is doing an excellent job, for it is adapting the traditional British Classic Rock for being listened by current audiences, thus bringing new fans for the genre. D'Arcana is highly recommended for progressive rock fans in general, especially for those that appreciate the British Rock scene of the 70's. Band members and collaborators involved in D'Arcana are: Jay Tausig - Lead Vocals, Guitars, Synths, Drums, Cello, Flute, James Camblin - Guitars, Pedal Steel, Synths and Vocals, Shelby Snow - Bass, Percussion, Vocals and Michael Snow - Violin and string arrangements on "Touch and Go" and "Premonitions pt. 2"...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta
03/17/2009...........,.....Interested to know more about the Band and their music? Please visit D'ARCANA HOME PAGE...
. RETROSPECTIVE - "Stolen Thoughts"
Retrospective is a progressive rock band formed in 2005 in Leszno, Poland. It started off with Robert Kusik (drums) and Maciej Klimek (guitars). However, two wasn't enough so they started their search for other members of the band. Shortly after, Alan Szczepaniak (guitars), a friend from Klimek's neighbourhood, was introduced to the band during one of the rehearsals. His skills and passion for unconventional playing earned him a way in. In April 2005 the bassist was found - Lukasz Marszalek, a great fan of Iron Maiden's The Trooper. Such a team started to gig as Hollow in Leszno. One mysterious day in mysterious circumstances they met Beata Lagoda who took her place behind the keyboard. That's when Hollow's direction evolved, becoming more progressive, inspired by such stars as "King Crimson", "Dream Theater", "Pink Floyd" and Polish "Riverside". In February 2006 yet another member joined Hollow - Jakub Roszak tried his hand at singing at one of the rehearsals. He was accepted and wth him on vocals Hollow started playing outside of Leszno. In July 2007 Hollow decided to record a demo which surely helped the band to arise. The demo material was given out for free at band's gigs, as a means of promotion. After that, Hollow started recording new material for a new demo. Evolution sped up and that's how Retrospective was born. Retrospective is a new generation of Progressive Rock bands, using elements from different styles into many different directions, combining more dynamic Symphonic and Progressive Rock styles, mixed with a traditional Progressive Metal, adorned around a perfect dark atmosphere. The musicians don't hesitate to adventure into vibrant instrumental arrangements, creating interesting musical elements, where symphonic keyboards are tastefully used with aggressive guitar solos, in the style of Progressive Metal, but sometimes tend to be symphonic with amazing solos, accompanied by dense and powerful drums, lead vocals are strong but not aggressive, also sometimes symphonic, with a heavy Progressive Rock texture, and are nicely balanced by rich harmonies. In fact, Retrospective has used the same musical formula, loaded with an instrumetal of all types and traditional sounds very connected to "Riverside", "After", "Collage", "Frost", "Eloy" and "Dream Theater". "Stolen Thoughts" is a remarkable Modern Progressive Rock album, with a high level of intensity to ensure that the band's message is heard by all Progressive Rock Fans around the world. Including eigth tracks, among 47min full of amazing songs, of course an album that sounds contiguous, connected, and totally satisfying. If you want listen some mp3s please visit Band's MySpace website. "Stolen Thoughts" album and Retrospective are a perfect combination, an excellent addition to the growing catalog of Lynx Music. The musicians on Retrospective are: Maciej Klimek - Guitar, Alan Szczepaniak - Guitar, Robert Kusik - Drums, Beata Lagoda - Keyboards, Lukasz Marszalek - Bass Guitar and Jakub Roszak - Vocals. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
03/17/2009......................For more about the musicians and their history, visit RETROSPECTIVE OFFICIAL WEBSITE...
. HYPNOISE - "St. Valentine’s Porno Bar"
The Italian band Hypnoise was founded in 1996 by P. Mike III (guitars, Rhodes, lead vocals), Frez (drums and percussion, backing vocals) and Sanze (bass, backing vocals). The first album – “Opium” – was released in 1999 by Mp Records (Italy). The second - “St. Valentine’s Porno Bar” – counted on the help of American producer Ronan Chris Murphy and was released in 2006 by the American label Veneto West Records (Los Angeles). According to the band itself, “St. Valentine’s Porno Bar” is a concept album that tells the journey of a character named Ceasar, who, after deciding to leave his artificial and stressful life behind, goes in search of a new one. Then he finds a mystical world in which he can experience all decadence, depravity and temptation possible until he feels free to get rid of his social masks – by doing this, he finally finds the peace and happiness he was looking for. In order to preserve the main concept, the album was recorded exclusively with analog devices to create a sound atmosphere that would contrast with the digital and artificial sound of modern recordings. The sound of Hypnoise is difficult to label. The vocal lines and melodies, as well as some bass sections and experimental insertions are strongly influenced by “Syd Barrett” and early works of “Pink Floyd” (“The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” and “A Saucerful of Secrets”). Both have been cited as major influences by band members. There are, however, many other influences from the rock of the 60’s and early 70’s (“Jimmy Hendrix”, “Led Zeppelin”, “The Doors”) and much Blues, Soul, Gospel, and Post-Punk. All this leads to the conclusion that Hypnoise is not a typical Progressive Rock band at all. In fact, with lyrics full of irony and irreverence (how many bands make a chorus like “I like yellow bananas from Cuba”; or yet a crazy dialog in which somebody demands “- Let me have tequila” – and another voice replays “You should take tomato soup!” ?), Hypnoise should be regarded as what it really is: a very amusing rock band of the alternative underground scenario. The CD has 14 tracks that may be listened in a row. The main trio of musicians is very skilled and plays without pretentious virtuosity, but well integrated and honestly. Guest musicians (see list below) bring a lot of variety to the songs, especially those performed by singer Cheryl Porter and the “International Gospel Messengers” choir (“Prologue”, ”Black Napkin on Tomato Soup”, ”Sexual Entertainer”, ”Like a Free Bird”). Besides those songs, I also liked ”Love in the Bathroom”, ”God’s Garden”, ”St. Valentine’s Porno Bar”, and ”The Ocean”. The last two featured Silvia Meloni on backing vocals. With more exposure in the media Hypnoise will certainly gather many fans, and if they are lucky enough, could even qualify for the next Quentin Tarantino’s movie soundtrack. I recommend Hypnoise for those listeners that are not restricted to Progressive Rock, but have a wider taste for Rock in general. Band members and collaborators involved in Hypnoise are P. Mike III – Guitars, Rhodes, Lead Vocals and Tape Effects, Frez – Drums and Percussion, Backing Vocals, Sanze  – Bass, Backing Vocals. Guest musicians: Cheryl Porter and part of the International Gospel Messengers – Vocals and Backing Vocals, Silvia Meloni – Backing Vocals, Ronan Chris Murphy – Guitar, Augusto Gentile – Didgeridoos, Elena Zanardo – Flute, Michele Gervasuti – The Voice Of Venice...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta
03/26/2009..............................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit HYPNOISE HOME PAGE...
. SATELLITE - "Nostalgia"
Satellite is a Progressive Rock band from Poland and was founded in 2000 by Wojtek Szadkowski, who wrote and co-wrote nearly all "Collage's" music and lyrics, also it includes others two ex members of tha famous band "Collage". Their debut album "A Street Between Sunrise And Sunset" was released on March 10, 2003 by Metal Mind Productions. It's follow up, "Evening Games", released in February 2005 reached no. 8 at the top100 best selling records in Poland. At the beginning of June 2005 regular rehearsals started to make Satellite a real band not just Wojtek’s solo studio project. As the results on 22nd September 2005 Satellite recorded live DVD - "Evening Dreams" (2006). In March 2007 the band had a privilege to play at the famous "Baja Prog Festival" in Mexico and in November released third studio album entitled "Into The Night". In the meantime Satellite welcomed Jarek Michalski (bass) as a new band member. In 2009 Satellite returns with a brand new offering – “Nostalgia”. After three splendid albuns and since their first work, the band Satellite always was acclaimed as a revelation of the Symphonic Progressive Rock and Neo-Progressive style and had an enthusiastic reception around the progressive rock scenary. The group has created a special musical signature full of melodic and symphonic elements, a modern musical  concept, different from conventional prog rock style, by combining elements of neo-prog rock, with the style, and tradition, of the symphonic progressive rock from famous bands from the 70s. “Nostalgia” is full of symphonic instrumentation and orchestration, the instrumental parts are enriched with plenty keyboards sounds and synths effects, accompanied by numerous guitar solos. One of the most important and special musical arrangements, are the clean vocals, which are provided by Robert Amirian, where all time are superb and fit in excellently with the music. in fact, Satellite has developed a splendid music, full of musical personality. If you like Symphonic Progressive Rock and Neo-Prog Rock, also, you are fan of groups such as "Collage", "IQ", "East", "Marillion", "After" and "Genesis" you will immensely enjoy Satellite. "Nostalgia" was released by Metal Mind Productions, containing sevem long tracks and almost 58min, full of instrumental delight. The album was recorded in Wojtek Szadkowski’s home studio, also responsible for the music and lyrics, cover artwork was done by a young and talented graphic artists - Katarzyna Niwinska. The album is available in two formats: a standard CD and a digipak CD with two bonus tracks. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs on the album are: "Every Desert Got Its Ocean", "Afraid Of What We Say", "I Want You To Know", "Over Horizon", "Am I Lozing Touch" and "Is It Over". The main musicians on the band are: Robert Amirian - Vocals, Sarhan Kubeisi - Guitars, Krzysiek Palczewski - Keyboards, Wojtek Szadkowski - Drums and Jarek Michalski - Bass, Krzysiek Palczewski - Additional Keyboards. Guest appearance: Amarok - some additional keyboards and last guitar solo in "Is It Over". Brilliant and amazing,  an indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
03/26/2009.......If you want know more about this amazing band and its members, visit SATELLITE MYSPACE PAGE...
. ANGUS CLARK - "Your Last Battlefield"
Angus Clark was born in New York City and began to learn music when he was eight years old, although he was not much interested at that time. Then “Pink Floyd” released “The Wall”, which impressed Angus so much that he turned back to his guitar and, by high school time, was already playing in rock bands. That was an intense phase for young Angus, as he begun to consume large quantities of “old classics”: “Black Sabbath”, “Pink Floyd”, “Jethro Tull”, “Yes”, “Rainbow”, “UFO”, “Cream”, and others. Guitarists such as "David Gilmour", "Randy Rhoads", "Ritchie Blackmore", "Michael Schenker", "Robin Trower" and "Eric Clapton" were major influences to him. After Graduation, Angus took part in “Naked Sun” - a progressive rock band with one release: “Wonderdrug” (1994). Later, he acted as guest musician in 4 albums of "Kitaro":  “Mandala” (1994), “An Enchanted Evening” (1995 - live), “Cirque Ingenieux“ (1995) and “Gaia Onbashira” (1996) - supporting him in live shows for 3 years. He also played in the project “Trans-Siberian Orchestra” (“The Lost Christmas Eve”, 2005), and has worked with other musicians: "Paul Rodgers" (“Bad Company”, “Free”), "Geoff Tate" (“Queensryche”), "Jon Anderson" (“Yes”), and "Buck Dharma" (“Blue Oyster Cult”).  In 2004, Angus founded his own label, Stacca Records, and released a solo album: “Grace Period”. In 2006 he released the EP “Unbreakable Heart” (with his band “Trouble Club”). Now, inspired by the sci-fi TV series “Star Trek”, Captain Angus “T.” Clark departs at warp-speed to the Musical Space … the Final Frontier… in a mission to explore strange new musical worlds, to seek out new musical life and new musical civilizations, to boldly go where no guitarist has gone before. With the help of other members of his crew - Pemberton Roach (bass), Dan Stein (keyboards), Tobias Ralph, Dave Berger and Dennis Leeflang (drummers), and his partner from “Trans-Siberian Orchestra”, Anna Phoebe (violin) – he successfully collected 12 alien-tracks from distant planets and brought them to Earth in his new starship-album: “Your Last Battlefield” (2008, Stacca Records). The album is 100% instrumental, and only the last track – a free adaptation of the traditional “Greensleeves” – is not inspired by “Star Trek“. The sound is a well-balanced blend of Blues-Rock and Hard-Rock, with few elements of Progressive. From the beautiful entrance with “Upon Arrival“ (with a citation of the “Star Trek” main theme) to the last track, the listener is captured by the lively and energetic performance of Angus and his band mates, in special bassist Pemberton Roach, whose melodic lines give the necessary weight and groove to each music. Plunge with them into a space wormhole and journey to the past to meet the “Rainbow”-like sound of “Drunk Klingons“ and “I Am Kirok“; and also the romantic-blues “Let Me Help (for Edith Keeler)“ – a homage to a woman with whom the famous “Star Trek” character Captain Kirk had fallen in love. Allow the crew some moments of contemplation with the tranquil “Pleasure Planet“ before returning to present time energized by the power of “Festival“, “Redjac the Menace“, “Scalosian Water“ and “Phoenix Hotel“. Finally, teleport aboard the guest musician Anna Phoebe to enjoy the neoclassical “Burning Cities of Cheron“ and the progressive “The Dohlman’s Tears“, on which she uses her phaser-violin to duel against the Indian scales of Angus’s electric sitar. Most tracks are short (lasting from 3 to 4 minutes). This format concentrates many changes of rhythm, interlocked melodies and complex harmonies behind the guitar solos, creating beautiful arrangements that avoid the sound to get stuck into a boring “guitar-hero” cliché. Angus himself plays with a varied stylistic palette, but instead of highlight his technical skills, he prefers to perform heartily and honestly, giving the music the warmth it deserves. In this manner, he follows many other guitarists such as: "Joe Satriani", "Steve Vai", "Ronnie Montrose", "Greg Howe", "Vinnie Moore" (of later albums, such as “The Maze”) and "Tony MacAlpine" (later works and the “CAB” project). Angus Clark is highly recommended for fans of Hard-Rock and those guitar players cited above. Band members and collaborators of Angus Clark are: Angus Clark  – Guitar, Electric Sitar, Keyboards; Pemberton Roach – Bass; Tobias Ralph – Drums (tracks 1, 3, 4, 6, 9); Dave Berger – Drums (tracks 7, 8, 10, 11, 12); Dennis Leeflang – Drums (tracks 2 and 5); Dan Stein – Keyboards (tracks 1, 3, 8, 9) and Anna Phoebe – Violin...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta
03/30/2009.,....For more information about the musicians and their history, visit ANGUS CLARK OFFICIAL WEBSITE...
. APOCALYPSE - "The Bridge of Light"
The Brazilian band Apocalypse was founded in 1983 in the city of Caxias do Sul (State of Rio Grande do Sul) by Eloy Fritsch (keyboards). Soon guitar player Ruy Fritsch and drummer Chico Fasoli joined in. The first LP, "Lendas Encantadas" (1989), had a Portuguese version of “Lavender” ("Marillion") that became a hit on local radio stations, leading to a successfully tour in southern Brazil. In 1992 Chico Casara (bass, vocals) completed the line-up. The band signed with the prestigious French Progressive Label Musea and released "Perto do Amanhecer" (1995) and  “Aurora dos Sonhos” (1996), which featured themes concerned with Nature’s preservation, science fiction and spirituality, developed in long progressive tracks that captivated fans from all around the world. The reissue of “Lendas Encantadas" (1996) had 4 bonus-tracks. From 1997 to 1999 Apocalypse performed alive, both in home country and abroad. In Brazil, the band shared stage with "Tempus Fugit" and "Pendragon" at the 3rd edition of “Rio ArtRock Festival”, sponsored by Rock Symphony Records. In 1999, Apocalypse took part in “Progday Festival“ (USA), and had 3 songs included in the limited CD edition “ProgDay Box Set –Encore?”, becoming the first Brazilian band to be recorded alive in the USA. The rest of the show was recorded on the double CD “Live in USA" (2000). “Refúgio” (2003) had new tracks and two bonus songs from “Live in USA”. In 2004, Chico Casara left the band and was substituted by Gustavo Demarchi (vocals, flute) and Magoo Wise (bass). With the renewed line-up, Apocalypse started to translate songs into English. The EP “Magic – the Radio Edits”, with English versions of old hits, was made available for download at their website. During 2005, they toured intensively in Southern Brazil performing those English versions, with good reception from public and media. In September 2005, they took part in another festival promoted by Rock Symphony in the city of Niterói. This concert was released in CD and DVD (Rock Symphony and Musea). In 2006, Apocalypse was back in Rio as the opening act for "Uriah Heep" in the “Rock in Concert Brazil Festival”. The album “The Bridge of Light” is the record of a 2006 live presentation in home city of Caxias do Sul. The sound of Apocalypse stays on the frontier between the Italian Progressive school of the 70’s ("Premiata Forneria Marconi", "Quella Vechia Locanda", "Cherry Five"), and the Neo-Progressive music played of the 80’s ("Marillion" and "Pendragon"). It is enhanced, however, by excellent harmonic vocals in early "Uriah Heep"-style and the profusion of keyboards and guitar solos - features that make Apocalypse a most enjoyable band for the majority of Progressive fans. The set on "The Bridge of Light" is divided in two Acts. Act 1 presents single songs. The energy employed by the band in live performances – and that made it famous - is present from the very beginning in the opening tracks “Next Revelation“ (a crossing between "Deep Purple" and "Uriah Heep") and “Dreamer“ (in "Marillion" style). In the following “Ocean Soul“, it is Gustavo’s flute that marks the pace in “Jethro Tullesque” style, living the other musicians free to create many keyboards and guitar solos. In “Last Paradise“, the sound rolls straighter, unless by the end, when the subtle intervention of guest violinist Hique Gomez surprises the listener. With the audience already warmed-up, its time for “The Dance of Down“ – a song written in “Italian” style, with classical harmonic keyboards and melodic flute. Act 1 finishes with the ballad - “Meet Me“ - with excellent harmony vocals and guitar solo. Act 2 – “The Bridge of Light” is a conceptual opera telling the story of a mysterious orphan called Jimmy, who is left at Madeleine’s front door and is raised by her hidden from the world. As Jimmy grows up, he decides to escape, and he goes on a journey to find the truth about himself. His quest ultimately leads him to confront Mr. Earthcrubbs – an evil character that hides a secret that is somehow linked to Jymmy’s past. This long piece is composed by dramatic and energetic songs, greatly inspired by "Marillion" and "Genesis". The intro “Wake Up Call“ deceives the listener with ethereal violins and astral guitars. Then things get heavier in “…to Madeleine“, “Escape“ and “Welcome Outside!“ (with good sections of bass and drums). Tones get darker in “Meeting Mr. Earthcrubbs” with mysterious flute passages, heavy riffs and malevolent guitar and keyboards solos. It prepares the public for one of the best songs of the suite - “Follow the Bridge” - a mixture of Italian jazz-rock with killing bass riffs. “Not Like You”, with acoustic guitars and beautiful violin solo, closes this excellent album, that will, for sure, enrich any Progressive CD collection. With “The Bridge of Light”, Apocalypse takes a further step towards the evolution of their sound, showing to the world that, in the matter of music, Brazil is more than “the Country of Samba”. Apocalypse is highly recommended for Progressive fans in general, mainly of the Neo-Progressive style. Band members and collaborators involved in Apocalypse are Gustavo Demarchi – Lead Vocal and Flute, Eloy Fritsch – Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Ruy Fritsch – Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals, Chico Fasoli – Drums, Electronic Drums and Percussion – Magoo Wise – Bass Guitar and Backing Vocals. Guest musicians: Hique Gomez – Electric Violin and Backing Vocals...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta
04/08/2009.................,.....Interested to know more about this great Brazilian Band? Visit APOCALYPSE HOME PAGE...
. MYHYBRIS - "The Sweet Melody Of Resilience"
Formed in December 2003, Paris - France. The plan for Myhybris began to take shape. However, the Myhybris' project was completed in May 2006 with its maxi Pretty Scares, welcomed by the musical press. Five friends, sharing the same passion for music, grabed a seat in a studio where they could give free rein to their creativity. Meeting after meeting, the group gave birth to peaceful pieces just as well as tortured ones, in accordance with its own vision of the world. Today the group are four pices. The band was supported in 2007 by a local tracking device and received personalized advices, many training and meetings with professionals. With more than 100 shows performed in France, Myhybris now seeks to invest stages all over the world to share its musical and video universe. Myhybris is a new band playing an impressive Progressive Rock, that know how to combine, symphonism with the vibrant Progressive Metal, creating a own style and perfectly balanced with epic melodies and full of power. They know how to use the the essential ingredients to develope a perfect Progressive Rock, the sounds of guitars and keyboards are performed in perfect doses, adding powerful female vocals, adorned by vibrant drums, where the result is a dynamic instrumentation and also very cool orchestration, in fact they know developing an incredible sound. "The Sweet Melody Of Resilience" contains roughly 27 minutes, full of wonderful compositions, all tracks are well written and performed, divided into four chapters, it's possible identify many musical styles such as Melodic Metal, Symphonic Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal however all together with a heavy edge, following towards epic to the Progressive Metal Rock, but without being overly aggressive on the instrumental arrangements. "The Sweet Melody Of Resilience" contains roughly 27 minutes, full of wonderful compositions, all tracks are well written and performed, divided into four chapters, it's possible identify many musical styles such as Melodic Metal, Symphonic Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal however all together with a heavy edge, following towards epic to the Progressive Metal Rock, but without being overly aggressive on the instrumental arrangements. I would like to suggest that next album should have more extensive tracks, with more time. You can bet that, soon, Myhybris and "The Sweet Melody Of Resilience" will be on the top of the most important Prog Rock Band list around the world. "The Sweet Melody Of Resilience"  was released in September 2008. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Vincent Thermidor at the "Studio De La Tour Fine. The musicians on this project are: Nicolas Pascal - Guitar, Sylvain Mazeau - Bass, Olivier Riva - Drums and Samples and Morgane Falaize - Keyboards and guest musicians Amelie Festa - Vocals and lyrics on "The Sweet Melody of Resilieence", Christophe Denrez - Vocals, Jean Pierre Riva - Keyboards Solo on "Children's Dames", Patrick Quartenoud "Patou" - Sax and Aurore, Caroline, Clélia, Dorothée and Laetitia - Chorus. You can visit the band at Myhybris MySpace. Brilliant, amazing and an indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
04/14/2009.....................................,.....More information? Better check it out for yourself at: MYHYBRIS HOME PAGE...
. IL CERCHIO D'ORO - "Il Viaggio di Colombo"
Il Cerchio d'Oro, from Savona, only released three singles at the end of their career, that had begun in 1974. Their beginnings were as one of the many symphonic oriented bands active in their area, with a strong influence by "Le Orme". In fact their surviving recordings even include some early tracks played as a trio of keyboards/bass/drums. Unfortunately they couldn't manage to get a recording deal while still in their progressive years, and their only record releases are three singles, issued between 1977 and 1979, in a very commercial style. Two posthumous releases are useful to know this group, a 1999 CD by Mellow, with 12 tracks recorded around 1976, including their first single "Quattro Mura", and three later tracks in an almost disco-style. Much better is the recent LP "La Quadratura del Cerchio", issued in 2005, that contains 9 unreleased recordings, some of which are covers of tracks by "Le Orme", "New Trolls", "The Trip", along with some originals, and though they come from rehearsal tapes, they show good quality and arrangements. After 25 years of silence the group found again the motivating force to start again playing with the original line up; hence they conceived the idea to write a concept album in the italian progressive rock style. Il Cerchio d'Oro finds inspirations in several musical sources, and in their  approach, we could find many musical elements, specially developed by famous and oldest Progressive Rock groups from the Italy. The band has managed to develop a fantastic instrumental orchestration, creating a fresh Progressive Rock full of Symphonism, stuffed of wonderful melodies. The band's instrumentation consists of melodic guitars, lots atmospheric keyboards, with soft chords of the bass, nice striking drums, including an angelic vocals very well interpreted by Piuccio Pradal, Gino Terribile and Giuseppe Terribile. Il Cerchio d'Oro is a band that probably need no introduction to fans of old Italian Progressive Rock. "Il Viagio Di Colombo" album is an incredible journey into Progressive Rock world music, musicians, music, lyrics, arrangements, the art and illustration are amazing, the tracks don't tell the story of the discovery of the new continent but the one of a journey, wished, searched for, and conquered, a hard travel aggravated by the fear of the unknown. It's a metaphor of every man's life, with his projects, disappointments, satisfactions of reaching the marks which often become the starting points to another journey. If you like prog rock groups like "Le Orme", "New Trolls", "Osanna", "Trip", "Il Balletto di Bronzo", "Locanda Delle Fate", "Banco Del Mutuo Socorso", "Foglie Di Vetro" and "La Maschera Di Cera", certainly you will love Il Cerchio d'Oro. "Il Viaggio di Colombo" album was released in November  2008 by "Black Widow Records", recorded in two formats Vynil and Cd Magipack. The musicians on the band are: Gino Terribile - Drums, Vocals, Giuseppe Terribile - Bass, Vocals, Franco Piccolini - Keyboards, Roberto Giordana - Guitar and Piuccio Pradal - Vocals. Brilliant, amazing, fantastic and an indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
04/15/2009...Interested to know more about this great Italian Band? Visit IL CERCHIO D'ORO OFFICIAL HOME PAGE...
. JUPITER SOCIETY - "First Contact // Last Warning"
The Jupiter Society project was founded in 2008 by Swedish keyboardist Carl Westholm. He gathered together some friends that had worked with him in past projects ("Abstrakt Algebra", "Krux", and "Carptree") and other musicians of the Swedish metal/progressive scene to produce the album “First Contact // Last Warning” (2008, FOSFOR Creation). Among his collaborators are some well known musicians: Mats Levén ("Yngwie Malmsteen" and "Therion"), Leif Edling ("Candlemass"), Declan Burke ("Darwin’s Radio", "Frost"), Sven Lindvall ("Aha", "Ryan Adams") and Lars Sköld ("Tiamat"). The album presents a Symphonic Progressive Metal Opera with themes inspired by Science Fiction - the loss of humanity in the presence of our increasing dependence of technology; the fear of dealing with the unknown; and the sense of nothingness experienced by human beings before the infinity. Instead of stuffing the songs with many solos and complex instrumental sections – the usual way in Progressive Metal – Westholm made a different approach. Emphasizing the musical arrangements as a whole, he was able to choose which singer was perfect to perform each song. Then, by mixing progressive sequences of instrumental chords with bitter, full of sadness, melodic vocals, Jupiter Society was successful in doing a cross-over between Symphonic-Space Rock and Doom Metal that was never heard before – something that shall be known as “Space-Doom”. The cadence is slow, marked by heavy layers of guitars with the thickness of a reinforced spaceship hull. Bass and drums translate the darkest matter of the Universe into sound. Meanwhile, minimalist keyboards ascend in spirals of chords that echo in the emptiness of the space, from which synthesizer solos suddenly erupt, as bright as exploding quasars. Electronically distorted backing vocals eliminate all traces of humanity left. Beginning with the first song - “The Pilot“– the listener is immediately captivated by the gruesome vocals of Nils Erikson and the somber bass lines of Leif Edling, which lead to the deepest feelings of abandonment only experienced by a solitary astronaut imprisoned in his space suit and completely lost in the vastness of the Cosmos. In the following piece - “Bismarck Explorer“ – it is Öivin Tronstad who takes the lead to bring the song to the level of an epic. In “Cold Rigid and Remote“ it is Mats Levén  who shows why he is one of the greatest Metal singers of our time, by imposing to his performance an almost unbearable weight of suffering and sorrow. Bassist Leif Edling helps, keeping the pace slow and heavy. Then Declan Burke borrows the vocals in “Abduction“, while, at the same time, he tries to escape from synthesizer solos and robotized vocal effects that echo in the darkness. But it is in the experimental battlefield of  “The Enemy“ - one of the saddest songs ever – that Jupiter Society reaches the epitome of the “Space-Doom” style. Marked by heavy hammered guitars and the laconic bass of Ulf Edelönn, this song records all fear before confronting the Enemy – the agony that is expressed by the bitter lead vocals of Nils Erikson as he is smothered by a choir of desolated inhuman voices, and a phantasmagoria is woven up by Westholm with his synthesizers. In the following track - “Solitude Unites Us“ - Mats Levén sings (and plays drums!) in a partnership with bassist Stefan Fanden that produces an excellent Progmetal piece. Then, in “8511“, Öivin Tronstad  is back to the lead vocals. Leif Edling, as an alien blacksmith, pounds down on his “anvil-bass” while Carl Westholm inserts some “Bartokian” sections of piano into this track, which stands as the most experimental of the record.  The album ends magnificently with “Presumed Dying“ – in which Mats Levén and Leif Edling produce another epic piece of nuclear destructiveness. Closing the song, Westholm covers up the wreckages with the Gothic gray tones of his piano. The new musical path uncovered by Jupiter Society has an enormous potential – something yet to be explored in the future. The newborn fans are left eager for a second release. Meanwhile, they can just wander what is hidden inside a Black Hole – a secret known only by Jupiter Society! Jupiter Society is highly recommended for Space Explorers interested in the work of "Arjen Lucassen" (project “Star One” and "Ayreon’s" “The Human Equation” and “01011001“); Krux, Doom Metal, Progressive Metal, and depressive music in general. Band members and collaborators involved in Jupiter Society are: Carl Westholm – main composer, producer, pianos, synthesizers, vocoder, whisperings, sound effects; Mats Levén - lead vocals (tracks 3, 6, 8), backing vocals (tracks 3, 8), guitar (track 3), drums (track 6, 7);  Nils Erikson - lead vocals (track 1, 5), drum machine (track 2, 8), digital choir (track 2), sound effects (track 8); Öivin Tronstad - lead vocals (track 2, 7), backing vocals (track 1, 2, 5);  Cia Backman - female vocals (track 4) and  background vocals (track 1-2, 5, 6, 8); Declan Burke - lead vocals and lyrics (track 4); Leif Edling – bass (track 1, 3, 7, 8); Stefan Fanden - bass (track 4, 6); Sven Lindvall – bass (track 2) Ulf Edelönn - guitars, whisperings (track 1-2), bass (track 5); Jonas Källsbäck - drums, percussion (track 1-5, 8); Jonas Waldefeldt – percussion (track 1-2, 4-6); Lars Sköld - drums (track 2); Jan Hellman - acoustic baritone guitar (track 7); Joachim Flinck - arranger (melody on track 1); Björn Eriksson - helped with some lyrics; Pål Olofsson - cover artist, and Sverker Nordqvist - 3D-modeling...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
04/23/2009.....................,.....For more details and in the meantime please check out JUPITER SOCIETY HOME PAGE...
. STRAWBERRY FIELDS - "Rivers Gone Dry"
Strawberry Fields is a rock band from Poland, formed in 2008 by a highly acclaimed musician Wojtek Szadkowski ("Collage", "Satellite", "Peter Pan"), and featuring the voice of Robin (Marta Kniewska). Strawberry Fields’ music is a strange blend of the old and the new, of rock guitars and soft keyboards, loops and psychedelic soundscapes. But what is most important here is the magical voice of Robin, a beautiful female lead singer. Strawberry Fields is a new revelation following in the footsteps of the great British bands of the time ("Karnataka" and "Mostly Autumn"); they developed a delicate melodic progressive rock, full of melody with successful combination of instrumental symphonism, including an atmospheric pop, adorned with sensitive and emotional vocals, Strawberry Fields are basically formed by "Collage" and "Satellite" musicians, the instrumental arrangements follow in the same line of their original bands, we can hear wonderful keyboard's sounds, remembering some musical parts exactly as on the first "Satellite" and "Collage's" albuns, but the leadership on the group, and also the highlight is from Robin (Marta Kniewska), her voice is astonishingly romantic and sexy. "Rivers Gone Dry" album incuding nine tracks, almost 50 min of pure musical symphonism, the album was composed, arranged and produced by Wojtek Szadkowski, lyrics by Robin (Marta Kniewska). Released by "Metal Mind Productions".  A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Your Story", "Close",  "River's Gone Dry", "Fool", "Open Your Eyes" and "Flow" (I think is the best song on the album). It’s a perfect album for the lovers of melodic and symphonic progressive rock bands. The musicians on this project are: Robin (Marta Kniewska) - Vocals, Sarhan Kubeisi ("Satellite") - Guitars, Jarek Michalski ("Satellite") - Bass Guitar, Wojtek Szadkowski ("Collage", "Satellite", "Peter Pan") - Keyboards, Drums, Acc Guitar and Krzysiek Palczewski ("Satellite") - Additional Keyboards. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
04/23/2009............................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit STRAWBERRY FIELDS HOME PAGE...
. 3RDEGREE - "Narrow-Caster"
The North American band 3RDegree was founded in 1990 by Robert James Pashman (bass, keyboards, backing vocals) and Robert Durham (drummer); soon joined by Pat Kliesch (guitars). In 1995, lead singer George Dobbs joined the trio just before the release of the first album “Human Interest Story” (1996). Without finding a fan base, the band dissolved in 1997. By the end of 2005, the three founding members decided to reunite and record again. They were able to reintegrate George Dobbs to the band, and in 2007 they performed a show at "NJ Proghouse" that was released on DVD and double CD (“The Reunion Concerts”). In 2008 they finished their second self-produced studio album - “Narrow-Caster”. Seven songs of this CD were written for an unreleased album that would follow “Human Interest History”. The remaining three songs are new. I have heard to “Narrow-Caster” many times (with much pleasure, I should say), and yet I was unable to cast 3RDegree‘s chameleonic sound into a predefined style. Although labeled by many as a Progressive band, personally I don’t agree with that. Many typical traits of Progressive are absent (e.g. symphonic, baroque, psychedelic, folk, medieval, exotic rhythms). The band itself cites an extensive list of influences, including some non-progressive bands ("Rush", "Tears For Fears", "Soundgarden", "King's X", "Stevie Wonder", "Level 42", "Genesis", "Led Zeppelin", "Yes", "Pink Floyd", "Kate Bush", "Alice In Chains", "Todd Rundgren", "Gentle Giant", "Asia", "Kevin Gilbert", "Prefab Sprout, Spymob"). The musicians mix those influences inside their cauldron, adding mainly elements of Hard Rock, Blues, Jazz, Fusion, Pop - and even Progressive - to produce groovy, lively and energetic compositions that are highly mutable and unpredictable. The sonority follow the musical trend of the end of the 70’s to beginning of the 80’s, when other bands were trying to make their sound more digestible to new audiences (e.g. "Led Zeppelin" with “In Through the Out Door”; "Gentle Giant" with “The Missing Piece”; "Steely Dan" with “Aja”; "Genesis" with “Duke”; "Yes" with “90125” and "Marillion" with “Fugazi”). But does that compromise the band performance? On the contrary, 3RDegree is able to perform highly sophisticated compositions that keep the listener in constant state of surprise. Robert J. Pashman leads with his powerful bass lines, in a constant well rehearsed dialogue with the ever unexpected guitars of Pat Kliesch. The excellent vocals of Mr. Dobbs (he really knows what he is doing) go from rocky and harsh to soft and pop, depending on the song’s mood – meanwhile he is well supported by the wonderful harmonic backing vocals of his band mates. Behind the torrent, Robert Durham keeps everything united, anchoring with drums the complex melodic harmonies performed by the bass-guitar-keyboards instrumental trio. For my taste, the best songs are: the opening track “Apophenia“ (with unexpected alternation of heavy and subtle parts); “Live With This Forever“ (with extraordinary vocals of Mr. Dobbs – check in their web site); “Cautionary Tale“ (with beautiful harmony vocals and guitar solos) and “Free For All“ (almost heavy metal, with aggressive bass and vocals). In second place, but not diminished before the others, are: “It Works“ (jazzy) and “The Proverbial Banana Peel“ (a hard rock with ironic lyrics). The audiences that appreciate softer songs will find the ballads “Narrow-Caster“ (bitter), “Young Once“ (with some progressive keyboards) and “Scenery“ (made of acoustic guitar and harmony vocals) very pleasant to the listening. The album finishes with “The Last Gasp“ – the most progressive track of all – with voyaging and confidential tones, and a brief symphonic session from the middle to the end. With this new release, 3RDegree achieves successfully its aim: to create music that is challenging to play and at the same time is memorable and singable. Although being a thousand times better than many rock bands of the mainstream, 3RDegree continues to knock from door to door, in search of an audience – and all they are asking for is to people stop for a moment and pay attention to their music. If radio stations start to play them, their audience will automatically show up.  Recommended for all open-minded music fans. Band members and collaborators involved in 3rdegree are Robert James Pashman – Bass, Keyboards and Vocals, George Dobbs – Vocals, Keyboards, Robert Durham – Drums, Percussion, Pat Kliesch – Guitars, Vocals, Veronica Puleo – additional backing vocals on “The Last Gasp”, Dan D’Elia – Drums on “Narrow-Caster” and “The Last Gasp”...    (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
04/26/2009.................................Interested to know more about the Band? Please check out 3RDEGREE HOME PAGE...
. LYNN STOKES & SOL SURFERS - "Terra Nocturne"
The Sol Surfers were formed in 2007, Boerne, Texas, by Lynn Stokes to showcase new original material.  All members of the group have extensive professional experience performing live for many years. The band plays original songs with a classic rock feel blending the sounds of soul music with the rhythms and chord structure of surf-rock and new-age, retro-psychedelic. Spending his early days in Austin, Texas in the 1970’s allowed hin to experience and witness a wide variety of exceptional musicians and musical trends; from the Cosmic Cowboy country scare to the electric blues revival of the Vaughan brothers. Concentrating mainly as a guitar player led me to playing with a variety of bands and musical styles throughout his career and working with talented songwriters whose songwriting crafts did not go unnoticed. One of the highlights of those days was opening for Bob Dylan in 1991 in front of 5000 people and getting great reviews in the music press. Lynn Stokes has been successfully making a name for himself throughout the USA prog music circuit, as a talented musician and a exceptional songwriter. Clearly his music is so versatile and deliver various musical aspects, developed under a superb orchestration, we can find elements of Progressive Rock, Aor, Symphonic Melodic Rock, Classic Rock, New Age and Space Music. After two considered albuns, his new work titled as "Terra Nocturne", is the story of a journey through the emotions and transcendental experiences, which transpire during the course of one particularly lucid evening. The musical style written on this album, draws a magnificent demonstration of Melodic Symphonic Progressive Rock, Space Music and Classical  Rock, full of exciting guitar's solos, amazing keyboards sounds, accompanied by atmospheric instrumental section, where the musical arrangements reminds me some thing very near to "Pink Floyd's" albuns "Wish You Were Here", "Animals" and "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason". "Terra Nocturne" was produced by Lynn Stokes, recorded by Spencer Ramzel at 6th Street Studio, San Antonio, Texas, mixed and mastered by Roland St. John Perez, all songs written by Lynn Stokes, except Sacred Moon´s Light lyrics by Stone Bryson and Dream Sequencer by Lynn Stokes and Roland St. John Perez. Including nine tracks, among 53 min, really full of pure emotions. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Sacred Moon's Light", (was selected by the Progressive Rock Hall of Fame to be included in their forthcoming compilation CD, Soundscapes Volume One, and was mailed to 1000 record labels, reviewers and radio stations around the world), "Terra Nocturne", "Where Have You Gone", "Let Go" (This song has been selected by Versailles Records to be included on their upcoming compilation CD 'Road TRIP Rock Vol. 1/2.), "Open Door", "American Dream" and "Across the Barrier". In fact, "Terra Nocturne" will be enjoyed by fans of progressive rock music with the symphonic atmosphere in the same line of "Pink Floyd", "David Gilmour", "Roger Waters" and "Yes". You can visit Lynn Stokes & Sol Surfers at Sonicbids.com. RadioIndy is pleased to present Lynn Stokes & Sol Surfers with a GrIndie Award for the CD "Terra Nocturne". The musicians on this project are: Lynn Stokes - Guitars and Vocals, Mike Orbelo - Bass Guitar, Roland St. John Perez - Keyboards and Sythesizers, Kevin Cooley - Drums, Jerry Savoy - Saxophone, Dean Evans - Flute, Lisa Stokes - Vocals Chorus and Phil Grota - Flute on "The Crossing". Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
04/26/2009...............For more about the musician and band? Please visit LYNN STOKES & SOL SURFERS WEBSITE...
. TILES - "Fly Paper"
The North American progressive band Tiles was formed in 1993 in Detroit, Michigan. The first CD – “Tiles” (Polydor - Dream Circle label) was released only in 1995. The band then signed with the Progressive label InsideOut Music/SPV and released three more CDs, all produced and engineered by Terry Brown ("Rush", "Fates Warning", "Alannah Myles"). “Fence the Clear” (1997) was very well received by fans and the specialized press; “Presents of Mind” (1999) brought such a good performance of the band that generated an invitation from "Dream Theater" to open their 1999 European tour; and “Window Dressing” (2004) was nominated for a Detroit Musical Award in 2005. In 2004 those first three CDs were re-mastered and reissued as Special Editions, featuring bonus tracks. At this point, Tiles had already gained much recognition from Progressive fans and was also collecting compliments from important musicians like "Ian Anderson" ("Jethro Tull") and "Mike Portnoy" ("Dream Theater"). The fifth album – “Fly Paper” (2008) was also produced by Terry Brown and counted with participation of several special guests: Alannah Myles on vocals; Kim Mitchell and Alex Lifeson on guitars; Matthew Parmenter on keyboards and vocals; Sonya Mastick on percussion; and Hugh Syme, who, besides being responsible for the album’s artwork, played keyboards on it. With a sonority that is very reminiscent of bands like "Rush", "IQ", "Rocket Scientists", "King’s X", and "Dream Theater", Tiles stays well balanced on the border between hard progressive and progressive metal, never pending to any side. The time spanned between the previous release and this one seems to have had a maturation effect on the musicians as a whole, for they seem more perfectly integrated to each other than never before. The outcome is a series of compositions that are very complex, both rhythmically and harmonically, and profuse in guitar solos. With the powerful guitar riffs of Chris Hering, the “roller coaster” bass lines of Jeff Whittle (very inspired by Geddy Lee’s style), and the heavy - but always technically played - drums of Mark Evans, Tiles build a harsh matrix of Hard Rock from which the cool and remarkable voice of Paul Rarick arises to tell us stories about the human condition. The tracks of “Fly Paper” are organized in two sections. The first four songs are more direct and heavier, with predominance of guitar, bass and drums. Songs like “Hide in my Shadow“;  “Sacred & Mundane“ (with "Alex Lifeson" adding some lively guitar solos); “Back & Forth“ (a sad half-ballad featuring Alannah Myles on backing vocals) and “Landscape“ (with Nate Mills on backing vocals) gradually prepare the listener for what is coming up next. The second section of the record brings the most creative and progressive songs, which are enriched by keyboards, long guitar solos and instrumental parts. The best tracks belong here:  “Markers“, “Hide & Seek“ (both stuffed with diverse keyboards by Matthew Parmenter) and “Dragons, Dreams & Daring Deeds“ (featuring Kim Mitchell on guitars) have killing guitar riffs and bass lines that are strongly influenced by "Rush". This section still brings “Crowded Emptiness“  - a ballad  on which Matthew Parmenter  takes the  vocals, letting the keyboards for Hugh Syme, who also plays on "Passing Notes" – a bonus track  featured only in the initial pressing of “Fly Paper”. With this new release, Tiles stands as one of the greatest bands within the North American hard-progressive scene. Their sound will be appreciated by fans that, besides the bands cited above, also like "The Flower Kings", "The Tangent", "Karmakanic", "Enchant", "Spock’s Beard"…  Band members and collaborators involved in Tiles are Paul Rarick – Vocals, Chris Herin  - Guitars, Mandolin, Keyboards, Jeff Whittle – Bass and Mark Evans – Drums, Percussion. Guest musicians: Alex Lifeson – Guitars (track 2), Alannah Myles – Vocals (track 3), Kim Mitchell - Guitar (track 6), Hugh Syme - Artwork and Keyboards (tracks 7 and 9),  Sonya Mastik - Percussion,  Matthew Parmenter – Keyboards (tracks 5 and 8); Vocals (track 7), and Nate Mills – Vocals (track 4)...    (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
05/07/2009........................................,.....For more details and in the meantime please check out TILES HOME PAGE...
. FRACTAL - "Sequitur"
Fractal first convened in November of 2000 (thanks to a friend, Adrian Cockcroft, who posted an invite on Paul's behalf on "King Crimson" enthusiast site Elephant Talk) in San Jose, San Francisco, California. Nic and Jim were the first two to reply, and strangely enough the three have been together since then. It was more than a little fortuitous that such an unlikely grouping (Paul having just moved from the UK, Jim from Baltimore, and Nic from the Netherlands) has resulted in such a well-balanced complement of talents and musical personalities. Fractal started gigging in summer of 2001 and has continued intermittently ever since. In July of 2002, they started recordings for their first album, "Continuum". A few years after their instrumental debut "Continuum", and a year after a promising single "Aftermath", Fractal are back with their second full album, featuring the band as it has been operating live since 2004. Fractal has been together in its current formation since 2004 starting out as a trio in 2000. Fractal is a concept of modern prog band with a strong instrumental, may very well fall somewhere in between Progressive Rock, Experimental Music and Avant-garde, adding Electronic Ambient textures and various sound effects, everything turning around the footsteps of "King Crimson", "Mahavishnu Orchestra", "Gong", "Magma" and others in the same style. They know how to create intriguing arrangements, with a strong musical interchange and interconnected lines between the keyboards, guitar, bass and drums, with multiple orchestral parts and refined instrumental, giving the music a very special atmosphere, but very complex too. "Sequitur" has a little of each musical style, one hour tends to be melodic, but rapidly tends to be very complex and experimental. It's not so easy to make comparisons with other bands, but, we can say the music on this album it was created especially for all listeners very well connected with Experimental music's groups. "Sequitur" album was recorded all over the Bay Area, California, USA.  Produced by Fractal, Engineering, mixing and mastering bu Paul Strong. Cover design by Paul Strong. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Ellipsis", "Aftermath", "Mantra: Eternal Spring of Life", "Giving Tree", "A Fraction of One", "The Monkey's Paw" and "Churn - Overture, Part I, II and III". The complet Line Up on Fractal band are: Paul Strong - Roland V-Drums and other noises, Jim Mallonee - Bass, Synthesizers, Vocals, Nic Roozeboom - Guitar, Guitar Synth, Loops and Josh Friedman - Guitar, Vocals. Supported by: Adrian Cockcroft - Live recordings, Miscellaneous Encouragements and Rolf Bienert - Live Sound. Paul and Adrian are British, Nic is Dutch, Jim and Josh are American, and Rolf is German. Josh is a professional musician (classical guitar), the rest of them have day-jobs in various hi-tech companies. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
05/07/2009................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit FRACTAL HOME PAGE...
. AMARTIA - "Delicately"
The French band Amartia was formed in 1999, when Vincent Vercaigne (guitar) and Nicolas Sion (bass) released a self-produced demo: “In the Meantime”. In 2002, with participation of Marielle Duroule (vocals) and Vincent Duparcq (drums), the band released the first album, entitled “Maïeutics” (Thundering Records – distributed by Musea). After some changes in the line-up, the formation finally stabilized with Vincent Vercaigne (the only original member left); German singer Britta Herzog, Nicolas Dubois (drums), Cyril Carrette (keyboards and piano), and Manu Berdin (bass). With this formation, the band released a second album – “Marionnette” (2006 – Thundering Records), which brought Amartia before the eyes of the public as an innovative act within the female-fronted gothic metal scene. The third CD – “Delicately” (2009, Gofannon Records Label, distributed by Socadisc) features the same line-up, unless by the switch of Manu Berdin for new bassist Alex.  By searching inspiration in the oneiric world, Amartia comes up with excellent tracks that blend Gothic, Darkwave, Ethereal, Atmospheric, Progressive and Melodic Heavy Metal. The sonority is influenced by bands like "The Gathering", "Agua de Annique", "Epica", "Stream of Passion", "The Old Dead Tree", resembling also bands like "Erben der Shöpfung", "Nemesea", "Xandria", "Elis" and "Eyes of Eden". But what is really surprising is the new approach of Amartia to the Gothic Metal style. All musicians are seriously committed to blow fresh air to the genre – and they do it in a typical French manner – with refined sophistication and originality. The songs have long instrumental parts and complex harmonies, and are plentiful of long melodic guitar and keyboards solos – something almost non-existing in this kind of genre. The incredible voice of Britta Herzog reaches a tone that stands among "Anneke van Giersbergen", "Marcela Bovio", "Simone Simons", and "Manda Ophuis", being equally technical and charming. By alternating between bitter and delicate moods, Britta is capable of singing from jazzy to melancholic emotional melodies, working as a counterweight to the guitar of Vincent, who also expresses himself amazingly in a varied palette of styles – from Melodic Heavy Metal to Ethereal Progressive. Keyboardist Ciryl Carrette stays in the harmonic background, adding different flavors that range from electronic and progressive keyboards to melancholic, tearful piano passages and ethereal chords that evoke a kind of “dark fairy tale” atmosphere. The rhythmic section is well carried out by Nicolas – very technical, his performance is rather hard-jazzy than heavy - and Alex, who stays well integrated to the harmonic background.  The new release brings 11 top quality tracks, distributed in various subgenres. The title track – “Delicately” - opens the album and well represents the band’s sonority, blending heavy guitars, electronic keyboards and exploring the mesmerizing voice of Britta. Her singing style unveils the strong influence of "Anneke van Giersbergen" on the ethereal “Grey Circles”, the heavy “Your Attention” and the melancholic “Accuracy”. The sad “Don’t be Sorry” brings unexpected bitter jazzy vocals from Britta and melodic guitar solos of Vincent, standing as one of the best songs. The album still has some easy-listening songs, like “Not a Detail” with a bit pop-rock chorus, supported, however, by long guitar and keyboard solos; and the ballad “Another” with some parts that reminds me of "Renaissance". And just to show how different Amartia is from other bands, this album brings not less than three (!) whole instrumental pieces – something really peculiar for female-fronted bands.  “Hightech Human” has a military drumming that reminds me of the instrumental intros of the Heavy Metal albums of the 80’s, while “Spring Evolution” flirts with modern progressive metal. “A Quiet Place” is a classical acoustic guitar solo that peacefully introduces another best track: “Rains End” - a heavy composition with some electronic percussion and alternation of incisive guitar and synthesizer solos. The innovative path chosen by Amartia will certainly attract Gothic Metal lovers that are eager to listen something fresh. Amartia is highly recommended for fans of Gothic, Ethereal, Atmospheric and Melodic Metal. Todau the band members on Amartia are Britta Herzog – Vocals, Vincent Vercaigne - Guitars, Backing Vocals, Cyril Carrette – Keyboards, Piano, Nicolas Dubois – Drums, Percussion and Backing Vocals and Alex – Bass Guitar...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
05/11/2009.............For those who are looking for novelty and innovation in music check out AMARTIA HOME PAGE...
. G.C. NERI - "Logos"
Giorgio C. Neri born in Genova in the mid 1960s, he is considered as a talented multi-instrumentalist and composer whose musical influences range from many genres and styles, his musical scope can be described as an extraordinary one man band, creating a special musical signature, using all the essential ingredients such as powerful orchestration and high instrumentation, contrasting with Epic, Symphonic, Progressive, Folk, Electronic and Classical influences, with a strong feeling to a melodic and atmospheric music, found only in the most famous and traditional Italian bands of the 70's. The music is totally dominated by lush synth/keyboards, that features a stunning instrumental performance, adding incredible guitar solos and solid drums. In closing, I would definately recomend Giorgio C. Neri and his album "Logos", to all types of Progressive Rock fans who love the music of "Le Orme", "Premiata Forneria Marconi", "Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso", "Museo Rosenbach", "Il Balletto di Bronzo", "Reale Accademia Di Musica", "Goblin", "Formula 3", "Biglietto Per L'inferno", "Campo Di Marte", "Corte Dei Miracoli", "Latte E Miele" and "New Trolls". "Logos" is the debut album of G.C.Neri, who also played all the instruments, except the drums, performed by Roberto Maragliano, a fascinating spiritual travel planned by a musician who has always believed that music is the last voice from the divine, a message capable to gift some relief to our poor souls which sublimates itself as a sort of sonic prayer. "Logos" contains thirteen interesting tracks, all of them have a tasteful, a perfect musical balance that can only be described as an amazing Progressive Rock masterpiece. It’s a wonderful album which comes in another surprising Black Widow tri-fold digipak. The completet line-up on this project are: Giorgio C. Neri – Acoustic Guitars 6 & 12 Strings, Electtric Guitar, Classic Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Dulcimer, Piano, Keyboards, Sequencer, Flute, Percussions, Compositions and Arrangements, Roberto Maragliano – Drums, Giuseppe Alvaro – Vocals on "Tuona il cannone", Gian Castello – Flute on "Tuona il cannone", Vittorio Ristagno – Vocals on "Seconda navigazione" and "Per tutti e per nessuno" and Roberto Tiranti – Vocals on "Tuona il cannone". Brilliant and and amazing, an indispensable work, highly recommendable...   (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
05/12/2009.......,.....If you want know more about this amazing album and the musician, visit G.C. NERI HOME PAGE...
. ODESSA - "The Final Day – Il Giorno del Giudizio"
The Italian band Odessa was founded in 1998 by Lorenzo Giovagnoli (vocals and keyboards). He gathered around him Valerio De Angelis (bass), Boris Bartoletti (guitar) and Federico Filonzi (drums) to record Odessa’s debut album – “Stazione Getsemani” (1999 – Mellow Records). Besides original songs, the CD had covers of the Italian bands "Trip" (“Caronte”) and "Il Rovescio della Medaglia" (“Alzo un muro Elettrico”). Odessa then began to perform alive in several musical contests in Italy. At the “4º Omaggio a Demetrio Stratos” – 1999 edition, the band reached a third place and had two songs chosen for the festival’s CD compilation (2000, Mellow Records), including a cover of "Area" (“Cometa Rossa”). Odessa won prizes in other festivals (Best Group at “FaNote”; 3rd place at “Pradellona Rock Festival”; 2nd place at “5º Omaggio a Demetrio Stratos”) thus becoming well known by local Progressive Rock audiences. Odessa also took part at a live tribute to "Deep Purple", with "Ian Paice" as guest drummer. The year of 2002 was marked by line-up changes, with Giulio Vampa (guitar) and Marco Fabbri (drums) joining original members Lorenzo and Valerio. But the live performance of the band was not affected, for the band continued to win prizes (e.g. “Best Song” prize at “FaNote”). In 2003, Odessa performed first time abroad at “Prog’Sud Festival” (Marseille), having great approval from the audience. The band also took part at a "Demetrio Stratos" tribute, together with "Patrizio Fariselli" ("Area"). The new CD, “The Final Day” – Il Giorno del Giudizio” (2009, Open Mind - Lizard Records) brings Odessa in its best shape and well matured. Lorenzo Giovagnoli is the main composer. He is also an expert in Progressive Rock (he has written a thesis about Prog Rock Music at the University). With such a scholar as the creative motor of the band, it is not surprising that Odessa sounds like the Old Italian Progressive School – refreshed, however, by airs of the 21st century. The influences are mainly from "Area", "PFM", "Banco", "Il Rovescio della Medaglia", "Osanna", "Il Balleto di Bronzo", "Locanda delle Fate", and "Arti e Mestieri", with some presence of English "Deep Purple" and "Uriah Heep". Following the footsteps of "Demetrio Stratos", Lorenzo makes vocal experiments, pushing his voice to the higher notes. But he is not the single star of the band, for the other members are equally top-skilled musicians that bring massive enrichment to the compositions. The guitar of Giulio Vampa goes easily from Rock to Jazz, and the rhythmic section carried out by the precise bass of Valerio de Angelis and the technical drumming of Marco Fabbri flow with brilliant cohesiveness. The result is that the instrumental of Odessa is fantastic, blending Jazz-Rock, Hard Rock and Progressive in a sophisticated manner, with excellent, ever-changing arrangements that are lavishly ornamented with many duels of fast and agile guitars solos against keyboards of varied textures. “The Final Day – Il Giorno del Giudizio” contain ten songs – one cover and 9 originals. The majority of them are written in Italian – the opening and closing tracks are in English, and a single one is in French. The quality of the compositions is kept at high levels, so that it is impossible to pick any as the best. The sound is harder on “Final Day“, “Compra“ (with a fast pace, like "Deep Purple" and "Uriah Heep"); “Depèche Toi“ (with many solos) and “Going South“ (that recalls "Il Rovescio della Medaglia"). The mood changes to more cool and jazzy on “Viene la Sera“; “Taxi“ (with a bass line that sounds very modern) and “Senza Fiato“ (an instrumental piece with many solos). To bring variety to the record, the album has “Piccolo mio Sole“, which introduces an intimate theme that goes on a crescendo (resembling "Locanda Delle Fate") and “Leila”, which is a deceptive track, for it begins as a lively pop-rock song – but suddenly reveals to be full of solos – a good song to perform alive. The album still brings an excellent cover of Area’s “Cometa Rossa“ – on which Lorenzo reproduces the triplophonic vocal effect that was a trademark of "Demetrio Stratos". Finishing the audition, one becomes quite convinced that Odessa is one of the most righteous heirs to the Italian Progressive Rock tradition. Odessa is specially recommended for all fans of Progressive of the Old Italian School, Hard and Jazz Rock, and lovers of cool and sophisticated music in general. The members of Odessa band are: Lorenzo Giovagnoli – Vocals, Keyboards, Giulio Vampa - Guitars, Valerio “Vallo” De Angelis – Bass, Marco Fabbri - Drums.  Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
05/13/2009.................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit ODESSA HOME PAGE...
. JEBO - "Sinking Without You"
The story of Jebo starts back in the Bristol, Southwest, Reino Unido of the late 1990's. There were two bands, "K'Passa", all cajun folk rock and festival fun who were very popular. Then there was "The Electric Druids", not quite as well known but had a cult following and were popular with the hippy alternative undergound. Sadly both bands fell apart around the time of the millenium, but out of the ashes of both a new and greater sound was to grow and Jebo was born. To cut a long story short the band released their debut album, the magnificent 'Sinking Without You' in 2006 with the legendary John Burns ("Jethro Tull', "Genesis" and "Peter Gabriel") in the producer's chair and within a few short months were opening up for The Musical Box at London's Royal Albert Hall. "So what?" you are saying, "why are Jebo so special?" Well, despite having a name that is, apparently, something obscene in Serbo-Croat; Jebo are one of those outfits that transcends many genres, they are prog, yet they can rock out like the best of them, they are as soulful as Jeff Buckley on a downer, yet at the same time can lift you up so your mind is flying on a cool breeze of musical inspiration. "Genesis" ("Peter Gabriel") meets "Marillion", "IQ" meets "Martigan" and "The Watch", Melodic yet sensitive, Symphonic, Neo-Prog and driving Progressive Rock. Jebo has a unique musical sensibility, with structural orchestration that enable the band's members develope amazing arrangements, offering a remarkable combination of musical styles such as Melodic Rock, Symphonic Rock, Neo-Prog and Progressive Rock. The band's members know how to create something special together, displaying incredible instrumental sections, using a sensational interplay between keyboards, guitars, bass and drums everything together, well combined with a marvelous vocals, a little bit similar tone used by "Peter Gabriel", "Steve Wilson" and "Fish". I believe that "Sinking Without You" was created with a special feeling, I think this was a unique and rare moment for all the musicians on this album, creating a real "jewel" for all progressive rock listeners. "Sinking Without You" album was mixed by Ben Findlay and John Burns at the Temperance Shed Frome, engineered by John Burns,  Rob Allen and Rick Millet, mastered by John DEnt at Loud, produced by John Burns and Rob Allen, recorded at Dockside and Dundrummin Studiios UK. The album contain eleven tracks, almost 53 min with memorable melodies, released by Oettmusic Label, a perfect home for Jebo. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Sinking Without You", "Threw It Away", "Nowhere Left To Hide", "Sane Man", "Lighthouse", "7th Day", "What Dreams" (this is the best song on the album), "The Waiting" and "Lancashire Lads". The band is composed of: Rob Allen - Guitar, Backing Vocals, Nick O'Neill - Keyboards and Vocals, Jeff France - Drums, James Hollingsworth - Vocals, Harmonica and Lawrie Jones - Bass, additional musicians: Phil Dudd - Hammond Organ, Martyn Harries - Trumpet, The 7th Day Tabernacle Choir (aka) John Jeff and Rob. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...   (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
05/13/2009...............,.....For more information about the musicians and their history, visit JEBO OFFICIAL WEBSITE...
. MIKE SHOUSE - "Alone On The Sun"
Michael Shouse is a guitarist and composer from Lexington, Kentucky (USA) with 20 years of experience on his back. He is always studying new guitar techniques and is also involved in film making, sound editing, and writing for specialized magazines. On his first album, “Enter the Soul” (2001, Digitrax Multimedia Hazard, KY), he played everything from bass to vocals, helped by Jason Poff (bass on two songs) and Dwight Dunlap (drums and percussion). He also had a song - “Man” - included in the compilation “International Anthems: Vol. 1” (2002, CD Smash). For his second self-produced album - “Alone on the Sun” (2008) - Shouse employed an extensive list of session musicians (see below). Each one has a brief biography at Shouse’s homepage. As a man who was born and raised in old Kentucky (Southern USA), Shouse is deeply rooted in the musical tradition of his homeland, and his compositions are impregnated with folk, blues, bluegrass, and rock. But Shouse can see farther than his sunglasses will let him, and joins those old rhythms with new ones, cementing them together like bricks into a solid wall. The achieved sonority is a fusion of Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Electrified Blues and Bluegrass, with some Spanish scales inserted here and there – with similar musical styles of "Stevie Ray Vaughan", "Paul Gilbert", "John Petrucci", "Joe Satriani", "Zack Wylde" and "Marty Friedman". “Alone on the Sun” can be heard in a single spin. It brings 8 totally instrumental pieces and two songs that are brilliantly performed by Gene Booth – a man that incarnates the voice of the Southern Style. One is “Don’t Remenber Me” and the other is a new version of Dick Burnett’s “Man of Constant Sorrow” (1913). For those who watched the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” by the Coen brothers, this is the song that makes George Clooney‘s fake band to achieve a tremendous success. It could be worthless to include a song that has been recorded by almost everybody (including "Bob Dylan" and "Rod Stuart"). But Shouse rearranges the old classic in the most creative way, executing it with a surprising Heavy Metal verve that turns it into one of the best tracks of the record. On the instrumental tracks, Shouse exerts his technical virtuosity with the precision of a guitar Master, building scaffolds of riffs upon which he elaborates long and exuberant solos, beveled to match each piece with precision – as done by Instrumental Heavy Metal guitar players of the 80’s and 90’s – but never forgetting the old feeling of the South. The guest musicians follow the cues left by Shouse and contribute with a secure rhythm section, without missing a chance to add something of their own. The best tracks are: “Bionic” (introduced by quotations of the old TV series “The Six Million Dollar Man”); “The Arabian” (with original use of bells); “Alone on the Sun” and “Shock and Awe” (with abusive use of pedal effects). Those who are fond of the Southern style will appreciate the equally good “Choices”, the ballad “You Can Fly” and the electrified boogie-bluesy “Dead in Memphis”. The album closes very well with “For Alex” - a neoclassical sad ballad. As suggested by the title, “Alone on the Sun” is really hot - and tasteful as a plate of Kentucky fried chicken with coleslaw salad – you can have it daily without ever getting fed up. Shouse is really recommended for fans of "Steve Vai", "John Petrucci", "Joe Satriani", "Marty Friedman", and other heavy instrumental guitar players. Band members and collaborators involved in Shouses’s project are:  Mike Shouse – all Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals; Gene Booth – Vocals on tracks 2 and 9. Bassists, in order of appearance: Trip Walmsley  (track 1), Sean Taylor  (tracks 2 and 9), Scott Hubbell  (track 3), Alun Vaughan  (track 4),  Kyle Honea (tracks 5 and 6), Byron Santo  (track 7), Josh Kerr (track 8) and Travis Nichols (track 10). Drummers, same: Charlie Zeleny  (tracks 1, 4, 6 and 10), Joey Sanchez  (tracks 2, 7 and 9) and Diego “Grom” Meraviglia  (tracks 3, 5 and 8)...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
05/14/2009...............................,.....More information? Better check it out for yourself at: MIKE SHOUSE HOME PAGE...
. PANTOMMIND - "Lunasense"
Pay heed to the siren calls! Run to the nearest antinuclear shelter! A new danger is falling down over you - and it is coming from the unsuspected Bulgaria! The name of the new menace is Pantommind, and – beware! Like a biological warfare germ it will infect your mind, turning you immediately into an addicted fan. Few times I have suffered such devastating effect – but this band really rocks! The history of Pantommind began in 1993 in the small town of Gabrovo, Bulgaria, when Pete Christ (guitars and keyboards), “Floyd“ Rossen (guitars) and some friends founded a band called "Lavender Haze". In 1995 Tony Ivan (vocals) and Drago (drums) entered the band that switched the name for Pantommind. In 1999, with Dean “the Boss” on bass, and former "Lavender Haze" member Jiip Randam as engineer and producer, the band recorded a full length demo, “Farewell”, that was reviewed first hand here at Progressiverockbr (see under “Reviews 2000”). In 2003 the band had some line-up changes: Dean and “Floyd” Rossen left, and were replaced by Dido (bass) and Peter Vichew (guitar); and SunnyX (keyboards) was admitted. With this line-up, Pantommind released the first album in 2005 - “Shade of Fate” (Lucretia Records/Sensory Records), welcomed both by public and specialized press. The new release – “Lunasense” (2009 - Spectastral Records, USA) brings a pounding and aggressive sonority, performed by matured and top-skilled musicians that exude the highest loyalty to True Metal. The influences are mainly from the “Golden Age” (70’s to 80’s), covering  many subgenres – from Traditional ("Black Sabbath", "Dio", "Judas Priest", "Rainbow") to Power-Speed-Thrash ("Jag Panzer", "Queensryche", "Crimson Glory", "Savatage", "Helloween", "Megadeth", "Annihilator" ); and from Black-Doom ("Mercyful Fate", "Candlemass", "Memento Mori") to the elaborated Neoclassical ("Malmsteen") and Progressive ("Rush" and "Fates Warning"). Pantommind, however, has a style of its own, standing shoulder to shoulder with other exponents of Power Progressive Metal, such as "Symphony X", "Dream Theater", "Redemption", "Evergrey", "Vanden Plas", "Psychotic Waltz", "Shadow Gallery" and "Threshold". And they deserve a place on that podium, for “Lunasense” will, from the very beginning, blow your mind out of your brains and implode the rest down to pieces of subatomic size. The album opens with the instrumental “Transmission Part 1”, followed by one of the best metal songs ever - “Erasable Tears” – unveiling the band’s style. The keyboards of Sunny X are more climatic and supportive than virtuous, and stay on the distant horizon, hovering above clouds that are pregnant of electricity, forecasting the thunderstorm that is to come. Tsunami-sized waves of guitar solos roll over, introducing the guitar duo Pete Christ and Peter Vichew, who act together with the same biomechanical precision of the jaws of a Jurassic predator. Nervous and malevolent killing riffs are molten with light-speed solos that run to meet Tony Ivan, whose high-toned voice and interpretative skills are not heard very often. On the third track - “Wolf” - Tony uses his steel-made vocal chords to rocket up his voice to unbelievable stratospheric levels, reaching the highest notes – a deed only achieved by one chosen by the Metal Gods to incarnate both Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin ("Jag Panzer") and Midnight ("Crimson Glory"). Meanwhile, the rhythm section is carried out by Drago, whose drumming is at the same time technical and “earthquaking”. The resounding bass of Pete Christ helps to fill the empty spaces. The cannonading allows a quick truce for the slower-cadenced and heavy “Sandglass” and “Letter to No One”, which rescue from the limbo that spooky mood of "Crimson Glory" and "Memento Mori". Things turn lighter on “To the Days of Old” (with guest vocalist Colleen Gray) - a progressive track that revive old "Fates Warning" (album “Awaken the Guardian”). “Blank” is a tranquil interlude, with piano and keyboards, before “Transmission Part 2” – a song like "Jag Panzer", with excellent vocals of Tony Ivan. The story-telling “My Home (Into Infinity)” approaches Pantommind to the current Power Progressive Metal of "Symphony X",  including some guitar solos that would let Michael Romeo sleepless. The album finally ends with “I’ll Never be the Same” – a dark song inspired by "Crimson Glory" that has the perfect title to describe the album’s side-effect – I will never be the same after having listened to… Pantommind. Pantommind is Ultra-highly recommended for Progressive Metal fans and everybody else. The band members on Pantommind band are: Tony Ivan – Lead Vocals, Pete Christ – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Bass, Piano, Backing Vocals, Peter Vichew – Guitars, Drago – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, SunnyX – Keyboards; Colleen Gray – guest Vocalist on track 6...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta
05/28/2009.........If you want know more about this amazing band and its members, visit PANTOMMIND HOME PAGE...
. RED BAZAR - "Connections"
Red Bazar are a three piece instrumental band from Nottingham, UK. Formed in 2007 by experienced musicians who share a passion for melodic instrumental Progressive Rock. Although the individual members have been in various bands appearing at events such as "Wacken" (Germany and "Meltdown" (USA) they all had an ambition to creat something, that musically, is completely honest and free of the restrictions imposed by expectation. The music and the musical style, on Red Bazar, resides comfortably inside the Melodic Instrumental Progressive Hard Rock realm, following, in the old traditions of the style of 70's. Their musical influences borrows not only from the "Progressive Rock Golden Age" styles, but also owes a soft smell of Prog Metal, as exemplified, a amazing mix among "Led Zeppelin", "Rush", "Dream Theatre", "Deep Purple", "Porcupine Tree", "Arena", "Kansas", "Enchant", "Yes", "Genesis" and others in the same line. Wonderful solos of guitar, constantly dominate all arrangements in accordance with an incredible symphonic keyboards, vibrant and thunderous drums, including grandiose bass sounds. The musicians from this powerfull trio, are impeccable on the musical arrangements, another new band focusing on creating vibrant and a grandiose Progressive Rock, playing an incredible instrumental adding a high orchestral impact. "Connections" album was recorded at Clement Studios, Nottingham, including seven tracks, almost 55 minuts full of instrumental delights. Incredible and stimulating, the debut of this UK band Red Bazar is a masterpiece, and deserves a special attention from all Prog Rock lovers around the world. All tracks are winners so, picking a favorite is almost impossible, but three tracks "Regards to...", "Fallen Tears" and "Connections" deserves a special mention. The power trio on Red Bazar are: Paul Comerie - Drums, Mick Wilson - Bass and Keyboards and Andy Wilson - Guitars. Brilliant, fantastic and amazing, an indispensable work, highly recommendable for all Progressive Rock fans around the world...   (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
05/28/2009.............................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit RED BAZAR HOME PAGE...
. KINGCROW - "Timetropia"
The Italian band Kingcrow was formed in 1996 by the Cafolla brothers Diego (lead guitar) and Thundra (drums) and was at that time called Earth Shaker. Although suffering many line-up changes, they released a self-produced demo in 1999 (“Eyes Of Memories”). Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven”, the band then changed name to Kingcrow and headed towards Progressive Metal. In 2000 Kingcrow released a self-produced demo CD ("Hurricane's Eye") that featured the epic suite “My War”. In 2001 the first CD - "Something Unknown” (Videoradio Records) was released. Guitar player Ivan Nastasi and singer Mauro Gelsomini entered the band afterwards and, with bassist Matteo Trinei, they released two CDs by Consytech Records Ltd. - a 3-track promo “Matzmariels" (2003) and "Insider" (2004). Trinei left the band, and was substituted by Giulio Caputi. The recordings for “Timetropia” began at the band’s own studio, in Rome. The album was released in 2006 by the Italian label Lucretia Records International.  “Timetropia” is a concept rock opera based on David Lynch ideas. It tells the story of Dirk, who enters coma after a car crash and wake up five years later, having memories of past events that never happened, thus becoming confused by what is real in his life and what is just product of his imagination. The songs have different moods along the album, depending on the emotions that Dirk is passing through. Influenced by "Styx", "Rush", "Kansas", "Queen", "Savatage", "Queensryche" and "Dream Theater", Kingcrow build a sonority that is moderately heavy, mixed with softer progressive passages, following the same line of many current Italian Progressive Metal bands, like "Empty Tremor", "Stramonio", "A.C.T." and "Circus Maximus". It also reminds me of Brazilians "Thessera" and "Tuatha de Danann". Introducing themes gradually to the listener, Kingcrow privileges melody and harmonization over speed and extreme virtuosity. The vocal lines are melodic, and the songs are stuffed with many choruses of harmonious backing vocals that stand as a trademark of the band. Diego Caffola and Ivan Nastasi execute an excellent guitar work  (resembling "Shadow Gallery") embroidering everything with the progressive bass phrasing of Giulio Caputi, who knows exactly where to put notes. On drums, Thundra Caffola refuses to adhere to the common formula of power/speed – and plays rather jazzy and technically. “Timetropia” brings 12 tracks – some are short, working either as intros for others songs, or as narrative interludes of the story. The first two songs, “A Perfect Life” and “Fading Out part 1” (an instrumental piece that finishes with the sound of the car crash) represent the band’s performance along the record. The suite “Timetropia” begins with Dirk at the hospital, being divided in four parts (“Out of the Darkness”, “Realusion”, “Between Now and Forever” and “Fractured”) in a progressive way that reminds me of "Pink Floyd" (“The Wall”) or "Dream Theater" (“Metropolis”). “Home” is one of the best tracks, with sad vocals and superb choirs and guitars. “A Merry-go-Round (Chemical Ecstasy)” has a happy mood that has everything to do with the song’s theme, reminding me of Brazilian "Tuatha de Danann". “Fragile Certainties” is a beautiful ballad. The short interlude “A Hitchhiker” opens the excellent ending tracks: “Turn Of Events in a Drawer” (dense and heavy) and “Fading Out part 2” (climatic and scary). Kingcrow shows the potential to stand as one of the greatest bands of Progressive Metal of Italy. The band is currently finishing a new album, with participation of new musicians (see below). I am already curious about it. Kingcrow is recommended for fans of Progressive Metal that are is search of much harmony and less speed, and for Progressive fans that also like something Harder or Heavier. Band members and collaborators involved in Kingcrow are: Mauro Gelsomini – Lead and Backing Vocals, Choirs, Diego Caffola – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Keyboards, Ivan Nastasi – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Choirs,  Giulio Caputi - Bass, Choirs, Thundra Cafolla – Drums, Percussion, Choirs, Stefano Tissi, Simona Adriani and Cecilia Serra – Choirs.  New band members are: Diego Marchesi – Lead Vocals, Angelo Orlando – Bass and Cristian Della Polla – Keyboards...    (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
05/31/2009........................Want to learn everything about the band and their history, go to KINGCROW HOME PAGE...
. ANEKDOTEN - "Chapters"
The band´s adventure started in May 1990, in Sweden, when Nicklas Berg, Jan Erik Liljeström and Peter Nordins started to rehearse "King Crimson"-songs under the moniker King Edward. Their first demo was recorded, including the songs "Karelia", "The Old Man & The Sea", "Thoughts In Absence", "Darkness Descends" and "Sad Rain". In August 1991 Anna Sofi Dahlberg joined and in that time the band's name was changed to Anekdoten. In fact, in 1991 was born Anekdoten, formed by four talented and influential musicians of their generation, Anna Sofi Dahlberg, Nicklas Barker, Peter Nordins and Jan Erik Liljeström, where, this line up has remained intact ever since. Together they have released 5 studio albums on their own "Virta Label" and 3 live albums in Japan, selling over 85,000 albums in the process.  Their debut album "Vemod" was released in 1993 and caused a considerable stir within the Progressive Rock community. The success of the debut album led to a European and American tour in 1994. The follow up "Nucleus", released late 1995, was an uncompromising, grungy, distorted affair, causing the same attention and status within the prog community and remains a cult favourite among fans. "From Within" was released in 1999. The fourth album titled "Gravith" was released in 2003,  perhaps their most accessible album and, divided the fan base into two camps - those who thought that Anekdoten had become too mellow and those who found that they were getting better and better. "Gravity" was followed by "A Time Of Day" was released in 2007. On "A Time Of Day" the band plunges deeper into their very own universe, still not willing to make any musical compromises. As you can see, the Anekdoten's History is full of various musical experiences, who gave the band and musicians full success around the world. Since their first appearance, Anekdoten was considered and acclaimed as one of innovative, finest and creative young band, that makes them an amazing group, delivering a music that ranges from a classical Progressive Rock to a modern rock music, with rich instrumental arrangements, from soft to the symphonic, evocative and heavy to the energetic, always inventive, vibrant in their compositions. "Chapters" is really a wonderful double album, with a rich collection of intense instrumentation, including 19 tracks with two hours full of a pure musical delight, a reunion of the best and favourite songs from the band´s 3 recent studio albums such as: "Ricochet", "The Great Unknown", "From Within", "In For A Ride", "The War Is Over", "Monolith", "A Sky About To Rain", "Every Step I Take", "Groundbound", "Gravity", "When I Turn", "Wheel", "The Old Man & The Sea", the main highlights on the second album are the material from their early years,  the album kicks off with perhaps the most legendary Anekdoten song, the epic "Sad Rain", which previously only has been avaliable in Japan. Also we can listen three demo versions from the "Nucleus" album as "Nucleus" recorded in April 1995, "Book Of Hours" recorded in April 1995 and "This Far From The Sky Demo" also recorded in April 1995, and finally "30 Pieces" and "Prince Of The Ocean"; songs that would be reworked, but not necessarily improved, for their most recent studio album "A Time Of Day". All songs have been carefully (re-)mastered by Hans Fredriksson at Audiosense. "Chapters" double album was released on May 25th, 2009 by "Kscope Music". Until today, the musicians on the band are: Nicklas Barker - Vocals, Guitar, Mellotron, Keyboards; Anna Sofi Dahlberg - Vocals, Mellotron, Violin, Synthesizers; Jan Erik Liljeström - Vocals, Bass Guitar and Peter Nordins - Drums, Percussion. Brilliant, amazing, wonderful double album, an indispensable work, highly recommendable...   (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
05/31/2009.......For those who are looking for novelty and innovation in music check out ANEKDOTEN OFFICIAL WEBSITE...
. AEON ZEN - "A Mind’s Portrait"
The British project Aeon Zen was founded by two young talented musicians: Richard Hinks (bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals) and Lloyd Musto (drums, vocals). The story began few years ago, when Hinks and Musto, then at the age of 17, played in a school band with friends that liked to listen to Progressive Rock and Metal. Willing to pursuit a musical career, they went to the same University in London to study music, in that time Aeon Zen began to take form. Now at the age of 20, they are releasing their debut album, “A Mind’s Portrait” (2009, Time Divide Records), which features musicians of their favorite bands: the leading vocalists Andi Kravljaca ("Silent Call"), Nils K. Rue ("Pagan’s Mind"), Andreas Novak ("Mind’s Eye") and Elyes Bouchoucha ("Myrath"); the guitar player Matt Shepherd ("Timefall"); and the keyboardist Cristian Van Schuerbeck ("All Too Human"). Their parts were recorded in England, France, Sweden and Norway, and later joined into the songs using computer software. Although being so young, Hinks and Musto are already able to make an impressive and mature sound, standing as rightful harbingers of a new generation of Prog-Metal musicians. By following a musical line that began when they weren’t even born – back to antiquity, with "Uriah Heep", "Eloy" and "Rainbow"; passing along the 80’s with "Warlord", "Queensryche", and "Malmsteen"; entering the 90’s with "Ivanhoe", "House of Spirits", "Superior" and "Stratovarius", reaching the 21st century with "Symphony X", "Shadow Gallery", "Masterplan" and "Amaran’s Plight"; not forgetting the domestic influences, "IQ", "Pallas", "Pendragon', and "Arena" – the duo surprises by the harmonic consistency of their compositions. The complex and melodic guitar riffs and bass phrasing of Hinks form with the incredible “power-plant” performance of Musto a dense metallic thread which is often trespassed by space-progressive keyboards and climatic passages that steer the songs towards unexpected directions. The guest singers perform passionately and their voices were carefully chosen to match each song perfectly, being escorted by excellent backing vocals. “A Mind’s Portrait” is a record that catches you from the very beginning, thanks to the instant Power-Prog hits “Existence” (featuring amazing vocals of Andi Kravljaca) and “Time Divine” (with Nils K. Rue singing in "Stratovarius"-like style). Both songs are improved by the melodic guitar solos of Matt Shepherd and will let no listener lingering at a “Zen” state for long. Kravljaca still sings on “Blinded Rain” - a progressive rock that unveils Aeon Zen‘s true potential. Refusing to get stuck in a formula, Hinks and Musto show, from that point on, how they can make varied music full of progressive nuances, by employing  the light and emotional voice of Andreas Novak on the twin ballads “Hope's Echo - Parts I and II” (reminiscent of "Shadow Gallery"). Hinks and Musto’s own voices are finally heard on the connected tracks “A Mind's Portrait” plus “The Circle's End” (instrumental) and on the following “Heavens Falling”. These songs mix rhythms of the British rock of the 80’s and 90’s with insertions of heavy guitars and climatic passages like "Pink Floyd" and "Eloy". “Heavens Falling” is even improved by an excellent moog solo - contribution of Cristian Van Schuerbeck. Towards the end of the album things turn heavier again, and it is time to call upon the space guitars of Andi Kravljaca and the powerful vocals of Nils Rue for “Into the Infinite” – a song built over an incredible drum beat. The instrumental “Goddess” is an intro for the fantastic 12-minutes long piece “The Demise of the Fifth Sun”. Featuring the vocals of Andi Kravljaca and Tunisian Elyes Bouchoucha, this track shows a strong "Symphony X" verve, and will drag you back to the beginning of the record – which will enrich any Prog-Metal collection. Although the duo still has a long way ahead (they are currently rehearsing with other musicians to perform alive) they already deserve to sign with a major label. I am sure that, as far as Aeon Zen grows, it will come up with even more amazing albums in the near future! Aeon Zen is highly recommended for anyone who likes top quality Prog-metal. Band members and collaborators on Aeon Zen are: Richard Hinks - Guitar, Bass, Keyboards and Vocals; Lloyd Musto - Drums and Vocals. Guest vocalists: Andi Kravljaca (tracks 1, 3, 11, Guitar on track 9); Nils K. Rue (tracks 2 and 9); Andreas Novak (tracks 4 and 5) and Elyes Bouchoucha (track 11). Guest instrumentalists: Matt Shepherd (Guitar on tracks 1 and 2) and Cristian Van Schuerbeck (Moog solo on track 8)...     (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
06/07/2009..........................Want to learn everything about the band and its members? Visit AEON ZEN HOME PAGE...
Erik de Beer was born in 1958 in The Hague. He learned much about music, and as a kid, he dreamed music. It lasted until he was 15 years old that he learned to play an instrument: the guitar. He became a professional musician and after he finished the "conservatorium" (music school/ university) he teaches guitar. But he developed himself as a multi-instrumentalist and composer. After Brancard (1979 - 1989) and Zoundworks (1982 - 1985) Erik de Beer decided to start his Life Line Project, a project in which lots of different singers and musicians participated. Many of their products were highly acclaimed in the European Progressive Rock magazines an fanzines. Most of the material was played in live performances by several different line ups, while some of their songs were even covered by other bands. In the period 2004 - 2006 their most impressive symphonic rock epics "The Journey", "Duplo" & "The King" were re-recorded with complete new line-ups and in new improved arrangements. With the "Finnishing Touch" (rel. 2008) the epic symphonic rock style was changed into a more fusion-like blend of instrumental melodic symphonic rock with jazz-rock, folk-rock & metal elements. The Netherlands always was a land, who delivered to the world, excellents musicians and bands, who know create and playing one of the best Symphonic Progressive Rock from all times, as excellent examples we have "Trace", "Coda", "Like Wendy", "Alquin", "Earth And Fire", "Finch", "Focus", "Lady Lake", "Egdon Heath", "Mangrove", "Odyssice" and "Salmon", now, beside these famous bands we have Life Line Project, led by Erik de Beer, a talented musician that, knows how to develop and create something amazing and impressive, using many diferent musical conceptions. Erik knows how to give a new meaning to fullness from the keyboards and the guitars, creating amazing instrumental compositions, a rare sense of musical freedom, exploring multiple styles, not so easily found at any musical project until actual moment. The music on "Modinha" album is vibrant and extremelly symphonic, also in some parts very melodic, full of a wonderful and varied keyboard's sound, always dominating all arrangements and, very well interpreted by an impressive musician. The album is full of atmospheric passages, including epic pieces, a music with a special signature, which only can be found on the Progressive Rock from the year 70's. "Modinha" was inspired in the book called "Mar Morto" writing by a famous Brazilian writer "Jorge Amado". According Eric de Beer, "the central theme on the album is the "Modinha", which is originally a Brazilian sad song, relating the role fate is playing in our lives. It opposites the "Samba" in which all the lusts and joys of life are promoted. In a way the modinha is a song of Experience, while the samba might be regarded as a song of Innocence. I composed the melody of this modinha myself, because I couldn't find an appropriate one in existing folk literature. Like the Finnish folksong on our previous album, the Modinha is changing throughout the album, ranging from classic to folk to jazz and to metal". "Modinha" album was released in 2008 by "Life Line Records", distributed by Musea Records and also by Rock Symphony (Brasil). Recorded at Gitaarstudio Erick de Beer June/November on an Alesis ND 24 digital recorder. Mastering on a Tascam  CDR 750 and a Marantz CDR 610. All arrangements bt Erik de Beer, except tracks 5 and 8 arranged by Jason Eekhout. Including fifteen tracks, among 53 minuts of a beautiful and amazing Symphonic Progressive Rock music. The musicians on "Modinha" album and Life Line Project project are: Erik De Beer - Electric & Acoustic Piano's, Organ, Harpsichord, Moog, Synthesizers, Guitars & Mandolin, Iris Sagan - Bass Guitar, Jason Eekhout - Electric Lead & Acoustic Rhythm Guitars, Elsa De Beer - Flute, Dineke Visser - Oboe, Jody Van Der Gijze - Accoustic Lead & Electric Rhythm Guitars and Ludo De Murlanos - Drums & Percussion, Roto-Toms, Renaissance Drum, Triangle, Claves, Tambourine & Cowbell. Brilliant, amazing and an indispensable work, highly recommendable...   (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
06/11/2009...............Want to learn more about the project and the musician, go to LIFE LINE PROJECT HOME PAGE...
. THE LOVING TONGUE - "Distant Dreams"
The Loving Tongue was founded in 1994 in Adelaide, South Australia, by Honey Boy Jim (guitar and vocals), Big Tom (bass, vocals) and Paul Deeble (drums). The band released two CDs - "Is Anyone Listening" (1995) and "Sea of Lights" (1997), which mixed Blues, Rock, Funk, Metal, Ambient and Progressive. The release of the second album was followed by a short tour in North America in 1999, with Christian Jones on drums. The band was also broadcasted in Brazil and Europe. In 2000, with help of musician and sound engineer Gavin O’Loghlen (Banjo Frog Studios - Locrian Records, Adelaide) the band began to record the third CD - “Distant Dreams”. The album was produced by Jim and Tom Petkoff, and Gavin O’ Loghlen for the independent label Big Tom’s Records, and released in 2003. Although the CD has reached us only now, it attracted instant curiosity for the band’s funny name; for its exotic origin; for being a double CD containing long instrumentals composition, and for being dedicated to a cat called "Oglo". Aside those  peculiarities, The Loving Tongue surprises by its musical style – a crossing of Hard Rock with  influences of the old classics "Black Sabbath", "Deep Purple", "Uriah Heep", "Rainbow" and "Led Zeppelin", also the almost forgotten Epic Melodic Heavy Metal of bands that ruled during the 80’s  such as "Iron Maiden", "Manowar", "Manilla Road", "Candlemass", "Omen", "Cloven Hoof" and "Liege Lord". The guitar of Honey Boy is a mix of 70’s and 80’s styles, played with freedom, resembling Ross the “Boss” ("Manowar") or Mark Shelton ("Manilla Road"). The bass of Big Tom is marking and thundering, and the unquiet and powerful drums of Paul Deeble sustain the heavy rhythm. The trio acts without pretentious virtuosity - just spontaneous playing - but performs in a passionate way that makes all the difference – they really enjoy what they are playing. By adding their own spice and flavors, the musicians go beyond other regular bands. They innovate by using ethnical chants and religious vocals sung in English, Latin and Bulgarian. The guest musicians add more uncommon ingredients into the witches brew, like the keyboards and Irish whistle of Gavin O'Loghlen, or the zither of Vlad Alexic.  “Distant Dreams” is divided in two parts. CD 1 -  “When Angels Sing…” has straightforward songs - “Universal Love”, “Going Crazy”, “Why Did You Cry Tonight” and “Evil in the Sky” - that are cadenced and epic, following the line of "Black Sabbath", "Candlemass" and "Omen". The faster “Queen of the Night” and “Loving Ways Today” mix influences of "Deep Purple", "Led Zeppelin" and "Uriah Heep". “Crying for My Woman” is light, with acoustic guitar and zither. The Irish whistle is heard on “Lady in Black” - a very good Folk Metal song.  CD 2 - “…Warriors Cry” brigs experimental songs, introduced by short pieces: “King of the Darkest Night” plus “Lost Princess” resemble "Deep Purple". “Sacred Winds” and “Indian Chief” have original ethnical vocalizations and Indian rain-dance rhythm – one of the best tracks. “Death” is harsh, marked by growling vocals of Big Tom and many guitar solos. “Warrior of Enchantment” is a keyboard intro for “Lady of the Sea” – the most interesting track - a 13 minutes long instrumental piece with Psychedelic elements and Hawaiian guitars. The album ends with “Soft Lonely Love” a religious Bulgarian chant. All in all, The Loving Tongue is a very original and amusing band that has enough saliva to speak the language of Metal for still many years. The band is now preparing a new album that we hope will have no delay in showing up here. The Loving Tongue is recommended for fans of the Epic Metal of the 80’s. Band members and collaborators involved with The Loving Tongue are: Honey Boy Jim – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, additional Keyboards, English, Latin and Bulgarian Vocals, Big Tom – Bass and Lead Vocals on “Death”, Paul Deeble – Drums and Percussion. Guest musicians: Gavin O’Loghlen – Arp and Prophet Synths, Keyboards, Whistles, Latin Backing Vocals – recording, mixing and mastering; Vlad Alexic – Zither on “Universal Love” and “Crying for my Woman”; Matt Spencer – Death growl on “Going Crazy”; Dr. Phil - Actual Drummer...     (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
06/14/2009..............................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit THE LOVING TONGUE HOME PAGE...
. THE OTHER SIDE - "A Higher Vantage Point"
The Other Side is a band from Colorado - USA, that was founded by the keyboardist, saxophonist and composer Alan Mallery (a former member of the Jazz-Fusion group "Zed"). As a Progressive lover, he has always been involved with this musical genre, being a co-founder of the "Colorado Art Rock Society" and a contributor to the Gnosis project. To complete the band’s line-up, he called Lyle LaRaman (bass and guitar) and Lamar Neally (drums). In 2008 the band released the first album - “A Higher Vantage Point” – produced, mixed and mastered by Lary Namella (ZPM Studio) for The Other Side Records. The CD cover is adorned with beautiful images of galaxies – adequate for a kind of sound that evokes visions of the Cosmos. The Other Side has influences from the Old School of British Progressive Rock – mainly "Camel", "Genesis" and "ELP" – but other groups have been cited as influential by the band itself ("Yes", "UK", "IQ", "Renaissance", "Marillion", "Dixie Dregs", "Jean-Michel Jarre", "Minimum Vital", "Saga", "October Project" and "Eloy"). The compositions of “A Higher Vantage Point” are 100% instrumental, and full of melodic keyboards and saxophone solos. The sonority is mostly   dominated by synthesizers and moog sounds, and less by heavier Hammond organ; combined with a rhythm section borrowed from a Jazz-Rock-Fusion source in the Canterbury fashion. Mallery’s playing style rests among "Peter Bardens", "Tony Banks" and "Keith Emerson", tending to "Bardens", from whom he has inherited the soft keyboard textures and light soloing. His melodic themes are really beautiful, creative and flowing, being well supported by the bass phrasing of Lyle LaRaman and the  technical drumming of Lamar Neally  - resembling an uneven mixture of "Camel" (“Moonmadness” and “Rain Dances”) with (less) "Genesis" (“Wind and Wuthering”) and "ELP" (“Brain Salad Surgery“). The album lacks heavy guitars or experimental dissonances that could harm one’s ears – allowing its full appreciation by the most orthodox progressive fans. From the 10 tracks, most can be highlighted herein. The first two - “Maximum Vitality“ and “Crying World“ fall into that "Camel" plus "Genesis" category and catch the listener immediately. “The Call to War“ (with excerpts of speeches of Hitler and Churchill) brings some tension, marked by keyboard chords and the strong presence of Lyle LaRaman‘s bass. There are two excellent compositions that diverge from the regular line, having slightly harder textures that approach them to the work of "ELP". One is ”Schizoid“, on which Mallery’s usage of the theremin along with sibilant cymbals and experimental percussion by Lamar Neally set up a haunting mood. The other is “Walking the Labyrinth“, influenced by Contemporaneous Classic Music. For those who prefer something even calmer, the album still brings “The Last Days of Summer“ - soft as a summer breeze under the hot sun; “The Point of Being“; the mysterious and cool “Ouroboros (for JZ)“, and “Transcendence“, a piano-based piece. The album ends very well with “Lunar Sunset (In Memoriam Peter Bardens)“, that resembles so much a song of Camel‘s “Snow Goose”, that one expects to hear the voices of  Latimer or Bardens at any moment. And here I let a suggestion for the band – if some vocals were included on the next album, The Other Side might soon be regarded as the “New Camel”. The Other Side is highly recommended for fans of "Camel", "Genesis", Canterbury sound and soft progressive music in general. Band members and collaborators involved in The Other Side are Alan Mallery – Compositions, Keyboards, Saxophone, Theremin, Percussion, Lyle LaRaman – Bass and Guitar and Lamar Neally – Drums...     (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
06/14/2009...................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit THE OTHER SIDE AT MYSPACE...
. ECHO US - "The Tide Decides"
Echo Us is based in Portland, Oregon, was originally conceived of by its founders "Matthews and Cahoon", as a group of schooled musicians playing electronic-techno-pop with a focus on live electronics. Echo Us’ music at the time was oriented toward accessible songs which made up the first two demos and short string of live shows. In late 2001 various differences between the four members became insurmountable and it was evident to Ethan that the music had a different calling, and one that would take a lot more time and focused work to develop. During the spring months of 2002 Ethan compiled what he had from the former venture and started writing new material and re-arranging his older songs. In late July of 2002 Kai Kurasawa joined Ethan for the recording of 5 songs. Kai was the 4th member of the original Echo Us. After these sessions Ethan spent August of ’02 through June of 2003 finishing his music degree and putting Echo Us on hold- other than composing 3 new songs: Directed Study, In the Fall, and White Wednesday during this time. He also moved back to the west coast to Portland, Oregon where he finished writing and recording the debut Echo Us record. "The Tide Decides" is the true birth of Echo Us. The album took over 4 years to complete and features many session musicians as well as Ethan. Unbeknown at the time, this album would actually start a new form of music that will develop on later Echo Us recordings, including the 3rd album which is in production at the time of this writing, titled "Tomorrow Will Tell The Story". Echo Us is a kind of journey through the varied emotions in the realm of the celestial music, they concentrated their style into three different musical variations, the main one is the electronic music, always using an impressive number of keyboards, but behind from the electronic arrangements, we can listen atmospheric guitar's sounds, with beautiful symphonic progressive rock passages, finaly adding a soft smell of the melodic prog metal rock. The main highlight is the Ethan Matthews' vocal performance that's of outstanding quality and, fits perfect with all the instrumental part of the arrangements, because his voice is a perfect blend in with all the three musical styles described before. The "The Tide Decides", their second official album, is an impressive musical collection full of colored and varied instrumental, with many atmospheric keyboards and amazing guitar solos. The album was released in July 2009 by "Absolute Probability Recordings", distributed by Musea Records. Produced, music and lyrics by Ethan, including 10 tracks almost 69 minuts of atmospheric musical delight. On this album my prefered songs are "From Snow To Sea…", "We Surfaced", "Trans-Atlantic", "State Of Expectation", "The Tide Decides", "Fantastic Elevation", "Descending From The Dream" and "…And Sea To Sky [Bon Voyage]" (in my opinion is the best song on the album). If you want some references, the music from the group is near to "Mike Oldfield", "Tangerine Dream", "Jean Michel Jarre" and "Alan Parsons Project", but, in fact, Echo Us gets his own sound. Now we are waiting for the next album. The musicians on Echo Us are: Ethan Matthews - Keyboards and Vocals, Raelyn Olson - Pedal and Lever Harp, Andrew Greene - Drums, Teri Untalan - Viola and Aaron Bell - Bass. Brilliant and an indispensable work, highly recommendable...   (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
06/14/2009..................................,.....Want to learn everything about this great musician, visit ECHO US HOME PAGE...
. SBS - "The Gambler"
Spicy Bits of Scandal (SBS) is a veteran band based in the city of Vilnius, Lithuania, which was founded in 1979 by Vilius Kraujalis (vocals and keyboards) and Darius Rutkys (guitars). With Girenas Medziukas (drums), Rolandas Buidovas (bass) and Mikaelis Feigelovicius (guitar) they played in local venues and festivals in Latvia and Poland. During 1991-1992, lead vocalist Vitalis Kairiukštis entered the band, while founder Vilius and other original members quitted. Vitalis kept the band alive, helped by other musicians - keyboardist Naglis Patamsis (later replaced by Jovaras Civas), Tomas Varnagiris (guitar) and Jonas Aleksa (bass). In 1996, after the release of the first record “Menulio Šviesa“, Vilius returned to SBS for a series of shows. After a 4 years pause, SBS reunited in 2005 with a new line-up: besides Vitalis and Vilius, Tomas Varnagiris (guitar), Martynas Garbacas (bass) and Šarunas Venckus (drums) also took part. SBS then opened a show for "Judas Priest" in Vilnius (which was recorded in the 2006 live CD “Gimes laimeti”). Guitarist Tomas Varnagiris was then replaced by Giedrius “Jumbo” Balciunas (ex- "Linfeng"). The third album - “Tik menulio šviesa...“ - was released in 2007. The new album, entitled "The Gambler" (Monaco, VK), was released in 2008 in a special digipack edition with embossed cover and bonus DVD. The musical formula of SBS is simple, but efficient: to join the Traditional and Melodic Metal of the 70’s and 80’s ("Rainbow", "Scorpions", "Judas Priest", "Dio", "Accept", "Helloween" and "Malmsteen") with the heavier and faster pace of modern Power Metal (mainly "Stratovarius", "Helloween" and "Gamma Ray", and, to a less extent, "Rhapsody of Fire", "Sonata Arctica", "Nocturnal Rites" and "Dark Moor"). Vilius, Giedrius and Vitalis are the creative motors of the band. Vilius is a classic keyboardist that uses many citations of "Beethoven", "Mozart" and "Rachmaninoff" in his harmonies and solos. He often duels with the fast and technical guitar of Giedrius, who is strongly influenced by "Yngwie Malmsteen" and "Timo Tolkki", but never forgets the lessons of the old masters "Blackmore", "Uli Jon Roth", "Mathias Jabs" and "Glenn Tipton", letting his fingers being guided by soul and feelings. Between the two, and giving balance to the band, stands Vitalis (or should I say Vitality?). As SBS’s front men for almost two decades, he is a charismatic minstrel with theatrical voice who risks some Halford-like screams here and there, and will never surrender on stage as long as he can be kept energized by the powerful rhythm section of Martynas and Sarunas. Along the 14 tracks of “The Gambler” the musicians act in unison, keeping the record flowing like a copious river. After “F001 – Specific Brunsus Syndrom“ (a symphonic intro with burlesque voices) the powerful “Black Angels“ (in pure "Stratovarius" style) warns you that SBS will not let you down. Even though they show their most melodic face by inserting some short ballads and radio hits - “Never Again“, “C’est la Vie“ (with a soulful guitar solo), “The Wind of Your Soul“ and “I’m Begging You“ (a beautiful ballad in "Scorpions" style) - it is with the longest, fastest and heaviest tracks that SBS is authorized into the circle inhabited by "Helloween", "Stratovarius" and "Gamma Ray". Songs like “The Flood“, “The Gambler“, “Agnus Dei“, “Joan of Arc“ (theatrical like a movie soundtrack) and “Flying Dutchman“ (mostly epic, tending to "Rhapsody of Fire" and "Dark Moor") attest the high quality of their compositions. Among so many great tracks, it is still possible to pick up three masterpieces, on which SBS shows its originality: “Love and Hate“ (with surprising bass passages); “Your Life“ (a gothic song, with church organ and somber Gregorian chants); and “Zauberflöte“ (inspired by the movie “Amadeus”, it has excerpts of Mozart’s operas). The bonus DVD brings songs played in Lithuanian: two versions (in audio and videoclip) of “Tavo Sielos Vèjas“ (“The Wind of Your Soul”) and three songs alive - “Zaidèjas“ (“The Gambler”), “Your Life“ and “Pranaso Sapnas“ (“Prophet’s Dream” – from the third album). SBS opens way for further explorations into the musical world of the Baltic States, a region that, due to proximity with Finland and Sweden (relevant countries, speaking of Metal) is prone to reveal more bands in the future. SBS is highly recommended for fans of Melodic Metal and Melodic Power Metal. Band members involved in SBS are Vitalis “Don Vito” Kairiukštis – Lead and Backing Vocals, Vilius Kraujalis – Keyboards and Backing Vocals, Giedrius “Jumbo” Balciunas – Guitars, Backing Vocals, Martynas Garbacas – Bass, Šarunas Venckus – Drums...      (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
06/18/2009.............................,.....Want to learn everything about the band and their history, go to SBS HOME PAGE...
. THE UNDER - "Mercurial"
Based in Boston (USA), The Under was founded in 2004 when Brazilian Daniel Costa (vocals and guitars) met Jason Walker (bass) and decided to form an unconventional band that would combine Progressive Rock, Metal and Punk. They called drummer Randy Odierno (ex-Disrupt and Grief) to complete the band and started a series of live presentations in local venues. Their first release was a four-song EP: “The Under” (2007), which attracted some attention of Boston radio stations. Their first full-length album, "Mercurial" (2008), was recorded at Galaxy Park Studios in Boston, produced and mastered by Richard Marr and The Under. The sonority of The Under is strange – their proposal is to mix the technical complexity of early "Rush" (“Caress of Steel”) with some melancholic mood of early "Black Sabbath", energizing everything with some bits of the psychedelic verve of "Voivod" (“Nothingface” and later albums). The sonority, as sometimes happens with self-produced records, is crude and harsh – and the singing style of Dan Costa often includes too much aggressiveness and shouting, sounding like an angry "Bruce Dickinson". But Dan makes many solos and, helped by the dynamic rhythm section by Jason Walker and Randy Odierno, shows that the strength of The Under lies on the instrumental. The themes explored in the lyrics are about actual and philosophical problems, or catastrophic events. “Mercurial” brings eight tracks. The title song is representative of the band’s style. The following songs are more melancholic: “The Shield“ (with a middle section that reminds of "Iron Maiden’s" song “Children of the Damned”); “Boundless“ and “Weathered World“ (with instrumental sections that reminds me of "English Dogs" - perhaps the only Punk-Metal-Progressive band that ever existed). The best songs come up next. The complexity of “Anaximander“ - an instrumental piece -  tries to mirror the mind of the "Greek Philosopher" by mixing some drums and bass of the early years of "Iron Maiden' with a sitar-like guitar. “The Denialist“ (best track) and “No Great Divide“ are prog-metal songs. “The Only Path“, another interesting track, mix heavy metal and jazzy instrumental parts – showing that The Under has much potential to go forward into the Progressive Metal scene. I suggest, however, less aggressive vocals and a better production for the next album. The Under is recommended for those who like unconventional Metal bands. Today the band members involved in The Under are: Daniel Costa – Vocals and Guitars; Jason Walker – Bass and Randy Odierno – Drums...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
06/26/2009.............................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit THE UNDER HOME PAGE...
. MR. SO & SO - "Sugarstealer"
Mr. So & So comes from Merseyside, Northwest UK. It was formed in 1989 by Dave Foster (guitar) and Shaun McGowan (bass, vocals). After working with several keyboardists and drummers, they completed the line-up with Kieren Twist (keyboards) and Leon Parr (drums). Mr. So & So has already released several albums: "Thoughts of Fear and Principle" (EP, 1991, Pagan Studios); “Paraphernalia" (1992, Pagan Media) and "Compendium" (1992, Cyclops). The later introduced Charlotte Evans as a full time band vocalist. Then Steve Rothery ("Marillion'), who had just founded his own label "Dorian Music", signed the band to record "The Overlap" (1998, Dorian Music/Voiceprint). The album was released after Marillion’s 1997 tour "This Strange Engine", which had Mr. So & So as supporting act. After 2000, due to sporadic opportunities of performing and for financial commitments and jobs, the group disbanded and musicians went to other projects. During 2005 Dave and Shaun established contact and began writing together again. Soon Charlotte joined them. After making the decision of bringing Mr. So & So back, the trio contacted Leon and Kieren, but they were unavailable at that moment. So, new musicians were employed: Anthony Hindley (keyboards) and Stuart Browne (drums). In 2007 the band played with "Marillion" again, in Rotterdam, and in 2008 started preparations for a new album – “Sugarstealer” (2009). Mr. So & So‘s sonority cannot be easily labeled or defined, having influences from bands as varied as "The Beatles", "The Who", "Led Zeppelin", "Yes", "Frank Zappa", "Stevie Wonder", "Rush", "U2", "Peter Gabriel", "The Police", "Marillion", "Soundgarden", "Faith No More", "Radiohead", "Tool", "A Perfect Circle", "Muse" and "Jellyfish". As a whole, the 18 tracks of “Sugarstealer” (too many to be individually commented) bring a British Folk-Rock atmosphere, full of captivating melodies and delicate harmonies. Shaun and Charlotte alternate the lead vocals. Songs like “Flying Triangles”, “New Year’s Day” and “Oh Look! A Rainbow!” will invite you for a stroll around the tranquil landscapes of the British counties, evoking images of misty meadows and colorful rainbows after a rainy dawn. Listen to “Honey Jar” and discover a gnome sleeping under the mushroom’s umbrella. Follow Charlotte’s voice and enter the woods to be pleased by the softness and simplicity of “Lemon Tree”, and the nostalgic mood of “Photograph” – the most beautiful songs of this album, which deserved long lasting versions. But go on your journey, and find some deities of old Celtic cults lurking behind the hard guitar riffs and impressive keyboards of “Bi-Polar” or stalking in the darkness of “Falling”. Even though some more accessible (and good) “pop-gressive” songs are present here and there –  like “Thursdays are Blue” (in new-wave rhythm), “White Sun” (with ethnical beats and Indian guitar) and “Bleak Hill” – the melodic guitar solos of Dave Foster will not let you down. And just to guarantee that the happy purchaser of “Sugarstealer” will not get disappointed, the album ends with “(Return of) The Gold” - an excellent 8-minute full Progressive track, approaching Marillion’s and Arena’s styles. “Sugarstealer” is a very good album that will gradually grow on the listener like life in the countryside – without much hurry. Mr. So & So is highly recommended for fans of "Rocket Scientists", "Neal Morse", "Marillion", "Arena", and other British Neo-Progressive bands in general. Band members and collaborators involved in Mr. So & So are: Magoo aka Shaun McGowan - Vocals and Bass; Dave Foster – Guitar; Charlotte Evans – Vocals; Stuart Browne – Drums and Anthony Hindley – Keyboards...    (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
07/08/2009...................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Then you must visit MR. SO & SO HOME PAGE...
. DOOMRAISER - "Erasing The Remembrance"
Doomraiser was founded inside the catacombs of Rome, Italy, in 2003, with the proposal of spreading the Doom Metal style around the surface world. After releasing a demo in 2004, which attracted much attention to the band, Doomraiser was invited to take part in many festivals dedicated to the Doom genre - “Doom shall Rise”, “Stoned Hand of Doom” and “S-Hammer Metal Fest”. From 2006 on, the band released some records in vinyl – the single "The Old Man to the Child" (2006 - Obscura Release/Ghost Records) and "Behind the Same Cross" (2008, split 7” limited edition - Iron Tyrant). The LP "Lords Of Mercy" (2006 – Iron Tyrant) was also released as a double limited edition of 500 copies in black and in violet vinyl (2007 - Bloodrock Records/Black Widow). The latest activities of the band included live performances at the “Dutch Doom Day V” festival (with "Reverend Bizarre") and a tour around Europe in 2007 as supporting act for "Solace" (from USA). The new album, entitled “Erasing The Remembrance” (Bloodrock Records/Black Widow Records) was released in 2009, and will be promoted during the European “Drunken Fellowship Tour” with "Solace".  “Erasing The Remembrance” comes in digipack edition, including a booklet featuring lyrics (all in English) and beautiful artwork: ink-drawings that illustrate each song’s theme. Headed by the motto “drink fast and play slow”, the integrants of Doomraiser are not concerned about originality, but they know all tricks to create that kind of dark and shadowed atmosphere that Doom Metal requires. The sonority is not as epic as "Candlemass" or "Solitude Aeturnus", approaching instead "Black Sabbath" (early albums, from “Black Sabbath” to “Vol. 4”), and "Trouble" (albums “Psalm 9” and mainly “The Skull”), having the crudeness of early "Desolation Angels" and "Count Raven", plus some bits of aggressive vocals like "Reverend Bizarre" and "Saint Vitus". Guitar riffs are heavy and slow, bearing a regretful load of suffering, sorrow and sadness, trespassed by hypnotic guitar solos in Tony Iommi’s style and the insane voice of Cynar, whose vocals are reminiscent of Eric Wagner ("Trouble") with some doses of aggressiveness. “Erasing The Remembrance” has only seven tracks (two of which are intros) but lasts more than 58 minutes. On “Pachidermic Ritual“ howling voices introduce you to the reign of darkness of “Another Black Day Under the Dead Sun“ - a great track with strong slow riffs like "Black Sabbath‘s" “Electric Funeral”. Guest musicians play violin and flute on this track, creating such a terrorizing atmosphere that Dario Argento himself would be envious. “The Raven“ follows on with melancholic and heavy pace, remembering "Trouble" (“Psalm 9”), while “C.O.V (Oblivion)“ has faster parts and great guitar solos. But the best tracks are the last two, from which “Vanitas“ is undoubtedly the best. This 15-minute long epic begins with a solitary flute melody, more "Black Sabbath"-like riffs and amazing vocal interpretation of Cynar. As he narrates a story about the sin of vanity, a woman prays for her salvation before being smothered by phantasmagoric guitar solos and threatening male chorus. The last composition is not less interesting: “Head of the River“ is the intro for “Rotten River“ (divided in “Part I – The River“ and “Part II – On the first Day of new Dark Year for the World 01/01/08“), Aside for the long title, the track is notable for having a riff that tolls like a bell. Meanwhile, a desperate lost soul speaks of his past life. A moog solo arises, bringing epic airs with it – the curtain falls and the madmen chorus sings the last farewell…If you like the genre, you will really appreciate  “Erasing The Remembrance”. Doomraiser is specially recommended for those who like Traditional Heavy Metal and Doom Metal, made by bands like "Black Sabbath", "Trouble", "Witchfinder General", "Desolation Angels", "Candlemass", "Solitude Aeturnus", "Count Raven", "Saint Vitus", "Reverend Bizarre", "Solace" etc. The band members on Doomraiser are: Cynar – Sweet, killer and rotten voices, Molestius - Loathsome explorer interpolation (Guitar), Drugo – The lazy slow hand of doom (Guitar), BJ – Earthquake frequencies assault (Bass), Pinna – Volcanic march (Drums). Guest musicians: Tiziano Tarli – Violin; Mirko Cicconi – Flutes; Marco Resovaglio - Organ; Danilo Silvestri – Percussion and Backing Vocals; Annarita Lombardi - Female prayer on “Vanitas”; Massimo Siravo – Moog on “Rotten River”...     (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
07/08/2009.......................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit DOOMRAISER AT MYSPACE...
. THE TEA CLUB - "General Winter's Secret Museum"
The progressive rock band The Tea Club has it's beginnings in Deptford, New Jersey in the late 1990's, where Patrick McGowan, then a young teenager, began to teach himself guitar. Growing up in a family where music was so incredibly important, it was inevitable; Patrick's father was himself an accomplished guitarist and songwriter, and had retired from pursuing a professional career in music in the 1980's to raise his family. After years of teaching themselves to write and play listening to mum and dad's record collection, which included such monsters as "Yes", "King Crimson", and "The Beatles", Pat and Dan decided the wanted to form a band. Long time friend and drummer, Kyle Minnick was a natural choice since they shared similar musical influences and Bassist, James Berger rounded out the quartet. The band's first show was to a small crowd in an abandoned peach factory. Word spread fast about the bands talent and this earned them rave reviews. Since then the band have been playing regular shows at Venue's throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania and have developed a loyal following. After two years with the band Bassist Jim Berger decided that this was the right time to pursue other interests. Between the inception and Fall 2006, the band independently recorded four EP's. With the tracking of the record behind them, The Tea Club once again went in search of a bass player, and another long time friend Becky Osenenko fitted the bill. The Tea Club is a North American Progressive Rock band, strongly influenced by early seventies guitar, drum, bass and vocal-oriented Progressive Heavy Rock. The band offers all kind of instrumental elements found in the years 70', adding modern arrangements, originaly composed by amazing four young musicians, that together developed a special way to play an impressive and modern Progressive Rock music, always exploring different influences, full of creativity and energy. From symphonic to thunderous arrangements, but always precise into an unique kind of musical line, the music from The Tea Club, captures a wide range of expressions through amazing melodies but with dynamic instrumentation. The Tea Club successfully combines the sounds of  "Yes", "King Crimson", "Porcupine Tree", "Gentle Giant", "Frost", "Paatos", "OSI" and "Pain of Salvation", mixing many different styles into one extremely captivating piece of music. "General Winter's Secret Museum" was produced and mixed by Tim "Rumblefish" Gilles, Engineered by Kevin "Iceman" Neaton, Matt "Dasher" Messenger. Recorded at Big Blue Meenie Studio's Jersey City, N.J. Mastered by Alan Douches with Tim Gilles at West West Side Music, including nine tracks, almost 50min of pure musical emotions. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Werewolves", "Cool Smack" and "Big Al" (true songs that leads us to the beginning of the glorious seventies), "Castle Builder", "Will O' the Wisp" and "IceClock" (I think are the best songs on the album), "Purple Chukz" and "The Moon". Overall, "General Winter's Secret Museum" is a very well done album and I can consider The Tea Club a true "Progressive Rock band with an amazing musical talent, full of originality and great potential. The Line-up on the band are: Patrick McGowan - Vocals and Guitar, Dan McGowan - Guitar and Vocals, Kyle Minnick - Drums and Becky Osenenko - Bass. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
07/08/2009.............Interested to know more about the this great Prog Rock Band? Visit THE TEA CLUB HOME PAGE...
. BULLFROG - "Beggars and Losers"
The Italian band Bullfrog was founded in Verona in 1993 by Francesco Dalla Riva (bass, vocals), Michele Dalla Riva (drums) and Silvano Zago (guitars), with the aim of playing Hard Rock. The name is inspired by the traditional American piece “Bullfrog Blues” (recorded by "Rory Gallagher" and "Canned Heat"). As all bands, Bullfrog began as a cover of local hard rock bands from Verona ("Great Fish", "Capricorn, "Highshooter", "Hitchers") and from great bands from the late sixties and the seventies ("Free", "Mountain", "Grand Funk", "Led Zeppelin"). The new versions made by the band for an extensive repertoire of Hard Rock and Blues classic songs opened doors for many live shows, with gradual insertion of their own compositions. The outcome was the release of the debut CD “Flower on the Moon” (2001 – Andromeda Relix). The second album - “The Road to Santiago” was released in 2004 and was regarded as a better work, with matured arrangements. After that, Bullfrog began to open concerts for other important bands ("John Lawton Band", "Micky Moody" and "Bernie Marsden", "Uriah Heep" and "Dzjenghis Khan"). The third release – “Beggars and Losers” (2009 - Andromeda Relix) brings 11 original compositions, which are all based on typical hard-rock guitar riffs, bluesy melodic solos, grooving bass, and rocky drums. The excellent voice of Francesco, which stands half-way from "Leslie West" ("Mountain") and "Richie Wise" ("Dust"), is always accompanied by a sticky chorus. The general mood is that of a “road movie” screen play that tells the story of some musical trip through the western and southern USA. If you appreciate songs like “Mississippi Queen” ("Mountain"), “Heartbreaker” ("Free", "Grand Funk"), “Wishing You Well”, “All Right Now” ("Free") “Simple Man” ("Lynyrd Skynyrd") “Back in Black” ("AC/DC") and “Black Dog” ("Led Zeppelin"), or any other which falls into the style, you will get immediately hooked on the opening sequence made of “Over Again“, “F for Fool“ and “Rocking Ball“. Once you have been captured, it is time for the band to show their most bluesy and soulful side, counting on the help of some guest musicians. Songs like “Detour“ (with great vocal interpretation of Francesco); “Every Sunny Day“ (a sad country ballad with acoustic guitar and beautiful guitar solo – which I suggest that could be longer when played alive), and “One for a Zero“ (on which harmonic backing vocals contrast with bass lines and guitar solos that remind "Gary Thain" and "Mick Box") are all enriched by Simone Bistaffa, whose keyboards imprint a kind of "Grand Funk"+"Deep Purple"+"Uriah Heep" mark on them. Even though the first guitar chords of “On Through the Night“ may look like “Hocus Pocus“ ("Focus"), you can relax, for the song proceeds as a true hard rock piece, having creative passages of bass and percussion (courtesy of guest musician Sbibu) that remind me of song entitled “Daybreak” (by German band "Eloy"). Although “Keep Me Smile“ turns to a country happier mood, the album closes very well with “Rat Kicking“, “Easy on my Love“ (a slow blues with oriental riffs) and “Poor Man Cry“. The later two approach the styles of bands like "Dust", and "Mountain", and have participations of guest guitarists Fabio Serra and Matt Filippini. Invite Bullfrog to play “Beggars and Losers” in your private Rock ’n Roll party, and your popularity will increase 100% among the neighborhood. Bullfrog is highly recommendable for fans of "Free", "Mountain", "Grand Funk Railroad", "Deep Purple", "Rory Gallagher", "Bad Company", "Cream", "Hendrix", "Dust", "Molly Hatchet", "AC/DC", "Blackfoot", "Lynyrd Skynyrd", "Budgie" and any other good Hard Rock or Blues band from the sixties and seventies. Distribution by Black Widow Records. Band members and collaborators involved in Bullfrog are Francesco Dalla Riva – Bass, Vocals, Silvano Zago – Guitars, Acoustic Guitar, Michelle Dalla Riva – Drums. Guest musicians: Sbibu – Percussions, Simone Bistaffa – Keyboards, Stefy Parks – Backing Vocals (track 1), Fabio Serra – 2nd Guitar (track 10), additional Guitars, Keyboards, Matt Filippini – 2nd Guitar (track 11)...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
07/16/2009...................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Please visit BULLFROG HOME PAGE...
. JOSIAH - "No Time"
The British Hard-Rock band Josiah was founded in 2000 by Mathew Bethancourt (guitars and vocals), Sie Beasley (bass, vocals) and Chris Jones (drums). Soon the band began to perform alive, attracting attention from public and specialized underground press. The debut release, “Out of the First Rays” (2001, Cargo Records) was a limited edition EP that was soon followed by a full-length album - “Josiah” (2002, Molten Records, UK). From this release, the song “Malpaso” was used as soundtrack for the snowboarding movie “King Size” and a TV Skater Show – “RAD”. Original drummer Chris Jones left the band and was replaced by Bill Darlington, who took part only in the recording of the limited 7’’ single “The Electric Cool” (2003, Beard of Stars Label, Italy). This EP featured a Grand Funk Railroad cover of “We got this thing on the Move”. Since then, Josiah went on with other drummers: Greg Baldwin (for the second album ‘Into the Outside” – 2003); and present drummer Keith Beacom – with whom Josiah headed for their first European tour. Their third album, “No Time” (Elektrohasch Records, Germany), was recorded at Foel Studios, Wales, and released in 2007. Josiah is a hard-rock trio deeply rooted on the musical style of later 60’s and early 70’s – with a sonority that recalls many influences from early works of British bands ("Black Sabbath", "Led Zeppelin", "Nazareth", "Bad Company") and American hard rockers ("Grand Funk Railroad", "Hendrix"). By doing honest, straightforward songs, which are based mainly in the strength of their riffs, long guitar solos and on the groove of the rhythmic section, Josiah is gradually growing in the underground scene, gathering new fans each day. To listen to “No Time” is like jumping inside a time machine for being immediately transported back in time – maybe the reason for the album’s chosen title is simply to remind us that good Hard Rock in its pure form will never get aged and will always attract many fans around it. “No Time” features nine tracks, and from the first to the last it can stay spinning inside your CD player without boring you. The “Zeppelinean” beat of the opening track - “Looking at the Mountain” - invites you to go forward, merging deep into that dark mood of Black Sabbath’s (mainly “Vol 4”), present in songs like the lysergic “No Time”; “The Dark” and “Harvester of Lies” – this one a 10-minute long masterpiece recalling many parts of  Sabbath’s album “Paranoid”. In “My Bird of Pray” - another great track – that kind of “drunken” vocals evocate immediately the image of "Ozzy" struggling with the mike. But if you are not in the mood for the shadows, there is also room for something bluesy, like “Long Time Burning”; or the Hendrixian “Silas Brainchild”. For those who like a faster pace, enjoy “Time to Kill” (with some parts that remind me of Nazareth’s “Razamanaz”) and to “I Can’t Seem to Find It” (influenced by "Deep Purple" and "Nazareth").  “No Time” shows that good old Hard Rock will never die, as long as bands such Josiah are here to make it last. Josiah is highly recommended for those who like Hard Rock of the turn of the 60’ to the 70’s. Band members involved in Josiah are: Mathew Bethancourt – Vocals and Guitar, Sie Beasley – Bass and Vocals and Keith Beacom - Drums...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
07/26/2009..................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit JOSIAH HOME PAGE...
Sophya Baccini is a keyboardist and singer from Napoles, Italy, who has dedicated many years of her life to Progressive Music. With her band - "Presence" - she has already released six CDs. She also acted as guest musician for many progressive bands in Italy, like "Greenwall", "Malaavia", "Wicked Minds"; "Circus 2000", "Electric Swan"; "Osanna" and "Delirium". Her singing style is influenced by the greatest Italian Opera Composers (mainly G. Verdi); and also by Blues, Rock, Jazz and Folk, represented by singers as diverse as "Janis Joplin", "Demetrio Stratos", "Sonja Kristina", "David Coverdale", "Dio", "Annie Haslam", "Joan Baez", "Regine Crespin", "Jon Anderson", and "Sting". For the instrumental side of her music, names like "Jimmy Page", "Sting", "Rick Wakeman", "Jon Anderson", "Ian Anderson", "Verdi", "Prokofiev", and "Brahms", appear in her list. In Sophya‘s first solo album, “Aradía” (2009, Black Widow Records) she incarnates the spirit of the main character – the witch "Aradía" – and departs in a quest for self transformation. Being a rare singer, she can easily modulate her voice to sound Operatic in one moment, and jazzy or bluesy in another. As a talented composer, she can blend all her influences into unconventional and original music. “Aradía” brings a suite of 60 minutes; a cover of "Joni Mitchell ‘s" “Circle Game”; and a bonus Video Clip of “When the Eagles Flied”. The record has participation of important musicians of the Italian Progressive Rock scene, like Lino Vairetti ("Osanna"), Martin Grice ("Delirium"), Stefano Vicarelli ("Fonderia"), Aurelio Fierro Jr., and many others (see list below). The resulting sonority is an original mixture of Opera, Symphonic Progressive, Dark Progressive, Jazz, Medieval, and Ancient Mediterranean Music. The title suite is divided in 16 pieces of different durations, mostly sung in Italian and English, with some speeches in French. Sophya’s acoustic piano is present throughout the record, and all nuances of her voice are highlighted within the string arrangements by Pino Falgiano, who also arranged interesting percussion parts that impregnated the songs with mysterious airs of the Mediterranean seashores. The profusion of melodic guitar solos - courtesy of Franco Ponzo - will not disappoint Progressive Rock lovers. Like a sorceress casting spells, Sophya, uses her vocal ability to drive in all the songs. Along the magical journey posed by the musical themes, she mesmerizes the listener with a collection of masterpieces: “La Pietra” (a nine-minute long opening move that introduces you to the realm of darkness); the ancient-medieval “Studiare, Studiare”; the jazzy “Ever too Small”; the superb “Non é l’Amore il tuo Destino” (on which Sophya sings a duet with Lino Vairetti); the Renaissance-like piece “Elide” (with interesting percussion and Moog solo by Stefano Vicarelli); and the title track - “Aradia” (with a super guitar solo of Franco Ponzo). I would also cite two tracks that are enriched by the participation of Martin Grice: “Don’t Dream that Dream“ (with “Jethro-Tullesque” flute) and “Nei Luoghi” (with dark-jazzy saxophone). But it is on “Two Witches and Doreen” - with the phantasmagoric chorus of not least than three female singers - that you will fill a chill running down your spine! By the end of the suite, the listener will feel relieved by the almost romantic lightness of “When the Eagles Flied” (which is also featured as a bonus video clip). Sophya Baccini’s “Aradía” is an indispensable album for any collection, and I recommend it for fans of "Runaway Totem", "Presence", "Universal Totem Orchestra", "L’Âme Immortelle", and other bands of Symphonic Dark-Progressive. Band members and collaborators involved in the Sophya Baccini project are: Sophya Baccini – Vocals, Piano, Keyboards; Pino Falgiano – Arrangements for strings and Percussion, additional Keyboards; Vittorio Cataldi – Violin, Accordion; Franco Ponzo  - Guitar; Stefano Vicarelli – Modular Moog; Aurelio Fierro Jr. – Drums; Martin Grice – Flute and tenor Sax; Lino Vairetti – Vocals; Ana Torres and Nona Luna – Choir Vocals; Francesca Vespoli – French language consultant...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
07/29/2009......................,.....For more details and in the meantime please check out SOPHYA BACCINI HOME PAGE...
. TAURUS & PISCES - "Inertia"
Taurus & Pisces share their friendship since 1985, their musical cooperation took off in 2003 when they started composing and recording together. Taurus (Peter Everts,1960) played guitar in several bands during the period ’78 – ’90. After that he made a career move to consultancy and entrepreneurship. But, blood being thicker than water,  he kept composing, writing, arranging and producing.  Since 2003 he owns the Innerspace Studio somewhere in the northern part of Holland, where he works on a diversity of projects. His musical references are mainly rooted in the seventies, which he considers the most innovative and inspiring period as far as rock music is concerned, due to the unceasing efforts to combine and merge different kinds of music, redefining musical borders and inventing new styles. Also nowadays bands and musicians taking this path draw his attention and sometimes are acclaimed as being a source of inspiration. Pisces (Gert Bruins, 1962). Composes and writes lyrics. Played in bands as "Life Less Serious" and "Dikke Bertha". Pisces may be regarded as a slow starter; only since recent years he discovered his ability to play an active role in music by taking part in a creative process. Once starting to compose and perform he could rely on a fast knowledge of musical influences, arrangement - and production styles whilst being a close and critical listener for more than a few decades. Recently he started "The Summer Breeze Project" to which he contributes songs and lyrics as well as being their front man and vocalist. Pisces considers himself being lost and found forever after hearing "Led Zeppelin" in 1975. Besides his admiration for metal and hard rock he likes to listen to symphonic rock as well as singer-songwriters with a sense for the unexpected. Both share the opinion that music deserves the right Multi media context to be properly enjoyed or understood. It should be considered as part of a plural sensory perception to be fully appreciated. Their common musical motivation lies in the creative momentum; being mutually responsible for a creative end result is the ultimate kick. Taurus & Pisces are two talented musicians, that came together from different musical worlds, to form a perfect musical synergy between styles as Symphonic Progressive Rock, Classic Rock, Melodic Hard Rock with a soft smell of Prog Metal in some arrangements. Their music is sensitve and very melodic, somewhere in the middle between "No-Man", "Blackfield" and "Steven Wilson", with some parts in the line of "Porcupine Tree" and "RPWL", mixing a little from "Camel", "Pink Floyd", "Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young", "America" and "Alan Parsons Project". Peter Everts and Gert Bruins don't hesitate to adventure themselves into a beautiful musical orchestration, creating amazing arrangements, demonstrating a special musical sensibilities, obviously they have enough musical experience and talent to produce an incredible musical sounding. "Inertia", their debut album, was released in 2008. Produced by Taurus & Pisces. Artwork by Tom de Reus, the album comes beautifully packaged in an attractive digi pack case. Including nine tracks, really an album full of symphonic and melodic music. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Things Can Turn" and "Politics" (melodic and symphonic with some guitars rifs into a prog metal style), "Mirror Images", "1975", "Same" and "Under My Skin" in the line of 'Blackfield", "Steven Wilson" and "No-Man", "Borderline" is in the "RPWL" style, "Schooldays" and "Sweet Lucidity" remember me the golden age of "Crosby, Stills and Nash", "America" and "Alan Parson Project".  If you want to listen some songs visit Taurus & Pieces at MySpace. The musicians on this project are: Taurus (Peter Everts) - various instruments & Pisces (Gert Bruins) - Vocals, various instruments. Brilliant and indispensable work, highly recommendable...   (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
07/29/2009....If you want know more about this great project and its members, visit TAURUS & PISCES HOME PAGE...
. MICHAEL HILDER - "The Storm – Part One – The Search for the Grail"
The Australian multi-instrumentalist Michael Hilder is a lover of Hard Rock and Medieval and Fantasy books. To gather his two passions together, he is currently preparing a conceptual trilogy entitled “The Storm”. With a plot inspired in both “Lord of the Rings” and “King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table”, the story is about the inhabitants of the Realm of the Palandical Forest, a cast of magical characters like wizards, witches, kings, queens, warriors and a villain – depicted on the record’s front cover as The Black Captain of the Nazgûl (from “The Lord of the Rings”). The first album of the "The Storm” trilogy - “The Search for the Grail" - was released in 2007 (Wing Entertainment/ Michael Hilder Music). The sonority is a well-balanced mixture of Hard Rock of the 70’s with “New Wave of British Heavy Metal” – with influences of "Budgie", "Grand Funk", "Journey", "Triumph", "Judas Priest", "Iron Maiden", "Saxon", "Tygers of Pan Tang", "White Spirit", "Praying Mantis", "Tokyo Blade", and "Angel Witch". On this album, Michael plays guitars, bass, keyboards, and sings. But as an old wise wizard of his own tale, he knows that the Secret of Rock lies on the guitar. With the help of some guest musicians, in special Steve Harrison (keyboards, drums, percussion, slide guitar, bass and vocals) and the guitar specialist Steve Kucina, he stuffs all songs with long melodic and elaborated guitar solos, proving that even at the present times - ruled by complex Prog-Metal music - it is still possible to record an enjoyable album keeping everything essentially simple, as long as there are inspired guitar players that like to perform soulful solos - an almost lost art, carried out by few bands nowadays.
“The Storm part 1 – The Search for the Grail” brings 13 tracks, which are punctuated by insertions of humorous theatrical dialogues of the characters involved in the story. Although all songs are equally enjoyable, the ones I liked most are “Warlock” and “Gumfunkle”, with great epic riffs and bluesy solos; and “The Witch”, with a heavier verve and many harmony guitars. Lovers of "Judas Priest" and "Iron Maiden" will like the melodic metal solos of “Modern World”, “The Wind of Change” and “Just a Boy”. Fans of "Triumph" and "Budgie" will appreciate Steve Harrison’s vocals on “Better Without You” and “The Search for the Grail”. Although differing from the rest of the tracks, the folk-acoustic “The Wicked One” and the gospel ballad “Left In the Dark” (sung by Chrissy Phillips) also stand among the best of the album. The second part of “The Storm” trilogy – “The Revolution” – is programmed to be released in August, 2009. We expect it to be as amusing as the first part. Band members and collaborators involved with Michael Hilder are: Michael Hilder – Guitar and Bass, Vocals, Piano, Hammond Organ; Steve Kucina – Guitars; Steve Harrison – Keyboards, Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Slide Guitars, Bass; Robert Urban – Drums; Chrissy Phillips – Vocals; Pete Broadway – Vocals; Karia – Second Vocals on last track; Drew Gallus – Acoustic Guitars; Jason McGlade – Acoustic Guitars; Glenn McPherson – Bass; Maurice Bruno – Drums; Wayne Kilbourne – Drums...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
08/02/2009............Interested to know more about the musician and his trilogy? Visit MICHAEL HILDER HOME PAGE...
The Norwegian band The Spirits of the Dead was founded in 2007 by Ole Øvstedal (guitar), Ragnar Vikse (vocals), Deadly Nightshade (bass), and Geir Thorstensen (Drums). After a tour around Scandinavia, the band called some attention upon it, pushing them to release their debut album: “The Spirits of the Dead” (2009, White Elephant Records). With a beautiful artwork on cover – a silvery stamp showing the image of an Indian elephant – the album brings only 7 tracks and lasts less than 40 minutes. The musical style of "The Spirits of the Dead" is not something that can be described as Progressive or Prog Metal – but is peculiar enough to allow the band into this site. The band members define their style as “Psychedelic-Stoner-Folk-Rock with one foot on the electric magic of the seventies and the other on the electric modern rock of 2012” – and they may be right. To me, The Spirits… may be placed inside the ample circle of the “alternative rock bands”. The sonority is like a crossover between the British Punk Rock of the seventies (represented by bands like The Clash or The Jam) and the earlier Hard-Rock bands (mainly "Led Zeppelin" of “Led IV” and “Physical Graffiti”), adding some psychedelic guitars and keyboards effects and Indian-like guitars and percussions. Vocals by Vikse are not aggressive, but juvenile and high pitched, sometimes hovering. Songs like “White Lady/Black Rave“ and “The Waves of our Ocean“ combine a Punk-like beat with psychedelic elements, while “My Wild Dream“, “Red“ and “The Spirits of the Dead“ bring some Indian-like guitars and percussion, and vocal melodies that are reminiscent of "Led Zeppelin". The later song is still surprising by its heavy and darker riffs. “Fields of Gold“ is a radio-song in British style that contrasts with the melancholic guitar of “T.I.T. (Traveler in Time)“. Still in its beginning, The Spirits of the Dead has not defined what line to follow, but it is good to remain opened to many styles instead of lock the doors to creativity. This band has yet to make its sound mature, but I think it to be very promising. The Spirits of The Dead must be checked out by people that like alternative rock with flavors of the 70’s. Band members involved in The Spirits of the Dead are: Ole Øvstedal - Guitars, Ragnar Vikse - Vocals, Geir Thorstensen – Drums, Deadly Nightshade - Bass, Keyboards...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
08/02/2009.....................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit THE SPIRITS OF THE DEAD HOME PAGE...
. DISEASE WITHIN - "Killing Time"
Disease Within is a Maryland band of experienced musicians, formed in the summer of 2008 by Mark, former drummer of "Bauls of Bengal DC", who had several releases in the 80s and 90s and played throughout the Washington DC region. Mark and Mic have been friends since the early 90s and Mark asked Mic if he had any free time for a new musical project. In August 2008 the writing process began for a new band and a new album. This band is the pinnacle of those long musical careers. Mark started playing drums and bass at about age 12. Significantly, the early formation of the indie/punk band, "Bauls of Bengal DC", occurred in Ithaca NY (1981-83) with Mark 'Snarko' as drummer. Mic (Lead Vocals and Guitars) has played guitar, sang both lead and backup vocals and played keyboards for a variety of Washington area bands, before retiring from the public music scene in 1998 with the birth of his son. Both Mic and Mark have extensive formal music training and many years of recording and live performances under their belts. Cody (Bass Guitars) has a range of influences from Jazz to modern Death Metal. His unique six string bass style has hints of Jaco Pastorius, Erlend Casperson, and Billy Sheehan.The power trio titled as Disease Within is a kind of a band with many musical textures, their music is typically powerful and aggressive, that flow into many different musical directions, specially combining elements and styles such as Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Prog Metal, Alternative Rock and Post-metal. This powerful trio plays a powerful music, with unrelenting vibration, guitar, bass and drums always are in a perfect combination with some agressive vocals, including irreverent lyrics. If you like bands as "Tool", "Opeth", "System of Down", "Black Sabbath", "Heaven & Hell", "The Deftones", "Nirvana", "Helmet" and "Corrosion of Conformity" you must definitely listen to Disease Within. "Killing Time" was recorded in 2008, including eleven trackas, all lyrical themes are developed through the madness within society, religion, war, and mankind. Redorded and distribuited by Deadly Sin Records, also available at iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and select retailers. A special and particular attention to and my favourite songs are: "Deception of the Masses", "Call to War", "Dark Moment", "Killing Time", "Modern Diversity" and "Hollow". The musicians on this band are: Mic Wynnw - Lead Vocals and Guitars, Marc Kopyc - Dums and Samples and Cody Hagins - Bass Guitar. Highly recommendable for people who likes powerful metal music...   (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
08/02/2009.............,.....For CDs, MP3s  and more informations about the band, go to DISEASE WITHIN HOME PAGE...
. GALLO ABSURDO - "Gallo Absurdo"
The Brazilian band Gallo Absurdo was founded in 2008 in Rio de Janeiro by four friends that have been taking part in the local underground rock scene for more then 10 years: guitarist Lula Washington (from "Allegro" and "A Fusão"); bassist Claudio Alves (from "Dust From Misery") and drummer João Saravia and keyboardist Luiz De Simone (both members of legendary prog-band "Sigma 5"). The debut CD “Gallo Absurdo” (2009) has been just released as an independent production, in limited edition of 1000 copies. As all true passionate musicians, the integrants of Gallo Absurdo have only one aim: to make exuberant and splendorous music to fill heart, soul and brains. And they do this amazingly, by blending influences that go from Rock and Jazz to Classical Music and Brazilian rhythms. “Gallo Absurdo” brings 7 compositions and is totally instrumental. The main creative force is Lula Washington, whose skills as a versatile guitar player enable him to change easily from Jazz to Rock and back again, executing luxurious guitar solos at the same time – as may be heard on tracks like “Rolifiud” and “Fora de Dele”. Although Jazz lovers might prefer the cool mood of “Motel”, it is on tracks like “Baião de Dois” and “Ovos” that Lula shows his magical gifts, by merging some traditional folkloric rhythms from Northeastern Brazil into jazz-rock, giving the band a Brazilian identity. On all songs, bassist Claudio Alves makes the perfect harmonic counterpoint to his band mate, sometimes playing freely and jazzy, even doing some solos. Drummer João Saravia likes to put some heavy parts here and there, but his technical abilities anchor the other band members to the rhythm, preventing them from “Flying” too much. But one of the most distinguishing features of Gallo Absurdo comes from the keyboards of Luiz De Simone. As a classically trained musician, he is mainly influenced by piano composers, like "Liszt", and also by the Brazilian musicians "Villa Lobos" and "Ernesto Nazareth". Following the lessons of those masters, he fills the compositions with vivid and melodic phrases of piano, building well elaborated arrangements, as those on “Agara” and “Máquina Minha“ – two almost prog-metal pieces that sound like when "Rush" meets "Ernesto Nazareth”. Summing all up, Gallo Absurdo presents us with its own interesting mixture of sonorities, going beyond the expected stereotyped vision that Brazilian bands have abroad. Gallo Absurdo is highly recommended for Jazz-Rock enthusiasts and Progressive lovers alike and for enjoyers of Instrumental Music in general. Band members and collaborators involved in Gallo Absurdo are: Lula Washington – Guitars, Claudio Alves - Bass, João Saravia – Drums and Luiz De Simone - keyboards...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
08/12/2009....................,.....Interested to know more about this Brazilian Band? Visit GALLO ABSURDO HOME PAGE...
. ZIP TANG - "Pank"
The North American band  Zip Tang was founded in 2003 in Chicago, by Perry Merritt (guitar, vocals) and Richard Wolfe (bass, backing vocals). The line-up was completed with Fred Faller (drums) and Marcus Padgett (saxophones, keyboards, synthesizers and vocals). Under the name of "RPM", the band started out playing covers of "Steely Dan", "Santana", "The Allman Brothers", "Jeff Beck", and "Yes" - influences that are still present in their work. They changed the name for Zip Tang and released a debut album “Luminiferous Ether” (2007), which received excellent reviews from the specialized press (see under Reviews 2007). The second album - “Pank” (2008) - was nominated for the “Just Plain Folks 2009 Awards” (to happen in 29th August) in the categories of “Best Prog Rock Album” and “Best Prog Songs” (with “Footprints” and “Katy”). A righteous nomination, indeed, for “Pank” rises above the level of excellence. It represents a step farther in the evolution of this talented quartet that must be reckoned for their high-quality musicianship. Although this album seems more “jammed” than the first work, the band is by no means retreating, but refining their style and originality. The ever-changing rhythmic base is supported by drums that go from ethnical beats to Jazz and Experimental, and bass lines that may do strange mixtures of Heavy Metal, Jazz, Rock and Latino – remembering bands like "Frank Zappa", "King Crimson", "Traffic", "Steely Dan", "Yes", "Santana', "Return To Forever" and even "Primus". Guitars go from Jazz-Rock to Blues, including some heavier riffs, adding influences of "Cream", "Jeff Beck", "Allman Brothers", and "John Lee Hooker". Unusual passages of sax lead to inevitable comparisons with "Van der Graaf Generator", but genuine jazzy moods are also present in sophisticated passages, remembering the work of "Miles Davis" and even "Burt Bacharach". Different textures of keyboards cover the songs with a progressive air. Vocals by Marcus are mainly ironic, in the manner of "Zappa", or melancholic like "Pink Floyd". “Pank” brings 11 tracks. The sound of inverted guitars and ethnical beats in the introduction of the opening track - “Footprints” - is a sign that Zip Tang is still warming up and great things are yet to come. In fact, many Pink Floydian melancholic vocals, psychedelic instrumental sections, and jazzy saxophones will be heard on tracks like “It’s in my Head“ and “One Last Beautiful Motion“ - the later brings a fantastic guitar solo – hovering, nostalgic and beautiful. One of the nominated songs - “Katy“ - is one of the best tracks. It is built over a heavy and tense bass line, ending on long passages of jazz and blues. The creative talent of "Robert Fripp" and the musical irreverence of "Frank Zappa" are ever present, celebrated on tracks like “Leaving Nothing“ and “Cicada Jam“ – both stuffed with experimental sounds and percussion, bringing that mysterious feeling of entering an exotic jungle. Zappa‘s irreverence is still present on the craziness of “Deitrich Crashed my Enzo“ and “You Call This Art?“, the later is trespassed by Hard Rock riffs and Blues solos – influence of "Jeff Back". Differing a bit from the rest of the album, “The Years“ is a kind of ballad that joins the acoustic guitars of "Allman Brothers" with the sax of "Van der Graaf". The remaining songs, “Pank“ and “Goodbye“, bring back the seventies in that jazzy-funky-Latin fashion of "Steely Dan", "Santana", and "Return to Forever", featuring many improvisations of bass, guitars, drums and sax. Particularly on “Goodbye”, the closing sax solo sounds like a farewell melody. But please, Zip Tangers, don’t say goodbye – come back with a third! Zip Tang is highly recommended for lovers of Rock of the 70’s and fans of modern Progressive bands like "Flower Kings", "Neal Morse", "Spock’s Beard", "Black Bonzo", "Tiles" and so on… Band members of Zip Tang are: Fred Faller – Drums, Perry Merritt – Guitars, Vocals (tracks 9 and 10), Marcus Padgett – Saxophones, Keyboards, Synths, Vocals (tracks 1,2,3,4,6,8,11), Rick Wolf – Bass, Backing Vocals...     (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
08/12/2009.......................................Interested to know more about this amazing band? Visit ZIP TANG HOME PAGE...
. ATOMIC WORKERS - "Third Disaster"
The Italian band Atomic Workers was founded in 2003 by bassist Michele Rossiello after he moved from Bari (Italy) to London. There, he gathered some friends and recorded the debut album – “Embryonic Suicide” (2006, Acme Records/Nasoni Records). A second album – “Wall of Water Behind Me” (2007, Nasoni Records) did not differ in style from the first. The new album - “Third Disaster” (2009, Nasoni) was recorded in Italy and completed in the UK with collaboration of several guest musicians of Italy, Nederland, UK and other countries (see list below). Like many bands from the underground scene, Atomic Workers has chosen a formula that is being regularly used nowadays - to join several styles and rhythms together in the hope of achieving a sonority which is somehow unique. At this time, Atomic Workers has chosen to set their songs on simple harmonies, exploring genres like Rock, Hard, Heavy, early Punk, and Psychedelic. The songs are driven mainly by the bass lines, groove and mood of Michele Rossiello, accompanied by many long guitar solos; different textures of keyboards; and some unusual instruments (violins, sitar, farfisa);  everything punctuated by psychedelic sound effects. Therefore, the 9 tracks of “Third Disaster” recall different influences. The opening track - “Secret Way to the Valley“ - reminds me of USA’s Heavy Metal Band "Griffin" (album “Protectors of the Lair”); while “Lost Pleasure“ evokes the crudeness of French band "Trust". But Atomic Workers also makes interesting expeditions into the psychedelic circle, bringing to mind the sound of "Hawkwind" – mainly on songs like “You“ (with long instrumental improvisations of guitar, bass and drums); “Home“ (with Chinese melodies introduced by a violin) and “Here’s Where I Belong“. Hard Rock is also present, on “Third Disaster“; “Chaos on the Breeze” (which sounds like the opening track of Heavy Metal – "The Movie" - “Radar Rider“, by Riggs), and the Blues-Rock “Breakdown“. The Psychedelic- Psychotic “Kap-E-Tone“ closes the record with dissonances and wha-wha effects, sounding like a Jane’s Addiction to Krautrock. Due to its harsh sonority, Atomic Workers is not recommended for the Traditional Progressive lover, but mostly for fans of cruder Psychedelic music or more experimental Krautrock. Band members and collaborators involved in Atomic Workers are: Michele Rossiello – Bass; Laurence O'Toole - Lead Vocals, Guitar; Fabio Mongelli - Guitar, Vocals Farfisa; Daniele Sindaco - Guitar, Vocals; Diego Mocci – Drums; Angelo Pantaleo - actual Drummer. Guest musicians: Guy McKnight - Vocals on 4 track; Joolie Wood - Violin (tracks, 6, 7); Gary Ramon - Lead Guitar and Sitar; Fabio Mongelli - Vocals and additional instruments on one track and Haj Yahya Ashraf  - Vocals...    (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
08/12/2009...................,.....For more details and in the meantime please check out ATOMIC WORKERS HOME PAGE...
. THE VITAL MIGHT - "Red Planet"
The North American band The Vital Might comes from the Independent Rock scene of Boston. Formed by Andy Milk (vocals, guitar), Cracker (drums, percussion, vocals) and Rick Gauthier (bass), the band has just released their debut – “Red Planet” (2009, by 10t Records). With smart lyrics and songs that alternate lively dynamic moments, full of energy, with cool and sad moods of the British bands of the 80’s and 90’s, The Vital Might stays very far from the original Progressive genre. Unless by rare moments on which the guitar creates a slightly psychedelic atmosphere, there are neither long instrumental solos, nor influences from Classic or Jazz.  Their influences are, instead, bands like “Queens of the Stone Age”, “A Perfect Circle”, “Coldplay”, “Stone Temple Pilots”, “Jeff Buckley”, “REM”, “Muse”, “Soudgarden”, “Red Hot Chili Peppers”, “System of a Down”, “Mastodon”, “Tool”, “Doves”, “The Mars Volta”, “Cave In”, “The Fire Theft”, “Rage Against the Machine”, and “Radiohead”. They follow the currently trend of doing many crossovers, so that the overall style rests undefined. To avoid polemics, let’s just say that The Vital Might is an Alternative Rock band. Nevertheless, the band features very skilled musicians. Milk sings well, and the rhythmic section in special features a good partnership between Gauthier and the excellent Cracker, being the outstanding point of this band. Although the compositions remain simple in the general structure, the instrumental background varies within some songs, and their music, as a whole, is far better than many regular bands that are in evidence nowadays. “Red Planet“ has eleven tracks, including one cover. The opening track - “Phantom Spaceman“ – is representative of the band’s style, having the slightly psychedelic atmosphere, and the excellent and varied rhythmic moments. But that style is explored even better when heavier parts grow from cool and melancholic passages, creating strong contrasting moods. Like on the best tracks “Seasons“/“5 O’Clok“ (on which Milk surprises with his best vocal moments); “The Greatest Man“ (with good passages of organ and piano by guest musician Eli Winderman); and on the vigorous “Trouble” – on which the brilliant rhythmic section show all that this band is capable of. Their anger reaches a peak on “Superstitious Wish“– in New Metal style – intermingled with melodic backing vocals, in the manner of “System of a Down”. But not everything is so hard, and some songs feature the sad mood of groups like “REM” or “Coldplay” - like “The Truth“ (a radio song); “City“, “Chime“ (instrumental with mantra atmosphere) and “Saturday“. Specially worthy of mention is the last track: a competent - although less heavier - cover of “Sleeping Beauty“ (of “A Perfect Circle’), with interesting backing vocals. I am sure that The Vital Might will find their public around the Alternative Rock Scene – eventually, they might have a chance of reaching commercial success. Band members and collaborators involved in The Vital Might are: Andy Milk - Vocals, Guitar; Cracker - Drums, Percussion, Vocals; Rick Gauthier – Bass. Guest musicians: Eli Winderman – Organ (track 10). Additional singers: Doug Arshan (tracks 2,6,10), Casey Desmond (tracks 3, 9), Jennifer Simckowitz, Nate Nunley, Courtney Caggiano (track 1)...     (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
08/12/2009...................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit THE VITAL MIGHT HOME PAGE...
. VIII STRADA - "La Leggenda Della Grande Porta"
The Milanese band VIII Strada is the new Progressive sensation from Italy! Coming from the ancient Roman Empire, the legionaries Tito Vizzuso (vocals), Davide Biscardi (guitars); Silvano Negrinelli (piano), Davide Maltagliati (bass) and Riccardo Preda (drums) are in a war campaign to conquer the world again! These extremely talented musicians invoked the Gods of the Olympus to craft seven Musical Pieces that were forged inside the Etna crater by Volcano himself, electrified by the Lightning bolts of Jupiter, and later impregnated with the Wisdom of Minerva and the Raging Fury of Mars, to be finally assembled together by the Cyclops into VIII Stradas’ debut album - “La Leggenda della Grande Porta” (2008, Ma.Ra.Cash Records/Venus). One of the best Italian Progressive albums ever made, this pearl has the same musical style from “Museo Rosenbach”, “Banco del Mutuo Soccorso”, “Le Orme”, “PFM”, “Quella Vecchia Locanda”, “Locanda delle Fate”, “Metamorfosi“, “Il Rovescio della Medaglia“, “Malibran”, “Calliope”, “Nuova Era”, “Il Castello di Atlante” and “Black Jester“. With a style that rests in the intersection of two Major Genres – too heavy and luxurious to be plain Progressive, and too much Progressive to be more Prog-Metal, VIII Strada is so distinguishing that might represent a new step in the evolution of Progressive Music. The compositions are so creative and complex, and performed with such perfection, that it is difficult to measure the impact they cause on whoever listens to them. The music comes and goes in gigantic storm waves sent by Neptune. On the top of the waves, the musical themes move through intricate harmonies, varying in intensity and tone. In the intermezzos, they descend to the tranquility of distant seashores. Each musician is an exceptional virtuoso that works both collectively and independently, as in a Chamber Orchestra. Silvano Negrinelli is the man behind the compositions. He plays the piano with effervescency, going from Classical to Contemporaneous and from Jazz to Progressive. The almost exclusive use of that instrument was a clever choice, for it provided VIII Strada with an original and characteristic sonority, leaving empty spaces for occasional background keyboards to appear more emphatically (like the church organ on “Ulysses”). Another effect is to leave room for the other integrants to show up, in special Tito Vizzuso, whose powerful voice is theatrical and resounding, reminding the epic interpretative modulations of Leonardo Sasso (“Locanda delle Fate”), or Claudio Guerrini (“Nuova Era“ - album “Il Passo del Soldato”). The exuberant bass of Davide Maltagliati is alternately, deep, jazzy and progressive, driving the rhythm and cadence of the songs. He is helped by the fantastic technical- thunder- drumming of Riccardo Preda, who goes from Metal to Jazz in few compasses with so subtle changes that are sometimes missed by distracted ears. Other strong point of this band is the phenomenal guitarist Davide Biscardi, who offers awesome neoclassical solos with epic melodies and Paganinian passages, without excessive use of shredding. Each note of his solos is carefully picked up, like a rare gem, in behalf of Music, not the musician. He also avoids the repetitive guitar riffs, intercalating his magnificent solos with progressions of guitar chords that mark the most dramatic moments of each piece. “La Leggenda della Grande Porta” brings 7 tracks. The title song stands as the most amazing progressive opening tracks ever, lasting more than 11 minutes. “Mediterranea” is less dramatic and more voyaging, with few prog-metal parts. “Ulysses” is an epic track that reminds me of "Nuova Era". “Sinergy” is a long instrumental jazz-rock-classic piece. “Laguna di Giada” is a more traditional progressive piece, upholding the general voyaging atmosphere. The short “Amanecer”, played with acoustic guitars, introduces “La Terra dei Faló” – a track that closes the album with exploding creativity (including even a Tango) – and summarizes what VIII Strada is really all about: an indispensable band for any Progressive Fan. The Olympic Gods will severely punish whoever misses this record - so, don’t even dare to defy them! Band members and collaborators involved in VIII Strada are: Tito Vizzuso – Vocals; Davide Biscardi – Guitars; Silvano Negrinelli – Piano; Davide Maltagliati – Bass; Riccardo Preda – Drums...    (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
08/12/2009........................,.....Interested to know more about this great Italian Band? Visit VIII STRADA HOME PAGE...
. NO-MAN - "Wherever There Is Light-EP"
No-Man is a British duo formed in 1987 by Tim Bowness and Steven Wilson (the latter best known as the leader of Porcupine Tree). The band has so far produced six studio albums and a number of singles/outtakes collections (most notably, 2006's career retrospective, All The Blue Changes). Originally a sample-based proto-Trip hop/Ambient/Electro-Pop styled music, No-Man's sound has become more organic, diverse and band-oriented in subsequent years. The band has been lauded "Conceivably the most important English group since The Smiths" by Melody Maker music newspaper. The name No-Man was adopted in 1990 and first used on the self-released June 1990 single release, "Colours" (a cover of the 1960s Donovan Leich song). The single achieved Melody Maker and Sounds "Singles Of The Week" accolades and was re-released by Liverpool-based label Probe Plus in October, 1990. Between 1991 and 1994, No-Man were managed by Talk Talk's manager Keith Aspden. During this period, the band received highly positive UK music media support (including more Singles Of The Week in Melody Maker, Sounds and Irish music paper, Hot Press), had 2 indie top 20 hits ("Days In The Trees" and "Ocean Song"), had a Billboard Top 40 dance hit (the US only single, "Taking It Like A Man", at # 34) and had high profile contracts with One Little Indian, Hit & Run Publishing and Epic/Sony. The music from No-Man is very sensitive and melodic, may be a little bit emotional and also atmospheric, mixed with softness instrumental and beautiful lyrics. Tim Bowness has an amazing voice, but the guitars (Steven Wilson) are the main instrument in all songs, followed by amazing keyboard. The main point on the band is that, all musicians are always together keeping a soft melody, without agressiveness. "Wherever There Is Light" was released on 11th May, 2009 and is available directly from Burning Shed. (A dedicated page with sound samples, full details on tracks, musician credits and lyrics has been added to this website.) We can buy this album at Burning Shed Online Label a store specialising in Singer-Songwriter, Progressive, Ambient/ Electronica and Art Rock music, also "Wherever There Is Light" and No-Man's album are already available from the KScope Music. The full tracklisting for the EP is: Audio: "Wherever There Is Light", "Death Was California", "Counting", "Carolina Skeletons (Live) and "All the Blue Changes (Live). Video: "Wherever There Is Light (Grant Wakefield video) and "All The Blue Changes (Live at the Bush Hall). The musicians on No-Man at the album "Wherever There Is Light" are: Tim Bowness - Vocals, Steven Wilson - All Instruments, Bruce Kaphan - Pedal Steel Guitar, Theo Travis - Flute and Steve Binghan - Electric Violin. The musicians on Live Tracks recorded at Bush Hall, London 29/08/2008 - Tim Bowness - Vocals, Steven Wilson - Guitars, Michael Bearpark - Guitar, Steve Binghan - Electric Violin, Stephen Bennett - Keyboards, Pete Morgan - Bass and Andrew Booker - Electronic Drums. No-Man is an excellent addition to any progressive rock music collection, an indispensable work, highly recommendable...   (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
08/12/2009............,.....Interested to know more about this amazing band and musicians? Visit NO-MAN HOME PAGE...
. CIRRHA NIVA - "For Moments Never Done"
The Dutch Progressive Metal band Cirrha Niva began activities in 1997 releasing the debut album “The Mirror World Dimension”, which was followed by the EP “Enter the Future” (1999). But it was with “Liaison De La Morte” (2001) – a Rock-Opera that achieved status of a Cult-Show – that Cirrha Niva became well known in the Progressive Metal scene. After a long hiatus, the band reformulated the line-up in 2007. From the original members, only Rob Willemse (guitar) and Tommy White (drums) remained. The others were replaced by Carlo Heefer (guitar), Daniel Juijben (bass), and Legrand (vocals). With renovated energy, Cirrha Niva recorded a new album - “For Moments Never Done” – that is being released by Parnassus Records. Differently from their operatic previous work, this album shows a more intense metallic verve. In spite of the influences cited by band members -  which include from Classic Rock to Progressive (e.g. “King Crimson”, “Led Zeppelin”, “Marillion”, “Pink Floyd”, “Rush” ); and from Metal to Prog-Metal (“Anacrusis”, “Coroner”, “Death”, “Megadeth”, “Nevermore”, “Dream Theater”, “Evergrey”, “The Gathering”,  “Opeth”, “Pain of Salvation”, and “Psychotic Waltz”) – the sonority reminds me of bands of the 80’s that survived until present (like “Fates Warning”, “Queensryche”, “Jag Panzer”, “Iron Maiden” and “Angel Dust” – specially album “Bleed”). Cirrha Niva knows how to blend those past sounds with new century trends, therefore forging an exclusive style among Prog-Metal bands. Pulled by the superb vocals of Legrand – who is a true Metal singer, sometimes as emotional as John Arch (“Fates Warning”) or as vigorous as Dirk Thurisch (“Angel Dust”) - the compositions are built around killing guitar riffs adorned with long, metallic and soulful solos that tend to Traditional and Melodic Metal styles. Thundering drums and omnipresent bass mix the ancient with the modern, enriched by contributions of some respectable guest musicians: Joost van den Broek (”After Forever”), Manda Ophuis (”Nemesea”), Robin de Groot (“Chiraw”), Bouke Visser (sax) and Yuval Kramer (”Amaseffer”). The new album has 7 tracks, and opens with “The Fooling“, which features powerful vocals from both Legrand and Robin de Groot. Although the regular Prog-Metal enthusiast may find this piece too much psychotic - partly because of de Groot‘s aggressive grunts and screams - I encourage him/her to go ahead, because the following tracks - “Dreamon“ and “Framed“ - contrast with the crudeness of the first, featuring guitar riffs that remind me respectively of two songs of “Fates Warning”: “Night on Bröcken” and “Prelude to Ruin”. Climatic and progressive parts in the middle of “Framed” prepare the listener for “Running From the Source“ – a song driven by acoustic guitars, atmospheric organ (courtesy of  Joost van den Broek) and voyaging backing vocals that remind me of “Ayreon”, until a metamorphosis occurs and everything turns into a raging attack similar to Iron Maiden’s first album! Likewise, the first part of “Spring Before Winter“ takes me back immediately to Iron Maiden’s song “Children of the Damned” – nevertheless, a big surprise arises - a poignant saxophone solo by Bouke Visser – turning it immediately into the most innovative track of the album. Contrasting with the most progressive tracks, “Golan Heights” (introduced by Hebrew words spoken by Yuval Kramer) brings more tension, staying between “Psychotic Waltz” and “Crimson Glory” or “Jag Panzer” – also featuring an aggressiveness that reminds me of “Angel Dust” (album “Bleed”). “Self-Chosen“ – which combines thrash-metal riffs with Legrand’s powerful vocals - has the same vigor of  “Jag Panzer” and “Evergrey”; and closes this excellent album surpassing all expectations about it. Cirrha Niva is highly recommended for Prog-Metal lovers that also like bands of the 80’s and 90’s. Band members and collaborators involved on the band are: Legrand – Lead Vocals; Carlo Heefer – Guitar; Rob Willemse – Guitar; Daniel Juijben – Bass; Tommy White – Drums. Additional musicians: Joost van den Broek - Keyboards (tracks 3, 4, 6); Manda Ophuis - Backing Vocals on track 2; Yuval Kramer – Spoken Words (track 5); Robin de Groot – Grunts and Screams (track 1); Bouke Visser – Saxophone (track 6). Former members: Arnold Kloek - Vocals, Liselotte Hegt – Bass Guitar & Vocals; Peter Vennema - Guitar, and Wilbert van den Broek -  Keyboards...    (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
08/20/2009...........................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? You must visit CIRRHA NIVA HOME PAGE...
. DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW - "The Sky is Falling"
The North American band Days Before Tomorrow (from Wayne, New Jersey) was founded in 2000 by Scott Kahn (guitars) and Eric Klein (vocals). They released a debut EP in 2006 featuring the track “Can’t Do Anything”, that received an honorable mention in "Billboard Magazine’s 14th Annual Songwriting Contest". In 2008, with the line-up completed by Derek Davodowich (guitars), Robert “Zeek” Maziekien Jr. (bass, ex-“Eternity X”) and drummer Jason Gianni (who played on “Magellan’s” album “Impossible Figures”), the demo-song “Sleepwalking” received an honorable mention in the 15th edition of that same musical contest. With winds blowing in the right direction, Days Before Tomorrow released their first full-length album - “The Sky Is Falling” (2009). The record is an independent release, produced by Ron Nevison ("Led Zeppelin", "The Who", "Heart", "Jefferson Starship", "Europe", "Kiss") and mixed by Grammy awarded engineer Earl Cohen. The excellent production led to its nomination for the Los Angeles Music Awards, in the category of “Record of the Year”. The CD features a booklet containing lyrics and art-work in “Sci-Fi comics” style. The integrants of Day Before Tomorrow share a vision about Progressive Rock that includes influential acts like “Marillion”, “Porcupine Tree”, and “Dream Theater”, but their strong musical influence and likeness come from the commercial side of bands like “Yes” ("Trevor Rabin" era), “Rush” (phase post “Signals”, mainly “Power Windows”), “Pink Floyd” (“Momentary Lapse of Reason“ and “The Division Bell”), “Genesis” (“Phil Collins” era), “Jefferson Starship”, and even “The Police”, “Duran Duran” and “U2”. The voice of Eric Klein sounds like that of “Lawrence Gowan” (“Styx”), and is also influenced by “Depeche Mode” and “Tears for Fears”. Derek Davodowich brings influences of Steve Lukather (“Toto”). Drummer Jason Gianni likes something harder, like “Kansas”, “Spock's Beard”, “Fates Warning” and “King's X”. He does a lighter work here than on “Magellan“, sticking to a rocky drumbeat, nevertheless including a vast repertoire of drum techniques. The band follow the European Pop-Rock style, privileging the format of a simple song structure plus a dancing Rock base, few instrumental solos, and many singing parts, taking profit of the vocals of Eric Klein. “The Sky is Falling” has 14 tracks. The best are those assembled under the title “Wasted Years” – “parts I: Confrontation; II: Sleepwalking; and III: The Silence is Deafening“, which feature a traditional Progressive format, beginning sad and slow - featuring the classical piano of Huub Douma – them going to a faster, harder pace on the second part, having more interventions of synths and guitar solos, with a climax on the third part (inexplicable detached from the previous two), with more solos and piano, and with Eric Klein performing his best. Also good are “Can’t Do Anything“ (with background keyboards and some room for guitar solos), and “Survival“ (on which electronic vocals combine the sound with the images on the booklet). But the Pop-Rock line that the band wishes to follow appear on many tracks, like “Lighters“, “Wrong“, “Last Song“, “Can’t go Back“ (with Kelli McCloud doing a second voice), “The Sky Is Falling“, “Your Kate“ and “Your’re Not The One“. Days Before Tomorrow is a harmless band that you can give to your girlfriend, to encourage her to listen to Progressive Rock, by your side. Band members and collaborators involved on the band are: Eric Klein – Lead Vocals; Scott Kahn – Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards (tracks 1,2,3,4,8,9); Derek Davodowich – Guitar, Vocals; Robert “Zeek” Maziekin – Bass, Vocals; Jason Gianni – Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Piano (track 9). Additional musicians: Jason Buchwald – Keyboards and Orchestration (tracks 2, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13); Kelli McCloud – Vocals (tracks 1, 4); Huub Douma – Piano (track 5). New integrant: Damon Fibraio – Keyboards...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
08/27/2009...................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW HOME PAGE...
. CAILYN & DANI - "True Lies and Other Fairy Tales"
Cailyn played guitar intensely as a teenager in the blues/rock scene in London, England, even played a gig at the famed "Marquee Club". After returning to the US, she gigged with various cover bands, wrote music, spent time learning bass, drums, and piano-as well as honing my guitar skills-and raised a family. Four years ago, She returned to music full time, touring with the "Alimony Blues Band". She nows play bass and lead guitar with the classic power-rock band "IX Lives". She also run a small recording studio where Cailyn produced her first album in March of 2008, a blues-classical crossover EP which received good reviews including a mention in "Vintage Guitar Magazine". Finally Cailym finished a full length progressive rock CD in April 2009, recorded with Dani Daly, an outstanding female vocalist from West Bend, Wisconsin. Dani sings and plays keyboards with cover band "Oil Can Harry" voted best rock band of 2008 by Milwaukee's Shepherd Express. All Melodic Hard Rock bands need to have, first of all, amazing melodies, dynamic instrumental and a perfect combination between guitars, bass, drum and especially vibrant vocals, Cailyn & Dani, two talented and very beautiful women, have the ability to put it all together and much more. Their extraordinary musicianship show a positive feeling, featuring precise vocals by Dani, powerful bass, solid rhythm-section, adding soft doses of keyboard sounds, but the main highlight on the musical arrangements are, the incredible and amazing melodic guitar solos, very well played by Cailyn. "True Lies and Other Fairy Tales" brings together an incredible collection of hits with a special picks, including arrangements specially developed by Cailyn & Dani to the songs "Still...You Turn Me On" (Greg Lake), "Portrait" (Kerry Livgren/Steve Walsh), "Dream On" (Tyler), "Wind Cries Mary" (Jimi Hendrix) and "Can't Find My Way" (Winwood), also you can listen fantastic own compositions, such as "Heartland", "Lady Kicks Ax", "Heading West" and "Road Not Taken". All in all, an album that, all of Progressive Hard Rockers can't miss, and I really have to say that, Cailyn knows how to play eletric guitar exactly the way what all prog fans would like to hear. "True Lies and Other Fairy Tales" album was recorded and produced by Cailyn Lloyd and was released in 2008. You may also visit Cailyn & Dani's Myspace site to sample songs from the album. The musicians on the band are: Cailyn Lloyd - Guitar, Bass, Drums, vocals and Keys and Dani - Lead Vocals. Brilliant and an indispensable work, highly recommendable...   (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
08/27/2009...............Stay tuned for more details and in the meantime please check out CAILYN & DANI HOME PAGE...
. OCEANS OF NIGHT - "The Shadowheart Mirror"
"Scott Mosher" is a guitar player and keyboardist from New York who has been working as an independent musician for over 15 years, releasing 4 solo albums – “Ambiente Earth” (1996); “Virtuality” (2001); “Inferno” (2004), and “Deep Horizon” (2006). Now he is joining forces with the experienced vocalist Scott Oliva (”Wind Wraith”, “Live After Death”, ex-“Inner Strength”, ex-“Driven”) – to launch a brand new project – Oceans of Night. On their debut album - “The Shadowheart Mirror” (2009, Allaroundniceguy Music) – the powerful guitar riffs, thundering bass and drums, background keyboards, and many guitars solos sharing space with a melodic singer promptly place this band in the Progressive Metal genre – close to early bands like “Fates Warning” (album “No Exit” and on), “Quennsreych” (album “Operation Mindcrime” and on), “Mordred”, “Vicious Rumors” and even “Journey”, “Rush”, and early “Dream Theater“. So, if this band follows that regular pattern, what’s new about it? Well, Oceans of Night has a pair of Scotts, who are both talented musicians. Scott Mosher – the “all-nice-guy-jack-of-all-trades” in the band - is already an experienced musician, thanks to his solo work. And he made the intelligent choice of bringing to this new project some of his influences that have nothing to do with Heavy Metal, belonging to a totally different musical world instead – from mainstream acts like “U2”, and “Depeche Mode” to “Tangerine Dream”, “Kitaro”, “Lorena McKennit”, “Mike Oldfield” and “Jean Michel Jarre”. Using all those influences on varied textures of keyboards and occasional electronic percussions that create a futuristic atmosphere, Mosher achieves something that sounds like a blend of Progressive, Electronic, and New Age Music, with “Iron Maiden”, “Evergrey”, “Kings X”, “Redemption”, “OSI”, and all of the groups above - a musical style that he calls “Ambient Progressive Metal”. To match the ambient background with the sonority of his guitars, Mosher makes use of echoing velvet-like or violin-like textures, proper to Progressive, differing from the most incisive and sharp guitars of other Prog-Metal bands. Influenced by his favorite guitar players (“Steve Vai”, “Tony MacAlpine” and “Greg Howe”) he always privileges the melodic guitar solos, sometimes in free style, sometimes tending to Neoclassical. The other Scott of this band – Oliva – is a man that was born to be a metal singer. He is the vocalist of “Live After Death”, a cover band of “Iron Maiden”. Hence, his vocal tone equals that of “Bruce Dickinson”, being even stronger and high-pitched - reaching peak screams like “Geoff Tate”, and “Rob Halford” - and featuring better interpretative skills. As a shining Lighthouse in the dark Oceans of Night, he guides the listener through the 8 tracks of “The Shadowheart Mirror”, laying him down in secure shores soon after the stormy opening tracks “A Way From You” and “Living in the Past” – two metallic and straightforward songs on which Oliva’s acrobatic voice and awesome screams will make you stick to this record till the end. The following “New Machine” and “What’s Left of Me” – two of the best tracks - pull the band to the Progressive and voyaging side, with climatic parts that are perfect for Oliva to show his emotional interpretation. The metal thrash-instrumental “The Shadowheart Mirror” and the “Iron Maiden”-like “The Last Goodbye” point up like coral reefs dividing the waters of Oceans of Night – for the excellent closing tracks - “Two Worlds Apart” and “War Inside Myself” – feature a still even deeper contrast between the heavy metal and the ambient parts, revealing all the potential of this band and its original “Ambient Metal” style. Oceans of Night has made an excellent debut, deserving a better production for the next album – and is specially recommended for all Prog-Metal fans that also like great bands of the 80’s. Band members involved in Oceans of the Night are: Scott Mosher - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards and Programming; Scott Oliva – Lead and Harmony Vocals...    (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
08/27/2009................,.....Interested to know more about the new band? please visit OCEANS OF NIGHT HOME PAGE...
. NEO-PROPHET - "Monsters"
The story of Neo-Prophet started in early 2005. After stopping their activities in Marsta Blasta, in which they played both together for many years , Hans 'Mac' Six and Sjoerd 'CAP' Bruyneel planned next musical steps. Sjoerd wanted to start his 'Neo-Prophet project' to realize his musical ideas an inspiration on keyboard. Hans also planned to continue with a new band and meanwhile got already in contact with a new drummer : Rudi Lins. The idea to join forces seemed obvious, certainly as the mutual musical ideas seemed to be pretty close as well. In order to fill in the difficult vacancies for a lead singer and bassplayer (both a dying breed in Belgium!), Hans decided to switch from guitar to bass guitar and to take also the lead vocals for his account, both for the first time and two real challenges after about 20 years of guitar playing. As a big fan of Geddy Lee ("Rush") and his sound, a Fender Jazz-bass was soon ordered. The search for a guitarist was far easier (overpopulated in Belgium) and with Stéphane Landtmeters on the axe, first rehearsals and jam-sessions started in spring 2005 in the own "WAMP-studio" (Without Any Musical Pretension). However, after a few months Stéphanes ideas with regard to the concept of the band seemed no longer in line with the rest of the band and Stéphane decided to quit the band. What looked at first sight to be a real challenge, now that the musical direction of the band was set: finding a suitable guitar player with similar musical ideas and preferences (prog-rock guitarist in Belgium???… euh.. no way man!), appeared to be far easier then expected. The reaction of Frank Debruyne, on the same day after placing the advertisement on the internet, was a gift of heaven. And a mutual present….. as Frank, as a big prog-rock fan, was already also for a long time in search for a band playing his favorite kind of music, besides his participation in "CUBE", with an new guitar, it became clear to all of us, that this was a line-up with a tremendous potential. From april 2007 the first results of the new recording were presented as the promo single "An introduction to Monsters" with the songs The blessed One and The Vast Machine. Belgiun, is a Europen's country with a excelent tradition in Progressive Rock style, from there, we can list amazing bands like "Machiavel", "No U-Turn", "Flyte", "Banzai", "Hypnos 69", "Isopoda", "Athanor", "Awaken", 'Magnum Opus", 'Univers Zero" and many other. Today, besides these bands, we have a great revelation titled Neo-Prophet, one of those bands that seems to capture a lot of styles and sounds dating back to the early days of Progressive Rock, their music is very well inspired by various bands from the seventies and eighties, blending styles in a perfect combination such as Melodi Rock, Neo-Progressive, Symphonic Prog Rock, Classic Rock and Hard Rock. Their music, sometimes, is very similar in the style of bands as "Saga", "Genesis", "Alan Parsons Project", "Asia", "Yes", "Styx", "Manfred Mann" "Rush", "The Who", "Marillion", "Pallas" and "IQ". The musicians on Neo-Prophet did not hesitated to create a vibrant album, including a incredible orchestration where, the bass' sound is very precise, adorned by creative keyboards, together in the same time, the drums explodes with lots symphonic guitar solos, into a voluminous and vibrant instrumental, also, the vocals of Hans Six are, significantly, and an important element into the arrangements. if you have been searching for the perfect contemplative band, Neo-Prophet are your choice. "Monsters" album was produced by Frank van Bogaert, recorded, mixed and mastered by Frank van Bogaert @ACE Studio Aartselaar, Belgium, March to August 2008. The main musicians on Neo-Prophet band are: Sjoerd Bruyneel - Piano's, Organs, Synths, Rodhes, Strings, Vibraphones, SFX and Samples, Hans Six - Lead & Backing Vocals, Bass, Lyrics writer, recording & sound engineer, webmaster, setting deadlines and working on the others nerves, Logistisc & Purchase "BEER"(Leffe) manager, Rudi Lins - Drums and Precussion and Frank Debruyne - Guitars, backing-vocals and weird behaviour. Guest Musicians: Frank van Bogaert - String arrangements (02, 06, 13) Taurus Pedal (04) Percussion (02) additional noises and samples (02, 13), Dani Caen - Lead (04, 13) and Backing Vocals (01, 04, 05, 06, 08, 09, 13) and Bjorn Verschoore - Saxophone (05). Brilliant and an indispensable, what a amazing band and album...   (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
08/27/2009......For more information about the musicians and their history, visit NEO-PROPHET OFFICIAL WEBSITE...
. TILT - "Million Dollar Wound"
Tilt is a new band from the United Kingdom, formed by veteran musicians (mainly Scottish), many of which have played with "Fish", "Camel", "KT Tunstall", "Porcupine Tree", "Sugababes", "Sandi Thom" and "Stiltskin". The nucleus is formed by Steve Vantsis (bass, guitars, keyboards, programming), Dave Stewart (drums and percussion), Robin Boult (guitars) and Irvin Duguid (synths, piano). The debut EP - “Million Dollar Wound“– was produced by Steve Vantsis and has been just released. The record has participation of guitarist John Wesley ("Fish" and "Porcupine Tree") and other experienced musicians from the independent musical scene (see below). “Million Dollar Wound” has 5 tracks, lasting 30 minutes. The band surprises the listener with the courageous opening track - “No Superman”. Powered by the strong vocals of Paul Dourley, this song is a typical Hard Rock of the 70’s, but features some electronic drum-beats that show that Tilt is not afraid of incorporating modern tendencies to their music. So, one might think that their proposal is to blend Hard Rock with some Electronic. But here comes another surprise – the other songs of this EP follow a completely different line, one that converges to Folk, Rock, Progressive and Ethereal. Built over layers of Folk acoustic guitars and mandolins (provided by Nick Robertson and Frank Usher), driven by light percussions and trespassed by delicate and melodic keyboards, those songs are alternately quiet, nostalgic, emotional, cool, relaxing, voyaging, atmospheric, and sensual, reminding bands as diverse as the British ”Solstice” (but with less solos), ”Renaissance” (less symphonic), “Led Zeppelin” (album “IV”), or even new acts like ”Agua de Annique” and ”Atimatter”. This proposal of blending the modernity of the 21st century with the old features Tilt as one of the most promising bands of the recent independent musical scene. The guest singers are also important contributors: Kaela Rowan uses her folk voice (remembering “Joan Baez”) to give an emotional and nostalgic mood to “Long Gone”. Singer Paul Dourley returns on “Answers” – here, hard guitars fuse with electronic effects generated by an ebow, creating a futuristic atmosphere that contrasts with the acoustic guitars of the background. Holly Tomás - a singer that has released some solo albums and was compared to "Joni Mitchell", "Laurie Anderson", and "Enya" – uses her soft and ethereal voice to bring from the Scottish windy cliffs the beautiful tunes of “Gravity” and “Adore”. The later begins with whispering vocals, having a relaxing sensual appeal – but gains strength from the middle to the end, reinforce by the backing vocals of Lorna Bannon. Tilt made an excellent debut work - which must be soon followed by a full-length album – and is specially recommended for Prog and Folk fans and lovers of soft and emotional music. Band members and collaborators involved in Tilt are: Steve Vantsis  - Bass, Guitars, Keyboards, Loops, Programming; Fretless Bass (track 3); Dave Stewart – Drums and Percussion; Robin Boult – Guitars, Acoustic Guitars; Ebow (track 4) and Organ (track 5); Irvin Duguid – Synths, Piano. Guest singers: Paul Dourley (tracks 1, 4); Kaela Rowan (track 2); Holly Tomás (tracks 3, 5); Lorna Bannon – Backing vocals and second vocals (track 5). Guest musicians: John Wesley – Guitars (tracks 1, 3, 4); Frank Usher – Guitar Solo (track 1, 2) Guitars (tracks 3, 4), Mandolin (track 2); Nick Robertson – Acoustic Guitars (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4)...    (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
08/27/2009........................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? You must visit TILT HOME PAGE...
. LANDMARQ - "Turbulence - Live In Poland"
Since it's formation in London in 1990, where the band is still based, Landmarq have so far released a collection of amazing albums, two of which have been recorded live at various concerts in the UK and Europe. Landmarq’s original vocalist Damian Wilson left the band after three very well-received albums to concentrate on his solo career and the band found a replacement in Ian "Moon" Gould. "Moon" spent a year with the band, playing various gigs in the UK and Holland, before deciding to move on. It was at this point that Landmarq decided to go for a radical change to it’s sound and recruited the excellent voice of award-winning vocalist and long-time friend of the band, Tracy Hitchings. Landmarq have played concerts in the UK, Holland, Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, the USA and Mexico; both as support and as headliners at various festivals and music venues. Meanwhile, the bands very first DVD was released in March 2006. Entitled 'Turbulence – Live In Poland', this features Landmarq filmed in concert at the Wyspianski Theatre, Katowice, November 2005. The DVD was released by the Polish label Metal Mind Productions and has received some of the bands best reviews to date. Landmarq and "Turbulence - Live In Poland" sounds really impressive, filled with high quality and variation within progressive music, with a blend of musical genres such as Symphonic Progressive Rock, Neo-Progressive and Melodic Rock that, all together culminate into a musical adventure with lots of incredible symphonic keyboards, lush guitar solos, driven by dynamic rhythm drums, that even reflects an own and special progressive rock style. The strong points of the disc are in the beauty of the female voice and the intrumental arrangements, full of an intense emotions, the brilliant lead vocal from Tracy Hitchings deserves a special attention, wrapped in a beautifully vocal, melodic and full of symphonism, gave the music and also the band a special signature. "Tracy Hitchings" has also worked with ex-Genesis guitarist, "Steve Hackett", and with "Clive Nolan", "Rick Wakeman" and actor "Robert Powell" on "The Hound of the Baskervilles" album, "Gandalf" on the albuns "Gallery Of Dreams" and "To Our Childrens Children", also with vocalist/bassist "John Wetton", she has also worked with rock bands "Quasar", "Strangers On A Train" and "Landmarq", the latter whom she still records and tours with. Previously, Tracy recorded with a "quirky" pop project, "Dancing On Stones", who contributed a high-contending song for the James Bond movie, "Goldeneye". "Turbulence - Live In Poland" album was released in 2009 by "Metal Mind Productions". This superb alive performance was recorded at the Wyspianski Katowice, Poland, in November 2005, limited to 1000 copies. At the time, Landmarq is writing a new album and the band look forward to its release as soon as possible as well as performing a series of live dates in support of the new release. This is one release that you must be heard many times. The musicians on the living album are: Tracy Hitchings - Lead Vocals, Uwe D'rose - Guitars, Steve Gee - Basses, Mike Varty - Keyboards and Dave Wagstaffe - Drums. Brilliant and an indispensable work, highly recommendable...   (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
08/27/2009............Much more infomation about the band and their history are available at LANDMARQ HOME PAGE...
. LISA LARUE - "Transformation 2012"
Lisa Larue is a North American keyboardist and composer who was born in Oklahoma (where she lives today), but grew up in Topeka, Kansas. Therefore, the Native American music has a strong influence on her work, so that her debut album - "Beloved Tribal Women" – was released through the specialized label Sound of America Records (SOAR). In 2008 she was chosen the "Native American Artist of the Year" by the “Oklahoma Music Awards”. Currently, Lisa Larue is working on a side band called "Project 2K9" that assembles musicians from all around the world (the CD “World Class” will be released by Christmas 2009). Speaking of Lisa Larue’s Progressive side, her influences come mainly from keyboard-oriented Progressive acts, like “ELP”, “Yes”, “Genesis”, “Kansas”, and “Rick Wakeman”, blended with some bits of Ambient and New Age music, including  “Kitaro”, and “Enigma”. Her last release, entitled “Transformation 2012” (2008, Fingerwoven/Third Childhood Publishing), is a conceptual work based on the Hopi and Mayan mythology, involving the prophecy of the transformation of the world in 2012. The record has participation of many guest musicians, including singer "John Payne" (“Asia”), keyboardist "Tommy Zvoncheck" (“Blue Oyster Cult”), "James Sudakow" (violin) and "Kerri Lake" (flute). Lisa Larue composes progressive instrumental pieces that are calm and tranquil, with several features of New Age Music. But different textures of keyboards coupled with insertions of violin and flute provide those compositions with a melodic fluidity, preventing them to sound minimalist or monotone to the listener. Her way of playing is not aggressive or exuberant as “Keith Emerson”. She rather resembles a gentle “Rick Wakeman”, avoiding the use of bombastic keyboards and emphasizing the arrangements. The orchestrations resemble bands like “Rumblin Orchestra”; “Jeff Waynes’s War of the Worlds”; “Mandalaband” (album “The Eye of Wendor”) and “Isildurs Bane”. The flute of Kerri Lake combined with light and delicate keyboards are also reminiscent of “Camel”. The Ambient Music atmosphere is a direct influence of New Age acts like “Kitaro”, “Changing Images”, “Era” and “Enigma”. “Transformation 2012” develops its concept through 13 tracks. On the first three tracks -  “Transformation“, “Waiting for a New Day“ and “The Purist“, there is a predominance of sound samples, sound effects (radio news), ethnical flutes, and Arabian female vocals that intermingles with a narrative Voice that announces a catastrophic event of worldwide proportions. The arrangements are light and decorative, tending to “Enigma”, “Era”, “Changing Images”, “Rick Wakeman” and “Camel”. The following tracks get gradually better, with a greater investment on the orchestrations, providing the music with much more drama and grandeur. “Melancholy“ uses keyboards textures in “Kitaro’s” style, and is followed by two tracks which are mainly influenced by “Rick Wakeman”:  “Warning“ (featuring a Baroque organ reminiscent of albums “Six Wives…” or “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”), and “Concerto 2012“ (tending to “King Arthur…” and songs like “Guinevere”). Then comes an intermezzo, on which Andean flutes introduce the romantic ballad “Save Me“ (featuring "John Payne"). This song is the only one with vocals, and separates the previous block from the following, formed by tracks of different musical orientation: “Sea of Unity“, one of the best, features electronic voices resounding underneath the water and a cool organ that reminds me of “Yes” (album “Going for the One”). The connected tracks “Beautiful World“ and “Wondering“ have a jazzy mood and Brahms-like softness piano, while “Wake Up“ sounds like a string quartet. The last tracks finally close the circle, going back to the orchestrated formula: “Release“ mirrors the opening track by bringing samples and narration back –  a childish chanting announces hope for the Future and introduces “Transformed“ - a classical piano piece with flutes and choirs that join “Rick Wakeman” with ethnical-folk flutes. Summing all up, the work of Lisa Larue symbolizes the female side of Progressive Music, being specially recommended for fans of melodic and soft Progressive Rock. Band members and collaborators involved in Lisa Larue band are: Lisa Larue  - Keyboards; “Peter” – Narration; John Payne – Vocal on “Save Me”; Tommy Zvoncheck - Keyboards; James Sudakow - Violin; Kerri Lake - Flute; Mark Nelson - Bass; Andy Livesay – Drums. Sinu Spiral (ERH) – Samples (“The Free Sound Project”); Bill Bruford  - Drum Samples (Studio ProFiles)...     (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
09/03/2009..............................,.....For more details and in the meantime please check out LISA LARUE HOME PAGE...
. NO RESTRAINTS - "The Left Lane"
The North American band No Restraints, from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, has something of a real Cult Band! Currently formed by Mark Smith (keyboards and vocals), Mitch Parker (bass), Ron Wood (drums) and  Christina Terry (backing vocals), this band has already released two independent albums: “The Left Lane” (2007) and “Xout” (2009). The debut album had participation of many other musicians: Jon Terry (guitar), Starla Robinson (sax), Jennica McCarter (violin), "AKA" (former drummer), Rachel Cain (backing vocals); and Josh Kephart, who played guitar on one song - “I Was Wrong”. The goal of No Restraints is to fuse the Classical Progressive Rock in European style previously settled by pioneer Progressive bands - namely “Pink Floyd”, “ELP”, “King Crimson”, and “Yes”; at the same time exploring the roots of North American Blues. Their direct influences come from a few musicians and bands: “Keith Emerson”, “Jimmy Page”, “The Beatles”, “Triumvirat”, and “Queen”. Although really present in their music, those influences are almost unrecognizable, hidden a few musical tones lower; and played in slow-motion. The sonority is a unique and creative mixture of British irreverence with American Old Times Music, everything wrapped in a Gothic atmosphere created by Mark Smith, the main composer of this band. He must be a big fan of film director Tim Burton, because his songs would fit like a glove as non-official soundtracks for movies like “Edward Scissorhands”, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” or “Corpse Bride”. Mark’s singing is soft and melancholic - as if he was narrating a dramatic story - but has something of an ironic humor, remembering “Syd Barret” talking with “Peter Gabriel” after hours in a Cabaret and composing tunes that “Freddie Mercury” would love to sing – all in the presence of a lonesome saxophonist who was playing one for the road. To create this soundtrack effect, he is helped by the phantasmagoric gospel-gothic chants of Christina and Rachel, and explores textures of keyboards that go from a Hammond to a Church organ, like those used by “Keith Emerson“ and “Jürgen Fritz” but never fast or luxurious – rather slow, cadenced and minimalist. This atmosphere of “Film Noir” is further reinforced by the saxophone of Starla Robinson; by the vampire-theater background created by the violin of Jennica McCarter; and by the sneaker bass lines of Mitch Parker, that reminds me of an assassin following an innocent victim in the dark night. All in all, the sound of No Restraints is extremely crazy, funny and spooky, yet creative and original at the same time. “The Left Lane” brings 10 tracks that are all marked with the distinctive style of No Restraints. All of them are equally enjoyable, and can be played in a row. My favorites are “I Was Wrong“ (with something of a terror-gospel choir); “The Left Lane“ (a piano-ballad that “Freddie Mercury” would have loved to sing); “Modern Amnesia“ (and its highlighted church organ) “Over and Over“ (that includes something of Spanish music in an American folk song);  “All That’s Gone“ (on which Mark Smith sings like a looser, helped by haunting backing vocals, and weeping violins); and “Calm Down Run Down“ (imagine “Johnny Depp“ dressed as “Edward Scissorhands” when you listen to this one). Also good are “Blues for the Moving On“ (a blues with the atmosphere of a Tim Burton’s movie), “Just go Away“ (a country blues ballad disguised in gothic keyboards); and “Which Way to Go?“ (a song with airs of “a lost man in the night”). The last track - “Over and Over (reprise) “ – closes the circle, pushing you back to the first track again. I am eager to listen No Restraints’ second album – “Xout“ – which  seems to follow the same style. No Restraints is really a Cult Band! No Restraints is highly recommended for those who are in search of creative and original music. Band members and collaborators involved on the band are: Mark Smith - Keyboards and Vocals; Mitch Parker – Bass; Ron Wood – Drums; Christina Terry - Backing Vocals. Former members: Jon Terry – Guitar; Starla Robinson – Sax; Jennica McCarter - Violin; AKA – Drums; Rachel Cain - Backing Vocals; Josh Kephart - Guitar (on track 1 - “I Was Wrong”)...     (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
09/03/2009....................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit NO RESTRAINTS HOME PAGE...
. SYLVAN - "Force Of Gravity"
The German band Sylvan, from Hamburg, began professional activities in 1999 with the release of the debut album “Delivance”. This was followed by “Encounters” (2000), “Artificial Paradise” (2002), “X-Rayed” (2004) “Posthumous Silence” (2006), “Presets” (2007), “Leaving Backstage” (Live CD, 2008) and “Posthumous Silence – The Show” (Live DVD, 2008). The line-up is formed by Volker Söhl (keyboards), Matthias Harder (drums), Marco Glühmann (vocals), Sebastian Harnack (bass), and Jan Petersen (guitars). Their new release - “Force of Gravity” (2009 – Sylvan Music) – reaches the goal of solidifying Sylvan status as one of the most important international acts of the present German Neo Progressive scene. Thanks to the presence of newcomer guitarist Jan Petersen and the habitual talent on piano of Volker Söhl, coupled with the increasing rhythmic complexity provided by Sebastian Harnack and Matthias Harder, the sound of Sylvan grew up in the last two years to embrace more substantial and matured compositions. A perfect support for Marco Glühmann‘s rare voice – very reminiscent of Chris Martin’s (“Coldplay”) - but more emotional and melancholic, representing one of the best singers in activity. The sonority of Sylvan is formed by different components: dense psychotic-heavy riffs (in the verve of “Porcupine Tree”, “Dream Theater”, “Riverside”, “A Perfect Circle” and even the thrash “Annihilator”); melodic and melancholic vocal tunes (“Peter Gabriel“, “Radiohead” and “Coldplay”); Progressive voyaging parts influenced by “Pink Floyd”, “Marillion” and “Genesis” (thanks in part to the guitar style of Jan Petersen, who reminds me of a sadder “Steve Hackett”); and even some modern Alternative Rock flavor (“Muse” and “Keane”). Mostly those components are arranged within the same song – creating an interesting contrast between powerful riffs, luring vocals, and the minimalist piano of Volker Söhl, who uses the far right and left keys of his piano rather than the middle ones. In this manner, he impresses the tremble notes with an “icy-frozen” sound that, when put against the bass notes, reinforces the contrasting effect. Listening to the 11 tracks of “Force of Gravity”, one realizes that Sylvan’s main goal is their ability to dose those divergent elements from track to track. Hence, some songs are heavier and full of anger, with a psychotic-nervous verve – like “Follow Me“ and “God of Rubbish“. Others tend to a more melodic, whilst melancholic trend, like the opening track “Force of Gravity“ (featuring Glühmann’s most inspired tune); “Isle in Me“ and “Midnight Sun“ - a piano ballad with string arrangements which is impregnated with the sweet and innocent voice of Miriam Schell – creating an intimate mood that reflects the scene depicted on the painting “The Sea of Ice”, by Caspar David Friedrich. But the best moments of this album are achieved on those songs featuring Sylvan‘s mastery in mixing soft and hard parts. Like on “Turn of the Tide“ – on which a glacial piano and soft strings create an emotional atmosphere for exploding “Bartókian“ keyboards and guitar riffs in 7/4 metrics – a blend of “Porcupine Tree” with floating “Pink Floydian” vocals. Or on “From the Silence“ (with electronic percussion followed by strident guitar riffs, and solos that remember “Marillion”, “Arena”, and “Hackett”, before a bombastic end). And the outstanding closing track “Vapour Trail“ – a masterpiece with 14:30 minutes encompassing many progressive parts, classical string arrangements, sophisticated harmonies, atmospheric keyboards and pianos, including many guitar solos – a complete delight for Prog-Lovers! To complement the record, “King Porn“ (differing a bit from the rest, but also mixing soft and hard parts) and the radio songs “Embedded“ and “Episode 609“ try to reach an ampler audience, but do not weaken this excellent album, that will be a great acquisition for any Progressive CD collection. Sylvan is specially recommended for fans of sad, melancholic, atmospheric and emotional Prog-Rock. Band members and collaborators involved on Sylvan band are: Marco Glühmann  - Vocals; Matthias Harder – Drums; Sebastian Harnack – Bass; Jan Petersen – Guitars; Volker Söhl – Keyboards and Miriam Schell – Vocals. Sylvan and “Force of Gravity” are a excellent addition to the Red Farm Records' catalogue...    (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
09/03/2009.......................,.....Want to learn everything about the band and its members? Visit SYLVAN HOME PAGE...
. EDAIN - "Through Thought and Time"
Edain was formed in 2008 in Brno, Moravia (Czech Republic), by ex-members of some bands of the local Heavy Metal scene. Martin Král (guitar), Martin Brnovják (vocals), and Jirí Stanek (drums) came from “Absurd Conflict”, Second guitarist Pavel Jerábek came from “Carbon Dioxide” and bassist Zdenek Záhora (ex-“NWOBHM-Clones” and “Spitfire”) completed the line-up. The first release, entitled "Through Thought and Time" (2009, Parat Magazine Records) is virtually an EP that lasts almost 35 minutes. The record features five tracks that represent Edain’s musical proposal - to blend Heavy, Death, and Progressive Metal. But some bits of Pagan and Atmospheric Metal are also present. Therefore, their music is strongly influence by bands like “Death”, “Sodom”, “Possessed”, “Exumer”, “Sabbat”, “Onslaught”, “Bathory”, “Enslaved”,  “Sepultura” and “Exodus”, with some bits of “Thyrfing”, “Cruachan”, “Mithotyn”, “Vintersorg”, “Hollenthon”, “Borknagar” and also “Opeth”. The sonority is in general heavy and cadenced, rough and crude – making use of dense guitar riffs and solos that are harsh and cutting, sounding as row as meat coming directly from a slaughterhouse. Vocals are growling and aggressive, reminiscent of bands like “Sodom”, “Sepultura” and “Hollenthon”. “Through Thought and Time” features three short, straightforward tracks - “The Downward Spiral“, “Earn Your Pain” (with guitar riffs influenced by Thrash Metal bands like “Exodus” and “Exumer”) and “Aphrodisiac“. The later is the best, introduced by folk-like guitars, with the rest of the song reminding me a bit of “Hollenthon” (but without choirs). The other two tracks - “Fragments of Frail Designs“ and “Eden Lies Obscured“, are longer (about 10 minutes) and are best representatives of Edain’s musical style. Still keeping the usual aggressiveness and weight, those songs feature even more experimentations, especially from bass, inserting some atmospheric passages and folk-like interludes full of guitar solos that are intermingled with the general noisy guitar riffing. Although this style of sound has appreciators, I think that Edain is still some steps behind all of the above cited bands, but if they put greater investment on speed, especially on guitar riffs and drums, they will find more fans. Edain is recommended only for fans of Death, Thrash, and Pagan Metal in general. Band members involved in Edain are: Martin Král – Guitar; Zdenek Záhora – Bass; Jirí Stanek – Drums; Martin Brnovják – Vocals; Pavel Jerábek – Guitar and Doris – Keyboards on track 3...    (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
09/10/2009.....................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit EDAIN HOME PAGE...
. GONG - "2032"
With 40 years of activity, and still with total vigor, the Progressive-Psychedelic band Gong has already turned into a legend. Since 1966, when "Daevid Allen" experienced a connection with extraterrestrial intelligences from Planet Gong (the “Octave Doctors”), he attempted to materialize that experience into music. It was in Paris, after the student riots of 1968 that Allen met Gilli Smyth, and together they conceived Gong. After some records and line-up changes, "Steve Hillage" and "Mike Howlett" joined the band before the release of the classic albums "Flying Teapot" (1973), "Angel's Egg" (1973), and "You" (1974). Collectively known as the "Radio Gnome Trilogy", those records are regarded as the milestones of Psychedelic Progressive Rock, and crystallized Gong’s original way of blending Psychedelic, Jazz, Rock, World Music, Funk, Punk, electronic effects, Poetry and Humor. Since then, many diverse musical and artistic side-projects derived from Gong (the so called “Paragongs”). The musicians, poets, artists and performers that were involved, however, never forgot their original inspiration source - Allen’s Planet Gong. Now, the “Octave Doctors” send a message for all Gongers of the world, from the moon-madness sufferers and butterfly watchers to the difficult-to-cure dreamers and UFO-chasers: Rejoice! Gong is alive, and releasing a new album! Entitled “2032”, it continues the mythology of the "Radio Gnome Trilogy", and refers to the year when Planet Gong and the “Octave Doctors” will make contact with Earth’s inhabitants, offering us their guidance in a decisive moment of our History. The album grew out of the enthusiasm of original members Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Steve Hillage, and Miquette Giraudy being working and recording together again; and marks Gong’s 40th anniversary, to be celebrated with a tour and also the release of a Japanese animation video based on the song "How To Stay Alive" (Gong cannot resist the temptation of experimenting with new types of media). There is no use in trying to describe Gong’s sonority, for it is unique, peculiar, and incomparable. How could I measure originality, if Gong is an inventor of Originality? So, what is expected from this new album? A Freedom-Peace-Love party, with everyone sharing that communal spirit of the past, when people felt that the world could turn into a wonderful place to live in. Although this idea may sound preposterous nowadays, Gong will never get old-fashioned, surpassing time and dimensions. No matter where people will search for Inspiration – behind the Irony’s smile; in the Originality of Banality; under the Surprise of an old man’ eyes; around the Unexpectedness of the daily routine; into the toy-box of Irreverence’s smartest child; on the mirror-reflex image of the Uniqueness; or hidden inside the basement of Insanity’s Rationalism – they will always find Gong already there, calmly taking some tea of a flying teapot, and scorning the newcomers for having reinvented the wheel. The initial tracks of “2032” bring a surprise regarding the use of modern rhythms, which Gong somehow blends perfectly with its peculiar sonority - like on “Digital Girl“. This tendency is taken farther on the unexpected “City of Self Fascination“ and “How to Stay Alive“ – on which Gong reinvents the modern Rap – heading it towards new directions and endowing it with new traits: saxophone solos, psychedelic sound effects and “glissando” instrumental. But don’t panic, you Gongers! The abstract poems by Gilli Smyth and Miquette Giraudy – a form of artistic intervention that makes the music of Gong so unique – are present on “Yoni Poem“/“Dance With The Pixies“ (sounding like Jazz of New Orleans with Irish folk music); “Robo-Warriors“ (with electronic beats) and “Wave And A Particle“. These songs are bound of an experimentalism different from “Guitar Zero“- which features a repetitive (on purpose) vocal chorus that serves as the background for guitars and the sax solo of Theo Travis. Although having no obligation of repeating itself, Gong enters its flying saucer and departs back to psychedelic-progressive times to stuff the record with many Gong–like songs that will bring total pleasure to both Gongers and non-Gongers. Songs like “Escape Control Delete“, “Wacky Baccy Banker“, “The Year 2032“ (with strong presence of the soprano sax of Malherbe); and “The Gris Gris Girl" (a track with many changes and sections) show that Gong members are still on the edge of creativity. The last tracks “Pinkle Ponkle“ (a mystical tribal dance) and “Portal“ (a progressive instrumental piece in Hillage’s style) close the album magnificently, opening the doors for the “Octave Doctors” to step on Earth. Be Welcomed! “2032” is a 2009 release of Gong‘s own label G-Wave Records, in association with A-Wave Records, and is highly recommended for any Progressive Lover. Band members and collaborators involved in Gong are: Daevid Allen  - Guitar, Lead Vocal, Steve Hillage - Lead Guitar, Gilli Smyth - Space Whisper and Poetry, Miquette Giraudy - Synthesizer, Mike Howlett - Bass, Chris Taylor - Drums, Theo Travis - Sax and Flute. Special appearance: Didier Malherbe - Soprano Sax, Duduk, Flute. Guest musician: Yuji Katsui - Electric Violin...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
09/10/2009..............,.....For more information about the musicians and their history, visit GONG OFFICIAL WEBSITE...
. PRAVDA - "Monophobic"
Pravda hails from Boise Idaho in the Pacific Northwest, USA. The band consists of four musicians and they are K.C. Thomsen - B.M. Music Theory & Composition and a veteran of the Austin, Orlando and Northwest music scenes, Dave Thomas - also a veteran of the Austin Texas & Northwest music scenes, Dan Sejd - Berklee School of Music and a Experienced as a performer, engineer and composer across the US and Tom Svanoe - experienced as a touring and studio musician and a classical trained at the Chicago Conservatory of Music, as you can see Pravda is formed by mature, experienced, inspired and talented musicians, all them, playing Progressive Rock music from long time, where their sound combines the best of Old & New Progressive Rock with some touchs of Symphonism and Jazz passages, adding the power of Progressive Metal. The band has recorded two albuns "The Echoing Sounds (2003)" and "Walking Through Walls (2006)", which both have good reviews on the musical scene around the world. After three years break, but full of quality studio time, Pravda have returned to the progressive rock scene with a new album titled "Monophobic", a very professional work with nice easy accessible Symphonic Progressive Rock a la 70’s "Genesis", "Pink Floyd", "Rush", "Yes", "EL&P" adding influences from Prog Metal band in the line of "Dream Theater". Totally instrumental, the music on the album, is more in the field of the Progressive Rock, dominated by long "dreaming" symphonic parts, although, very powerful and especially with the work on the keyboards and guitars, that dominate the instrumentation, accompanied by incredible drum sections and deep bass sound. This excellent production contains, nine inspired compositions and almost 43 minutes full of atmospheric sections, providing an interesting musical variety to the listener. "Monophobic" starts with the "Butterfly Needle" an epic composition with hard guitar sounds, the second track "Symphonia" is very symphonic, where the keys dominate the arrangements, with wide reference to the classics of the early 70's, including beautiful piano parts, in my opinion, is the best song on the album, "Thru The Trees" is a short song dominated by percussive rhythm section, "Cattlecar Galatica" great instrumental guitar piece and thunderous drums that fits right in with the arrangements, "Syncope" like a soundtrack opens to "The Nexus" a epic Progressive Metal with touches of symphonic-prog, "All Metal" is vibrant song featuring impressive keyboard/guitar interplay, "Mor Guitar" guitar sound in the same line of "Steve Howe" and "Steve Hackett", and the closing track "Radio Halo" is full of musical styles, they take it into many different directions, combining jazz, rock, and progressive rock. "Monophobic" album was released in 2009 by "Sonus West Records".  Produced by Pravda, Recorded at Sonus West Records mixed by Dan at Shadetree Studios, art by Dan. Visit their MySpace and there you can listen some Mp3s. Also informatiosn and discography visit Pravda at Sonicbids. The Line-up on Pravda are: K.C. Thomsen - Synths, Keyboards, Hammond & Piano, Dave Thomas - Drums, Percussion & Vocals, Dan Sejd - Lead & Rhythm Electric Guitars, Acoustic Guitars and Tom Svanoe - 4 & 5 String Bass.  Brilliant, amazing and fantastic, an indispensable work, highly recommendable...   (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
09/10/2009..........Want to learn everything about the band and more about their history, go to PRAVDA HOME PAGE...
. RUBYCONE - "Pictures For Susceptible Housewives"
Rubycone is a surprising band that comes from Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. Founded in 2005 by Stanislav “Norfeus“ Starush, who wanted to have a band of his own, Rubycone had many changes in the line-up and different approaches regarding the musical orientation to follow. Starush had to decide between male or female vocals, the number of guitars and even the band’s name. Finally, the band stabilized as an instrumental quartet completed with Stanislav “Vstas“ Pestreacov (bass), Roman “Romanes“ Florea (second guitar), and Nikita “Primus man“ Zaharievich (drums). Since there was nobody to sing, they took the decision that the second guitar would work as a substitute to the vocals, bringing more melodic lines to the compositions. With all problems finally solved, Rubycone‘s first live performance took place in Odessa, 2008, followed by a show in the capital city Chisinau and appearances on festivals in Ukraine. Their debut album, entitled “Pictures for Susceptible Housewives” (2009, by Russian Progressive Label MALS), has been just released. That is a conceptual album, on which the compositions are linked like a sequence of pictures designed to “melt any susceptible my - life - became - better - after - I - bought - a - new - fridge housewife in each of us.” The main influences of Rubycone come from recent bands of the Experimental-Post-Metal-Core scene, like “Zao”, “Protest The Hero”, “Glassjaw”, “Beloved”, “Irepress”, “Fall Of Troy”, “Lite”, and “In Reverent Fear”. But don’t fear, because the sonority tends more to the Heavy Progressive, to the Progressive Metal, and to the Tech-Metal of bands like “King Crimson”, “Primus”, “Rush”, “Porcupine Tree”, “Dream Theater”, “Spastic Ink”, “Liquid Tension”, with some bits of “Iron Maiden” and “California Guitar Trio”. “Pictures For Susceptible Housewives” features 41 minutes of music and 11 short tracks. The pieces are structured to have distinct parts, such as intros, bridges, and repeating parts that work like chorus. Bass and drums are in perpetual motion, making frequent changes of pace and rhythm. The guitar duo increases the dynamism of the sound, turning the harmonies more complex. Sometimes hard and harsh, yet very lively and free – the compositions alternate straightforward moments with softer parts and cool melodies. Like on the two opening tracks “It’s All About Fashion“ and “And the Perfect Yellow Walls Would Show You the Magic“. In other moments, the riffs are more angry and raging, creating some of the best tracks, like “Children and Funny Earthquake“; “Vikings Love Horses“; “Cry, Baby, You Are a Machine“ (with background dialogues taken from the movie Terminator II);  “Don’t Stop, Michael“ (with some parts reminiscent of “Rush”); and “Downhill on the Bike“ (with great nervous riff). The lighter mood is felt on “Fisherman’s Story“, one of the best tracks, and on a group of short acoustic tracks: “Midnight Broken Heart“; “Porcupine Tree Alone“ and “When The Rain Is Over I’ll Say To You: Hasta la Vista” (the closing track, with more dialogues from Terminator II). With this very good debut album, Rubycone introduces itself to the great public as a band that masters the basic lines of Heavy/Tech/Math Progressive, and as long as the young components get even better and feel free to experiment new unusual formulas, they will have no problem in getting a place into the new Progressive Metal scene. Rubycone is highly recommended for fans of Prog Metal that have a fondness for Heavy Progressive, Post Metal, and Tech Metal. Band members and collaborators involved in Rubycone are: Stanislav [Norfeus] Starush – Guitar; Roman [Romones] Florea – Guitar; Stanislav [Vstas] Pestreacov – Bass and Nikita [Primus Man] Zaharievich - Drums...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
09/27/2009........................Want to learn everything about the band and its members, go to RUBYCONE HOME PAGE...
. ECHO PARK - "Echo Park"
Echo Park was formed long time ago, in 1979, in Boone, North Carolina (USA), by Rusty Blanton (guitar), Kyle Graham (guitar), and Mark Williams (drums). Fish (bass) was persuaded by his band friends to move to the town and completed the line-up. The quartet rented a house to use as headquarters in a residential section called Echo Park. By 1988, Kyle and Mark had left the band; and Fish and Rusty reformulated the band’s line-up to include Bob Rochelle (lead vocals and keyboards). Over the next 20 years Echo Park, would often perform as a trio, sometimes helped by Robbie Stevens (drums) and keyboardist Steve Roark (keyboards). The band went through a brief period of inactivity in the mid 90’s, partly because of Steve and Robbie’s departures. Bob, Fish and Rusty kept as the nucleus of Echo Park until Rusty’s son, Jamie (then at the age of 13) was admitted as a drummer. In 2007, Steve Roark was back into Echo Park. Once again in activity, the band recorded a collection of their songs. The outcome is “Echo Park” – the CD (2009 – Blantone Productions), which covers the band’s lifetime in 12 tracks. Like many rock bands that were active during the 80’s, the sonority of Echo Park mirrors that time, including Progressive bands of the 70’s that to survive into the 80’s, were forced to format their sound for the radio stations and MTV. From these bands, I can cite "Yes" (albums “90125” and “Big Generator”); "Rush" (phase post- “Signals”); "Kansas" (albums “Audio-Visions” and “Vinyl Confessions”); "Status Quo" (“In the Army Now”); "Toto", (“IV”) "Peter Frampton" (“Braking All the Rules”); "Journey" (“Departure”), "Asia", plus some influences of "Eagles", "Tom Petty" and even "Aha". The songs in general are simple, following a nice Soft Rock line more than any deeper Progressive style. Although not sounding original, the well experienced musicians know how to play. The strongest points of the band are the melodic vocal harmonies (like "Yes" and "Journey"), the omnipresent bass (Fish is a mild-mannered "Chris Squire" and "Geddy Lee"); and often insertions of rocky guitars solos, agreeable keyboards and delicate sax solos. The band’s formula works better on “Eyes of a Child“, “Overloaded“, “Black Sand Road“, “Mel“, and “Rosemond“. Contrasting with those tracks, there are also some ballads and radio songs - like “I Don’t Know Why“, “These Hills“ (very soft), “Take Me Higher“ and “None of Us“ (this one features a beautiful sax solo) – and others, faster and with a harder rhythm, like “Dream“ (with good bass line and guitars) and “Blink of an Eye“. If those songs were more widespread in the media, I am sure that Echo Park would quickly find a fan base. Echo Park is recommended for those who like Soft Rock in general, and the bands cited above. Band members and collaborators involved in Echo Park are Steve Roark – Keyboards, Sax, Backing Vocals, Bob Rochelle – Vocals, Tambourine, Rusty Blanton – Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Jamie Blanton - Drums, and Fish – Bass, additional keyboards on “Rosemond”, Lead and Backing Vocals. Guest musicians: Steve Sensenig – additional Keyboards; Amanda Blanton – additional Keyboards on “None of Us”...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
09/27/2009.............................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? You must visit ECHO PARK HOME PAGE...
. UNDER PRESSURE - "Duality"
The German trio Under Pressure is formed by musicians with already some experience in the underground scene. Guitar player Dirk Hofacker (ex-"Stonehenge", "Time Sharing") gets his inspiration from top-quality peers, like “Jimmy Page”, “Van Halen”, “Joe Satriani”, “Paul Gilbert”, “Steve Vai”, and “John Petrucci”. Bassist and vocalist Ralf Zimmer (ex-"Maxwell Smart", "Deep Machine") goes from Funk to Jazz-Rock and love bands like “Weather Report”, “Brand X” and “King Crimson”. He is inspired by bassists like “Jaco Pastorius”, “Stanley Clarke”, and musicians like “Zappa”, “Jeff Back”, “Peter Gabriel”, “George Duke”, “Billy Cobham” and “Mozart”. Drummer Michael Cole (ex-"Elements") is a fan of “Roger Taylor”, “Jeff Porcaro”, “Simon Phillips”, “Dave Weckl” and “Rodney Holmes”. Their first album, entitled "The Age of Rock" was released in 2005. The second album – “Duality”, was released in 2007 by the independent label Winds of Truth Music, but is coming to us only now. Although with so many talents to inspire them (what would make the listener to expect a kind of super-prog-power-trio) they preferred to stick to a more conventional musical structure. The sound of Under Pressure cannot be constrained to a single genre or style, however. The rhythm guitars are heavy, playing dense and well defined riffs, like those of Traditional Heavy Metal. The rhythm is rather cadenced, but bass and drums refuse the usual aggressiveness of the genre, being more free and jazzy. The songs follow the simple structure of hard rock – strophes and repeating chorus, with occasional bridges, but the guitar solos, althoug well performed, are short. The instrumental background reminds bands like “Accept” and “Rush” (post-“Exit Stage Left”) or a heavier “AC/DC” or a less aggressive “Rage” – by the way, the voice of Ralf Zimmer reminds that of Peavy’s (“Rage”). Lacking a better definition, let’s say that they are playing “Modern Hard Rock”. On “Duality” the band covers many different styles – from the Traditional German Metal of “Accept”, and “Rage” of “Trust Your Heart“, “Hells Balls“ and “Nearly Always“ – to the progressive-mantra of “Only the Packing“. The Hard Rock is well represented on “Civilized Noises“, which includes some “Rush”-like parts. The riffs of “Football“ reminds me of “Deep Purple’s”/“Highway Star”. Under Pressure also tries some experimental music on “Solar Plains“ (a fretless bass improvisation with experimental drumming and percussion) and on “Rain-Bow“ (a dissonant bowed guitar solo, learned directly from Jimmy Page). “Dark Powers“ sounds like an imaginary partnership between “Peter Gabriel” and “Rush”. The best and most original tracks are “Duality“ with outstanding drum and bass beat and the Epic-progressive Metal “The Opponent“– an almost 7 minutes long track with many guitar solos. The album ends with “The World is not Enough“ - a party-song with lively mood. Summarizing all of the above, Under Pressure is a band that counts on very good musicians, but their next move should be to do more complicated harmonies – including more surprising instrumental parts and longer solos. If you want o listen some tracks from tha last album visit Under Pressure MySpace. Band members involved in Under Pressure are: Dirk Hofacker – Guitars, Ralf Zimmer - Bass, Vocals, Keyboards; Michael Cole – Drums, Percussion...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
09/27/2009..................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? You must visit UNDER PRESSURE HOME PAGE...
. ANSATA - "Crux Ansata"
The Brazilian Progressive Metal band Ansata (from the city of Piracicaba, São Paulo) was founded in 1997 by guitarist Rafael Romani under the name of "Stonehenge". The line-up consisted of Renato Manso (guitar), Leandro Bortoletto (bass), Thiago Siqueira (drums) and vocalist Marcelo Alves, who was soon replaced by Luciano Gutierrez. With this formation they took part on the compilation “Rock Soldiers Vol. 7” (2002) with the song “Above Them All”. The band then prepared to record a debut album, but suffered many changes in the line-up, as founding members Renato Manso and Leandro Bortolleto departed. Since keyboardist Thomás Barcelos was already admitted, and the musical orientation of the band was changing to Progressive Metal, the remaining integrants decided to change the band’s name to Ansata. The band was not able to release their debut, however, and from 2004 to 2008, the members disbanded to dedicate themselves to side projects. The return was in 2008 with a renewed line-up: besides Rafael, Thomás and Thiago, bassist Daniel Defavari and vocalist Malagueta (Ex-“Freehand”, Ex-“Ivory Gates”) joined the band. The debut album - entitled "Crux Ansata" – was finally released in 2008 by independent label Estúdio Apache Records. The album was produced by Rafael Romani and features 10 tracks. Although having some influences of Hard Rock and Progressive Rock, Ansata is essentially a Prog-Metal band that also incorporates Oriental elements to its music. As a whole, the sonority rests between “Iron Maiden” (album “Powerslave”) and “Symphony X” (last four albums), but influences of “Rainbow”, “Whitesnake” and from Brazilian bands “Akashic” and “Angra” are also present. Rafael Romani is an excellent guitar player, approaching the neoclassical styles of “Yngwie Malmsteen” and “Michael Romeo” (“Symphony X”). He shares the burden of being the Ansata’s main composer with keyboardist Thomás Barcelos, who adds to the tracks many surprising solos arranged into brilliant keyboards harmonies and Egyptian-Arabesque instrumentation, creating an Oriental atmosphere that impregnates Ansata with a special flavor, approaching their style to “Symphony X” album “V-The New Mythology Suite” – what is definitely a great accomplishment! The guitar riffs are almost as fast and elaborated as “Michael Romeo’s”, being followed with competence by the rhythmic section composed by Daniel Defavari – that sometimes reminds me of “Michael Lepond” - and Thiago Siqueira, whose energetic drumming is strongly influenced by “Symphony X” and “Angra”. The resemblance with those bands is evident from the opening suite “Crux Ansata - Parts 1) Beyond Mortal Life; 2) Wrath Of The Gods; and 3) Redemption“ to the closing track “Misty Fate“. Both tracks are top-quality Prog-Metal pieces that confirm Ansata’s mastery over that style. On those tracks, the vocals of Malagueta tend either to “Bruce Dickinson”, or to “Russel Allen” (“Symphony X”).  But he is able to surprise the listener even more, for his voice can go from melodic and emotional on “Sands Of Time“ (a beautiful progressive ballad with superb arrangements of violin textures, reminiscent of “Shadow Gallery”); to the aggressiveness of “Forces“ (one of the best tracks, with an epic choir, and parts in “Iron Maiden” style). But his great moments appear on “Infinitive” and “Lord of the Dead” (one of the best tracks, with the same verve of “Symphony X” album “Paradise Lost”), when his vocal tone and interpretative skills also remind me of “Rafael Gubert” (“Akashic”). Besides those tracks commented above, the album brings “Choices“ (closer to “Rainbow” and “Malmsteen” style) and “Above Them All“ (from the compilation). The later tends to “Whitesnake”, having some lighter progressive parts in style of “Shadow Gallery”, “Lemur Voice” and “Altura”. Those tracks represent the past musical orientation of Ansata, and songs like that will probably be minority on the (we hope) next release of this amazing band – one of the greatest promises of Brazilian Prog-metal scene. Ansata is highly recommended for fans of Progressive Metal, mainly fans of “Symphony X”, “Angra”, “Akashic”, “Khallice“, “Thessera”, “Shadow Gallery”,  and so on... If you want o listen some tracks from"Crux Ansata" please visit Ansata MySpace. Band members and collaborators involved in Ansata are: Malagueta – Vocals; Rafael Romani – Guitar; Thomás Barcelos – Keyboards; Daniel Defavari – Bass and Thiago Siqueira – Drums...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
09/27/2009....................................,.....For more details and in the meantime please check out ANSATA HOME PAGE...
. JOLLY - "Forty Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music"
The North American band Jolly, based in New York City, was formed by Anadale (guitar, vocals), Joe Reilly (keyboard, sampler), Louis Abramson (drums), and Mike Rudin (bass), replaced later by Anthony Rondinone (bass, vocals). Their debut EP – “The Revolutionary Cult Demo Finally Hits the US” (2008) featured songs like “Carousel of Whale”, “Solstice”, “Downstream”, which established the band within the circle of Progressive-Alternative style, and that also appear on their debut album – “Forty Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music” (2009, Galileo/ProgRock Records). Embedded throughout the album are various forms of brain wave stimulation known as Binaural Tones. These tones are scientifically proven to enrich feelings of happiness, focus, creativity, and relaxation through inaudible changes in audio frequencies. For that reason, Jolly’s album is said to be so good that it kills people. But I have equipped my receiver with special filters that blocked the Binaural Tones effects, so I could write an unbiased review about it. And what a listened to is a cool band, formed by competent musicians, that makes music that stays above the regular commercial trend of the mainstream, being at the same time accessible to a ampler audience of Alternative Rock lovers and Neo-Prog enthusiasts. The sonority is strongly influenced by the heavy weight of guitar riffs and the dynamic and uncommon time signatures of drums and bass similar to bands like “Tool”, “Porcupine Tree”, “Type O Negative”, “Meshuggah”, “A Perfect Circle”, forming a solid base. Upon it, melancholic vocals and ambient-atmospheric keyboards that resemble bands like “Depeche Mode”, “Radiohead”, and “The Mars Volta” fit together to compose a melodic contrast. The rocky clear-cut energy of “Mike Patton” and “Muse”, is present to forge an overall style that stands somewhere among “Sylvan”, “Pain of Salvation”, “The Vital Might” and “Riverside”. “Forty Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music” features 9 tracks. The opening track - “Escape From DS-3” – introduces the listener immediately to Jolly‘s way of composing, joining powerful riffs like “Porcupine Tree”, “A Perfect Circle” and “Riverside” with climatic melancholic vocals and some metallic guitar solos. This style meets its best on the great tracks “Renfaire” (with somber bass and drums and vocals recalling me of “The Mars Volta”); “Red Sky Locomotive” (with impressive piano parts of jazz-fusion, and progressive guitar recalling “Sylvan”); and “Carousel of Whale” (built over psychotic-nervous guitar riffs, raging bass, killer drum section on the middle part, in the manner of “Porcupine Tree”, “Riverside” and “Pain of Salvation”). “Peril” (a sad song in the manner of “Radiohead” or “Depeche Mode”) and “Solstice” (with many delicate melodies and a rocky pace approaching “Muse”) raises the mood a little, and could be played on radio. “We Had An Agreement”/ “Downstream” and “Inside the Womb” return to the melancholic atmosphere, but have an intimate mood. The later, although being the track with longest duration (more than 9 minutes), has too many sound effects and could be better if it had, for instance, more guitar solos and raging parts. Anyway, for a band that is still refining its style, Jolly has shown more than the trivial for a debut album. And counting with very good musicians, their potential should probably increase in the near future. Jolly is specially recommended for Alternative Rock lovers and for Neo-Progressive lovers that are tuned with the most recent musical tendencies. Band members and collaborators involved in Jolly are: Anadale – Vocals, Guitars; Louis Abramson – Drums; Joe Reilly – Keyboards; Mike Rudin - bass and Anthony Rondinone – current Bassist...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
09/27/2009...........................................,.....More information? Better check it out for yourself at: JOLLY HOME PAGE...
. UNCREATED LIGHT - "Whom Should I Blame…"
The Ukrainian band Uncreated Light is the newborn shining star in the universe of Female-Fronted Metal bands! Formed by Artem Mokriy (guitars, keyboards, compositions, and arrangements), Helen “Eldiva” Musienko (vocals), Ilia Mamikin (bass) and Viktor Bilan (drums), the band began activities in 2003 under the name of "New Land", and even recorded a promo-album entitled “The Greatest Battle”. During 2008 they started to record a new album under a new philosophic and musical orientation. To correspond better with the new phase, the name "New Land" was switched for Uncreated Light: a name that venerates the creative force present in every human being. The album, entitled “Whom Should I Blame…”, was released in 2009 by Russian Progressive Label MALS. The CD special edition features 10 original tracks sung in Russian, plus 4 bonus-tracks that are English versions of tracks 1 to 4. Uncreated Light‘s style may be defined as “Symphonic Power Progressive Metal”. The symphonic sonority is marked by female operatic vocals and heavy guitar riffs associated with intricate orchestral parts that are very original - presumably because the arrangements are largely influenced by the work of Russian and Ukrainian classical composers. The songs are lively and lavishly ornamented with neoclassical and melodic guitar and keyboards solos – an influence from Prog Metal; and the compositions irradiate that energetic flow common to Power Metal. Although Uncreated Light features a sound of its own, the influences from older bands are still evident. The melodic harmonies, guitars and keyboards coupled with the magnificent string arrangements, recall me immediately of “Nightwish” (albums “Ocean’s Born” and “Wishmaster”). But there are many parts on which the background bass and drums accelerate and get denser, recalling me of “After Forever” (albums “Prison of Desire” and “Decipher”) and “Epica”, also approaching the Hungarian band “Without Face” (album “Astronomicon”). A point of divergence from those bands is that Uncreated Light lacks male vocals, grunted vocals, and a Gothic chorus. Helen Musienko is a mesmerizing singer whose vocals sparkle amidst the songs. Her style is operatic, similar to Floor Jansen (“After Forever”); "Tarja Turunen" (ex-“Nightwish”); Martina Hornbacher (ex-“Dreams of Sanity”, “Therion”, “Alas”); and "Dawn Desirée" (“Rain Fell Within”). Another strong point of this band in the presence of guitar and keyboardist player Artem Mokriy, who allies the exuberant technique of fast neo-classical solos with unique soulful melodic solos. His keyboard lines are fast and precise, being similar to “Nightwish”; “Sonata Arctica”, and “Stratovarius”. Artem proves to be also a talented composer, by providing Uncreated Light with high quality orchestral arrangements. The rhythmic section composed by powerful bassist Ilia Mamikin and destructive drummer Viktor Bilan turn quickly from Power/Progressive to Traditional Metal, at the same time living room for the orchestral arrangements to develop per se. The 10 original tracks featured on “Whom Should I Blame…” are sung in Russian, but I will refer to them by the English titles. The opening track - “Whom Should I Blame…” - introduces you directly to Uncreated Light‘s powerful sound and to the mysterious voice of Helen Musienko, converting you instantly into a devoted fan (I felt the same sensation when I heard “Nightwish’s” “Ocean Born” for the first time). The massive attack continues with “Burning Hearts” and “What Will Remain” – two Symphonic Power Metal tracks in the style of “After Forever” with fast keyboards, like “Sonata Arctica” and “Nightwish”. The later is a major influence on “Sweet Capture” (a powerful song with locomotive-like rhythm trespassed by symphonic parts, akin to songs “Wishmaster” and “The Pharaoh Sails to Orion”); or on “A Poet“, on which keyboards and piano recall the folkloric dancing mood of “Moondance”). The sounds of organ on “The Mystery of Water” are responsible for the rare gothic moments of the album. The symphonic ballads are also present, represented by “Searching for the Destiny” (a folk song with flute) and “Legend” (with violin and beautiful string arrangements). Two tracks, however, stand out on this yet excellent record, and were spared for the grand finale. One is “The Mighty of This World”: a true Opera Aria with one of the most beautiful tunes ever conceived by a Symphonic Metal band. The other is the instrumental track “Sign of the Time”. Containing progressive sections that sound as if “Emerson Lake & Palmer” had turned into heavy metal freaks, this masterpiece closes magnificently an already astonishing album that is to be heard repeatedly. Uncreated Light is a surprising band that will surely refresh the recent Symphonic Metal scene. Uncreated Light is a must-have for all lovers of Female-Fronted Metal bands, and highly recommended for lovers of Progressive, Power and Symphonic Metal. If you want o listen some tracks from"Crux Ansata" please visit Uncreated Light MySpace. Band members and collaborators involved on the band are: Artem Mokriy – Guitars, Keyboards, Compositions, Arrangements, VST-instruments; Helen “Eldiva” Musienko – Vocals; Ilia Mamikin - Bass Guitar; Viktor Bilan – Drums and Andrey Samogorodskiy – current Drummer...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
09/27/2009.....,......Want to learn everything about the band and its members, go to UNCREATED LIGHT HOME PAGE...
. THE FRACTURED DIMENSION - "Towards The Mysterium"
The North American band The Fractured Dimension is one of the most amazing and innovative bands to appear in the Progressive Metal scene. Founded in 2004 by keyboardist Jimmy Pitts and bassist Jerry Twyford (both ex-members of metal band “Scholomance”); and later completed by drummer Alex Arellano (ex -“Power of Omens”), The Fractured Dimension was born to be a power trio of gigantic impact. Jimmy Pitts is an awesome classical - theoretical - experimental keyboardist that follows the line of “Schoenberg”, “Glenn Gould”, “John Cage”, “Keith Emerson”, “Jordan Rudess”, “Jens Johannson” and “Derek Sherinian”. Jerry Twyford is a super talented technical bassist that plays as furiously as “Jonas Hellborg”, “Tony Levin”, “Billy Sheehan”, and “John Myung”. Alex Arellano - who learned from Mark Zonder (“Fates Warning”) and Mark Craney (“Jethro Tull”, “Jean-Luc Ponty”) - is often compared to “Virgil Donati”, “Thomas Lang”, “Mike Mangini”, “Marco Minnemann”, “Joachim Fuchs-Charrier”, “Terry Bozzio”, “Chad Wackerman” and “Rick Colaluca”. He had left “Power of Omens” in search of more challenging terrains to test his already overgrown drumming skills, and was introduced to his new partners by Ron Jarzombek (“Watchtower”, “Spastic Ink”, “Blotted Science”), because Jimmy Pitts had played on Spastic Ink’s CD “Ink Incompatible”. Once together, the trio began immediately to work with elements of Classical, Jazz, Fusion, Progressive, Avant-garde and Prog-Metal, combining them into a series of instrumental pieces that were inspired by, and devoted to, the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915). The outcome was the debut album "Towards the Mysterium" (2008, Russian Progressive Label MALS). The record features many guest musicians (see the frightening list below), including their fellow Ron Jarzombek. They were all encouraged to compose their own solos, making the musical net weight of this record increase twofold. Difficult to describe, rejecting labels or comparisons, the musical opulence present in each single composition is so staggering, that the listener remains in a frozen state of pure astonishment. Ultra-elaborated keyboards passages; dazzling bass solos; high-tech unconventional drumming; and an assortment of luxurious-furious guitar solos – all these things are united by outwardly arrangements of eruptive creativity and volcanic wrath that defy all standards. By blending water and oil  (e.g. “Scriabin” and “Spastic Ink”; “Bach” and “Frank Zappa”; “Schoenberg” and “Bozzio, Levin & Stevens”; “John Coltrane” and “Liquid Tension”; “Ravel” and “Dream Theater”; “Emerson, Lake & Palmer” and “Steve Vai”; “Chick Corea” and “Iron Maiden”, “Glenn Gould” and “Cacophony”; “Fates Warning” and “Univers Zéro”; “Van der Graaf Generator” and ”Shawn Lane”; “Mahavishnu Orchestra” and “Planet X”), The Fractured Dimension leads the listener into a musical reverie covering different epochs and styles, making “Towards the Mysterium” one of the most original and instigating CDs that I ever heard - and I am not overstating my claims! From the 17 tracks, my favorites are: the opening tracks “Prelude” + “Towards The Mysterium” (on which Jarzombek leads a guitar trio resulting in a mix of “Spastic Ink” with “Scriabin”); the twin tracks “PRISM I. Reflection”/“PRISM II. Refraction” (based on bass and sax, recalling a blend of “John Coltrane” with “Liquid Tension”); “The Mathematics Of Divinity” (a progressive-fusion piece which can only be defined by complex mathematical formulas, like “Glenn Gould”2 + {“Bozzio” # Levin” } = “Schoenberg”3 g r“Planet X”); “Worshiping Slonimsky In A Ravellian Mood” (a meeting of “Ravel” with “Jordan Rudess”); “Fractured Are The Nine Principals” (with Baroque mood influenced by “Bach” combined with a guitar trio that sounds like “Cacophony”); and “Reiteration And Extemporaneous Noodling” (on which tsunami waves of keyboards engulf experimental Vintage-Jazz trumpets and unconventional percussion). Still worth o mentioning are “Slendro" Improv (with Indian percussion, courtesy of Mike Prescott), and “Lecture” (with oriental violins by Joe Deninzon). The CD also includes “Fibonacci's Notebook”, “Strangeness”; “Out Of The Summer Sky”; “Piano Improv Take 1”/“Falling Down Stairs”; “Despair” and “Preparatory Action” (with “Prepared and String Piano utilizing screws, bolts, changes, washers, paper, and a towel”). The Fractured Dimension is formed by three ingenious musicians that will have their names inscribed on the Pantheon of the Virtuosi. A must-have CD, regardless of the kind of Progressive music you like most. Band members and collaborators involved on the band are: Jimmy Pitts - Keyboards, Piano; Jerry Twyford – Bass; Alex Arellano – Drums, Percussion. Guitarists: Ron Jarzombek; Mikhal Caldwell; Marcel CoenenLemur Voice”, “Sun Caged”); Bill Bruce (ex-“Shotgun Messiah”); Brev SullivanFeatured on Fridays”); Aaron RotenSuper String Theory”); Brad HullSoblivios”, ex-“Forced Entry”); Tom "Fountainhead" GeldschlagerElevate”). Guest musicians: Joshua ThomsonAashram”) - Alto-Sax; Jim Shannon – Trumpet; Mike Prescott - Tabla Kit; Joe DeninzonStratospheerius”, “Blackmore's Night”) - Violin...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
09/29/2009.................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit THE FRACTURED DIMENSION HOME PAGE...
. NOSOUND - "A Sense Of Loss"
The Italian band Nosound started in 2002 as a personal project of Giancarlo Erra (vocals, guitars, keyboards), but became later a complete band, involving both studio recordings and live performances. The line-up was then completed by Paolo Martellacci (keyboards, vocals), Alessandro Luci (bass, upright bass, keyboards), Paolo Vigliarolo (acoustic and electric guitars), and Gigi Zito (drums, percussions, vocals). The band’s discography includes the debut album “Sol29” (2005, reissued as a re-mastered edition in 2008 with bonus tracks), that was followed by a live DVD “The World is Outside” (2006) and a live CD “Slow, It Goes” (2007), and the EP “Clouds” (2008). The second album “Lightdark” (2008, Burning Shed Label, England) had collaborations by singer Tim Bowness (“No-Man”) and cellist Marianne DeChastelaine. In 2008, the band signed with post-progressive label Kscope/Snapper, and reissued “Lightdark” as a 2-CD deluxe edition with 4 bonus-tracks. Now Nosound is releasing their third studio album, entitled “A Sense Of Loss” (2009, Kscope/Snapper). The album was written, recorded, produced, mixed and mastered at Nosound Studio (Rome) by Giancarlo Erra. Additional production was made at PanPot and Diapason Studios in Rome. The special double-disc edition also includes a DVD containing 5.1 surround and 24 bit mixes of the album, an alternative version of “Fading Silently” with a longer guitar solo, plus video footage. Giancarlo Erra conceived the new album to be a step ahead from the Classic/Ambient sonority of “Lightdark” towards a more unique sound, which better incorporated some elements of the contemporary Alternative Post Rock scene, limiting the use of synthesizers to vintage textures, and using a real string quartet to attain an even more emotional sonority. And he really achieved his endeavor. By incorporating elements typical of the Ambient, the Electronic, and the Psychedelic Music, Nosound fabricates long musical pieces that slowly uncoil from the record, painting with the diffuse colors of unreality a series of voyaging, emotional and atmospheric “soundscapes”. The vocals are “Pink Floydian” - melancholic and space-echoing. The melodies are endowed of such kindness, delicacy and lightness that they could float on water, and would be carried away by their own flow, if they were not minimally anchored by the drums of Gizi Zito. The greater accomplishment of the band is to take all those vaporous tunes and transform them into relaxing sound waves. The resulting sonority evokes immediately bands like “Pink Floyd”, “Porcupine Tree”, “No-Man”, “Brian Eno”, “King Crimson”, “Genesis”, “Sigur Ros”, “Bark Psychosis” and also the most soft and “voyaging” facet of many bands of the German scene, like “Tangerine Dream”, “Eloy”, and “Novalis” – what is quite unusual for an Italian band. “A Sense Of Loss” brings 6 long tracks. The opening track is “Some Warmth Into This Chill“, which has much likening with “Pink Floyd’s” album “Meddle” and a participative piano. The following track - “Fading Silently“ - manages to be even more tranquil than the first, and the stronger presence of the string quartet and piano really gives this track a more emotional mood. “Tender Claim“ is a vaporous track that portraits images of crying sirens by the seashore. “My Apology“ is distinct from the others by being a ballad marked by acoustic guitars (a little “Steve Hackett”). “Constant Contrast“ is a Progressive piece that returns to the “Pink Floydian” line and prepares the entry of the closing track - “Winter Will Come“. With more than 15 minutes of duration, this song it the masterpiece of the record – one that might be regarded, for Nosound’s standards, as their greatest Epic. Diverging a bit from their regular pattern, this track even features slightly heavy guitar riffs - reminiscent of “Porcupine Tree” and “Eloy” - that mark the song with a bitter tone, increasing the tension until the silence is the only thing heard – and then the strings brake the silence and gradually release the tension, at the same time drums progress in a martial pace towards the end. An excellent final track for this record, and I really hope that next release of Nosound will bring even more moments like this. Nosound is highly recommended for fans of soft Progressive and Ambient music. We can buy this album at Burning Shed Online Label a store specialising in Singer-Songwriter, Progressive, Ambient/ Electronica and Art Rock music, also "A Sense Of Loss" and Nosound's album are already available from the KScope Music. Band members and collaborators involved in Nosound are: Giancarlo Erra  - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards; Paolo Martellacci - Keyboards, Vocals; Alessandro Luci - Bass, Upright Bass, Keyboards; Paolo Vigliarolo – Acoustic and Electric Guitars and Gigi Zito - Drums, Percussions, Vocals...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
09/29/2009................................,.....For more details and in the meantime please check out  NOSOUND HOME PAGE...
. TAYLOR’S UNIVERSE - "Return To Whatever"
Robin Taylor is a Danish multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, producer, and owner of an extensive musical career. Born in 1956 in Copenhagen, he started to play guitars at the age of 12. Inspired by bands like “Cream” and “Mike Oldfield”, he began to play in local bands and experiment with tape recorders, leading to a debut presentation in 1978 on the radio show "Båndbixen" for amateurs. In 1988 he settled a partnership with keyboardist Jan Marsfeldt, releasing the solo LPs “Essay” (1991) and “Cloze Test Terror” (1992). In 1993, the duo gathered the first line-up of Taylor`s Universe, with Mads Hansen (drums); Hugh Steinmetz (trumpet), Jakob Mygind (sax), and guitarists Henning Plannthin and Henrik Andersen; releasing “Taylor's Universe” (1994) and “Pork” (1996, on own label Marvel of Beauty). Afterwards, Marsfeldt gave up his musical career; but Taylor continued to go ahead. Along the following years he brought fourth important Danish musicians to play by his side, like Hugh Steinmetz (trumpet) Karsten Vogel (sax, founder of “Secret Oyster”), Rasmus Grosell (drums), Kim Menze (horn), Carsten Dahl (piano), Pierre Tassone (violin), Kalle Mathiesen (drums) and others. He released many albums with them, scattered over three different projects: Robin Taylor (with 9 solo albums); Taylor’s Free Universe – a side-project with Vogel and Tassone, with 5 albums released (2 of them nominated for ProgAwards); and the original project Taylor’s Universe, centered on “The trio” Vogel-Taylor-Grosell. With them, he also released “Experimental Health” (1998); “Once Again” (2004); “Oyster Apprentice” (2005); “Certain Undiscoveries” (2006) and “Terra Nova” (2007). The later two were released by Russian Progressive Label MALS, being regarded by Taylor himself as his most “Proggy” albums. The album “Soundwall” (2007) marked the last appearance of "The trio", but had participation of Metal guitar player Michael Denner (“Mercyful Fate”, “King Diamond”, “Force of Evil”). The partnership “Taylor + Denner“ worked so well that they launched another project: Art CinemaArt Cinema”, 2008). On this ninth album of Taylor’s Universe - “Return to Whatever” (2009, MALS) – there was a radical change in the line-up, that is now composed of most members of Art Cinema, including Michael Denner. The outcome is a well balanced blend of Progressive Music and Jazz Rock, having also some traces of Blues and Canterbury Prog that grows into pleasant instrumental tracks that might delight both Progressive enthusiasts and Jazz lovers. The Secret of the music conceived by Taylor and his partners lies on Simplicity, the keys of which Taylor is able to decipher and manipulate like a gray-haired wizard. Arranged along typical Progressive cadences, the prolonged chords give time for the melodies to develop, extend, and entwine in the distance – with as much freedom as possible, but without that rebel mood of free improvisation. The only rule is to touch the listener’s ears like velvet, inspiring his imagination to journey into a different universe…Taylor’s Universe. Along the 7 tracks featured on “Return to Whatever” there is much influence coming from Blues, Progressive, and Jazz Rock bands like “Cream”, “Mahavishnu Orchestra”, “Bo Hansson”, “Barclay James Harvest”, “Secret Oyster”, “Van der Graaf”, “Camel”, “Caravan”, and also “Pink Floyd”, “Gentle Giant”, “Novalis”, “Focus”, “Gong”, “East”, and “Dixie Drags”. The opening track is “Mooncake“, that reminds me of “East”, “Novalis”, and also the sax of “Van der Graaf”. “July 6th“is a blues constructed over a piano theme that is repeated all over the track (recalling me of the most recent albums of “Focus”), with improvisations of psychedelic guitar effects, like “Gong”. “Haunted Yellow House“ has delicate melodies of sax and keyboards that recall me again of German Progressive Rock, with some passages like “Caravan” and “Camel”, intercalated with some parts that sound like the experimentalism of “Pink Floyd”. On “The Atlas Clock“, the sound is driven towards Jazzy bands like “Mahavishnu Orchestra”, “Secret Oyster”, and “Van der Graaf”, and violins recall me of “Dixie Drags”. The intro of “Earth“ sounds like medieval music, with flutes, piano and keyboards that recalls me of a mix of “Renaissance”, “Genesis”, “Bo Hansson”, “Caravan” and “Gentle Giant”. The last two tracks – maybe the best ones - “Pink Island“(a Progressive Blues with a duel of psychedelic guitar against classic saxophones), and “Mooncake - reprise“ are both remarkable by the performance of Michael Denner, who presents to the public a blues-man personality that was hitherto unknown for his regular Metal fans. Few bands sound as progressive as Taylor’s Universe, and I strongly recommend this album for any Progressive or Jazz Rock fan. Band members and collaborators involved in Taylor’s Universe are: Robin Taylor – Keyboards, Laser Guitar, Percussion; Carsten Sindvald – Saxophones; Pierre Tassone – Violin; Michael Denner – Guitars; Flemming Muus Transberg – Bass; Klaus Thrane – Drums; Tine Lilholt – Celtic Harp, Flute and Louise Nipper – Voices...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
10/13/2009...If you want know more about this amazing musician and band, visit TAYLOR’S UNIVERSE HOME PAGE...
. CASTLE CANYON - "Gods of 1973"
The North American band Castle Canyon comes from San Francisco, California, and is formed by Erik Ian Walker (keyboards and guitars), Paul Elias (drums) and Fred Chalenor (bass). This band was founded back in 1973, when those musicians were just high school students and experienced the Progressive atmosphere of that time. The band was trying to put its talent on vinyl but, for some reason, could not – and thus has lost the opportunity to become one of the great bands of their time. As time goes by, people grow and get older, life changes, but something remains in the past – the frustration of never having recorded their compositions of 1973-74. To make this sensation vanish forever, Castle Canyon original members joined together 35 yeas latter to release those never-recorded old songs (and some new ones) on their extemporaneous CD “Gods of 1973” (2009, Bottomfeeder Records/Wako World Music). The title couldn’t be better chosen, for it refers to an effervescent musical period, when Progressive Rock was reaching the peak, that must have marked Castle Canyon’s integrants forever. And I say this because “Gods of 1973” is a real trip back in time, representing the rediscover of a band that features the typical sonority of the seventies, when sounds of Hammond Organs, Mellotrons, Steinway Grand Pianos, and Yamaha synthesizers were quite common and joined with Fender bass and Rocky-Jazzy drums to produce elaborated instrumental pieces with complex classic arrangements. Their musical influences are diverse, including some of the best Progressive Rock bands of the era (“Emerson, Lake and Palmer”, “Triumvirat”, “Camel”, “Yes”, “Genesis” and “Gentle Giant”); some Classical and Contemporaneous Composers (Stravinsky, Bartok, Henryk Górecki, Beethoven, Handel and Arvo Pärt); the experimentalists “Frank Zappa” and “Captain Beefheart”; the precursor of Electronic Music “Morton Subotnick”; and, according to band members, the satirical “Spike Jones”; and the avant-garde attitude of “The Residents”. "Gods of 1973” is a 100% instrumental album that features 9 tracks, 6 of which were composed in 1973-74, and just three new ones. The difference is hard to tell, for all tracks follow the sonority of the seventies. The opening track,  “The Mighty Arp“ is very reminiscent of “Camel”, mainly because of the rhythmic section and the delicate textures of electronic synthesizers, that also resemble “Mike Oldfield” and German Progressive bands like “Novalis” and “Anyone’s Daughter”. The influences of “ELP” and “Triumvirat” begin to be noticed on the following track - “Gods of 1973“. The title is obviously in honor of the great bands of the 70’s, for it features many influences of “Camel”, “Triumvirat”, “Gentle Giant” and “ELP”. The later is the main inspiration source for the next tracks: “Canoeing on the River Styx“ (an Impressionist piece that includes a rhythmic section like “Abaddon’s Bolero” and a solemn progressing cadence reminiscent of “Tarkus”); and “Bombs Away“ (a short piano improvisation over drums and bass that recall “ELP’s” “Tarkus/ Eruption” and “Trilogy”). But it is on the long “Triskaidekaphobia“ (as suggested by the title, which  means “fear of the number 13”, they stopped at 12:54 minutes) that Castle Canyon shows its best by joining the grandiloquence of “ELP”, with somber experimental and classical parts that make their work distinguishing. An impression reinforced by the new (and excellent) closing track “The Last Song Ever“ - a modern piece with a Hard-Rock base. The record still brings an adaptation of Henryk Górecki’s “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs – Cantabile Semplice“ (with participation of Michele Walther on violin); and two short introductory pieces consisting of electronic sound effects that were recorded in 1973-74: “Random Gates“ and “Fjordic Njord“. Castle Canyon is a highly recommended good old vintage band to be appreciated by all traditional Progressive Rock Fans. Band members and collaborators involved in Castle Canyon are:  Erik Ian Walker – Keyboards and Guitars; Paul Elias – Drums; Fred Chalenor - Bass. Additional musicians: Michele Walther – Violin on “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”; William Alden Walker" – marching snares on “Canoeing On the River Styx”; Leroy Laush – Arp 2600 programming on “Random Gates”; Jim Goodwin – Optimistic Support...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
10/22/2009.....................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? You must visit CASTLE CANYON HOME PAGE...
. LUMINA - "Project"
The Jazz-Fusion project Lumina was founded in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, by a trio of veteran musicians. Fábio Fernandes (drums), Johny Murata (guitar and synths), and Sizão Machado (bass) are all talented instrumentalists that have already played and recorded with many important names of the musical scene, both in Brazil and abroad. Fábio Fernandes has performed in Brazil with “Hermeto Pascoal” and “Rogério Duprat”. He is currently working with the progressive band “Banda do Sol”. Johny Murata, besides playing guitars, synths and Indian sitar, is composer, arranger, producer, and sound engineer. He often takes part in recordings and performances in the “world music” scene. His strongest point is the harmony vision and freestyle improvisations. The two musicians first joined as a duo to play some jam-sessions “just for fun”. The outcome was so good and impressive, that they decided to go a step farther, forming a musical project to perform and record those “free-style” sounds. At first, those fragments of sound seemed to have no structure at all, but after many auditions, an unexpected “organic” structure began to being perceived – like in a “fractal” image (that is the reason for the symbol on the sleeve design). The recordings were presented to Sizão Machado, a required bassist who has worked with “Chet Baker”, “Elis Regina”, “Herbie Memm”, “Chico Buarque”, “Djavan”, “Milton Nascimento”, “Jim Hall”, “Ivan Lins”, “Randy Brecker”, “Flora Purim”, “Airto Moreira” and others. Sizão joined the project, transposing the rhythm and harmonies from guitar to bass, resulting in a series of sophisticated and impacting bass phrases that inserted his unique style into Lumina’s sonority. The music was recorded and transformed into “Project” (2008) – their independent debut album. With influences that stem from Jazz, Jazz-Rock, Progressive and Classic (“John Coltrane”, “Miles Davis”, “Mahavishnu Orchestra”, “Allan Holdsworth”, “King Crimson”, “Beethoven”, “Wagner”, “Debussy”, “Arvo Pärt”, “Nikhil Banerjee”), the sonority of Lumina is impressive, creative and unconventional. Impressive, for the high musical quality displayed by the skilled instrumentalists, both technical and soulful. Creative, for the harmonic complexity that allows unending possibilities for improvisation, which are explored with mastery by the musicians. Unconventional, for Lumina seems to be playing Brazilian or Classic Music, but devoid of their familiar characteristics, which are extracted from the music throughout a metamorphosing process that turn it into Jazz, resulting in a sonority that produces strange, yet beautiful tunes. “Project” features eight tracks. The guitar solos of “Crystal Tower“ mirror the movement of somebody going upstairs and downstairs inside a high tower. “Siberia“ blows its cold winds, featuring a ghostly atmosphere. It contrasts with “Sahara“, features effervescent drums, guitar and bass solos that unearth Arabic scales that were hidden under the desert’s sand. “Thar“ recalls a person who is fleeing from nocturnal creatures in some distant mysterious forest. “Lonely“ is a typical Jazz-Fusion track, followed by “Karakum“ – a short and stormy track full of destructive solos and sound effects (influence of “King Crimson”). On “Atacama“, it is time for Fábio Fernandes to shine with a drum show; and “Genesis“ – the longest track (12 minutes), is the most Progressive piece, a blend of “Mahavishnu Orchestra” with “Allan Holdsworth” featuring some “trip-like” sections. Lumina can honorably represent Brazil in any musical festival worldwide, Jazz, Fusion or Progressive. Lumina is highly recommended for Free-Jazz, Fusion and Prog Lovers as well. You can hear some samples at Lumina's MySpace. Band members and collaborators involved in Lunina are Fábio Fernandes – Drums; Sizão Machado – Bass and Johny Murata – Guitar and Synths...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
10/29/2009...................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? You must visit LUMINA HOME PAGE...
. HOLOSTREAM - "Time and Space"
Holostream is a duo formed by Shawn Burnette (guitar, bass, lead vocals, percussion, and sound effects) and Mary White (vocals and percussion). In 2007 they released their independent debut album, entitled “Time and Space”, which had participation of guest musicians Andy Reamer (drums) and Dwayne Fulton (percussion). Holostream introduces itself as a mysterious band, the members of which are “susceptible to blending idiocy and artistry - self being the only obstacle“, and searching for inspiration on the strangest places (like DNA, the sun’s magnetic field, dopamine, planetary changes, programming, possibilities, a wallet full of blood, illogical thinking, redemption, seed of God , and dream of death). The outcome sonority recalls things like “over thinking, solitude, a lying dying body, utterly senseless foolishness, redundancy, recognition, the end”. With such creativity basis, the sound is expected to be at least odd, cerebral, and cool - and it really is. Over a base of bass, drums, and percussion, Holostream composes a series of sad and melancholic songs inspired in morbid themes like solitude, death, and the miserable human condition. The main melodic instruments are electric and acoustic guitars that are combined with the whispering and cool vocals of Shawn and Mary, producing songs that are mostly sad and melancholic, even a little dark. The harder songs alternate with ballad-like songs that feature layers of tranquil acoustic guitars. A pair or songs still feature a somewhat “rocky-dancing” rhythm, showing the most accessible face of Holostream - which is therefore classified better as a band of the Alternative Rock circle. The main influences come from bands like “Muse” (on the leading vocals, guitars, rhythmic section), from the saddest side of “The Mars Volta” (of songs like “Asilos Magdalena”, “Televators”, “The Widow”); or from the least angry side of “Riverside” (songs like “Still Conceiving You”), having a bit of the softness of “White Willow” (“Sacrament“ album) and the melancholy of “The Gathering” (mainly from the albums “How to Measure a Planet”). The band picks those influences and tries to make songs that feature a “clean” sonority - avoiding heavy guitar riffs or excessive effects or distortions - that will please some Progressive audiences. “Time and Space” is a mini CD that lasts almost 34 minutes, featuring 9 tracks. The best songs are “More than Memories” and “Eye for an Eye“ (both featuring good bass phrases and guitar solos). “Honor” slows down a bit, having some strange instrumental parts that remind me of “White Willow”. From the three ballads - “Time and Space“, “Half Empty“, and “The Dark Rift“ - my favorite is the last one, which mixes some Folk elements with the general melancholy. Those who prefer something more accessible will stick to “Only a Dream“ and “No More Lies“ - the later diverges from all other tracks by having a “happier” mood. The instrumental “Whole“ closes the album with space-sound guitars. This debut introduces Holostream as a band with good potential to go farther within the Alternative Rock scene, but that still has to struggle to come across its fan-base. Holostream is recommended for fans of melancholic and sad music in general. You also can listen some MP3s at HolostreamSonicbids. Band members and collaborators involved in Holostream are: Shawn Burnette – Guitar, Bass, Lead Vocals, Percussion, Sound Effects; Mary White - Backing Vocals and Percussion. Guest musicians: Andy Reamer – Drums, Percussion and Dwayne Fulton – Additional Percussion...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
10/29/2009...............Interested to know more about the musicians and the project? Visit HOLOSTREAM HOME PAGE...
The Brimstone Solar Radiation Band (TBSRB, for short) was formed in 1990 in Bergen (Norway), by Rolf Edvardsen (guitar, keyboards) and Truls “Biff” Eriksen (bass, drums). They invited their friend Thomas Grønner (known as the best jazz drummer in Bergen) and his brother Øyvind (guitar, organ, backing vocals and percussion) to complete the line up. After many rehearsals inside a swimming-pool (because of the acoustics), TBSRB began to perform alive. Enticed by the good reception of the audiences, they released an independent EP, “Going Out” (2001), and the full-length “Brimstone Solar Radiation Band” (2004, Big Dipper Records). That album featured guest musician Erling Juvik (string instruments, banjo). His work was so impressive that the band invited him to be a permanent member. The following album, “Solstice” (2005, Big Dipper), marked a step forward in TBSRB’s musical evolution, featuring more complex songs. In 2007, however, they decided to look for a bigger record company, and met H.P Gundersen (Bergen’s leading rock producer), who made his studio Gjøa available for the band. The outcome is “Smorgasbord” (2009, Karisma Records). Mixed by Bjarte Ludvigsen, and featuring fashionable cover art-work by TBSRB’s favorite designer Asle Birkeland, the new album introduces us to a creative and mature band, ready to conquer larger audiences. The sonority of TBSRB was in the beginning strongly influenced by the American West Coast Rock of the late 60’s (“Love”, “The Byrds”, “Santana” and “The Allman Brothers”), and the British Rock and Psychedelic Rock of the same time (“The Animals”, “The Who” and “Pink Floyd”). From album to album, their sound evolved to include also elements of Jazz, Country, Folk and Progressive – represented by influences of “Yes” (harmony vocals from albums before “Close to the Edge”); with occasional doses of “Genesis” and “Camel” (on some acoustic guitars and keyboards). The compositions are endowed with a “sunny” mood, being lively, cheerful, soft, and melodic. One of the strongest points of the band is the distinguishing drumming of Thomas. By using odd time signatures (7/8, 5/4 and 6/4), he provides the songs with a dynamic and groovy rhythmic background that invites the listener to TBSRB’s private party. Many songs are adorned with great harmony vocals, tending to “The Beatles” and “Queen” (but less operatic). As a whole, TBSRB does not sound like a typical Progressive band, but rather as a band from the 60’s playing with a modern approach. They do it, however, in such a pleasant and enjoyable way that you will definitely feel charmed by their musicianship. The overall sonority results in a well-balanced mix of “The Who”, “Santana”, “The Animals”, “The Beatles”, “Cherry Five”, “Queen”, “Mr. So & So”, “The Allman Brothers”, and “The Flower Kings”, sometimes all on the same track. As suggested by its title, “Smorgasbord” features 12 tasteful tracks. The most progressive are: “Medic”, “A Hill Of Beans” (both recall me a bit of “Genesis” and “Camel”), and “Animal Riot Hill” (a mix of “The Flower Kings” with “Allman Brothers”). Also among my favorites are “The Great Yeah” (a mix of “Santana” and “The Beatles”), “Spain” (with beautiful backing vocals like “Queen”), and “Sanctimonious High”; and the pair “I Don’t Mind” and “Crazy Rainbow” (both based on powerful guitar riffs, akin to “The Who”).The record is completed with a series of very good ballads, like “Godspeed Mother Earth”, “Happy” and “Strings to the Bow” (a folk ballad with “Yes”-like vocals). Although not being 100% Progressive, TBSRB really deserves attention from the great public, and is strongly recommend for anyone that likes good music. Band members and collaborators involved in The Brimstone Solar Radiation Band are: Rolf Edvardsen - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals; Truls “Biff” Eriksen – Bass; Thomas Grønner – Drums; Øyvind Grønner  - Guitar, Organ, Backing Vocals and Percussion and Erling Halsne Juvik – Banjo, String instruments...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
10/29/2009...................................Interested to know more? Visit THE BRIMSTONE SOLAR RADIATION BAND HOME PAGE...
. MORAINE - "Manifest Density"
Moraine is a Progressive-Experimental-Jazz band based in Seattle (USA). It was formed in 2005 by veteran guitar player Dennis Rea, whose large experience as a contributor to innovative groups (like “Land”, “Stackpole”, “Axolotl”, “Earthstar”, “Eric Apoe & They”, “Ting Bu Dong”, “Han Bennink”, “Hector Zazou”, “Klaus Schulze”, “Stuart Dempster”, Chinese rock megastar “Cui Jian”, and also with members of “King Crimson”, “R.E.M.”, “Pearl Jam”, “Soundgarden”, and “Ministry”) allowed him to develop his unique style that blends modern jazz, rock, experimental music and world music. Dennis founded Moraine as an instrumental quintet, with Alicia Allen (violin), Kevin Millard (bass, baliset), Ruth Davidson (cello) and Jay Jaskot (drums). Ruth and Jay integrate the band no more, and have been replaced by Stephen Cavit (drums) and Jim DeJoie (reeds and flute). Alicia Allen, besides having worked with “Jeremy Enigk” and “Eric Apoe and They”, had already played with Jim DeJoie on “Jim DeJoie’s Safe Behind Glass” and “Dr. Fleek and his Army of Experimental Children”. Kevin Millard used to play in Seattle experimental bands (“Thornton Creek”, “The Jeunes”, “The Melody Unit”). Drummer Stephen Cavit is an Emmy Award–winning film composer, also premiered at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival. Since it was born, Moraine performed in important festivals (“Seattle Artopia Festival“; “Beyond the Threshold International Dance Festival”, “Earshot Jazz”) and shared stage with international artists as “Richard Pinhas” (“Heldon”) and Finnish dancer “Mirva Mäkinen”. In 2009, Moraine released its debut album - “Manifest Density” (Moonjune Records) – which features 11 instrumental tracks. Moraine’s musicians have the common aim to save Progressive Music from clichés, and they do it, by creatively blending rhythms derived from Modern Jazz, Jazz-Fusion, and Jazz-Rock with melodic lines (mainly on guitars and violins) borrowed from Experimental Music, “RIO” Progressive style, Hurdy-Gurdy music, and Chinese Music. The resulting sonority shows influences from bands like “Univers Zéro” and “Gargantua” (on violins); “King Crimson” (on the rhythmic section); “John Abercrombie” and “Mahavishnu Orchestra” (on guitars); and also from the Experimentalism of “Frank Zappa” and “Captain Beefheart”. The result is heard on the opening tracks “Save the Yuppie Breeding Grounds“ (a blend of “Univers Zéro” with Asian music) and “Ephebus Amoebus“ (with strange sinuous bass lines); and also on “Manifest Density“ (a jazz-fusion close to “Mahavishnu” style). Following the same line are “$9 Pay-per-view Lifetime TV Movie“ (combining Chinese music with a jazzy background and furious dissonances) and the closing track “Middlebräu“ (probably the most orthodox Progressive track of this album, marked by a groovy bass and the jazz-rock vein of “Mahavishnu Orchestra”). Two of my favorite  tracks - “Uncle Tang’s Cabinet of Dr. Calligari“ and “Revenge Grandemother“- feature a spooky atmosphere that is clearly influenced by “Art Zoyd”, “Univers Zéro” and “Gargantua”. Also among my favorites is “Kuru“, a jazz-rock with a heavier verve that approaches it to bands like “Dr. Nerve” and “The Wrong Object“. The sad and minimalist mood of “Disillusioned Avatar“ is similar to the work of guitarist “Terje Rypdal”. “Staggerin" (with an intro that sounds like a Broadway song, but played in an unusual key) is a homage to the irreverence of “Frank Zappa” and to the experimentalism of “Captain Beefheart”. “Nacho Sunset“ - a modern jazz piece – is the most normal track to be heard from this amazing and creative album, that should be incorporated to any serious Progressive-Jazz-Fusion collection. Moraine is highly recommended for Progressive-Jazz-Fusion and “RIO” fans, specially those who love “Univers Zéro”, “King Crimson”, “Mahavishnu Orchestra”, “Zappa”, “Captain Beefheart”, “Dr. Nerve”, “Art Zoyd” and so on. Band members and collaborators involved in Moraine are: Alicia Allen – Violin; Ruth Davidson – Cello; Jay Jaskot – Drums; Kevin Millard – Bass, Baliset and Dennis Rea – Guitar. Current members: Stephen Cavit – Drums and Jim DeJoie - Reeds, Flute...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
11/09/2009................................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit MORAINE HOME PAGE...
The surprising band Schizoid Lloyd is coming from the city of Haarlem (The Netherlands) with the serious intention of entering the “Hall of the Great Prog-Metal Bands”! Born in 2007, this band was able to win the “Rob Acda Award 2008” just one year later, featuring a live performance that let the jury completely astonished. The prize was a drum and bass recording session at Studio Zeezicht: just what the band needed to finish the preparation of their independent debut EP. The record - entitled "Virus” - was released in April 2009, and will certainly cause much agitation within the Prog-Rock circles. Formed by Remo Kuhlmann (guitar, lead vocal), Thom Lich (guitar, backing vocals), Guus van Oosterum (bass, backing vocals), Ruben Kuhlmann (drums, keyboards, backing vocals), and Daan Divendal (keyboards), Schizoid Lloyd collects influences from both old and modern sources (“Mozart”, “Bach”, “Händel”, “Pink Floyd”, “King Crimson”, “Genesis”, “Eloy”, “Anglagard”, “Pain of Salvation”, “Dream Theater”, “Tool”, “Opeth”, “Psychotic Waltz”, “A Perfect Circle”, “Porcupine Tree”, “Queen”, “Radiohead”, and “Sigur Ros”), to merge them into impressive and surprising compositions that are marked by originality and beauty. Combining Classical, Oriental, Arabic, Progressive, Mainstream Rock, Prog-Metal and Experimental elements with abundant Heavy Metal guitars, majestic progressive keyboards, and beautiful harmony vocals (in the manner of “Shadow Gallery”), Schizoid Lloyd goes from highly progressive sessions to furious Prog-Metal parts in a way that distinguishes if from the other bands – even if compared with great icons of the style (e.g. “Dream Theater”, “Pain of Salvation”, “Symphony X”, “Threshold” or “Porcupine Tree”). Their extraordinary ability to descend, in a few seconds, from the highest angelic spheres down to the most apocalyptical devilry - and get back to Heavens again – will let any listener with his mouth wide open. The songs are very well elaborated, and the harmonization of the two guitars, bass and keyboards are carefully prepared to converge into a climax – all expressing the real meaning of the word “Progressive”. The EP “Virus” features just four tracks (unfortunately). The title track opens with shocking harmony vocals inspired on Church music of “Bach” and “Händel”, finishing into a twister of ascending guitar and keyboard solos. Listen carefully all traks, “Quarantine“ has a “Floydian” intro that gradually turns into Prog-Metal, and is closed by a breath-taking sequence of classical chords that sound as “Focus” playing Prog-Metal. “The Fall“ is a progressive ballad based on beautiful harmony vocals and classical acoustic guitars that is crowned by a melodic guitar solo in the style of “Queen”. “Nothing Left“– a real masterpiece - begins with keyboards that remind me of legendary Swedish band “Anglagard”, and then explodes in tempestuous keyboard solos and furious Prog-Metal riffs. This part of the song contrasts fantastically with the following “Eloy”-like astral guitar solo, which is juxtaposed to superb symphonic Arabian keyboards. The song ends magnificently with another, even more epic, guitar solo that completely annihilates the listener’s last traces of resistance. After listening to this marvelous debut, I have no doubt that Schizoid Lloyd is destined to enter the “Hall of the Great Ones” – and through the front door. Schizoid Lloyd is highly recommended for Prog-Rock fans that like some weight on the music, and indispensable for Prog-Metal fans all over the world. If you want to listen some MP3s files you must visit Schizoid Lloyd MySpace. Band members involved on the band are: Remo Kuhlmann  - Guitar, Lead Vocals; Thom Lich - Guitar, Backing Vocals; Guus van Oosterum – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals; Ruben Kuhlmann - Drums, Keys, Backing Vocals and Daan Divendal - Keyboards...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
11/09/2009.............................Interested to know more about the Band? You must visit SCHIZOID LOYD HOME PAGE...
. LIFE LINE PROJECT - "The Finnishing Touch"
Life Line Project was born in The Hague, Holland, originally formed by Erik De Beer a talented multi-instrumentalist and composer, Erik started to play the guitar when he was 14 years old and keyboard at the age of 16. Erik started his studies at the conservatory for music in 1977 and finished them in 1983. In 1975, he started his first band "J.S. Quasar", which he played both keyboards and lead guitar. After some short stays in several bands, in 1979, Erik founded keyboard-dominated power-rock trio "Brancard". In 1982, he left "Brancard" to form a new project called "Zoundworks". Right from the beginning, his musical preference always was symphonic rock and jazz-rock. In 1985 "Zoundworks" was disbanded. Finally, ln 1988, Life Line Project was started. With Life Line Project all instruments were played by Erik De Beer, vocals were taken care of by singer Anja Dirkzwager. The first 3 demo-tapes were recorded on 4-track, resulting in a less favourable sound quality. In 1990 quality rose to 8-track and the epic albums "The Journey" & "Duplo" were recorded. These demo-tapes were highly acclaimed in the European rock-magazines. "Duplo" saw the birth of the homonymous logo Duplo decorating all Life Line Project-products. In 1993 "The Final Word" was recorded. This time the sound quality had improved a lot. In the meantime concerts had been given by a complete band, while some of the songs were recorded both on stage and in the studio with the live bands. In 1994 Anja Dirkzwager was replaced by Marion Stroetinga. In 2003 Life Line Project was brought back to life, with a short album "Illusion". In 2004 "The Journey" (52 minutes for the title track) was completely re-worked and re-recorded. With the same line up "Duplo" (56 minutes) was redone in 2005. The crown on this "Epic" period was placed by "The King", a work condemning all personality cults and the abuse of both religion and democracy to establish dictatorship. In 2007 the actual line up of the band was formed. The sound made a change to an instrumental fusion of a seventies. With this amazing line up they recorded "Modinha" (2008) and "The Finnishing Touch" (2009). I have to confess that, I´m a big fan of Symphonic Progressive Rock Music, especially played by the bands that came from the Netherlands, "Kayak", "Finch", "Coda", "Earth & Fire", "Alquin", "Focus", "Trace", "Panthéon", "Lady Lake", "Egdon Heath", "Mangrove", "Odyssice", "Salmon", "T-Tauri" and "Trion". Now, together with all these amazing bands, we have Life Line Project, a project led by Erik De Beer, which I consider a magician of the keyboards, together with a solid line up musicians, where each member developed a solid instrumental structure, full of texture, energy and harmonie. Erik and all musicians on the band, have a special feeling to combine elements from Symphonic Progressive Rock, Hard Rock, especially in some guitar passages, and Scandinavian folk music. Totally instrumental, their album titled "The Finnishing Touch", features some monumental instrumental arrangements of which consist of very tasteful and diverse interplay between passages of a collection of symphonic keyboards sounds, that constantly dominate all arrangements, in accordance with a superb guitar solos, followed by beautiful flute passages, the drums are very impressive and vibrant with a perceptible bass. The album consist of seventeen songs, almost 59 minuts of a sensitive symphonic musical delight. If you like "Coda", "Finch", "Camel", "Yes", "Caravan", "Earth & Fire", "Alquin", "Focus" and "Trace", Life Line Project is an excellent addition to any progressive rock music collection. The musicians on Life Line Project are: Erik De Beer - Electric & Acoustic Pianos, Organ, Moog & Other Synthesizers, Harpsichord, Guitars, Lute & Chittaron, 5-String Bass & Mandolin, Jason Eekhout - Electric & Acoustic Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Jody Van Der Gijze - Acoustic Lead & Electric Rhythm Guitars, Iris Sagan - Bass Guitar, Ludo De Murlanos - Drums & Percussion, Roto-Toms, Renaissance Drum & Bongo's, Elsa De Beer - Flute and Dineke Visser - Oboe. Brilliant, amazing and an indispensable work, highly recommendable...  (Comments by Carlos Vaz)
11/09/2009...........Interested to know more about Erik De Beer and his Band? Visit LIFE LINE PROJECT HOME PAGE...
. ROSWELL SIX - "Terra Incognita: Beyond The Horizon"
Kevin J. Anderson is a best selling author of fiction and fantasy books who always felt strongly influenced by Progressive Rock and the Fantasy aura that emanates from it. He realized that the opposite was also true, for many Progressive musicians and lyricists were also influenced by Fiction and Fantasy books. When Anderson met Shawn Gordon (executive producer of ProgRock Records), he came up with the idea of developing a crossover project: to adapt one of his books into lyrics, and later gather a band to record a “Progressive Soundtrack” for it. As Anderson had just finished the first part of his trilogy ”Terra Incognita – Beyond the Horizon” (Orbit Books) – an epic fantasy about sailing ships, sea serpents and crusades – he offered it to Shawn. He liked the idea and called keyboardist Erik NorlanderRocket Scientists”) for the musical production. And so Roswell Six began to take form. Kevin Anderson and his wife Rebecca Moesta worked together to adapt the text into lyrics. At the same time, Erik Norlander and Shawn Gordon assembled a “dream team” of vocalists and musicians to perform on the record: "Lana Lane"; "James LaBrie" (“Dream Theater”); "Michael Sadler" (ex-“Saga”); "John Payne" (“Asia" featuring John Payne); "Kurt Barabas" (“Under the Sun”, “Amaran’s Plight”); "David Ragsdale" (“Kansas”); "Gary Wehrkamp" (“Shadow Gallery”, “Amaran’s Plight”); "Chris Brown" (“Ghost Circus”); "Chris Quirarte" (“Primary”); "Mike Alvarez" (cello) and "Martin Orford" (flute). "Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon" is the first album of a the trilogy, was released in 2009 by ProgRock Records, and called immediate attention upon it by the magnitude of the project. The album has the greatest merit of working as an authentic soundtrack; being the perfect counterpart for the book, that tells the story of a religious conflict between two continents, Tierra and Uraba, that engaged into battle after the devastation of the sacred city of Ishalem by a big fire. Characters involved in the story are Soldan-Shah Omra, leader of Uraba (James LaBrie); the romantic couple Criston Vora and Adrea (Michael Sadler and Lana Lane), dwellers of the village of Windcatch; and Andon Shay (John Payne), captain of the Luninara. Criston departs with the Luminara, and gets lost after the wreckage of the ship; Adrea is made a prisoner of Soldan-Shah after his warriors have invaded her village. The plot develops around the fate of the romantic couple, and the uncertainty for their future, since they ignore each other’s fate and don’t know if they are going to be together again. Speaking of the musical side of the project, Roswell Six features everything that an average Progressive Rock fan dream of: long and melodic compositions wrapped in beautiful symphonic arrangements, adorned with many guitar solos and epic bombastic keyboards; having a somewhat Prog-Metal drift that is restricted to the “action” parts. And all performed by some of the best musicians of the Prog scene. The sonority blends the Neo-Progressive style of “Pendragon”, “Rocket Scientists”, “Arena”, “IQ” and “Lana Lane” with the Symphonic-Opera-Rock style of “Rick Wakeman”, “Clive Noland & Oliver Wakeman”, “Caamora”, “Knight Area” and “Ayreon”; and also with the Prog-Rock line of “Kansas” and “Amaran’s Plight”. The 13 tracks of “Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon” are developed along the record as chapters of the book, alternating the musical themes according to the literary elements that make a good Epic story to be successful, like Charismatic Characters, Action, Drama, Mystery, and much Romance. The amazing opening track “Ishalem“ settles time, place and history, introducing with epic chords the themes that will be developed along the story. The band changes for a Prog-Power pace on “The Call of the Sea“, a song that drags the listener to a world of adventures, at the same time presenting the main romantic couple. Their antagonist Soldan-Shah Omra is introduced on his solo “I Am the Point“, a song that brings the worse expectations about the future events. The feelings of solitude experienced by the loving couple that miss each other are expressed on the progressive ballads “Letters in a Bottle“ (by Criston) and “Halfway“ (by Adrea). The action and drama are present on the great guitar riffs of “Anchored“, reflecting the War. An atmosphere of mystery and  terror before Death are present on “Here Be Monsters“ (based on “Led Zeppelin’s” “Kashmir”) and “The Sinking of the Luminara“ (instrumental). “The Winds of War“ brings back the epic tones; while “Swept Away“ narrates the dooming fate of the romantic couple. But Hope is always present, extorted by Criston on “Beyond the Horizon“ (with superb vocals and backing vocals); and by Adrea on “Merciful Tides“. The album closes with a good hook for the sequel: “The Edge of the World“, an instrumental medley resuming all musical themes, to be played as the credits roll! Anderson is currently writing the second part of “Terra Incognita”: “The Map of All Things, and the anxiety is already unbearable... Roswell Six is a must-have item for any Prog-Rock fan that also loves Fantasy books. Band members and collaborators involved in the Roswell Six Project are: Kevin J. Anderson – bestselling author, lyrics, producer; Rebecca Moesta – Lyrics; Erik Norlander – Keyboards, Compositions; Lana Lane - Vocals; James LaBrie – Vocals; Michael Sadler – Vocals; John Payne – Vocals; Gary Wehrkamp – Guitars; Chris Brown – Acoustic and Additional Electric Guitars; Kurt Barabas – Bass; Chris Quirarte – Drums; David Ragsdale – Violin; Mike Alvarez – Cello; Martin Orford – Flute. Shawn Gordon – executive producer...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
11/18/2009...............................,.....More information? Better check it out for yourself at: ROSWELL SIX HOME PAGE...
. AFFORESTED - "Wolf’s Heads and Woodlanders"
Afforested is a Progressive-Folk duo of the English county of Kent. It was founded in 2007 by Alex Betts (keyboards, drums, flute, whistle and percussion) and Jonathan Betts (acoustic guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, vocals and anvil). The Betts brothers search for inspiration in the British folkloric medieval tradition; and are influenced by Progressive bands like “Jethro Tull”, “Gryphon”, “Rick Wakeman”, “Gordon Giltrap Band”, “Focus”, “Gentle Giant”, “Yes”, “Premiata Forneria Marconi”, and “Camel”. In 2009 they released a debut EP, entitled “Wolf's Heads And Woodlanders”. Afforested is a promising duo, already able to make very good compositions full of beautiful tunes. The sonority is soft and pleasant, being similar to great British bands like “Jethro Tull”, “Gryphon”, “Camel”, and “Rick Wakeman“. Over a rhythmic base of bass and acoustic guitars that sound much like “Jethro Tull” (of “Aqualung” and “Songs From the Wood” albums); and sometimes like “Gryphon” (“Midnight Mushrumps” and a bit of “Raindance” albums), the duo scatters melodic keyboards – mainly synthesizers – that are very reminiscent of “Camel” (“Mirage” and “Snowgoose” albums), also showing some influence of “Rick Wakeman” (from works like “The Six Wives…”). The flutes are influenced by “Jethro Tull” (although less vociferous), approaching the softness of “Camel” and “PFM”. The use of other wind instruments reminds me of “Gryphon” (lacking, however, the characteristic krumhorn and bassoon textures). The compositions are instrumental in majority, which are played in a mid to fast-tempo, yet with a lively mood, avoiding aggressive parts. The overall sonority is pretty enjoyable, ideal for Progressive fans that like softer music. “Wolf's Heads And Woodlanders” features just five tracks, lasting about 15 minutes. The opening tracks “Willikin of the Weald“ and “A Late Summer Drift“ bring the lively rhythmic section of “Jethro Tull” combined with “Camel” keyboards and a bit of “Rick Wakeman’s” synthesizers. “The Yearning of the Green Hart“ features wind instruments that remind me of “Gryphon”. The last two tracks stand as the best ones. “Escaping King William“ – the only track with vocals – looks like a celebrating song, and is composed over a vigorous  rhythm (that reminds me of “Jethro Tull’s” song “I’m the Whistler”), with presence of “Camel”-like synths and medieval flutes that combine “Jethro Tull” with “Gryphon”. “The Hollow Yew“ follows the usual formula, including “Premiata”-like flutes and different textures of keyboards. Afforested is currently preparing songs for a full length album, which they plan to record in 2010. I think that they could make it even better if they employed a permanent vocalist, and increased the duration of their songs – these are my suggestions for the next album. Afforested is well recommended for Progressive fans in general, and specially recommended for those who like Progressive-Folk music. Band members and collaborators involved in Afforested are: Alex Betts - Keyboards, Drums, Flute, Recorder, Whistle and percussion, and Jonathan Betts - Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Vocals and Anvil...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
11/18/2009..........................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit AFFORESTED HOME PAGE...
. RED STAR REVOLT - "Red Star Revolt"
Red Star Revolt is a U.S.A. trio based in Denver, Colorado. Formed in 2007 by Aaron Nava (bass, vocals and keyboards), Clutch (guitars) and drummer Dino Cuneo, the band intended to direct their music towards progressive directions. In 2008, they released their independent debut album, entitled “Red Star Revolt”, which is reaching us just now.  Red Star Revolt’s influences include classics like “Pink Floyd”, “King Crimson”, “Led Zeppelin”, early “Black Sabbath”, some power trios like “Rush” and “The Police”, and some heavy acts with a tendency to experimentalism, like “Queens of the Stone Age”, “Opeth”, “Voivod”, “Incubus”, “Tool” and “A Perfect Circle”. Some of their strongest influences are, however, “The Mars Volta”, “Porcupine Tree”, “Radiohead” and “Muse”, which, along with “Rush”, make the main core of the band’s sonority. Therefore, the band will certainly fit itself comfortable into the category of Alternative Rock Bands with an inclination towards Hard Progressive Rock. The compositions are structured around straightforward and sticky guitar riffs (like “Porcupine Tree”, “Rush”) and vocals (that resemble “The Mars Volta” and “Muse”), which alternate with passages of psychedelic guitar and/or keyboards effects (resembling “Radiohead” and “Tool”). The resulting songs are energetic, flowing, dynamic, groovy and sometimes really contagious – uniting an apparent simplicity with musical efficiency.  “Red Star Revolt” brings 13 tracks. The opening track - “Dementia“ - brings much of the energy of “Muse”, with echoes of “Radiohead”, as well as “More Than It’s Worth“, and the “rocky” “Prove Me Wrong“. The influences of the past meet those of the present on the excellent tracks “The Song Remains“ (with a 70’s like groove resembling “Led Zeppelin” and “Black Sabbath”, allied to “Rush”-like riffs and an ending that reminds me of a less heavy “Perfect Circle”); “Sour“ (short, straightforward and groovy); and “Wired“. The melancholic mood inspired mainly by “The Mars Volta” and “Radiohead” is found on the most cadenced tracks “At Most Desire“,“FM (All or Nothing)“, and on the excellent double-piece “All She Could’ve Been“/“Separation of Soul“ (which brings a good bluesy guitar solo and ends with sticky riffs in the vein of “Porcupine Tree”). Also worth of mention is “Thorns of June“ – an acoustic ballad with a  really beautiful melody, on which Aaron Nava shows his best on vocals. The somber side of “A Perfect Circle”, “Tool” and “The Mars Volta” appears on “Them“ and the closing track - “Los Muertos“ (the most progressive of the record), which features a mixture of the experimental and spooky side of “The Mars Volta” with “Rush”-like bass, turning into a ballad in the middle, and ending with metallic guitar riffs. Although not being for the most orthodox progressive fans, Red Star Revolt will attract interest from the younger generations of Alternative and Progressive rock fans. Red Star Revolt is recommended for fans of “The Mars Volta”, “Rush”, “Muse”, “Radiohead” and “Porcupine Tree”. Band members and collaborators involved in Red Star Revolt are: Aaron Nava  - Bass, Vocals, Keyboards; Clutch – Guitars; Dino Cuneo – Drums...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
11/18/2009.................................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit RED STAR REVOLT HOME PAGE...
. ASTRAL TRAVELLERS - "The Truth Beyond"
The Dutch band Astral Travellers began its history during the eighties, when Heavy Metal and Glam Metal were ruling the scene. Gerben van Oosterhout  (vocals); Jochem Brok (keys); Tristan de Rijk (drums); Barry Veeke (guitars) and Maarten Vermeulen  (bass) were just kids learning to play music at that time, but they grew up impregnated with those influences and with the idea of playing in a band. This eventually occurred in 1997, when some of them met together in a band called "The Lower Lifeforms", which disbanded after a short time, regrouping in 2000 as Oker. But the band was not ripe yet, and stayed longer time playing together, maturing its style, until they felt they could be able to compose and perform Progressive Rock pieces. And that involved the use of symphonic arrangements, plenty of keyboards and synths, experimental rhythms, and classical story-telling themes about fiction, fantasy, war and love. Reaching a moment that could not be postponed anymore; they coined a new name for the band - Astral Travellers – and emerged in 2009 with a new, self-produced debut album: “The Truth Beyond”. Many bands of the 70’s; 80’s and 90’s influenced the integrants of Astral Travellers, from Progressive acts old and new, like “Yes”, “Pink Floyd”, “Genesis”, “Neal Morse”, “Spock's Beard”, “Frost”, and “Tesla”; to the Hard and Heavy acts of all times, like “Deep Purple”, “Led Zeppelin”, “Iron Maiden”, “Metallica”. Also included are the hybrids and experimental bands of the Prog-Metal scene, such as “Porcupine Tree”, “Dream Theater”, “Pain of Salvation”, “Tool”, “Opeth”, and “Riverside”. The good thing about Astral Travellers is that they mix all those influences in uneven dosages, lingering most time in the seventies than in the nineties – an effect caused, in my opinion, by the excellent keyboardist Jochem Brok who uses keyboard textures and styles typical of the seventies. But this has a kind of negative side-effect on the record. From the 5 tracks of “The Truth Beyond”, distributed over 47:16 minutes of music, the first two - “Gather Around“ and “Higher“ – feature thrash guitar riffs and heavy keyboards, pushing them towards Prog-Metal, but the rhythmic section does not achieve the speed and aggressiveness required for the genre, as it happens, for instance, in “Dream Theater”, “Porcupine Tree”, “Metallica” or “Riverside”. The band achieves better results on the third track, “Whole Damnation“, by using a different rhythmic section, with “broken” drum-beats, and “Rush”-like bass and guitars, intermingled with very good piano passages, and progressive solos by guitarist Barry Veeke. Once finished the Prog-Metal half of the record, the band slows down and moves towards the opposite direction. The last two songs, “As She Goes Down“ and “Dance of Death“, are longer, and strongly oriented to the Classic Progressive Rock of the seventies, but without dismissing some Hard and Heavy parts. With cadenced Prog-tempo; dramatic and interpretative vocals; melodic voyaging guitar solos; and many progressive keyboard solos fragmented in diverse textures and styles, those two songs represent the best pieces of Astral Travellers. “As She Goes Down” reminds me of a blend of “Deep Purple” with “Novalis” (in special the album “Banished Bridge”); while “Dance of Death” – undoubtedly the best song of this album - brings some “Genesis” like moments; acoustic parts, and many delicate synthesizer solos distributed over progressive symphonic arrangements and hard Neo-Prog riffs. For the second album, Astral Travelers should stick to the Prog-Rock of the seventies, and go towards that direction. Astral Travellers is recommended for any Orthodox fan of Progressive Rock and for fans of Neo-Progressive rock that like too much keyboards. Band members and collaborators involved in Astral Travellers are: Gerben van Oosterhout – Vocals; Jochem Brok – Keys; Tristan de Rijk – Drums; Barry Veeke – Guitars; Maarten Vermeulen – bass...  (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
12/02/2009.............,.....Interested to know more about the Band? You must visit ASTRAL TRAVELLERS HOME PAGE...
. MECHANICAL ORGANIC - "Disrepair Part Two – The Pleasure Fled"
Eddie Katz (vocals, keyboards, programming) lives in Melbourne, Australia. He is very concerned about politics and conspiracy theories. And he really cares about seeking for the Real Truth. Therefore, he is very interested in finding out who is distorting or manipulating information on the media, and for which purposes. In a desire to ask questions and search for the right answers, and also to extern his ideas, feelings and concerns about the issue, Katz founded Mechanical Organic – a musical project that would help him to engage into the fight, and to be used as a vehicle for his voice and inquires. Therefore, his project is based on well-defined Musical and Lyrical Ideologies. The musical ideology is the direct result of experimenting with sonic layering, the outcome being a kind of  “electronic-organic” music that contains both industrial-ambient and progressive-heavy elements. The lyrical ideology aims to gather information around the independent media to find out how the world really works. Mechanical Organic has already released two independent albums: "Flat Earth Society" (2006), and "Disrepair Part One - Permafrost Dreams" (2007). “Disrepair Part Two – The Pleasure Fled” (2009, Lockstep Records) is the third release, and has participation of Connie D (heavy and lead guitar) and Evan Harris (bass). The Leitmotiv of this new release departs from a basic question: “whom do you believe, and who do you turn to for the facts?”. To set an argument on the issue and answer to both questions, Katz worked on the 17:19 minute long single piece entitled “The Fangs of Lunacy”. The kind of sonority that emanates from this record is so “avant-garde” and ahead of the present times, that it is really difficult to assimilate it at first hearing. Katz himself regards the style of Mechanical Organic as hard to categorize, and prefers to call it as a hybrid with predominance of Heavy Metal with elements of Electronic, Industrial and Ambient mixed with a Progressive edge. The vocal include melodic parts and tense narrative voices (like TV or Radio news), with a background of sound effects. The sonic experience of an “Organic-Mechanic” contrast is impressed by heavy distorted bass effects rubbing against subtle and delicate layers of keyboards. The overall tension is strengthened by textures of sound effects and gloomy backing vocals. The drums and percussion are strong and cadenced, even smothering, and the guitars are heavy and slow, albeit melodic. As a whole, it sounds like listening to “Novembers Doom”, “Pain of Salvation”, “Dream Theater”, “Evergrey”, “Beyond Twilight” and watching the TV news at the same time. Meanwhile, your neighbor is listening to some record of Gregorian chant, and the open window let the noise of the streets invade your living room. “Disrepair Part Two” also features a short version (4:39 minute long) of the main track, edited for radio airplay. As a sound experiment, Mechanical Organic is really original and unique, and it is worthy of being explored by musical fans in search of novelties, especially in the present days, when originality is an item as rare as the real truth…but will you blindly trust me; or will you find out by yourself? Mechanical Organic is recommended for people in search of original bands that have a real attitude against “The System”. You can hear some tracks at their MySpace site.  Band members and collaborators involved in Mechanical Organic are: Eddie Katz - Vocals, Keyboards and Bass, Connie D – Heavy and Lead Guitar and Evan Harris – Bass...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
12/02/2009..........................,.....Interested to know more about the Band? Visit MECHANICAL ORGANIC HOME PAGE...
. GUILT MACHINE - "On This Perfect Day"
Owner of an extensive discography – including the “Ayreon“ Rock-Operas and the side projects “Star One” and “Stream of Passion” - Dutch multi-instrumentalist Arjen Anthony Lucassen became one of the most acclaimed icons of the current Progressive scene, amassing thousands of fans around his work. But after many stressful years dealing with numerous guest musicians and singers (his last album, “01011001”, had participation of 17 singers!); and also being responsible for composing and recording his own music, he decided to keep the new project - Guilt Machine - as simple as possible. The first move was to give up the centralization of the song-writing, sharing the task with Lori Linstruth (guitar, lyrics). Then Arjen took his most courageous step, one that surprised his fans: instead of inviting dozens of singers for the new project, he called just one - Jasper Steverlinck (from Belgium band “Arid”). Since Arjen would play all other instruments (electric and acoustic guitars, bass and keyboards), all he needed was a drummer, and Chris Maitland (ex-“Porcupine Tree”) was chosen for the job. Unless by the participation of two guest musicians (see below), the quartet would constitute the small nucleus of Guilt Machine - a great risk, since it would contradict Arjen’s style and generate much expectation among fans. But after having listened to Guilt Machine’s debut album - “On This Perfect Day” (2009, Mascot Records) - it is quite clear that all worries were unfounded. This record is a really Prog-Rock masterpiece, and shows that Arjen will never disappoint his fans. By keeping the band smaller, he could control better the creative process, producing his most mature arrangements so far. At the same time, he allowed the other components to enrich the songs with their own talents and ideas, proving that a few good musicians working in collaboration may worth as much as many. The successful result is heard throughout the record. The main theme of the album is "Depression", and how it can affect a human’s life (exemplified by the phone messages left by the fans, used on the record to link one song to the next). Being a powerful instrument to probe deep into one’s soul, emotions, and thoughts, "Depression" can act positively as the main driving force of creativity. Therefore, it is not surprising that the songs of Guilt Machine are surrounded by an atmosphere of intimacy and sadness, translated into melancholic, delicate and diaphanous melodies that emanate from vintage keyboards with “Pink Floydian” sonority. The compositions are marked by the tripping sound of echoing guitars and occasional heavy riffs, forming a support for Lori’s precise solos. Songs flow freely, pushed by Jasper’s impressive vocals. Owner of a light and emotional voice, he represents the ultimate Progressive singer (comparable to “Damian Wilson” on “And the Druids Turned to Stone”). Chris Maitland avoids putting much weight on the songs (except when heavy guitars demand it), providing them with a dynamic drumming that fills up all empty spaces left. Compared with Arjen’s previous albums, the sonority of Guilt Machine lies between the progressive sound of “Universal Migrator Pt.1” and the dark tones of “01011001“. Insert “On This Perfect Day” into the player, and let yourself be wrapped by the tripping and atmospheric mood of its 6 tracks. Begin with the “Floydian” keyboards of “Twisted Coil“, getting comfortably numb by the relaxing vocals of Jasper and the excellent backing vocals of Arjen, until the potent chorus wake you up. “Leland Street“ persists on the “Floydian” line, adding a somber chorus and somewhat heavier guitars. “Green and Cream“ is the heaviest and fastest song, reflecting many echoes of “01011001”. “Season of Denial“ is one of the most delightful tracks, thanks to the bittersweet arrangements of violins and cellos. “Over“ is short and direct, marked by a sequence of great guitar solos. “Perfection?” closes the circle, returning to the atmospheric mood of the opening track, being crowned by a fantastic instrumental section, arranged like a baroque fugue – an awesome way of finishing this superb album, the best pill against any depression. Guilt Machine’s “On This Perfect Day” is offered in three editions, two of them include a DVD with interview and bonus tracks - a really must-have item. Band members and collaborators involved in Guilt Machine are: Jasper Steverlinck – Vocals; Lori Linstruth – Lead Guitar; Chris Maitland – Drums and Arjen Anthony Lucassen – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Mandolin, Bass Guitar, Keyboards and Backing Vocals. Additional musicians: Ben Mathot – Violin and David Faber – Cello...   (Comments by Marcelo Trotta)
12/02/2009.....If you want to know more about this great project and its members, visit GUILT MACHINE HOME PAGE...
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