Edition 119 of THE PROG MILL – first broadcast on Progzilla Radio on Sunday 19th August, is now also available for you to listen to anytime or download as a mp3 file. This week we have another two hours of superb melodic and symphonic progressive music with no less than EIGHT bands/artists appearing on the show for the first time.

This week’s playlist

1 Spocks Beard – Bulletproof (Noise Floor)
2 The Ryszard Kramarski Project – Little Prince (Music Inspired by the Little Prince)
3 Millenium – Lost Teddy Bear (Notes Without Words)
4 Projection – High Above (Perspectives)
5 Apogee – The Whispering From Outside (Conspiracy of Fools)
6 Octavarium – High (Single)
7 Laviantica – Traveler (The Experience)
8 Una Stagione All’Inferno – La Ballata Di Firenze (Il Mostro Di Firenze)
9 Asia Minor – Night Wind (Between Flesh and Devine)
10 Breathing Space – Questioning Eyes (Below The Radar)
11 Galasphere 347 – The Voice of Beauty Drowned (Galasphere 347)
12 Lazleitt – Intro – The Doorway/Tangential Wisdom (On The Brink)
13 Regal Worm – Crystallisation (Pig Views)

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

This news story was originally published here:

Esoteric Recordings are hitting another home run for me, this time with a reissue of Curved Air’s third studio album, Phantasmagoria. Originally released on the Warner Bros. label, Curved Air were riding high at the time with the original line-up from their first two studio albums, but during that period there were some issues.

Bassist Ian Eyre was clashing on personal issues and not communicating properly. He also fell ill and couldn’t carry on with the tour, so the band put an advert in the Melody Maker for a new bassist; enter Mike Wedgwood. Sonja Kristina talked about the problems behind Second Album and Phantasmagoria in an interview for Cherry Red TV with Mark Powell on 14th September 2008. She mentioned that the band wrote the material and went into the studio to record them without going over the compositions. She sang them as best she could, but they did it live and it took time to grow and become more powerful. There were also creative differences between Francis Monkman and Darryl Way over the direction that the band should move in next, as both felt they had taken the music as far as they could.

But despite the differences, Phantasmagoria, the name taken from the poetry of Lewis Carroll which Monkman grew up with, is a step beyond their Air Conditioning debut, heading towards a classical, folky, and electronic sound. Using both the VCS3 Synthesizer, which was used on the debut album, and the EMS Synthi 100, it was a leap forward for the band. With ties to the Carroll’s Alice stories, the album cover, by John Gorham, features the caterpillar smoking a hookah.

Whose Shoulder Are You Looking Over Anyway? features Curved Air’s take on an avant-experimental sound with a Canterbury twist. With frantic keyboards and the EMS going into some dark and insane corridors as Sonja’s spoken dialogue moves from normal to robotic and crazy scenarios, the sound goes left and right while bringing in aspects of Egg’s The Polite Force, David Bedford, Terry Riley and Soft Machine’s Mike Ratledge. It then segues into Over and Above with a Jazz-Rock orientation that is part Colosseum, part Frank Zappa, and part George Gershwin.

There are both classical and theatrical elements in the song while the opening track, Marie Antoinette, sets out the downfall of the last pre-Revolution Queen of France. Sonja always wanted to write a song about her, and she gives us the story of not just Marie herself but also her fall from grace and her being her own worst enemy. There’s a tiny section between the piano and synth setting up the destruction while the next part gives us some twists and turns, Monkman seeming to pre-empt Rush’s Alex Lifeson during his pre-Fly By Night era.

Listening to the title-track, Sonja gives some lyrical details of a person’s paranoia on being watched. It’s a bizarre composition warning the listener to avoid taxis, policemen, doctors and others who could easily scam you. Be very careful on who you trust, you never know what might happen next.

With Melinda (More or Less), Curved Air delve back into the sound of Folk-Rock with a dreamy sign of hope. You have the Melinda character waking up from a dream to find that she’s back at square one of not finding anyone to help her. I felt that Kristina was using the approach of Joni Mitchell and Traffic’s Steve Winwood in this song.

The EMS synth used on Ultra-Vivaldi gives Darryl Way a chance to switch gears, moving from violin to synth as the sound escalates from calm to an incredible ramming speed, reminiscent of Wendy Carlos’s classical interpretations using the electronic sounds of the Moog. The three bonus tracks contains the Italian language version of Melinda (More or Less) and the French language Marie Antoinette.

Sarah’s Concern, originally released as an A-side in 1972, has an eruptive power from the Hammond Organ, dashing guitars, and drums. The darker section heads into the forest thanks to eerie keyboards that have a Caravan-esque sound for a brief second before heading back into broad daylight for a chance to escape in a hay-wiring electronic finale.

The DVD contains two TV appearances, one for Pop Shop on Belgium’s RTBF TV in April 1972, the same show that Genesis did that same year on 20th March during their Nursery Cryme phase, and one on Austria’s ORF-TV from 22nd October on a show called Spotlight. Watching these high quality performances, it’s a rare treat to see Curved Air at their finest.

The DVD main menu begins with a swirling kaleidoscope of the album cover. From the staggering versions of Propositions, featuring some animal clips, including an eagle eating a field mice, to Sonja’s incredible scream as the band gives her the ammunition to bring the volume up to maximum pitch. Darryl adds a blaze of glory on Vivaldi. The mournful organs from Monkman allows Way to create a waking-up scenario by channeling Terry Riley and Itzhak Perlman, centre stage in full control of the delay and reverb effects. He’s a master, going into some dramatic experimental shrieking thunder as Sonja’s vocals return before Francis adds some crazy effects on the VCS3.

Sonja dances and mimes to the title-track, adding some mysterious moves for the Austrian TV show. It shows her theatrical roots, the light shining on her as she plays acoustic guitar and sings Melinda (More or Less) while Francis’ flute and Darryl’s violin play the melody together. The Austrian show ends with Ultra-Vivaldi and you can see the band’s sense of humour, Sonja and Florian Pilkington-Miksa playing patty-cake while Monkman plays organ, Way and Wedgwood duelling each other on their instruments.

The 24-page booklet contains liner notes by Malcolm Dome with interviews with Sonja, Francis, and Darryl about the making of the album. It includes ads, bills of supporting acts, including ones with Deep Purple, Buddy Miles Band, and Yes. Some of the ads I’ve never seen before, including a biography from Warner Bros and, inside the packaging, an ad from the Village Voice in August 1972.

Phantasmagoria is another classic from Curved Air. As I mentioned earlier, Esoteric Recordings have hit another home run and I can’t wait for the reissue of Second Album which comes out at the end of August. In the words of Lewis Carroll, “This is a ‘one-ghost’ house, and you, when you arrived last summer, may have remarked a Spectre who was doing all that ghosts can do to welcome the new-comer”.

Disc One – Original Album Remastered

01. Marie Antoinette (6:20)
02. Melinda (More or Less) (3:27)
03. Not Quite the Same (3:45)
04. Cheetah (3:32)
05. Ultra-Vivaldi (1:24)
06. Phantasmagoria (3:15)
07. Whose Shoulder Are You Looking Over Anyway? (3:24)
08. Over and Above (8:38)
09. Once a Ghost, Always a Ghost (4:30)
10. Sarah’s Concern (A-Side) (3:31)
11. Marie Antoinette (French Lyrics Version) (3:49)
12. Melinda (More or Less) (Italian Lyrics Version) (3:29)

Total Time – 49:13

Disc Two – DVD
(“Pop Shop” – RTBF Television, Belgium, Recorded in April 1972)

01. Marie Antoinette
02. Propositions
03. Melinda (More or Less)
04. Vivaldi
(“Spotlight” – ORF TV Austria, 22nd October 1972)
05. Melinda (More or Less)
06. Phantasmagoria
07. Ultra-Vivaldi

Sonja Kristina – Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Darryl Way – Violin
Francis Monkman – Guitar, Keyboards, Gong, Tubular Bells
Mike Wedgwood – Bass Guitar
Florian Pilkington-Miksa – Drums
Annie Stewart – Flute (track 2)
Crispian Steele Perkins – Trumpet (tracks 3,8 & 9)
Paul Cosh – Trumpet (tracks 3,8 & 9)
Jim Watson – Trumpet (tracks 3,8 & 9)
George Parnaby – Trumpet (tracks 3,8 & 9)
Frank Ricotti – Vibes, Xylophone (tracks 8 & 9)
Alan Gout – Trombone (tracks 3 & 8)
David Purser – Trombone (tracks 3 & 8)
Chris Pyne – Trombone (track 3)
Mal Linwood-Ross – Percussion, Noises (track 9)
Jean Akers – Percussion (track 9)
Colin Caldwell – Percussion (track 9)

Record Label: Esoteric Recordings
Catalogue Number: PECLEC 22638
Date of Release: 27th July 2018

Curved Air – Website | Facebook | Twitter | Cherry Red Product Page

This news story was originally published here:

Djent, nu-prog, math-rock, along with numerous equally bafflingly titled genres and sub-genres, denoting the heavier, more extreme end of the musical spectrum, seems to be an inexhaustible resource. Viewed from afar and admiring the complex polymetric time signatures that defy any coordinated foot movement, played at breakneck speed and with pinpoint accuracy – surely there must be delights to be found therein. Yes? But, and here is the rub, how do you sort out the wheat from the chaff? A rhetorical question and the simple answer is just jump in and see how you fair.

OK that didn’t work! Let’s narrow down the field and exclude anything with vocals.

Far better results this time around including Australian guitarist Plini, who has previously released one album, Handmade Cities, along with a handful of EPs and singles. His latest offering Sunhead, released last month, is a well written and conceived four track EP, with the emphasis firmly placed on composition.

Listening to Sunhead it begs the question, does Plini really belong in any of the categories mentioned above? Well let’s not become an expert based on a few initial dips in the water and perhaps I’ve mistakenly misplaced him there, based on association – appearances at this year’s ArcTanGent festival and tours with those bands firmly ensconced within. Or maybe I need to backtrack and take a listen to 2016’s Handmade Cities. I see, said the blind man. Awesome player, however what has come on in leaps and bounds in the interim two-plus years is his compositional skills.

And the proof of the pudding is Sunhead, an absorbing EP, with the heavier elements covered more vigorously on the first two pieces, whilst the latter two show Plini’s jazz and fusion credentials. Kicking things off is Kind and amidst the meaty riffage is a track of many hues and textures, followed by the truly stunning is the multi-faceted Salt + Charcoal.

Definitely worth twenty minutes of your time to give this EP a listen – it’s all linked below, so just a simple a click of the mouse…

A translation of ‘flâneur’ implies someone who saunters, or a loafer casually strolling about observing those around him. The grooving bass, drums and deft piano on Flâneur may well suggest this, and you might want to view the solos as an expression of the characters he sees; the quirky, portrayed by Anomalie’s synth solo; the hustle & bustle from the muscular thematic riffs; or the seductive lady courtesy of John Waugh’s saxophone. I’m sure you get the point. Closing out the EP, Plini fleetingly hints at Gershwin, before the more urgent thrust of the track moves in for the kill. Kudos to Plini here as for the title track he has invited a guest guitar player, Tim Miller, who adds a wonderful legato passage.

Sunhead started life as one of our ADA Reviews – shorter articles aimed at albums that have slipped under the radar, or as is the case here, an EP, however the quality of music seemed to demand a few more words.

A great find and one that demands wading back into the pool…

[You can catch Plini live at Islington Assembly Hall in London tomorrow night, Sunday 19th August 2018.]

01. Kind (4:00)
02. Salt + Charcoal (4:30)
03. Flâneur (6:00)
04. Sunhead (5:30)

Total Time – 20:00

Simon Grove – Bass
Chris Allison – Drums
Devesh Dayal – Vocals (track 2)
Anomalie – Piano, Synths (track 3)
John Waugh – Saxophone (track 3)
Tim Miller – Guitar solo (track 4)
Plini – Guitar & “everything else”

Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: Australia
Date of Release: 27th July 2018

Plini – Website | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

This news story was originally published here:

The new Gryphon studio album, Reinvention, is now shipping. You can get the CD here:

Gryphon Shop

Mine arrived today and I think it is excellent – a return to the Gryphon of their first two albums. A vinyl release is to follow.

NOTE: Make sure to click on the appropriate link for your region on the page above.

Edited by Mascodagama – 50 minutes ago at 14:57

This week’s Prog-Watch is another edition of EPIX! My usual criteria apply: an EPIC must be over 10 minutes long; and we will hear one for each major decade of our favorite genre! This time we’ll hear music from The Flower Kings, Big Big Train, Southern Empire, Jethro Tull and Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe!

I hope you will join me for some wonderful, modern rock symphonies!


533: Epix, Vol. 3


Genesis – Duke’s Travels / Duke’s End

The C:Live Collective – This City Is London (Progzilla Danger Monkey Mix)

John Holden – One Race

Citizen Cain – The Long Sleep

BBT – The Transit of Venus Across Uranus (live)

Beardfish – And The Stone Said: If I Could Speak

The Fizz – Up For The Fight (Extended Mix)

The Tangent – America (Live)



This news story was originally published here:
OPETH to Release "Garden of the Titans: Live at Red Rocks Amphitheater" on November 2

Swedish progressive metal legends Opeth will release Garden of the Titans: Live at Red Rocks Amphitheater on November 2nd via Moderbolaget Records / Nuclear Blast Entertainment. This historic event was captured for the DVD, Blu-Ray and Vinyl formats during their performance May 11th, 2017 at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, CO. Both the DVD and Blu-ray formats include CDs containing the audio as well. Watch the performance of “Sorceress” below.

Video footage for Garden of the Titans was overseen by The Deka Brothers (Carpenter Brut, The Prodigy) and audio was mixed by David Castillo (Katatonia, Bloodbath). All versions feature the masterful artwork of revered artist Travis Smith (Nevermore, Katatonia, Testament).

Garden of the Titans: Live at Red Rocks Amphitheater track listing:

01. Sorceress (live)

02. Ghost Of Perdition (live)

03. Demon Of The Fall (live)

04. The Wilde Flowers (live)

05. In My Time Of Need (live)

06. The Devil’s Orchard (live)

07. Cusp Of Eternity (live)

08. Heir Apparent (live)

09. Era (live)

10. Deliverance (live)

Always an unstoppable force for uniqueness amid a sea of generic swill, Opeth has been setting the rulebook ablaze, and ploughing a uniquely progressive and exploratory furrow for over 25 years now. Neither conforming nor exhibiting any desire to be restricted to a single genre, Opeth, quite simply, has a time honored tradition of blowing our minds with both class and forward thinking. All these years later, nothing and everything has changed once again with their most recent album, Sorceress.

Sorceress was released in September 2016. For the band’s first effort for Nuclear Blast via Opeth‘s imprint label Moderbolaget Records, the group returned to Rockfield Studios in Wales, also home to pivotal releases from Queen, Rush and Judas Priest, where the Swedes had tracked Pale Communion in 2014 with Tom Dalgety.

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Opeth - Garden of the Titans

Opeth - Garden of the Titans formats