All posts for the month May, 2016

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There is something great every time when seeing a kid playing guitar, and for 12 year old Vincent Brzezinski it seems like a lot of fun. But Vincent is also damn good at what he does.

Check his cover of Conquering Dystopia‘s “Ashes of Lesser Men” below. Keith Merrow himself was very appreciative of this kido, and how not to be.

Subscribe to Vincent’s YouTube channel here.

VIDEO: 12 Year Old Vincent Brzezinski Shreds CONQUERING DYSTOPIA’s “Ashes Of Lesser Men” is a post from: Prog Sphere – Progressive Rock News, Interviews, Reviews & More

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Featuring guest contributions from Andy Burgess (Praying Mantis), actor Mark Benton (Northern Lights, Waterloo Road, Scoop, Dr. Who, etc.), Mike Freeland (More, ex-Praying Mantis) and Antoine Sazio (The New Year Project), it takes listeners on a trek through three millennia of history, juxtaposes classic comic book stories with a failing relationship, looks at the events and people who influence us consciously or otherwise, searches for the perfect woman, and takes minor detours via 80s hair rock and gin.

An album to be released in five parts, Still Sitting in Danny’s Car recounts a narrative that touches upon issues of friendship, nostalgia, loss, lust, lessons we might learn from ancient history, alcoholism, and the dilemmas that come with great power. It is both a quirky study of grief and a celebration of what it means to be alive. With Parts 1 & 2 already available, SSIDC 3: Rubicon continues this journey of everyday rockers, pubs, time travel and a job swap with Death.

Track List

  1. Rubicon*
  2. Timeo Danaos Et Dona Ferentes
  3. Whatever Happened to Mary Jane?§
  4. Gwen in Stasis
  5. Madame Geneva
  6. We Had The Rock‡/Lost Boys
  7. Albion∞

The Mighty Handful
Ralph Blackbourn – Keyboards, vocals
Tom Halley – Bass, vocals Christopher James Harrison – Lead guitar, vocals Matt Howes – Lead vocals, guitars
Gary Mackenzie – Drums, vocals

Guest artists
*Andy Burgess – Lead Guitar §
Antoine Sazio – Saxophone
‡Mike Freeland – Lead Vocals
∞Mark Benton – Narration

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Ten years of music in two hours: a double live album with an unreleased studio track ‘My Silent Sea’ and a remake of ‘Los Endos’ by Genesis for the young Italian prog-rock band, acclaimed worldwide
Vivo: the first live album of Barock Project!
15 tracks – 123 minutes
“We strongly believe in the energy that comes from the audience during our concerts: it’s a magical feedback which allows us to give our very best. Vivo has multiple meanings: we wish to give back to the listener the energy that the band produces on stage; furthermore, we want to celebrate our first decade of activity, ten years since recording our very first album; finally, Vivo is a milestone for our new line up and the new musical direction we are taking”. Rarely a live album has so much importance in the history of a band, but in the case of Barock Project Vivo is really a prime chapter: a double live album entirely recorded during the 2015 tour, that summarizes a decade of songs and sketches a future musical scenario, as proven by the new studio track My Silent Sea.
Vivo’s tracklist perfectly reflects the composing growth and evolution of Barock and also offers the dynamic impact of the band playing live: “In studio we are always very methodical, so when we play the new material live, at first we tend to play the songs as we recorded them, only after some time we start to transform them and this allows us to get motivated and have fun playing. Our arrangements are very rich and we do our best to propose them on stage in a more direct way to ensure a different impact, more suitable to the concert mood“. While a remake of Los Endos by Genesis closes the first disc, the second ends with My Silent Sea, an unreleased studio track connected to Skyline, as Zabbini declares: “I felt I had to close the Skyline chapter because Barock is living a turning point and wish to communicate differently, so I recalled the dreamy and narrative atmospheres of Skyline to give an epilogue to the story of this man on the raft. Our lyricist Antonio De Sarno gave proper meaning to the music I had written. Infact this track could easily be called “Skyline Epilogue”.
Barock Project
Luca Zabbini – piano, keyboards, acoustic guitar, vocals
Luca Pancaldi – lead vocal
Eric Ombelli – drums
Marco Mazzuoccolo – electric guitar
Francesco Caliendo – bass
Northern Star – Progzilla This Thursday at 8.00pm
We have Frank Jasutis a keen listener and prog fan providing his prog festival List and his list is that of a music fan nothing else but the best part of an hours music has been selected for me. I will also be playing New music from Brian Johnstone Cosmograf Drifting Sun & PROJECTiON as well as the odd oddity and depending on my mood a bit of comedic relief.
Join me Emma Chrysoprasia Roebuck at 8.00pm On at 8.00pm gmt +1 thursday night
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Having delivered five killer albums boasting some of the most potent, technical and abrasive metal unleashed over the last decade, it would be easy for Revocation to sit back and rest upon their laurels. However, with their constant drive to push their sound ever forward and refusal to compromise their integrity, this could never be the case – and Great Is Our Sin is their most dynamic, boundary-pushing and weighty release to date.

Great is Our Sin is slated for a July 22nd release date via Metal Blade Records. The first song from the album entitled “Communion” is available for streaming starting today. Head to to get a first listen to the track and pre-order your copy of Great is Our Sin today!

Frontman Dave Davidson commented on the first track: “‘Communion’ is the fastest song we’ve recorded to date and while it’s blistering in terms of speed there are also some proggy elements present to add contrast to the aggression.

When it came time for the follow up to 2014′s Deathless the quartet had their work cut out for them, and their response to the challenge is a record that grabs you by the throat and refuses to let go. Never forcing anything, the songs that would comprise Great Is Our Sin came together organically, and while the members being spread all around North America would have been an impediment to some, Revocation drew strength from it.

Reuniting with producer Zeuss (Hatebreed, Bleeding Through), who also helmed Deathless and 2012′s Teratogenesis EP, the record packs the requisite punch, yet retains the organic feel with which it was conceived. Known for their technical prowess, the band remained dedicated to upping the ante without ever losing sight of the importance of good songwriting.

While the songs come together to make for a cohesive record that is engaging from front to back, they are further united by the lyrical concept penned by Davidson. The title itself appropriated from Charles Darwin’s quote: “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin”, Davidson went about building a theme that was not only fittingly expansive, but also had real resonance with regard to contemporary society. “The concept revolves around the folly of man throughout the ages. Some themes come from historical references that are hundreds of years old, yet sadly these themes are still very relevant today due to mankind’s refusal to learn from the lessons history has taught us, time and time again.

Regardless of the state of the world, nothing is going to slow Revocation down any time soon. Whilst the lineup has changed over the ten years the band has been in existence, Davidson’s passion has never waned, and they are arguably sounding better than ever as they look toward the future. “We can’t wait to bring these songs out on the road and perform them for different audiences all over the world. Great Is Our Sin is a new chapter for the band, and collectively we feel that it is our defining record to date.

In support of Great Is Our Sin, Revocation will be hitting the road this summer as part of the Summer Slaughter tour alongside Cannibal Corpse, Nile, After the Burial, Suffocation, Carnifex, Krisiun, Slaughter to Prevail and Ingested. The tour kicks July 23rd in Orlando, FL and runs through August 21st in Atlanta, GA. A complete list of dates can be found below.

Great Is Our Sin Track Listing:

1. Arbiters of The Apocalypse
2. Theatre of Horror
3. Monolithic Ignorance
4. Crumbling Imperium
5. Communion
6. The Exaltation
7. Profanum Vulgus
8. Copernican Heresy
9. Only the Spineless Survive
10. Cleaving Giants of Ice

Revocation Line-up:

David Davidson – Guitars / Vocals
Dan Gargiulo – Guitars / Vocals
Brett Bamberger – Bass / Vocals
Ash Pearson – Drums

Summer Slaughter Tour 2016:

7/23: Orlando, FL @ The Plaze Live
7/24: Tampa, FL @ The Ritz Ybor
7/26: Knoxville, TN @ The International
7/27: Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
7/28: New York, NY @ Webster Hall
7/29: Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
7/30: Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
7/31: Cleveland, OH @ The Agora Theatre
8/2: Minneapolis, MN @ The Cabooze
8/3: Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
8/5: Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
8/6: Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
8/8: Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
8/10: San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
8/11: Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
8/12: Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo
8/13: Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee
8/15: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live
8/16: Austin, TX @ Empire Control Room
8/17: Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
8/19: Richmond, VA @ The National (B4BQ)
8/20: Wilmington, NC @ Ziggy’s By The Sea
8/21: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade

Revocation - Great Is Our Sin

REVOCATION to Release “Great is Our Sin” July 22nd is a post from: Prog Sphere – Progressive Rock News, Interviews, Reviews & More

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As previously reported, Algerian death metal trio Lelahell launched a crowdfunding campaign for their second album titled Alif. The campaign, hosted on Indiegogo, has 10 days until it’s completed.

In a recent interview for Rocking Charts, the founder of the band, guitarist Redouane “Lelahel” Aouameur said about the campaign and funds: “The majority of funds needed are intended to help cover the costs of album artwork, production of the album, production of a music video and band merchandise:

1st Goal (Production): 4000 euros – 1000 euros recording + 3000 euros mix and mastering;

2nd Goal: 5000 euros (visuals) – lyric video (500 euros) + complete artwork (500 euros);

3rd Goal 7000 Euros – music video (2000 Euros);

4th Goal 8000 Euros – merchandising (1000 Euros).

Lelahell took a different approach in the writing process for Alif. “We have introduced other techniques in the guitar riffs and added more complexity to the drums. ‘Alif’ has more technical and ethnic influences than our previous album,” Aouameur said.

The title of the album is inspired by the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. In Arabic, alif is the first letter in the alphabet, and it is used in Arabic calligraphy to determine the size of the following characters. Lelahell say they chose the title as this album “will be the main musical reference of the next upcoming releases.

The trio’s new album, Alif, is slated as the group’s second full-length album and third release since the band’s formation in 2010. Lelahell are set to record at Hertz Studio in Poland under the guidance of well-known producers — the Wiesławscy brothers.

Head over to Indiegogo, and support Lelahell in their mission. For more Lelahell news follow the band on Facebook.

Lelahell - Alif

Contribute to LELAHELL’s Indiegogo Campaign and Help Band Release New Album is a post from: Prog Sphere – Progressive Rock News, Interviews, Reviews & More

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I believe that everybody already knows that Haken have a new album called Affinity and that it’s bloody great. The band is literally about to kick off their European tour together with Special ProvidenceRendezvous Point, and Arkentype. For bassist Conner Green, Affinity is the second release with Haken after 2014′s EP Restoration, and in an interview for Prog Sphere, Conner talks about the new album, his bass rig, technique, upcoming tour, and more.

Describe how the new Haken album Affinity came about.

The writing process for Affinity (it was called H4KEN at the time) began, I believe, in the late fall of 2014. At that time, we were sending each other bits and pieces of unfinished songs via email, workshopping riffs in these unfinished songs, and attempting to devise reasonably adequate arrangements to build on. After a few months of that, our guitarist Charlie Griffiths put forth the idea of “affinity,” which served as an inspiring foundation for lyrical themes, song titles, etc. Incidentally, “affinity” took on a double meaning for us, since it encapsulates our collaborative approach to this record.

Affinity feels more eclectic comparing with previous releases; it feels more calm in some way, what is not something bad. Where do you think it comes from?

I believe the eclecticism is a result of six musicians with a massively varied array of influences. We all have different musical backgrounds and tastes, ranging from metal and jazz to pop and prog, and when thrown together into the compositional melting pot, something like Affinity comes out.

Lead me through the recording process of the album.

Firstly, our drummer Ray [Hearne] went into the studio to lay down his drum tracks. After this, guitars, keys, and bass were recorded simultaneously in our respective home studios. For some sections (the chorus of “The Architect”, for example), I found it necessary to wait until guitars were recorded, so as to ensure the bass slotted into the mix as tightly as I could manage. Lastly, our singer Ross [Jennings] went into the studio to record his vocal tracks. After all recordings were complete, we sent the tracks off to the legendary Jens Bogren for mixing and mastering.

Haken - Affinity

What is it that makes Affinity an exceptional album? Do you attribute that to the band’s success with each of the previous records and the creative progress that’s been made with each of releases?

I wouldn’t call Affinity an exceptional album necessarily, but thanks very much for describing it that way! When we began the writing process, we didn’t pay any mind to The Mountain and how it was received, nor did we consciously avoid writing Mountain-esque material. However, creative progress certainly played a roll, since this was the first album that was entirely collaborative from the beginning.

Affinity is your first-length record with Haken after the release of Restoration EP in 2014. How much of a challenge was it for you to engage in a creative process?

Engaging in the creative process for Affinity felt more natural to me than it did for the Restoration EP. Because I’ve become musically and personally closer to the guys in the band, expressing thoughts and opinions has become much easier. The real challenge in writing music with five other musicians, though, is realizing when your thoughts and opinions just plain aren’t needed.

Tell me about your bass rig that you used for recording the new album.

I went for a fairly minimal setup for this album. I recorded everything with a Zon Sonus 6-string bass with Elixir strings, which went direct into an Avalon U5 DI. For distortion/fuzz, I used the Darkglass B7K and Vintage Microtubes, as well as an Amptweaker TightFuzz. My favorite piece of kit, however, was the Boss OC-2, which I used for sub-octave effects on “The Architect” and “Red Giant.”

Conner Green's Sonus Special 6

Having grown up in the Indiana (correct me if I’m wrong), how would you describe your initial exposure to music?

Yes, that’s correct! My parents put me into piano lessons when I was five or thereabouts, so I learned to read music at a young age. I didn’t begin listening to music recreationally, however, until I discovered bands like System of a Down, Killswitch Engage, and Korn. I was eleven or twelve at the time, and was immediately inspired to pick up the guitar.

Were you in the music programs in school while you were growing up?

Actually, I was in choir and musicals until high school, when I switched over to the school band. Regrettably, I didn’t put much effort into the singing I was meant to be doing in the choir, since all I wanted to do was play guitar in a metal band.

How did you get into playing bass? If you wanted to get into the heavy metal thing, it is kind of unusual to go straight to the bass. Most guys want to be guitarists. [laughs]

That’s very true. When I was a freshman in high school, I joined the jazz band, but, much to my chagrin, there was already a guitarist in the band, so my only choice was bass. Actually, I didn’t take bass seriously until two years later, when I picked up the upright bass. At that time, I was listening to a lot of jazz and indie music, so making the switch from guitar to bass wasn’t too unusual.

Did you start to listen to music differently once you discovered bass?

Absolutely. Before my junior year of high school, I only seemed to focus on vocals or guitars, because they were often the main attraction of whatever I was listening to. After I decided to take bass seriously, I began to “listen down” to the lower frequencies and the drums.

Who were some of your early bass influences?

My first major bass influence was actually an upright bass player called Ray Brown. I was hooked after I heard his playing on an Oscar Peterson Trio recording of “Days of Wine and Roses.” I was also digging into Scott LaFaro and Paul Chambers at that time. It wasn’t until college that I studied electric bass players. The first electric bass player I greatly admired was Janek Gwizdala, whose playing on Bob Reynold‘s album A Live Life really piqued my electric bass interests.

Conner Green (photo credits: Catherine Brun)

Conner Green (photo credits: Catherine Brun)

How did your career get rolling? What were you doing initially?

To be honest, I didn’t have much of a career before I joined Haken. I was in my second year of studying jazz bass at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music when I joined. I played a lot of jazz gigs around Indiana, and planned on continuing schooling until I had a master’s degree. Playing rock music proved to be more fulfilling though.

Tell me about your bass technique. Do you play much with a pick or do you play more with your fingers?

Over the last year, I’ve spent more practice time balancing my finger and pick playing. Both techniques have something unique to offer, so I use the technique I feel is best suited for the situation. Recently though, I’ve been eradicating raking from my finger technique, and instead alternating fingers when switching strings.

Do you have one or two “go-to” basses, or do you have a big arsenal of instruments?

I have one “go-to” bass, which is the Zon Sonus 6-string I recorded the new album with. Having a large collection of basses is attractive, but achieving total familiarity with an instrument is more important to me.

Switching back to Haken — you guys have a tour kicking off on May 25th in Bristol. What are your expectations?

As strange as it sounds, we haven’t solo-headlined Europe in over two years! Naturally, I’m hoping to see marginally larger crowds full of new faces in the cities we’ve visited before. We’re headlining shows in Scandinavia, Poland, and Israel for the first time, so we’re not quite sure what to expect just yet. Overall, though, it’s shaping up to be an epic tour, and we’re very lucky to have Special Providence, Rendezvous Point, and Arkentype along for the ride.

What about the future? What else would you like to do that you haven’t already accomplished?

Personally, I’d like to perform in and explore new areas of the world. We get a lot of requests to play in South America and Australia, and we’re itching to finally have those opportunities. Also, scoring a support slot for bands like Karnivool, Dream Theater, or Between the Buried and Me (again) would be simply amazing.

My last question… What would you be if you weren’t a bass player?

I’d almost certainly be a failed guitarist.

Affinity by Haken is out now; order it here. See the band live on the upcoming AffiniTour V1.0. For dates see the poster below.

Haken AffiniTour V1.0

CONNER GREEN Talks New HAKEN Album, Gear, Tour & More is a post from: Prog Sphere – Progressive Rock News, Interviews, Reviews & More

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