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This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/hoia-feat-colin-edwin-single-premiere/
Exclusive: HOIA Premieres New Single Featuring Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree)

Experimental beyond expectations, HOIA is an infusion of musical interests by Prateek Rajagopal. Popularly known for being a virtuoso guitarist, budding film composer and writer/producer for death metal legions GUTSLIT and Indian/American prog metal supergroup The Minerva Conduct, his interest in genres and art forms beyond metal gave rise to HOIA, inspired by Avant-garde, progressive rock, experimental and industrial music. Prog Sphere is premiering a new single today. Titled “Electric Wizard,” it features guest appearances from Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) on bass, and Wojtek Deregowski on drums. Stream it below.

Commented Prateek Rajagopal: “This song came about in a funny, funny way. I was eating burgers with my mum on vacation, and the restaurant had this smooth-jazz track playing in the background. The next day, I sat to demo out a song for my death metal band, but all these jazz influences that were triggered from the previous day just wouldn’t leave. So I began by programming some piano sketches, and within a day or two the song was done! Of course, it’s not a jazz track by any means, but random unsolicited inspiration & places can do funny things! The brief (for drummer Wojtek Deregowski & bassist Colin Edwin) was very simple – just do your thing and improvise like you’re in a jam room. The entire drum section till the piano-drone break was performed in a single take, and that’s exactly what was required for this song!

Electric Wizard is followed by ‘Part II’ on the album which I wrote a year later and should ideally be played together in one sitting, but I wanted to preserve the fact that this was written in a completely different headspace and hence split it into 2 parts!

After releasing two EPs with HOIA, Prateek is all set to release his debut album titled Scavenger on April 19th, 2019. The record has a more sophisticated songwriting approach compared to his previous releases, albeit still very ‘prog,’ and also features Prateek as a vocalist for the first time. The instruments used on the album are unlike his other projects, using samples of rotating fans and vehicle sounds, analog synthesizers and digital manipulation along with organic instruments like guitars (acoustic, electric), piano and strings.

Says Prateek, “The album deals with human-sentimentality concepts like nostalgia, demise, anxiety and the need to ‘scavenge’ to survive, bubbled in fictitious concepts as individual stories. It isn’t a concept album, but there’s a loose relation across the individual stories.

HOIA’s Scavenger has been in the works for over 2 years and clocks in at 33 minutes. The track-list is as follows:

1. Write Across
2. Escape Orb
3. Electric Wizard
4. Part II
5. Scavenger

Pre order the album from Bandcamp here.

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This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/heavy-metal-rock-stars-gambling/
Heavy Metal Rock Stars Who Enjoy Gambling

We will have heard of stories from the music industry about artists who love nothing more than enjoying themselves by playing their favourite casino games. Heavy metal rock stars are the type of people many would expect to see at the tables, especially with their gung-ho attitude. So it will come as no surprise there have been a few famous characters over the years who have really enjoyed gambling and have made a name for themselves at the casinos.

Sully Erna

Salvatore Paul Erna, more often referred to as Sully, is both lead vocalist and guitarist for Godsmack, an American heavy metal band. Erna, who also performs as a solo artist, was once recognised as one of the finest heavy metal vocalists around and is held in high regard by his peers within the industry.

There’s permanent proof of Erna’s love of poker in the form of a tattoo which covers most of his back. Erna had this done after flopping quad aces in a poker game, with his opponent going all in with a royal flush. After proclaiming “There’s no justice in poker”, Erna had the tattoo of four burning aces with the words “No Justice” done.

Scott Ian

Scott Ian is the last remaining founding member of thrash metal band Anthrax. The rhythm guitarist and vocalist, alongside his love for music, also possesses a deep passion for poker and spend much of his free time playing the game. In fact, Ian at one stage explored the possibility of making it as a professional poker player, which is something many of his fans thought could happen.

The stumbling block for Ian was that he found it difficult to combine music and poker, that was until the internet and improvement in technology came along, thus allowing him to play poker online. Ian has mentioned this as a turning point in interviews, with his victory at the VH1 Rock & Roll Celebrity tournament in 2016 seeing him take the game even more seriously.

Lemmy Kilmister

Rock stars don’t come much bigger than the late Lemmy Kilmister. Kilmister, who founded and fronted Motorhead, was a keen gambler and this was no secret. One of the band’s biggest hits was Ace of Spades, which Kilmister wrote, but unlike many other of his gambling loving peers, it was slot games Kilmister enjoyed playing, rather than being interested in learning the rules of blackjack or other table games.

A documentary on Kilmister’s life “Lemmy: The Movie” offers a great insight into the rock stars love of slot machines, with The Damned frontman Dave Vanian suggesting Kilmister would often been seen in gambling venues in London where he’d spend a lot of time spinning the reels of his favourite games. It seemed slot machines and cocktails of jack and coke were the perfect combination for the all-time great.

While there are bound to be countless other rock stars, both past and present, who love nothing more than escaping the hustle and bustle of the industry by enjoying playing their favourite casino games. The three artists we highlighted, have not only made it in the music business, but are also very much accomplished and at home in the casino as well.

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/fayne-interview/
Fayne

Hailing from Montreal, Fayne is a progressive metal five-piece with a goal of “delivering their own blend of heavy-driven drums with crushing guitar riffs and basslines, topped off with a powerful mix of clean and screamed vocals.” Back in November 2018, the group released their new album titled ‘Journals‘ which was mixed and mastered by Jamie King of The Basement Recording (The Contortionist, Between the Buried and Me). Singer Justin Furtado spoke for Prog Sphere about the album.

Define the mission of Fayne.

To make music that’s as much about you as it is about us.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your recent album “Journals” and the themes it captures.

Well, we talk a lot about death, but we feel that we’ve approached it uniquely. Each song is about what we would think or feel in our last 5 minutes on this planet and every song is about a different feeling, or person, if that’s easier to interpret. The idea that we all walk different paths in life to inevitably all end up in the same place is something that we can think humbles us and teaches us to respect each other’s decisions. The lyrics may not be the easiest to decipher but they actually talk about things that are quite inclusive like loss, knowing purpose, and how to cope with these challenges. We swear the message is somewhere underneath the metaphorical nonsense.

Fayne - Journals

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

During the writing process I had begun writing the lyrics based on how a person feels in the last 5 minutes of their life, which was inspired by a short film I had come across on the internet and based on my own mortality as well. A few songs in, I started to see that the themes I was writing about related to pretty much everyone and not just myself. We will all experience that final 5 minutes one day, regardless of how we feel in that moment and regardless of everything we’ve done in our lives prior. The whole idea is dark and at times very metaphorical (and I can’t help it) but it sends a positive message that no matter how different we all may be, we all end up in the same place in the end. So be kind to each other, even when you don’t want to be.

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

Some song ideas were documented with mobile phone videos but the most part were done via Reaper. When the songs were brought to the jam space, the live rehearsals were recorded to gauge how they sounded in the field and adjusted accordingly.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

The songs inherently had a cohesiveness to them as they stemmed from the same/similar headspace and mindset. There was a lot of discussion on how the album track list should be and this was decided on the “feel” of the songs, in addition to the lyrical content. Stimpak acting as the “mid-point” of the album were the rest has a more groove-prog oriented vibe and of course…darker :D .

Describe the approach to recording the album.

Most, if not all songs were initially created by Alex, where the drums, bass and, guitars were presented to the band and later worked on and refined. They foresaw many changes, especially once we integrated vocals after the fact. All the demos were done in Reaper using Superior Drummer and LePou cab sims and went through several revisions as time passed. “Holding on” to demos for some time before actually entering the pre-prod phase is very helpful to gauge perspective and to let them “sink in”. Although unintentional, the songs definitely took a better form in our opinion due to this.

How long “Journals” was in the making?

We started to focus on the idea of making a new record back in 2016, but some ideas and riffs on the album date back even before then! There were a couple of hiccups along the way, so to give you a rounded number, we’d say about 3 years in a very staggered way.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

We can all agree that The Contortionist have been a big influence on our band’s release. We’ve seen them evolve from this deathcore band to a prog-rock band. They still continue to inspire us as musicians and as people. They’ve helped us explore beyond our boundaries and push the bar when it comes to writing music.

[embedded content]

What is your view on technology in music?

We fully support anything to facilitate the music writing process. We continue to write music in its most organic form however, we feel it’s easier to layout ideas using software like Reaper and Superior Drummer than it is to guess what’s going on in your guitar player’s head. We stick within our boundaries as musicians as well. We won’t write music at 300 bpm if we can’t play it live.

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

We’ve always tried to send a message to whoever is listening. Most of the time we’re trying to invoke awareness, whether it be a message about anxiety, death, social issues, and the constant struggle within. If it can help start a conversation between us and our listeners, then our purpose beyond the music has been achieved.

What are your plans for the future?

We’re working on a live studio performance video for one of the songs off of Journals, booking shows, writing new songs, and trying as many different ways as we can to get our music out there. Touring will always be necessary, but there are other corners of the music industry that metal bands can explore, and we’d like to experiment with that.

“Journals” is available from Bandcamp. Follow Fayne on Facebook

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/fayne-interview/
Fayne

Hailing from Montreal, Fayne is a progressive metal five-piece with a goal of “delivering their own blend of heavy-driven drums with crushing guitar riffs and basslines, topped off with a powerful mix of clean and screamed vocals.” Back in November 2018, the group released their new album titled ‘Journals‘ which was mixed and mastered by Jamie King of The Basement Recording (The Contortionist, Between the Buried and Me). Singer Justin Furtado spoke for Prog Sphere about the album.

Define the mission of Fayne.

To make music that’s as much about you as it is about us.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your recent album “Journals” and the themes it captures.

Well, we talk a lot about death, but we feel that we’ve approached it uniquely. Each song is about what we would think or feel in our last 5 minutes on this planet and every song is about a different feeling, or person, if that’s easier to interpret. The idea that we all walk different paths in life to inevitably all end up in the same place is something that we can think humbles us and teaches us to respect each other’s decisions. The lyrics may not be the easiest to decipher but they actually talk about things that are quite inclusive like loss, knowing purpose, and how to cope with these challenges. We swear the message is somewhere underneath the metaphorical nonsense.

Fayne - Journals

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

During the writing process I had begun writing the lyrics based on how a person feels in the last 5 minutes of their life, which was inspired by a short film I had come across on the internet and based on my own mortality as well. A few songs in, I started to see that the themes I was writing about related to pretty much everyone and not just myself. We will all experience that final 5 minutes one day, regardless of how we feel in that moment and regardless of everything we’ve done in our lives prior. The whole idea is dark and at times very metaphorical (and I can’t help it) but it sends a positive message that no matter how different we all may be, we all end up in the same place in the end. So be kind to each other, even when you don’t want to be.

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

Some song ideas were documented with mobile phone videos but the most part were done via Reaper. When the songs were brought to the jam space, the live rehearsals were recorded to gauge how they sounded in the field and adjusted accordingly.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

The songs inherently had a cohesiveness to them as they stemmed from the same/similar headspace and mindset. There was a lot of discussion on how the album track list should be and this was decided on the “feel” of the songs, in addition to the lyrical content. Stimpak acting as the “mid-point” of the album were the rest has a more groove-prog oriented vibe and of course…darker :D .

Describe the approach to recording the album.

Most, if not all songs were initially created by Alex, where the drums, bass and, guitars were presented to the band and later worked on and refined. They foresaw many changes, especially once we integrated vocals after the fact. All the demos were done in Reaper using Superior Drummer and LePou cab sims and went through several revisions as time passed. “Holding on” to demos for some time before actually entering the pre-prod phase is very helpful to gauge perspective and to let them “sink in”. Although unintentional, the songs definitely took a better form in our opinion due to this.

How long “Journals” was in the making?

We started to focus on the idea of making a new record back in 2016, but some ideas and riffs on the album date back even before then! There were a couple of hiccups along the way, so to give you a rounded number, we’d say about 3 years in a very staggered way.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

We can all agree that The Contortionist have been a big influence on our band’s release. We’ve seen them evolve from this deathcore band to a prog-rock band. They still continue to inspire us as musicians and as people. They’ve helped us explore beyond our boundaries and push the bar when it comes to writing music.

[embedded content]

What is your view on technology in music?

We fully support anything to facilitate the music writing process. We continue to write music in its most organic form however, we feel it’s easier to layout ideas using software like Reaper and Superior Drummer than it is to guess what’s going on in your guitar player’s head. We stick within our boundaries as musicians as well. We won’t write music at 300 bpm if we can’t play it live.

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

We’ve always tried to send a message to whoever is listening. Most of the time we’re trying to invoke awareness, whether it be a message about anxiety, death, social issues, and the constant struggle within. If it can help start a conversation between us and our listeners, then our purpose beyond the music has been achieved.

What are your plans for the future?

We’re working on a live studio performance video for one of the songs off of Journals, booking shows, writing new songs, and trying as many different ways as we can to get our music out there. Touring will always be necessary, but there are other corners of the music industry that metal bands can explore, and we’d like to experiment with that.

“Journals” is available from Bandcamp. Follow Fayne on Facebook

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/news/periphery-hail-stan-out-april-5/
PERIPHERY Release "Periphery IV: Hail Stan" on April 5

Periphery release their fifth album, Periphery IV: HAIL STAN, on April 5 via their own 3DOT Recordings.

Sirius XM Liquid Metal host Jose Mangin debuted the album’s first single, “Blood Eagle,” yesterday. Guitar player Mark Holcomb said of the six-minute track: “We’ve known since the late stages of P4 writing sessions that ‘Blood Eagle’ would be the first song we released. It’s an unrelenting song that, even while we were writing it, we could say to ourselves: ‘We NEED to play this live.’ The original demo was vastly different, and through the songwriting process, it took on this kind of violent, explosive nature that is always hard to synthesize. That energy excited us and we knew it’d be the first thing we’d let you all hear.

Periphery IV: HAIL STAN marks two significant firsts for the band: the first Periphery release on their recently formed label, 3DOT Recordings, as well as a change in the way they approached writing and recording. “We finally spent a year on a record,” explains guitar player/programmer Jake Bowen. “We’ve never been able to do that. The quality and pacing of the work show we took our time with this one. That’s an important note about this. We really got to do everything we wanted to do in the space we had to do it.” Mark adds, “I think you can hear the adventurous intent behind much of this material as a result. We’re all the happiest we’ve ever been with a release, and it’s no coincidence. Can’t wait for you all to hear it.

Pre-orders, which include several limited-edition vinyl and merch bundles, are available now via https://store.3dotrecordings.com/ (physical) and digitally via iTunes (smarturl.it/hailstan_it). Digital pre-orders include an immediate download of “Blood Eagle,” which can be streamed now via Spotify (smarturl.it/bloodeagle_sp).

Periphery IV: HAIL STAN is the first release to follow the band’s 2017 GRAMMY Award nomination in the “Best Metal Performance” category, for Periphery III: Select Difficulty album opener “The Price Is Wrong.” The 2016 album tallied 35 million cumulative streams and marked their third consecutive debut in the Top 25 of the Billboard Top 200. It represented the apex of a tireless decade-long grind. Along the way, the band graced the covers of Guitar World, Revolver, Modern Drummer, Bass Player and more. In between the touring, endorsements and appearances, they also launched a summer camp of their own, “Periphery Summer Jam.

[embedded content]

Periphery IV - Hail Stan

Periphery IV: HAIL STAN tracklist:

Reptile
Blood Eagle
CHVRCH BVRNER
Garden In The Bones
It’s Only Smiles
Follow Your Ghost
Crush
Sentient Glow
Satellites

Periphery embarks on a brief tour to coincide with the release, joining Dance Gavin Dance for a 15-date North American trek on March 30.

Periphery tour dates (all dates with Dance Gavin Dance):

March 30 Anaheim, CA City National Grove of Anaheim #
March 31 San Francisco, CA The Regency
April 2 Las Vegas, NV Brooklyn Bowl
April 3 Phoenix, AZ Van Buren
April 5 Dallas, TX South Side Music Hall
April 6 San Antonio, TX Alamo City Music
April 7 Houston, TX Warehouse Live
April 9 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution
April 11 Silver Springs, MD The Fillmore
April 12 New York, NY Playstation Theater SOLD OUT
April 13 Philadelphia, PA Franklin Music Hall
April 14 Worcester, MA Palladium
April 16 Cleveland, OH Agora
April 17 Detroit, MI Royal Oak
April 18 Chicago, IL House of Blues SOLD OUT
April 19 Chicago, IL House of Blues SOLD OUT
April 20 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/news/periphery-hail-stan-out-april-5/
PERIPHERY Release "Periphery IV: Hail Stan" on April 5

Periphery release their fifth album, Periphery IV: HAIL STAN, on April 5 via their own 3DOT Recordings.

Sirius XM Liquid Metal host Jose Mangin debuted the album’s first single, “Blood Eagle,” yesterday. Guitar player Mark Holcomb said of the six-minute track: “We’ve known since the late stages of P4 writing sessions that ‘Blood Eagle’ would be the first song we released. It’s an unrelenting song that, even while we were writing it, we could say to ourselves: ‘We NEED to play this live.’ The original demo was vastly different, and through the songwriting process, it took on this kind of violent, explosive nature that is always hard to synthesize. That energy excited us and we knew it’d be the first thing we’d let you all hear.

Periphery IV: HAIL STAN marks two significant firsts for the band: the first Periphery release on their recently formed label, 3DOT Recordings, as well as a change in the way they approached writing and recording. “We finally spent a year on a record,” explains guitar player/programmer Jake Bowen. “We’ve never been able to do that. The quality and pacing of the work show we took our time with this one. That’s an important note about this. We really got to do everything we wanted to do in the space we had to do it.” Mark adds, “I think you can hear the adventurous intent behind much of this material as a result. We’re all the happiest we’ve ever been with a release, and it’s no coincidence. Can’t wait for you all to hear it.

Pre-orders, which include several limited-edition vinyl and merch bundles, are available now via https://store.3dotrecordings.com/ (physical) and digitally via iTunes (smarturl.it/hailstan_it). Digital pre-orders include an immediate download of “Blood Eagle,” which can be streamed now via Spotify (smarturl.it/bloodeagle_sp).

Periphery IV: HAIL STAN is the first release to follow the band’s 2017 GRAMMY Award nomination in the “Best Metal Performance” category, for Periphery III: Select Difficulty album opener “The Price Is Wrong.” The 2016 album tallied 35 million cumulative streams and marked their third consecutive debut in the Top 25 of the Billboard Top 200. It represented the apex of a tireless decade-long grind. Along the way, the band graced the covers of Guitar World, Revolver, Modern Drummer, Bass Player and more. In between the touring, endorsements and appearances, they also launched a summer camp of their own, “Periphery Summer Jam.

[embedded content]

Periphery IV - Hail Stan

Periphery IV: HAIL STAN tracklist:

Reptile
Blood Eagle
CHVRCH BVRNER
Garden In The Bones
It’s Only Smiles
Follow Your Ghost
Crush
Sentient Glow
Satellites

Periphery embarks on a brief tour to coincide with the release, joining Dance Gavin Dance for a 15-date North American trek on March 30.

Periphery tour dates (all dates with Dance Gavin Dance):

March 30 Anaheim, CA City National Grove of Anaheim #
March 31 San Francisco, CA The Regency
April 2 Las Vegas, NV Brooklyn Bowl
April 3 Phoenix, AZ Van Buren
April 5 Dallas, TX South Side Music Hall
April 6 San Antonio, TX Alamo City Music
April 7 Houston, TX Warehouse Live
April 9 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution
April 11 Silver Springs, MD The Fillmore
April 12 New York, NY Playstation Theater SOLD OUT
April 13 Philadelphia, PA Franklin Music Hall
April 14 Worcester, MA Palladium
April 16 Cleveland, OH Agora
April 17 Detroit, MI Royal Oak
April 18 Chicago, IL House of Blues SOLD OUT
April 19 Chicago, IL House of Blues SOLD OUT
April 20 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/endworld-halos-interview/
EH

Finnish dark progressive rock trio Endworld Halos launched their self-titled debut album in October 2018 which, according to themselves, is a versatile and ambitious slab of Finnish prog-infused rock, that can be described as a shady fusion of modern and old-fashioned soundscapes. Toni Jarvinen and Kimmo Utriainen answered our questionnaire about their mission, the record, technology, and more.

Define the mission of Endworld Halos.

Toni: I haven’t set any particular milestones or missions set for the band. For me, music has gradually become the best method to channel my emotions and it functions as an intermediate for learning about life and myself.

Kimmo: I concur to some extent. The topmost reason for me to write music is self-expression, to convey things I see and things I can’t understand otherwise. Still, I’d say that together we have also managed to extract something tangible from the essence of this age, a portrait of the world’s status quo and current direction, as seen by two Finns with a different but somehow similar mindset. So it’s not something completely self-centered, as self-expression and art are a very strong connection to the outside – the world, nature and other people. I do hope our work will find (and move) as many people as possible, as I feel what we’ve created ended up being something quite beautiful, but I wouldn’t call promoting it a mission. I guess our music is no more or no less than stone age cave paintings. It’s a scar from this era that will find its purpose and bear its impact on people in its due time, if it’s bound to do so. And I’m sure it will.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your recent self-titled debut album and the themes it captures.

Toni: I see it as a tableau of how I experience the man-made world. I’d say that anyone who is able and willing to observe their surroundings from different perspectives will sometimes witness very unnatural behavior by their fellow men, and very often by yourself, as I feel we all have our crosses to carry. It can make you feel distressed when dreaming on how things could be different and how the world might be more beautiful. Most of the time you just accept that things are exactly the way they are meant to be. With this mindset as the basis, the album is a trip from the twilight of man to metropolitan cities, via deserts to a sunset and eventually to silence.

Kimmo: The album captures different aspects on the world we live in, pessimistic and optimistic, hideous and beautiful. While it may seem that we are plummeting towards our end, we are also witnessing unimaginable miracles and beneficial progress taking place around us. We assume we are becoming more detached from our origins and nature, but we’re still extremely close to the archaic species that have been around for millenniums, which is tearing us apart. There’s beauty and hope in everything we see as something dreadful, and the other way around. We see ourselves as the greatest and wisest species on earth, but is that even close to the truth? It’s the dichotomy, conflict, impossibility and fascination of the world that has forced me – and I think us – to take this musical excursion.

Endworld Halos album art

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

Toni: I’d encourage everyone to observe themselves and their own actions from various perspectives, not just from the self-centered point of view. Looking at the stars, for example, is a simple way to achieve and understand a different angle.

Kimmo: People who claim they are right frighten me the most, so if there is a message to be sent, I’d like people to question their place in the world and their good intentions, and at the same time, have mercy and forgiveness for themselves, if required. Also, remember to feel small every now and then.

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

Kimmo: We both had some ideas old and new we thought we could incorporate to this project. Thus, we assembled the bits and pieces and started farming riffs and ideas. From there, things slowly started to take form, and we began to see what kind of a sound and themes the band could be all about.

Toni: I recorded melodies played with my guitar or just hummed them on the phone. I usually carry a piece of paper and a pen with me for making notes, about everything that passes my mind.

Kimmo: As modern men, we also bounced ideas there and back using email and Dropbox, occasionally taking things to the practice space for a guitar session. Followed by more digital documentation, email, Dropbox and guitar sessions. Rinse. Repeat.

[embedded content]

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Kimmo: The general flow and “layout” of the album is always very vital to me. I often come up with song themes and titles and then write the songs around them, just to make the album sound like an album and not just an irrational collection of songs. This was the case with this album, as well. From dawn to sundown, dusk and silence; we created a thematic backbone, and the music just grew around it.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

Toni: Beside bouncing the ideas and writing the songs, I feel we didn’t really practice the songs much before starting the recordings.

Kimmo: We kind of mastered the nature of the songs while recording them, writing the remainder bits in studio, too.

Toni: We recorded the album in small portions, taking the typical path: drums first, then the strings, and so forth. The recordings were done at the practice space and our homes with equipment we could access at the moment. Nothing too fancy, just basic microphones and audio interfaces.

Kimmo: Not too much gear porn, but necessities for self-expression. Sonic survivalism.

How long “Endworld Halos” was in the making?

Toni: From early 2014 to mid 2018. There was no rush, so we gave it all the time it needed. The mixing process took a very long time, as it came with many new things for me to learn. In the middle of the process I suffered a burn-out – because of various reasons – and I almost completely lost my health. But in the end, many things are done right and some things will be done differently next time.

Kimmo: Which is the way it goes with every record.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Toni: I’m not able to mention any specific bands. Some bits and pieces I wrote sound a bit like Rush, some 70′s progressive rock and modern progressive rock.

Kimmo: In the end, I feel like we managed to steer our from creating a pastiche. Albeit its very, very varied nature, the album does sound like, well, Endworld Halos. Of course, you can never avoid becoming influenced by stuff you like. My primary influences in the field of proggy music include Kingston Wall, Pink Floyd, old Genesis, Yes and so forth. Vintage rock stuff like Led Zeppelin etc. have always been important to me, not to forget heavy metal.

What is your view on technology in music?

Toni: I prefer the real instruments but don’t care much about the plugin vs. hardware etc. battles. I just use what interests me and what I’m able to get at the moment.

[embedded content]

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

Toni: Definitely. If someone else is able to see that behind all these beautiful melodies there’s a pretty dark album, that’s great. I’d also encourage people to concentrate on the lyrics.

Kimmo: Always, as to me music is never just melodies and rhymes combined. There has to be something that arouses thoughts, brings up questions. But what that is, I’d rather let the listener decipher and interpret that. There’s no one right way to unravel the album. I also endorse reading the lyrics, as they’re definitely among the strongest aspects of this album. If someone else can interpret one of the songs in a different way we saw it, I think that would be just awesome. I think even me and Toni saw a few things differently while co-writing the lyrics?

What are your plans for the future?

Toni: To compose new material. Life is pretty good at the moment, so I’m just trying to keep it that way.

Kimmo: Yes, we’ll approach a set of new tunes in the near future, hopefully resulting in a new album or EP in a few years time! A lot of ideas and themes in the pool already, so you should hear more from us sooner or later.

“Endworld Halos” is available from Bandcamp. Follow the band on Facebook.

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/endworld-halos-interview/
EH

Finnish dark progressive rock trio Endworld Halos launched their self-titled debut album in October 2018 which, according to themselves, is a versatile and ambitious slab of Finnish prog-infused rock, that can be described as a shady fusion of modern and old-fashioned soundscapes. Toni Jarvinen and Kimmo Utriainen answered our questionnaire about their mission, the record, technology, and more.

Define the mission of Endworld Halos.

Toni: I haven’t set any particular milestones or missions set for the band. For me, music has gradually become the best method to channel my emotions and it functions as an intermediate for learning about life and myself.

Kimmo: I concur to some extent. The topmost reason for me to write music is self-expression, to convey things I see and things I can’t understand otherwise. Still, I’d say that together we have also managed to extract something tangible from the essence of this age, a portrait of the world’s status quo and current direction, as seen by two Finns with a different but somehow similar mindset. So it’s not something completely self-centered, as self-expression and art are a very strong connection to the outside – the world, nature and other people. I do hope our work will find (and move) as many people as possible, as I feel what we’ve created ended up being something quite beautiful, but I wouldn’t call promoting it a mission. I guess our music is no more or no less than stone age cave paintings. It’s a scar from this era that will find its purpose and bear its impact on people in its due time, if it’s bound to do so. And I’m sure it will.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your recent self-titled debut album and the themes it captures.

Toni: I see it as a tableau of how I experience the man-made world. I’d say that anyone who is able and willing to observe their surroundings from different perspectives will sometimes witness very unnatural behavior by their fellow men, and very often by yourself, as I feel we all have our crosses to carry. It can make you feel distressed when dreaming on how things could be different and how the world might be more beautiful. Most of the time you just accept that things are exactly the way they are meant to be. With this mindset as the basis, the album is a trip from the twilight of man to metropolitan cities, via deserts to a sunset and eventually to silence.

Kimmo: The album captures different aspects on the world we live in, pessimistic and optimistic, hideous and beautiful. While it may seem that we are plummeting towards our end, we are also witnessing unimaginable miracles and beneficial progress taking place around us. We assume we are becoming more detached from our origins and nature, but we’re still extremely close to the archaic species that have been around for millenniums, which is tearing us apart. There’s beauty and hope in everything we see as something dreadful, and the other way around. We see ourselves as the greatest and wisest species on earth, but is that even close to the truth? It’s the dichotomy, conflict, impossibility and fascination of the world that has forced me – and I think us – to take this musical excursion.

Endworld Halos album art

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

Toni: I’d encourage everyone to observe themselves and their own actions from various perspectives, not just from the self-centered point of view. Looking at the stars, for example, is a simple way to achieve and understand a different angle.

Kimmo: People who claim they are right frighten me the most, so if there is a message to be sent, I’d like people to question their place in the world and their good intentions, and at the same time, have mercy and forgiveness for themselves, if required. Also, remember to feel small every now and then.

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

Kimmo: We both had some ideas old and new we thought we could incorporate to this project. Thus, we assembled the bits and pieces and started farming riffs and ideas. From there, things slowly started to take form, and we began to see what kind of a sound and themes the band could be all about.

Toni: I recorded melodies played with my guitar or just hummed them on the phone. I usually carry a piece of paper and a pen with me for making notes, about everything that passes my mind.

Kimmo: As modern men, we also bounced ideas there and back using email and Dropbox, occasionally taking things to the practice space for a guitar session. Followed by more digital documentation, email, Dropbox and guitar sessions. Rinse. Repeat.

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Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Kimmo: The general flow and “layout” of the album is always very vital to me. I often come up with song themes and titles and then write the songs around them, just to make the album sound like an album and not just an irrational collection of songs. This was the case with this album, as well. From dawn to sundown, dusk and silence; we created a thematic backbone, and the music just grew around it.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

Toni: Beside bouncing the ideas and writing the songs, I feel we didn’t really practice the songs much before starting the recordings.

Kimmo: We kind of mastered the nature of the songs while recording them, writing the remainder bits in studio, too.

Toni: We recorded the album in small portions, taking the typical path: drums first, then the strings, and so forth. The recordings were done at the practice space and our homes with equipment we could access at the moment. Nothing too fancy, just basic microphones and audio interfaces.

Kimmo: Not too much gear porn, but necessities for self-expression. Sonic survivalism.

How long “Endworld Halos” was in the making?

Toni: From early 2014 to mid 2018. There was no rush, so we gave it all the time it needed. The mixing process took a very long time, as it came with many new things for me to learn. In the middle of the process I suffered a burn-out – because of various reasons – and I almost completely lost my health. But in the end, many things are done right and some things will be done differently next time.

Kimmo: Which is the way it goes with every record.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Toni: I’m not able to mention any specific bands. Some bits and pieces I wrote sound a bit like Rush, some 70′s progressive rock and modern progressive rock.

Kimmo: In the end, I feel like we managed to steer our from creating a pastiche. Albeit its very, very varied nature, the album does sound like, well, Endworld Halos. Of course, you can never avoid becoming influenced by stuff you like. My primary influences in the field of proggy music include Kingston Wall, Pink Floyd, old Genesis, Yes and so forth. Vintage rock stuff like Led Zeppelin etc. have always been important to me, not to forget heavy metal.

What is your view on technology in music?

Toni: I prefer the real instruments but don’t care much about the plugin vs. hardware etc. battles. I just use what interests me and what I’m able to get at the moment.

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

Toni: Definitely. If someone else is able to see that behind all these beautiful melodies there’s a pretty dark album, that’s great. I’d also encourage people to concentrate on the lyrics.

Kimmo: Always, as to me music is never just melodies and rhymes combined. There has to be something that arouses thoughts, brings up questions. But what that is, I’d rather let the listener decipher and interpret that. There’s no one right way to unravel the album. I also endorse reading the lyrics, as they’re definitely among the strongest aspects of this album. If someone else can interpret one of the songs in a different way we saw it, I think that would be just awesome. I think even me and Toni saw a few things differently while co-writing the lyrics?

What are your plans for the future?

Toni: To compose new material. Life is pretty good at the moment, so I’m just trying to keep it that way.

Kimmo: Yes, we’ll approach a set of new tunes in the near future, hopefully resulting in a new album or EP in a few years time! A lot of ideas and themes in the pool already, so you should hear more from us sooner or later.

“Endworld Halos” is available from Bandcamp. Follow the band on Facebook.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/reviews/review-diagoras-enigma/
Diagoras - Enigma

Diagoras is a progressive death metal band haling from Gothenburg, Sweden, and back in October 2018 the band put out their debut EP titled “Enigma.”

The album contains strong blasting riffs, which are otherwise both catchy and technical, and actually suit the vocalist incredibly well. They are bludgeoning when paired with vicious screams and brutal gutturals of Erik Olans. He simply has such an intense level of passion and energy, like he pours his heart and soul into the music. The best example of this can be heard throughout the EP, but as highlights I would mentioned title track, “Hails of Torment” and “Agent of Manipulation.”

The masterful use of the heavy verse/melodic chorus style of songwriting makes this release incredibly varied. “Enigma” is all about balance of heaviness and melody. The instrumentation on the album is brought to perfection, and although the band’s technical skills are easy to notice, the band members work in favor of displaying a balance between masterful craftsmanship and performance.

“Enigma” is one of those release that is just as good the first time you listen to it as it is the fiftieth. It’s one of those rare cases where it never gets old, yet it doesn’t take any time to grow on you. Whether you’re a seasoned metal listener or someone who is just discovering heavy music, this album will appeal to you in some way or another. It’s incredibly technical and precise in its execution, yet it allows enough melody in to keep it from sounding like a typical instrumental wank fest.

Follow Diagoras on Facebook.

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/reviews/review-diagoras-enigma/
Diagoras - Enigma

Diagoras is a progressive death metal band haling from Gothenburg, Sweden, and back in October 2018 the band put out their debut EP titled “Enigma.”

The album contains strong blasting riffs, which are otherwise both catchy and technical, and actually suit the vocalist incredibly well. They are bludgeoning when paired with vicious screams and brutal gutturals of Erik Olans. He simply has such an intense level of passion and energy, like he pours his heart and soul into the music. The best example of this can be heard throughout the EP, but as highlights I would mentioned title track, “Hails of Torment” and “Agent of Manipulation.”

The masterful use of the heavy verse/melodic chorus style of songwriting makes this release incredibly varied. “Enigma” is all about balance of heaviness and melody. The instrumentation on the album is brought to perfection, and although the band’s technical skills are easy to notice, the band members work in favor of displaying a balance between masterful craftsmanship and performance.

“Enigma” is one of those release that is just as good the first time you listen to it as it is the fiftieth. It’s one of those rare cases where it never gets old, yet it doesn’t take any time to grow on you. Whether you’re a seasoned metal listener or someone who is just discovering heavy music, this album will appeal to you in some way or another. It’s incredibly technical and precise in its execution, yet it allows enough melody in to keep it from sounding like a typical instrumental wank fest.

Follow Diagoras on Facebook.