The Tangent, the progressive rock group led by Andy Tillison, have announced the release of the first new music since 2015. Their new ninth studio album ‘The Slow Rust of Forgotten Machinery’ is set for release on 21st July 2017. The line-up for this album once again features Tillison on keyboards, vocals (and for the first time on a Tangent record – drums), Jonas Reingold on bass, Luke Machin on guitars and vocals, and Theo Travis on sax and flutes plus new member Marie-Eve de Gaultier on keys and vocals. There are also guest appearances from author/playwright and Chumbawamba founder Boff Whalley on vocals, and upcoming DJ/producer Matt Farrow.

Band leader Andy Tillison had this to say: “Roger Waters did prove the ability of Progressive Music to act as a vehicle to communicate ideas about the current world scene. In both Pink Floyd’s “The Final Cut” and his “Amused To Death” albums, Waters set a challenge to others in the genre. A challenge which has not been frequently accepted.”

The album sees The Tangent in political commentary mode once again – this time often focussing on the horrendous plight of refugees from war torn parts of the world – and the way in which they are treated by the West, and in particular by the tabloid press. The album laments the new trend in building walls and defending borders across the world yet takes time to look at the breakup of friendships and other more personal issues – along with a song about the fate of wildlife in the modern consumer world.

And it’s a Progressive Rock Record. Full of intricacies, long developed pieces, challenging arrangements and virtuoso playing from all members. New sounds and styles (the band have brought a DJ on board for some sections) – new voices and techniques (first female vocals in The Tangent since the “Not As Good As The Book” album 10 years ago). A new producer in the form of Luke Machin whose open and deep/clear sound is a major factor of this album, a new drummer in the form of Andy Tillison who decided at long last (after drumming for 30 years) to let his own performances guide the rest of the band rather than adding another musician later. And after 13 years of asking, Jonas finally agreed to play some double bass in a song where Luke also plays some Scat guitar and Andy does a full on drum solo.

“The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery” also features stellar artwork from Marvel / DC Comics artist Mark Buckingham. The sleeve of the album is totally based on the music it contains and was especially created for this project.

The album will be available on limited digipak CD, gatefold 2LP + CD, and digital download, and you can find the full track-listing below:

  • Two Rope Swings
  • Doctor Livingstone (I Presume)
  • Slow Rust
  • The Sad Story of Lead and Astatine
  • A Few Steps Down the Wrong Road
  • Basildonxit

The band will head out on tour in support of the new record, once again joining forces with Sweden’s Karmakanic to present albums by both bands. The full list of dates is as follows:

  • Aug 26th 2017 – Bierkeller, Reichenbach, DE
  • Sept 1st 2017 – 2 days of Prog +1 Festival, Veruno, Italy
  • Sept 9th 2017 – The Boerderij, Zoetermeer
  • Oct 8th 2017 – SUMMERS END Festival, Chepstow, UK
  • Oct 21st 2017 – Progtoberfest, Chicago, USA
  • Oct 22nd 2017 – Shank Hall, Milwaukee WI, USA
  • Oct 24th 2017 – Token Lounge, Westland MI, USA
  • Oct 26th 2017 – Roxy & Dukes, Dunellen NJ, USA
  • Oct 27th 2017 – The Regent Theatre, Arlington MA, USA

Look out for more information in the coming weeks!
The Tangent online:


Visit the new Insideout Shop:

Our very own Andrew Wild has a new book about to be released!

Pink Floyd – Song By Song is an in-depth analysis of evrything Pink Floyd ever released and is a fascinating read.

Pink Floyd: Song by Song takes a fresh look at the music that led to Pink Floyd becoming the third best-selling band of all time. From Arnold Layne to Louder Than Words , Pink Floyd wrote about anger, isolation, regret, dismay and fear. These themes, not always obvious starting points in popular music, were married to a rare dynamism in rock music. Pink Floyd s most successful period critically and musically eight albums from 1970 to 1983 combine the pithy lyrics of Roger Waters, the soulful voice and breath-taking guitar solos of David Gilmour and, until 1979, the jazz influenced piano and keyboard abilities of the late Richard Wright. These three together wrote the band s best work, usually in combinations of twos and threes, but also individually. When working together as equals, the three principals of Pink Floyd were significantly more than the sum of their individual strengths.

You can order the book from Amazon and many good book sellers!

This news story was originally published here:

Syncage was formed almost a decade ago, by brothers Riccardo and Matteo Nicolin together with their best friends Daniele Tarabini and Matteo Graziani, when they were all teenagers. They have previously released a single, Hellhound in May 2014 which they followed up with the EP Italiota in September of the same year. Matteo Nicolin moved to the Netherlands and doubt was cast over what this meant for the band, but within months he began writing for what would become Unlike Here. Later other members chipped in to enhance the music with their own contributions, and once they had got down to recording the band signed to Bad Elephant Music for this, their first full album.

And what an album they have delivered here; there is a saying that youth is wasted on the young, not so here as Syncage have presented a piece of work that is mature and confident, all delivered with that youthful vitality. The music is an experimental fusion of jazz, metal, rock, ambience, with some touches of classic Italian prog. As they put it themselves, “Syncage are a musical project which aims to sting listeners’ resonance through various psycho emotional devices”.

This is certainly a varied and well constructed album, from the art rock opening track School you are immediately engaged as the band take you on a journey of discovery which delivers a sparkling array of songs. The performances are outstanding throughout with particular note to Matteo N’s amazing vocals, which can range between subtle and falsetto. Syncage make use of what they call the “Unlike Here” String Quartet to add extra texture and emotion to the music, always well placed and not overused.

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After the opening song we get the track Uniform which is a sparse arrangement of violin and drums before the guitar and vocals join in, giving the song an almost folk-like feel. At times there appear to be influences from The Mars Volta and King Crimson in their delivery, indeed the KC influence is felt on Redirect and Edelwiess. The former has a harsh Crimson-like guitar riff, then a driving rhythm from bass and drums, with the violin playing over the top, before it gives way to Matteo’s high vocals, which seem manic at times with some Bruce Dickinson-like screams. Things begin to mellow slightly with the return of violin, the harsher riffs returns with the drive to the end.

Edelwiess is the epic track here, clocking in at fourteen and a half minutes. A spoken word intro leads to the line “guys are you there, is anyone?” which then leaves the violin to take over. The spoken word continues the story, accompanied by guitar before the focus changes and the music returns to Crimson-like menace. Driven along by the rhythm section, the violin comes back with a slightly crazed solo, leading to a great guitar solo with things lightening up with bright guitar and bass to the fore. The spoken word gives way to sung lyrics and the track contains a wonderful trumpet solo from Sean Lucariello which becomes somewhat unsettling towards the finish.

Elsewhere the songs continue the high standard; Still Unaware with its bright guitar and jazzy piano fairly bubbles along before its mid-song change of mood. The acoustic guitar, flute and violin feature on Stones Can’t Handle Gravity, which beautifully demonstrate the gentler side of the band. The album closes with the nine and a half minute title track, the strings and rhythm section leading at the start, eventually joined by atmospheric keyboards as the song continues to develop throughout, each added instrument giving extra textures. Matteo’s vocals are again top notch and used almost like another instrument, there’s a natural flow and progression from start to finish.

Unlike Here is an engaging album which holds the attention throughout. There is a cohesive whole to the songs which also have enough variety to stand up in their own right. Syncage have developed their own musical style, which will make them stand out in their future endeavours, and I for one look forward to where this band will take their music on subsequent releases. Give this a listen; I don’t think you will be disappointed.

01. School (4:38)
02. Uniform (4:14)
03. Still Unaware (6:20)
04. Skyline Shift (5:49)
05. Stones Can’t Handle Gravity (5:48)
06. Redirect (7:56)
07. Bearing The Colour (5:05)
08. Edelweiss (14:31)
09. Hunger Atones (5:12)
10. Unlike There (9:29)

Total Time – 69:02

Matteo Nicolin – Vocals, Guitars, Programming, Morin Khuur
Daniele Tarabini – Bass, Flute, Backing Vocals
Matteo Graziani – Keyboards, Violin
Riccardo Nicolin – Drums, Vibraphone, Percussion, Backing Vocals
The “Unlike Here” String Quartet:
– Matteo Graziani – 1st Violin
– Sarah van Eijk – 2nd Violin
– Michele Sguotti – Viola
– Enrico Graziani – Cello
Additional Musicians:
Sean Lucariello – Trumpet Solo (on Edelweiss)
Fabio Ferrante – Additional Vibraphone (on Edelweiss)
Fabio Ferrante and Beatrice Lannelli – Additional Scream of ‘NO!’ (on Redirect)

Record Label: Bad Elephant Music
Country of Origin: Italy
Date of Release: 5th May 2017

Syncage – Website | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp


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I’m delighted to announce that the podcast for Edition 57 of The Ancient One is now available.


1 Samurai of Prog – Drottningholmsmusiken (intro) (Rokstenen)
2 Freedom To Glide – Rain (Tracks 1-4) (Rain)
3 Poor Genetic Material – Lost In Translation (Absence)
4 Pete Sinfield – A House Of Hopes and Dreams (Still)
5 Long Earth – Ghosts (Pt 1-4) (The Source)
6 Cosmograf – The Drover (Capacitor)
7 Machines Dream – Noise To Signal (Black Science)
8 Abel Ganz – The Dead Zone (Gratuitous Flash)
9 The Emerald Dawn – Buridan’s Lament ((Searching For The Lost Key)
10 Pink Floyd – High Hopes (The Division Bell)
11 Martigan – Theodor’s Walls (Distant Monsters)
12 Tony Patterson – The Magdalene Fields (Equations of Meaning)
13 Loonypark – Face In The Mirror (Perpetual)
14 Aperco – Another Day To Live (The Battle)
15 Ontofield – Holographic Rain (Sleeping With Fractals)
16 Freedom To Glide – Fall (Tracks 1-5) (Fall)
17 Bootcut – Ganglat Fran Overnaker (outro) (Rokstenen)

I’m delighted to announce that the podcast for Edition 56 of The Ancient One is now available.


1 Samurai of Prog – Drottningholmsmusiken (Intro) (Rokstenen)
2 Simon Says – White Glove (Paradise Square)
3 Bram Stoker – Calling Me Home (Cold Reading)
4 Big Big Train – Brave captain (Grimspound)
5 The Windmill – Don’t Be Afraid (To Be Continued)
6 Yes – And You And I (Close To The Edge)
7 Flamborough Head – Lost In Time (Lost In Time)
8 Damanek – Long Time Shadow Falls (On Track)
9 Camel – The Sleeper (Breathless)
10 Deep Purple – Anthem (The Book Of Taliesyn)
11 Love Street – Sleepers (Both Sides Of The Door)
12 XNA – Banner Of The Whyte Boar (When We Changed You)
13 Kaprekar’s Constant – Bluebird (Fate Outsmarts Desire)
14 Circuline – Summit (Counterpoint)
15 Dawn – Cold (Darker)
16 Hollow Water – The Quantum Mechanic and The Map Collector (Rainbow’s End)
17 Toon Martens Project – Columbus (TMP)
18 Bootcut – Ganglat Fran Overnaker (Outro) (Rokstenen)

This news story was originally published here:

On 22nd April 2017 – Earth Day. While protests to mark the “Science March” were proceeding across the USA and the world, TPA’s Professor Mark sat down with one of the great musical sci-fi storytellers, Arjen Lucassen, and conducted a Skype interview about his latest album release as Ayreon, The Source, and all things Lucassen. Mark would like to thank Arjen for the amazing opportunity to talk to him ‘face to face’ for the first time.

Ayreon - The Source

When you try to imagine the prolific discography that this musical maestro has created and the journeys he has taken his fans on, you realize that any interview can only scratch the surface of all the things that he has accomplished…so far.

Let’s start with The Source. It is a prequel to the amazing saga that has comprised the fans’ favorite part of Arjen’s four-pronged musical experience that includes Ayreon, Star One, Ambeon, and the many bands he has launched, including Stream of Passion, Guilt Machine and the Gentle Storm. All of these “worlds” are great, but it’s the Ayreon world that is respected the most by Arjen’s metal fans. It has the largest discography of all the groups. And Arjen seems to enjoy it the most.

So, my first question to Arjen:

If money was no object, being the space traveller you write about, where would you like to travel to, outside the Milky Way?

I would probably go to Planet Y in the Andromeda Galaxy M31, because it was included in one of my earlier Ayreon projects, The Universal Migrator Part II: Flight of The Migrator. The song I wrote was Out of The White Hole. Some of the lyrics include: “We come out of the white hole into the M31 galaxy, which is also known as Andromeda. We see a planet that looks much like Earth. Could it sustain life? And if, who lives there?” So, potentially another chance for humans to maybe start over.

Ayreon - The SourceThe Source seems to travel down some of the same paths you have travelled before with the Ayreon saga. You’ve brought back James Le Brie – thank you for this. Is he your favorite singer, or who is your favorite singer of all time? You have certainly ‘screen-tested’ many.

Yes James is one of my favorite vocalists. We have met, and understand each other well. He enjoys working on these sci–fi futuristic projects as well as the evolution and emotions of the species. His voice mixes soft and hard and can cover all aspects of human emotion.

You have an incredible storytelling ability and are prolific in recording. What do you read to keep up with all the innovative ideas coming into each of your new creations?

I read scientific magazines online and have a wealth of books and literature that I consult when I’m ready to create. I am constantly reading and discovering additional information on the Science Channel and other such outlets.

Who from music, movies or culture inspires you to write and record music?

Most of what inspires me is people and the way they interact with each other, the world, music and technology.

I know The Source imagines where things could go in the future. What are your feelings on the state of world affairs?

I think this album reflects the fears that I and many people have about our future. Sometimes I don’t even want to go anywhere outside my house, ha ha!

Dissect a song like Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, or your favorite song and describe how you see it evolving. What do you see as the highlights and best riffs and sounds?

Arjen starts to hum the melody…

That is such a cool hook and melody. Few songs I know could ever compare to the power and simplicity of how perfect Set the Controls… sounds. Just perfect. I wish I could create something that powerful.

I think you have, with songs like Dragon on the Sea; the way those boats sound like they are right in front of you, when you close your eyes. Beneath the Waves is another one that just sends chills down my spine. All the tracks from Guilt Machine are just perfect melodies, and so different from everything else you or others have created.

You must have been very happy with the completed version of the DVD and theatrical production of The Theater Equation.

It was a lot of work, but in the end it was very fulfilling and a lot of fun.

Will there ever be another Guilt Machine album?
I never plan ahead, but it’s definitely an option! I’m very proud of that album. I guess it wouldn’t be with exactly the same musicians though.
Can you bring Fish to the theater and re-animate The Electric Castle?
I think Fish will stop playing live soon. I asked him for the Ayreon Universe shows, but unfortunately he was unavailable.
Do you envision performing any of the rest of the catalog live? There are only so many hours in the day, after all!
You mean as a theater production? Yes, that is definitely an option. But I know nothing about the theater, so someone else would have to set it up.
That cocoon at the end of The Theater Equation forecasts a drift back to Actual Fantasy or maybe The Universal Migrator – The Dream Sequencer.
Yes indeed! The idea was that the whole story was just a figment of my imagination inside the Dream Sequencer.
What is next for Arjen?

First the Ayreon Universe shows, and after that… I really don’t know! As always I don’t plan ahead. So, it will be a surprise for me as well!

Thank you again Arjen for taking time to speak with us at The Progressive Aspect.

Arjen Lucassen - photo by Lori Linstruth

And you can read Professor Mark’s review of The Source HERE.

Arjen Lucassen – Website | Facebook | Twitter

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This news story was originally published here:

Arjen Lucassen has returned with a new Ayreon album for 2017, The Source being the latest adventure in the long saga which has been the stalwart concept and story of Lucassen’s discography. The Source is actually a prequel to the Ayreon story, of which I have been a fan since I first heard about it. There have been many magical moments throughout the now nine album saga. I particularly enjoyed Into the Electric Castle, The Human Equation and 01011001, although Actual Fantasy, The Final Experiment, both parts of The Universal Migrator and The Theory of Everything were also excellent.

It is a fantastic storyline, full of power and momentous music. From ancient times through the evolution of our world and onward towards space travel and planetary colonization, it has been a powerful journey, full of great lyrics and musicianship, pulled together with fine performances by musicians and singers from throughout the globe. Lucassen has been akin to the George Lucas of the musical experience and every aspect of this journey, from the in depth stotylines to the choosing of the players and singers, has made Lucassen the premier composer of this type of futuristic space rock. Arjen has melded traditional rock, space rock, heavy metal and progressive rock to paint from this grand palette his stories which document history and warn of potential future outcomes for planet Earth.

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In this latest reading of the story I feel that Arjen has accomplished a rewrite of sorts, a prequel to the story, using new singers and musicians. Although the songs have changed, the story is very similar. Like Hollywood, he has decided to try a fresh re-boot of the Ayreon story with new performers. This also seems like a summary or overture of the complete storyline. I know that Arjen’s fans love the Ayreon concept and never want the story to end, but with this disc I feel he is replaying it, but it’s a fun story which engages a multitude of talented artists.

Yes, there are highlights, like Everybody Dies, and James LaBrie’s singing as ‘The Historian’ character on The Day that the World Breaks Down, The Star of Sirrah and others. Any album graced with his singing will always hold the interest for Dream Theater fans like me.

Marillion’s Mark Kelly plays keyboards while Epica’s Simone Simmons and Floor Jansen from Nightwish play central characters, singing their roles perfectly. Any band would be more than happy to include the guest list of top new heavy metal talent in whatever project they were creating. There is no question that assembling these great talents is both fun and creates some excellent music, their performances interpreting the story in innovative ways and sending it in new directions.

The record label, Mascot, describes the album in these words: “The title of The Source invites various interpretations. It’s a reference to water — the source of life — and the water planet where the escaping Alphans find a safe new home after their long, arduous journey. The Source also points to the origins of humanity and the question of where we come from. The title also hints at the role that the album itself plays in the whole Ayreon catalogue. Given that it is a prequel, it can be thought of as the source of the entire Ayreon epic.”

The only question I am left with is, ‘Why?’

For me it is time for a new story. It is hard to branch out when this direction is obviously so profitable and enjoyable for the artists, but for fans like me it’s definitely time for something new.

I like this album, and highly recommend it for anyone new to Arjen’s fan club or this genre of music. That said, I hope to review something completely different from Arjen the next time he releases an album.

2017 will be a very Ayreon year, with multiple live performances taking place across Europe. Having a new album with new songs, singers and players is important to that end.

Get this album and enjoy the re-start of the Ayreon Universe.

[And you can read Professor Mark’s recent interview with Arjen Lucassen HERE.]

CD 1
Chronicle 1: The Frame

01. The Day That the World Breaks Down (12:32)
02. Sea of Machines (5:08)
03. Everybody Dies (4:42)
chronicle 2: The Aligning of The Ten
04. Star of Sirrah (7:03)
05. All That Was (3:36)
06. Run! Apocalypse! Run! (4:52)
07. Condemned to Live (6:14)

Chronicle 3: The Transmigration

01. Aquatic Race (6:56)
02. The Dream Dissolves (6:11)
03. Death cry Of a Race (4:43)
04. Into the Ocean (4:53)
Chronicle 4: The Rebirth
05. Bay of Dreams (4:24)
06. Planet Y Is Alive! (6:02)
07. The Source Will Flow (4:13)
08. Journey to Forever (3:19)
09. The Human Compulsion (2:15)
10. March of The Machines (1:40)

Total Time – 88:33

Arjen Anthony Lucassen – Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Bass Guitar, Mandolin, Synthesizers, Hammond, Solina Strings, all other instruments
Joost van den Broek – Grand Piano, Electric Piano
Mark Kelly – Synthesizer Solo
Maaike Peterse – Cello
Paul Gilbert – Guitar Solo
Guthrie Govan – Guitar Solo
Marcel Coenen – Guitar Solo
Ed Warby – Drums
Ben Mathot – Violin
Jeroen Goossens – Flute, Wind Instruments
~ Vocalists:
James LaBrie – as ‘The Historian’
Tommy Karevik – as ‘The Opposition Leader’
Tommy Rogers – as ‘The Chemist’
Simone Simons – as ‘The Counselor’
Nils K. Rue – as ‘The Prophet’
Tobias Sammet – as ‘The Captain’
Hansi Kürsch – as ‘The Astronomer’
Mike Mills – as ‘TH-1’
Russell Allen – as ‘The President’
Michael Eriksen – as ‘The Diplomat’
Floor Jansen – as ‘The Biologist’
Will Shaw, Wilmer Waarbroek, Jan Willem Ketelaars & Lisette van den Berg – as ‘The Ship’s Crew’
Zaher Zorgati – as ‘The Preacher’

Record Label: Mascot
Country of Origin: The Netherlands
Date of Release: 28th April 2017

Ayreon – Website | Facebook
Arjen Anthony Lucassen – Facebook

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This news story was originally published here:

Ritchie Blackmore recently did an interview with the Guardian, where he says that he would reunite with his formed band Deep Purple.

The post reads:

“He ‘bears no malice’ to Deep Purple now, and would play with them again if he were asked (‘It’s probably not probable, though’).”

The guitarist also reflected on Rainbow and the fact that 26 musicians in total passed through the band. The reasons for that, he says, are:

“I’ve been told it’s because I don’t pay anybody. I don’t see why that should make a difference. If you’re into music, you should do it for nothing. In fact, that’s the way the music business is going, isn’t it? I thought artists were expected to play for nothing.”

This news story was originally published here:

Ritchie Blackmore recently did an interview with the Guardian, where he says that he would reunite with his formed band Deep Purple.

The post reads:

“He ‘bears no malice’ to Deep Purple now, and would play with them again if he were asked (‘It’s probably not probable, though’).”

The guitarist also reflected on Rainbow and the fact that 26 musicians in total passed through the band. The reasons for that, he says, are:

“I’ve been told it’s because I don’t pay anybody. I don’t see why that should make a difference. If you’re into music, you should do it for nothing. In fact, that’s the way the music business is going, isn’t it? I thought artists were expected to play for nothing.”