Edition 144 of Steve Blease’s Heavy Elements is now available as a podcast.

Playlist:

The Vostok – Soul Keeper
Tangents – Surface
Hung – The Archetype
Redemption – Indulge in Color
The Art of Conjuring – Shining is the Truth

Live at 11: Andromeda live at the Wyspianski Theater, Katowice, Poland, 31st October 2006

Periscope (live)
In The Deepest of Waters (live)
In The End (live)

Gojira – The Shooting Star
DGM – Brand New Blood

Album of the Week: Devin Townsend – Ocean Machine: Biomech

Seventh Wave
Thing Beyond Things
Hide Nowhere

Dream Theater – The Glass Prison

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/10-best-prog-albums-of-1989/
Best Prog Albums of 1989

The 1980s won’t be remembered as the golden years for Prog, but this decade saw the inception of the Progressive Metal genre from the bands. In 1989, this new genre received new titles from Fates Warning and Voivod. The same year saw release of a debut album by the genre’s most important and influential group – Dream Theater.

Below are the 10 best Prog albums of 1989.

10. Dream Theater – When Dream and Day Unite

Dream Theater‘s first official release gave an indication that this was a talented band that combined the styles of YesRush, and Queensrÿche. The latter seemed to be too big of an influence at this stage of their career. Vocalist Charlie Dominici‘s voice is not powerful enough to carry out the band’s otherwise convincing intensity, and his attempt to sound like Queensrÿche‘s Geoff Tate was unsuccessful. The music here is not as heavy as it would become in the ’90s but could still be classified as progressive metal. Guitarist John Petrucci and drummer Mike Portnoy established themselves as competent musicians, but their individual styles were not yet refined. The band’s originality does shine through on “Light Fuse and Get Away,” “The Ones Who Help to Set the Sun,” and “Only a Matter of Time.” The odd-meter measures and numerous time changes gave the group a complexity that hadn’t been experienced for an entire decade in the rock genre. “YTSE Jam” was essentially their answer to Rush‘s “YYZ” and became a staple in the band’s live set. The session was marred mostly by subpar singing, too many metal clichés, and poor production. There is, however, enough interesting playing to make it a worthwhile listen for fans of this genre, and is certainly essential for Dream Theater fans.

[embedded content]

09. The Work – Rubber Cage

On their debut album, the Work sounded a bit like what Henry Cow might have sounded like if that band had been part of the Crass posse. Rubber Cage, originally issued in 1989 after a seven-year layoff, finds the Work sounding more like a cross between Pere Ubu and Massacre (the Fred Frith power trio, not the heavy metal band) — note in particular the brief and spiky blast of “Poise” and the fractured funk of “Jay,” and the way that the random single-string guitar licks on “Abdomen” function in much the same manner as Allen Ravenstine‘s EML synthesizer did on those early Pere Ubu recordings. But Tim Hodgkinson‘s vocals have come a long way since 1982, and so has the band’s musical conception: tracks like “Poise” and the swinging, acoustic-based “Knee” are frustrating only because of their brevity, and the cool and slithery skronk of “Great Climax” is both eerily weird and strangely accessible. Although Hodgkinson is a measurably better singer at this point, it’s still the instrumental sections that work best here — the latter half of “Dangerfish,” the opening two minutes and final four minutes of “1992,” and that cheerily funky “Jay,” with its 5/4 rhythmic foundation and jaunty guitar.

[embedded content]

08. Amon Düül – Die Lösung

This is one great album, and one needn’t be familiar with a single note ever played by Amon DüülAmon Düül II, or any other German progressive rock band to enjoy it; indeed, this is the kind of album that fans of the Doors might honestly be said to have been wishing for. Stylistically there’s not a lot in common between the two groups apart from some highly melodic guitar, some of it blues-derived (the GroundhogsTony McPhee is on the album, so you knew there’d be blues in there somewhere), and swirling organ and synthesizer arabesques, but one does get the real sense of this being a performance piece for poet and band, mostly courtesy of Robert Calvert. The latter’s lyrics are dense with meaning, some of it obscure but all of it intriguing, and the overall effect of it is like listening to a latter-day extension of the kind of work that the Doors aspired to in their best days, with maybe a freer use of keyboards and definitely more ambitious and effective jams.There’s some question between the two co-leaders of this version of Amon Düül (which is really an offshoot of Amon Düül II) about whether this album should have been released, since Dave Anderson regards it as completed, and okayed its going out, but John Wienzierl didn’t think of it as finished. In any case, it rocks very hard and, in most instances, very memorably, with a big sound that manages to embrace elements of progressive rock, psychedelia, and a good beat.

[embedded content]

07. Art Zoyd – Nosferatu

Nosferatu is the first of three scores for silent horror movies the Belgian group Art Zoyd recorded between 1989 and 1997. Friedrich Wilheim Murnau‘s classic served as the first guinea pig and it worked wonderfully. This happened at a time when performing new music over screenings of silent films had yet to become a trend in avant-garde circles (in the mid- to late ’90s), although this particular film was enjoying a revival of sorts (metallers Helstar released an album by the same title in 1989). The group managed to remain true to Murnau‘s chef-d’oeuvre while delivering a genuine Art Zoyd platter. The lineup is the same as for 1987′s Berlin, but the ideas have matured. Taking a cue from the previous album’s “A Drum, a Drum,” the music includes vocal passages, some sung by Thierry Zaboitzeff in a low, gravely, hellborn voice, others being pre-recorded children’s choir parts. The 60-minute suite follows the film scene by scene, but it stands marvelously well on its own. Keyboards are definitely dominating the sound, with touches of cello and saxophone added for an extra Gothic feel. Often fast-paced and exhilarating, the music consists of interlocking rhythmical motifs on keyboards punctuated by orchestral cues, percussion, or acoustic instruments. Melodies are few; the grandeur and drama rarely let go. The CD is rounded up by the three-part, 17-minute “Vorgänge,” ballet music for the Salzburg Vorgänge Bewegungstheater. If you don’t notice the track number on the CD player, you’ll think you’re still in Nosferatu. This album is generally more inspired, varied, lively, and less-complacent than Faust and HäxanArt Zoyd‘s two other film soundtracks. Highly recommended, even to those who despise the group’s post-1983 output.

[embedded content]

06. Kate Bush – The Sensual World

An enchanting songstress, Kate Bush reflects the most heavenly views of love on the aptly titled The Sensual World. The follow-up to Hounds of Love features Bush unafraid to be a temptress, vocally and lyrically. She’s a romantic, frolicking over lust and love, but also a lover of life and its spirituality. The album’s title track exudes the most sensually abrasive side of Bush, but she is also one to remain emotionally intact with her heart and head. The majority of The Sensual World beams with a carefree spirit of strength and independence. “Love and Anger,” which features blistering riffs by Bush‘s mentor and cohort David Gilmour, thrives on self-analysis — typically cathartic of BushMichael Nyman‘s delicate string arrangements allow the melodic “Reaching Out” to simply arrive, freely floating with Bush‘s lush declaration (“reaching out for the star/reaching out for the star that explodes“) for she’s always searching for a common peace, a commonality to make comfort. What makes this artist so intriguing is her look toward the future — she appears to look beyond what’s present and find a peculiar celestial atmosphere in which human beings do exist. She’s conscious of technology on “Deeper Understanding” and of a greater life on the glam rock experimental “Rocket’s Tail (For Rocket),” yet she’s still intrinsic to the reality of an individual’s heart. “Between a Man and a Woman” depicts pressure and heartbreak, but it’s the beauty of “This Woman’s Work” that makes The Sensual World the outstanding piece of work that it is. She possesses maternal warmth that’s surely inviting, and it’s something that’s made her one of the most prolific female singer/songwriters to emerge during the 1980s. She’s never belonged to a core scene. Bush‘s intelligence, both as an artist and as a woman, undoubtedly casts her in a league of her own.

[embedded content]

05. Marillion – Seasons End

After Fish‘s departure, Marillion teetered on the brink of collapse: The frontman’s distinct voice and poetic prose made him the defining member of the band. One can only imagine how record executives held their collective breath as Steve Hogarth was brought in to take the reins. His first outing with band, 1989′s Season’s End, removed all doubts about the band’s future. Hogarth‘s unique, expressive voice fit Marillion perfectly; on the full-throttle rock assault of “The Uninvited Guest” or the emotional “After You,” Hogarth‘s singularity is unmistakable. The heartfelt “Easter,” with its imaginative electric-acoustic arrangement, is another showcase for Hogarth‘s talents. Marillion‘s ability to write music whose ideals live and breathe in the listener continues on Seasons End, particularly on the inspiring “Holloway Girl,” which dissects the injustice of incarcerating mentally ill female inmates (at England’s Holloway Prison) instead of placing them in appropriate psychiatric facilities. The beautiful “Easter” is the band’s plea for peace in Ireland, while “The King of Sunset Town” has its lyrical roots in the massacre at Tiananmen Square. Hogarth‘s flexible range and beautiful phrasing shine on the entire album. In 1999 Marillion released a remastered version of Seasons End, including a bonus disc of outtakes and alternate versions as well as the previously unreleased “The Bell in the Sea” and “The Release.” Both are strong tracks and are welcome additions to the Marillion catalog. While 1995′s Afraid of Sunlight is the peak of Marillion‘s growing, impressive body of work, Seasons End shouldn’t be missed either.

[embedded content]

04. Thinking Plague – In This Life

For starters, In This Life sounds a little like a cross between Henry Cow‘s Western Culture and Gentle Giant‘s The Power and the Glory. Unusual meter and rapid time signature changes abound, and the harmonic language is essentially that of classical music from the first half of the 20th century. The instrumentation is basic rock band + piano, clarinet and the occasional subtly-used synthesizer. The songs are catchy, melodic, and not particularly tonal. Most importantly, the whole album has a feel of inevitability, like the music could not have turned out any other way.

For those of you familiar with the band’s other releases, this is the most solid compositionally — not a single bad track — and the most restrained. This is not to say that the music here is low-intensity, because it’s certainly very driven, concentrated and often anxious music. However, you won’t find the overdone proggy synths of In Extremis here, the mind-bending eclecticism of Moonsongs, or the all-out weirdness of their self-titled debut album. Thinking Plague are still “weird,” of course, but they seem more comfortable with their weirdness here. The album generally feels more “chamber-y” than their other releases, and the mood is less overtly dark. Also, for those of you who found Deborah Perry‘s vocals on In Extremis flat, you probably won’t feel the same way about Susanne Lewis.

As a seven-movement piece of music, In This Life ranks up there with some of the great music of the second half of the 20th century.

[embedded content]

03. Watchtower – Control and Resistance

Considered to be one of the founders of the progressive metal genre made popular by bands like Dream Theater and Fates Warning, Watchtower did not stay together long enough to reap the benefits of their creativity. Their first recording, Energetic Disassembly, hinted at their innovations and talent, but it was Control and Resistance that marked the arrival of a fresh and important voice in the history of both progressive rock and heavy metal. Drawing heavily from bands such as Rush, Queensryche, Metallica, Yngwie Malmsteen, and fusion bands, Watchtower carved out a distinctive sound by combining the most extreme elements of their influences. The result was a series of complex, dark, and heavy songs that would eventually become the blueprint for progressive metal. Guitarist Ron Jarzombek, who replaced Billy White, brings a Holdsworth influence with him, which adds to the music’s diversity. While averting commercial success, the band is typically cited as groundbreaking by their peers. The music herein may sound dated, especially the falsetto vocals of Alan Tecchio, but there is enough here to appreciate and enjoy both from a historical and musical perspective.

[embedded content]

02. Fates Warning – Perfect Symmetry

This was the recording that established Fates Warning as a progressive band. Their metal influences still dominate the group’s overall sound; however, Mark Zonder‘s unique approach to drumming adds another level of depth and credibility to the music. His double bass, odd-time introduction to “Part of the Machine” is the session’s defining moment, “Through Different Eyes” is a catchy song that provides insight into the band’s future pop/metal direction, and “Static Acts” still stands as one of the most aggressive songs the band ever recorded. Ray Alder‘s aggressive singing has a genuine quality which allows him to legitimately convey his anger and pain without sounding clichéd. “A World Apart” is one of the weaker songs here; however, there is some impressive odd-metered drumming from Zonder. “At Fates Hands” has become one of the band’s classic songs, and for good reason. The incorporation of the violin and piano provide a refreshing change from the overall metallic sound. While Alder and Zonder prove here that the band is capable of achieving many different moods and sounds, the instrumental section of the song reveals that both Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti are still dependent on their metal guitar style. The most powerful song in terms of lyrics, singing, and playing is “Nothing Left to Say,” which stands as the band’s high-water mark. An historic recording in the progressive metal genre.

[embedded content]

01. Voivod – Nothingface

Arguably the best of the Denis Belanger-era Voivod albums, Nothingface is highly recommended to just about any aficionado of twisted, original heavy metal or prog rock. Although the album’s roots are in progressive rock, the group knows when to lay off the virtuosic overkill and play it straight. A superb, tripped-out cover of Pink Floyd‘s early psychedelic masterpiece “Astronomy Domine” is the album’s highlight, and its video aired numerous times on the early-’90s MTV show Headbanger’s Ball, introducing many to the band for the first time. Vocal melodicism is stressed heavily on Nothingface, with Belanger‘s vocals pushing such tracks as “Missing Sequences” and the title track, as do guitarist Denis d’Amour‘s jazzoid-metal guitar riffs. The group’s lyrics may be hard to decipher for some (relying heavily on themes of science fiction that often paint unsettling pictures), but ultimately help complement what the group is doing musically. Nothingface also turned out to be their most commercially successful album, making an appearance on the Billboard charts. Jason Newsted of Metallica has praised Voivod as one of his favorite metal bands on numerous occasions, and after hearing Nothingface, it’s easy to understand why.

[embedded content]

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/10-best-prog-albums-of-1989/
Best Prog Albums of 1989

The 1980s won’t be remembered as the golden years for Prog, but this decade saw the inception of the Progressive Metal genre from the bands. In 1989, this new genre received new titles from Fates Warning and Voivod. The same year saw release of a debut album by the genre’s most important and influential group – Dream Theater.

Below are the 10 best Prog albums of 1989.

10. Dream Theater – When Dream and Day Unite

Dream Theater‘s first official release gave an indication that this was a talented band that combined the styles of YesRush, and Queensrÿche. The latter seemed to be too big of an influence at this stage of their career. Vocalist Charlie Dominici‘s voice is not powerful enough to carry out the band’s otherwise convincing intensity, and his attempt to sound like Queensrÿche‘s Geoff Tate was unsuccessful. The music here is not as heavy as it would become in the ’90s but could still be classified as progressive metal. Guitarist John Petrucci and drummer Mike Portnoy established themselves as competent musicians, but their individual styles were not yet refined. The band’s originality does shine through on “Light Fuse and Get Away,” “The Ones Who Help to Set the Sun,” and “Only a Matter of Time.” The odd-meter measures and numerous time changes gave the group a complexity that hadn’t been experienced for an entire decade in the rock genre. “YTSE Jam” was essentially their answer to Rush‘s “YYZ” and became a staple in the band’s live set. The session was marred mostly by subpar singing, too many metal clichés, and poor production. There is, however, enough interesting playing to make it a worthwhile listen for fans of this genre, and is certainly essential for Dream Theater fans.

[embedded content]

09. The Work – Rubber Cage

On their debut album, the Work sounded a bit like what Henry Cow might have sounded like if that band had been part of the Crass posse. Rubber Cage, originally issued in 1989 after a seven-year layoff, finds the Work sounding more like a cross between Pere Ubu and Massacre (the Fred Frith power trio, not the heavy metal band) — note in particular the brief and spiky blast of “Poise” and the fractured funk of “Jay,” and the way that the random single-string guitar licks on “Abdomen” function in much the same manner as Allen Ravenstine‘s EML synthesizer did on those early Pere Ubu recordings. But Tim Hodgkinson‘s vocals have come a long way since 1982, and so has the band’s musical conception: tracks like “Poise” and the swinging, acoustic-based “Knee” are frustrating only because of their brevity, and the cool and slithery skronk of “Great Climax” is both eerily weird and strangely accessible. Although Hodgkinson is a measurably better singer at this point, it’s still the instrumental sections that work best here — the latter half of “Dangerfish,” the opening two minutes and final four minutes of “1992,” and that cheerily funky “Jay,” with its 5/4 rhythmic foundation and jaunty guitar.

[embedded content]

08. Amon Düül – Die Lösung

This is one great album, and one needn’t be familiar with a single note ever played by Amon DüülAmon Düül II, or any other German progressive rock band to enjoy it; indeed, this is the kind of album that fans of the Doors might honestly be said to have been wishing for. Stylistically there’s not a lot in common between the two groups apart from some highly melodic guitar, some of it blues-derived (the GroundhogsTony McPhee is on the album, so you knew there’d be blues in there somewhere), and swirling organ and synthesizer arabesques, but one does get the real sense of this being a performance piece for poet and band, mostly courtesy of Robert Calvert. The latter’s lyrics are dense with meaning, some of it obscure but all of it intriguing, and the overall effect of it is like listening to a latter-day extension of the kind of work that the Doors aspired to in their best days, with maybe a freer use of keyboards and definitely more ambitious and effective jams.There’s some question between the two co-leaders of this version of Amon Düül (which is really an offshoot of Amon Düül II) about whether this album should have been released, since Dave Anderson regards it as completed, and okayed its going out, but John Wienzierl didn’t think of it as finished. In any case, it rocks very hard and, in most instances, very memorably, with a big sound that manages to embrace elements of progressive rock, psychedelia, and a good beat.

[embedded content]

07. Art Zoyd – Nosferatu

Nosferatu is the first of three scores for silent horror movies the Belgian group Art Zoyd recorded between 1989 and 1997. Friedrich Wilheim Murnau‘s classic served as the first guinea pig and it worked wonderfully. This happened at a time when performing new music over screenings of silent films had yet to become a trend in avant-garde circles (in the mid- to late ’90s), although this particular film was enjoying a revival of sorts (metallers Helstar released an album by the same title in 1989). The group managed to remain true to Murnau‘s chef-d’oeuvre while delivering a genuine Art Zoyd platter. The lineup is the same as for 1987′s Berlin, but the ideas have matured. Taking a cue from the previous album’s “A Drum, a Drum,” the music includes vocal passages, some sung by Thierry Zaboitzeff in a low, gravely, hellborn voice, others being pre-recorded children’s choir parts. The 60-minute suite follows the film scene by scene, but it stands marvelously well on its own. Keyboards are definitely dominating the sound, with touches of cello and saxophone added for an extra Gothic feel. Often fast-paced and exhilarating, the music consists of interlocking rhythmical motifs on keyboards punctuated by orchestral cues, percussion, or acoustic instruments. Melodies are few; the grandeur and drama rarely let go. The CD is rounded up by the three-part, 17-minute “Vorgänge,” ballet music for the Salzburg Vorgänge Bewegungstheater. If you don’t notice the track number on the CD player, you’ll think you’re still in Nosferatu. This album is generally more inspired, varied, lively, and less-complacent than Faust and HäxanArt Zoyd‘s two other film soundtracks. Highly recommended, even to those who despise the group’s post-1983 output.

[embedded content]

06. Kate Bush – The Sensual World

An enchanting songstress, Kate Bush reflects the most heavenly views of love on the aptly titled The Sensual World. The follow-up to Hounds of Love features Bush unafraid to be a temptress, vocally and lyrically. She’s a romantic, frolicking over lust and love, but also a lover of life and its spirituality. The album’s title track exudes the most sensually abrasive side of Bush, but she is also one to remain emotionally intact with her heart and head. The majority of The Sensual World beams with a carefree spirit of strength and independence. “Love and Anger,” which features blistering riffs by Bush‘s mentor and cohort David Gilmour, thrives on self-analysis — typically cathartic of BushMichael Nyman‘s delicate string arrangements allow the melodic “Reaching Out” to simply arrive, freely floating with Bush‘s lush declaration (“reaching out for the star/reaching out for the star that explodes“) for she’s always searching for a common peace, a commonality to make comfort. What makes this artist so intriguing is her look toward the future — she appears to look beyond what’s present and find a peculiar celestial atmosphere in which human beings do exist. She’s conscious of technology on “Deeper Understanding” and of a greater life on the glam rock experimental “Rocket’s Tail (For Rocket),” yet she’s still intrinsic to the reality of an individual’s heart. “Between a Man and a Woman” depicts pressure and heartbreak, but it’s the beauty of “This Woman’s Work” that makes The Sensual World the outstanding piece of work that it is. She possesses maternal warmth that’s surely inviting, and it’s something that’s made her one of the most prolific female singer/songwriters to emerge during the 1980s. She’s never belonged to a core scene. Bush‘s intelligence, both as an artist and as a woman, undoubtedly casts her in a league of her own.

[embedded content]

05. Marillion – Seasons End

After Fish‘s departure, Marillion teetered on the brink of collapse: The frontman’s distinct voice and poetic prose made him the defining member of the band. One can only imagine how record executives held their collective breath as Steve Hogarth was brought in to take the reins. His first outing with band, 1989′s Season’s End, removed all doubts about the band’s future. Hogarth‘s unique, expressive voice fit Marillion perfectly; on the full-throttle rock assault of “The Uninvited Guest” or the emotional “After You,” Hogarth‘s singularity is unmistakable. The heartfelt “Easter,” with its imaginative electric-acoustic arrangement, is another showcase for Hogarth‘s talents. Marillion‘s ability to write music whose ideals live and breathe in the listener continues on Seasons End, particularly on the inspiring “Holloway Girl,” which dissects the injustice of incarcerating mentally ill female inmates (at England’s Holloway Prison) instead of placing them in appropriate psychiatric facilities. The beautiful “Easter” is the band’s plea for peace in Ireland, while “The King of Sunset Town” has its lyrical roots in the massacre at Tiananmen Square. Hogarth‘s flexible range and beautiful phrasing shine on the entire album. In 1999 Marillion released a remastered version of Seasons End, including a bonus disc of outtakes and alternate versions as well as the previously unreleased “The Bell in the Sea” and “The Release.” Both are strong tracks and are welcome additions to the Marillion catalog. While 1995′s Afraid of Sunlight is the peak of Marillion‘s growing, impressive body of work, Seasons End shouldn’t be missed either.

[embedded content]

04. Thinking Plague – In This Life

For starters, In This Life sounds a little like a cross between Henry Cow‘s Western Culture and Gentle Giant‘s The Power and the Glory. Unusual meter and rapid time signature changes abound, and the harmonic language is essentially that of classical music from the first half of the 20th century. The instrumentation is basic rock band + piano, clarinet and the occasional subtly-used synthesizer. The songs are catchy, melodic, and not particularly tonal. Most importantly, the whole album has a feel of inevitability, like the music could not have turned out any other way.

For those of you familiar with the band’s other releases, this is the most solid compositionally — not a single bad track — and the most restrained. This is not to say that the music here is low-intensity, because it’s certainly very driven, concentrated and often anxious music. However, you won’t find the overdone proggy synths of In Extremis here, the mind-bending eclecticism of Moonsongs, or the all-out weirdness of their self-titled debut album. Thinking Plague are still “weird,” of course, but they seem more comfortable with their weirdness here. The album generally feels more “chamber-y” than their other releases, and the mood is less overtly dark. Also, for those of you who found Deborah Perry‘s vocals on In Extremis flat, you probably won’t feel the same way about Susanne Lewis.

As a seven-movement piece of music, In This Life ranks up there with some of the great music of the second half of the 20th century.

[embedded content]

03. Watchtower – Control and Resistance

Considered to be one of the founders of the progressive metal genre made popular by bands like Dream Theater and Fates Warning, Watchtower did not stay together long enough to reap the benefits of their creativity. Their first recording, Energetic Disassembly, hinted at their innovations and talent, but it was Control and Resistance that marked the arrival of a fresh and important voice in the history of both progressive rock and heavy metal. Drawing heavily from bands such as Rush, Queensryche, Metallica, Yngwie Malmsteen, and fusion bands, Watchtower carved out a distinctive sound by combining the most extreme elements of their influences. The result was a series of complex, dark, and heavy songs that would eventually become the blueprint for progressive metal. Guitarist Ron Jarzombek, who replaced Billy White, brings a Holdsworth influence with him, which adds to the music’s diversity. While averting commercial success, the band is typically cited as groundbreaking by their peers. The music herein may sound dated, especially the falsetto vocals of Alan Tecchio, but there is enough here to appreciate and enjoy both from a historical and musical perspective.

[embedded content]

02. Fates Warning – Perfect Symmetry

This was the recording that established Fates Warning as a progressive band. Their metal influences still dominate the group’s overall sound; however, Mark Zonder‘s unique approach to drumming adds another level of depth and credibility to the music. His double bass, odd-time introduction to “Part of the Machine” is the session’s defining moment, “Through Different Eyes” is a catchy song that provides insight into the band’s future pop/metal direction, and “Static Acts” still stands as one of the most aggressive songs the band ever recorded. Ray Alder‘s aggressive singing has a genuine quality which allows him to legitimately convey his anger and pain without sounding clichéd. “A World Apart” is one of the weaker songs here; however, there is some impressive odd-metered drumming from Zonder. “At Fates Hands” has become one of the band’s classic songs, and for good reason. The incorporation of the violin and piano provide a refreshing change from the overall metallic sound. While Alder and Zonder prove here that the band is capable of achieving many different moods and sounds, the instrumental section of the song reveals that both Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti are still dependent on their metal guitar style. The most powerful song in terms of lyrics, singing, and playing is “Nothing Left to Say,” which stands as the band’s high-water mark. An historic recording in the progressive metal genre.

[embedded content]

01. Voivod – Nothingface

Arguably the best of the Denis Belanger-era Voivod albums, Nothingface is highly recommended to just about any aficionado of twisted, original heavy metal or prog rock. Although the album’s roots are in progressive rock, the group knows when to lay off the virtuosic overkill and play it straight. A superb, tripped-out cover of Pink Floyd‘s early psychedelic masterpiece “Astronomy Domine” is the album’s highlight, and its video aired numerous times on the early-’90s MTV show Headbanger’s Ball, introducing many to the band for the first time. Vocal melodicism is stressed heavily on Nothingface, with Belanger‘s vocals pushing such tracks as “Missing Sequences” and the title track, as do guitarist Denis d’Amour‘s jazzoid-metal guitar riffs. The group’s lyrics may be hard to decipher for some (relying heavily on themes of science fiction that often paint unsettling pictures), but ultimately help complement what the group is doing musically. Nothingface also turned out to be their most commercially successful album, making an appearance on the Billboard charts. Jason Newsted of Metallica has praised Voivod as one of his favorite metal bands on numerous occasions, and after hearing Nothingface, it’s easy to understand why.

[embedded content]

Northern Star   5th July 2018.

Showcase July

Pallas Theme  Northern Star

  1. Nostromo – The Knife behind the mirror
  2. Under A Banner – World of Hope
  3. Twelfth Night – We are sane
  4. Argos – The Days of Perky Pat
  5. Haken – Visions
  6. Didge – Vesper
  7. Kenyon Bunton – Fall Down Running
  8. Mog and the Water tribe – Astronaut
  9. Evenflow – Fracture
  10. Kaleidoreal – Yellow and blue
  11. Chickn – Elevational Love of Frank Zappa
  12. Lucidreaming – Cunnigham Skink
  13. Engrenagens – Velocet
  14. Phi Yaan-Zek – Frequency calling
  15. Ostrich bouquet – Patronizing
  16. Panzerpappa –Belgerisk
  17. Thesis Lives – Pre-apollo
  18. Unkh – Delusional/Warp
  19. Devin Townsend Project – Night
  20. Strangefish – Progress in reverse
  21. Straight Light – Cellphone
  22. Otherworld – Like Sandy Denny
  23. Pink Floyd – Atom heart mother

 

 

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KRAZZ LOFT VINYL SHOW

 

Broadcast  15th  July 2018

1.       Subdivisions Rush
2.       Don’t Stand So Close To Me ’86 Police
3.       Happy Jack The Who
4.       Spanish Tide Family
5.       Fight The Tragically Hip
6.       Baby Please Set A Date G. Thorogood & Delaware Destroyers
7.       Bless My Soul Atlanta Rhythm Section
8.       Right Next Door Robert Cray Band
9.       The Thrill Of It All Black Sabbath
10.   Raindancer Hammerhead
11.   Down For The Count POA
An Acoustic 6-Pack
12.   Pinball Wizard Pete Townshend
13.   Peggy Day Bob Dylan
14.   By Hook Or By Crook Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
15.   Don’t Interupt The Sorrow Joni Mitchell
16.   Tell Me Why Neil Young
17.   Helplessly Hoping Crosby Stills Nash
18.   Silver Spoon Grace Slick & Paul Kantner
19.   The Proper Four Leaf Clover Every Mothers’ Son
20.   Just One Look The Hollies
21.   In The Evening (When The Sun Goes Down) Ray Charles
22.   Eight Days On The Road Foghat
23.   I Don’t Need No Doctor Humble Pie
24.   Godzilla Blue Oyster Cult
SLIDE INTO A SIDE (SIDE 2) THE WHO – TOMMY
25.   Christmas
26.   Cousin Kevin
27.   The Acid Queen
28.   Underture  
29.   Televison Interviews Monty Python
30.   Hymn Ultravox
31.   The Fanatic Felony
32.   Justice Tonight / Kick It Over The Clash
33.   James Pat Metheny Group
34.   Punk Jazz Weather Report
35.   Casino Al Di Meola
36.   Special Secret Song Inside Red Hot Chili Peppers
37.   5 55 Phish
38.   Sweet Dreams Roy Buchanon
39.   Who’s Gonna Catch You Now Kenny Wayne Shepherd
40.   Brass Buttons Poco
41.   Sittin’ On The Fence Rolling Stones
42.   The Wanderer The Kingston Trio
43.   Leftover Wine Melanie
44.   I Had A Dream (Sleeping w/the Enemy) Roger Hodgson
45.   The Great 1974 Mining Disaster Barclay James Harvest
46.   Rockaria Electric Light Orchestra
47.   Mission A New World Record Electric Light Orchestra
This news story was originally published here: http://www.insideoutmusic.com/newsdetailed.aspx?IdNews=22377&IdCompany=8

Polish Rock masters RIVERSIDE are pleased to announce that their upcoming seventh studio album “Wasteland” will be released via their longtime label partner InsideOutMusic on September 28th, 2018.
The album will once again feature artwork (to be seen above!) designed by longtime visual partner Travis Smith (Opeth, Devin Townsend, etc.) and the record’s main track-listing reads as follows:

RIVERSIDE – “Wasteland”:
1. The Day After
2. Acid Rain
3. Vale Of Tears
4. Guardian Angel
5. Lament
6. The Struggle For Survival
7. River Down Below
8. Wasteland
9. The Night Before

RIVERSIDE’s Mariusz Duda checked in with the following comment about the album’s overall concept: “I’d been thinking about exploring “post-apocalyptic” regions for a long time. I read books, watched films, played video games, all connected by stories about an attempt to survive in a world that had just ended. But writing such a story myself didn’t make much sense until now. RIVERSIDE are starting a new chapter and after our recent experiences, a story like that has gained more meaning. “Wasteland” is mostly about what’s happening in the world these days but it also makes a reference to the tragedy that befell the band in 2016. Musically, we’ve returned to darker sounds but we have also turned a new page and recorded the album in a different style. It’s still RIVERSIDE but expressed in a much deeper and more mature way. Most artists say the same thing while promoting their new releases: that they have just created their best work to date. I won’t say that because everything we have done so far has been consistently very good and unique. But I will say that we have never had such an incredible emotional load on any of our previous releases, and it’s not likely that we will ever make such a charged album again. “Wasteland” is an epic, multidimensional, poetic and very deep album. Perhaps of the once in a lifetime kind.
RIVERSIDE’s “Wasteland” marks the first studio album effort with newly composed music after the tragic passing of founding member and guitarist Piotr Grudzinski on February 21st, 2016.
Attention: More album details, its pre-order option as well as a first single will be launched on July 27th, so stay tuned for more news soon…
After having just performed on a string of European festivals including the prestigious Night Of The Prog festival at the historic Loreley Amphitheater in Germany last weekend, RIVERSIDE are next embarking on the “Wasteland 2018 Tour” throughout October/November to support the release of their upcoming album. See an overview of all confirmed upcoming dates below:


RIVERSIDE – “Wasteland 2018 Tour”:
12.10.2018 Gdansk (Poland) – B90
13.10.2018 Poznan (Poland) – Tama
14.10.2018 Wroclaw (Poland) – A2
16.10.2018 Katowice (Poland) – Miasto Ogrodów
17.10.2018 Lódz (Poland) – Magnetofon
18.10.2018 Torun (Poland) – Od Nowa
20.10.2018 Kraków (Poland) – Studio
21.10.2018 Warszawa (Poland) – Hala Kolo
30.10.2018 Berlin (Germany) – Kesselhaus
31.10.2018 Schorndorf (Germany) – Manufaktur
03.11.2018 Lisbon (Portugal) – LAV
04.11.2018 Madrid (Spain) – MON LIVE
05.11.2018 Barcelona (Spain) – Salamandra 1
06.11.2018 Lyon (France) – CCO
07.11.2018 Paris (France) – La Machine
09.11.2018 Manchester (UK) – Academy 2
10.11.2018 London (UK) – The Electric Ballroom
11.11.2018 Sint-Niklaas (Belgium) – Casino
12.11.2018 Utrecht (The Netherlands) – TivoliVredenburg
14.11.2018 Hamburg (Germany) – Markthalle
15.11.2018 Oberhausen (Germany) – Turbinenhalle 2
16.11.2018 Pratteln (Switzerland) – Z7
17.11.2018 Neunkirchen (Germany) – Gloomaar Festival
Tickets: https://riversideband.pl/en/gigs

RIVERSIDE – Festivals 2019:
04.-09.02.2019 Tampa to Key West & Cozumel – Cruise To The Edge
More dates to follow soon…

Look out for more news on RIVERSIDE in the coming weeks…

RIVERSIDE online:
http://www.riversideband.pl
http://www.facebook.com/Riversidepl
https://www.instagram.com/riversideband.pl

INSIDEOUTMUSIC online:
www.insideoutmusic.com
www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV
www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic
www.twitter.com/insideouteu
www.insideoutshop.de

Progressive Tracks Show #270 (Adding Prog To Your World), originally broadcast on Saturday, July 14, 2018, is now available to download or listen to anytime you desire.

Music discovery… it’s what The Progressive Tracks Show is all about.  And isn’t that why we started listening to progressive rock in the first place?  This week we’ll explore some artists and tracks never before played on the show.

Take time to relax, put on some headphones, and immerse yourself in some quality progressive rock.  It may well be the best part of your day.

Remember, you can access any previous Progressive Tracks Show at: http://www.progzilla.com/?s=progressive+tracks (there are well over 100 now!).

– Mike “ProgTracks” Pollack

Email:  ProgTracks@KPTZ.org  (Comments are always welcome)

 

PLAYLIST:

  • El Tubo Elastico – “Ingravido” from Impala on Independent
  • Evenflow – “Creation” from Old Town on Bad Elephant Music
  • The Hypersonic Factor – “Veils in the Serpent Wind” from Inventions of Diffusion on Independent
  • Electric Asturias – “Castle in the Mist” from Fractals on Asturias
  • Iron Kim Style – “Mean Streets of Pyongyang” from Iron Kim Style on MoonJune
  • Ángel Ontalva & Vespero – “Ziphius” from Carta Marina on VMS
  • The Hypersonic Factor – “The Return” from Inventions of Diffusion on Independent
  • The Kentish Spires – “Spirit of the Skies” from The Last Harvest on Independent
  • Electric Asturias – “Moondawn” from Fractals on Asturias
  • Evenflow – “That’s What You Do” from Old Town on Bad Elephant Music
  • El Tubo Elastico – “La Avispoteca” from Impala on Independent

If you have comments (always welcome), or suggestions for show topics/music, feel free to contact me anytime via email:  ProgTracks@KPTZ.org

But first… enjoy the show!

Mike “ProgTracks” Pollack

P.S.  You can skip looking for these posts each week by subscribing to the podcast below!