All posts for the month August, 2018

This news story was originally published here:
GODLESS to Release New EP "Swarm" on October 27

Led by their recent international live debut at the Wacken Open Air, Hyderabad, India-based death metal purveyors Godless are launching the debut single from their upcoming EP Swarm via Decibel Magazine. Watch a lyric video for “From Beyond” below.

About the new song, Godless states: “‘From Beyond’ is about cosmic monstrosities from otherworldly dimensions beyond space, time or comprehension, that threaten to destroy all of mankind. The EP artwork by Khaos Diktator perfectly captures the morbid atmosphere of this song.

The new EP, Swarm, contains five tracks of punishing and utterly uncompromising deathrash. Swarm explores themes touching upon zombification, cosmic horror, reanimation of the undead, occultism, and religion.

The band commented, “‘Swarm’ is definitely heavier, faster, and more aggressive and morbid than our old EP ‘Centuries of Decadence.’ We’ve meticulously paid attention to the smallest details on this record.

Godless collaborated with former Obscura guitarist Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschlager who plays a guest solo on the song “Empty Graves.” Mixed and mastered at the Hertz Studios (VaderDecapitatedBehemoth), Swarm is scheduled for the October 27 release. The EP is available to pre-order via Bandcamp (worldwide) and Instamojo (India).

Swarm Track Listing:

  1. Exordium
  2. Infected by the Black
  3. From Beyond
  4. Deathcult
  5. Empty Graves




Kaushal LS – vocals
Abbas Razvi – bass
Ravi Nidamarthy – guitars
Aniketh Yadav – drums

[embedded content]

Godless - Swarm

Things are a little ‘off’ this week: I’ll be playing lots of new music this week, but there will be no theme.

No theme!

Anyway, I’m pretty sure there’s no theme.

But you might be able to conjure up a theme… if you try hard enough.

Theme or not… be sure to take some 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.

Because the days are still long: Remember, you can steam/download this, and any of the 113 previous editions of The Progressive Tracks Show broadcast on Progzilla Radio, any time you want at:

– Mike “ProgTracks” Pollack

Email:  (Comments are always welcome)


  • So Far As I Know – “The Conqueror” from Fragments: Disclosure on Independent
  • The Blue Prison – “Alchemist” from Alchemist on Independent
  • Chemical Clock – “Shadow Self” from Plastic World on Independent
  • Lovely Little Girls – “Delicate Moisture” from Glistening Vivid Splash on Skin Graft Records
  • Zevious – “Smear Campaign” from Lowlands on Nefarious Industries
  • Shineback – “Lies and Consequences” from Dial on Bad Elephant Music
  • Alco Frisbass – “La Danse Du Pantin” from Alco Fisbass on Fading Records
  • Comus – “The Prisoner” from First Utterance on Dawn Records
  • Adam Holzman – “I Told You So” from Truth Decay on Big Fun Productions
  • 3.2 – “Our Bond” from The Rules Have Changed on Frontiers Music SRL
  • Chemical Clock – “Donut Cat” from Plastic World on Independent
  • Lovely Little Girls – “Cavernous Cryptic Structures” from Glistening Vivid Splash on Skin Graft Records
  • Zevious – “Ritual Based Symmetries” from Lowlands on Nefarious Industries
  • Shineback – “Me vs. Me” from Dial on Bad Elephant Music

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

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!

Edition 120 of THE PROG MILL – first broadcast on Progzilla Radio on Sunday 26th August, is now also available to listen to anytime or download as a mp3 file. Two hours of mainly brand new melodic and symphonic progressive rock with a couple of 70’s classics thrown into the mix.

This Week’s Playlist

1 Steve Hughes feat Katja Piel – Mine is the Silence (Single)
2 Karcius – Goodbye (The Fold)
3 Goad – Defiance (Landor)
4 Non Newtonian Man – Shelter (Clouds)
5 Din Within – Better Than Before (Awaken the Man)
6 Isproject – Mangialuce (The Archinauts)
7 Overture – Il Mendicante (Overture)
8 SL Theory – On My Way (Progressively Dark)
9 Peter Banks – Astral raveler (Tales from Yesterday)
10 Mahavishnu Orchestra – The Dance of Maya (The Inner Mounting Frame)
11 Tulius – Alien Alliance (Etheral)
12 Paul Heyworth – The Ley of the Land (Why England)
13 Moby – Mere Anarchy (Everything is beautiful and nothing hurt)
14 Nova Cascade – Epiphany (Above All Else)
15 Mythology – One for the Gipper (All The Planets Have Aligned)

You can hear THE PROG MILL every week on Progzilla Radio at these times:

Sundays 10pm – Midnight UK (2100 UTC) – MAIN BROADCAST
Tuesdays 3-5am UK (0200 UTC) – For N America (Mon 7pm Pacific and 10pm Eastern)
Tuesdays 11pm – 1am UK (2200 UTC)
Saturdays 6-8pm UK (1700 UTC) – Family friendly teatime repeat

Your proggy music suggestions and submissions for the show are extremely welcome. Just email or message via twitter @shaunontheair or

Northern Star  23rd August 2018.


Theme – Pallas Northern Star

  1. Steven Wilson – To the bone
  2. Gobshites – The Man who build America
  3. Hanterhir – Morwenna & the Lamb
  4. Tangerine dream – Bent cold sidewalk
  5. 3RDegree – Perfect babies
  6. Circle of fairies – My Camouflage
  7. Shineback – Gentleman
  8. Runrig – Protect and Survive
  9. God Speed You! Black emperor – 09-15-00 pt 2
  10. Snarky Puppy – Intelligent design
  11. Erik Norlander – Pirates
  12. Under A Banner – Last order
  13. Hekz – Pariah
  14. Sphelm – Coexist
  15. Solstice – Brave new world
  16. Genesis – The battle of Epping Forest
  17. Silhouette – Six feet underground
  18. Fish – The Pilgrims Address
  19. The damnation project – Dorian grey
  20. Nektar – A Tab in the ocean


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Broadcast  26th August  2018

1.       I’m A Man Chicago Transit Authority
2.       Peace Train / Blue Sunday The Doors
3.       Signify Porcupine Tree
4.       Taunta / Nantucket Sleighride Mountain
5.       Late November Pavlov’s Dog (out of St. Louis 1972)
6.       Hounds Of love Kate Bush
7.       Majestic Dance Return To Forever
8.       Country Boy Josefus
9.       My Little Book Love
10.   Wholesale Love Buddy Miles
11.   Change Is Gonna Come Marshall Tucker Band
12.   I Know What I Want Cheap Trick
13.   Prison Women REO Speedwagon
14.   The Sky Is Falling Ides Of March
15.   Setting The Woods On Fire Mason Proffit
16.   Mary, Mary Paul Butterfield Blues Band
17.   Earl Of Roseland Styx
18.   Coyote Joni Mitchell
19.   Children Of Sanchez Chuck Mangione Quartet
20.   Flight To Urubamba Bernie Krause (synthesizer)
21.   Sister Christian Night Ranger
22.   Martha’s Madman Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
23.   Stranglehold Ted Nugent
SLIDE INTO A SIDE – Alan Parsons Project Tales Of Mystery & Imagination Edgar Allan Poe – Side 1
24.   A Dream Within A Dream
25.   The Raven
26.   The Tell-Tale Heart
27.   The Cask of Amontillado
28.   (The System of) Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether  
29.   Thank You Barclay James Harvest
30.   Time Bomb Lake
31.   Cryin’ In The Dark/King of the Twilight Nektar
32.   The Dogs Of War Pink Floyd
33.    The Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear In Smoke) Hawkwind
34.   Starlight Electric Light Orchestra
35.   Monsters Band Of Horses
36.   Blinded By The Light Bruce Springsteen
37.   Pigeon Camera The Tragically Hip
38.   Oh, Pretty Woman Kenny Wayne Shepherd
39.   Trip to The Fair Renaissance w/Annie Haslam
40.   Lady Of The Lake Starcastle
41.   Dark Star Crosby Stills & Nash
42.   Shining Star/Reasons Earth Wind & Fire
43.   Ticking Elton John
44.   Happy Trails Quicksilver Messenger Service


This news story was originally published here:

HAKEN, one of progressive music’s most exciting bands, recently announced details of their much-anticipated fifth studio album titled ‘Vector’, due for release on the 26th October 2018. The album was produced by the band themselves, and recorded & mixed by Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood (Periphery, Devin Townsend Project), with the artwork once again being handled by Blacklake.

Following the announcement of North American tour dates this Autumn, the band are pleased to reveal European & Latin American live dates in support of the new album for 2019. The band comments: “We’re thrilled to be bringing our ‘Vector Studies’ tour to Europe. We had immense fun celebrating our 10 year anniversary across Europe in 2017 with incredible turnouts and warm receptions. This time around we will be focusing on performing tracks from our new album ‘Vector’ along with some live favourites of ours. For your health and wellbeing, the good doctor prescribes you some live Haken.

The band add on the Latin America shows: “A visit to South America has been long overdue. Many of our dedicated South American fans have made epic trips around the world to experience our shows in Europe and North America and now we’re ecstatic to reveal we will finally be returning the favour! See you in January! As for Mexico City and Cruise To The Edge, well… we cannot wait to return!

The full list of dates is as follows:

Latin America 2019
26th January – Teatro Teleton, Santiago, Chile
27th January – Groove, Buenos Aires, Argentina
29th January – Caricoa Club, Sao Paolo, Brazil
30th January – Auditorio Centro De La Amistad Peruano China, Lima, Peru
1st February – Lunar, Mexico City, Mexico

Europe 2019
15th February – Academy 3, Manchester, UK
16th February – St Luke’s, Glasgow, UK
17th February – The Fleece, Bristol, UK
19th February – Essigfabrik, Cologne, Germany
20th February – Batschkapp, Frankfurt, Germany
21st February – Übel & Gefährlich, Hamburg, Germany
22nd February – Lille Vega, Copenhagen, Denmark
23rd February – John Dee, Oslo, Norway
24th February – Debaser Strand, Stockholm, Sweden
26th February – Columbia Theater, Berlin, Germany
27th February – Kwadrat, Krakow, Poland
28th February – A38, Budapest, Hungary
2nd March – Szene, Vienna, Austria
3rd March – Futurum, Prague, Czech Republic
4th March – Conne Island, Leipzig, Germany
6th March – Im Wizemann, Stuttgart, Germany
7th March – Backstage Halle, Munich, Germany
8th March – Kiff, Aarau, Switzerland
9th March – Magazzini Generali, Milan, Italy
10th March – Transbordeur, Lyon, France
12th March – Mon Live, Madrid, Spain
13th March – Kafe Antzokia, Bilbao, Spain
14th March – La Maroquinerie, Paris, France
15th March – De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, Netherlands
16th March – Islington Assembly Hall, London, UK
23rd March – Tavastia, Helsinki, Finland

Full ticket details as well as all upcoming dates can be found here:

‘Vector’ will be available as Limited edition 2CD Mediabook (including instrumental versions), Gatefold vinyl 2LP + CD, Standard CD Jewelcase & as digital download. Pre-order now here:

You can find the track-listing below:
1. Clear
2. The Good Doctor
3. Puzzle Box
4. Veil
5. Nil By Mouth
6. Host
7. A Cell Divides

To celebrate the announcement of the new album, the band ran a competition for one lucky fan’s artwork to be etched into the fourth side of the vinyl version of the record. They invited people to submit their own version of the Rorshach test ink-blot which graces the album cover, and the winner was revealed as Shakoor Bukhuth aka SHAUN BEYOND.

Since their inception in 2007, Haken have shown over four previous studio albums, one EP and a live release that they never stand still, merely satisfied to rely on past triumphs. Rather, Haken always look for ways to challenge themselves as musicians and artists, and also to keep the listeners on their collective toes. “We don’t like to make simple music,” laughs vocalist Ross Jennings. “We always aim to defy expectations, and I believe we’ve surpassed what we aimed to achieve with our new album.

Their fifth studio record sees the band going in a heavier direction with the music. “We’ve always had a heavy influence”, explains guitarist Charlie Griffiths, “but it was obvious from the riffs that were naturally coming out of us early in the writing process that this would be a more metal album. These are some of the most riff driven songs we’ve ever written.” As is usual, Haken produced the album themselves, but for the first time they have enlisted Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood during the recording and mixing stages. Formerly bassist with Periphery, in the last couple of years he has built a reputation as a fine producer. “We produced the album ourselves, as we always do,” insists Jennings. “But we’re fans of what Adam has done with Periphery, Sikth and Devin Townsend. He has a great reputation for the heavier end of our genre”.

But if this album is musically heavy, then there’s an underlying theme running through the seven songs which is certainly esoteric and fascinating. “The scene is set with the track The Good Doctor, which was a really fun song. Musically it feels like a logical step from ‘Affinity’, but lyrically it’s a bit more theatrical and about as ‘rock opera’ as Haken has ever got”, explains Griffiths. “It’s about a Doctor with an intriguing, perhaps sinister interest in a particular patient. From there the story enters the point-of-view of the patient – who appears to be catatonic, but his mind is sparking with what could be memories, or delusions brought on by the treatment he’s receiving – we leave this up to the listeners to decide. Although we don’t want to give too much away, people who are familiar with our back catalogue will have fun discovering further clues we’ve planted throughout the album. And that’s the challenge for the fans – to find out for themselves their own meaning for ‘Vector’ as an album”.

HAKEN are:
Ross Jennings
Richard Henshall
Charlie Griffiths
Diego Tejeida
Conner Green
Ray Hearne

HAKEN online:

InsideOutMusic online:

This news story was originally published here:

Progressive Metal pioneers FATES WARNING continue promoting their new live album “Live Over Europe”, recently released via InsideOutMusic worldwide.

A new lyric-video created by John Kaimakamis and the Nightwatchers for the track “Point Of View“ has therefore been launched here now:

Coming up next, FATES WARNING will be playing a string of shows in South America as follows:

FATES WARNING – Live 2018:
October 9th – Santiago (Chile) – Club Subterráneo
October 11th – Arequipa (Peru) – Jarawa / Lima Metal Fest Sideshow
October 13th – Lima (Peru) – Lima Metal Fest III

Unfortunately, due to prior commitments FATES WARNING dummer Bobby Jarzombek will not be with the group for these dates, but instead Craig Anderson (Ignite, Crescent Shield) will be filling in during these shows.

Gathered during the group’s most recent European headlining run for FATES WARNING’s much acclaimed latest studio album “Theories Of Flight” in January 2018, “Live Over Europe” includes audio recordings from 8 different cities (Aschaffenburg / Germany, Belgrade / Serbia, Thessaloniki and Athens / Greece, Rome and Milan / Italy, Budapest / Hungary as well as Ljubljana / Slovenia) and a total of 23 songs in over 138 minutes of playing time, spanning 30 years of the group’s seminal career.

“Live Over Europe” was mixed by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Kreator, Symphony X) and mastered by Tony Lindgren at Fascination Street Studios in Sweden and is available as limited 2CD Mediabook, Gatefold 3LP + Bonus-2CD or as Digital Album. In its week of release, “Live Over Europe” entered the official sales charts in Germany on a stunning # 31 position.

Singles for “Live Over Europe” can be checked out here:
“The Light and Shade of Things”:
“Life in Still Water”:

Order “Live Over Europe” here:

Or get the 2CD or 3LP (+ 2CD as bonus) from the InsideOutMusic webshop here:

An unboxing video for “Live Over Europe“ can be seen here:

FATES WARNING – Line-Up 2018:
Ray Alder – Vocals
Jim Matheos – Guitars
Joey Vera – Bass and Vocals
Mike Abdow – Guitars and Vocals
Bobby Jarzombek – Drums


InsideOutMusic online:

This news story was originally published here:

Progressive rock instrumentalists GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA from Stockholm, Sweden will be releasing their newest, 5th studio album effort entitled “ET EX” on October 12th, 2018 via InsideOutMusic worldwide.

Therefore, GBS are launching a first single today with the start of the album’s pre-order.
Check out “Capercaillie Lammergeyer Cassowary & Repeat“ here:
Or stream it here:

GBS checked in with the following comment about the track:

To us, ‘CLC&R‘ is a logical progression in the continuous chiseling of the sound that is Gösta Berlings Saga – or at least parts of it. While the song itself is very minimalistic and repetitive, we didn’t spare any expenses on this one instrumentation-wise to achieve a sense of contrast – for instance by inviting Lars Åhlund from Soen on saxophone. Basically, it’s a simple and powerful tune with a complex soundscape!

The “ET EX“ album was recorded throughout a year-long period from May 2017 until May 2018 in various studios with the help of producer Daniel Fagerström and mastered by Heba Kadry at Timeless Mastering (Björk, The Mars Volta). The album’s final track-listing reads as follows:

1. Veras tema
2. The Shortcomings of Efficiency
3. Square 5
4. Over and Out
5. Artefacts
6. Capercaillie Lammergeyer Cassowary & Repeat
7. Brus från stan
8. Fundament

Next to an initial Digipak CD format and the Digital Album format, “ET EX“ will also be available as 180gr. LP (with the entire album on CD as bonus) on black vinyl, but also as strictly limited runs on clear vinyl (100x copies via IOM webshop / CM Distro) and on silver vinyl (200x copies via the band directly).

Pre-order “ET EX“ it its various formats starting today here:
Or here from the IOM shop:

The music of GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA is an incredibly dynamic Nordic instrumental adventure, tilting from melodic, starkly beautiful lines shimmering like an aurora borealis over the desolate Arctic tundra, to powerful and aggressive riffs reminiscent of glacier calves crashing into rugged Scandinavian fjords. Over the years the band’s music has been compared to King Crimson, Goblin and Radiohead, mixed into their very own and peculiar sonic universe.

GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA was formed in 2000 in the Stockholm suburb of Vällingby, taking its bandname from one of the most famous works in Swedish literature, the debut novel of Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf, which was published in 1891. To date GBS have released 4 albums as follows: “Tid Är Ljud” (translated “Time Is Sound”) in 2006, “Detta Har Hänt” (translated “This Has Happened”) in 2009, “Glue Works“ in 2011 and most recentlly “Sersophane” in late 2016. While the latest release came out through the band’s own label Icosahedron Music, GBS have now teamed up with InsideOutMusic as new worldwide label partner to launch their upcoming, fifth studio album entitled “ET EX” on October 12th, 2018.

Stay tuned for more news on GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA coming soon…

Sept 8 – Tivedstorp, Sweden – Electric Moon Fest
Oct 5 – Stockholm, Sweden – Slaktkyrkan
Oct 6 – Göteborg, Sweden – Truckstop Alaska
More dates to be announced soon…

Alexander Skepp – Drums & Percussion
David Lundberg – Fender Rhodes, Mellotron & Synthesizers
Gabriel Tapper – Bass Guitar & Moog Taurus
Rasmus Booberg – Guitars & Synthesizers


InsideOutMusic online:

This news story was originally published here:

Swedish progressive rock/metal innovators Pain of Salvation continue to promote their much acclaimed latest studio album “In the Passing Light of Day” by launching a new live-video for the album’s opening track “On a Tuesday”, shortly before embarking on a next European tour.

The clip for “On a Tuesday” was directed by Thierry Villeneuve / Sombrero & Co. and filmed at Pain of Salvation’s appearance at last year’s Hellfest in Clisson, France. It can be seen here:

Pain of Salvation’s Daniel Gildenlöw checked in with the following comment about the video:

This particular show will always stick with us. It was far from perfect and we were still struggling with getting all gears in position with the show and all music. See, it was the first show we played with Johan back in the band, so we had never played this material together on stage before. But we were all so happy and in a very good place, and it was the starting point of a new arc in the band’s history. This is ‘On a Tuesday‘, with which we ended the show. It’s hard to describe how tired and sweaty and drained you feel at this point in the show, but also how filled up and complete. After having discussed different ways of cutting down the song for this live video version, we just thought “what the hell” and released it in full length. It has all the energy, sweat, chemistry and flaws that could be expected from a live recording – enjoy!

Starting next week in Berlin, Germany, Pain of Salvation will be heading out on a headlining tour of Europe with support by Kingcrow from Italy. Here is a complete list of shows:

Pain of Salvation – “In the Passing Light of Day” Tour 2018
With special guests: Kingcrow

31.08.2018 Berlin (Germany) – Columbia-Theater
01.09.2018 Warsaw (Poland) – Progresja
02.09.2018 Krakow (Poland) – Studio
04.09.2018 Bratislava (Slovakia) – MMC
05.09.2018 Budapest (Hungary) – A38
07.09.2018 Aschaffenburg (Germany) – Colos-Saal
08.09.2018 Balver Höhle (Germany) – German Kultrock Festival
09.09.2018 Hamburg (Germany) – Markthalle
10.09.2018 Bochum (Germany) – Zeche
12.09.2018 Manchester (UK) – Academy Club
13.09.2018 London (UK) – Islington Assembly Hall
14.09.2018 Maastricht (The Netherlands) – Muziekgieterij
15.09.2018 Amsterdam (The Netherlands) – Melkweg
17.09.2018 Pratteln (Switzerland) – Z-7
18.09.2018 Savigny-le-Temple (France) – L’Empreinte
19.09.2018 Lyon (France) – Ninkasi Kao
20.09.2018 Strasbourg (France) – La Laiterie

Pain of Salvation have furthermore also announced these following shows for 2018:

Pain of Salvation – Live 2018:
27.09.2018 Stockholm (Sweden) – Kraken
18.10.2018 Istanbul (Turkey) – Zorlu Center Pac
20.10.2018 Athens (Greece) – Piraeus 117 Academy
02.11.2018 St. Petersburg (Russia) – Zal Club
03.11.2018 Moscow (Russia) – Zil Arena
More dates to follow soon…

In regards to the upcoming tourdates, Daniel Gildenlöw added the following:

It’s great that the fan response has been so intense and that there is such a demand for seeing us play live. This is, what, the third run through Europe with “In the Passing Light of Day“…? It will be so great to be back, and I know I speak for all of us when I say that. It’s never been as fun to be on tour – we have a great crew and a great band chemistry, and we have added some older stuff on the upcoming setlist just for the hell of it. We are so pumped to do this tour, and that’s something that will undoubtedly come across to the waiting fans out there.

Bring out your colored wigs, your mega sunglasses, your generally weird outfits – prepare yourselves! After years of public demand and fan requests, we are indeed rehearsing “Disco Queen“ for the upcoming tour! A promise is a promise. Europe – get ready to explode!

One question that we have been asked by many fans over the last 10 years is why we don’t play songs from “One Hour by the Concrete Lake“ live. This was never a deliberate move from our side, it just happened to turn out like that. This year, though, marks the 20th anniversary since its release, and to celebrate this fact we are bringing back several songs from this album on this tour, and we have so much fun playing them again. So if you’re a fan of this album, you should definitely look forward to the shows.

All-in-all, it will be an intensely energetic show that we are bringing to the fans for this particular tour – a high octane Pain of Salvation experience. We can’t wait to share it with you!“

Most recently, Pain of Salvation’s classic early albums “Entropia” (1997), “One Hour by the Concrete Lake” (1998) and “Scarsick” (2007) were made available for the very first time ever on vinyl. All three albums were issued as Gatefold 2LP sets (+ CD as bonus) on 180gr. vinyl and including their corresponding bonus tracks from the respective recording sessions.

Check here for the various available Pain of Salvation releases, also in limited edition coloured runs:
Pain of Salvation’s latest album “In the Passing Light of Day” is of course also still available in various versions from IOM here:

The album’s first two singles / videos can be checked out here:



“In the Passing Light of Day” entered the official sales charts of various countries upon release as follows: Germany: #28, France: #70, The Netherlands: #86, Italy: #56, Switzerland: #28, Belgium (Flemish charts): #82, Belgium (Wallonian charts): #79, Sweden (Physical album charts): #42, Sweden (Hardrock album charts): #20, USA (Billboard Heatseekers Chart): #9.

Pain of Salvation line-up 2018:
Daniel Gildenlöw – vocals, guitars
Johan Hallgren – guitars, backing vocals
Gustaf Hielm – bass, backing vocals
Daniel D2 Karlsson – keyboards, backing vocals
Léo Margarit – drums, backing vocals

Pain of Salvation online:

InsideOutMusic online:

Visit the InsideOut Shop:

This news story was originally published here:
Michael Woess

Omega Point is a project of guitarist and composer Michael Woess from Munich, Germany. The project is about to launch a new album entitled ‘Isolation‘ on September 1st. Read what Michael says about the project, the upcoming album and more in the interview below.

Define the mission of Omega Point.

Omega Point is a studio music project that strives to bring the emotional consequences of death into focus – whether it be thinking about death in general, suicidal thoughts or the loss of a close person.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your upcoming album Isolation and the themes it captures.

Most of the songwriting of Isolation took place during the recording process of my first album The Descent. I was and still am recovering from a personal crisis which resulted in wishes not to be there any longer and suicidal thoughts.

Because more and more people seem to have similar problems and because there have been many cases like this in my personal environment – even leading to self-inflicted death – I had to express my feelings about this topic somehow. The first album The Descent was more about my own perception of death and thinking about suicide, while the upcoming album Isolation takes another person’s view on this topic.

The protagonist goes through emotional pain and suffering caused by the death of a dear friend, getting more and more depressed and eventually isolating himself from the world completely.

For me, writing music is a vent for strong negative emotions – like sadness, anger and hate, which is why my creative process may seem rather random or chaotic to some people.

There is not much structure in my writing process. I don’t think much about what I’m playing or how I’m playing it. Ideally, I just stumble across a sad or powerful melody that then turns into an intro or chorus after some fine tuning.

While remaining true to the original idea, I just try to go “with the flow” of the song and incorporate what seems to be the next logical step until the song is finished and feels right.

Because of my affinity to progressive music, the ideas end up in time signatures like 7/8 or alternating time signature changes. However, I don’t throw in complex elements just for the sake of it – it must serve the song and must represent my current emotional state. Chaotic and aggressive moods turn into rather complex, turbulent riffs and more relaxed or sad emotions turn into sustained melodies.

The similar approach the vocalist Jonathan Rittirsch and I had for writing melodies was very productive aswell – we nearly always had the same opinion and everybody got a say if one didn’t like what was happening, which was rarely the case though.

Omega Point - Isolation

What is the message you are trying to give with Isolation

I want people to look at mental health issues from a different perspective. While it is more and more common to have depressive phases or even depression as a condition, it still seems to be a topic that is widely overlooked by many people. Before I was affected, I would never have thought that I could fall so deep. It can hit you at any point in your life at any time, and our responsibility as humans is to look after people going through such strong emotions.

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

I like to write in my room while sitting on my PC, however this is not always where I get my best ideas. Sometimes I just wake up and have a melody in my head and then try to replicate it on my guitar, sometimes it happens when I’m taking a shower.

I then run to my PC, record the part and then leave it on my PC until I can work it out. Some years ago, I would have instantly documented it in notation programs like Guitar Pro.

However, this has now become a step that comes at a very late stage in my songwriting process, because it somehow limits the creative flow.

I record the idea, fiddle around with it until I’m satisfied and then later relearn what I’ve recorded to document it in Guitar Pro. Talking about drums, I like to map them out in MIDI first before having them worked out.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

I hope that it is perceived that way. Usually I write each song on its own and make it flow properly. Then, after having written several individual tracks I try to get a view for the bigger image and how the songs could merge into each other.

By demoing the tracks and looking which songs fit together the best, I try to achieve a dynamic progression towards an outcome.

In the case of this album, it starts off with the protagonist offering his/her friend help. This is why “The Last Light” is such a powerful, not yet hopeless song. After that, the friend commits suicide which leads to lack of understanding, anger, sadness and isolation. The songs try to incorporate these emotions and thus progress into a darker, more dismal mood.

Omega Point band

Describe the approach to recording the album.

Just like with the first album, I tried to do as much as I can by myself. First there was the pre-production of course. At this point the songs usually have drum parts mapped out. The demos didn’t contain vocals yet though, as I don’t write the lyrics myself. This was Maximilian Birkl‘s dedication on this album, who in my opinion did a killer job by the way!

Then I sent the pre-production to Chris Dovas to record his drum-interpretation. After receiving his recordings, I first continued with re-recording all my guitar tracks – except for the solos, which are usually already best-takes in the pre-production. Then, I recorded the bass parts and finally I invited Jonathan Rittirsch to map out the vocal phrasings and melodies and record the vocal parts after that.

At this point I would like to quickly thank everybody involved: Maxi did an awesome job writing the lyrics for this album, Jonathan had a big stylistic influence on how the songs sound in the end with his vocal melodies and Chris Dovas really did great work bringing my MIDI drum parts to life by contributing his own ideas and recording powerful drums throughout the whole album! Also, I want to thank Chris Jones for his tasty guest guitar solo in “Eye Of The Storm”.

How long “Isolation” was in the making?

The production, from starting the writing through to finishing the mixing and mastering in total took 9 months. I started writing the first songs for this album in early December 2017 and finished the writing process at the end of March 2018. In mid May, Chris Dovas recorded the drums, followed by me laying down guitar and bass tracks, concluded by the vocal recordings. The recordings for this album were eventually finished in early August 2018.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

I think my biggest influences on this release are Wintersun and Devin Townsend, even though you can’t really compare it stylistically. The orchestral synthesizers and the complex time signatures resemble those artists the most, I guess. I also liked listening to Dark Funeral while writing the album. Some of my all-time favorites are Coroner and Megadeth, however I don’t think those influences are that noticeable on this album.

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What is your view on technology in music?

I love that through advanced technology, more and more people have the opportunity to produce music easily. Because of inexpensive DAWs like Reaper and subscription models for plugins that model real analogue devices, everybody can acquire basic production skills if he or she is willing to put in the time, effort and money to gain experience on that field.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

Yes, I want to get people and society to think more about those in distress – to keep an eye on their surroundings’ and their own mental health.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m just about to start “Sound And Music Production” Studies at the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany in October. Thereby, I want to learn more about production so that my future albums will always grow in matters of sound quality and that I can also get better at producing band projects in general.

Someday, I will try to gather a live line up for Omega Point.

I’m also in contact with a few bands in Darmstadt’s surrounding areas to join them in creating new music and of course, I’ll always try to grow my YouTube channel.

Isolation is out on September 1st; pre-order it from Bandcamp. For more information about Omega Point visit the project’s website and Facebook.