This news story was originally published here:
Top 5 Acoustic Songs by RUSH

Back in the early 1970s, rock music started expanding and all the genre’s fan base was getting more and more people. However, at one point it was difficult to stand out from the crowd. If you followed the norm, you were at risk of being too boring. On the other hand, if you experimented too much you were in danger of being too obscure. However, a band like Rush always found a way to sound unique but still get its huge following all around the world. Despite their long songs and philosophical and sci-fi filled lyrics, they always found a way to stay relevant for many years just by doing their own thing.

Polyphonic recently uploaded a video analysis where they got into the philosophy behind Rush‘s lyrics. They discuss the band’s lyrical themes and focus on the change that came after Neil Peart joined the band. Despite being one hell of a drummer, Peart had a huge appetite for reading. One of his focuses was Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism, which is the idea that the most moral path is the pursuit of personal happiness. This can be heard in the song like “Anthem” from Fly By Night album, the first Rush record that featured Peart. The song even has the same title as Ayn Rand‘s novella. However, the guys from Rush never declared themselves as Objectivists and the song has more to it than just that.

They discuss the album Caress of Steel and its commercial failure due to obscure lyrical themes. The label asked them to do a more radio-friendly stuff for their next record, but instead, they created “2112″ which opens up with a 20-minute long prog rock epic. They just decided to make art that fulfilled them and their own needs. Ultimately they created one of the most influential albums of that time. Once again, the lyrics were inspired by Rand‘s works and the importance of individualism. The title track, divided into seven parts, revolves around the dystopian future and the fictional city of Megadon.

You can find more details about this and a lot of other Rush songs in the player below.

[embedded content]

This news story was originally published here:
Will LED ZEPPELIN Reunite for Desert Trip Festival 2017?

A recent report from The Daily Star is claiming that Robert Plant is “mulling over” a Led Zeppelin reunion despite saying the chances for the band’s return are very slim.

A “well-placed source” said:

Everyone around the band is buzzing. Jimmy and Robert are talking again and discussing how to celebrate the big [50th] anniversary. Realistically this will be the last time that the band has a reason to reunite.

At the moment there are many things on the table being discussed and obviously playing live is one of them. If they won’t play, then they will get other stars out on stage playing their hits and then they would join in.

Vocalist Robert Plant has commented on this report, telling Press Association when asked if Led Zep would be getting back together on stage to perform for the band’s 50th anniversary:

Only in a chip shop in Camden Town! I think that’s about as close as we will get to it! We are very pleased and glad with our very, very short career. If you think about it, it’s only 12 years. We get on OK, but, you know…

Edition 143 of Steve Blease’s Heavy Elements is now available as a podcast.


Myrath – Other Side
Hillward – Long Way Down
Michael Romeo – Black
Shattered Skies – You Will Know My Name
Mask of Judas – Alive

Live at 11: Haken live at the Melkweg in Amsterdam, Thursday 13th April 2017

Cockroach King (live)
In Memoriam (live)
The Endless Knot (live)

Andromeda – The Words Unspoken
Threshold – Turn On Tune In

Album of the Week: Dreamscape – Everlight

Breathing Spaces
A Matter of Time Transforming

Sümer – End of Sense

The Beatles were kind of my “gateway” band. Before I discovered them, I liked music probably about as much as your average teenager. After I discovered them, I became what I suppose you would call a “music fanatic”. Their music resonated with me on many different levels and I was amazed at the transformational musical journey they had made in less than a decade. Once I had absorbed just about everything they had done I moved on to explore the musical catalogs of Badfinger, The Who, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and countless other classic rock bands. Eventually my explorations led me to Yes, The Moody Blues, Genesis, ELP, and the entire world of Progressive Rock. But I really owe it all to the Beatles…for me they were the spark. If you listen to interviews with many of the people who went on to found some of the greatest Golden Age Prog bands, you will also find that many of them were directly influenced in some way by the Beatles.

So I always knew that I would do some kind of Beatles show at some point. The impetus to finally do it came a few weeks ago when I was presented with an opportunity to interview Tom Murray, an author and photographer who actually spent a whole day taking some beautiful, classic, color photos of the Beatles back in 1968, on the eve of the release of The White Album. Tom has since published a book called “Mad Day Out” with not only his Beatles photos from that day, but also lots of other great pictures from the heady days of the 1960s. Speaking to Tom was a link to the legend of the Beatles.

So I offer you Prog-Watch 528 – A Celebration of the Music of the Beatles! The program features a few of the Beatles “proggier” tracks, a few cool tribute tunes, and lots of great covers of Beatles songs by some Prog and Prog-related artists. Plus a bit of my chat with Mr. Tom Murray. I hope you will join me!

Other artists featured include Matthew Sweet, ELO, Stackridge, BJH, Bloodrock, Yes, Steve Hillage, Arjen Lucassen, Paul Carrack, Harry Nilsson, Phil Collins and The Gods.

528: A Celebration of the Music of The Beatles


This news story was originally published here:
Mike Portnoy

Drummer Mike Portnoy was asked by Uber Rock whether he thinks Sons of Apollo have “lived up to expectations, both personally and on a professional level,” to which he replied:

Musically, yeah. I think what we’ve done with this album and now doing the live tour – we’re delivering. I think we’re giving the fans what they would expect out of this lineup.

This is an amazing group of guys. Each of the five of us has such individual history, but even collective histories – me and Derek [Sherinian, keyboards] were in Dream Theater together, me and Billy [Sheehan, bass] are in The Winery Dogs, it’s great to be working with Bumblefoot and Jeff [Scott Soto, vocals] so yeah, it’s absolutely meeting the expectations.

And even when it comes to [live] shows – no matter who you’re watching, you’re entertained.

Portnoy went on to explain how Sons are different from many other technically skilled acts, saying:

It’s definitely a live band. I think most prog bands are very technical and mechanical. You see them live, and they’re just kind of in their own worlds and they look like scientists.

This band is a friggin’ live band and it tears your head off. You have a keyboard player that plays like a guitar player, you have a bass player that plays like a guitar player, it’s just a live energy.

There’s just as much inspiration from the hard rock world – bands like Van Halen and Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin – that’s just as big part of a part of the sound as the prog elements.

Asked on what it feels like to be considered as one of the best drummers of all time, Mike replied:

I prefer the word ‘favorite.’ I don’t think there’s such a thing as a ‘best’ drummer. Anytime I see these polls or whatever, it’s flattering to be winning them and everything, but music isn’t a sport or competition.

So I prefer the word ‘favorite.’ It’s nice when somebody says that you’re their ‘favorite’ drummer. Okay, that’s okay, ’cause it’s subjective. In any case, it’s flattering. I don’t think I’m the ‘best’ – I know I’m not the best – but it’s nice to be a favorite.

Asked to name his favorite drummer, Mike replied:

I don’t have one. I have several. Some of my heroes are John Bonham, Keith Moon, Neil Peart, Ringo Starr, Terry Bozzio, Bill Bruford… The list goes on and on and on.

Edition 142 of Steve Blease’s Heavy Elements is now available as a podcast.


Persefone – The Majestic of Gaia
Baroness – Chlorine & Wine
Burst – We Are Dust
Oranssi pazuzu – Lahja
Plini – The End Of Everything

Live at 11: Green Carnation live at Studio TVP Krzemionki, Kraków, Poland on 31st January 2004

Into Deep (live)
Writings On The Wall (live)
As Life Flows By (live)

Orphaned Land – The Sahara’s Storm (remastered)
Arkan – Beyond the Wall

Album of the Week: Voyager – V

It’s a Wonder
A Beautiful Mistake
Breaking Down

Caligula’s Horse – Songs for No One

This news story was originally published here:

Opeth guitarist Fredrik Akesson shared an update on the band’s new album – which will mark their 13th studio effort and the follow-up to 2016′s Sorceress – telling FaceCulture:

We’re very much into the demoing. I’ve recorded a lot of solos so far. And Mikael [Akerfeldt, guitar/vocals] has almost already written 12 songs for the new album, so we have more material than enough for an album. But I think we will at least try to finish 15 songs. So hopefully we’ll work on song ideas very soon.

Saying the band is aiming to release the record during the first quarter of 2019, Fredrik added:

I’m not sure if it’s gonna happen, but we’re working towards that, and the songwriting goes very well. Mikael has been very productive these last… since January, basically. We did the last touring for ‘Sorceress‘ in November.

As for the musical direction of the fresh material, Akesson said:

Compared to the last three albums, I would say, if I can reveal anything, this album is more complex, more energetic, and I think it’s gonna be something.

The guitarist added about the creative process:

The first filter is the guys in the band, I would say. If we enjoy it, we can only hope that people that enjoy listening to Opeth will enjoy it; that would be nice. But if we’re happy with it, we will release it; it’s quite simple.

I think this is kind of a ‘Mikael question’ in a way, since he’s the creative director for the band, so I know, speaking for him a little bit here, that he always tries to push everything into something new. And I think people will enjoy this new album.

[embedded content]