Archives

All posts for the month June, 2020

Edition 236 of Steve Blease’s Heavy Elements is now available as a podcast.

Playlist:

Spheric Universe Experience – Self Abuse
Nord – The Unstoppable
Ulcerate – There Is No Horizon
Oranssi Pazuzu – Uusi Teknokratia

That Was The Year That Prog: 2012
Devin Townsend Project – Kingdom
Circus Maximus – Architect of Fortune
Between The Buried And Me – Astral Body
The Contortionist – Dreaming Schematics
Headspace – Fall of America

Epic at 11: Ne Obliviscaris – And Plague Flowers the Kaleidoscope

Time Lost – Stage III. Rage
Obsidian Kingdom – Darkness

Album of the Week: Thaikkudam Bridge – Navarasam : An ennead
Navarasam
Aarachar
Shiva

Shaolin Death Squad – Toad

Requests/comments to steve@progzilla.com

#progzillaradio #heavyelements

This news story was originally published here: http://www.insideoutmusic.com/newsdetailed.aspx?IdNews=24189&IdCompany=8

(“Konkret Musik” album artwork)

Swedish progressive rock instrumentalists GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA will be releasing their upcoming sixth studio album “Konkret Musik” on July 24th, 2020 worldwide via InsideOutMusic.

GBS are therefore pleased to reveal the album’s title-track “Konkret Musik” as the second single for the release, which can also be now seen here in a video produced by Carl Stenlöv / REDI: https://youtu.be/Y9UlYTN5NbY

The band checked in with the following comment about the track:

“Being partly a play of words with the term “Musique concrète” – a compositional tradition of modifying recorded sounds to create new sound identities – the album title ‘Konkret Musik’ also reflects that this album is our most direct and tangible collection of music so far with its short, focused and to-the-point songs that together creates a collage of expressions.

This energetic title track represents this directness fully in its explosiveness and denseness with its layers of melodies, sounds and whirling textures. It’s concrete enough for Karaoke and with a sound identity that helps build the ever-expanding collage of GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA.”

The album’s first single “Basement Traps” can still be seen in a video clip directed by Martin Gustafsson here: https://youtu.be/VSpt7sU4T2g

Recorded, mixed and produced by Daniel Fagerström (Viagra Boys, Skull Defekts, Nina Kinert, etc.) and Anton Sundell (Tonbruket, Ane Brun, etc.) at Studio Bruket and Magix Playground, the upcoming album “Konkret Musik” contains 12 explosive tracks filled with experimental instrumental rock, showcasing a truly unique mix of progressive rock, synth minimalism and otherworldly melodies. Dystopian yet hopeful, maximal yet minimal: “Konkret Musik” will not leave anyone unaffected. Here is the album’s track-listing:

GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA – “Konkret Musik”:
1. Släpad
2. Vinsta guldklocka
3. Basement Traps
4. Close to Home
5. Konkret Musik
6. Closing Borders
7. To Never Return
8. Instrument VI
9. The Pugilist
10. A Fucking Good Man
11. Förbifart Stockholm
12. A Question of Currency

(“Konkret Musik” single artwork)

“Konkret Musik” will be available as Digital Album, as limited Digipak CD and as 180gr. LP with the entire album on CD as bonus. Next to the black vinyl version, there will also be limited coloured vinyl runs in Tansparent Magenta (100x from IOM Webshop) and Transparent Sun Yellow (200x from band).

The pre-order for “Konkret Musik” is available here:
https://GostaBerlingsSaga.lnk.to/KonkretMusik/

GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA have recently also released a special digital-only live album entitled “Artefacts – Live”, which consists of 9 tracks in a total playing time of 63 minutes, recorded at the grandiose Södra Teatern venue in the group’s hometown Stockholm in December 2018. GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA performed their previous album “ET EX” in its entirety (and a few older tracks additionally…) with various guests on stage and in front of a sitting audience. Sweden’s biggest newspaper Dagens Nyheter gave the concert a remarkable review and a 5/5 rating.

You can stream/download “Artefacts – Live” from here:
https://gostaberlingssaga.lnk.to/Artefactslive

Alongside with the digital album release, GBS are also launched the live video-footage, filmed and edited by Klara & Carl (klaraocarl.myportfolio.com), for the individual tracks off “Artefacts – Live” via the InsideOutMusic YouTube channel, which can be seen here:

GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA – “Artefacts – Live”:
1. Veras tema https://youtu.be/kXyMYGn7yeI
2. The Shortcomings of Efficiency https://youtu.be/dodxffAhFio
3. Square 5 https://youtu.be/Qqw4mvuYVOU
4. Artefacts https://youtu.be/yHb5pGRr4_A
5. Capercaillie Lammergeyer Cassowary & Repeat https://youtu.be/YGB0duAdN48
6. Brus från stan https://youtu.be/EjtkNtzo2rM
7. Fundament https://youtu.be/-Hlmu4TkPzE
8. Terra Nova https://youtu.be/dYnUGgroCDk
9. Sersophane https://youtu.be/v65w3kjPAJk

GÖSTA BERLINS SAGA’s previous album “ET EX” is still available here:
https://gostaberlingssaga.lnk.to/ETEX

GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA Line-Up:
David Lundberg – Fender Rhodes, Grand Piano, Mellotron & Synthesizers
Gabriel Tapper – Bass Guitar & Moog Taurus Pedals
Rasmus Booberg – Guitars & Synthesizers
Alexander Skepp – Drums & Percussion
Jesper Skarin – Percussion

GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA Discography:
Tid Är Ljud – 2006
Detta Har Hänt – 2009
Glue Works – 2011
Sersophane – 2016
ET EX – 2018
Kontraster – Live – 2019 (Digital)
Artefacts – Live – 2020 (Digital)
Konkret Musik – 2020

GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA Online:
https://www.gostaberlingssaga.com
http://www.facebook.com/gostaberlingssaga
http://www.instagram.com/gostaberlingssaga
http://www.twitter.com/gbs_sthlm

INSIDEOUTMUSIC ONLINE:
www.insideoutmusic.com
www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV
www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic
www.twitter.com/insideouteu

This news story was originally published here: http://www.insideoutmusic.com/newsdetailed.aspx?IdNews=24188&IdCompany=8

LONG DISTANCE CALLING, Germany’s most internationally successful instrumental rock act, release their seventh studio album ‘How Do We Want To Live?’ today!

The album has been receiving a fantastic reaction being awarded Album of the Month in publications such as Metal Hammer Germany, Rock Hard Germany, Guitar, Gitarre & Bass & more, while Metal Hammer UK have called it a “full-blown sensory experience”.

The band comments: “Today is the day where we can finally unleash our new album “How Do We Want To Live?”. The feedback so far is overwhelming and we are incredibly proud of this album. It’s a big step for us and we think it’s a really unique experience, not only in terms of sounds. We want you to wrap your head around it and to ask yourself how you want to live. We want to be your soundtrack during these stormy times and we are totally happy with it!
Love LDC”
This weekend on the 28thJune, the band will celebrate the release of the new album with a live-streamed performance in conjunction with EMP. Tune in to the bands YouTube channel and Facebook page at 8.15pm CET to hear the band perform tracks from the new album.

The band also recently announced a special album launch drive-in show on the 2ndJuly in Oberhausen, Germany. Tickets are on sale now and the band comments:

“Friends, you might have heard that we are going to release our new album “HOW DO WE WANT TO LIVE” on June 26th and of course we want to celebrate this with you! We got an invitation from the Autoarena in Oberhausen And of course we said yes for July 2nd. Due to the current situation no “regular” shows are possible so this is a nice and interesting thing to try out and it fits really well to the “Seats & Sounds” Concept, just sit in your car, grab some snacks and some cool beverages. The “Seats & Sounds 2020″ tour in in Support of the new album is not affected by this show, we still hope that can celebrate this special shows with you! Love LDC”

Watch the bands recent video for ‘Immunity’ here: https://youtu.be/fT9pNGHKdLw

The band previously launched a striking video for the track ‘Voices’, a short film exploring the relationship between a human and AI. The video was created by AVA Studios and you can watch it now here: https://youtu.be/uWQQbQ9jqU4

Watch the video for the album’s first single ‘Hazard’ here: https://youtu.be/vj9_KM3DuIM
Jan and Jansoch from Long Distance Calling have also launched a German-language podcast titled “Lachend in die Kreissäge” where they discuss the new album, and will also be inviting guests to join them on future episodes. Listen now here: https://lidkpodcast.podigee.io

‘How Do We Want To Live?’sees the band forging a sharply defined & artistically tight exploration of the relationship between humanity and artificial intelligence, and the state of digital progress. Comprised of 10 tracks which contain all the classic LDC-trademarks whilst also bringing something completely fresh and unexpected to the table with their ambitious use of electronic sounds, a perfect symbiosis between man and machine.

‘How Do We Want To Live?’is available as a Limited Edition CD, Gatefold Black 2LP + CD & as Digital Album. A limited deluxe box-set has been released, containing a special coloured edition of the album, an exclusive 7inch featuring two remixes, a beautiful poster featuring the albums stunning artwork by Max Löffler, and 4 individually signed art-cards all contained in a lift-off box. Order now here:
https://longdistancecalling.lnk.to/HowDoWeWantToLive

The full track-listing is as follows:
1. Curiosity (Part 1)
2. Curiosity (Part 2)
3. Hazard
4. Voices
5. Fail/Opportunity
6. Immunity
7. Sharing Thoughts
8. Beyond Your Limits
9. True/Negative
10. Ashes
The track ‘Beyond Your Limits’ continues the band´s tradition of having one track with a vocalist, and features the talents of Eric A. Pulverich of the band Kyles Tolone. As the band comments: “We got to know him over our producer Arne Neurand. We were instantly fascinated by his voice and we wanted to show the quality of his voice and melodies.”
It was recently announced that the band have been nominated for the GEMA Musikautorenpreis 2020. This is an integral part of the German music landscape and unique in its focus on music writers. GEMA has been honoring composers and lyricists for their musical work in this way for 12 years, and is representative of the great diversity and the enormous range of fascinating works across genres.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation,LONG DISTANCE CALLING have rescheduled their September ‘Seats & Sounds’ German tour for September 2021.

25.02.21 Berlin Passionskirche
26.02.21 Dresden Lukaskirche
27.02.21 Leipzig Ankeroff
01.03.21 Mannheim Capitol
02.03.21 Frankfurt Jahrhunderthalle Club
03.03.21 Stuttgart Mozartsaal
04.03.21 Bochum Christuskirche
05.03.21 Köln E-Werk
27.03.21 München St. Mattha¨us Kirche
29.03.21 Hannover Pavillon
30.03.21 Hamburg Kleine Elbphilharmonie (sold out)

LONG DISTANCE CALLING online:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/longdistancecalling
https://www.instagram.com/longdistancecalling
https://www.youtube.com/user/longdistancecalling
www.twitter.com/LDCBAND
www.longdistancecalling.de

https://longdistancecalling.merchcowboy.com/

INSIDEOUTMUSIC online:
www.insideoutmusic.com
www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV
www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic
www.twitter.com/insideouteu
www.insideoutshop.de

This news story was originally published here: http://www.insideoutmusic.com/newsdetailed.aspx?IdNews=24187&IdCompany=8

The Tangent, the progressive rock group led by
Andy Tillison, recently announced the release of their 11th studio album ‘Auto Reconnaissance’ on the 21st August 2020. The follow-up to 2018’s ‘Proxy’, sees them continuing the band philosophy of celebrating the golden age of prog, whilst bringing it to the present and exploring new paths for the music to take in the future. On ‘Auto Reconnaissance’, they bend that philosophy to their will, taking in prog rock foot stomping, sublime Jazz, humour, narrative, a modern R&B love song, funk/soul and a 28 minute long emotional epic about the band’s home country of England.

Today they launch the first track, titled ‘Life On Hold’, and you can listen now here: https://youtu.be/go1O7PI6oTI

Andy comments: “‘Life On Hold is the cheerful up-tempo Prog Rock foot-stomper we chose to kick off our album. It sits alongside pieces we’ve done in the past like ‘GPS Culture’ and ‘Spark In The Aether’, ‘Crisis In Midlife’ etc and it’s a flavour we do like to return to now and then. This one is influenced by things like that first Asia album, stuff like Kansas and Boston, and the kind of thing that Transatlantic might bang out at you. It’s part of our genetic makeup, but of course only one part. Although there’s a fair amount of accessible tunes on the new album, there’s some seriously deep water around too. And no, ‘Life On Hold’ has nothing to do with Lockdowns. It mentions Jean Paul Sartre, which is not normal in foot-stompers. Get it ON!! Bang, and the dirt is gone!

‘Auto Reconnaissance’ will be available as a limited CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP + CD + LP-Booklet and as a digital album. Pre-order now here: https://The-Tangent.lnk.to/AutoReconnaissance

Andy comments: “I utterly refuse to accept that Progressive Rock Music is some kind of museum piece. It is actually a living and breathing movement that has a past, a present and above all, a future. It once had an album-chart-topping golden age, but the genre was never about that. It has subtly and virally kept itself alive for decades where many new musical genres have risen to glory and faded away.

For this release, Andy is once again joined by long-time collaborators Jonas Reingold, Luke Machin (who co-produced the album with Andy), Theo Travis, and Steve Roberts. Together they bring to life an album that has been influenced by the likes of ELP, The Isley Brothers, Steely Dan, Aphex Twin, National Health, Rose Royce, Squarepusher and Return To Forever amongst others. 

Andy comments of the current line-up: “In the past 6 years the line-up of The Tangent has become more stable than at the beginning. I think that the identity of the Tangent as a “Group” rather than a “Project” started to come together on the album ‘A Spark In The Aether’ in 2014. Essentially Luke, Jonas, Theo and myself have appeared on the last four albums, and we added Steve Roberts for the tour that supported ‘Slow Rust’ in 2017 and we’ve settled on this line-up. I hope for a while because I find this unit to be productive, in tune with the band’s purpose and manifesto and a lot of fun to boot. The new album ‘Auto Reconnaissance’ is the first time that the core band has been identical in structure to its predecessor. For the first time I feel that everyone is totally onboard with the fusion of Jazz, Prog, Punkishness and electronica that The Tangent likes to cook up. We are a good group of friends and although we don’t meet up often, it’s a real blast when we do. I’ve always considered Ed Unitsky the cover artist to have been a recurring member of the cast – his artwork has been a huge part of our story and although we move away, we always return.

‘Auto Reconnaissance’ will be available as Limited CD Digipak (incl. bonus track), Gatefold 2LP + CD + LP booklet & as Digital Album, all featuring the artwork of Ed Untisky, whose visuals have not been seen on a Tangent album ince 2014’s ‘A Spark In The Aether’. The full track-listing can be found below:

1. Life On Hold
2. Jinxed In Jersey
3. Under Your Spell
4. The Tower Of Babel
5. Lie Back & Think Of England
6. The Midas Touch
7. Proxima (Bonus Track)

The Tangent are the following players:
Andy Tillison – Vocals, Lyrics, Keyboards, Composer
Jonas Reingold (The Sea Within, Steve Hackett Band) – Bass Guitar
Theo Travis (Soft Machine, David Gilmour, Travis-Fripp) – Sax & Flute
Luke Machin (Maschine, Francis Dunnery Band) – Guitar
Steve Roberts (David Cross Band, ex Magenta, Godsticks) – Drums

The Tangent online:
www.thetangent.org
https://www.facebook.com/groups/alltangentmembers/

INSIDEOUTMUSIC online:
www.insideoutmusic.com
www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV
www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic
www.twitter.com/insideouteu
www.insideoutshop.de

 

This news story was originally published here: https://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2020/06/30/revolutionary-army-of-the-infant-jesus-songs-of-yearning-nocturnes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=revolutionary-army-of-the-infant-jesus-songs-of-yearning-nocturnes

With a band name like that, it’s easy to get attention, and for all the wrong reasons. Admittedly, I only gave this a once over because of the name, half expecting to turn it off once the Bible-thumping started. The other half of me vaguely recalled hearing John Peel (I can’t think who else it may have been!) playing something by a band so named waaay back in the mists of time, and as such, suspected all may not be as it seems, and thankfully, that turned out to be the case. Contrary to the obvious impression given, the band name is taken from a terrorist group in Luis Buñuel’s 1977 surrealist film, That Obscure Object of Desire. It seems that this enigmatic band from Liverpool have made a sum total of four albums in 35 years, including this release, which only adds to the perhaps deliberately cultivated air of mystery.

Overt Gothic religious imagery swirls through the shadows of the main album, Songs of Yearning, with musical prayers sitting alongside spookily ambient reflections. The lyrics are in at least four, maybe more languages, creating a drifting and sombre atmosphere over slow, thoughtful music led by acoustic guitars over understated electronica, with Eliza Carew’s* cello adding darkly to the tale. This is introspection at its most poignant. The spirits in these grooves are sometimes sombre things, aided and abetted by the aforementioned mournful cello, as is the case in opener Avatars, which opens with a single repeated slowly strummed chord over a reverberating rhythm, and which closes with a quietly tolling bell, being a case in point.

Hannah Harper’s* voice is unaffected throughout, with an added hint of world-weariness, nowhere more so than on Ave Maria, where the sadness behind the veil is laid bare for us all to hear. The compositions are uncomplicated, and often starkly atmospheric, as if bearing their souls. Any judgement is ours, not the composers’.

Evoking the cerebral yet emotional atmosphere of an art house movie shot in monochrome, around a tumbledown shack buried deep in a mist-shrouded wood, Songs of Yearning is in no rush to get to any particular destination, and takes its time to slowly reveal itself over several listens. Vespers plays hopscotch in veils of misty melancholy, the vocals lying just out of reach behind a gently insistent melody and subtle electronics. Belonging/O Nata Lux seamlessly combines the fragile, avant ambience of the first part with the devotional interpretation of the second part, and is a perfect representation of the album in miniature. No one song stands out, this is a work that needs to be taken whole, in one sitting, and it is more than deserving of the time invested.

The limited edition bonus album Nocturnes starts off in a more accessible and upbeat fashion, with a straight ahead folk-indie-rock number. If, like me, this package is your first encounter with the band, this comes as something of a surprise, given what has gone before on the main course. We are back to more familiar introspective territory on the following instrumental Falling, a six-minute extended version of the snippet on the main album, wherein waves of quiet instrumentation evoke images of an autumn leaf swaying through a slow descent to Earth. Elsewhere, more folk-tinged pop and darkly medieval pastoral ambience is disturbed by Visions, which in another unexpected twist borders on noise rock. Following that is an eight minute spoken word Kosmische tone poem in Russian entitled Belonging, again an alternate take of a track from Songs of Yearning. The closing track Nightwaves slowly fades to nothing, dying ripples spreading out on still water, the stone cast leaving as many questions as answers, and yet an indefinable vague feeling of completion. While the music is largely conventional, with occasional departures down the alleyway marked “Strange”, it leaves the listener feeling slightly disconnected as if between two worlds.

Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus are not preachers, but something far more subtle than that, separate, apart from the headlong rush of modern life. As such, they seem strangely suited to the current heavy manners, where we have all been forced into an unfamiliar pause for breath. This is the most thought-provoking music I have heard this year, it goes beyond an anodyne “like” or “dislike” (I like, by the way). This can only be a good thing.

TRACK LISTING
Songs of Yearning

01. Avatars (5:30)
02. Celestine (2:07)
03. Kontaktion (for St Maria Skobtsova) (3:11)
04. Ave Maria (3:35)
05. Vespers (3:47)
06. Paradise (3:13)
07. Beginnings (2:02)
08. Songs Of Yearning (2:44)
09. Falling (1:20)
10. Miserere (2:13)
11. Belonging/O Nata Lux (7:24)
12. Prayer (3:11)

Time – 40:19

Nocturnes
01. I Carry The Sun (2:02)
02. Falling (6:06)
03. Like The Waters (2:59)
04. Near To The Beginning (4:37)
05. Toujours Pour La Première Fois (1:43)
06. Overture (5:31)
07. Visions (2:55)
08. Opening (8:02)
09. Anthem (3:05)
10. Belonging (3:58)
11. Nightwaves (4:47)

Time – 45:45

Total Time – 96:04

MUSICIANS
*These are assumptions from Google searches, actual info is hard to track down!
RAIJ are Paul Boyce, Jon Egan, Leslie Hampson, Jessie Main, Eliza Carew, Zander Mavor, Hannah Harper

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Occultation Recordings
Country of Origin: U.K.
Date of Release: 5th June 2020

LINKS
Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus – Facebook | Bandcamp | Occultation Recordings Facebook

Magenta- Bela

Kyros – Technology Killed The Kids III

Pacifica – The Mariner

Dark Star – Kaptain America

The Jam – Set the House Ablaze

Tiger Moth Tales – Still Alive

Yuka & Chronoship – The Air Ship of Jean Giraud

The Ben Cameron Project – Break It Open

Golden Earring – Did I Make You Up

Mansun – Things Keep Falling Off Buildings

Edition 247 of Sounds That Can Be Made is now available as a podcast!

Playlist:

Frost* – Fathers (from Others)
Lonely Robot – Life is a Sine Wave (from Feelings Are Good)
Gravity Machine – It’s Summer (from Red)
Pattern-Seeking Animals – Elegant Vampires (from Prehensile Tales)
Airbag – Sunsets (from A Day At The Beach)
Lunatic Soul – A Thousand Shards of Heaven (from Fractured)
Yes – Mood For A Day (from Fragile)
King Crimson – Sailor’s Tale (from Islands)
Mostly Autumn – Western Skies (from White Rainbow)
Weend’O – You Need To Know Yourself (from You Need To Know Yourself)
Stolen Earth – Unnatural Disaster (from A Far Cry from Home)
Barclay James Harvest – Ring Of Changes (from Ring Of Changes)
Pallas – Paris Is Burning (from Paris Is Burning)
Corvus Stone – Corvus Stone (from Corvus Stone)
Darrel Treece-Birch – Music of the Spheres (from No More Time)
Porcupine Tree – Sever Tomorrow (from Insignificance)
John Wesley – Showing Happy to the World (from Chasing Monsters)
Dave Kerzner – Into The Sun (from New World)
Bjørn Riis – The Chase (from Lullabies in a Car Crash)
Black Bonzo – Giant Games (from Sound of the Apocalypse)
Thank You Scientist – Carnival (from Maps Of Non-Existent Places)
3 – All That Remains (from The End is Begun)

#progzillaradio #stcbm

 

Progressive Tracks Show #370 (The Beautiful Genre)

Progressive Rock is one of the most emotive and beautiful musical genres… so says I.

This week’s show is going to be a big ‘lighter’ overall; each track is beautiful in its own way… and of course, in my opinion.

And, sadly, we’ll have a tribute to another great artist… and that’s not just my opinion.

  • King Crimson – “Lady of the Dancing Water” from Lizard on DGM (1970)
  • King Crimson – “Cat Food” from In The Wake of Poseidon on DGM (1970)
  • Ahvak – “Bherta” from Ahvak on Cuneiform Records (2004)
  • Electric Mud – “Quiet Days On Earth” from Quiet Days On Earth on Independent (2020)
  • Atilla Engin & Mateo – “Take Care of Your Baby” from Turkish Delight on Arsivplak (1980)
  • Gary Husband & Markus Reuter – “Music of Our Times” from Music of Our Times on MoonJune Records (2020)
  • Jonathan & Corentin Aussems – “Uhb” from Idegael on homerecords.be (2016)
  • King Crimson – “Cadence and Cascade” from In The Wake of Poseidon on DGM (1970)
  • King Crimson – “Islands” from Islands on DGM (1970)
  • Ahvak – “Ahvak” from Ahvak on Cuneiform Records (2004)
  • El Tubo Elastico – “La marcha elástica de los enanitos” from La marcha elástica de los enanitos – Single on Independent (2020)
  • King Crimson – “Happy Family” from Lizard on DGM (1970)

If you have comments or suggestions for show topics/ music (always welcome), feel free to contact me any time via email:  ProgTracks@KPTZ.org

And remember, you can access podcasts of any previous Progressive Tracks Show at: http://www.progzilla.com/?s=progressive+tracks (there are over 200 podcasts now!).

Most importantly, SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST below, so you’ll have it delivered to your fingertips weekly! ˅˅˅˅˅˅˅˅

Edition 235 of Steve Blease’s Heavy Elements is now available as a podcast.

Playlist:

DGM – Trust (from Momentum)
Paralydium – Within The Sphere (from World Beyond)
Mekong Delta – Mindeater (from Tales of a Future Past)
Hopescure – Anger (from Nostalgia, Pt. 1)
Isle of the Cross – Tartarus

That Was The Year That Prog: 2001
Evergrey – The Masterplan
Katatonia – The Future of Speech
Zero Hour – The Subterranean
Ark – Absolute Zero
Adagio – The Inner Road

Epic at 11: Dream Theater – The Ministry Of Lost Souls

Aeon Zen – Another Piece That Fits
Arch/Matheos – Neurotically Wired

Album of the Week: Canvas Solaris – Sublimation
Cycotron Emission
Sublimation
Ekstatik Parataxis (The New Measure)

Skyharbor – The Reckoning

Requests/comments to steve@progzilla.com

#progzillaradio #heavyelements

This news story was originally published here: https://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2020/06/29/bismarck-oneiromancer/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bismarck-oneiromancer

I’d never heard of Norwegian band Bismarck before. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, and was even a little wary based on the cover art. Truth be told, if Oneiromancer were not released on Apollon, I might not have given this album a chance at all. And that would have been a shame, because Oneiromancer sounds nothing at all like what I expected. I guess I was thinking Bismarck might be Norwegian black metal, as that is what the cover art looked like to me – and there is a certain amount of that sound in the mix, but there is also doom, drone, psychedelic, sludge, ambient and Middle Eastern folk.

The opening track, Tahaghghogh Resalat, threw me off guard immediately, and also enthralled me. Honestly, the combination of drone, chime and chant is amazing! And the percussion is mesmerisingly awesome. The drumming is hypnotising throughout the album, but really drives this opening track forward. This is a heavy trip, and a psychedelic delight. Four minutes pass by in what seem like seconds. I could easily listen to this at twice or even thrice the length. But just as I’m getting comfortable, the title track crashes in, unrelentingly. It’s such a grand entrance, so massively does it contrast with the mesmerising drone and rhythm of the opening track.

Over its nine minute length, Oneiromancer provides quite different atmospheres. While it begins in an impressively and oppressively heavy manner – all blast beats and harsh vocals – the music becomes more expansive, with some psychedelic sounds taking away much of the bleakness and heaviness, before almost everything falls away. The vocals become clean and subdued, accompanied almost only by some light drumming, with other instrumentation providing subtle accents. Even this, too, disappears, and there is near silence – before a tentative rhythm begins again, and then the crushing heaviness returns. There is so much going on in this song, and although it’s not my favourite, I suspect it will be for many (perhaps most) listeners.

The Seer carries on the rather delicious marriage of heavy and trippy that Oneiromancer introduced us to. It’s perhaps more straightforward, sticking to a mid-tempo stoner groove, and full of thick fuzzy sludge. I guess it’s rather less spectacular compared to the track it follows, and yet for reasons I can’t fathom, I prefer it. I actually really, really, really like this song! It’s aggressively groovy, and I love the way the riffs slow as the song progresses, until an eerie but absolutely gorgeous keening melody fights with then breaks through the morass, and floats above it. Quite possibly my favourite moment from the entire album.

Hara changes the pace once more, all dissonant and melancholy. The vocals are cleanish, but caught somewhere between a whisper and a retch, that gives them a pained desperation, which is strangely attractive. Eventually those massive mid-tempo riffs kick in, and the song oscillates between heavier and lighter sections, with some lovely Middle Eastern folk passages fitting in (and far more naturally than one might ever expect). You can hear the Middle Eastern influences throughout the album, but this is the most overt they’ve been since the opening number. I love how well they’ve integrated the sounds, without ever sounding like they’ve forced them in, or used them for effect.

Khthon is beautifully psychedelic, reminding me quite a bit of Suns of the Tundra, with some almost ethereal vocals, until, of course, the extreme elements take hold. Yet, as heavy as this track gets (and it does get heavy), it remains incredibly atmospheric. Before you know it, the song is over – and so is the album. Oneiromancer clocks in at just over 30 minutes, and that’s probably as long as it needs to be. Bismarck could have easily stretched out some of the songs, but it says a lot about the band that they knew they didn’t need to. Everything about this album feels just right. The production is excellent, too, with everything very clear in the mix, and having its own space. In fact, space is a big part of the mix, as it’s “wide” enough for every instrument to have full impact.

Put aside your expectations and your prejudices, and give this beast a listen. You may well be surprised! I am fully expecting to see this album turn up on several people’s end of year list.

TRACK LISTING
01. Tahaghghogh Resalat (4:17)
02. Oneiromancer (9:15)
03. The Seer (5:39)
04. Hara (8:59)
05. Khthon (6:48)

Total Time – 34:58

MUSICIANS
Torstein Nørstegård Tveiten – Vocals
Anders Vaage – Bass
Eirik Goksøyr – Guitar
Trygve Svarstad – Guitar
Tore Lyngstad – Drums

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Apollon Records
Country of Origin: Norway
Date of Release: 17th April 2020

LINKS
Bismarck – Facebook | Bandcamp