All posts for the month December, 2017

This news story was originally published here:

With For Mange Melodia Norwegian newcomers Knekklectric present an ambitious and sonically varied sophomore effort, displaying elements ranging from Indie-Rock, Post-Hardcore and Jazz to classic progressive rock. The Ålesund-based outfit successfully combines the above mentioned musical influences in an appealing manner, ultimately resulting in an intricate and simultaneously highly approachable record, that deserves much attention.

Jazzy guitar lines, complex polyrhythmic drumming and modern as well as vintage synthesizer sounds draw a thread through the otherwise very melodic approach to chorus and verse on the entire record, at times giving the record a classic progressive rock feel. Yet there is more to it…

The ‘Jazzy guitar lines’ aren’t just a show of highly virtuosic skills but explicitly serve the compositions. Straight from the start the first guitar motif on opening track Vi e Mindre proves this point by constructing the melodic groundwork of the song with sequencing arpeggios that gives way to a fuzzy bassline accompanying the verse. The chorus is of a more epic nature, attesting to the unquestionable Scandinavian background of the band.

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Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Cedric Bixlar, of At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta, could certainly have been involved in the writing process of the frantically banging verses of Hanska på. Vocalist Johannes Drablos Maaseide, who on the rest of the album convinces with clean singing and a singular falsetto, switches to a raw scream, accompanied by dirty distorting guitar strokes and hard hitting drum work. But even halfway through this short rocker the band builds in a break and reconstructs the punchy 8/8 with different rhythmic variations, giving synthesizer and guitar space for climaxing solos of a truly prodigious nature.

The majestically harmonic progression closing Prokrastinera igjen even suggests some ’70s Kaipa influences, Johannes’s scratchy vocals at this point being very reminiscent of Mats Löfgren’s outburst on Total Förvirring, from Kaipa’s 1978 album Solo.

By presenting such a wide pallet of influences over a half hour record there’s naturally always the danger of confusing and not emotionally engaging the audience, but on this level Knekklectric excel. The intricate and unique instrumental performances by all involved interlink the seven songs with a unique sonic concept, and in addition to the sincerely and at times eclectically delivered Norwegian vocals grab the listeners attention to the fullest – not understanding Norwegian in the slightest doesn’t stand in the way of that according to this listener.

The flawless production and mix further enhance the overall sonic experience by dynamically balancing the rougher and more atmospheric passages, shaping a final homogeneous whole. Don’t be discouraged from trying this record just because of the Norwegian vocals or the mentioning of the genre definitions like “indie-rock” in this review. This album is an accomplished engagement, appealing to all who enjoy top-notch musicianship, and just might convince a few prog heads to include it in their ‘best of’ lists for 2017. For Mange Melodia deserves to rocket to the top of this years releases.

01. Vi e mindre (5:16)
02. Hanska på (3:40)
03. Prokrastinera igjen (6:09)
04. Stolpekontroll (4:14)
05. Vestkyst (3:53)
06. Ski no (7:35)

Total Time – 30:47

Johannes Maaseide – Vocals, Guitar
Edvard Brøther – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Hogne Aarflot – Rhodes, Hammond, Synths, Piano, Backing Vocals
Erlend Alm Lerstad – Bass Guitar
Jon Bolstad – Drums & Cymbals

Record Label: Tik Records | Apollon Records
Country of Origin: Norway
Date of Release: 17th January 2017

Knekklectric – Facebook | Bandcamp


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This news story was originally published here:

Hi everybody, I’m very happy to announce the imminent release of my eighth album with Inner Prospekt, “Seven ways to lose yourself”. This time I had the pleasure to have my dear friend and colleague Federico Tetti (guitarist in Mad Crayon) performing in three tracks of the album. He has also written the lyrics and sung the only non-instrumental song of the album “Rebirth”.

This work is the result of almost a entire year of work, and as usual I’ve tried to explore more and more ways to declinate my passion for the classic progressive rock of the seventies. I love long and complicated compositions: the ways the music takes you and makes you lose inside the labirynth, disorients you sometimes, surprises you when suddently returns in places you know. I use classic sounds indeed, but not only, because even with the use of the synths the music, this music, can surprise or disorient, guide or make you lose yourself. Like a big city. 

Inspired by my old trip in Tokyo I’ve composed seven tracks, six of which are instrumentals.

01 Free Walk (11.05)

02 The Fun District (7.24)

03 Down Deep (5.12)

04 Where They Live (13.15)

05 The Breath of the Red Lights (11.48)

06 Rebirth (7.42)

07 Down Deeper (9.36)

The Bandcamp download version will feature a special bonus track with an unplugged version of Rebirth, for about five minutes of music.

The total length will be over 70 minutes.

I’ve prepared some promos to present this long work, hope you enjoy.

The release date is set for the 18th January 2018.

Line up:

Alessandro Di Benedetti: keyboards, piano, drums and programming

Federico Tetti: guitars, vocas

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Edited by MadCrayon – 16 hours 20 minutes ago at 16:45

This news story was originally published here:
OCEANS OF SLUMBER Release Video for New Single "The Decay of Disregard"
Houston-based progressive metal outfit, Oceans of Slumber, have just released a video for their new single “The Decay Of Disregard,” taken off their upcoming album The Banished Heart, to be released on March 2, 2018! Watch it below.

The band comments, “The first statement of this record is one of realization and self-destruction. The peculiarities of life, the darkness it brings, and the inability we have to separate the heart from the mind. Something that can rot us from the inside and that most of us fight with everyday.”

“I feel something cruel within me. Calling out…
It calls my heart to wander, far from here…
It troubles my dreams, the thoughts of leaving.
It claws at me, to leave everything I’ve come to know and depend on…”
-The Decay of Disregard

The band further adds, “The video was shot in the country side of Big Creek, TX using the loft of a beautifully creepy 100 year old barn for the band performance and it’s surrounding acreage to capture Cammie’s transcendental and destructive episodes. Quite a fun undertaking and very cold.”

The Decay Of Disregard is available as a digital single on all download and streaming platforms and as an Instant Grat Track on iTunes and Amazon. Preorders for all physical formats are also available as of now.

Use the following link to direct you to selected download and streaming platforms or to preorder a physical copy of the album:

The Banished Heart will be available as Jewelcase CD and Gatefold 2LP+CD.


02.03.2018 Houston, TX (USA) – White Oak Music Hall (album release show)
03.03.2018 Brooklyn, NY (USA) – Saint Vitus Bar (album release show)
06.04.2018 Nottingham (UK) – Rock City
07.04.2018 Glasgow (UK) – ABC1
08.04.2018 Bristol (UK) – O2 Academy
10.04.2018 Dublin (Ireland) – Tivoli
12.04.2018 Manchester (UK) – O2 Ritz
13.04.2018 London (UK) – O2 Forum

Cammie Gilbert – Vocals
Anthony Contreras – Guitar
Sean Gary – Guitar
Keegan Kelly – Bass
Dobber Beverly – Drums


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With the release of new album in August 2014, Opeth have confirmed that they have been on the progressive streak ever since the release of the debut Orchid in 1995. Pale Communion is the release that is slightly their most rounded (in terms of quality) record since the release of 2005′s Ghost Reveries.

Although it feels really awkward to tag an Opeth album as worst, Prog Sphere have made a choice and ranked the band’s albums in an order that we think showcases the band’s quality from the least to the most.

12. Orchid (1995)

As far as Orchid goes, it’s clear that Opeth was still trying to work out some kinks in their act, and while this debut is impressive and gives a good idea of what the band is about, the compositions (and eventually, the production) would be cleared up to make way for some of the best heavy music ever written. A great album for riffs and some really inspired sections, but not quite as good as some of the real gems Opeth has to offer in their repertoire. (Conor Fynes)

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This week’s Prog-Watch is our semi-annual collaboration with some of the merry reviewers at The Progressive Aspect, bringing you some of the best Prog Rock releases this year! We’ll hear short reviews and sample music from ten of the best albums of 2017, as suggested by Mel Allen, Tony Colvill, Shawn Dudley, Rob Fisher, Jez Rowden, Roger Trenwith, and Leo Trimming. I’ll also pick a favorite of my own, and run down the whole list of albums which were nominated, but not represented on the show. (We do only have 90 minutes, and more than 30 albums were suggested!) So join me this week for a year-end round-up of some of the best new music released this year in our favorite genre!

450: Some Of The Best Of 2017

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Suffering from a surfeit of weltschmerz recently? What you need is to give it a no-man soundtrack, then everything becomes clear, and by transposing your suffering and crushing ennui onto the surprisingly strong shoulders of the deceptively elfin-like Tim Bowness, you will feel uplifted. Maybe not quite happy, but heck, you can’t have everything.

Much like the wide open vistas of the Norfolk landscape familiar to Tim Bowness, Returning Jesus is a vast, slowly unfolding, and seemingly unchanging thing. But, if you look closely, you will see a windmill on the horizon, or a tractor creeping across a field in the middle distance, then a swan might fly across the criss-cross of far up vapour trails. In this manner a guitar line will appear then fade, or a lonely trumpet will call. Again in similarity, the topography of this music and its hinterland are contemplative, undisturbed by the headlong rush of modern life which remains at a remove. All that despite this album being recorded in the rather less romantic setting of Steven Wilson’s culture bunker in commuter belt Hemel Hempstead. Oh well, you can’t win ’em all!

Featuring some stellar guest appearances supporting the core duo of Tim and Steven, whose increasing profile with Porcupine Tree had brought no-man to a wider audience at the time of its original 2001 release, Returning Jesus is a classy production from beginning to end. Mixing art-pop, jazz inflections, ambience and electronica with Tim’s aching lyrics, the album is a sumptuous listening experience.

Kicking off with Only Rain, the music washes in and out again as a creeping slow tidal submergence and retreat over a flat landscape, stretching for miles inside Tim and Steven’s imagination. Featuring the gorgeous understated trumpet playing of Ian Carr, the father of British jazz fusion, an early indication of the sheer class of this record, the opening tune sets the tone of the rest of the album.

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No Defence is a blues within a pop song, the protagonist reminding himself there is “no disgrace to close your eyes and quit the chase”. Tim’s familiar lyrical themes are present and correct, in the place where seemingly overpowering ennui and romantic disillusion are never quite allowed to triumph. Carolina Skeletons sees the song’s subject giving up as “She loses sight in the velvet night, drops a tin can by the chair”, but eventually facing the future with a defiant “She dreams of flight in the velvet night, throws a tin can in the air”. Weltschmerz will not win!

The unhurried nature of the album witnesses the title track, over a minimal Oriental sounding percussive background and some liquid guitar lines from Steven, imploring “Slow it all down…it always moves so fast”. There is no little irony in that line, at least from a musical perspective, as the pace rarely rises above languid, not that you’d want it to.

Of course, the real reason to buy this reissue is the bonus disc, which features EP tracks, demos, and alternate versions of songs covering a period from 1994 to 2003. A highlight of the original album for me was Lighthouse, a song of expansive minimalism if such a thing can exist, and one of no-man’s more well known songs. It has two alternate takes on the bonus disc, so I am a happy bunny! The First Demo version, a full two minutes longer than the regular album version, is a rare example of Steven’s music taking precedence over Tim’s presence, and wears the musician’s love of Talk Talk on its carelessly laundered sleeve.

Elsewhere on the bonus disc there are plenty of divergences from the finished album versions and enough other treats and surprises to keep the fan happy, and Steven’s remaster of the main album is a treat, as you would expect it to be.

Is it still true that no-one has heard of no-man as was certainly the case when Returning Jesus originally came out? With Mr Wilson’s inescapable bestriding of the prog pond these days I somehow doubt it, and that can only be a good thing, as this band epitomise the spirit of art pop/rock experimentation to a tee, to a degree even more so than Wilson’s own solo career or his work with Porcupine Tree. Ah… I’m beginning to see why the band that started while Porcupine Tree was still a solo project with guests remained a best kept secret for so long.

CD 1 – Returning Jesus (2001)

01. Only Rain (7:24)
02. No Defence (5:20)
03. Close Your Eyes (8:25)
04. Carolina Skeletons (5:08)
05. Outside The Machine (5:46)
06. Returning Jesus (5:19)
07. Slow It All Down (3:42)
08. Lighthouse (8:12)
09. All That You Are (4:44)

Total Time – 54:03

CD 2 – EP Tracks/Demos/Alternate Versions (1994-2003)
01. Something Falls (3:34)
02. Close Your Eyes – 1998 EP version (7:47)
03. Carolina Reprise (3:00)
04. Until Tomorrow – Hi-Fi (2:59)
05. Chelsea Cap (5:25)
06. Darkroom (3:52)
07. Until Tomorrow – Lo-Fi (3:15)
08. Song About The Heart (2:48)
09. Lighthouse – First Demo (10:27)
10. Darkroom – Alternate Version (5:35)
11. Like A Child (4:10)
12. Chelsea Cap – Alternate Version (6:50)
13. Lighthouse – Second Demo (8:58)
14. Slow It All Down – Long Version (5:13)
15. All That You Are – Demo (4:36)

Total Time – 76:33

Tim Bowness – Vocals & Lyrics
Steven Wilson – Instruments
~ with:
Ben Christophers – Acoustic Guitar (tracks 1 & 7)
David Kosten – Synthesizer & Cymbal (track 1), Co-Producer (track 1)
Ian Carr – Trumpet (track 1)
Ian Dixon – Trumpet (track 2), Flugelhorn (tracks 3,7 & 22)
Theo Travis – Saxophone (tracks 7 & 22), Flute (tracks 8,14,19 & 20)
Colin Edwin – Bass & Double Bass (tracks 1 & 8)
Steve Jansen – Drums
Rick Edwards – Percussion (tracks 3,12 & 19)

Record Label: Kscope
Catalogue#: KSCOPE496
Year of Release: 2001/2017

no-man – Website | Facebook | Kscope no-man Page


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Edition 124 of Sounds That Can Be Made is now available as a podcast!


Jess and the Ancient Ones– Shining (from The Horse and Other Weird Tales)
The No Name Experience – My Childish Mind (from Wonderland)
Godsticks – Revere (from Faced With Rage)
AudioTonic – Motions (from AudioTonic)
Murder and Parliament – Embers (from Murder and Parliament)

Connect 4:
Mercy Train – Pure Emotion (from Presence)
Strangers On A Train – Healing The Rift (from The Key Part I: The Prophecy)
Pendragon – The King Of The Castle (The Shadow Part Two) (from The Masquerade Overture)
Cyan – Goodbye World (from The Creeping Vine)

RPWL – Swords and Guns (from Wanted)

Jurassic Prog:
Pink Floyd – Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (from A Saucerful Of Secrets)
Horse – To Greet the Sun (from Horse)

Touchstone – Strange Days (from Wintercoast)
Weend’Ô – You Need To Know Yourself (from You Need To Know Yourself)
Porcupine Tree – Heartattack in a Layby (from In Absentia)
Asia – Gone Too Far (from Silent Nation)
Marillion – Torch Song (from Clutching at Straws)
Emma Ruth Rundle – Heaven (from Marked For Death)

Monsters of Progzilla:

Crescent Moon – The Lidless Room
Dave Brons – Star
TDW & Dreamwalkers Inc. – Chameleon (live)
Mandrake’s Monster – Witches (live)
The Vicious Head Society – Gods Of The New Age
Gentle Knife – Our Quiet Footsteps

Gazpacho – Bela Kiss (from Molok)