News

This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2018/02/20/moonparticle-hurricane-esmeralda/

Following in the footsteps of 2013’s instrumental solo-release Banshees and Harpsichord, Hurricane Esmeralda finds guitar virtuoso Niko Tsonev at his creative peak, assembling an all-star cast featuring the likes of keyboard wizard Adam Holzman (Steven Wilson, Miles Davis, etc.), and flautist Theo Travis (Steven Wilson, Robert Fripp, etc.) to ultimately form the progressive-rock venture that is Moonparticle. In addition to said sidemen, whom he’d already worked with in past endeavors on Steven Wilson’s 2012 Grace For Drowning tour – documented on recent re-realese Get All You Deserve – Moonparticle furthermore comprises Frost* Drummer Craig Blundell, violinist Samy Bishai and vocalist Grog Lisee – her raspy vocal-timbre adding an essential note to the general sound of the record.

The music presented over the 40-minute recording is colourfully diverse, ranging from classic rock tunes such as the bluesy The Strength Of A Thousand Year Rose over flute driven intermezzi to jazzy tinged fusion undertakings, as exemplified on the stellar Michelangelo Don’t Stop. Even hard-hitting metal-flavored riffs find their rightful place on this album, leading to a truly extravagant show of versatility and skill by all involved.

The catchy chorus of the opening title track doesn’t leave hold of the listener for the entire duration of the remaining journey, aptly demonstrating Niko’s gift for compact and hook-oriented songwriting. And still the nearly three and half minute rocker finds room for some swirling synthesizer and guitar leads.

Instrumentals Helium I and II contrast the speed racer of an opener by means of pace, instrumentation and structure – lending a folk-jazzy mood to the album. The former introduces a twangy electric guitar melody while the latter presents itself as more exotic – flute and acoustic guitar carrying the torch while dreamily accompanied by an intimate string arrangement.

The highly polyrhythmic Winter Mountain is a highlight of this particularly versatile album, mainly driven by constantly alternating 8/8 and 10/8 time signatures drenched in varying sound carpets. Grog Lisee’s already spooky vocals accompany the haunting atmosphere most effectively and are enhanced by multiple overdubs.

White Light’s where the metal is. Not unlike some of Steven Wilson’s endeavors, Tsonev candidly introduces a sudden burst of heavy distortion on a decisively thunderous riff, only to be relieved by a fine 8/4 jam based around a wet guitar-lick. Craig Blundell constantly shifts his rhythm patterns until Tsonev goes off on a captivatingly affectionate solo, accompanied by smooth yet divine organ voicings. Holzman then leads the way back into the deafening White Light.

On Michelangelo Don’t Stop Tsonev goes full-fusion on a bass-line anchored 6/8. While some of his guitar work here is reminiscent of many of Allan Holdsworth’s ventures, the general atmosphere doesn’t concur but moves into more easy going territories, driven by an unburdened melody played by the flute. Humming voices, arranged in intervals of thirds, guide the main harmonic progressions as well, furthermore adding to the lighthearted ambience.

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While the afore mentioned blues-rocker The Strength Of A Thousand Year Rose recalls late grunge acts of the early 2000s, the instrumental Reverend Mum once again disagrees completely in tone by introducing a sparse arrangement of a thoughtful guitar solo accompanied by programmed drums.

Hurricane Esmeralda closes on a definite high with Leon’s Experiment – the albums longest track. The first sequence of the composition is introduced by another fat layered guitar riff that subsequently recurs and guides the entire piece in periodic intervals. In-between, contrastingly quiet sections, led by atmospheric synthesizer spreads by Holzman, open up the soundscape for wistful contemplation. The final sequence slowly rocks the album to sleep – in an ambient way.

Hurricane Esmeralda is not far from being a perfect progressive rock album. The stunning musicianship paired with intriguing and versatile compositions profit from being presented in a bed of crisp sounds, which also has to be attributed to Tsonev, who not only composed and played “Guitars, Bass and everything else” (as mentioned in the booklet) but also produced and mixed the record. Due to these circumstances, slightly questionable choices concerning the mixing, such as exaggerated panning, can easily be excused and lead to the imperative conclusion: Hurricane Esmeralda is a great start to a progressive 2018 and Niko Tsonev is a voice to be reckoned with in the future.

TRACK LISTING
01. Hurricane Esmeralda (3:20)
02. Helium I (2:16)
03. Helium II (1:24)
04. Winter Mountain (5:20)
05. White Light (5:00)
06. Michelangelo Don’t Stop (6:51)
07. The Strength Of A Thousand Year Rose (4:23)
08. Reverend Mum (4:06)
09. Leon’s Experiment (7:16)

Total Time – 39:16

MUSICIANS
Adam Holzman – Keyboards
Craig Blundell – Drums & Additional Drum Programming
Theo Travis – Flutes, Saxophone & Flutescapes
Samy Bishai – Strings & String Arrangements (track 3)
Grog Lisee – Vocals & Additional Vocal Arrangements (tracks 1, 4 & 7)
Niko Tsonev – Guitars, Bass & everything else

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Independent
Catalogue#: n/a
Date of Release: 20th January 2018

LINKS
Moonparticle – Website | Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter

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This news story was originally published here: http://www.insideoutmusic.com/newsdetailed.aspx?IdNews=22214&IdCompany=8

SONS OF APOLLO–former Dream Theater members Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses), Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Journey, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force)—released the Vicente Cordero-directed video today for ‘Alive’ from their highly anticipated debut album,’Psychotic Symphony’. 


Watch now here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O8VZgL_9IQ 


In touring news, SONS OF APOLLO launched their much-anticipated world tour in Tampa, FL at the beginning of February as part of the “Cruise To The Edge.” The band have also added UK & European headline dates, in addition to the already announced Summer festivals plus extensive North American shows. For more information about tickets and on sale dates, fans should visit SonsOfApollo.com 


As Mike Portnoy declares, “Ever since this line-up assembled to make PSYCHOTIC SYMPHONY, the thing I’ve been most excited about is anticipating how insane I know this band is going to be on stage. Well, the wait is almost over! Here are the first U.S. dates that will get to witness this ‘five-headed musical spectacle’ live on stage in February. We plan on being on tour all year long, all over the globe, with plenty of dates now being announced for summer festivals throughout Europe, but these are the very first shows that will get to witness this amazing lineup in person for the first time. We can’t wait!”


You can find the full list of confirmed European dates below, new additions in bold:


Fri 6/22              Clisson, France; Hellfest
Sat 6/23             Dessel, Belgium; Graspop
Sun 6/24            Milan, Italy; Teatro Degli Arcimbodi
Wed 6/27           Leipzig, Germany; Hellraiser
Sat 6/30             Barcelona, Spain; Be Prog My Friend
Sun 7/1               Maidstone, England; Rambling Man Festival
Mon 7/2             Motherwell, England; Motherwell Concert Hall
Tue 7/3               Belfast, England; Limelight
Wed 7/4             Dublin, Ireland; Tivoli Variety Theatre
Sun 7/14            Eindhoven, Netherlands; Dynamo MetalFest
Fri 8/3                 Wacken, Germany; Wacken Open Air
Sat 8/18             Warsaw, Poland; Prog In Park
Sun 8/19            Budapest, Hungary; Barba Negra Track
Wed 9/19           Moscow, Russia; Glavclub
* Sat 9/22          Plovdiv, Bulgaria; Roman Amphitheater
Mon 9/24           Athens, Greece; Fuzz Club
 
* A Very Special Evening with SONS OF APOLLO and the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony.


The band will also play a very special show at the Roman Amphitheatre in Plovdiv, Bulgaria on the 22nd September, including a ‘By-Request’ covers set alongside the orchestra of Plovdiv State Orchestra.


22nd September – Roman Amphitheatre, Plovdiv, Bulgaria


You can also watch the video for ‘Coming Home’, which recently broke the 1 million views mark here:
https://youtu.be/J_1N8kVYfkE 


PSYCHOTIC SYMPHONY is available as a 2CD Mediabook (featuring a second disc of instrumental mixes and extended booklet with an exclusive Studio Diary), Gatefold 2LP vinyl + CD (which comes with an etching on side D and the entire album on the CD), Standard Jewelcase CD & digital download. It was produced by the dynamic production duo of Portnoy and Sherinian, also affectionately known as “The Del Fuvio Brothers,” which is the nickname given to them over 20 years ago during their time together in Dream Theater. Order it here: http://smarturl.it/SonsOfApolloPS.


PSYCHOTIC SYMPHONY has racked up some fantastic reviews:


“Fuck the term ‘supergroup’, that’s not what this is about. Sons of Apollo are simply a group that are super.”Classic Rock


“Psychotic Symphony is fierce, loud, bewildering, brilliantly performed and monstrously entertaining.”Prog Magazine


“God-like in conception, stellar in ambition and perfection in delivery.”Metal Talk


SONS OF APOLLO online:
www.sonsofapollo.com
www.facebook.com/SonsOfApollo1
www.Twitter.com/SonsOfApollo1

This news story was originally published here: http://www.insideoutmusic.com/newsdetailed.aspx?IdNews=22213&IdCompany=8

Tim Bowness released his fourth solo album, ‘Lost In The Ghost Light’ last year through InsideOutMusic, garnering best solo reviews he has ever received and reaching #5 in the official UK rock chart.  Now he is pleased to announce 3 special live appearances for 2018, the first of which is an appearance at Prog Dreams Festival in Zoetermeer, Netherlands, second on the bill to Steve Rothery (Marillion) on the 3rd March. John Jowitt – IQ, Frost*, Arena – will be replacing Tim’s regular bassist Colin Edwin for the performance. This performance will be recorded with a view to releasing a live album sometime in 2018 or 2019.


On the 17th May, Tim and his band will be special guests to Irish post-rockers God Is An Astronaut at the Electric Brixton in London, and they will play Summer’s End Festival at the Chepstow Drill Hall in October. 


3rd March – Prog Dreams Festival, Zoetermeer, Netherlands
17th May – Electric Brixton, London, UK (special guests to God is an Astronaut)
4-7th October – Summer’s End Festival, Chepstow Drill Hall, UK


Find a selection of the reviews for ‘Lost in the Ghost Light’ below:


“an album of immense ambition, the scope of which is matched only by the virtuosity of its songwriting and musical performances” – Shindig! Magazine


“the narrative is bold and witty, the songs a core vision of pathos.” – Prog


“Conceptual albums of this lavish quality should come around more often.” – Daily Express


‘Lost in the Ghost Light’ was awarded with the Best Artwork prize at 2017’s Progressive Music Awards in London last year.


Watch a video for the track ‘Kill The Pain That’s Killing You’ which you can see here:
https://youtu.be/6rCXh6FAsZ0

Pick up copy of the album on CD/DVD, Gatefold LP + CD & digital download below:
http://smarturl.it/timbownesslitgl
https://www.burningshed.com/store/timbowness/


Watch videos for the two previous tracks below:
You Wanted To Be Seen: https://youtu.be/O70NAIj69SI
Distant Summers: https://youtu.be/2Aj7IRLj-Rk


 Mixed & mastered by Steven Wilson, the album utilises a core band comprising Stephen Bennett (Henry Fool), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), Bruce Soord (The Pineapple Thief), Hux Nettermalm (Paatos) and Andrew Booker (Sanguine Hum), and is also joined by guests including Kit Watkins (Happy The Man/Camel), Steve Bingham (No-Man) and the legendary Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull). Andrew Keeling (Robert Fripp/Hilliard Ensemble/Evelyn Glennie) arranges for string quartet and flute on three of the album’s songs.
 
‘Lost In The Ghost Light’ is a concept album revolving around the onstage and backstage reflections of a fictional ‘classic’ Rock musician in the twilight of his career and features some stunning solos and harmonically rich compositions that represent Bowness’s most musically ambitious work to date.
 
Lyrically, the album addresses how the era of streaming and ageing audiences affects creativity, how a life devoted to music impacts on real / family life, and how idealistic beginnings can become compromised by complacency and the fear of being replaced by younger, more vital artists. 

Jarrod Gosling (I Monster / Cobalt Chapel) provides the fantastically detailed artwork, which includes a visual history of the career of the concept’s subject. The album will be available as a limited CD/DVD mediabook – including a 5.1 surround mix by Bruce Soord – and gatefold LP + CD & digital download.


TIM BOWNESS online:
http://www.timbowness.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/timbowness
https://twitter.com/TimBowness

This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2018/02/19/agusa-agusa/

Swedish psychedelic band Agusa present their self-titled third album, their second release on the Lasers Edge label and a follow up to 2015’s Agusa 2 (‘Tva’), an album that consisted of just two tracks spanning some forty minutes. On this new release the tracks follow more traditional lengths, ranging between five and ten minutes.

I am a bit late to the party on this one, having been released in the latter part of 2017 it has sat amongst my to do pile and despite playing it several times I have only just got around to putting some thoughts down. The album, spanning some forty three minutes, was recorded and mixed by Viktor Rinneby and mastered by Grammy-winning engineer Bob Katz, the sleeve art is by Danilo Stankovic.

Jenny Puertas was added to the band line up in 2015 and her flute contributions are an important part of Agusa’s current sound. The flute leads the melodies and along with the use of the organ goes some way to creating their distinct feel. The music ebbs and flows with a great ability to draw you in to their musical world. Opener Landet Längesen starts with a gentle and almost delicate flute accompanied by the organ, the pace picking up half way through to create a pulsing vibes, reminiscent of early seventies Hawkwind, before things change again.

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Throughout the album all the players make excellent contributions to the music, which makes for a very interesting instrumental album, blending psychedelic sounds with Swedish folk, indeed on Den Förtrollade Skogen the guitar appears to have a reggae feel at times, while the organ dances around it. With the tracks mostly stretching to between eight and ten minutes it gives the band the chance to develop and stretch their musical ideas, perfectly pacing each song, the shortest song being the wonderful Sorgenfri, with some memorable flute and an excellent organ section it is a song that has been carefully constructed. Sagor Från Saaris offers a slightly harder edge and a darker feel to the mood of the piece with some great guitar work from Mikael Ödesjö.

Overall this is an excellent album and if you are not familiar with the music coming out of Scandinavia at the moment then this album would not be a bad place to start. Give it a listen, it is available now on CD, vinyl and download.

TRACK LISTING
01. Landet Längesen (10:29)
02. Sorgenfri (5:00)
03. Den Förtrollade Skogen (8:33)
04. Sagor Från Saaris (9:20)
05. Bortom Hemom (10:19)

Total time – 43:41

MUSICIANS
Tobias Petterson – Bass
Jeppe Juul – Organ
Jenny Puertas – Flute
Tim Wallander – Drums & Percussion
Mikael Ödesjö – Guitar

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Lasers Edge
Country of Origin: Sweden
Date of Release: 27th October 2017

LINKS
Agusa – Facebook | Bandcamp

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This news story was originally published here: http://theprogressiveaspect.net/blog/2018/02/19/king-crimson-to-release-new-live-album-in-april/
Featured

Published on 19th February 2018

King Crimson announce an April release date for their new 3CD set, Live In Vienna, recorded on 1st December 2016 and featuring a rendition of Fracture, last performed live in 1974.

“Mixed from the original multitracks discs one and two feature the complete first and second sets from the evening’s show. Disc three includes a series of soundscapes edited into newly sequenced pieces. Drawn from the introduction music (composed/improvised afresh for each night) & featuring Robert Fripp, Mel Collins & Tony Levin, this essential component of current live KC shows also receives its most complete presentation to date. In addition, the third disc includes the long awaited live recorded debut of Fracture by the 2016 line-up as performed in Copenhagen.”

Presented in a 4 fold-out digifile package with 16 pages booklet featuring tour photos & notes by David Singleton & housed in a slipcase. The three-disc set will be released on 6th April 2018, with pre-ordering available now.

TRACK LISTING
Disc One: First Set (Vienna, 2016)

01. Walk On: Soundscapes: Monk Morph Music Of The Chamber
02. Hell Hounds of Krim
03. Pictures of a City
04. Dawn Song Suitable Grounds for The Blues
05. VROOOM
06. The Construkction of Light
07. The Court of the Crimson King
08. The Letters
09. Sailors’ Tale
10. Interlude
11. Radical Action II
12. Level V

Disc Two: Second Set (Vienna, 2016)
01. Fairy Dust Of The Drumsons
02. Peace: An End
03. Cirkus
04. Indiscipline
05. Epitaph
06. Easy Money
07. Devil Dogs of Tessellation Row
08. Red
09. Meltdown
10. Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part Two
11. Starless

Disc Three: Encores and Expansions
01. Fracture
02. Heroes
03. 21st Century Schizoid Man
04. Schoenberg Softened His Hat
05. Ahriman’s Ceaseless Corruptions
06. Spenta’s Counter Claim

MUSICIANS
Mel Collins – Saxes & Flute
Robert Fripp – Guitar & Keyboards
Tony Levin – Basses, Stick & Voice
Pat Mastelotto – Drums
Gavin Harrison – Drums
Jakko Jakszyk – Guitar & Voice
Bill Rieflin – Keyboards
Jeremy Stacey – Drums & Keyboards

King Crimson will embark on a lengthy European tour during 2018.

King Crimson Uncertain Times 2018
13 Jun 2018 Earth Hall Poznan
14 Jun 2018 Earth Hall Poznan
16 Jun 2018 ICE Congress Hall Krakow
17 Jun 2018 ICE Congress Hall Krakow
18 Jun 2018 ICE Congress Hall Krakow
20 Jun 2018 Lichtburg Essen
21 Jun 2018 Lichtburg Essen
23 Jun 2018 Stadhalle Vienna
24 Jun 2018 Stadhalle Vienna
26 Jun 2018 Forum Karlin Prague
27 Jun 2018 Forum Karlin Prague
01 Jul 2018 Admiralspalast Berlin
02 Jul 2018 Admiralspalast Berlin
03 Jul 2018 Admiralspalast Berlin
05 Jul 2018 Cirkus Stockholm
06 Jul 2018 Cirkus Stockholm
08 Jul 2018 Sentrum Scene Oslo
09 Jul 2018 Sentrum Scene Oslo
10 Jul 2018 Sentrum Scene Oslo
13 Jul 2018 Concertgebouw Amsterdam
14 Jul 2018 Concertgebouw Amsterdam
16 Jul 2018 Philharmonie Munich
17 Jul 2018 Philharmonie Munich
19 Jul 2018 Teatro Grande Pompeii Naples
20 Jul 2018 Teatro Grande Pompeii Naples
22 Jul 2018 Auditorium Cavea Rome
23 Jul 2018 Auditorium Cavea Rome
25 Jul 2018 Piazza Napoleone Lucca
27 Jul 2018 Teatro La Fenice Venice
28 Jul 2018 Teatro La Fenice Venice
29 Oct 2018 Pavilion Theatre Bournemouth
31 Oct 2018 St David’s Hall Cardiff
02 Nov 2018 Palladium London
03 Nov 2018 Palladium London
06 Nov 2018 Symphony Hall Birmingham
09 Nov 2018 Bridgewater Hall Manchester
12 Nov 2018 Royal Concert Hall Glasgow
15 Nov 2018 L’Olympia Paris
16 Nov 2018 L’Olympia Paris

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Edition 94 of THE PROG MILL (314 in total), first broadcast on Progzilla Radio on Sunday 18th February, is now available to listen to anytime or download.

This weeks playlist

1 Anathema – Can’t Let Go (The Optimist)
2 Bad Dreams – Chrysalis (Chrysalis)
3 Riccardo Romano Land – Compass Rose (B612)
4 Quidam – Depicting Colours of Emotions (Alone Together – Live)
5 Art of Illusion – Able to Abide (Cold War of Solipsism)
6 Karibow – Remember (The Unchosen)
7 Philhelmon – A Hard Road (Perpetual Immobile)
8 Dukes of the Orient – Seasons Will Change (Dukes of the Orient)
9 Pagan Harvest – Over The Horizon (Sacred River)
10 Gentle Giant – The Boys in the Band (Octopus)
11 Beggars Opera – The Witch (Pathfinder)
12 Seconds Before Landing – Silent Bird (Seconds Before Landing 2)
13 Andres Guazzelli – August – in memory of Colin Tench
14 Dan Fogelberg – Nether Lands (Nether Lands)
15 – Looking Glass Lantern – The Cook (Candlelight & Empire)

You can hear The Prog Mill every week on Progzilla Radio at these times – online at www.progzilla.com, via the tune in radio app and on internet radio platforms:

Sundays 10pm – Midnight UK (2200UTC) – MAIN BROADCAST
Tuesdays 3-5am UK (0300UTC/Mon 7pm Pacific/Mon 10pm Eastern)
Tuesdays 11pm-1am UK (2300UTC)
Saturdays 6-8pm UK (1800UTC) – Family friendly teatime repeat

Your melodic/symphonic progressive music suggestions/submissions are very welcome. Email shaun@progzilla.com, or message via facebook.com/theprogmill or twitter: @shaunontheair

The Gordon Midgley All-Stars – Tie a Yellow Ribbon
The Samurai of Prog – The Perfect Black
Rainbow – Since You’ve Been Gone
Replica X – Haunted House
Paul Birchall – Stress Sweat
Combination Head – Anthem
Stomu Yamashta – Madness
Terutsugu Hirayama – On The 13th Friday
Radiohead – How To Disappear Completely
I Am The Manic Whale – The Man With Many Faces
Comedy of Errors – Above The Hills
IQ – Awake and Nervous
Phil Collins – Don’t Lose My Number