Archives

All posts for the month October, 2018

This news story was originally published here: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ProgNewsProgarchives/~3/Q846i3RuueQ/forum_posts.asp

Apparently Nektar have just reformed with a new line up, are about to go on tour, and are bringing out a new album called “Megalomania”

It seems the keyboard player, Klaus Henatsch, has taken over from the late Roye Albrighton.

I’ve always had mixed views about Nektar.  I can take them or leave them, but I’d still be very interested to see them live.

A welcome reunion, or should they have called it a day after Roye’s passing?

Playlist

1 Can – I Want More (excerpt from Can Singles)
2 Can – Yoo Do Right (Monster Movie 1969)
3 Can – Tango Whiskeyman (Soundtracks 1970)
4 Can – Mother Sky (Soundtracks 1970)
5 Can – She Brings The Rain (Soundtracks 1970)
6 Can – Paperhouse (Tago Mago 1971)
7 Can – Mushroom (Tago Mago 1971)
8 Can – Oh Yeah (Tago Mago 1971)
9 Can – Halleluwah (Tago Mago 1971)
10 Can – Vitamin C (Ege Bamyasi 1972)
11 Can – I’m So Green (Ege Bamyasi 1972)
12 Can – Spoon (Ege Bamyasi 1972)
13 Can – Future Days (Future Days 1973)
14 Can – Moonshake (Future Days 1973)
15 Can – Dizzy Dizzy (Soon Over Babaluma 1974)
16 Can – Come Sta La Luna (Soon Over Babaluma 1974)
17 Can – Half Past One (Landed 1975)
18 Can – Hunters And Collectors (Landed 1975)
19 Can – Red Hot Indians (Landed 1975)
20 Can – Cascade Waltz (Flow Motion 1976)
21 Can – Laugh Till You Cry, Live Till You Die (Flow Motion 1976)
22 Can – Babylonian Pearl (Flow Motion 1976)
23 Can – Don’t Say No (Saw Delight 1977)
24 Can – Serpentine (Out Of Reach 1978)
25 Can – Seven Days Awake (Out Of Reach 1978)
26 Can – I Want More (excerpt from Can Singles)

This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2018/10/31/all-them-witches-atw/

“Now I see it’s high-time for mischief, once again.”

All Them Witches have been making glorious mischief all throughout 2018. The past year has seen this once-underground garage band from Nashville making ever larger impact upon the international scene with constant touring throughout Europe and the States, including an opening slot on the Primus/Mastodon tour. Somehow these backwoods vagabonds also managed to find time to write and record another stellar album, their fifth full-length release in six years.

2017’s excellent Sleeping Through The War was a bit of a departure from their earlier records in that it was their first utilizing an outside producer and additional musicians, creating an expanded sonic universe for their fractured psych-rock tales. For ATW they’ve gone back to the woods and back to their DIY roots with guitarist Ben McLeod taking over production duties, recording the album in analogue in a rented cabin in Tennessee. The results show a band that is so in control of their particular muse they require no outside assistance.

ATW is the first album they’ve released since the departure of founding keyboardist Allan Van Cleave who left the band in 2017. For this album they’ve brought in guest keyboardist Jonathan Draper who has also been touring with the group for the past year. Jonathan slots in nicely on the album, even though the overall thrust of ATW leans more on the guitar to drive the arrangements while the keyboards provide coloration.

The quizzically-titled Fishbelly 86 Onions comes slashing out of the gate like a 60s grindhouse soundtrack, probably for something called “Biker Witches vs Atomic Zombies”. It’s completely gonzo in all the right ways, from Charles Michael Parks, Jr.’s stream-of-consciousness ramblings to Ben McLeod’s scalding hot guitar solo during the extroverted outro. A joyous, pummelling affair that would make a great set-opener.

The other prominent rocker on ATW is the sci-fi tinged riff monster ‘1st vs. 2nd’. This barnstorming track harkens back to the vibe of Sleeping Through The War with Staebler assaulting his drums with devilish abandon and Parks and McLeod in lockstep crunch.

Workhorse drags us out of the stratosphere and drops us back down in the dirt; a slinky, sinister blues relating life on the tour grind to that of a plough horse. It’s a simple, elemental arrangement with Staebler’s rim shot groove driving McLeod’s buzzy slide guitar riff. The song is perfectly tailored to Parks’ earthy voice, which increases in gravitas with each release.

Another fine feature for Parks is the lovely Half-Tongue, an engagingly dark ballad with a sprightly jazz groove. Draper provides some fine organ accompaniment and Ben delivers some mighty tasty choruses on guitar. It’s a subtle arrangement that demonstrates how this band can make grand statements with the simplest of ingredients.

This point is driven home by the deceptively simple Diamond. It’s a cool, creeping menace; a slow dance through hell. In lesser hands an arrangement this sparse could have easily turned into a plod to nowhere, but here it’s a simmering, lurching delight. Staebler again demonstrates his skill by keeping it bouncy and driving even at this funerary dirge pace and McLeod, Parks and Draper contribute just enough to make it effective without derailing the stripped-down essence of the piece.

Another similarity between ATW and the prior Sleeping Through The War is the sequencing puts the punchier pieces on the first half of the album and then lets things unwind and expand on the second. In both cases the approach works and mirrors how their live sets develop. Tracks like the psych-doom HJTC and the album-closing jam Rob’s Dream are given the space they need to develop naturally and benefit greatly from the live-in-the-cabin recording.

And then we come to Harvest Feast, not only the finest track on ATW, but arguably the most breath-taking track All Them Witches have released to date. The first section of the piece is a sublime slow blues, organically wrought and utterly convincing, it conjures fleeting thoughts of Cream in the heavier moments but is unmistakably evocative of the southern US. The rural surroundings of the recording seem to have seeped onto the reels. The instrumental second half of the piece leaves the earth behind and drifts into the yawning expanse of the infinite. Ben McLeod shines here, creating shimmering guitar harmonies of a type rarely heard in the present day with Draper’s electric piano standing in for the second guitar. While you can discern the influence of Wishbone Ash, The Allman Brothers and Jimi Hendrix, the results are no mere pastiche and are deeply personal and moving. It’s simply some of the best music released by anyone in 2018.

All Them Witches seem to be embracing their essence on this album. Only six years into their recording career they’ve already covered more ground than may bands achieve in twice that span and they show no sign of complacency. Each album brings its own personality, a mirror of the moment it was created, and then they quickly proceed to the next chapter. With Sleeping Through The War the key was addition and expansion, with ATW the key is subtraction and focusing the gaze inward to the truth within.

“…we love music, and there would be no reason for us to go on the road or endure what we endure if not for the transformative power of music. It is an ancient pull, and I don’t know exactly where it comes from, but we are knee deep and wading out.” – Charles Michael Parks Jr.

TRACK LISTING
01. Fishbelly 86 Onions (6:02)
02. Workhorse (5:44)
03. 1st vs. 2nd (5:58)
04. Half-Tongue (4:35)
05. Diamond (6:10)
06. Harvest Feast (10:45)
07. HJTC (5:48)
08. Rob’s Dream (6:51)

Total Time – 51:33

MUSICIANS
Charles Michael Parks,Jr – Bass Guitar, Vocals
Ben McLeod – Guitar
Robby Staebler – Drums
~ with
Jonathan Draper – Keyboards

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: New West Records
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Date of Release: 28th September 2018

LINKS
All Them Witches – Website | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

Edition 168 of Sounds That Can Be Made is now available as a podcast!

Playlist:

3 – Halloween (from Summercamp Nightmare)
Tom Slatter – Even Then We’re Scared (from Happy People)
Radiohead – Burn the Witch (from A Moon Shaped Pool)
Crippled Black Phoenix – In Bad Dreams (from Horrific Honorifics)
Mike Kershaw – All That Matters Is The Fear (from Arms Open Wide)
Gazpacho – Death Room (from Demon)

Jurassic Prog:
King Crimson – One More Red Nightmare (from Red)
Rush – The Necromancer (from Caress of Steel)
The Enid – The Demon King (from In The Region Of The Summer Stars)

Avantasia – The Haunting (from Ghostlights)
Introitus – Ghost (from Fantasy)
Napier’s Bones – Fear & Trembling (from The Wistman Tales)
She Makes War – In Cold Blood (from Direction of Travel)
Mostly Autumn – Ghost (from Heart Full of Sky)
Haken – As Death Embraces (from The Mountain)
Glass Hammer – Haunted (from The Breaking of the World)
Bent Knee – Terror Bird (from Land Animal)
Touchstone – Fear (from Lights From the Sky)
Galahad – Exorcising Demons (from Sleepers)
Arena – The Demon Strikes (from The Unquiet Sky)
Opeth – Death Whispered A Lullaby (from Damnation)
Psychotic Waltz – My Grave (from Bleeding)
Thank You Scientist – Blood On The Radio (from Maps Of Non-Existent Places)


Steve Hackett – Darktown
The Enid – Love – Death…the Immolation of Fand
David Byrne – Horses
Judas Priest – Better By You, Better Than Me
Tiger Moth Tales – Kai’s Journey
Karfegen – Curious Talk
Beatles – Helter Skelter
Billie Holiday – Gloomy Sunday
Halestorm- Mz. Hyde
Porcupine Tree – Deadwing
Jeff Wayne – The Red Weed, Pt. 1
Chris De Burgh – Spanish Train
Ashley Buxton and Pete Jones – On The Beach
Rachmaninov – Prelude in C sharp minor
Ghost Community – Ghost Community
Jim Morrison – Dawns Highway
It Bites – Ghosts
Karfagen – Volcano Rabbit & the Frog
Genesis – The Waiting Room
Frost – The Other Me (Live)

Tales From The Tiger Moth Edition 80

Rick Wakeman – Anne of Cleves
Kaipa – Ankaret
Tiger Moth Tales – Match Girl
Shineback – The Gentlemen
Rod Stewart – The Killing of Georgie (Part I and II)
Pink Floyd – Summer 68
Michael Bentine – Freedom Of The Airwaves
Iamthemorning – Clear Clearer
Rainburn – Suicide Note
Haken – Because It’s There
Gerald Finzi – 5 Bagatelles for clarinet and piano Op 23 – 4 Forlana – Allegretto grazioso
Kant Freud Kafka – Antítesis
Kenneth Williams – Pardon Me, Sir Francis
Queen – Princes Of The Universe
Tiger Moth Tales – The Palace
Genesis – Domino (Live)

This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2018/10/30/ethernity-the-human-race-extinction/

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: a progressive metal band creates an album around the story of a futuristic dystopian world where robots have taken over. That’s the story behind the female-fronted, Belgium-based band Ethernity’s third full-length album, The Human Race Extinction.

Clocking in at 70 minutes, this album is filled with crunchy riffs, flashy guitar solos, intricate interplay between the guitars and keyboards, powerful choruses, and Julie Colin’s passionate vocals. I must confess that when I looked at the track listing and saw that ten of the fourteen tracks were longer than five minutes, I was concerned that the album would quickly lapse into monotony, but I was pleasantly surprised. The band manages to create a near-seamless musical product that segues from song to song while keeping it interesting and new. The use of techno sounds and vocal effect processing adds variety to the overall keyboard/guitar driven pseudo-symphonic metal texture. Colin’s vocals remind me at times of Fia Kempe (The Great Discord) with their power and expression and at other times of someone like Lizzy Hale because of the versatility and ease with which she moves from soft, tender vocal lines to powerful metal screams.

The weakness of this album is really in the production, particularly the mix. I feel like, at times, the vocals are competing too much with the guitars and all of them are constantly being overpowered by the drums. It would have been a stronger album if the producers had not gone with an “everything louder than everything else” approach to the mix. I also feel like some of the keyboard solos are a bit muddy, as if trying to cover up a lack of technical precision. I do not think that is the case, as Julien Spreutels seems to be a proficient player, I just think the choices of patches for some of the solos could have been better.

Overall, I really enjoyed this album. It is not one of my favourites by any means, but it is definitely one that I will keep pulling out to listen to from time to time and it makes me want to look into the band’s previous work. If you are concerned about the tired, beaten into the ground “robots taking over” theme of the album, it really is more of an undercurrent than an in-your-face lyrical theme. The band announced Colin’s departure in late August, so it will be interesting to hear what a new vocalist will bring to future projects.

TRACK LISTING
01. Initialization (1:08)
02. The Human Race Extinction (6:24)
03. Mechanical Life (6:01)
04. Grey Skies (6:28)
05. Beyond Dread (5:36)
06. Artificial Souls (4:37)
07. Redefined (6:02)
08. Rise of Droids (6:35)
09. Mark of the Enemy (2:35)
10. The Prototype (5:07)
11. Not the End (5:07)
12. Warmth of Hope (4:19)
13. Chaos Architect (5:19)
14. Indestructible (5:29)

Total Time – 70:00

MUSICIANS
Julie Colin – Vocals
Julien Spreutels – Keyboards
Francesco Mattei – Lead Guitar
Thomas Henry – Guitar
François Spreutels – Bass
Nicolas Spreutels – Drums

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: AFM Records
Catalogue#: AFM_6899
Country of Origin: Belgium
Date of Release: 14th September 2018

LINKS
Ethernity – Website | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube