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UMÆ Release "Turn Back Time" Single, Feat. John Wesley (Porcupine Tree) and Conner Green (Haken)

International progressive rock power trio UMÆ — singer/guitarist Anthony Cliplef, guitarist Guðjón Sveinsson, and drummer Samy-George Salib — is pleased to announce the release of the single “Turn Back Time” taken from the upcoming album Lost in the View. Hear it below.

UMÆ have collaborated with several guest musicians on Lost in the View. “Turn Back Time” features former Porcupine Tree session guitarist and singer John Wesley on vocals and Haken bassist Conner Green, alongside vocalist Hulda Kristín Kolbrúnardóttir, keyboardist Magnús Jóhann Ragnarsson, violinist Eyja Ragnheiðardóttr, and Sólný Pálsdóttir on backing vocals.

Commented Anthony Cliplef: “‘Turn Back Time’ was written in a batch of songs I’d been compiling, hoping for a future album back in 2009/2010. I was listening heavily to Transatlantic’s ‘The Whirlwind’ and loved the powerful, anthemic themes and the prominent influences of older bands like YesRush, and Genesis, which, to me were heavily present in their music. When the opportunity arose to go to Iceland and write and demo music with Guðjón, I proposed this track. The themes from this song ended up becoming the glue that binds this album together, both musically and lyrically, manifesting itself in different ways at various points in the album.

The trio will launch Lost in the View by the end of 2018. Mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren at the Fascination Street Studios, Lost in the View is a concept album featuring a wide range of performing personnel, including vocalist John Wesley(Porcupine Tree), keyboardist Adam Holzman (Miles Davis, Steven Wilson), guitarist Eric Gillette (Neal Morse Band), and bassist Conner Green (Haken).

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Rikard Sjöblom’s Gungfly recently announced the release of ‘Friendship’, their brand new studio album, due out on 9th November 2018, following the release of 2017’s ‘On Her Journey To The Sun’, as well as 2018’s retrospective 5CD collection ‘Rumbling Box’. 

The band masterminded by former Beardfish frontman & current Big Big Train member Rikard Sjöblom have also been playing select shows this year, and to give fans a taste of what Gungfly are like live, you can now watch a clip of the band performing the older tracks ‘Anna-Lee’ & ‘Polymixia’ here: 

Rikard comments: “In January 2018 we went out with Gungfly to support Kayak in Holland on their ‘Seventeen’ tour. It was a fun tour – we ended up playing a mix of material from all the albums in our set and one evening in Zoetermeer the cameras were rolling. I thought it sounded nice and thought to myself, why not release a couple of songs online? When it came to pick the tunes I wanted to share both the rocking, pop-oriented side of Gungfly with the track ‘Anna-Lee’ (‘The Unbendable Sleep’, 2015) but also the more intricate and prog-rocking 11 minute instrumental extravaganza that is ‘Polymixia’ (‘On Her Journey to the Sun’, 2017) and they both share these funky elements so I think they go well together and showcase some of the variety in the Gungfly catalog. Now go dig it!”

You can watch a clip of Gungfly’s latest single ‘Ghost of Vanity’, from new album ‘Friendship’, here: 

Rikard comments: ”A song that really just came to me all at once while I was strumming away on my guitar one day, lyrics and all. I kept singing ‘I don’t want no part in this’ over and over at first and then started thinking about what it was I didn’t want to partake in. Well, vanity is something I’ve never been a big fan of but one way or another we’re all slaves to it. I think most people, especially teenagers and young adults strive to live up to unrealistic expectations from TV-commercials or the superficial parts of showbiz. I remember when I was a kid and thought everything they said on TV was true, or at least didn’t reflect too much about whether it was real or not. No matter how much we try to not care about how cool or pretty or rich we are, I think it gets to us. The ghost of vanity is always present and I guess it takes a lot of reflecting over your own identity and a lot of courage to try to be yourself. I admire those who truly are.” 

The album will be available as a limited CD Digipak & gatefold 2LP + CD (both including 3 bonus tracks) as well as digital download. Pre-order now here:

The full track-listing is as follows:

  1. Ghost of Vanity
  2. Friendship
  3. They Fade
  4. A Treehouse in a Glade
  5. Stone Cold
  6. If You Fall, Pt. 2
  7. Crown of Leaves
  8. Slow Dancer (Bonus Track)
  9. Past Generation (Bonus Track)
  10. Friendship (Utopian Radio Edit) (Bonus Track)

Rikard comments: “The idea for ‘Friendship’ came to me because of an old photo of me as a child. I found this old photo at my parents’ house, depicting me standing on top of this really tall treehouse in a glade near our house. Although I of course remembered it as being really high up in the tree tops as a child, this picture proved that it really was! As I reminisced about the treehouse I started thinking about my childhood friends with whom I built it. We were the best of friends and we spent so much time together in this little village where I used to live. This of course made me think about all the friends I used to have, these relationships where you hung out all the time, went through childhood together, grew up and knew everything about each other and then all of a sudden, for some reason, disappeared from each other’s lives. This phenomenon of falling out with someone is still a mystery to me, but I’ve learned to accept it, much like the separation of death it’s just a part of life and the nature of our course of life, I guess. So this is a collection of songs about and for all of my friends, dead or alive, past and present. I chose to base the stories around the treehouse in the glade, not because all of my memories are from there, but rather that it’s the place that made me think back on all of this.”

Rikard comments of the musical direction: “Musically, what can I say? This is prog rock, but I want to be free to move in whatever direction the music wants to go and I happily go exploring where it wants to take me. Even though there are a few softer songs and sections, most of the album turned out to be a rocker; a collection of hard rock songs with lots of tricky parts, some heavier moments and some downright jazzy elements too!”

Rikard Sjöblom is perhaps best known as the multi-instrumentalist frontman of Beardfish, who established themselves as one of the most consistently brilliant modern-day progressive rock bands over the course of eight studio albums. In recent years, he has also become known for his work with English progressive collective Big Big Train, playing live with them as well as performing on their most recent studio album ‘The Second Brightest Star’ as well as the new live album ‘Merchants of Light’.

Explore Rikard’s back catalogue with the recently released ‘Rumbling Box’ which contains 5 discs covering the years 2006-2016. Get your copy here: 

GUNGFLY online:


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Premiere: FRACTAL CYPHER's New Music Video Reaches "From The Above And To The Stars"

Montreal prog quartet Fractal Cypher are premiering their first single and music video “From The Above And To The Stars” here on Prog Sphere. The track is off the band’s upcoming mini-album Prelude To An Impending Outcome due out this coming November. Watch the video below.

The band commented: “This is the heaviest song on the record, it’s got lots of heavy guitar riffs, it has a Djenty vibe that is quite obvious all the way through. This track was influenced a bit from what we did on our past ‘The Human Paradox’ in terms of the balance between heavy riffs and melodies. On the lyrical aspect, the main topic of the track is about sci-fi stuff, talking about the possibilities of the existence of another civilization in the universe. We made the music relate to the lyrics in terms of chords choices and sonority.

Prelude To An Impending Outcome is a 4 song mini-album produced by Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, The Agonist, Beyond Creation) that promises to be a roller coaster of genres across completely different sounding songs with intimate lyrics influenced by personal experiences. Each track has a different prominent genre influence from power ballad, blues, djent and jazz with the band’s heavy and melodic base as an anchor. The album artwork was done by Silent Q Design out of Montreal and foreshadows the moody and existential prog metal that lies within. Although this album is more intimate with different textures and influences, the reception to its predecessor should be a prime indication of the talents of Fractal Cypher; this next release is sure to be a masterwork.

The band adds:

Prelude To An Impending Outcome‘ is a mini album of 4 songs that are completely different from one to another to create a maximum roller coaster effect and make it non linear and interesting to listen to. The clash of style is more important and more obvious than our previous album, but the songs have gained in maturity in term of songwriting and sound. The vibe of this mini-album is really more intimate, due to the lyrics and the overall ambiance/universe of the songs. The melodic side of the band is still really present, offering catchy vocal lines and outstanding solos all over the songs.

Prelude To An Impending Outcome is slated for self-release on November 8, 2018 and available for pre-order on the band’s Bandcamp here.

For more info:

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Fractal Cypher - Prelude to an Impending Outcome

This news story was originally published here:
Exclusive: Dallas Post-Hardcore Smashers THIRD & DELAWARE Release "Ardor" Video

Post-hardcore five-piece from Dallas, Third & Delaware recently premiered a video for the song “Ardor” with us here at Prog Sphere, a tune taken from their debut EP ‘Generations.’ Singer Richy Xiong talked about the EP, writing, and more.

Define the mission of Third & Delaware.

Richy: Our mission is to deliver a unique yet familiar sound to the hardcore and metalcore scene while providing a means to express one’s true self.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your debut EP “Generations” and the themes it captures.

Richy: Each song in the EP represents a different emotion felt at different times in my life: Anger, depression, betrayal, independence, and hope. Since it’s the first release with me as the new vocalist, I wanted to encompass multiple themes in the EP as we find our “new sound”.

What is the message you are trying to give with “Generations”?

Richy: Since each song has such a different lyrical feeling to it, the overall message would be to never forget your experiences through life. You are who you are because of everything you’ve been through; the good, the bad, and everything in between. Live and learn, be yourself, and never give up.

Third & Delaware - Generations

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

Richy: I wrote every song on my phone, most of them while I was eating lunch before a lab class I had during the summer semester. I had all of the instrumental tracks on my phone, and I would just listen to them on repeat while I was thinking what to theme them about.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Richy: In our live performances, yes. Our guitarist Revin chose the order of the songs for the EP, while I chose the order of the songs for our live sets. I made sure the lyrics and themes of each song flows well into the next.

Describe the approach to recording the EP.

Richy: Drink beer, write a riffy verse, take a shot then come up with the chorus.

How long “Generations” was in the making?

Richy: If I’m not mistaken, the band had some of the songs on the EP written for months. The instrumental tracks were basically done and they were just waiting to get vocals onto them. I’m glad that my input to our music was well received when I first joined the band.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Richy: All That Remains, Bullet for my Valentine, and August Burns Red were the biggest influences when I was writing the vocal cadences of the EP.

What is your view on technology in music?

Richy: The ambience that backings can provide can really be what makes one local band different from the others. Technology is amazing, and if it adds to the music, I don’t have a problem with it.

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

Richy: I think that art in general always serves a greater purpose than the art itself. Making music basically requires vulnerability. It played a big part of not only making me who I am today, it also allowed me to express myself in a way I never have before. Because of music, I am my best self. If I could instill that feeling in others, even if it was just one person, it would literally be a dream come true.

What are your plans for the future?

Richy: The band’s main plan for the future is to write more music. I can’t wait to see what we come up with now that I have input into the instrumentals of an upcoming full length album. We’ll definitely jump on as many shows as we can while we continue to write.

Generations is out now; check it out on Bandcamp.

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Alberta Sludge/Doom Riffmakers HAAZE Release “Swamp Mama” Single

Finding inspiration in writing tunes that fans can bang their heads to, Red Deer, Alberta power trio Haaze are all set to launch their new album. Coming out on January 7th in digital form, as well as a limited LP edition of 100 available via Transistor 66 RecordsSwamp Mama is a crushing release both musically and lyrically. The band partnered up with Doomed & Stoned for an exclusive premiere of the title track off of the upcoming album. Have a listen below.

Singer and guitarist Mitchell Soloway reflected on the creative process of the upcoming album.

It’s funny because there never was a set process. Alex and I had just finished and released our EP ‘Riff.’ On our very first show as HAAZE the guy who did sound for us came up to us and was like, ‘you guys have a killer sound and I would like to try recording you live off the floor in my studio.’ Both Alex and I were like ‘hell yeah, we can do that!,’ knowing fully we just recorded all the material we had. Lucky for us the date was a couple months away. When we did meet up with him (Ranjit Ranawaya) we recorded three songs in about 12 hours, two of which eventually made it to the album (‘Stereotypically Doomed’ and ’35 Indians’). A few months later we decided to do a video and release ‘Stereotypically Doomed’ as a single to help promote us, we also gained a full time bass player (Jack Sutherland) and decided to track four more songs which all made the cut. Basically half our album was recorded about five months apart from the other half but we did all the songs live off the floor in the studio with Ranjit which we are super proud of. What you hear on our record is what you get live.

HAAZE’s main goal with Swamp Mama was to put out a record that was heavy.

Soloway went on saying: “I have played in so many bands over the years where it wasn’t quite what I wanted to do, but I played anyway because of being with friends or whatever. When the singer for our last band bailed on Alex and I we took a break for a bit but my intention was to start writing the type of shit I had always had in my back pocket and wanted to play. I had no gear, and was just playing on an acoustic guitar. I would send Alex riffs that I recorded with my phone being like, ‘dude, check it out,’ and probably annoyed the hell out of him. Once I committed to too forking out the cash I built my rig and the rest was history.

Lyrically, on Swamp Mama HAAZE explore everything from Soloway’s own personal issues and thoughts to making up stupid characters and just running with that.

I try not to write lyrics in a serious way or super literal but the songs have their meanings. Really, when it comes time to write lyrics I just write about what’s in my head at that time. When we worked on all of these songs I was going through a really rough patch in my life where my dad had passed away and I wasn’t dealing with it in the most healthy way possible. Not to mention the place I used to work was a super toxic environment so it fueled a lot of writing. The lyrical content ranges from missing old friends and accepting my borderline alcoholism to singing about a swamp monster who is a “fucboi” by day and serial killer at night. Or in the song ‘AL’ I wrote it from the perspective of a companion AI that realizes its own potential and how it is being abused. The AI takes matters into their own hands, destroys the master and creates an army of synthetic beings who convert humans into fuel for their rocket ship so they can explore the universe.

Swamp Mama is out on January 7th, 2019; pre-order it here. Listen to the first single and title track below.

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HAAZE - Swamp Mama

Edition 127 of THE PROG MILL – first broadcast on Progzilla Radio on Sunday 14 October 2018, is now available to listen to anytime or download as a mp3 file.

Two hours of superb melodic and symphonic progressive rock, plus interviews with Nick Jefferson of Kaprekar’s Constant and Colin Powell (Doug Woods & Colin Powell) recorded at the recent Summers End festival in Chepstow, and a chance to win the new Nova Cascade album.

This Week’s Playlist

1 The C Sides Project – Day 8 (10 Days)
2 The Ryszard Kramarski Project – The Fairly Tales of a Stranger (Sounds from the Past)
3 Albion – Lady Death (You’ll Be Mine)
4 Octavarium – Platform 4 (Beyond The Horizon)
5 Residuos Mentales – A Promise Unkept (Introspection)
6 Nova Cascade – Epiphany (Above All Else)
7 Kaprekar’s Constant – Four Faced Liar (Fate Outsmarts Desire)
8 Lifestream – The Shy Tree (Diary)
9 Gil Fourny – Celtic Game (Single)
10 Jon & Vangelis – A Play Within a Play (Short Stories)
11 Tim Bowness – Sing to Me (Stupid Things Which Mean The World)
12 Doug Woods & Colin Powell – Presenting Miss Lily Louise Pepper (Lilys Gone Mad)
13 Hats Off Gentlemen Its Adequate – Lidice (Out of Mind)
14 Leyenda Mistica – La Llorona (Leyenda Mistica)

You can also hear The Prog Mill every week at these times on Progzilla Radio ( + via the tune in radio app + internet radios)

Sundays 10pm – Midnight UK (2100UTC) – MAIN BROADCAST
Tuesdays 3-5am UK (0200UTC) – for North America (Mon 7pm Pacific and 10pm Eastern)
Tuesdays 11pm-1am UK (2200 UTC)
Saturdays 6-8pm UK (1700UTC) an nice easy time to listen during Saturday teatime

Back next week with more superb melodic/symphonic progressive rock, the draw for the winners of the Nova Cascade competition and a chance to win John Holden’s superb CD Capture Light.

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Bangalore, India’s progressive rock unit Rainburn return with the release of Insignify (review here) on November 7th, a concept album denoting the quest for purpose in the overarching meaninglessness of life. Today, the band is launching the second single from the upcoming release. Watch a lyric video for “Mirrors” below, exclusively brought to you by Prog Sphere.

Commented singer and guitarist Vats Iyengar, “‘Mirrors’ represents the dark underbelly of what we know as the ‘after-party’. Most such social gatherings seem to be centred around role playing and narcissism/insecurity, built upon false promises of taking away your loneliness or boredom, yet everyone is expected to enjoy them all the time.

Compared to the first single, ”Suicide Note” which was premiered by PROG magazine — which was busy and technical, “Mirrors” is, musically, very sparse but every bit as intense, perhaps even more so.

I think the two songs, together, say a lot not only about the variety of music on the album, but also about this band’s maturity, in that we don’t feel compelled to throw every instrumental trick we know into every single song, something that many “prog” bands seem to struggle with,” Vats stated.

Insignify is out on November 7th. For further info visit Rainburn’s website. Watch a lyric video for “Mirrors” below.

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Rainburn - Insignify